TUESDAY, MARCH 18
While Barack Obama gives a landmark speech that shines a cleansing light on the dark fears and prejudice that still separate America, a group of Norco residents finally pressure a non-profit foundation to stop teaching juvenile offenders how to golf. The Get A Grip Foundation had been bringing a couple dozen kids from detention centers to the Hidden Valley Golf Club in Norco for more than a year to learn a game—and a style of life—that few of them have been exposed to. But residents of Norco Hills didn’t move into their exclusive neighborhoods because they liked to share. They rejected the kids, contending that even their supervised presence could lure crime to the area. The city’s argument that none of the kids had ever caused trouble at Hidden Valley didn’t make any difference. When the controversy slowed down approval of an education building for 450 local students—and the insults began to drag down the morale of the kids in the golf program—the Get A Grip Foundation gave in. Sound like horseshit?
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19
It isn’t. There’s definitely a difference between the crap that’s being dumped on those kids at the golf course and a pile of authentic horseshit, and Norco residents pride themselves on knowing it. They’re horseshit experts. They’re horseshit lovers. In fact, the steamiest topic of conversation in town these days is whether local government should be able to tell its citizens what to do with their horseshit, or whether Norconions ought to be able to do whatever they want with it. The problem is that there are thousands and thousands of horses in Norco—which calls itself Horsetown, USA—that lay up to a million pounds of poop every day. There’s evidence that runoff is getting in the water system—but as you might imagine, the horse lovers don’t care. They suspect that the attempt to take away their horseshit is the first step towards taking away their horses. “This is the last mecca, the last Alamo of horse country,” former Mayor Harvey Sullivan tells the Los Angeles Times. Resident Judee Haddock agrees, saying, “We think it’s a bunch of hooey.” Mecca? Alamo? Hooey? I don’t own a horse, so I’m assuming those are technical terms for . . . you know . . . No. 2.
THURSDAY, MARCH 20
It’s been two days since somebody said the word “shit” while addressing the Ontario City Council, and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin columnist David Allen—whose work I always read, at least to the end of his by-line—is still crapping his pants every time he thinks about it. Ontario is a pretty big city, but as far as Allen was concerned, somebody saying “shit” was the most important thing that happened at Tuesday night’s meeting—and a watershed moment for him personally. Allen says it was the first time he can remember anybody saying “shit” at any local government meeting he’d attended in more than 20 years. Not that Allen actually reported the use of the word. He fell back on the old typographical censorship trick of writing “(blank)” to substitute for the four-letter fecal synonym. What a (blank) head!
FRIDAY MARCH 21
“Yucaipa” kinda sounds like one of those No. 2 synonyms, too, but it’s not. In fact, Yucaipa is where you go to get the kind of news that is definitely not No. 2—especially if you go to the Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the City event. “This is good,” pronounced Arcadio Torres, president of the student senate at Crafton Hills College—and he was only talking about the salmon they had for lunch! That’s what it said in the Yucaipa News Mirror, anyway. Things got even better when the politicos finished chewing their food, forget about the recession that’s crushing the rest of the Inland Empire. “We’ve saved for a rainy day,” bragged Mayor Dick Riddell. “We’ve got money in the bank. Unlike many cities, we’ve had a strong Development Impact Fee program plus a successful grant acquisition program to find our capital improvements.” Of course, there are those pesky poor people to deal with, and Yucaipa is mandated to partially accommodate them with 1,188 low-income housing units. But the city is dragging out the process interminably. Said Riddell: “The fact is, the city has no intention to install low-cost housing.” What a bunch o’ Yucaipa.
SATURDAY, MARCH 22
All this potty talk. I’m pooped.
SUNDAY, MARCH 23
He may be risen, but on Easter Sunday a roadside bomb in Baghdad finds four U.S. soldiers to take His place—killing them to push the overall American death toll in the five-year war in Iraq to 4,000. Talk about a surge.
MONDAY, MARCH 24
Mr. Califero’s latest video isn’t exactly a YouTube smash—only 430 hits since it went on line Feb. 19—but the Rialto Police Department loved it. Detectives secured felony second-degree commercial burglary arrest warrants against Mr. Califero (known as Robert Echeverria on his birth certificate) and two others after watching his mini-movie that showed them pulling a scam on an unsuspecting Del Taco employee that netted them seven tacos, a large order of fries, two sodas and two quesadillas with extra chicken that would have cost $15. The video’s getting the credit but it might not have required much police work, anyway. Echeverria is 6-foot-5 and weighs 500 pounds.