The Rundown

By Allen David

Posted September 29, 2011 in News


The creators of the Ontario Rotary Police Museum admit the 1,000-square-foot space inside the Ontario Police Department is a work in progress—especially the Children’s Interactive Exhibit. By assembling badges, police hats, siren lights, a police motorcycle and car—and even a portion of the city’s first police jail—the intention is to remove children’s fear of the police. “They get to see the human side,” Don Driftmier tells the Inland Valley Bulletin. But there are a lot of setbacks. For example, retired Ontario police captain Katie Roberts, recalls how parents would introduce her when in uniform. “Parents would tell their children if they didn’t eat all their food the police officer would take them to jail,” she said. “That would make them afraid.” Oh, and here’s another example on TV right now: Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukus is announcing he will charge a Fullerton police officer with second-degree murder for leading five other policemen in the savage and relentless beating that ultimately killed a skinny, homeless schizophrenic named Kelly Thomas, who was crying for his dad until he went unconscious. But hey—look at that cool motorcycle!


I need sleep.


So, I’m in this huge space—like, National Orange Show Events Center huge. And I’m surrounded by people, probably 40,000 of them, most in their early 20s, lots from far-flung places, all beautiful in their own ways. Oh, and all of them—hell, all of us—in love . . . even the lady who does marketing at the San Bernardino Hilton, whose sentiments have somehow come to me through a portal that looks something like the website of the San Bernardino Sun. “This is crazy,” the lady is saying as she very obviously—but completely without shame—gets off while ogling the hotel’s long list of room bookings. “I wish we could have one every month.” Me, too, although “one every month” of what, I’m not sure, but maybe that’s because I’m coming on to the E, and can literally hear everyone else coming onto it, too. Yeah, I feel hypocritical about that—I’ve always mocked electronica, and now I’m calling it E, like it’s my best friend—but hearing in this setting, pumping through speakers arrayed throughout the grounds like musical snipers, I happily rush into the paths of their sonic bullets. “Freaking amazing,” says a young woman in tall, feathery, hot pink boots and short-shortsexactly what my mother wore on her wedding day—as she watches me fall to the ground, a glissando of musical notes spilling from a gaping wound in my chest. I’m being transported to the medical tent, but I know it’s useless. I can feel my life force rising unstoppably, inevitably destined to rush out of me for what I somehow know (from some past life, maybe) will feel like forever. Suddenly, weirdly, I am back at the gate I entered to get into this place. The security guard is giving me a light pat-down . . . and damn if it isn’t always the little things, but I suddenly understand—again—why this festival is called the Nocturnal Wonderland.


Morning has broken, which reminds me that last night the Angels’ 2011 baseball season was irreparably damaged by a 3-1 loss that dropped them six games behind the Texas Rangers with only five regular-season games to play. That makes Texas the American League West Division champs for the second year in a row. And from the Department of “What Makes It Worse, Is . . . ” the loss was the Angels’ latest lifeless performance against the pathetic Oakland A’s, and the Texas team includes catcher Mike Napoli, who has batted .315 with 26 homers this season, after the Angels traded him away in favor of Jeff Mathis (.174 average) and Hank Conger (.214). Hey, but the Wild Card playoff spot is still available. Go team!


Haven’t you ever heard of a day of rest?


A Texas pitcher named Mark Hamburger wins his first career game, 4-3, in the Angels’ last meaningful one of the 2011 season—they are completely out of playoff contention. Fun fact: the Angels have the fourth-highest payroll in baseball. Fortunate fact: if Dodgers owner Frank McCourt hadn’t been getting all the horrible headlines for his horrible management of that team, Angels owner Artie Moreno probably would be.


It sounds like the kind of kurduffle that’s always coming up in Rialto, but this one is going to the Supreme Court, which today agrees to decide whether private lawyers hired as outside counsels for governments can be sued. It started when lawyer Steve Filarsky was hired by Rialto to investigate the possible misuse of sick leave. Nicholas B. Delia, a firefighter suspected of working on his house while on sick leave, sued Filarsky after the investigation. In question is whether or not immunity from prosecution can be extended from government workers to nongovernment workers who are doing work for the government. Fascinatin‘!


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