Diary of a Mad County
MONDAY, April 28: Jeffrey Santelli files a personal-injury lawsuit against the city of Anaheim and policeman Scott McManus, who shot Santelli twice in the stomach in the parking lot of the Crystal Cathedral. McManus was working on a plainclothes surveillance of suspected gang members and apparently believed Santelli was part of the Notorious Crystal C Posse. McManus is alleged to have approached Santelli while he was delivering a credit card to his mother, Maureen Winer, a church worker who may have been preparing to use it to buy such illicit church tchotchkes as the "God Loves You and So Do I" bumper sticker (99 cents) or the now-prophetic "Turn Your Scars Into a Star" brass magnet ($4.95). McManus disputes Santelli's account of the incident as well as the lawsuit's contention that McManus is a "rogue" cop, pointing out that he has not been the subject of a brutality-related lawsuit for nearly six years; according to a Weekly investigation by reporter Nick Schou ("Have Badge, Will Skate," May 2), Anaheim settled that one for $90,000. This is not the first time violence has been associated with the Crystal Cathedral. Cathedral kingpin the Reverend Robert Schuller was accused several years ago of going completely Roman on a flight attendant, an incident that earned Schuller the moniker "Punchus Pilot."
TUESDAY, April 29: Word comes that a cruise ship bound for Hawaii is diverted after the ship's staff finds two threatening notes aboard. More than 100 law-enforcement officials are ferried aboard to look for anything dangerous such as bombs or all-you-can eat salmon loaf. . . . New Anaheim Angels owner Arturo Moreno is listed as the fifth-most influential minority in American sports by Sports Illustrated. Moreno is listed just behind Michael Jordan. Interestingly enough, the No. 2 most influential minority, Tiger Woods, also has OC ties. Listed too low on the list, at No. 44, is Magic Johnson, who not only saved the NBA but also raised awareness about HIV/AIDS, has provided thousands of jobs in low-income areas through his many business ventures and is currently raising $1 billion for affordable housing. That and he kicked the Celtics' ass. SUCK ON IT, AINGE!!! . . . In a related note, Danny Ainge, a Mormon, was not listed among the 101 most influential minorities SUCK ON IT, AINGE!!! . . . THIS JUST IN: law-enforcement officials arrest Kelley Marie Ferguson, 20, of Laguna Hills and charge her with writing those threatening cruise ship notes as a way to get off the ship and back to her boyfriend. Law-enforcement officials answer criticism that they were slow to get Ferguson by explaining that after discovering a second note reading, "I MUST KILL ALL AMERICANS," they naturally suspected Scott McManus.
Photo by David Kawashima WEDNESDAY, April 30: Cal State Fullerton announces that Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona and U.S. Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez will be the school's 2003 commencement speakers. Vasquez, a Republican who resigned from the Orange County Board of Supervisors shortly after the county's record-setting 1994 county bankruptcy, figures to have a message that will resonate with young graduates who hope to procure jobs for which they are not qualified. . . . A bill to establish a commission to create a memorial for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans of the armed forces dies in committee in the California Assembly. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) withdraws the bill from a vote when it's clear that it would not get out of committee. Critics of the bill say a memorial is unnecessary and that anyone who wants to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender soldiers should do as everyone else does: visit the gravesite of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. . . . "The Star-Spangled Banner" is not played tonight before the Mighty DucksStanley Cup playoff game against the Dallas Stars. Team officials opt for "God Bless America" before game four, explaining that they did not play the national anthem because it contains the word "star."
THURSDAY, May 1: The American Civil Liberties Union files a lawsuit against a Santa Ana adoption agency on behalf of a lesbian couple. The lawsuit alleges that Olive Crest Family Care and Adoption Agency prevented the couple—Shannon Roseand Jane Wesley Brooks of San Diego—from adopting a child because of their sexual orientation. This figures to be one of the highest profile adoption cases involving a lesbian couple since the one involving Barbra Streisandand James Brolin. . . . Orange County's air quality, as judged by the American Lung Association, "improves" and, as the ironic use of quotes suggest, still sucks. Orange County air goes from an F to a D, and that may be only because of cooler weather during the time analyzed. On the plus side, the LA Basin, which includes Orange County—deal with it—is once again rated the smoggiest in the country. That's "great"—cough, cough. . . . Now, let's see: lesbian adoption, bad air . . . There was something else, something el—oh, yeah: war's over. Um-hmm. Nice. That guy, George W. Bush, you know, "the president," said it on TV today, so it must be true. He said the war had "turned the tide against terrorism." Almost immediately, the federal government announces it will shrink the national force of airport screeners by 6,000, including cutting 45 of the 330 at John Wayne Airport. What could go "wrong"?
FRIDAY, May 2: Board members of the Orange County Transportation Authorityboard local buses today in an effort to educate themselves about the system they oversee. Board members are hopeful the rides will allow them to commiserate with local bus riders and are expected to talk about their findings when they return from their excursion, oh, sometime late next week. . . . Hey, it's not just airport workers who are out of work. Figures released today show that the nation's unemployment rate is now at 6 percent. The economy has lost more than half a million jobs in the past three months as the number of unemployed people now stands at 8.8 million. The high rate is blamed on companies being wary of making big investments; the infusion of people into the workforce after the war; and not enough able-bodied, work-aged people getting killed in the war. The Labor Department said the Bush administration is committed to rectifying the latter in the coming months.
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