Diary of a Mad County

Illustration by Bob AulMONDAY, April 1 Newport Beach police arrest actress Tawny Kitaen for allegedly slugging, kicking, scratching and ear-twisting her six-foot-six, 225-pound husband, Chuck Finley. The Cleveland Indians pitcher's injuries—minor lacerations to the arms, legs and face and severe bruises to the ego—force him to miss his start two nights later against his former team, the Anaheim Angels. Not that Finley's mishap helps the Angels: replacement pitcher Ryan Drese beats the Halos 6-5. What's really sad is Kitaen hit Finley more often than the Angels, who have gotten just five hits off their former ace since trading him before the 2001 season.

TUESDAY, April 2 How do you disappear bad news about global warming? Get rid of the bad-news bearers. That's what the Bush White House does today when it bows to Dick Cheney's oily energy buds and formally seeks to replace Robert Watson, a widely respected atmospheric researcher and the World Bank's chief scientist, as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Robert Watson . . . where have we heard that name before? Oh, yeah, this very time killer (A Clockwork Orange, April 21, 2000). Sitting on a global-climate panel at UC Irvine, Watson warned that animals and crops (known together by the exotic-sounding scientific euphemism "food") are disappearing as temperatures, human population and energy consumption rise—factors that should starve the poorest of the planet's poor by 2050 and create a class of 10 million to 50 million "environmental refugees." Perhaps hoping to return the favor for Watson's visit, UCI chancellor Ralph Cicerone, himself an atmospheric scientist, urged the Bush administration to keep Watson on the job. Bush's reply? Bomb the hell out of Iraq. WEDNESDAY, April 3Speaking of global-warming deniers and Middle East warmongers, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher(R-Huntington Beach) manages yet again to win our respect—which is, like, two Clockworks in a row! What the hell happened to us? During a one-day visit to war-torn Afghanistan with eight other congressmen, Rohrabacher calls on the U.S. government to "do what's right" and compensate Afghans who lost families in misdirected American bombings. "We will support it in Congress as a legitimate cost of doing business," says Rohrabacher—perhaps inadvertently dropping his guard long enough to accurately depict the so-called "War on Terrorism" as a U.S.-taxpayer funded "business" endeavor for Dick Cheney's oily energy buds.

Okay, so now everyone knows this is how NOT to promote your burglar-alarm business. Four LA douchebags trying to expose lax military security videotape themselves sneaking onto Camp Pendleton, breaking into a mess hall, and destroying more than 400 pounds of meat, cheese and produce. They apparently think they'll be able to get away and hand the tape over to the media, which will blow the lid on military insecurity. Instead, MPs caught the Too-Live Crew in the middle of its food fight and turned them over to the FBI on charges of trespassing, malicious mischief, destruction of government property and false use of a military pass. The evidence? Their own freakin' videotape!

THURSDAY, April 4 A joint study by UC Irvine and Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla shows that partially treated sewage piped off the coast of Huntington Beach may have contributed to Surf City's prolonged summer of beach closures in 1999, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Partially treated sewage piped off the coast of Huntington Beach contributing to Surf City's prolonged summer of beach closures in 1999." . . . Where have we heard that before? Oh, yeah! This very space filler (A Clockwork Orange, Sept. 17, 1999)! We quoted the Surfrider Foundation's Gordon LaBedz surmising that heightened bacteria levels were caused by "a generalized pollution event from the decades of pumping sludge offshore" and that changing winds and water temperatures could have combined to blow poopy water back to the shoreline. Of course, the more things stay the same, the more they stay the same: in Clockwork then and the Times now, the Orange County Sanitation District(OCSD) denies its shit stinks. Speaking of OCSD: they're now shying away from plans to disinfect the 240 million gallons of sewage flushed into the ocean daily with 25,000 gallons of bleach. Instead, they may use acid—and not the good Timothy Leary kind. Strap those scuba masks on tight, kiddies!

Friday, April 5: The lady by the bus...
screamin' 'bout the President
Photos by Jack Gould
FRIDAY, April 5 Laguna Beach police try to get a handle on a crime ring responsible for countless car burglaries over the past few months. Cops are unsure how many break-ins are linked to the ring, but they suspect property losses total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is roughly what we pay in fines from expired meters in that tourist trap. Christ, it's like they have those things on timers or something! SATURDAY, April 6 We told you last week about the in-line skater who fell, cracked his skull and drifted into a coma after supposedly being ambushed by boys shooting paintball guns in Upper Newport Bay. Today, doctors declare 54-year-old Gary Michael Holdren brain-dead. SUNDAY, April 7 Holdren dies, and OC is suddenly a much colder place. But before anyone can hang a murder rap on the unknown paintballers, Newport Beach Police now distance the gunmen from Holdren's death. It was unknown at press time whether authorities were being uncharacteristically open to other possibilities, setting a trap to get the youths to turn themselves in as "witnesses," or protecting the upscale area's high property values and low-crime rates. As City Councilman Gary Adams later put it in the hometown Daily Pilot, "This is just something we wouldn't expect."
 
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