The Muck Stops Here

Anyone who has passed an Orange County Water District(OCWD) percolation lake and spotted what appears to be a swimming pool cleanersweeping across the bottom, no, youse ain't crazy. The district announces March 15 that it has patented and is using four, $4 million Basin Cleaning Vehicles(BCV), which resemble pool sweeps, to clean muck at the bottom of their lakes. Water from the Colorado and Santa Ana rivers is flushed into these holes and allowed to filter through sand and gravel at the bottom before it seeps underground—only to be pumped to the surface when you're thirsty or need a shower or want to squirt that cat that won't stop crapping on your new block wall. Why won't you stop crapping on my new block wall, Tippy!?! But over time, river water packs clay and silt in a layer above the sand and gravel, and that impedes percolation. The OCWD used to drain their lakes and allow them to dry out before the clay and silt—known in water-management circles as "clit"*— was scraped out by some schlubby muckraker (insert your own Weeklydig here). But water's such a precious commodity in SoCal that the OCWD wants to ensure all its lakes are constantly online and at maximum capacity. Hence, the high-tech pooper scooper. We're not wading in until they patent Official OCWD Floaties.

DUCK SEASON! WABBIT SEASON!Remember the uproar a couple of years back when the Leisure Worldsof Seal Beach and Laguna Woods made it open season on rabbits? Well, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) fires off a letter to Cypress Collegepresident Marjorie Lewison March 17, urging her to stop plans to kill ducks and geeseliving on campus. Noting that taking out Daffy Duckwon't solve the problem because a Donald Duck will move in to take his place, PETA offers to farm out a wildlife biologistwho will help the college develop a humane waterfowl-control program. It's now up to Lewis to decide whether PETA's proposal is all it's quacked up to be.** BEAT LAWe're watching the Lakers-Clippers game on KCAL/Channel 9 on March 17, and they keep breaking away to the same commercial: two guys plaster the Anaheim Angels' big "A" logo over the letter A on signs all over town. But this town isn't Anaheim or La Habra or anywhere else in the County of Orange; it's the Big Orange—Los Angeles, the Angels in Spanish—as big A logos go on signs for places such as LAX and Griffith Park. The team is also ditching jerseys with "Anaheim" stitched on them (whether home or away, it'll always say "Angels" across players' chests), and billboards promoting the team are now planted deep in La-La Land. So this is what deep-pocketed Angels owner Arte Morenomeant when he insisted he'd purchased a major-market team: his market extends well beyond the borders of Disneyland into Dodgerland. Looking at the sorry state of LA baseball, who can blame him? With the major-player acquisitions the Angels made in the off-season, particularly the addition of Vladimir Guerrero, Moreno's team would seem to have a better chance between the two of reaching post-season play as well as SoCal's large and expanding Latino population. The Halos even took care of something this Benjie Molina-faced wristwatch bitched about previously in this space: the worst TV package in the big leagues. After that item ran, the Angels added another 60 broadcasts. That'll put them on the boob tube more than the Blew Crew. Play ball! THOU SHALT DISCRIMINATE Just when you think a World Series championship, a culturally "in" designation from the hipperatti, and recent film and television shows named after the place are combining to erase Orange County's image as a backward bastion of fundie right-wing nutbars, along comes three "Christian mothers" on the Westminster School District Board of Trustees. The Gang of Three is refusing to allow the district to pledge—as all other school systems in the state have—against discriminating on the basis of one's perceived gender, a decision that could cost Westminster $40 million in state and federal aid. Outsiders respond immediately with outdated OC axioms. "Perhaps there should be a new tagline to The O.C.program," writes CharlieS on the Plastic.comblog on March 17. "'You don't have to be a stupid asshole to live in the O.C., but it sure helps.'" Metasynth can't believe Trustee Judy Ahren's assertion that by preventing staff and students from assigning their own genders, Little Tommycould turn into Peeping Tammy: "As far as I know, there haven't been any cases where anyone's been accused of using [gender identification] clauses to satisfy their prurient urge to peep in the girls' loo." Gaspacho finds no evidence to support trustee Blossie Marquez-Woodcock's argument that one person's transsexual behavior leads to the disintegration of all families in a community.*** So we'll end with Azathoth's prediction: "I expect the next school board elections will toss these horse-blinkered zealots out." From your keystrokes to God's ear, my friend. * M. Coker,Unnatural Water Resource Management, Foley, 1933. ** Oh, groan if you must. *** We only included this item because we wanted to type "Woodcock." New Column!

Win a scholarship from Fox's The O.C.

News item: Sixty students at Cal Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law are setting up the Sandy Cohen Fellowship, a scholarship that will send a student to work in the Orange County public defender's office this summer. Sandy Cohen is a fictional character portrayed by actor Peter Gallagher on Fox's teen soaper The O.C.

On the show, Cohen is a Berkeley law grad who was an idealistic public defender before selling out to join a high-powered law firm. The Boalters, who recently celebrated "O.C. Awareness Week" on campus by wearing orange shirts with quotes from the show on the back, believe Sandy Cohen embodies all that is good about the legal profession. That got us thinking of other scholarships that should be based on the show:

Caleb Nichol Scholarship. This goes to the student with a keen sense for cutting corners, bending rules, greasing palms, destroying the environment and banging hot babes. Kirsten Cohen Scholarship. For the privileged student who hasn't a clue that her powerful daddy is dirtier than a wet Mercedes S500 in a sandstorm. This is a lock for the spawn of those in the highest echelons of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Jimmy Cooper Scholarship. Newport Beach is the capital of scam artists, crooked telemarketers and inherited wealth. Who needs a scholarship—or college for that matter? Just prove you can swindle your family, friends and retirees out of their life savings, and you're in. (Previously known as the Eddie Allen Memorial Scholarship.) Julie Cooper Scholarship. Ditch college. Bang your model-quality ex-girlfriend's smoking-hot mom without getting caught. Riviera Magazine Scholarship. The journalism student who best displays a knack for sucking off the local rich and powerful without mentioning the way they cut corners, bend rules, grease palms, destroy the environment and bang hot babes—as depicted in the recent O.C.that had the real Rivieraname the fictional Caleb Nichol its man of the year. The lucky awardee gets a staff position at one of the countless Orange County publications that suck off the local rich and powerful.
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