TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2
Judge Robert Spitzer is removed from the Riverside Superior Court bench for gross neglect of his duties, and the people on the state judicial oversight panel who made the ruling weren’t kidding. Spitzer’s courtroom was gross, with files stacked everywhere from window sills to his bathroom and a quirky, time-consuming perfectionism that caused things to fall behind by as much as six years. Strange news, isn’t it? I mean, that it turns out I have the qualifications to be a judge . . . at least for awhile.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3
Looks like we’re not going to get our MTV, no matter how much we want it. M-as-in-Mirthala Salinas, girlfriend of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa—isn’t coming to Riverside to resume her TV career with Spanish-language network Telemundo. Salinas didn’t show up for her first day of work after a two-month suspension for getting romantically involved with Villaraigosa while she was covering him for the station. The word is that Salinas was unhappy over her reassignment to Riverside. As insulting as any of us may find her attitude about that, think about how disappointed Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge is feeling today. With a name like Loveridge, you gotta think he had a pretty good shot.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4
Lake Elsinore officials post health advisory signs along a 1,400-foot stretch of the Elm Grove beach and picnic area warning people that high levels of fecal coliform—the bacteria that makes poop really bad for you—were discovered during water-quality testing on September 27. Yeah, that’s a week ago. Oh, you took your kids to Elm Beach a few days ago? Yeah, that is shitty.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5
Republican representative Jerry Lewis of Redlands may have the name of a comedian—I guess that depends on whether or not you think muscular dystrophy is funny—but Democrat Louie Contreras of Hesperia is the guy who gets the laughs in the race for the congressional seat. And that’s not only because “Hesperia” is simply more hilarious than “Redlands.” It has almost as little to do with the fact that when the men faced off in 2006, Contreras raised no money, may not have even made a campaign appearance and didn’t have a working telephone. It’s definitely not because Contreras sells insurance. Most likely, it’s because Lewis looks like a child-eating evangelical minister robot. Oh, and that whole earmark thing. What’s funny about that?
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6
The Stagecoach Days celebration is revived in Banning for the 50th time, and it’s a mess of fun—with the emphasis on the mess. An opening-day parade down Ramsey Street featured horse-drawn carriages, marching bands, 1940s-era airplanes buzzing overhead, gunfighters and motorists in miniature cars driving in circles around each other. There was a big carnival with rides and vendors in one area, and a 1800s-era campsite with teepees and tomahawks in another. Of course, there were the ever-popular educational programs, which were a great place to get a little solitude. The annual four-day event is intended to commemorate the days when people riding in stagecoaches used the town as a stopover between where they were coming from and where they wanted to go. Of course, that’s pretty much commemorated every day of the year in Banning by people in cars.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7
The day after the Palm Springs Desert Sun runs a long-and-gushing article previewing the grand opening of a brand-new Sonic hamburger stand in Cathedral City, the paper runs a longer-and-gushier piece informing its readers that the hamburger stand did indeed open—because, you know, what if it hadn’t? Naturally, a day made a lot of difference. For example, in Saturday’s article, writer Willian Avila emphasized that Sonic is “known for delivering food to cars in 1950s fashion via roller skates, plus customized drinks like blue coconut Sprite and chocolate Coke.” Whereas in Sunday’s article, the Willian pointed out that Sonic is “known for delivering food to cars in 1950s fashion via roller skates, plus customized drinks like blue coconut Sprite and chocolate Coke.” See? That’s the kind of follow-up coverage we’re coming to expect from the Desert Sun, which has recently dumbed-down its website with a bunch of lifestyle filler and unprofessional bloggers. And people notice. Amid the feedback at the end of today’s story on the website was this, from a reader who called himself jgs1122: So is this a news article or just a commercial for Sonic?
MONDAY, OCTOBER 8
Within about a half hour this morning, a red-flag alert was posted in the local mountains and a new red-light camera was posted at the intersection of Waterman Avenue and 30th Street in San Bernardino. I hate red.