The Rundown

By Allen David

Posted August 4, 2011 in News


In an effort to bring into the open what so often is a secret crime, City of Redlands spokesman Carl Baker announces that there have been at least 20 brass sprinkler head thefts reported in the city since May. Of course, the victims of brass sprinkler head thefts are notoriously reluctant to report the crime for reasons that are attached to the many longstanding and still-powerful traditions within irrigation—myths that often blame the victims for the theft of their brass sprinkler heads. This not only makes it harder to prevent the crime, but leaves the unacknowledged victims to suffer in silence, and often, crushing pain because they do not get the help they may need. Thieves in Redlands have been hitting neighborhoods mostly at night, taking the brass sprinkler heads to cash in on the brass at scrap metal yards. Baker said. Police are urging residents to report suspicious activity by calling 911. “Landscapers rarely work at night, so anyone other than a resident working in the yard after dark is a likely suspect,” said Lt. Travis Martinez. Anyone who has been a victim of theft of brass sprinkler heads is urged to report the thefts to police. Remember: It’s not your fault!


The proposal for a merger of Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power with Big Bear Municipal Water District—in negotiations since April—has ended. Officials from both agencies are placing the blame on a lack of cooperation from the Laws of Physics. “It could have happened,” says Skip Suhay, MWD board president. “But there’s only so much time in the day. You can’t be in two places at once.”


Note to self: Never take physics. Just not cooperative.


More than two dozen assault rifles have been stolen from Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County—26 AK-74 assault rifles and one Dragunov sniper rifle—and investigators leave no doubt about the importance of the public’s help in arresting the suspects and recovering the weapons. “Community participation is necessary to improve the likelihood that ATF and our law enforcement partners will track down the firearms as well as the criminals who have sought to destabilize our community through illegal activity,” ATF Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres says in a statement. A little less clear is why news of the theft was withheld from the public for two weeks—that is, the weapons were stolen from a supply warehouse at Fort Irwin on July 15. ATF spokesman Special Agent Christian Hoffman says only that his agency decided to issue a news release because of the potential danger the loose weapons posed. “We determined that there was a public safety issue with the guns getting out on the street,” he says. Um, OK, thanks!


A massive 192-wheel trailer will soon make four trips to haul old generator parts that are considered to be low-level nuclear waste—and weigh 380 tons each—from Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near San Clemente to Clive, Utah. The precise departure date was not released for security reasons. The parts were recently replaced with four new steam generators brought to California from Japan as part of a $674 million project. Edison officials said the level of radiation from the old parts poses no risk to the public, but they hope people won’t come out to see the lumbering trailer due to the challenges of moving such a large vehicle.


Just curious: how much radiation do those old generator parts emit? Says project manager Craig Harberts “If you stay six feet away from it for one hour, it equals one dental X-ray.” As someone who has no dental insurance, that’s interesting.


Echoes from all the big talking that Rod Pacheco did while he served as Riverside County District Attorney continues to cause problems. The latest example is the public statement released today by Riverside County officials apologizing for the names Pacheco called members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club—“cockroaches” and “terrorists” who “practice an extreme brand of violence”—while investigating them for attacks on Hemet police officers. See, the Vagos sued the county, and their case was looking pretty good—particularly after two Riverside County men (neither affiliated with the Vagos) were charged in connection with some of the attacks. But the Vagos agreed to drop the suit if they received an apology. Thus, this statement: “Any emotionally charged or colorful remarks make by, or at the direction of the former district attorney, Rod Pacheco, during the heat of the investigation which were expressly or impliedly offensive to the Vagos are unfortunate.”


That’s an apology?


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