There’s taking the law into your own hands—and then there’s what Greg Raymond Denny Jr. does that leads the Hemet fuzz to arrest this 37-year-old bounty hunter. Raymond was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and impersonating an officer—but not just any ol’ beat cop, a—get this—federal marshal, so say authorities and The Press-Enterprise’s John Asbury. Supposedly Denny used a fake badge and forced a distant cousin’s wife, Cherriebelle Hibbard, to return to her home in the Philippines. But what makes this faux immigration drama even weirder is that when Denny came into the Hemet police station for questioning, he apparently was the stupidest man in Hemet that day or the most brazen (read: ballsiest) because he came in wearing fake marshal’s badge around his neck and a replica (read: fake as the badge) of a pistol on his hip. Gotta give Denny points though. At least he was wearing a T-shirt that read “federal agent”—how’s that for undercover? I’m sure he’s thinking that it’s too bad the $50,000 bond he had to post to make bail was all too real. And, for the cherry on top, Hemet police say, “I think this guy thought he was doing a favor because they wanted her [Hibbard] deported and he went about it the wrong way.” The wrong way? You bet. Maybe he should have used a real gun. Now that’s how INS rolls!
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3
Pardee Homes announces the grand opening of its “exciting, new, environmentally friendly LivingSmart homes,” slated for Feb. 13 at master planned communities in Lake Elsinore and Beaumont. Regional marketing director Matt Sauls sounds pretty damn proud over this green housing project, almost beaming off the press release when he says, “When it comes to finding a home, the trick is finding something that you really love, at a price you can feel good about.” But if Sauls and other naïve optimists know anything about the housing situation in the IE, the way home values have plummeted down to lower-than-low levels, we’re all dealing with prices that no one feels good about. No one. Not a soul. I guess that’s why it’s called marketing.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4
You’ve seen them advertise for just about everything. New housing tracts. Frozen yogurt. Cell phone service. I’m talking about sign twirlers. Or sign spinners, depending on your preference. And now local government’s getting into the dizzying, propeller-like action. Riverside County Health Department officials announce today that they are using sign twirlers to promote H1N1 shots at their family care centers in Banning, Corona, Hemet, Jurupa and other areas. Take note as this is probably the only time government gets accused of putting a new spin on things—and it’s literally true.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5
Something pretty damn strange is going on in Lake Elsinore. The folks trying to oust an alleged crooked politician (read: Councilman Tom Buckley) are the ones getting raided and scrutinized by local and federal authorities. Now, is it me or is there something pretty ass backwards about this? I’m talking Bizarro Universe stuff here. Now we’re not suggesting this is some form of retaliation. That would be plain silly.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6
Lakers win, baby! And without Kobe. Against a team (Portland) L.A. never seems to be able to beat. For those who though taking Bryant out of the Lakers equation was the dynasty’s kryptonite, there’s now a cold, sobering reality to contend with: There is a “team” in “teamwork.”
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7
We hear rumors that former Redlands Mayor Susan Peppler’s to be tapped by the Governator for a spot on his cabinet. Now that’s great, since she went about it the old-fashioned way; paying her dues at City Council meetings, local yokel ribbon-cuttings and the other vagaries of local elected officialdom, then a shot at a federal post with the General Services Administration. Now, Peppler’s stepping into the governor’s chief deputy cabinet secretary shoes. Then there’s still-San Jacinto Councilman Jim Ayres’ alleged strategy for scoring a juicy, state-level gig (Assembly): Receiving bribes from a developer. Now wait a minute—that’s old-fashioned too.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8
The problem of Facebook and Twitter illiteracy has become such a pressing concern for the Beaumont Powers That Be that City Manager Alan Kapanicas has approved monthly workshop sessions to teach residents and city staff members how to use these popular forms of social media. Beaumont using social media, you scoff? Isn’t that like a Geico caveman using an alienware laptop? Hey, this burg ain’t as backwards and media-savvy as you might think…hey, wait a minute—who we kidding? Come on now. City spokeswoman Darci Carranza grudgingly seems to fess up to what we’ve suspected, saying, “quite a few city employees have never been on Facebook or Twitter.” Suddenly Beaumont re-thinks its city motto and considers a new one: The City Where Everyone’s Grandmother Works.