By Allen David
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23
And you thought drinking Mexican tap water was bad. Just ask the poor folks in Barstow who have had to contend with a fourth day of laying off the pipes—literally—since some nasty chemical had infiltrated the local water supply. Apparently, the pollution hit the fan after Golden State Water Co. discovered that one of its wells was mucked up with perchlorate, a god-awful chemical that was used to make rocket fuel and military-grade ammo. They found this stuff at three out of 20 wells and as a precaution, local residents and businesses obeyed the “do not drink tap water” order that came from Up High and instead relied on the bottled stuff. Naturally, businesses had their share of bitching to do. “It’s been stressful. We’ve had to fend for ourselves,” says Sandy Dinapoli, the co-owner of Dinapoli’s Fire House Restaurant. Patients from the 56-bed Barstow Community Hospital were given the option of showering or bathing or using baby wipes. As if just being Barstow wasn’t bad enough. Poor Barstow. So far from civilization . . . so far from civilization.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
It’s about time we had a nice juicy sex scandal—I mean besides those allegations that San Bernardino County DA Mike Ramos had played hide-the-salami with a county employee for a spell. This week, however, the scandal involves certain members of the Rialto Police Department who appear to have taken “strip” searches and “deep” undercover to a whole new level. For weeks, an internal investigation into allegations that several cops were, ah, shall we say “spearheading” Spearmint Rhino employees while on duty and enjoying the fruits of their sweaty labor at—gasp!—a police union building. So, are any officers getting fired or thrown into the hoosegow to cool off their too-hot-to-trot libidos? Don’t bet your Shake Weight on it. Two cops did quit (read: they weren’t fired) and four others have been disciplined—and that’s about it. Other than some angry words from the police chief—who just so happens to have the bad luck of being named Mark Kling. The chief calls the scandal an “embarrassment.” I call this stuff damn fine entertainment. Way better than Cops.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25
Burp. Ahhhhhh. Hey, don’t they say tryptophan is that stuff that . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26
Duane Roberts can fancy himself a god. Once a year, with the flip of a switch at sundown, he says, “Let there be light” and the Mission Inn turns into an eyeball-scorching orgy of lights and pyrotechnics. It’s the Festival of Lights and it’s amazing on many levels. First, there’s the ludicrous amount of lights: 3.5 million lights (when they first started this Edison-sucking bastard, all they could boast about was 250,000 lights). I wouldn’t bother counting them. I’ll take Duane’s word for it. Secondly, the festival also showcases more than 400 characters decorating every damn nook and cranny of the historic hotel. But the most amazing thing (holiday miracles, anyone?) is that for just the span of a few hours on the day after Thanksgiving, Duane Roberts’ Festival o’ Bulbs does something that nobody—and I mean nobody—has ever been able to do successfully: draw thousands and thousands of people to downtown Riverside. Jesus, you truly are magic.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27
God I love coincidences. And there’s a bunch of them going on in Corona as a pissing match between Councilman Steve Nolan and the Police Department—specifically Chief Richard Madory—threatens to boil over. And while both sides will argue that it’s all politics, something stinks here. Bad. And it’s clear that someone is bullshi*#ing someone about what’s really on. But first, back to all those funny coincidences. First, let’s start with Planning Commissioner Bob Livingston, a dude who was revealed to have pleaded guilty to federal mortgage fraud charges in 2009. I guess Bob didn’t want to brag to anyone about what an outlaw he was cuz he sure as hell never mentioned it when he got on the planning board. Guess who appointed Livingstone to the commission? Steve Nolan. And guess what? Just two months before Nolan appointed Livingstone to the commission, Livingstone had vouched for Nolan, saying Nolan was not drunk when he left the scene of a hit-and-run accident. Coincidence! Well, next thing you know, Nolan makes all this hooting and hollering about how he needs to audit the Corona Police Department. And it just so happens that it was a member of the Police Association who revealed that Nolan was operating his local restaurant, Backwoods BBQ, illegally and owed state sales taxes. Coincidence! But let’s give Nolan the benefit of the doubt . . . oh, wait, one of Nolan’s employees was stopped by Corona PD because he had expired tags and the car ended up impounded. Coincidence! Oh, and did I mention that Nolan’s restaurant has been busted for serving booze to a minor. Coincidence! I’m sure that I’m sure that NONE of this has anything to do with the fact that Nolan is criticizing police about how they handle their business. It’s just one big, fat, incredible, unbelievable coincidence. Nice job there, Steve.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28
Sorry, Loma Linda, this is my day of rest.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29
Back to the salt mines, folks.