By Allen David
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14
Norco is dead-set on taking a big drink from a tall glass of Jesus juice—and screw anyone that doesn’t see the good sense in this. The day before elected officials are set to vote on whether or not Horsetown U.S.A. should post the words “In God We Trust” in its City Council chambers, the councilman who pushed to bring the Big Guy Upstairs into civic government has some soothing words to say to those whose feathers might be ruffled by the proposal. “We’re not trying to shove religion down anybody’s throats,” Harvey Sullivan says. “It’s a motto that’s on our money and a tremendous amount of state buildings.” Well, gee, that should take care of those pesky separation-of-church-and-state folks. See, “God” is just a motto. Just a word. Now, if we were talking religion, we’d be using words like . . . well, like . . . “God.” Wait—hold on a minute. Something stinks here.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15
Feeling horny? In need of some (cough, cough) physical stimulation? Then come on down, book a flight and take a crazy ride on the grope train at Ontario Airport where body scanners and very thorough pat-downs are the order of the day. Two scanners were installed at each of Ontario’s two terminals, making holiday travel a bit more intimate as folks get their choices: a hand in their crotch or an X-ray of their junk. Take your pick. But not everyone is as thrilled as I am (I bought new boxer briefs just for my pat-down—hey, I’m classy). “Americans don’t want to be forced to choose between letting government agents touch their bodies or take naked pictures of them,” says Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the ACLU. And Jay’s right. These two options shouldn’t be forced. Let’s start with a drink or two, then move on up to a first date, maybe some dinner, maybe a little dancing. Consensual. Now that’s flying the friendly skies.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16
See you in a couple of years, Rex Gutierrez. Two years, eight months to be precise. But, why so harsh? Deputy District Attorney John Goritz makes a fine point of it: “To treat him lightly would send the message that there are no real consequences to cheating government and engaging in corrupt practices.” But saying this is sort of funny. No real consequences, eh? Let’s check the scorecard, shall we. Jeff Burum is the high-and-mighty developer who got then-Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Gutierrez a sham county job as a political favor—and has yet to face charges, an indictment, heck, even a dirty look from investigators. Burum is the same developer who gave then-Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin a Rolex watch and a trip to New York for his, ahem, help in securing a $102 million lawsuit settlement with the county. No consequences here. Sorry, Jeff Burum just didn’t get the memo.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17
I love this bench. The Lakers’ second unit accounted for 57 points and 24 rebounds. Mr. Blake, Mr. Barnes, I’ve been very impressed. They contribute to a 120-110 win over the Raptors. It’s the fifth-in-a-row win that simply can’t be beat as far as road trips go. Too bad, Matt, Steve, Shannon and the guys had to bail out the starters who let a 16-point lead slip away from them at one point. Note to Andrew Bynum’s knee: heal. For God’s sake, heal.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18
A flawed traffic study? Inadequate environmental review? Get a grip, George Rombach. And grow some balls and tell everyone why you really have gotten your John Birch britches in a bunch over the 24,943-square-foot Temecula mosque proposed near Nicholas Road and Calle Medusa. You just don’t believe Muslims have a place in Temecula—heck, the country. Your appeal before the planning commission is just a bunch of bullcrap. Say it with me, George: “I am a religious bigot.”
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19
Say hello to Mr. Bobo? San Bernardino County Judge John C. Gibson, that’s my style of justice.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 20
When word gets out that Tom Campbell—a UC Berkeley business prof who just so happens to believe that Arizona’s SB1070 is the best thing since Lou Dobbs got a TV show—was being considered for a job at UC Riverside, not everyone was thrilled. More than 60 faculty members, students and others threw their John Hancock on to a petition expressing concerns about Campbell potentially becoming the campus’ executive vice chancellor. Naturally, university officials pooh-pooh all the noise and go into public relations mode: “It’s still pretty early in the process. There is no conclusion,” UCR spokesperson Kris Lovekin says. But this is bullshit cuz there is a conclusion. For Campbell. The next day, the university issues a press release saying Campbell “withdrew his name from consideration” of the job. And that’s it. No acknowledgment that this turn of events was due to faculty concerns. No mention about whether or not this was sparked by the campus outcry over the former Republican congressman. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Way to go, UCR. Thanks for being so upfront and candid about the process by with a, to use your words, “crucial leadership role” is filled. Nice.