By Gustavo Arellano
By Aimee Murillo
By Matt Coker
By Vickie Chang
By Matt Coker
By LP Hastings
By Michael Goldstein
By R. Scott Moxley
MONDAY, Jan. 7 Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustee Jim Ferryman pleads guilty to a misdemeanor drunk-driving charge, something he hoped would close the book on the case. It didn't. Fellow trustee Wendy Leece, one of those Christian, conservative, Stepford wives who get this time marker's internal gear mechanisms all moist, uses the next board meeting to urge Ferryman to quit. He ain't budging, saying he won't be driven out by Leece and her like. Besides, he's gotta weigh in on Newport Harbor High School's oh-so-consequential cheerleader controversy. The parents of 18 girls who did not make the squad whined so loudly that the principal allowed everyone who tried out onto the team. Then the parents of the 30 girls who originally made the squad whined so loudly that the principal flip-flopped, deciding that the original 30 are in and the other 18 can vie for four new spots. The result of this Solomonic wisdom: both sides are more pissed than ever. But as debates rage over cheerleaders and boozing trustees, Washington, D.C.-based Education Week releases a survey that finds California ranks 48th in the nation in education spending. What grade for student resources does the Golden State earn? GIVE US AN F!TUESDAY, Jan. 8 Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) executive director Andrea Lafferty tells us she's outraged that National Public Radio (NPR) reporter David Kestenbaum phoned the coalition's Washington, D.C., office to see if the right-wing, God-lovin', gay-hatin' group had been contacted by the FBI in connection with the anthrax scare. Kestenbaum was calling various groups who had recently been critical of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, Democrats whose offices had received anthrax-o-grams. Daschle and Leahy drew the Anaheim-based TVC's scorn for proposing to drop "So help me God" from the oath Republican lawbreakers take before testifying in front of Senate committees. But that scorn was nothing compared with the rash of shit the TVC directed toward Kestenbaum and NPR, which were portrayed as being part of some liberal-left-Democratic Party conspiracy to discredit conservative Christians. Kestenbaum was merely investigating a reasonable hypothesis: because the targets are liberals or pro-choice moderate Republicans, the anthrax probably came from domestic right-wing nuts. If the war on terror is at all serious, wouldn't the FBI consider that possibility and investigate groups—like TVC—that had a history of lashing out against Daschle and Leahy? And it's hard to take TVC's outrage seriously when it—not Kestenbaum—made the FBI investigation a public issue.
After serving a search warrant at the Laguna Niguel home of a fired San Onofre nuclear-power-plant worker who had allegedly threatened colleagues, Orange County sheriff's deputies say they found more than 250 weapons—including antique rifles, hand grenades, tear-gas canisters and an illegal rocket launcher—and 5,000 rounds of ammunition. Onetime Swallows Inn bouncer David L. Reza, who is alleged to have told a Southern California Edison employee he was "going to take my guns, go to San Onofre and whack a bunch of people," faces 13 counts, including threatening to kill two former co-workers, possession of illegal assault weapons and coke possession. Reza's girlfriend stands by her man, calling in the National Rifle Association (NRA) for support. So if these charges are true, a coked-up NRA member with anti-tank artillery was working near a friggin' nuclear reactor? That's it: we're moving to Fiji.
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