By Allen David
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
Hey, I’m not saying it’s easy to admit that you effed up. Especially when it comes to money. But Perris City Attorney Eric Dunn seems pretty nonchalant and it-ain’t-no-thang-but-a-chicken-wing when explaining the roughly $55,000 the city theoretically lost when it agreed to settle with the owners of a business park. Basically, it goes like this: The park, Perris Business Park (guess the people that name these things aren’t real imaginative, eh?), owed the city back taxes and the city went after them for $82,400, but there was some paperwork screw-up and something wasn’t filed on time (insert yadda-yadda-yadda here) and Perris is now totally cool to slink off and settle for $28,000. Hmm. I guess that’s why the the word “settle” is in settlement.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
File this under: Is This Really a Good Idea? Norco’s singular, solitary code-enforcement officer, Ken Swank (love the name!), is apparently so swanked—oh, I meant “swamped”—with work that city officials are considering a pretty edgy solution: recruiting and training volunteers to serve as code-enforcement staff. Yup, you heard right. Volunteers. As in people who aren’t paid a dime and want to get off on carrying a badge and a municipal code book and cracking the whip on your scummy swimming pool or on that overgrown front yard so thick and crazy there are pockets of Japanese soldiers still hidden inside who don’t know the war is over. “The idea’s been out there and discussed before, but it’s never gone to the next level,” says Norco Planning Director Steve King. Hey, Steve-O, the reason’s it’s never been done before is for the same reason people don’t take security guards and rent-a-cops seriously. They’re not the real deal Holyfield. At least a security guard gets paid and, hopefully this gives him incentive to do a good job (yeah, right!). But some unpaid civic-minded schmuck with a citation book, making a beeline to that room addition you never got a permit for—yikes. This can’t be good. Yee-haw, Norco, yee-haw!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
It’s a beautiful sight: A 200,000-pound concrete wall is hoisted high in the air with a crane in eastern Moreno Valley. It’s a brand new day for Moreno Valley . . . and just another day and another dollar for Skechers, the company whose distribution warehouse is under construction—it’s visible from the 60 Freeway—on a site between Theodore Street and Redlands Boulevard. And it’s another day and another dollar for Iddo Benzeevi, president and CEO of Highland Fairview Properties, the developer of the project—and, wagging tongues say—the guy that sure as hell knows how to grease wheels at MoVall City Hall. Need to name a new development after something that’s not Moreno Valley, no problem, ’Zeev! Need to bankroll a recall election to get anti-Skechers council members out of the picture? Done. The Zeev can do it all. And it only took about two years to get the Skechers site underway—that’s Warp 9 in development speed. But people sure are impressed by the Zeevie’s golden touch. Check out Art Hernandez, a 26-year resident of the city: “Skechers will put the city on the map,” he says. Sorry, Art, but you’re wrong there. MoVall was already on the map—but for all the wrong reasons. It’s men like Benzeevi who want to keep the map…but change the names. Rancho Belago sound familiar?
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
Only 200 people show up the Norma Lopez’s benefit concert! WTF?!?!?
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Grand Terrace—just like Loma Linda—has come to its senses regarding its red-light cameras. And by that, we mean they’ve decided enough is enough and city officials plan on not renewing their contract with the camera company in April. Until then, stay the hell away from Michigan and Mount Vernon avenues. Unless you want to say, “cheese.”
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Finally! Someone thought of the obvious. Tired of having to rescue dumbasses who get lost hiking through Mount San Jacinto, the Palm Springs Mounted Police Search and Recue team recently installed “hiking rescue boxes” at two elevation along the Skyline Trail. Because you have to assume hikers are going to take a tip from the Mount Baldy types and insist on hiking alone, without water—or some other dumb-shtick nonsense. The stainless steel hiking boxes will contain all the essentials to help out: water, Gatorade, a flashlight, a whistle, an emergency blanket (I think this is the type that looks like it’s made out of aluminum foil), an umbrella and a cell phone. There will also be info on how to deal with heat exhaustion or hypothermia. Included will also be a copy of Lost Hikers and Dummies For Dummies.