By Allen David
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
The town of Apple Valley faces a $6.4 million deficit in its Parks and Recreation Department and will have to close its parks unless it pays up by June. That would be bad enough, but three members of the Apple Valley town council severely limited their options last year about this time by signing “no-tax pledges.” The pledges read:
I pledge to the taxpayers of Apple Valley and all the people of this state that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.
Now, rather than lead the town out of its crisis, the council is considering asking residents to choose between their parks and paying higher taxes. Toward that end, the Town Council has approved paying $21,000 to a consultant for a community survey about what it is willing to pay for or willing to do without. “Right now we’re gathering all the information so we can make a very good, educated decision,” Councilman Curt Emick said. “That is why we are sending out the survey and the reason we need the survey done sooner than later.” But doesn’t spending $21,000 of taxpayers’ money to determine whether or not to raise taxes kind of equate to a tax, itself? Just asking.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
One of the most-exciting closing days in the history of baseball sees the Tampa Bay Rays put together a rally to get into the playoffs, the Boston Red Sox taken apart by a rally to fall out of the playoffs and the Angels play a game that nobody will ever remember. What the hell happened, anyway?
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
The day after the end of the Angels’ season turns out to be its best day of the season. General Manager Tony Reagins resigns. Or is fired. Either way, the man who brought us Vernon Wells and Scott Kazmir will now be bringing owner Arte Moreno his iced tea in the luxury box or bringing his clothes to the cleaner. That’s what happens to former general managers who are kicked upstairs to become advisors, isn’t it? Either way, it’s the best news Angels fans have received since spring training. Now, if somebody would only allow radio broadcasters Terry Smith and Jose Mota to resign. Or, hell, just fire them!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1
The siren atop the city of Upland’s old firehouse goes off at noon today, reviving a long-gone tradition that City Manager Stephen Dunn tells Inland Valley Daily Bulletin columnist—and my doppelganger—David Allen is intended to bring back the small-town friendliness that used to be part of its reputation . . . you know, before Upland became completely identified with small-town political corruption. Members of the fraternal organization E Clampus Vitus put down their alcoholic beverages long enough to restore the siren last year at their own expense last year. They have pushed to have the siren used on a regular basis so that it wouldn’t again fall into disrepair. But some of them are rumored to be rethinking that after today’s noontime blast, which in their hungover states apparently felt like an aneurysm.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2
The firehouse siren goes off at noon, again, for 15 seconds, again, although the reminiscing it prompts goes on all day—triggering a rash of calls to the Upland Suicide Prevention line. “I can remember it as a kid in the ’40s and early ’50s,” says Marilyn Anderson, director of the Cooper Museum. “It was a standard part of our day. We would be out playing and hear the noon siren and knew it was time to go home for lunch.” Cooper’s little trip down memory lane is said to be a textbook example of the type of vapid, going-nowhere story that the siren seems to evoke. Nonetheless, talking about the siren at least gives the people of Upland something to talk about, and city officials say they are considering other ways to restore the small-town feel to Upland. So far, the most popular suggestions are a return to rotary-dial phones and restoring the threat of polio to people who swim in the public pool.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3
The Big Bear Grizzly runs a readers poll in which people are asked whether or not they lock their homes and cars.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4
A rash of home and auto robberies is reported in Big Bear. Amazingly, none show any signs of forced entry.