January-March

MARCH Tattooed, crossdressing, multihue-hairdoed club kid Dennis Rodman filed suit in Orange County Superior Court on March 4 against Street Players Holding Corporation for making and selling the Dennis Rodman Wedding Day Doll without his permission. Rodman, who resides in Newport Beach, had a licensing agreement with Street Players since 1996 that paid him a percentage of sales. But his suit, which sought unspecified monetary damages, claimed that the LA-based collectibles maker violated their agreement that he must approve the use of his, um, image. . . . Congressman Jay Kim (R-Diamond Bar) was sentenced to a year's probation, 200 hours of community service, a $5,000 fine and two months of home detention on March 9 after pleading guilty to accepting more than $250,000 in illegal campaign donations. Kim was forced to serve his home detention in his home on the East Coast, which meant he could not campaign in his home district before June's primary election. . . . The Orange County Human Relations Commission announced on March 12 that hate crimes dropped 21 percent in 1997. The commission received reports of 145 hate crimes in '97 compared with 183 in the previous year. African-Americans were the most hassled group, followed by Jews and Asians. One thing didn't change: white teens perpetrated the most hate crimes. . . . An organization that pays crackhead women $200 to get their tubes tied moved out of its founder's Stanton home on March 20 and into a new office in Anaheim. "I feel like it's a reality finally," Barbara Harris, who founded Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity (CRACK) in 1994, told The Orange County Register. "We're going to be a household name." That's pretty much already the case, thanks to intense media coverage of her crusade to stem the tide of crack babies. When a Los Angeles woman approached her in October 1997 and accepted $200 in exchange for undergoing a tubal ligation, the local media pounced on the story, which was picked up by the wire services and led to Harris appearing on Oprah, The Today Show and CBS Evening News. People in six states have offered to open CRACK chapters (don't call 'em "houses"). . . . Guttermouth's Mark Adkins was arrested in Canada on March 22, detained overnight and deported after allegedly exposing himself and urging an underage girl to do the same during a concert at the University of Saskatchewan. The lawyer for the lead singer of the Huntington Beach-based punk band later entered a not-guilty plea in provincial court; trial was set for Oct. 21. Guttermouth canceled the rest of its Canadian tour. Adkins was arrested in 1995 on suspicion of inciting a riot at the Blockbuster Pavilion in Devore. Citing insufficient evidence, San Bernardino County's district attorney did not file charges. Would a guy up on indecent-exposure charges want his case dropped due to insufficient evidence? . . . The Boy Scouts of America can ban gays, agnostics, girls, Presbyterians, Swedes-anyone-the California Supreme Court ruled on March 23. Acting on cases brought by twins from Anaheim Hills and a gay man from Berkeley, the Supremes decided the Scouts are not a business but rather a private club, and they can therefore discriminate against potential members like your finest country clubs, royal orders of bullshit spreaders and the Republican Party. Because there is apparently no federal law on which to base an appeal, the ruling effectively ended the seven-year quest by the twins, Michael and William Randall, to advance in scouting without having to pledge an oath of duty to God. Poised to become Eagle Scouts, the OC twins quit rather than recite the oath. . . . Surrounded by his wife, son, city officials and four of the jurors who convicted him, controversial Baptist pastor Wiley S. Drake thrust a gold-plated shovel into the earth on March 29 to symbolize groundbreaking for a 52-bed homeless shelter at his First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park. Drake and the church were convicted in July 1997 of four misdemeanor counts for allowing indigent people to camp in the church parking lot and patio structure. A judge put the church on probation for three years and ordered it to follow city codes. Drake, who was spared jail time, later negotiated with the city to build the 5,200-square-foot structure and reached out to the community for cash, labor and building supplies for the $400,000 project.

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