IT’S CHINATOWN, JAKE: Once upon a time, Goleta Water District meetings offered the best show in town. That’s if your idea of a good time is watching roosters claw one another to death or pit bulls chomp each others’ necks. Otherwise staid, sensible, middle-aged, propertied, and very white boardmembers could be counted on to lose their collective cool and throw a punch or two.
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TEMPEST IN A FLESHPOT: Santa Barbara is overdue for a good sex scandal. Or, at the very least, a romantic entanglement of epic proportion. After all, Los Angeles has one as the marriage of its mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, unravels amid revelations that he’s been carrying on with some hoochie mama TV reporter assigned to cover his office for Telemundo.
ONE YEAR LATER: On this day back in 1687, a mathematical bigwig named Sir Isaac Newton published what would become his runaway bestseller, Principia Mathematica. In it, Newton postulated many of the theorems that have since tormented countless generations of restless high school students. Specifically, Newton’s theory of momentum holds that bodies in motion stay in motion, and his theory of inertia holds that bodies at rest stay that way, too.
PIPE DREAMS AND SLIPPERY SLOPES: Calling all crackpots! If you’ve got a half-baked, hair-brained scheme for creating rain and making the desert bloom, it’s high time to haul it out of the closet.
OILS WELL THAT ENDS WELL: I’m flat-out jealous. Not only does Mike Brown, the CEO and reigning ¼ber boss of the sprawling county bureaucracy, manage to walk on water, he doesn’t even get his feet wet. It just ain’t fair.
MAKING LEMONADE: I was seriously minding my own business last Sunday afternoon when a perfect stranger invaded my space and took me to task for my perceived lack of compassion. I was at the public library waiting for my daughter, when a fellow patron-unbidden by me-sought to engage me in a tte- -tte on the subject of Paris Hilton.
The Angry Poodle takes on Judy Taege, the state government employee who authorized giving foster children to Sylvia Vasquez, who then put those children in cages. Taege won’t talk, but the Poodle wonders why she couldn’t listen either.
ANNIE GET YOUR GUN: When the phone rings in our house after 10 p.m., it means one of two things: Either somebody just died or Annie Bardach is on the horn. Annie tends to call from places like Miami, where she’s dredging up some of the nastiest political corruption practiced anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. As a reporter, Bardach is famous for her tick-like tenacity, which has landed her not one, but two interviews with Fidel Castro and one-on-ones with a host of other high-profile also-rans.
HE WHO SMELT IT, DEALT IT: Let me admit that I wouldn’t know a Delta Smelt if one bit me on the ass. And neither, I’m guessing, would most of you. But that doesn’t mean I want to be a party to their annihilation from planet Earth. What, after all, did a smelt ever do to me?
GOIN’ TO BROWNSVILLE: Now when I hear the word “village,” I reach for my gun. And few things get my trigger finger twitching so fast as the word “sustainability.” The words themselves are not so bad; the people who use them, however, should be presumed dangerous. “Village” first became the victim of gross overuse back when the mantra “it takes a village to raise a child” was fashionable.