April Fools’ Eve, and I prepare in the usual way—tying the laces of all my shoes together. This is going to be so funny.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1
Riverside County’s biggest cheese—Chief Executive Officer Bill Luna—makes the tough calls during these difficult times with an 88-page Human Resources resolution to the Board of Supervisors. Luna wants the supes to trim retirement benefits, freeze hiring and slash other costs—this on top of his call last October for department heads to cut 25 percent of their county budgets over four years. “Now that economic times are more challenging, we are optimistic that County employees will understand the need to share in some of the pain associated with falling revenues and increasing costs, in order to maintain County services,” Luna’s resolution reads. But he isn’t finished. Luna also asks that his own retirement account be increased by more than $15,000 a year—the only individual recommended for such an increase in the entire report. This is April Fools’ Day, but he definitely is not joking.
THURSDAY, APRIL 2
Noreen Considine, the Jurupa Unified School District board member whose insistence upon being addressed as “Captain Considine” makes her seem a little coo-coo, looks a little nuttier for her refusal to cast votes on matters of student expulsions and suspensions. But maybe not. Considine has filed a lawsuit alleging that students’ rights are being violated because board members aren’t given enough time to review disciplinary records. We’re with you, Cap’n.
FRIDAY, APRIL 3
Former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus heads to rehab for what turns out to be the third time. Meth, again. Sad. But as bad as everybody ought to feel about a 37-year-old man whose life is threatened by the chronic, progressive and fatal disease of chemical addiction, nobody has to apologize for feeling relieved that the guy’s political career is in ruins. Postmus rose as a young Republican star—a San Bernardino County supervisor at 28—by being a selfish, cruel asshole. If he hadn’t fucked himself over, he’d be screwing everybody else. Here’s hoping that the third time turns out to be the charm for Postmus, that he gets and stays sober … and that he never runs for office again.
SATURDAY, APRIL 4
Burger and fries—no room or time for the famous cobbler—at the Summit Inn atop the Cajon Pass on my way to Calico for the annual family Spring Break campout. The feelgood starts with the sound of the turn signal clicking on the approach to the Oak Hills exit, and something about that red-and-white sign takes me back to a place that feels right and familiar, even though it comes from a time before I was born—back in 1952, when the Summit Inn served travelers along old Route 66. Would I have loved the place as much then, back when it was new and modern? Or am I just loving the freedom that nostalgia gives us to pick and choose the past, living in the sweet memory of something that never really was? Hmmm. Well, I woulda loved the burger and fries. And the cobbler.
SUNDAY, APRIL 5
Today there’s a little something different about the plaque that’s been outside the Union Bank on West Main Street in Barstow for nearly 40 years—the one honoring a missing-in-action soldier from the Vietnam War. But … what … exactly … is it? Oh! No shit! No, really: there’s no shit on it! Over the weekend, a couple of locals noticed the mess—“It looked like someone had threw poop or feces on it,” said 29-year-old Richard Villegas, a former Marine himself—and went out with gloves and sponges to clean it up. “We’re tired of the way things look,” Luke Haefele told the Barstow Desert Dispatch, “and people talking about doing this and doing that.”
MONDAY, APRIL 6
Two of five San Bernardino County supervisors have come out in favor of creating an independent ethics panel, which would have the power to review and punish the conduct of elected county officials and their staff. One of those supervisors—Neil Derry—just lost his chief of staff, Jim Erwin, a few weeks ago when he was arrested on 10 felony charges for failing to disclose lavish gifts he received from a developer in January 2007. Derry points out that Erwin’s alleged crimes occurred before Derry hired him in December of 2008. But howzabout we point out that Derry hired Erwin after he left the job of deputy county assessor on the staff of Bill Postmus, who everybody could see was running the wackiest ship in the army. No doubt somebody’s got to do something about the non-stop scandals that have paraded through San Bernardino County government during the past decade, but you have to wonder whether somebody as obviously clueless as Derry is the guy to lead the reform. He apparently couldn’t even do a decent background check on his own chief of staff … or wasn’t interested in doing one.