Friday's Headlines & Surprises
- No, really? You can finally relax. The Coastline Pilot decided it was time to voice its opposition to alcohol consumption by teenagers. “Drinks, teens shouldn't mix,” the Los Angeles Times-owned community paper serving Laguna Beach declared today. And just in case readers didn't comprehend the stance or--heaven forbid--disagreed with it, the paper explained soberly, “The fact is that young people and alcohol are a combustible mix.” Who isn't listening? “Adults must realize that the health and well-being of young people sometimes depends on them,” according to the paper. Next up for the Pilot: Old people unconscious in comas shouldn't drive cars.
- The Sleeping Giant: Reporter David Kelly writes that a government scientist warned yesterday that our neighbors in the Coachella Valley are 300 years overdue to be “the epicenter of the most devastating earthquake in the country.” Seismologist Lucy Jones, a member of the California Seismic Safety Commission, predicts “several thousand dead” and buildings destroyed for dozens of miles--including in Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties. The Times reporter says, “Jones predicted the shaking could last more than 100 seconds, kill thousands, destroy homes, collapse the I-10 and I-15 freeways, ignite petroleum pipelines and leave untold thousands homeless in potentially searing desert heat.”
- High Cost of Public Service: The leader of Orange County's largest public employees union is calling for the resignation of embattled OC Treasurer Chriss Street. (Yes, the spelling is right. Stop asking.) Nick Berardino says Street's woes--the latest: a federal criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department--put the county's massive investment portfolio at risk. But Street tells Reg reporter Peggy Lowe that “I'm here for the duration.” A few fellow conservative Republicans continue to back Street publicly. His pal, Supervisor John Moorlach, told Lowe that “People are innocent until proved guilty.” Bill Habermehl, county superintendent of schools, said he is “favorably impressed” by Street's work. Besides spending lavishly on his Santa Ana office, Street is accused in a lawsuit of turning his onetime job as a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee at a troubled LA trucking company into a personal goldmine. Yesterday, Lowe reported the allegation that “Street paid himself $250,000 a year, gave himself bonuses worth $175,000 over seven years and billed $477,000 in expenses” and charged the bankrupt company for his family vacation to Spain, cosmetic surgery and gym memberships. Favorite part of today's piece story: Using taxpayer money, Street recently purchased three 52-inch flat screen televisions. Lowe says Street paid $7,800 for one of them, a LCD high-definition model. That's $3,800 more than the retail price. All this from the man who is charged with protecting the county's $7 billion investment portfolio.
- Heh, heh, heh, snort: Jon Stewart at Comedy Central fillets reporter Neil Cavuto for shamelessly sucking up to President George W. Bush once again. Was W elated with the fourth “exclusive” chat he's given the Fox News reporter? Well, I heard the trademark: heh, heh, heh, snort. Mission Accomplished, Rupert!
Caution: Stewart uses "nutsack" and Cavuto (pictured) in the same sentence. It's a start...
- And finally, the CIA & Crack? Can't be: At 3:45 Saturday afternoon CSPAN2 broadcasts an interview with OC Weekly troublemaker Nick Schou. During the 14-minute interview filmed at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books earlier this year, Schou discussed his book, Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb. Check it out.