By Allen David
Authorities pore through the rubble of a burned-out cabin in the Seven Oaks area near Big Bear Lake after a gun battle between fugitive Christopher Dorner and Sheriff’s deputies during which the cabin was set afire by pyrotechnic tear gas devices fired by law enforcement. Dorner never left the cabin, did not try to escape out the back and there is speculation he may have ended his own life inside the cabin.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14
Charred remains are found inside the burned-out cabin in Seven Oaks. They are positively identified by use of dental records during an autopsy as those of Christopher Dorner. The identification comes two days after Dorner, fueled by his 2008 dismissal from the Los Angeles Police Department and alleged incidents of racism and brutality he said he witnessed while in the employ of the LAPD, ended a vendetta against selected law-enforcement personnel. Dorner is suspected of killing Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence on Feb. 3, Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain on Feb. 7, and Sheriff’s detective Jeremiah MacKay on Feb. 12.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Whatever else you may think about the gambling businesses operated by some Native American tribes in the Inland Empire, they seem to be winning the longshot bet many of them have placed on preserving and reviving some of the indigenous languages that recently were on the verge of extinction because of centuries of effort by the United States government to stamp them out. For example, profits from the Pechanga Casino near Temecula, the Morongo Casino in Cabazon and the San Manuel Casino in Highland have been spent in various ways that are bringing back the languages of Luiseño, Serrano and Cahuilla. From fewer than a dozen native speakers of Luiseño—and none on the Pechanga reservation—two decades ago, children are speaking the language every day in a Pechanga-run school, and the tribe recently began funding a graduate-level Cal State San Bernardino Luiseño class . . . one of the few for-credit university indigenous-language courses in the country. A school run by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians that opened in 2010 includes classes in Serrano and Cahuilla. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians hired three professional linguists to help preserve and expand use of the Serrano language. “After 20 years of doing this, I’m finally saying, ‘Oh my God, this is working,’” Marina Drummer, administrator for Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival—which trains remaining speakers of languages to be instructors—tells The Press-Enterprise.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16
The members of Redlands Seventh-day Adventist Church assemble for services after the Redlands City Council scaled back punishment for cutting down two 80-year-old redwood trees last summer to abet construction on the church’s expansion. Instead of replacing the redwoods at a cost of $83,000 plus more than $16,000 to monitor the trees’ health for 18 months to ensure that they survive, council members argue the church’s costs should be capped at $80,000 and that the trees should not be redwoods, which were described as destructive. Mayor Pete Aguilar continued to contend that the council should honor the original agreement, which would restore the neighborhood to the way it was. With the new agreement, the church will pay $80,000 for two 24-inch-box trees chosen from the city’s list of approved street trees. The power of prayer? Let’s also keep an eye on next election’s campaign contributions.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17
Jim Gross makes this comment in The Press-Enterprise on the revised punishment meted out to the Seventh-Day Adventists for the murder of two redwoods: “Shame, shame, shame on this council for not holding firm to preserve one of the most unique and beautiful blocks in Redlands. The trees that are there now date back to when the subdivision was established in the ’20s. My Great Uncle Gair Huizing, who designed and built many of the North and South Buena Vista houses, is turning in his grave.”
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19
Damn, and just when we figured the 2012-2013 National Basketball Association season couldn’t get any worse for the Lakers . . . R.I.P. Jerry Buss.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19
You know that amendment to the United States Constitution that guarantees free expression? It’s the very first amendment, in case you’re having some trouble finding it. Anyway, that assurance notwithstanding, out of 179 countries included in a freedom-of-the-press survey by the international organization Reporters Without Borders, the United States’ ranks way down at No. 32. The results were based on questionnaires given to journalists, media independence, levels of censorship and the number of violent acts committed against journalists. Finland, the Netherlands and Norway placed first, second and third, respectively. Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea were at the bottom of the list. The encouraging part about the 32nd-place finish by the U.S.? Last year it finished 47th.