Tuesday's Headlines & Surprises: MTV films Newport Harbor High!

  • A patriot act: To celebrate a trip home from Bagdad to Laguna Niguel, Army Cpl. Jon Warren sipped a Corona beer, smiled and bit into a tuna sandwich. Greg Hardesty of the Reg tells us that Warren spent “a frightening eventful first nine months in combat.” He's been injured in three bomb blasts and “his emotional scars are apparent.” Warren joined the army in 2004 and he says on his first day in Iraq someone tried to blow him up during a patrol. The 25-year-old is “very happy to be home,” if only briefly. His leave pass lasts only 18 days.
  • The Real Orange County: After a piss-poor season of whiners and petty criminals from Laguna Beach High, MTV has turned its focus elsewhere and found Grant, Chase, Taylor, Chrissy, Clay and Allie from Newport Harbor High School, according to the Daily Pilot. Liz Gately, the show's creator, says the setting is different but the story plots are essentially the same: "It's still about a clique of best friends coming of age in their senior year, trying to maneuver high school romances, friendships and breakups." Gately says viewers should expect plenty of drama. Indeed.

    Consider: “While only a junior, Grant rules the school. Whether it's throwing parties, his luck with the ladies or his money supply, Grant is the epicenter for entertainment. After spending a summer at military school, Grant is trying to reform his bad boy ways.”

    Or: “A stunning senior, Allie is the girl that all the boys want and all the girls want to be. She seems to have it all: a beautiful home on the tip of Balboa Peninsula, carte blanche with her dad's credit cards, and a hip family restaurant in which she holds parties for dozens of her friends. Apart from romantic challenges, Allie struggles with leaving her privileged life behind as she prepares to strike out on her own.” Can't wait.

  • Accessories after the fact? Ricardo Lopez, 27, has a master's degree and wants to attend medical school. But Lopez is a poor, illegal immigrant who came from Mexico City with his family when he was 8 years old, according to Jennifer Delson of the Times. How to raise $10k for tuition? Orange County Latino leaders and Rusty Kennedy, head of the Human Relations Commission, were among 20 individuals who have pledged $500 each. Hey, Dana Rohrabacher: Why haven't you proposed a law that makes it a felony to provide charity to an illegal immigrant? Guess we'll have to wait until an election year.
  • Satanists, again... The last time I visited Crystal Cove a used syringe washed up on the beach. That was several years ago. Haven't returned. Now we learn that Satanists could be conducting rituals there as well. Kimberly Edds, Reg crime sleuth, reports that a trash man (oh, sorry: maintenance worker) found a bloody bag in a Dumpster near the park's Las Trancos entrance. Initial testing by the coroner's office found that the recovered heart and liver belonged to an animal. I think it's a sign of an impending gruesome crime in OC. It's overdue.
  • Crap: First, MTV leaves and now everything goes to shit. About 1,000 gallons of raw sewage from a Lake Forest strip mall spilled into the waters of Laguna Beach last Friday. According to the Coastline Pilot, county health officials closed the beaches within 300 feet of Aliso Creek. On Monday, the bureaucrats (who answer to the politicians who answer to the local merchants) claimed the water was safe to play in again. Notice how these fellas never get in the water themselves?
  • Mummy! Mummy! If you're bored--or even if you're not, check out the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art today to see "Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt." The exhibition is the largest collection of mummies and coffins to ever leave the British Museum since the Queen and her pillagers hit the Egyptian pyramids. To visit this beautiful museum, drive to 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. For more information, call (714) 567-3600 or go to www.bowers.org.


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