A judge rules that a civil case against Jim Erwin—the San Bernardino County political wheeler dealer who’s currently being investigated for a fancy-pants trip to New York and a $12K Rolex (insert bribery suspicions here) he got as gifts from an influential Rancho Cucamonga developer—should be moved to Orange County. The reason: pretrial publicity. As if the Erwin case is a rare example of besmirchment of the County of San Berdoo due to allegations of crooked politics. There’s plenty of publicity here, and when I say “publicity” I mean notoriety and thieves and liars. The laundry list of crooked politicians and scandal double-dipped officials (former Supervisor Jerry Eaves, former county administrators James Hlawek and Harry Mays, former assessor—and admitted meth head—Bill Postmus, former assessor assistant Adam Aleman—I could go on) is so entrenched in local lore, you’d think they’d make it part of the county’s self-guided tour. The judge in the Erwin case, JanetM. Frangie, said that “the analysis of defendant Erwin may not involve a brutal crime, it may nonetheless evoke similar depths of passion from a jury,” and that “perjury and corruption charges involving a county official may impassion a jury.” So, handling Erwin’s case in-house ain’t fair because accusations of crookedness get a jury upset and influences their better judgment? Well, good thing the case will get outsourced to the OC. It’ll give the jury that handled the Sheriff Carona case something to do. Handing down acquittals takes practice.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6
A possible new case of the Swine Flu—a 6-year-old boy from Riverside—is announced by RivCo’s Public Health types. But while this stands to be confirmed as the county’s seventh case of the unholy sickness, locals opt to downshift from freak-out mode—they revert to their non-emergency mode—and distance themselves from the term “swine flu” by trumpeting its scientific name (H1N1). Feeling better already? Oh, and the county delivers some top-notch advice from the School of School Nurses: If you’re sick or think you are, stay home from work or school. Really? That’s the best you can do? Bird flu, where are you when we need you.
THURSDAY, MAY 7
The City of Corona risks rubbing people the wrong way by deciding it will not grant any new permits for massage businesses over the next 45 days. Seems the number of flesh-kneading shops has been spiking over the past couple of years and the city officials wants to put the brakes on things to make sure they have time to study the rules and regs of the biz and possibly consider making them more stringent in light of a new state law governing certification for massage technicians. There are also concerns that the uptick in the local backrub industry could be correlated with a rise in illegal activities, such as prostitution. We’ll ignore the obvious irony about tightening the rules for a profession that’s all about loosening up and merely usher in the Day the Happy Ending Died.
FRIDAY, MAY 8
The Rockets lose Game 3 to Kobe and Co., a match-up that features one of Kobe’s ridiculous buzzer-beating three-pointers and a second round of locker room ejection for Houston’s Ron Artest—who keeps earning his stripes as the best poster child for the NBA’s anger-management program. Mellow out, Ron. You’re killing me here.
SATURDAY, MAY 9
Feels like summer.
SUNDAY, MAY 10
An otherwise beautiful Mothers Day is spoiled by having to dismally watch the Lakers get royally spanked by Houston’s finest and giving fair-weather fans yet another reason to dust off and wave their red and white jerseys. Between Aaron Brooks’ lane penetration and Shane Battier’s three-point daggers, the Lakers were splashed with the cold water of realization: A team with the chips stacked against it can and will kick your purple and gold ass. Sorry, mom.
MONDAY, MAY 11
San Bernardino throws down another tough-on-crime glove by cracking down on Old English, Colt 45 and their 40 oz. malt liquor brethren. “We see public intoxication and all the crime that goes along with it, including high rates of violent incidents,” Mayor Pat Morris declares in a press release. Apparently single-bottle sales are prohibited in the city but no one’s ever done anything about it. The theory—key word here is “theory”—behind the ban on forties is that a person who buys a six-pack is more likely to take their hooch home and drink it responsibly but that a St. Ides brew, says a UCR prof, is more likely to be copped by a gangbanger, vandal or minor. And that’s trouble. Never has an after-work beer run for a case of Natty Light ever felt so guilt-free or righteous!?