As an OC Weekly staff writer for many years, Dave Wielenga cranked out many incredible stories and even helped bring down a crooked mayor.
One piece that jumps out was about Wielenga covering the Angels, with the abrupt disclosure that he got hooked on crack while on the beat. Actually, the standout was his ode to Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. No, no, the one that absolutely comes to mind was about his seeing a Dodgers game with a friend in seats near the left-field line, having a ball land in his lap and heaving it back onto the field with a defiant "Goddamn you, Vin Scully!"
All his stories were smart, funny, poignant, informative and thoroughly alternative.
Having grown up in the southeastern part of Los Angeles County and at one time reported for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Wielenga jumped ship three years ago to join the start-up District Weekly in Long Beach.
Actually, his move may have had less to do with being closer to home than the change of ownership in Orange County. Can't recall, that whole dark period was such a blur. Like the Crusades.
What is clear is Wielenga went on to crank out many more incredible stories at the District, although it's unconfirmed whether he managed to work in crack, Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls or goddamn Vin Scully (three things that go great together, come to think of it).
Sadly, the District is cranking out its final edition this week, and staffers are apparently wondering if they will even receive all the salary owed to them.
Meanwhile, a certain talented writer is without a place to deposit his engaging copy and a legion of readers is without a place to consume that engaging copy.
Or are they?
Check out this email Wielenga has distributed wide:
Fresh off three wonderful years at The District Weekly (R.I.P.), I've begun a blog, where I will be publishing the investigations, breaking news, features, observations---and, believe it or not, even more. It's my attempt to keep independent journalism alive in the Greater Long Beach area.
Fortunately, I've got some support: Bill Pearl of www.LBReport.com has offered to carry my blog on his Website, which is now in its 10 year of serving Long Beach.
Of course, you can also go to it directly at http://thedavestar.wordpress.com/
This is beginning as an altruistic effort, although I hope that will change quickly...that is, I am seeking advertising and sponsorship, as well as good thoughts and prayers.
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[NOTE: Line with his e-mail address and phone number deleted in case any dirty ex-mayors are reading this.]
Until then, I am...
Dave Wielenga: REDISTRICTED