The Rundown

Posted July 23, 2009 in News


Happy. I’m an American League fan.



It’s not like Tony and Elise Senawaitis aren’t on the lookout for anybody who might try to steal the precious merchandise they’ve got in stock at Highland Jewelry Mart. They just don’t want the government to tell them how and how hard to look. They’re not sure that Highland’s new city ordinance requiring certain types of businesses—deep breath: arcades, check-cashing shops, convenience stores, banks, gas stations, on- and off-site alcohol retailers, restaurants and hotels, gun and ammunition shops, adult businesses and massage parlors—to install and maintain video-surveillance systems is, well, American. Their attorney, Toledo-based Scott A. Ciolek, says when a business is required to maintain 24-hour surveillance and have the video available to the government at any time, it is similar to a general search warrant, which is forbidden by the Constitution because it provides limitless search powers. Besides, Ciolek adds, if the government wants all that equipment, it ought to pay for it.



Jackson Browne and Sen. John McCain move toward settlement of a lawsuit over the use of Browne’s 1977 song “Running On Empty” in a Web ad mocking Barack Obama’s proposed energy policies during last year’s presidential campaign. The settlement will include an apology from McCain and a pledge by the Republican Party not to use any musicians’ work without proper permission in future campaigns. McCain says he didn’t know about the ad, but will apologize, anyway, for using “Running On Empty.” Meanwhile . . . the economy.



Bobbie Valadez, very sweet, a little chubby and I’d imagine an early-20-something woman from Corona, visits the Body Art Expo at the Fairplex in Pomona—and next thing she knows she’s jumped on stage, where the Power 106 radio personality known as Tattoo has talked her into getting both nipples pierced to win tickets to Powerhouse . . . whatever that is. “I’m not really sure,” Bobbie acknowledges after proving to Tattoo she’d gotten, um, accessorized with a back-to-the-crowd flash of her frontage. Lets hope those tickets cost more than $40, which is how much Bobbie laid out to get the stereo piercing. Hell, let’s hope she really gets them. “Tattoo told me to call the station next week,” she says. Tattoo’s probably good for it. He got his nickname—and his job as a member of the Big Boy’s Neighborhood morning show at Power 106—back in 2000, when he had “I SLEPT WITH SHAQ” tattooed across his forehead to win a pair of tickets to a Lakers game. Oh, and Powerhouse? It’s only the biggest hip-hop concert of the year, with a lineup led by Jay-Z. Coming to the Honda Center (formerly The Pond) in Anaheim Aug. 8. Get your nipples pierced now!



Can a guy take a day off?



Two men are found dead in rough terrain above Palm Springs after going hiking in 115-degree temperatures. They lose the battle against the heat so badly that they can’t even be identified. “The bodies have to be rehydrated,” says Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez. We can’t get proper fingerprints until they’re rehydrated.” Lesson: don’t hike when it’s this hot.




It was the last summer of the 1960s, and I was wrapping up my first year as a teenager on a California family vacation that had just pulled into Yosemite. We had the radio on—struggling against the static of bad AM reception so deep in the mountains—as we cruised through the campground searching for a place to park the trailer. A quarter-million miles above, Apollo 11’s lunar module was searching Earth’s bright, white satellite for a place to set up camp of its own. The astronauts beat us, touching down on the moon before we could decide between the space close to the Merced River or with a straight shot to the bathrooms. I spent the afternoon sunning on the river bank, reading Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul On Ice—was I such a weird kid, or was this the energy of charged times? A few days before in San Francisco I’d bought a copy of the Berkeley Barb from a guy in Sgt. Pepper regalia and read it while trying Crab Louie for the first time at A. Sabella’s restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf. A few weeks ahead: Woodstock. But it was that evening I remember best, when I arrived at those convenient campground bathrooms to find a crowd huddled around a small television set that had been plugged in to the only available outlet. With the fading sunlight careening off Half Dome and filtering back to us through the tall trees, everybody’s eyes were riveted on the snowy TV screen, where Neil Armstrong was making footprints on the moon. Forty years ago today, and it’s hard to say whether it feels that long, or even longer. Hmmm. Actually, it feels about as long as it took Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California legislature to agree on a state budget.


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