The Buena Park City Council on Jan. 26 approved on first reading an ordinance that would require landlords to evict tenants arrested for narcotics and gang-related offenses. You read that right: arrested, not convicted. The matter is scheduled to come back before the council in about a month, at which time it could be voted into law. Hoping that perhaps someone recalls a time-long, long ago-when arrestees in this country were presumed innocent until proven guilty, some lawyers have argued that the proposed ordinance is unconstitutional. After all, just because a cop pops you for holding a dime bag or having that certain gangsta je ne sais quoi doesn't mean you're actually guilty of anything until a jury or judge says so. Or are we just totally toasted right now (right this very minute! As we're writing this?!) and imaging the whole thing? Maybe so. No one has challenged a similar Los Angeles law, under which landlords have reportedly been forced to send 168 folks packing.
OKAY, STICK WITH US ON THIS ONE The state Supreme Court on Jan. 27 sided with a Fountain Valley man over his homeowners association when . . . FUCK IT! We can't let that first item go yet. So what if the powers that be decide-for whatever reason-that a certain part of town would be better off if people like you weren't there anymore? And what if one day police show up-warrants in hand, helmets on head, COPS camera crew pulling up the rear-and bust you for drugs or gangbanging? And what if your landlord is ordered to throw all your shit out on the street and never let you into your pad, which-wouldn't you know it?-is paid up for a change? And what if you beat the rap because the case against you is weaker than Joe DiMaggio, but you still lose because you're SUDDENLY FREAKIN' HOMELESS!?! Libertarian Party? The Orange County Register editorial page? Bleeding-heart-liberal trial lawyers lobby? Hello? Anyone home?
WE HATE TO SAY WE TOLD YOU SO. . . . OKAY, NO WE DON'TIn the Jan. 8 Weekly, Tim Meltreger wrote that a Disneyland assistant manager's inexperience and lack of training on the sailing ship Columbia likely played a part in the Christmas Eve accident that killed a man and injured his wife and the employee. Meltreger laid some of the blame at the feet of Paul Pressler, Disneyland's then-president, who-in a cost-cutting move-phased out union-represented ride foremen and had their duties absorbed by already-spread-too-thin assistant managers. After seeing Scott Reckard's story in the Jan. 28 Los Angeles Times, Clockwork wonders if Michael T. Berry reads the Weekly. Berry, Disneyland's new operations chief, reportedly told Reckard that the foremen positions-a.k.a. “leads”-would be restored, no matter what the cost. Berry also had an amazing quote . . . let's see . . . it's on the jump page . . . wow, Wonder bras on sale . . . ah, here it is: he talks about having met with employees who have been disgruntled (at the Happiest Place on Earth? Inconceivable!) by the reliance on assistant managers instead of leads with detailed knowledge of the rides, and then he adds: “When you get in your car and turn it on, you know the hum of your engine and what it's supposed to sound like, whereas I might not. The leads gave us that knowledge, and perhaps we have lost a little of that knowledge.”
MEANWHILE, BACK IN FANTASYLAND . . .or Sacramento, as it's also known: Assemblyman Lou Correa of Anaheim and state Senator Joe Dunn of Santa Ana-Orange County's lone ranger Democrats up there-are pushing for legislation that would provide state oversight of attractions at Disneyland and other theme parks. The Losing-Its-Magic Kingdom and Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park once opposed state regulation but, in the wake of the Columbia tragedy, now say they're down with it. However, OC's Republican delegation on Jan. 27 said they oppose state oversight. Assemblywoman Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) reportedly vouches for Disneyland's rigorous training because she was a ticket taker on the Matterhorn 30 years ago. Hey, Pat: how the hell can a ticket taker vouch for public safety? Because you didn't give anyone a paper cut? Oh, and by the way: Disneyland wasn't inadvertently offing guests 30 years ago.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.