By Allen David
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7
There’s “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.” There’s I’ll trade you my Dodgers ticket for your Ducks season pass. But the folks at the Palm Springs Police Department have really taken the art of bartering to a whole other level. And it’s this simple: Plunk down a gun, they’ll give you a gift certificate. No questions asked. It’s called “Gifts For Guns” and the goal behind it is to reduce the number of hand cannons floating around and causing all kinds of unseasonal mischief. Of course, considering that guns and rifles typically go for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, a $50 gift card (guns) or a $100 gift card (rifles) will buy only so much Christmas cheer at your local Kohl’s. But the program works so well, Mead Valley and San Bernardino are considering similar moves to clean up their respective communities. Though, bartering programs like “Gifts For Crack” and “Gifts For Meth” don’t seem to have the same holiday zing as Palm Springs does. Oh well.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8
Poor Jerry Lewis. After being investigated for god-knows-how-long for his purported connection to a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, the Mouthful of Teeth From Redlands gets a bitter taste of rejection. The guy that used to be the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee—otherwise known as the federal check-writers—doesn’t get a chance to reclaim his throne. He’s still on the panel and he’s clocked in 17 terms in Congress so there’s no questioning his credibility as a fiscal conservative. But as far as his efforts to inch closer to congressional badass, methinks the magic’s gone.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9
Is it Friday yet?
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10
So, did he or didn’t he? No, I’m not asking whether or not the allegations that Riverside Christian School Superintendent Richard A. Odegaard had an inappropriate sexual encounter with a 15-year-old female student (Tangent: What exactly is an appropriate sexual encounter with a 15-year-old female?) 34 years ago are true or not. The question is did he resign or not. Cuz we’re hearing two different tales here. According to the school’s board of directors, Odegaard did resign. But according to the dude himself, he has yet to tender a letter of resignation and has instead opted to try and get himself a leave of absence. What everyone seems to agree on—school board members, Odegaard and pissed-off parents—is that the superintendent should get stepping and leave Dodge ASAFP. The reason parents came forward with their allegations? They point to a 2006 Modesto Bee article that alleges Odegaard was investigated regarding allegations of sexual misconduct with four female students and cites a letter that says Odegaard disclosed an act of sexual misconduct at a Christian school in 1976. Curiously, when Odegaard was asked by The Press-Enterprise’s Richard K. De Atley about these allegations, he “declined to comment.” Weird. Shouldn’t someone have given Richard (or should I say, “Dick”?) the memo about how no comment is journalese for I’m guilty or I did it? It’s funny what goes on at Christian schools. What would Jesus do? Beats the hell out of me.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11
I hope you burn in hell, whoever gave me this flu/cold/pestilence.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12
Come on, guys. Lakers, you embarrass me sometimes. I mean, you won and all . . . but against the Nets, the NBA team that is nearly at the freakin‘ bottom of the list. And you only beat them (barely) by seven points. Guys, you’re better than that. Let’s see what went wrong. First, Pau Gasol: Cold. Cold. Cold. Ron-Ron: Also cold-as-a-hell in the offensive department with one-for-six shooting. Boo.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 13
They must be growing optimism by the bushel over at the Fox Performing Arts Center. Why? Well, apparently, the historic movie house upon which the City Council agreed it was cool to drop $32 million in renovations is now the dealmaker for a proposed parking garage, a small theater (another one!?) and museum exhibit space. On paper, this sounds fine and dandy. But, let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? Wasn’t the Fox the same ol‘ place that had problems being, er, a performing arts center? Back in February, the opening night for Annie was cancelled. So were two other evening performances. Then Jesus Christ Superstar had three of its right shows cut. But who’s keeping count here . . . oh, we are. Shall we also mention that one of two performances by guitarist Roni Benise were also canceled in January. An April show by Caitlin Lusk also landed on the chopping block. So, I guess what I’m asking is: Isn’t using a place that has had a hard time drawing people to downtown Riverside as collateral to build other stuff to draw people to downtown Riverside sort of wonky? I mean, I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but is building parking spaces for an area that is having “issues” luring droves in with Mamma Mia! knock-offs and poor-man Yngwie Malmsteen performances seem like an, oh I don’t know, an ass-backward strategy? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe.