By Allen David
TUESDAY, AUGUST 24
What, you mean those flimsy, thin bike helmets won’t keep my brain from splitting open Faces of Death style because they’re trendy—not made for safety in mind? Now, there’s an eye-opener. Though, I always thought the ones with the little spikes on top were cool in a Hogan’s Heroes/Schindler’s List sort of way. People, they’re called “novelty helmets” for a reason. That plastic Mohawk—does it rock? Hell yeah! Will it help keep the occipital bones in your head together when you meet the business end of a big rig head-on? Not on your life. And I mean that literally. Those military halfshells that those dudes down at Menace Motorcycles in Lake Elsinore were wearing—tough as hell and they definitely gave off that Gestapo/Kristallnacht vibe, ya know? But, does it stand a chance when your jacktard head hits the pavement? Nope. Just thought you should know. Looking cool can be measured in so many ways.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25
This heat is Satanic. Diabolical. Ninth Gate type shit. That sun out there? It royally, catastrophically, unbelievably, indefatigably sucks.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26
A dude has a stroke and tries to get himself to a hospital. A Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy sees the man and thinks he’s DUI/DWI/SOB. The deputy Taser’s the guy. Guy gets a $500,000 settlement. Man, we can’t make this stuff up. Go, Tasers!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27
Man, you think you’ve got money problems? Look at the royal fiduciary fustercluck Grand Terrace City Hall just encountered head-on. Apparently, the city hasn’t been up-to-date in paying federal payroll taxes on the stipends it pays the members of the City Council and Planning Commission. For the past 32 years. Oops. Yeah, big “oops.” What’s at stake? At the very least $14,000 in taxpayer dollars—that’s the amount of payments the council approved forking over to the U.S. Treasury as a financial mea culpa. And that money only covers three years of unpaid payroll taxes—seemingly, the idea is that being upfront about this whole mess will warm the hearts of the IRS bloodsuckers, and make this agency forget about (by my calculations) possibly shorting the federal bean counters roughly $140,000. But you sort of get the sense that someone’s not quite in touch with things. And that douche is former longtime Grand Terrace City Manager Tom Schwab—who is under the delusion that the mistake’s not the city’s. It’s the feds. They’ve got it all wrong—despite the fact that council members have admitted to the IRS SNFU and the fact that all other cities pay taxes on council pay—something the folks at the itty-bitty city of Grand Terrace seem to have been asleep at the wheel about. Schwab contends those aforementioned “stipends” aren’t to be considered taxable income. It’s like an allowance or for extra bubblegum or smokes. Some such nonsense. It’s all semantics. According to Schwabby, council pay is “considered a reimbursement for expenses. Council stipends are not wages.” Don’t give me any of that wages-shwages baloney, says council candidate Walt Stanckiewitz (Ooooooh, can’t wait for me to Muckenfuss this name!). “Mr. Schwab, you should look in a dictionary under the word ‘stipend,’” the politician throws down. “It is not an expense. It is pay.” Apparently, the Stanck-Man (and his accountant) discovered the oversight. Oh, did we mention that Schwab—who took a medical retirement last year after serving as city manager for an ungodly amount of time—is also running for City Council? Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d love to get these two guys in a room together for some face time. Things could get ugly. Oh, and Schwab, you should look at a dictionary under the word “get a freakin‘ clue.”
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28
First the good news: About a dozen traffic lights in downtown Riverside were recently replaced—and the improvements will include those countdown readouts that tell pedestrians how much time they’ve got to make it to the curb and escape some vehicular manslaughter. And it’s all to the tune of $1 million. Plus making left turns in the downtown area (thanks, Public Works) is about to get easier. Now the bad news (no, besides the fact that you’ve got to pay for parking every damn place): That Star Trek exhibit is still in town.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 29
Dear Katrina folks: I know, you’re still suffering. And things are still very tough although it’s been five years since an apocalyptic civil disaster landed on everyone’s head. But hang in there. You’ll pull through. And—with apologies to Kanye—look at it this way: You can be damn sure that this President doesn’t hate black people.
MONDAY, AUGUST 30
I’m still thinking about Riverside’s crazy habit of screwing things up. It’s like the Keystone Kops meets Training Day, what with the illegal gun sales, untraceable license plates as well as top officials’ questionable habits—like looking the other way when the police chief drinks (and pops pills) and gets caught driving or keeping official city records on Post-It Notes (thanks, Assistant City Manager Tom DeSantis). But, again, let’s focus on the real problem. The damn Star Trek exhibit no one’s checking out!