Huntington Beach city circus, er, council

Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m. at the Huntington Beach Council Chambers:

Huntington Beach Councilman and Republican Joe Carchio is digging his thumbs into his temples, furiously massaging his forehead, and hiding behind his hands as though they could shield him from the some 22 locals lined up to ask him - and the rest of the council - to put a certain item on the next agenda.

What could perturb the former army man turned T-shirt customizer turned Italian restaurant owner so much that he gets up three times, stalking backstage and away from the neon card-clutching crowd?

How about: George W. Bush and Dick friggin' Cheney?! OK, more like a group demanding that Carchio and pals DO SOMETHING to get the scoundrels impeached. Like, maybe pass a resolution and make a statement like 87 other U.S. cities.

One by one, teachers, mothers with sons in Iraq, veterans, and a student in a hijab holding up a cardboard with bits of the U.S. Constitution on it step forward, each speaking out against the nation's head honchos. They approach the podium, and Carchio stares intently at the rubber band he's wildly flicking between his thumbs and index fingers. Next to him, Councilman Keith Bohr is more attentive, but just as annoyed with the demonstrators, who've made haunting the HB city hall their habit.

"You get an A+ for effort, and an F for communication," he tells one teacher, saying that the group should have contacted him directly instead of eating up council time. But then again, this isn't a city council issue, Bohr adds.

Activists should go nag Dana Rohrabacher, he says. "But I doubt he would do it."

Demonstration organizer Lynda Hernandez is peeved by the council's stonewalling. "Huntington Beach does not operate in a vacuum!" she barks as her podium time expires.

The group heads to the exit en masse after saying their piece. But they'll be back. Hernandez, for one, writes that she plans to read the names of all 87 cities who passed an impeachment resolution at the next meeting on October 1. Now, won't that be fun!

Other sentiments from the meeting: A) Speed bumps, or something, anything to slow down Indianapolis Avenue - where one 14-year-old was killed by a speeding truck in August. B) Surf City Nights rule! C) Don't be butchering our pets, haters!


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