My being on assignment last week forced my skipping last Friday's What We Learned. Not that anyone noticed . . . sniff . . . It's because I'm fat, isn't it!?!
MARCH 10: UCI's Nobel Prize-winning chemist F. Sherwood Rowland (right) passes away at his Corona del Mar home from Parkinson's Disease complications. He was 84. Rowland may have extended life for the rest of us thanks to his research showing now-banned household chemicals destroy the ozone layer. What We Learned: How to listen . . . one hopes.
MARCH 11: Sheila Schuller Coleman steps down as senior pastor of Garden Grove's disappearing Crystal Cathedral, one day after her father and founding pastor, the Rev. Robert Schuller, and her mother, Arvella, resign from the ministry's board. What We Learned: Used pastoral robes are priced to move.
MARCH 12: After one head doctor found Sonia Hermosillo mentally incompetent to stand trial, a second head doctor disagreed and a third head doctor could not decide, Judge Kazuharu Makino decides the mother will stand trial for allegedly tossing her 7-month-old baby boy off the fourth level of parking structure–and to his death. What We Learned: With experts like these, who needs Congress?
MARCH 13: The Occupy movement is shameful, shameful I say, for vandalizing a Chase bank branch in Huntington Beach, according to The Man. So, what dastardly deed did these malcontents and unwashed bongo players do to the fine financial institution? They . . . um . . . tossed some glitter on the Chase property and scrawled “Stop All Foreclosures” on a bank wall–in erase marker. What We Learned: Guy Fawkes is into glitter.
MARCH 14: Matt Leinart, who was a star quarterback at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana and a Heisman Trophy winner at USC, is cut by the Houston Texans. The Texans had picked Leinart up two seasons ago after the Arizona Cardinals released their onetime starter. What We Learned: The value of my Matt Leinart football card just dropped even lower.
MARCH 15: Police officers and sheriff's deputies in all corners of Orange County pick up 26 youths for being outside after curfew. These sweeps have become an annual event of sorts. Teens were patted down and fingerprinted, and their parents who arrived to pick them up had to watch a video on the dangers of gang violence. What We Learned: Two words on how it could have ended worse for these kids: Treyvon Martin.
MARCH 16: Charles Patrick Drew, a 62-year-old transient, two-striker and registered sex offender so brutally raped a woman in a Stanton motel room (allegedly), the 29-year-old died. Prosecutors could seek the death penalty against Drew. What We Learned: A guy who looks like this (see right) can get a 29-year-old woman into a motel room.
MARCH 17: A couple Orange County cities hold sobriety checkpoints, and police and sheriff's officials concentrate units on streets known for drunken driving arrests and collisions because of St. Patrick's Day. In the end, no DUI deaths are reported, and OC law enforcement crows its efforts paid off. What We Learned: Let us raise our glasses to the fine men and women of the . . . uh, check that.
MARCH 18: Freed from the shackles of the ministry her father started, Sheila Schuller Coleman delivers her first post-Crystal Cathedral sermon in the AMC movie theater at the Outlets at Orange mall. Seems fitting since her father, the Rev. Robert Schuller, used to deliver his sermons at a drive-in movie theater. What We Learned: When the walls start shaking, hope it's from the Dolby surround sound in the theater next door and not you-know-who working in mysterious ways.
MARCH 19: A used condom is tossed out of a car parked in the Northgate Market lot on West McFadden Avenue in Santa Ana tonight. A passerby looks inside, recognizes the occupants and calls the cops. Pedro Castillo Sanchez, 33, of Santa Ana, is arrested for allegedly molesting the 8-year-old boy passenger and masturbating into the condom in front of the child, his neighbor. What We Learned: To watch my fucking step while walking through the Northgate Market lot on West McFadden Avenue in Santa Ana.
MARCH 20: Craig Monteilh, the conman and convict who spied on Orange County mosques for the FBI by going undercover as a radical Muslim, says the bureau gave him license to bang devout chicks, according to an interview he gives to The Guardian of London. What We Learned: If Monteilh continues to fail in his efforts to get a big payday from the federal government he's suing, he might have just come up with some scenes that'll have him earning large from the movie rights. Of course, first he'll have to go undercover as a Jewish studio chief.
MARCH 21: The owner of Patients Healing Group sees via live video streaming four males breaking into his medical marijuana clinic on West 17th Street in Santa Ana. The cops are called, the Orange County sheriff's helicopter is deployed, and an 18-year-old man and three juvie boys are eventually caught red-hairs handed. What We Learned: Talk about sticky fingers. Those boys are just lucky the trigger wire needed to be fixed on the hidden harpoon.
MARCH 22: The Orange County Fair ends the elephant ride that has been a fixture the past quarter century. The same ride vendor, Have Trunk Will Travel, got booted in December from Santa Ana Zoo, where it had been for more than 20 years. Animal rights groups pressured the zoo and fair to end the rides due to abuse allegations. But the fair and city say they did not renew the Perris contractor's deal because of new guidelines that call for minimal contact between humans and elephants. What We Learned: Great, after my yearly treat of an Aussie blooming onion with Cinnabun and deep-fried bacon dipped in chocolate on top, I'll now be the largest mammal at the OC Fair.
MARCH 23: Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) lands on Ministry Watch's Donor Alert list, and ministry watchdog Rusty Leonard says today it's because of financial and theological mismanagement and people who question the board or Jan and Paul Crouch about it getting threatened. A lawyer for TBN counters that Leonard has a theological axe to grind with the charismatic evangelicals. What We Learned: So that explains Jan Crouch's warpaint and bad wigs, she hiding from the Almighty.