Thursday's Headlines & Surprises: Dirty Cop Sting
- Catch a crooked cop: Nope. Sorry. Not here in the USA. No way. But in Mexico, authorities want a no corruption zone for the the five-mile road from the Tijuana border south to the beach. Officials are “installing cameras to catch extortion attempts, publicizing that people can pay tickets with credit cards and transferring corrupt cops,” writes Richard Marosi of the LA Times. “They've deployed a squad of female traffic officers to offer courteous help to tourists. They've even declared the stretch of road a "no-ticket" highway.” The reputation for dirty cops is hurting tourism and so even the Tijuana police chief has ordered his men not to stop foreign cars--especially ones with California license plates, reports Marosi. He found one Mexican cop who admits he took 3,000 bribes in six years and built a lovely beachfront house with the proceeds. It's slightly different in these parts. Here, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs robs the public.
- It slices! It dices! It issues press releases! Members of the California GOP are proposing almost $1 billion in budget cuts for the poor, drug offender diversion programs and public transportation. They say it's the responsible thing to do and we believe them because when Republicans controlled Congress for a decade they . . . oh . . . that's right, they spent like drunk sailors on a day pass at a Vegas whorehouse. Anyhow, the editorial folks at the Register say the reductions are necessary: “The 2007 Republican budget calls for reasonable and overdue reductions, among them saving $50 million by not filling 6,000 vacant state government jobs and $314 million by removing ineligible people from the CalWorks welfare-to-work program.” Corporate welfare cuts? Apparently, zero.
- Help Lassie: Reporter Deepa Bharath says that Renee Carleton's The Pet Food Bank--which offers food to rescued animals--is on the verge of closing down in two months because of a lack of public donations. Everything was fine for almost a decade and then, writes Bharath, “her troubles started soon after Hurricane Katrina when she noticed a steep decline in monetary contributions.” Carleton, a Newport Bach hairdresser, says she gets satisfaction saving lost pets. Help the lady. For more information, call (714) 379-1456 or visit www.thepetfoodbank.com.
- Our Little Sheriff is looking for the Big Banana: Since May, a heavyset white male in his thirties has robbed at least eight banks in Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and Aliso Viejo. David Haldane at the Times says the Orange County Sheriff's Department wants public assistance to nab the man they've named the “Big Banana Bandit.” This tanned, black-haired crook--who likes to wear dark sunglasses and chat on a cell phone during his crimes--ate a banana during one robbery. According to Haldane, Banana Man most recently hit a Citibank in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday. Prediction: He'll do two more heists, make a retarded move and get arrested. All won't be lost though. They serve bananas in prison.
- Dippity Donuts! I'm not making this up: Two on-duty Costa Mesa cops were taking a break at Dippity Donuts (a personal favorite) on Newport Boulevard when their innate super cop skills kicked in. Or was it the loud horn honking and profanity they heard? Either way, the Daily Pilot tells us that officers Daniel Miles and Jose Torres jumped “into action.” (I'd tell you when but the paper failed to include the fact in its story.) They arrested the obnoxious driver for DUI. Says the paper, “Just another night for the pair who have arrested more than 200 since May.” Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah.
- Shake it: It's KIIS FM College Night at Tia Juana's with DJs and go-go dancers, I'm told. The Irvine club is for young men and women of at least 18 years of age. Bring no knives or handguns please. Festivities begin at 9:30. Go to 14988 Sand Canyon Rd., Irvine, or call (949) 551-2998 for more information.
- And finally: Is it true that no English words rhyme with month, orange, silver or purple?