By Allen David
I guess Riverside County’s on the Al Gore tip. Local officials today announce that they will start looking at air quality and greenhouse gas emissions as part of the county’s efforts to address global warming. Like the True Blue politician that he is, Supervisor Jeff Stone expresses “concerns that environmental requirements would stunt economic growth and job creation.” He makes a good point since who the hell wants silly ol‘ diminishing ozone levels, homeless polar bears and melting glaciers to get in the way of the Almighty Dollar? Sounds damned un-American to us. Fellow Supervisor Marion Ashley also grumbles a bit about taking an eco-friendly stance—but then he really warms up after staffers tell him that the state attorney general has sued the bejeezuz off cities that didn’t include global warming in their equation. Who knew the threat of legal action would soften up the heart of the staunchest screw-the-environment-let’s-make-money conservative? The supervisors end up approving a $134,000 contract with a San Bernardino-based consultant to help make the county’s general plan more Inconvenient Truth-friendly. $134,000—now that’s going green!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19
Palm Desert officially proclaims this month as “Juneteenth in the Coachella Valley Month.” This can definitely be given props because, well, slavery sucks—no doubt about that. But then things get mucked up with too much well-intentioned, long-winded verbiage after organizers announce the theme for this year: Coachella Valley Pioneer Awards & Family Health & Support Network: Breaking Chains to Build Links. You lost me at “Valley.” Next year’s theme: shorter themes.
THURSDAY, MAY 20
Want to know what the red-button issue in Norco is? Barns. In a show of political solidarity, the Norco City Council rejects with a vote of 5-0 a zoning code amendment that would have legally determined just how big a barn could be. According to Press-Enterprise reporter Leslie Parilla, the proposed ordinance would have regulated the size, height, lot coverage and approval process for what these bureaucrats are calling “accessory buildings.” Wow. Sounds like a lot of micro-managing is going on with barns in Horsetown U.S.A. Or . . . shouldn’t we call ’em horse houses? And here I thought a barn was just a big red garage for Trigger. Silly me. Next on the agenda: defining the size of the horse’s asses in charge of Norco’s official city business.
FRIDAY, MAY 21
Why, why, why, why, why can’t the weekend get here sooner?
SATURDAY, MAY 22
San Jacinto’s got haters. Skate park haters. A bunch of Not In My Backyard types bitch and moan to the City Council regarding a proposal to build a skate park at Sallee Park—an idea that maybe, just maybe, would have given the young’uns an alternative to, well, living in San Jacinto. Citizen mouthpiece Rudy Mares warns of the vandalism, graffiti and trouble that young skateboarders will bring. “This neighborhood has spoken loud and clear,” says Councilman Jim Ayres. “They do not want this.” Now this sounds all high-and-mighty for Ayres to say considering that he and three other council members were named in a 155-count corruption indictment that alleges he conspired to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars, conceal campaign contributions and offer bribes as part of a scheme to advance political agendas. I’ll take a skateboarder’s worst over a San Jacinto politician’s best any day of the week.
SUNDAY, MAY 23
What leaves a more bitter taste in your mouth: seeing the Lakers lose to Phoenix in Game 3—or simply seeing the Suns out-perform and otherwise out-gun the purple-and-gold crew? In either case, this 118-109 victory that capped this particular Western Conference semifinals match-up was due to an unstoppable ball handling juggernaut that cashes checks under the name Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire racks up 42 points while Steve Nash gets crowned as the go-to man for assists. Too bad the outrageous number of fouls called against the Lakers translate into a free-throw advantage for the Suns. But I’m not suggesting the officials were blowing whistles merely to prompt a little home team advantage—that’s crazy talk. Why would we suggest that Arizonians are capable of doing something unethical or just plain wrong? Oh, yeah . . . SB 1070. My mistake.
MONDAY, MAY 24
A Swiss company wants to double the size of a strip mine north of Big Bear. The prize is high-grade calcium carbonate ore that can be ground up to make PVC or paint. But the tree-huggers sure ain’t happy because the rare plants that call the area home will get pushed aside like a second-run episode of Jersey Shore. Not to worry. Omya California Inc. will make things all better. They promise to create new protected habitat elsewhere. And why wouldn’t we trust the Swiss? After all, they make the best hot chocolate, they’re awesome enough to guard the Pope and they’ve got the best secret banking system a drug dealer can buy. Oh.