TUESDAY, AUGUST 12
The experienced reactions of a team of caterers almost certainly save the life of mouthwateringly chubby Inland Empire Congressman Ken Calvert (R-Mistake), who was being eyed hungrily by Dick Cheney at a fundraising dinner in San Clemente tonight until a waiter noticed and quickly served the Vice President a slab of Wyoming beef. The kitchen staff had not yet had time to cook the meat, which fortunately is just the way Cheney likes it. The Vice President had come to the upscale home in the Orange County portion of Calvert’s district to help raise money for the right-wing sycophantic congressman’s re-election, but the guest of honor nearly became the main entrée when Cheney got a look at his doughy cheeks and tender, pink belly—the results of years of feeding at the public trough. Tragedy was averted this time, but the chances of a disaster aren’t going to get—pardon the expression—any slimmer. Calvert’s campaign war chest of $318,700—already nearly 10 times that of his Democratic challenger, longtime Corona-Norco school board member Bill Hedrick (almost $36,000)—got even fatter tonight. And we all know that nothing ever really slakes Cheney’s carnivorous hunger.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13
The hallways of the restored Santa Fe Depot building in San Bernardino are still echoing with the high, lonesome cry of what sounds like a long-ago train but is actually the aftermath of Huell Howser’s two-hour visit to the place two days ago. Howser brought his howdy-doody enthusiasm and his ear-splitting squall—and what’s got to be the longest-suffering film-and-camera crew in the business—to tape an episode of his upcoming California’s Communities show for KCET-TV, the Los Angeles PBS affiliate. The segment will explore how the depot’s renovation has led to other improvements. Despite the potentially devastating power of Howser’s yippie-yi-yo, there were no immediate reports of sonic damage to the beautiful depot. That thing really was built to last.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14
Radio and TV spots tout Sit ‘N Sleep’s grand opening of its 22nd store, this one in Redlands, where the company claims it is rolling out the red carpet. That’s red as in Redlands, I probably ought to point out, just in case CEO Larry Miller’s “humor” is obscured by his screeching obnoxiousness. But there is something special—maybe just coincidental, maybe actually cosmic—about this particular addition to this particular city’s retail scene. Or didn’t you know that Sit ‘N Sleep is the Redlands city motto?
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15
The Inland Empire’s newest resident is Riley Paige Becker, who brings her seven pounds and seven ounces into Riverside at 3:39PM. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 16
As a predominately Chinese crowd cheers ecstatically, United States swimmer Michael Phelps wins an unprecedented eighth Olympic gold medal in Beijing to provide the official last gasp of the American century. Turns out the Chinese crowd is cheering a report in the Financial Times that says China will surpass the US as the world’s leading manufacturer, ending a 100-year run for America. When it does, China will also become No. 1 in being mentioned in sentences that include the word “surpass.” In other end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it news, two Chinese women not only knock out a US duo in the Olympic beach volleyball tournament, but look better in their bikinis.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 17
The number of domestic violence cases are up significantly—from 200 to 300—over a year ago, and officials in the western division of the Riverside County district attorney’s office—basically, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Mira Loma-Eastvale and Corona-Norco—say it may be traceable to increases in home foreclosures and job losses. “People are frustrated,” Deputy District Attorney Linda Dunn of the agency’s Family Protection Unit tells the Press-Enterprise. “They are unhappy when they lose their job or can’t make the house payment or pay their bills. That frustration can manifest itself in violence against the partner.” Meanwhile, things are apparently so bad in San Bernardino that nobody in its district attorney’s office would return any of several telephone calls made by P-E reporter Jose Arballo, Jr., seeking comment or data on domestic violence cases. Ain’t that an ass-kicker?
MONDAY, AUGUST 18
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department investigators continue to seek the public’s help in identifying a man believed to have been buried in a small metal box—3 ½ feet long, 1 ½ feet wide and 20 inches deep—about 15 years ago in Devore. Yes, I know, it could be anybody. Back in the early-to-mid 1990s it seemed as if everybody was being buried in small metal boxes in Devore. But here are a couple of other clues: the guy was dressed in black denim “Union Bay” pants and white-and-blue Converse high-top shoes. Yes, I know, that doesn’t narrow it down much. Back in the early-to-mid 1990s, just about everybody in Devore dressed in bad taste.