October-December

NOVEMBER Perhaps you saw the big cannabis leaf on advertisements plastered across bus benches along major thoroughfares and told yourself, "I don't know what they're selling, but I'll take two!" Too late: Coast United Advertising pulled its 106 bus-bench ads on Nov. 2 because of pressure from Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), the national organization that hammers anti-drug messages into the minds of schoolchildren. The ads promoted Westwood-based Alterna Inc.'s shampoos and conditioners that contain hemp-seed oil. Hair care is just one of millions of uses for industrial hemp that do not involve getting stoned; if you put Alterna Hemp Shampoo in your pipe and smoked it, you'd probably vomit before you were overcome by an uncontrollable urge for Nabisco products, tie-dyed clothing and Iron Butterfly recordings. But that didn't stop Glenn Levant, president of DARE America in Los Angeles, from contacting city officials in an attempt to get the ads yanked. "My big objection is that public property was being used to promote an illegal substance," Levant reportedly said of the non-illegal substance. "This is not the sort of thing we should see around our schools, parks and children." . . . A "fog of evil," as Bob Dornan put it, descended on OC, California and the rest of the country on Nov. 3, when Democrats pulled off impressive victories in local, state and national elections. "Really, Really" Gray Davis kicked serious Dan Lungren ass to become the first Democratic governor of California since Davis' old boss Jerry Brown haunted Sacramento. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) handily defeated "B-1 Ballgagger" Dornan, who immediately claimed voter fraud was afoot in this election. Oh, and someone from his brood almost went toe-to-toe with a Matt Fong supporter, who was already in a foul mood thanks to his guy's loss to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California). In other unexpected Democratic victories (well, we didn't expect them anyway), Joe Dunn took filthy rich Republican Rob Hurtt's state Senate seat, and Lou Correa beat Assemblyman Jim Morrissey (R-Santa Ana). Democrats Tom Daly and Miguel Pulido retained their seats as mayor of Anaheim and Santa Ana respectively, and Larry Agran returned to the Irvine City Council. Incumbent Delaine Eastin defeated Stepford-esque bilingual-ed obliterator Gloria "Whatsa" Matta Tuchman in the state superintendent of public instruction race. But in scary education news, two Christian Right Education Alliance candidates won seats on the board of trustees for the South Orange County Community College District, where any professor with half a brain should have his/her résumé circulating to other colleges by now. And in just plain scary news, Jim "I'm Not Stupid; I'm Just Slow" Silva retained his county supervisorial seat, sending challenger Dave Sullivan back to the Cheers bar or wherever it is he got that Boston accent. . . . Fifty or so Muslims handed out fliers about Islam to moviegoers outside the Edwards 21 Megaplex in Irvine on Nov. 6. They were part of 13 Islamic youth groups who fanned out to 23 OC theaters to criticize the Denzel Washington vehicle The Siege. It was not the specter of overpaid overactor Bruce Willis chewing up scenery that offended the Muslims; it was what they believed to be the flick's negative portrayal of Arabs as Islamic terrorists. "I don't want to stop anybody from watching this film," 23-year-old Ahmad Alan Abdo of Huntington Beach reportedly said. "But we're here to show that Muslims are your neighbors, friends and co-workers-not the perverted terrorists of Hollywood." No, those would be the agents. . . . Wendy Leece, a Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustee, on Nov. 10 refused to endorse the science component of the state's new recommended standards for various subjects. Leece's beef: the standards promoted the theory of evolution as "fact" and "dogma," undermining what "conservative Christian parents" teach their young'uns about this God fella creating everything. "I protest the unilateral enforcement of an atheistic, against-God point of view that instills in children that there is no place for God in science," Leece reportedly said. . . . Frogue can rest assured his seat on the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees is safe-at least for a few more years. The county registrar of voters reported on Nov. 12 that the committee that sought to oust Frogue came up 5,625 signatures short of collecting the 37,947 John Hancocks required to force a recall election. He reacted to the recall effort by accusing his critics of conducting a "vicious, bitter smear campaign . . . fraught with lies, slander and outright hate." That so-called bitter smear campaign figures to start anew when Frogue faces re-election in 2000. . . . On Nov. 13, a week after Huntington Beach resident Barbara Coe's California Coalition for Immigration Reform cronies put up a billboard near Blythe that read: "Welcome to California, the Illegal Immigrant State. Don't Let This Happen to Your State," the message was taken down. The landowner reportedly worried for his family's safety with so many motorists stopping by to gawk at and photograph the dag-gum thing. . . . Pro basketball player/sometime Newport Beach resident/one-man freak show Dennis Rodman tied the knot with [cough, cough] "actress" Carmen Electra in a Las Vegas chapel around 7 a.m. on Nov. 14. The Worm's peeps immediately said the marriage would be instantly annulled because he was not in-get this-"sound mind" when he entered the union, having traipsed down the aisle after a night of hearty partying. Then Wormy gave an interview in which he said he loved Electra, who followed in the mammoth footsteps left by Jenny McCarthy on MTV's Singled Out before bouncing around the syndicated jiggle-show circuit. Nine days after the blessed marriage, Rodman filed annulment papers in Orange County Superior Court. Electra later "mutually agreed" with Rodman to end the marriage, according to her posse. But before we could determine who got custody of the wedding dress, Rodman gave another interview in which he said he loved Electra and wanted to rescind the annulment. Uncle! . . . Irvine-based Diedrich Coffee on Nov. 16 inked a deal in which Taco Bell franchisees will build 50 new Diedrich coffeehouses in San Diego, Temecula and Palm Springs over the next five years. Diedrich already had an agreement with North Carolina's Taco Bell franchisee for 44 new shops in that state. The ex-Taco Bell execs who held top posts at Diedrich embarked on an aggressive strategy to use fast-food know-how to build the chain's national name recognition in a market dominated by Seattle-based Starbucks, the McDonald's of lattes.

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