TUESDAY, JANUARY 2
Standing beneath a huge American flag on the steps of the Riverside County Historic Courthouse, Rod Pacheco becomes the first new Riverside County district attorney in 24 years—and boy, is he ever ready for his big moment. “We will renew our commitment to serving victims with vigor,” Pacheco tells a crowd of more than 500 people. “They shall not be lost in the labyrinth that is our forum.” We’re pretty sure that’s a good thing, but we can’t find our thesaurus.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3
Jeremy Baca really wants to serve the constituents of . . . let’s see . . . ummm . . . where does he live now? Not Rialto—that was last month. This month it’s Colton. Yes. Now he lives in Colton. He’s going to have to remember that, especially the next time he goes out partying. That DUI he got just before filing his papers to run for his brother, Joe Jr.’s, empty 62nd assembly district seat last year was really a drag. Especially when he made it worse by forgetting to show up for court and had to spend so much of his campaigning time driving out to that rehab. But that was nothing compared to the bummer that was Election Day, when Jeremy lost to Wilmer Amina Carter despite spending, like, three times as much money. Although his dad—that would be Congressman Joe Baca, Sr.—was kind of embarrassed when those six other Latino congressmen called him on that attempt to divert money intended for federal races into Jeremy’s campaign coffers, he must have been relieved in the long run not to have blown those bucks. Anyway, all of that was in the past, back when Jeremy Baca lived in Rialto. Now he lives in Colton. And he really wants to serve the constituents of Colton. And as circumstances would have it, there’s an opening on the Colton City Council! Not only that, but three of the councilmen—Richard De La Rosa, Issac Suchil and David Toro—are his friends. Well, they know he’s the son of his powerful father, anyway. Point is, they nominated him to fill the council seat without an election! Unfortunately, the three other council members nominated Vincent Yzaguirre. So now they’re going to hold a special election on June 5, and have we mentioned how much Jeremy Baca wants to serve the citizens of Colton? “I’m going to put 150 percent into it,” says Jeremy. But he won’t rule out running for higher office before his term expires. Colton’s cool and everything, but wouldn’t it be great to live in Sacramento?
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4
I pay $9.25—just about as much as it costs to go to a movie—to drive 10 miles worth of 91 Freeway Express Lanes, and it seems like it’s totally worth it because non-toll freeway traffic has become so intolerable, especially during rush hours, that I have begun to realize that it’s either pay the tolls (which go higher as the traffic gets worse) or go insane. I am a tool.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5
It’s only four days into the term of Riverside County district attorney Rod Pacheco, and I don’t want to sound like a complainer or anything, but I think I’m lost in the labyrinth that is his forum.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 6
The stars were out for the big finale of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett caused the biggest tizzy—and their film, Babel, won the ensemble prize—but we also spotted Morgan Freeman, Jessica Biel, Laurence Fishburne, Alan Arkin, Sissy Spacek and that weird girl from Little Miss Sunshine. Palm Springs Mayor Ron Oden waxed ecstatically about the promotional value of it all. “People who are at home, buried under six or eight inches of snow and see this on TV—palm trees, a backdrop of mountains, sunshine—it leaves a lasting impression.” And then? Tragedy. Octogenarian battleaxe Kaye Ballard, the former Broadway and TV star, somehow escaped her handlers, making it all the way down the red carpet before she could be subdued by another old woman, who looked like Rex Reed.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 7
Getting my appetite back after that Kaye Ballard episode.
MONDAY, JANUARY 8
Auditioning begins for the role of San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor, and the format goes like this: 13 people will vie for the position, each doing a song-and-dance for the four judges—remaining supes Paul Biane, Dennis Hansberger, Gary Ovitt and Josie Gonzales—who have 30 days to make a decision. If they are deadlocked, the choice falls to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s expected to take input from Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell—although the latter is kinda dicey, since he’s not an American citizen. Ryan Seacrest will host. Competition is expected to be fierce, since the position gives its owner dominion over 17,000 square miles and roughly one-fifth of the county’s 2 million residents. Also because the last guy who filled the seat, Bill Postmus, went on to become county tax assessor, where he has begun pursuing his true passion—interior decorating. We’re leaning toward Brad Mitzelfelt, not so much because he served as Postmus’ chief of staff for six years, but because we really like the idea of saying Supervisor Mitzelfelt.