Luckily one of the benefits of taking a break like that is it gives us time to let some links pile up for the Quick Links. The slow news cycle kind of killed the crutch that is the Quick Links, but now it's 2009 and we've got a decent amount, so let's dive in shall we? We'll be messing around with the format for a bit, mostly out of boredom. Luckily I doubt it'll be too jarring.
Layoffs!? You want to talk about layoffs!?
This is probably the easiest example of how slow news has been. We've known for a while that Stockton PD was going to have to layoff trainees, but then it actually happened. How is this an example of slow news? Because really it's just another way of saying "Hey, the economy sucks." One would think that without a police chief to pay we'd be able to keep one or two of the new recruits. But instead the city just paid for their training so they can go off and shoot innocent men in Lodi or something. I wonder if we can write off their training expenses as a charitable donation. Can't we at least put them in dispatch until the hiring freeze ends?
Of course the best part of this story is that we're now actually less safe than we were in 2006 when a consultant said we had too few police officers. In 2006 there were 1.46 officers per 1000 residents, now there's 1.43 per 1000. I'm pretty sure the goal is at least 3. But remember, Stockton is totally safe and living in the southern portion isn't enough of a reason to take precautions to protect your family. If you hear shit going down in your backyard just roll over and go back to sleep, it'll blow over. If we all do that we'll probably only need. 1.2 officers per 1000 residents. Think of the savings!
But who will hand low end celebrities chickens at awkward parties now?
Another reason we kind of slacked off near the end of the year was we were getting really tired of end of the year/political term stories. The Record did two stories on Mike Machado, which was two too many and could have been summed up with the sentence "Politicians have term limits and disagree sometimes" (shocking revelations, I know). Victor Mow was the latest to get the termed out interview treatment and as expected it was unremarkable at best. Hooray filler! And if the article wasn't exciting enough, there's exciting video too!
We bring this up only because we fondly remember Mow from his star turn on Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List. What's that you say? You don't remember that? Well, for those who don't know, one of Kathy Griffin's assistants (her assistant's assistant to be exact) is from Tracy. And in one of the episodes of her Bravo reality show she heads to her assistants' respective hometowns where everybody promptly treated them like they had "made it" in Hollywood when really all they do is the bitch work for someone who's claim to fame is being on "Suddenly Susan".
I'm not a regular watcher of this show but it's not too often one channel surfs and sees the Tracy water tower featured prominently. I usually hate reality TV, mostly due to oversaturation and the fact that most are completely devoid of reality, but after watching the Tracy episode I have to say that was the most accurate depiction of anything on a reality show of all time, ever. The highlight being a "Hollywood-style" party thrown by, you guessed it, rich old white people. A party that was so Tracy I'm surprised there wasn't a kid chained to the fireplace (too soon?). Apparently parties have a gift ceremony where Kathy's assistant's assistant Tiffany was presented with two high school boys with roses. Then Victor Mow walks in (at least I'm pretty sure it was Mow, I didn't get the chance to DVR it and you couldn't pay me enough to go to Bravo's website to double check) and hands Kathy a handbag with a chicken in it. Not Kentucky Fried Chicken mind you, but a live chicken. Griffin, of course, freaks out and everybody has a good laugh at the expense of the city girl. Like I said, it was very very Tracy-like. And yes, they also went to the Great Plate in that episode. Because really, what the hell else is there to do in Tracy? And that's how we'll always remember Victor Mow. A guy always fighting the notion that we're just some bumfuck cowtown, or setting the fight back 15 years. One or the other.
Now that we've fixed the Record's headline for that story, we've really got nothing more to say on the subject. Other than anybody who opposes this plan is a dirty commie. We can't think of anything more American than shipping nuclear waste off to France. Let those fuckers deal with our dangerous radioactive waste. Plus if those cheese eating surrender monkeys spill any of it there's a good chance we could just waltz in and take over after they cede control to the leaky barrels. Although we do have to wonder what Fitzy's column would be like if that foghorn he hears is glowing green.
We can't wait for Paul Blartt 2, Movie Security
This story confuses us. Who in their right mind listens to the rent-a-cop over the boys in blue? And even if the two were giving contradicting information, how does "charge and attack the police" even enter the realm of possibility? I don't care if you're a looky loo or just in line to see the Arrested Development movie. If I'm told to disperse, I'll peace the fuck out. It's just a movie, it's not that important. Even if the AD movie is going to rule. And frankly, I don't like to be in the same place as police anyway. They just make me uncomfortable. Mostly because I'm afraid they'll shoot me. Hey speaking of...
CHP is so good at conspiracies they can force people to run from them
Remember this story? Yeah, I almost forgot about it too. This was like 4 police shootings ago. While we agree the CHP could probably be a little more forthright with the information they've gathered, Pinasco's family really has to stop painting their son as completely innocent. Any way you paint it, he was running from the police. Maybe I'm just a goody two shoes, but once I see those lights go on I pull over to the side of the road. I've got nothing to hide. You know who usually does have something to hide? People who run from the cops when they try and pull them over. And the "He was probably just heading home" excuse doesn't work at all. I've gotten pulled over on my street about a half-mile from my place on suspicion of DUI. I was stone cold sober and pulled over. I didn't lead them on a chase to my house because that's not what innocent people do. I answered their patronizing questions (like being asked, while they're looking at my ID which bore the name of the street we were on no less, "Where you headed?"), blew into the tube, and then headed home. But no, it's obviously all the CHP's fault and not Pinasco's, who would probably still be alive today if he just pulled the fuck over. No really, innocent people run from the cops and the spin out in front of their house all the time.
OMG! A new coach! This is the biggest thing to happen to Stockton sports! The Thunder are championship-bound now! Tickets still available!
And in one final taste as to how slow news was during the holiday week, the news that we said didn't matter a couple of weeks ago still doesn't matter. But don't tell the Record's sports staff that. They're treating it as if the Thunder signed Wayne fucking Gretzky. No really, in addition to the above-linked story they also have four other stories about Matt Thomas' hiring. And that's not even including the initial story in which Cichocki was fired. They didn't even give this much coverage to Reggie Theus' firing, and he coached an actual pro team! Hell, they didn't even give this much coverage to the Ports and they won the fucking title! Quit pandering to Dan Chapman and report news we actually want to read. And when I say "we" I'm not referring to just those of us who write for this site. We have yet to find anybody who will defend the Record's sports pages when we remark that the section is completely useless, which is something we do a lot. Common response? "Yeah, totally fucking useless."
That's it for now. Duke told me he's working on something, so that means he'll have a post up by Friday. Happy New Year and Happy 6 months to us as of Jan 2nd. Who knew we'd last this long?