The Rundown

Posted August 13, 2009 in News


We get wind that a local medical marijuana outfit out of Bloomington, Inland Empire Patients Group, had a surprising morning visit from the good ol‘ boys from the San Berdoo County Sheriff’s Department. But—surprise, surprise—instead of the bust-down-the-doors, arrest-’em-all-and-let-God-sort-’em-out treatment that you might expect (remember, this is the same local government that fought Prop. 215 tooth-and-nail all the way to the courtroom and opted not to recognize its legitimacy), this run-in with local law enforcement led to . . . wait for it . . . nothing. So says collective guru Ryan Michaels. Deputies confirmed that the collective’s operations were totally legit and all the paperwork was in order and officials took NO action. “The Sheriffs that arrived were incredibly respectful, professional, and well-versed in the current laws,” Michaels tells friends and supporters. Was Inland Empire Patients Group surprised? You bet your sweet leaf they were. But maybe this means the long-awaited sea change is coming to the county since Berdoo big whigs finally say they are working on providing medical marijuana ID cards as well as setting up guidelines and rules and regs for dispensaries—though a moratorium on dispensaries is still in effect. Oh, why did the fuzz drop in on IEPG to begin with? Apparently, an anonymous call suggesting the place was selling pot willy-nilly is what started the whole thing. We think we know the drug warrior behind the anonymous tip—but we won’t dignify our suspicions by playing kiss-and-tell.


Is it me or is this mind-numbing heat getting a little old? Time to take out a map and plot a course to somewhere where thermometers cling to 85 degrees or below.


Still hot.


This intrepid columnist decides to take advantage of some vacation time and

leave the underwhelming cityscape of the Greater Riverside area for the tranquil beach-iness of El Capitan; camping is the order of the day for this three-day weekend. But even after a glorious affair of surf and sand during the day, campfires and s’mores at night, thoughts do tend to drift back toward the 951. They say you never miss it until you leave it, and the IE is no exception. Except for the heat. And smog.


Forget what Nas says—hip-hop is alive and well and willing and able to make the big trek inland to put on the annual Rock the Bells rap fest at San Manuel Amp in viciously hot Devore. With two stages and thousands crowding the venue to hear the mainstream likes of Ice Cube and the Gap-friendly Common as well as grittier, slice-of-life rhyme slingers like Necro and La Coka Nostra, this fest deftly accomplishes what armies of marketing and publicity hounds have been saying for years: the IE is a big market for bigger and deffer live entertainment. My only question is, why does the promoter list today’s Rock the Bells show as taking place in L.A. (don’t believe me, go to Not to be a nit-picker, but if Devore is L.A., then call me Chali 2na.


News surfaces that a riot at Chino state prison—known colloquially as Chino Men’s or just plain Men’s, according to Wikipediasends more than 50 of that institution’s, ahem, guests to the hospital after some racially-motivated knuckle-dusting suddenly creates a lot of work for local skin-menders and bone-fixers. Oh, and did we mention inmates set fire to one of the prison buildings? Critics point the finger at an aging facility and black-vs-Latino gripes as some of the underlying causes for the brawls behind bars. Oh, yeah, and the fact that this place is packed like a sardine can with people that steal, kill and rape—and the food probably sucks. “Prisons are a very violent place by nature,” says one prison official, The Press-Enterprise reports. Violent, eh? Suddenly, the prisons in Mexico and Brazil seem like the Holiday Inn.


The drama of San Bernardino County’s corruption ills and the resultant name-calling continues to unfold. And things start to get weird because the wives are getting in the mix. Gretchen Ramos, the spouse of stalwart San Bernardino County DA Mike Ramos, jumps to her hubby’s defense after accusations surface about his alleged womanizing on and off the reservation. Desperate housewife? Not really, but Gretch’s move comes a week after a former DA employee filed a sexual harassment suit against Mike Ramos, claiming she had a 17-month affair from ‘03 to ‘05 with the county’s Head Honcho prosecutor. “Let me be clear, my husband of 28 years has never harassed any employee,” Gretch posts on her man’s campaign website. And while that may be so, DA Ramos’ battle to legally sic a whole slew of county oh-fficials on corruption and crookedness charges suddenly got dealt a really-really wild card.


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