TUESDAY, MARCH 6
“Before 2003, density was a four-letter word in Fontana,” reports Colin Drukker in the most-recent online edition of the Inland Empire Business Journal (www.busjournal.com). I gotta admit, that was one bit of IE trivia that had escaped me. Not that it surprised me. People tend to talk funny in Fontana, and it only figures they’d make some mistakes trying to write phonetically. We’re not so sure how you’d spell “density” with only four letters, but we’re glad they got things worked out and that all seven letters are getting their props. So is Drukker—a seven-letter word, too, but one which you easily could spell with four letters . . . look: Drkr. But his happiness doesn’t really have anything to do with the alphabet. His story in the Business Journal raves about changes in Fontana’s building codes, which used to permit only 12 houses per acre of land, but now allows 24. Yeah, twice as many houses in the same amount of space! See, now developers can maximize their profits by all but eliminating backyards—you know, space to relax, enjoy some privacy—and piling people on top of one another. Drukker is especially thrilled about the Fontana Promenade Specific Plan, which promises to squeeze together more than 900 high-density, multifamily units. He quotes Kevin Ryan, a senior planner at Fontana, who predicts this will “create a sense of community.” I sense claustrophobia, not to mention the litany of societal ills that accompany the sardinifying of people. The Promenade sounds like a pretty name for Fontana’s ghetto of the future. But then, I’m old school—pre-2003, that is—when we considered density a four-letter word, even if we weren’t so sure how to spell it.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7
A civilian worker at the marine base in Twentynine Palms celebrates his 42nd birthday by climbing into a slight piece of machinery called an ultralight aircraft (think: a snowmobile engine attached to a kite) and flying around in it for a few minutes, then not dying in the seemingly predictable crash to earth. “The plane pancaked into the ground, one hard hit, and I got a face full of dust,” says Dave Owens, walking away from the crash near Coyote Dry Lake in Joshua Tree. “I thought to myself, ‘I’m still alive. Thank you, God.’” Of course, the ultralight plane is a mess—the nose snapped off, the propeller in pieces, the pilot area destroyed—but damage is estimated at only about $1,000, which says a lot about how kite-like these aircraft really are. “I was glad to be able to say ‘Yes, I’m OK,’” says Owens, who plans to continue flying these little contraptions. We’re glad you didn’t die, too, Dave—especially on your birthday. Although you gotta admit, it would have made a really cool tombstone.
THURSDAY, MARCH 8
And to think Owens missed sharing a birthday with Micky Dolenz by just one day!
FRIDAY, MARCH 9
The Adelanto city council starts to freak when a couple of people apply for business licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries. By the end of a special meeting to discuss the issue, however, the council takes a tohhhhtally appropriate response: it unanimously puts off doing anything for 45 days. We relate. Deciding stuff always harshes our mellow, too.
SATURDAY, MARCH 10
Somewhere in Jurupa, someone’s turning 50—not that she looks it or anything.
SUNDAY, MARCH 11
A couple weeks of whining about the early arrival of Daylight Saving Time wraps up when everybody either wakes up on time or doesn’t. No big deal, despite all the fretting about a “mini-Y2K” (which itself never lived up to the doomsday hype about the meltdown of a computer-dependent world) and all the complaining about the intrusion of government into our lives (mostly by people unfazed by the Patriot Act and the Bush administration’s illegal wiretapping). Despite the fact that we switch our clocks either forward or backward twice a year, every year, lame newspaper writers never miss a chance to milk the subject with their special brand of disingenuous cutesiness. Get a load of the crap shoveled out today by Steve Lambert, editor of the San Bernardino Sun, who writes that “after all these years, the spring-forward-fall-behind thing still throws me.” That’s not funny—it’s scary. How does a guy who is “thrown” by changing his clocks forward or backward one hour every year get to be editor of a big daily newspaper? Now that Lambert has admitted it, how does he get to keep his job? Does his pathetic confession strengthen or weaken your confidence in the Sun’s ability to grasp, translate and accurately deliver more-complicated pieces of information to its readership? Are you insulted that he would assume that you somehow share his dimwitted affliction? Let’s get this guy a wet nurse and go find somebody to replace him—preferably a journalist.
MONDAY, MARCH 12
The city council of Horsetown—a.k.a. Norco—continues its discussion of a proposed ordinance that would require helmets to be worn out on the trail. Opponents suggest that such a law would be difficult to enforce, and we agree. Horses hate wearing helmets.