Photo by Jack GouldThe Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce bestows its inaugural Business Excellence Awards at a Waterfront Hilton luncheon on Monday. The wieners are: Boeing, Mandic Motors, Coatings Resource, Rainbow Disposal, the Waterfront Hilton, Hearthside Homes, Huntington Beach Hospital, Huntington Beach Auto Dealers and Loehmann's Five Points Plaza. We haven't seen the actual awards, but most appropriate would be bronzed statuettes of Mayor Dave Garofalo. They could even be life-sized and still handy! According to the chamber, the businesses are being honored for "noteworthy participation in civic affairs," which might be buzzwords for "buying ads from Mayor Dave Garofalo." Nearly all of the businesses have indeed bought ads in his publications, after which he gave many favorable City Council votes—as you've no doubt read here, in the Huntington Beach Independent and, lately, the dailies (welcome to the controversy, guys!).
DIRTY WORK We got a kick out of the "evaluation criteria" for the Biz Excellence Awards, especially the one that cites "establishment of a clean and healthy business environment." Weren't workers expanding the Waterfront Hilton last summer when a million gallons of runoff per day flushed into the ocean? Locals point to that work as being the cause of the high bacteria counts that closed the beach during the height of the tourist season (county health officials concede it was at least a contributing factor). And hasn't Coatings Resource—run by Garofalo's business and political patron, Ed Laird—fought just about every smog regulation that's come down the pipe? SWING CRAZE The city of Costa Mesa filed suit on July 7 against Panther Palace, the fabled house on the town's westside that has hosted bimonthly orgies since 1985. The city contends the swingers club is a business operating without a license in a residential neighborhood. Undercover officers claim they paid $40 to enter a partner-swapping party, which brings a whole new meaning to that well-worn copism, "I've got your back, partner." The disguised dicks had only gone in—wink-wink, nudge-nudge—to see if minors were about the place or if prostitution was present or if people were being forced into sex through drugs and alcohol. Which would be bad. Fortunately, none of that was found. Do you suppose zoot-suiters ever show up thinking it's a different kind of swing club? "You want me to wrap my watch chain around what?" NOTHING BUT NET Speaking of fabled houses, the oceanview digs of the most famous 6-foot-8, 220-pound, multicolor-noggined African-American in Newport Beach will be the setting for live webcasts, according to an item in the July 12 Orange County Register. Ex-NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman's infamous parties are scheduled to go online in about two months. The address? RodmanTV.com. Clockwork is lobbying the Worm to call this must-see Web TV Big, Big Brother.
ROAD WARRIOR The county toll-road agencies held off approval of a 125-foot cell-phone tower along the Eastern Toll Road on July 13 because of aesthetic concerns. "They are a monstrosity," toll-road board member and county Supervisor Todd Spitzer reportedly said. "They are a completely inappropriate aesthetic design for a rural setting." Uh, Todd, are you talking about cell-phone towers or the multibillion-dollar toll roads built through OC's last remaining undeveloped land?
SHOW GUN We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that a state panel admonished one Orange County Superior Court judge for inappropriate courtroom behavior and another for drunken driving. Well, all things considered, we'd rather be here than in Houston. A district judge there got reprimanded on July 13 for cleaning his pistols during a capital murder trial. Oh, but don't worry: gun-cleaning did not distract His Honor from the matter at hand. The defendant still got death, helping keep Texas No. 1 in the state-sponsored killing sweepstakes with 224 executions since 1976. Shit, howdy!