TUESDAY, MAY 20
Domenica Bernauer’s selection as Assistant Vice Principal of the Year by the Western Riverside Association of School Managers is a feel-good story that feels even better when you find out that it’s a coming-full-circle story, too. Bernauer—an administrator at Palm and Three Rings Ranch elementary schools in Beaumont—actually attended Palms when she was in grade school. Everybody: awwww! Well, not quite everybody. Jean Atkinson, whose daughter attends Palms now, thinks Bernauer’s selection was awwwww-ful—and she writes a letter to the Banning Record-Gazette saying so. “I totally disagree with this,” writes Ms. Atkinson. “You may like her, that is fine. But there is one thing you need to know before you choose someone. You need to talk with the parents and students and ask my daughter and I . . . What you see in her is the other side and what we see is totally different . . . So please do me a favor in the future, please listen or go to the parents and students first, then make your final decision. You made us feel that we aren’t important and we are . . . Without us what would you be?” Let’s see . . . a life without people like Jean Atkinson . . . hmmmm . . . I’d be willing to give it a try.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 21
They’re called the Los Angeles Lakers, but basketball fever’s running high in these parts, too. And tonight’s third-round-of-the-playoffs opener against the San Antonio Spurs isn’t the most locally relevant news. Rather, it’s a Lakers exhibition game that won’t be played until next fall. That’s when Ontario will baptize its still-under-construction sports arena—its name already whored out to Citizens Business Bank—with a glorified practice session between the Lakers and . . . the team that’s been the Seattle Supersonics for decades, but their new owner just announced he’s moving them to Oklahoma City, where nobody’s even decided what their name will be, but in the meantime there are lots of lawsuits. Sounds like what the Lakers went through last offseason with Kobe Bryant. For that matter, if the Lakers don’t win the title this year, Kobe’s need for somebody to blame may have him playing for the . . . the . . . hey, they should totally call themselves the Okleattle Soonersonics.
THURSDAY, MAY 22
Thunderstorms, hailstorms and tornados suddenly appear, toppling rail cars, caving in a roof, stranding drivers and freaking people the hell out—damn, we were having a heat wave a few days ago—and it’s all very mysterious until you remember that 20 people are out in Death Valley digging around in Charlie Manson’s old hideout. They’re searching for evidence that maybe the Manson Family killed more people than everybody thought. After four days, nothing—and weirdly, everybody’s kinda disappointed. The whole investigation was spurred by Mammoth Lakes Police Det. Paul Dostie, whose cadaver dog, Buster, apparently detected suspicious odors at the five sites. Next time, maybe Dostie will use a dog that’s still alive.
FRIDAY, MAY 23
The Shoppes at Chino Hills—the Inland Empire’s newest major retail center . . . $200 million and 400,000 square feet qualifies as major, doesn’t it?—opens today with one minor problem: all their potential customers are broke. Of course, the financial geniuses at Phoenix-based developer Opus West Corp. didn’t know they’d be opening 60 stores that can already be found in some other mall in the middle of a recession when this thing was on the drawing board. But they get the picture now, describing their mood as “guardedly optimistic.” Roughly translated from developerspeak, that’s “Fuck! Now we’re broke, too!”
SATURDAY, MAY 24
The Press-Enterprise remembers the 25th anniversary of the US Festival, which was supposed to be sort of the Woodstock of its time—I prefer to think of it as the California Jam of its time . . . look that up—the problem being that it happened in 1983. Not a good time. Maybe you’ve heard of a little betrayal of American ideals that people still like to call the Reagan Revolution—you know, the era of the Star Wars missile defense system, the Iran-Contra affair and the invasion of a tiny country called Grenada that laid the groundwork for a little disaster I like to call the Bush Bumfuckerooni . . . really, I like to call it that. Besides that, the music mostly sucked. Yes, I realize The Clash was there. And so were U2, The Pretenders and David Bowie. But so was Flock of Seagulls. Whether, on the whole, we would have been better off foregoing all that good to save ourselves from that very bad is a question we can talk to death. And I have a feeling we did. Oh yes, the coke was primo.
SUNDAY, MAY 25
I’m saying it so much because that’s how much I love it: Erin Nicole Wielenga, college graduate.
MONDAY, MAY 26
Hope you know that not everybody gets a three-day weekend.