By Allen David
The thunderstorms that a couple of days ago poured an inch or two of rainwater on Big Bear in just one hour caused Rathbun Creek to overflow, turned streets to rivers, flooded over Bear Mountain Golf Course, surged over the meadow area on the north end of the course and over Moonridge Road. But the waters that poured down the Moonridge slopes did not only do a lot of damage. They also sent a message. That meadow area at the north end of the golf course? It’s the place proposed as the site of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23
A beam extracted from the World Trade Center in New York City is unveiled in front of Fire Station 1 in Loma Linda. Fire Division Chief Jeff Roddy, who initiated the application process to bring the charred, seven-foot-long piece of steel across the country, says its presence—intended as a reminder that the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001—is felt here. While Roddy’s effort is commendable, lots of us already are surrounded by more than enough reminders of the still-rippling effects that those commandeered commercial airliners have had on our daily lives. Consider the demands on our time and the invasion of our privacy every time we go to the airport, send an email or a text, make a phone call, purchase a book or rent a video—wait . . . do people still rent videos? Think of every casualty in the ongoing military hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan—in about a month my nephew deploys to Afghanistan. What about the still-operating prison at Guantanamo Bay? What about the discrimination in this country against Muslims? What about the damage done to America’s reputation around the world? Thanks for the beam, Division Chief Roddy . . . just put it on the pile of reminders, with all the other stuff.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24
A woman learned about a hazing incident involving the Jurupa Valley Patriot High School football team—witnessing some of its members dressed as girls, including one in a thong-style swimsuit—while delivering a casserole to a school event. The Jurupa Unified School Board learned about it when the woman went to Monday night’s meeting and spoke during the public-comment portion of the meeting. When that was more than head coach Scott Pearne could say—he claimed to know nothing about the hazing, despite spending hours and hours of nearly every day with the team—the Jurupa Unified School District decides today that the school needs a new head football coach. “Upon learning of the allegations, the district took immediate action to initiate a full investigation and requested local law enforcement to conduct their own investigation,” the statement from the district read. “Law enforcement officials determined that there was no criminal behavior involved. Nonetheless, we cannot and will not tolerate individual or group behavior that compromises a person’s dignity. The Patriot High School varsity football coach has been replaced.” Pearne’s reaction to the hazing? He says he “will take responsibility for that, but I did not know it was going on, and I thought we could correct it.” So what we have here is an incident of hazing football players and a hazy head coach.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26
A swarm earthquakes—hundreds of ’em, some registering magnitudes greater than 5 on the Richter Scale—shakes Southern California along the Mexican border, infusing rare signs of life into the inhabitants of Brawley. There are unanticipated effects of the quakes. They gave the town an excuse to activate an Emergency Operations Center. A few water lines breaks, façade and plaster damage and trailers that jumped off their foundations were an impetus to do long-delayed maintenance. Kids were happy because the opening of school has been delayed. The Best Western motel in Brawley used a quake that struck at about 10 a.m. to invoke an early checkout time, evacuating guests as “a precaution.” Several guests were reported telling management that they just wanted to go home, but experts on Brawley tourism are hesitant to attribute this sentiment to the quake.
MONDAY, AUGUST 27
Members of the San Bernardino City Council receive documents that represent cuts of about 30 percent to the city budget, but the citizens of San Bernardino won’t get to see them until they become final. Great.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28
Things are f*#@ed up.