A mansion atop one of the Chino Hills—the one at 15250 Woodglen Drive that became briefly famous as a so-called maternity hotel, where allegedly wealthy women from China came to give birth so their children could be United States citizens—is on the market. Rowland Heights-based IRN Realty has been listing the 7,964-square-foot home for $3.3 million. A good deal? Depends. The listing says the home has seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms but the description says, “the size of property is around 15,000-square feet—over 10 bedrooms with six detached garages and plenty of parking spaces.” And then there’s the public nuisance complaint filed Dec. 7, which said someone illegally converted the seven-bedroom, 6 ½ bathroom house into a 17-bedroom maternity hotel operation. Another issue is introduced by Jack Ritoli, real estate broker/owner with Southern California Realty Associates: “Something doesn’t pass the smell test here.” Two words: baby farts.
THURSDAY, MARCH 28
FRIDAY, MARCH 29
Officials have been evacuating the financial disaster area known as the City of San Bernardino in such numbers, that Kevin Hawkins—head of the Parks and Recreation Department since 2007—is the longest-serving department head in the city. Oops! Not anymore! Hawkins is jumping ship, too, and swimming to Temecula, where he will be director of the Community Services Department. Since San Bernardino became insolvent, the heads of the Community Development, Finance, Human Resources, Public Works, Refuse and Fire departments have all left or announced they will soon leave the city. Next week will be Hawkins’ final one. Who is the longest-serving department head in San Bernardino now. Hmmm. Was anybody hired this week?
SATURDAY, MARCH 30
Our family takes a weekend camping trip every year during spring break, and we’re always on the looking for new and beautiful places that can cheaply accommodate about 30 people who range in age from age three to age 83. This year we found it in Hurkey Creek Park, which we found in the San Jacinto Mountains, which we find just off Hwy 74, just four miles southeast of Mountain Center, and about seven from Idyllwild. The trees are tall and piney, the shrubs are full and manzanita-ish, the breeze is fresh, the campsites are roomy and secure. There are hiking trails, a seasonal creek, owls hooting at night, dogs allowed, showers available. This place has absolutely everything. . .unless you are an 83-year-old woman whose right side is paralyzed by a stroke and uses a scooter and a walker to get around—and needs to take a crap. Then you’re shit outta luck. Kind of hard to believe that a situation like this actually exists, after all these years since the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, after all the lawsuits that have been filed and after all the money that has been won because some place didn’t provide equal toilet access to the abled and disabled. But it does. What’s worse is that the officials at Hurkey Creek Park didn’t know the situation existed. When asked about handicapped-accessible toilets, they answered in the affirmative—and they held onto that position for awhile. Then they said there were handicapped restrooms in in the group camping area. Then, when we pointed out the group camping area was closed, they said, “Oh.” That’s only half of what they’re going to say when a copy of our lawsuit arrives. The other half is “shit.” As in, “Oh, shit!”
SUNDAY, MARCH 31
The faintest, earliest light once again heralds the dawning of another Easter morning and rekindles hope for the kind of change that can truly bring peace on earth. But it’s soon evident that this Easter will turn the latest season of repentance into the same old story. After barely showing a reaction to betrayal by friends, political persecution from ‘fraidy-cat government officials, a super-bad beatdown by government goons, a fit of depression and a few hours hanging from nails on a heavy wooden cross, the accumulation of non-stop hassles finally gets a rise out of Jesus.
MONDAY, APRIL 1
Because there’s almost nothing more hilarious than small plane crashes in populated areas, a guy who owns an equipment rental company in Yucaipa marks April Fool’s Day by using one of his forklifts to position a small aircraft as though it had face-planted just over the fence in front of his business. In case anybody might have suspected a prank and thus might not have seized up in horror, grief and empathy for the well being of passengers or passersby, the dude garlands yellow caution tape around the project to make it look even more like a crash scene. Reassuringly, the practical joker provided advance notice to the San Bernardino Sheriff Department, and a cruiser stopped by at one point—to tell the guy that sunrise was approaching and he ought to hurry. Who does this kind of stuff? Well, actually, this is the only part of the story that somehow figures—it’s a guy by the too-perfect name of Cheesman. Billy Cheesman. Billy Cheesman, Jr.
TUESDAY, APRIL 2
Now we all go back to being plain, ol‘ everyday fools.