By Allen David
The City of Wildomar turns 4 years old today, so the City Council throws a little party before its regular meeting. Actually, the party wasn’t specifically planned to be little—at least, not as little as it turns out to be, not considering that the 32,178 people live in Wildomar—or so reported the 2010 Census. But only 20 people show up at City Hall to snack on birthday cupcakes and none of the 32,158 no-shows even bothered to send regrets. Not that they don’t have any—such as, we’d venture to guess, that decision back in 2008 to become a city. Last year was a pretty typical one for Wildomar: police staffing hours were reduced, City Hall was closed on Fridays, the number of public meetings was slashed and the official policy regarding infrastructure issues was to call the high school shop teacher . . . except there isn’t one. In other words, that putzy party couldn’t have been more appropriate.
THURSDAY, JUNE 14
For the fourth time in three months, somebody sets fire to a dental office. And not only to a dental office, but a dental office located in Fontana. And not only to a dental office located in Fontana, but a dental office located in the City of Fontana that is specifically situated on Sierra Avenue. And for the fourth time in three months, whoever did it gets away. Police don’t even have any suspects. That’s suspicious.
FRIDAY, JUNE 15
It was a close call, but a burglar made a fast and successful escape from the woman who came home unexpectedly while he was robbing her house on Honeysuckle Lane in Murrieta. The ballsy thief didn’t get everything he’d planned—dude had big plans: the woman’s safe, which she keeps in her bedroom, had been moved to the garage. But then, another close call—Murrieta to Menifee. That’s not long distance, is it? Nope—a little over 12 miles on the 215. Wouldn’t make a dent in anybody’s cell phone plan. See, we’re just hoping that, on top of all the other trouble he is in, Kyle Lankford doesn’t have to pay for the calls that were made on his cell phone after he apparently left the darn thing in the woman’s house when he made that fast and not-so-successful-after-all escape. The woman found the phone on her bedroom dresser and called police. The police used it to track down Lankford in Menifee. Lankford, 19, was booked into the Southwest Detention Center in French Valley on suspicion of burglary and violating his probation. We assume he was permitted the customary phone call—a close call . . . that is, a local call, of course.
SATURDAY, JUNE 16
Twenty-two years after a gang of police officers beat him within a couple inches of his life, Rodney King dies early this morning at the bottom of the pool at his home in Rialto. Neighbors say they heard him sobbing uncontrollably during the night. The idea that King was wracked with sadness at the very end of his life makes me very sad. He seemed to bear so much pain, long before and forever after Fate used him as a vivid revelation of the truth behind all those stories of police abuse. But the central event in his life was the merciless clubbing and kicking and Tasering—and don’t forget the despicable insults—administered to him by public safety employees. That cruel and circumstantial irony inducted him into the public arena, made him a symbol, demanded he answer for the dozens of people who died during the riots that followed the police officers’ acquittal, mocked him when he answered with a pure and mystified plea for peace, his wonder about why we just don’t seem to be able to “get along.” How did King handle all of this? Everybody seems to have at least a slightly different opinion. But it seems to be unanimous that he did not do it perfectly, which of course is the essential fact that unites all of us. Rest in peace, Rodney King, you perfectly human being.
SUNDAY, JUNE 17
Day of rest. You’ve heard of it, haven’t you?
MONDAY, JUNE 18
OK, I’ve been thinking about those mysterious and so-far-unsolved dental-office fires. Has anybody checked to see if any police or firefighters fit the profile for this kind of thing. Or whether they’ve recently suffered any cutbacks in their dental plans, maybe? And what about members of the Keep Fontana Toothless Society? They’d certainly appear to have a motive. Anybody seen the Tooth Fairy lately? See? Thinkin‘!
TUESDAY, JUNE 19
Last day of spring.