By Allen David
A bunch of property owners living along the western bank of the Colorado River (this be somewhere near Blythe, folks) are miffed over what they think is a raw deal that’s been dealt to them by the natives. Literally natives. As in they’re battling the Colorado River Indian Tribes. Oh, and did I say “property owners”? I misspoke. I meant “leaseholders.” Oh, wait—I’m wrong there. Not everyone who had a lease with the Tribes has been making their payments. And to top it off, the Tribes are fighting back, evicting some folks, trying to enforce lease payments from others and otherwise acting like, well, landlords. But the folks who claim they have a right to live along the banks are crying foul and try today to get Riverside County supervisors to bail them out. No dice. The county says it’s not its turf. “We have got to have law enforcement protection,” says former Mira Loma resident Steve Adler. But a lawyer for the county says the clash is going to remain a hands-off matter. “It’s tribal land as far as we’re concerned.” Hmmmmmm, a bunch of white people claiming that a bunch of Native Americans are trying to steal their homes. Irony, my friends, is cruel. Or, as I like to call it, it’s Manifest Destiny . . . in reverse!
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28
Totally unbeknownst to me is this thing called “summer lunch.” Never heard of it. Apparently, though, when the school year ends, the kids in the Riverside Unified School District—who were already getting a free lunch—continue to get fed free meals during the summer. Currently, RUSD is dishing out cheeseburgers and crappy meat loaf at 17 city parks for eligible children under 18. But with the recession taking a bite out of every damn thing and with school districts cutting back, these summer lunches might be a thing of the past. Or, at least, less kids will get the proverbial free lunch. And that’s gotta hurt. About 58 percent of RUSD’s school population qualifies for free or reduced lunches (read: poor kids. Yes, probably a bunch of them are cinnamon-colored). In Perris, we’re talking 86 percent. Wow—a bunch of poor brown kids getting their grilled cheese sandwiches and Lays potato chips yanked right out of their mouth. Somewhere a tea party is celebrating.
THURSDAY, JULY 29
Who says Democrats aren’t happy to get all nonpartisan on the issues? Check out Rep. Joe Baca (D-Really Rialto) who, flush with excitement over a federal court’s ruling against Arizona’s anti-brown (ooops, my bad, I meant to say “immigration enforcement law”), takes time to reach out to the other side of the aisle. Why can’t we all just get along . . . and make immigration reform happen, asks Joe. And Joe knows. “That’s why we need Republicans to step forward,” Baca says during a news conference in D.C. Republicans? Hello? Anyone . . . stepping forward? Someone? Anyone?
FRIDAY, JULY 30
I guess Temecula isn’t really trying out for the Open-Minded Award of the Year. First, Temeculites got in a serious tizzy over a nude painting—I guess one man’s modern art is another’s obscenity? But the big stink today comes from those locals who just don’t fancy being neighborly with a mosque (that’s masjid, for you stupid Philistines) planned for the northeast corner of the city. Islam is bad. Islam is the Antichrist. Islam is to blame for 9/11. Islam made Jesse James cheat on Sandra Bullock. I mean, this is basically the type of negative swill protesters were all huffing and puffing about. Just check out the type of signs some were slinging around: “Muslims Danced for Joy on 9/11.” Jeez, and we say some Muslims are extremists. Tolerance, thy name is not Temecula.
SATURDAY, JULY 31
You’ve heard what they say about one man’s trash? Well, the trash is in Banning. No, not the city, the San Gorgonio Inn that at least one historian regards as something of a cultural treasure. But Mayor Bob Botts has a different take on things. “It’s an absolute eyesore.” Nuanced this ain’t. It seems the 126-year-old building has seen better days. And it’s now headed for the wrecking ball. Sorry, no love from the City Council. “I’d like to see that hotel demolished as soon as legally possible,” Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Hanna says. Come on! Doesn’t anyone have anything good to say about a place where a former president (Benjamin Harrison—hey, I didn’t say famous president) once stayed at? A former official thinks there’s merit to the Inn. “I think the public enjoys looking at that sign,” former Mayor Don Smith says. You know, I’d rather look at a sign of Benjamin Harrison.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 1
MONDAY, AUGUST 2
A little over a week before the Warped Tour hits Pomona, things seem sorta dark. And grim. Curtis Alan DeForest, R.I.P. Sorry, dude.