Seemingly something outta of the Wild West—or at least as wild as Cherry Valley gets—bubbles up after 47-year-old Kevin Seick is arrested on suspicion of grand cattle theft. That’s cop-talk for “cattle rustlin‘.” According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, five cows, a bull and three calves—all worth an estimated $3,600—were reported stolen last month, the thefts taking place near Cottonwood Road and Boulder Drive, near the Morongo Indian Reservation. Apparently, some sharp-eyed hombres at the Euclid Stockyards in Ontario recognized the falsified brands on the stolen cattle for what they were: phony as Pioneertown’s Old West facade. Back to the stolen cattle though. Five cows and one bull, eh? Seems like something other than animal husbandry was going on here—animal polygamy? And no one’s talking about the poor calves? Who’s the baby daddy? I sense a Maury Povich DNA test coming up.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6
It’s the second day of the 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival—serving as the perfect excuse for oldies-but-goodies like Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Clint Eastwood to remind folks that they’re still alive and well. Just so Gen Y doesn’t feel slighted, Diablo Cody (of Juno fame, but then you knew that, right?) is also on-hand. The 31-year-old screenwriter is obviously enthused to be handing a fete to Mr. Pulp Fiction himself. “I couldn’t be more excited about presenting to Quentin Tarantino,” Diablo gushes. You know who could be more excited? Quentin Tarantino.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 7
Further proof that the Butterfly Effect is alive and kicking, er, flapping, the Chino Valley Unified School District prepares to face the music and get hit with a possible multi-million dollar penalty for shorting students out of classroom time (Do you really think the kids complained?). The crime? Apparently, the amount of teacher-time the kiddies at Rolling Ridge and Dickson elementary schools got last year missed state requirements—even though the district tried to fix the goof by having students voluntarily attend more days during the summer. The district said, “Sorry, no dice” to this plan. Methinks the state Department of Education doesn’t believe in make-up work. Or extra credit. The culprit behind this messy bookkeeping snafu? A clerical error on a spreadsheet. So math really is important after all. There is a bright side for the district though. Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-The Other Chino) is trying to intervene and minimize the damage. “It’s not the students’ fault and not the teachers’ fault,” Hagman says. There we go again, blaming it on the spreadsheet. Makes you wonder though? How the hell did the district get kids to voluntarily attend summer school? Now that’s no child left behind.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 8
Proof positive that cops won’t rest until every last perp is brought to justice—especially if it involves doing something that lands you on Santa’s not-so-nice list—the Riverside Police Department announces that officers arrested three juveniles they suspect were involved in a string of Christmas lawn decoration thefts. Later, five property owners who got their jumbo-sized Frosties and porch-mounted Rudolphs whisked away had their property returned. Later, 11 more property owners that had their Santa shrines whisked away also had their stuff returned due to the diligence and salt-mine laboring of detectives. However, more victims may be out there. While police officials decline to divulge if it was CSI–style wizardry or a good ol’ fashioned rubber hose that led to a break in the case, a few out-of-place reindeer were brought in for questioning. Their alibis for the night of Dec. 25, however, turned out to be pretty damn airtight.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 9
Apparently there’s a looming crisis afoot in the recycling biz. Tomra Pacific Inc., which overseas rePLANET kiosks and houses its Cali operations out of Corona, is suing the state cuz officials there have raided the recycling program’s money pot to balance the budget. Though bad as this might end up becoming for the reduce/reuse/recycling standard bearers, it doesn’t help me answer one question: Why can’t I mix my empty milk jugs with my two-liter bottles. Plastic’s plastic, right?
SUNDAY, JANUARY 10
The Lakers prove to all haters that they can operate quite effectively as a Kobe-less unit. Mr. Bryant’s shooting was in the toilet, but with the jaw-dropping prowess of teammates Shannon Brown, Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar, the boys in purple-and-gold were able to score a resounding victory (95-77) over Milwaukee. Thankfully, this ended the Lakers’ two-game losing streak (that loss to the Clippers was a bit of a rub, wasn’t it?) What’s left to sort out is which was more impressive: Brown’s ridiculously glorious block against Luke Ridnour’s layup—or his equally effective block, moments later, against Brandon Jennings. San Antonio, here we come!
MONDAY, JANUARY 11
Happy birthday, Hemet!