Diary of a Mad County

MONDAY, April 14: According to this morning's Los Angeles Times, some guy flying a Piper Cherokee 180 lost power last night around 7 p.m. over Laguna Niguel. Needing to land immediately, he set his plane down on the 73 toll roadbecause traffic was so nonexistent he figured the road was under construction. How long has that turkey been open? Seven years? . . . Speaking of fouled-up toll roads, our own rookie Assemblyman Todd Spitzer just won the Local Elected Official of the Year award from the California Transportation Foundationfor his role while county supervisor in getting the OCTA to buy the bankrupt 91 Express Lanes. One award Spitzer probably won't be getting is for his guitar solo and rendition of Tom Petty's "Running Down a Dream" at berlobbyist Randy Smith's funeral. . . . A 17-year-old cadet at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad was severely beaten with broom handles by fellow cadets as he slept this weekend, reports TheSanDiegoChannel.com. This is more trouble for Academy skipper Johnnie Crean, son of travel-trailer king John Crean who's still smarting from his misdemeanor conviction last year for carrying a loaded Glock into the Orange County Superior Court. Some academy faculty, who never really liked Crean and are suing to get him thrown out of the school for alleged harassment and just plain stupid behavior, blame Crean for the broom-handle beating: he banned adult chaperones in the cadet barracks. . . . The Orange County Business Journalruns a front-page ad for Morrison & Forrester LLP ("Lawyers for the global economy") in which the firm identifies itself as MoFo. That's fine, but we at the Weekly are content to stay with our legal eagles, the Law Offices of Fuckin' A. Biatch.

TUESDAY, April 15: It's Tax Day—well, for some of us. According to a tremendously depressing Times story this morning, tax-code loopholes allow nearly a thousand residents pulling in more than $200,000 per year to avoid paying even 1 cent in California state taxes. Making matters worse is the fact that middle-class taxpayers end up paying even more than they should have to. . . . Islam hates Jews, freedom and western society, says former state GOP chairman Shawn Steel. According to a release put out by the Anaheim-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, Steel—who has found work lately as a loose cannon—has also been attending college Republican rallies where he denounces peace activists and the Democratic Party for bringing on the Holocaust, the KKK and slavery. Earth to Steel: Democrats and peace activists were also responsible for the USS Maine explosion, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Lethal Weapons 1, 3 and 4. . . . Daily Variety reports that David Hasselhoff will executive produce a new movie based on Knight Rider, the 1980s "television program" in which he "portrayed" an ex-cop who fights crime with the help of a talking Pontiac Trans-Am that sounded just like that one doctor on St. Elsewhere. No word yet on who will actually play Michael Knight, the role that made Hasselhoff the icon he is today.

WEDNESDAY, April 16: Well, it's finally going down. The deal's not done, but Disney is perilously close to selling the 2002 World Champion Anaheim Angelsto Phoenix's not-quite-a-billionaire Arturo Moreno, who got rich hawking roadside billboards. So sad—no more watching Mike Eisner scarf a hot dog while wearing a Mickey Mouse T shirt; no more fake rocks in centerfield; no more worthless magnet nights. Wait a sec—this is a good thing. . . . Local environmental activists and officialsare banding together to clean up Doheny's murky "Polio Pond." That would leave Lake Wilson, created by the smaller but still toxic Aliso Creek, as one of the last remaining slime pools in South County.

THURSDAY, April 17: Here's Johnnie—again! Finally having enough, the San Diego Union-Tribune calls for Johnnie Crean to step down as chairman of the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad. Calling him a "pluperfect jerk," the paper took Crean to task for alleged sexual harassment, the OC courthouse gun incident, clumsy fund-raising practices, possibly holding a grudge against the school that disciplined him when he was a cadet years ago and—talk about holding a grudge—for spending $1 million in a ridiculous 1982 congressional campaign that ended with write-in candidate Ron Packardgetting elected. . . . Diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins dies 10 days after slipping on the icy sidewalk outside his New York office. Atkins made bank for telling people to lose weight by eating fats and avoiding carbs. From the way things turned out, he should have told people to stay away from curbs. Get it? Curbs! Because he broke open his head slipping on a . . . Ah, screw you.

FRIDAY, April 18: State Attorney General Bill Lockyer marries Santa Ana attorney/Democratic activist/total babe Nadia Maria Davis at a small ceremony in an "undisclosed" Northern California location. Lockyer, 61, is 30 years older than Davis and considered the Democratic front-runner in the 2006 California governor's race. An AG's office spokesman says the happy couple—who are pregnant—will be happy living in their respective Hayward and Santa Ana homes. . . . Four of Fullerton's finest were recently busted by their chief for "conduct unbecoming of an officer," according to the Times. Responding to a call that a woman was possibly attempting suicide, the officers arriving at her house found her in bed, apparently unconscious. According to an internal police memo obtained by the Times, the cops then began passing gas over her and crawling over her, mimicking a cat licking milk. Although this may sound like Standard Operating Procedure to you and me, the woman—who was actually awake the whole time—didn't see it that way. In the officers' defense, they didn't shoot her. . . . Not one to let a little thing like a wedding day get in the way, Lockyer suddenly interrupts the sacred early-evening The Simpsonshour with a televised press conference saying state forensics teams have positively identified Modesto resident Laci Peterson's body, as well as that of her unborn fetus. Damn, this guy really wants to be governor.

Photo by James Bunoan

SATURDAY, April 19: A priceless 1916 Rauch and Lang electric car was destroyed along with four other rare cars in a Santa Ana storage-yard fire. The car, which featured a tiller instead of a steering wheel, was the inspiration for the original Knight Rider TV show. . . . Entrepreneur Magazine in Irvine borrows from the iconography and street vernacular of anarchist kids for a bold advertising campaign to announce the publication of its newest business magazine.

SUNDAY, April 20: The World Champion Anaheim Angels slip to third in the American League West. Go, Ducks!


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