- Cal-infernos Rage On: Residents at 248 Modjeska Canyon homes were evacuated in the middle of the night thanks to the arson fire that’s now burned a massive 15,000 acres in Orange County. Before sunrise the winds were relatively non-existent but the air was nasty with ash. Mail delivery folks were given masks to wear yesterday. Numerous roads remain closed and, according to the National Weather Service, red flag warnings continue today. Gusts of up to 65 mph are expected. OC Register and KCBS-TV news crews worked throughout the night to bring live updates on the blaze. Michael Kleinman, co-director of the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory at UC Irvine, told the Daily Pilot that people should avoid activity and stay indoors with windows closed. The wind/heat wave is expected to leave on Thursday. Today's high in OC? 99 degrees. Air quality? Quite poor. 7 AM UPDATE: Nancy Aziz at KDOC's Daybreak OC reports that the military is finally sending about a half dozen helicopters to help battle the blaze.
- Speaking of Mother Nature: We’ve found the Christmas gift for tormented Southern California commuters! Kyodo News in Toyko reports that a company there has invented a new portable toilet for cars stuck in traffic. It’s a cardboard box attached to a plastic bag with a water-absorbent sheet and--aren’t they thoughtful?--a curtain for visual privacy. Sales begin November 15 at Kaneko Sangyo Co., but no price was mentioned in the article.
- They Ate Finger Food While Fires Raged: Brianna Bailey at the Daily Pilot watched Mike Huckabee troll for dollars Monday at the Newport Beach home of Buck Johns (pictured), who--like the Republican presidential candidate--is a native of Arkansas. People wore “Buck for Huck” buttons. Precious. Bailey says numerous county political figures attended including Supervisor John Moorlach and state Assemblyman Tom Harman. But can Huckabee’s rising campaign avoid needless flubs? Apparently not. “[Orange County] has been a blue flame for republicanism,” he said as thousands of nearby acres burned forcing locals to emergency shelters. “The Republican zeal that exists here makes it a special place.” Indeed.
- "Gaiety" Comment Sends Osmond to the Canvas? Yes, ex-Orange County resident Marie Osmond did what every faded star should do for immediate national attention. On Dancing With The Stars last night, Osmond collapsed just when judge Len Goodman began his critique of her performance and mentioned the word "gaiety." No? It wasn’t what Goodman had to say that put the straight-laced Mormon down? "Oh, crap," she said when she regained her wits. “I forgot to breathe.” We're a generous people. She won rousing applause from the studio audience and, of course, her name in every paper in the country. Eat your heart out, Eddie Van Halen. Here’s a video link of the event from Access Hollywood. -- R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
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