The Rundown

By Allen David

Posted September 30, 2010 in News


Cal State San Bernardino officials continue their efforts to make college students’ lives even crappier than they already are (can’t get classes, sucky part-time job, no job when I graduate, I’ll be stuck with a Cal State undergrad degree). Time to increase tuition! With little fanfare, but much aplomb, university prez Albert Karnig speaks for nearly an hour about having to reduce the student population by 10 percent and increase fees (again!) by an additional 5 percent. Seems CSU SB is gonna be a little short. About $12 million short. Heck, apparently Karnig does such a damn good job spinning the bad news that he gets a round of applause after telling roughly 1,000 staff and faculty members gathered at the Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center that some pretty difficult choices are ahead. “As we have in the past, we’ll play the cards we’re dealt and we’ll do it as thoughtfully as we can,” he says. Karnig then went on to talk about his focus for next year: increased fundraising. And figuring out a way to up the president’s—cuz those are the cards he’s been dealt.


I guess that’s why it’s called “cashing out.” Riverside County officials launch an investigation after learning that deputy district attorneys received a whopping $1.3 million in cashed-out vacation time. In fact, the amount of money is so obscene that County Executive Office Bill Luna is at a loss for words on how to describe it. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he says. Yup, we’re gonna need a bigger boat, Bill. The rub, of course, is that the attorneys are cashing out their chips at a time when the county’s playing whack-a-mole with its budget, laying off people, making furloughs mandatory and cutting county services. $1.3 million—that sounds like a lot of money to me. To Bill, too. “What were they thinking?” Luna asks. Naturally—what, you didn’t think outgoing DA Rod Pacheco and his cronies were gonna fess up to the cash-out, did ya? Silly—there’s no mea culpa to be had. Assistant District Attorney Kelly Keenan says the cash-outs are a “longstanding practice.” Hey, Kelly. Talk to the folks at Bell. They’ve got a pretty good handle on how employee pay is handled and how it can be described as a “longstanding practice.” “We are not giving them something they haven’t earned,” Keenan says. Well, I’ve got something I’d like to give these deputy district attorneys. Believe me, they’ve earned it.


Friday, are you beckoning to me already? You silly minx.


Just what the hell is going on in Lake Elsinore? An 11-month probe into purported shenanigans at the Lake Elsinore station for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department concludes by saying none of the allegations were criminal. Well, that makes everyone feel better—not! Apparently, current and former sheriff’s employees maintain that harassment and emotional abuse from a Lake Elsinore sergeant was the order of the day between 2007 and 2008. So, are whistleblowers disappointed? Well, you can say that. “Disappointed? I think we’re beyond that,” says Elizabeth DeCou, a former sheriff’s community services officer. “Disgusted is more like it.” As is to be expected, the department decides it’s not in the public interest to discuss whether or not a-holes are operating under the color of authority (and carrying a badge and a gun), but DeCou sure as hell ain’t giving up. “We’re not going to go away until everything is aired.” And things are smelling pretty foul already.


Oh, House of Pain. That name must really suck right now. Your performance at Epicenter Twenty Ten is your first show in 10 years—and what happens? Everyone stampedes over to the stage Eminem is on. Leaving only a couple of hundred stalwart fans to, ah, jump around?!?! My name is . .  . My name is . . . My name is . . .


Yes, someone must have thought that there simply wasn’t enough political funny business and questionable spending taking place here in the IE. That’s why Menifee stepped up and decided, hey, spending nearly $32,000 in travel, mileage and related expenses is totally on the level. Cuz elected officials really need to discuss city business while grubbing on an $85 steak dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s in San Jose. Cuz Councilman John Denver really needs to charge his $406 cell phone bill to City Hall. How dare we question how council members spend taxpayer dollars! “It really upsets me when people are trying to make you look like someone evil or like you’re trying to steal when all you’re trying to do is represent the city in a good light and make it a nicer place to live,” says Councilman Fred Twymann. “It makes me think I should have stayed at home.” Yes, you should have, Fred. Yes, you should have.


Gasp. Help. Me. There is something supremely unholy about three-digit temperatures. Omen unholy. Exorcist unholy.


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