Remember early in the Clinton years when there was so much being said about
his $200 haircut that took place on a runway at LAX. Joe Klein even rehashed it
in his smear book "The Truth About Hillary". There was an FAA investigation into
it because of the rumored flight delays, which eventually turned out not to be
Wouldn't causing a child's first field trip to be cancelled be just as bad if
not worse than a possible delay in a flight? After all, flights are delayed on a
daily basis. Children's first field trips only come once in a life.
Perhaps Congress should have a look into President Bush's destroying of some
childhood memories yesterday.
L.A. Daily News
Bush motorcade leaves other folks
By Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writer LA Daily News
One hundred Brentwood kindergartners, many dressed in costumes, were all
set to go see "The Wizard of Oz" on Friday when their first-ever field trip
was blocked by the nation's 43rd president. They never got to see the
President George W. Bush, his Marine One helicopter grounded by fog,
brought morning rush hour to a standstill while his motorcade proceeded from
West Los Angeles through the San Fernando Valley to Simi Valley for the
dedication of the Air Force One Pavilion.
"We had buses all loaded up - but by the time they got to school it was
too late," said Julie Fahn, a volunteer mom at Kenter Canyon Elementary in
Brentwood, where girls had dressed as Dorothy to see the play performed in
"My poor children - they were so disappointed. They're all so sad. They
were inconvenienced by a silly motorcade down Sunset (Boulevard)."
Bush's traffic jams - Westside to San Fernando Valley commutes Thursday
night took up to three hours when traffic was rerouted because of a
presidential fundraiser - added to the lore of a city notorious for its
On Friday, police were alerted just before Bush began his commute. With
only a few minutes' notice from the U.S. Secret Service, LAPD and city
Department of Transportation cops shut down Sunset Boulevard west of the San
Diego Freeway from 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Thousands of commuters, unable to cross the legendary L.A. strip except
for intermittent breaks in traffic, were trapped with engines idling in
John Brooks, a news reporter for radio station KFWB-AM (980), was unable
to move for more than an hour as gridlocked motorists as far south as
Wilshire Boulevard screamed at traffic cops barring their commutes.
"They were saying, 'I gotta take my kid to school - what's going on
here?"' he recalled, adding that some had also grumbled, "Presidents always
come to this side of town because there's big money here."
One glamorous Westsider suggested an alternate route for the president.
Another wielded a sign that said simply, "Impeach Bush."
At a Starbucks on San Vicente Boulevard, motorists drank lattes in
resignation. "A lot of people were stuck," barista Denise Johnson said.
"Traffic wasn't moving. It literally wasn't moving. I heard a few horns
As the presidential motorcade turned from Sunset onto the northbound 405
for a dignified crawl on a freeway cleared of other cars, the CHP closed
freeway entrances and exits along the entire motorcade route.
Opposing traffic, unable to ignore the president, braked to a crawl.
"Southbound was wall-to-wall, creeping, except for the car-pool lane,"
said Dan Page of Simi Valley, who saw the deadlock from his Toyota Prius as
he threaded the jam in the HOV lane heading for his job at the UCLA Health
Like many from a region that overwhelmingly cast votes against Bush in
2004, Page was critical of the president's decision to disrupt the nation's
busiest freeway commute.
"If he can sneak in and out of Baghdad without anybody knowing it, it
seems like he could slip in and out of L.A. without disrupting rush hour -
Lt. Joseph Peyton of West Traffic Division, who led the Sunset closure
from the San Diego Freeway to Rockingham Drive, was proud to have protected
the president, but was sorry for the logjam.
"We did the best we could ... it went without a hitch. Our command staff,
with short notice, swung into action. It's the most outstanding moment I had
anything to do with," he said.
"Unfortunately, there were inconveniences and we apologize for that."
In Simi Valley, police reported no traffic slowdowns.
For the children of Kenter Canyon Elementary who had planned to see "The
Wizard of Oz" at Pepperdine University, their buses were 90 minutes late.
They missed the last performance and will not be given a rain check on $6
"All the Kenter Canyon parents, they are not happy with (Bush) right
now," said Fahn, 33, whose 5-year-old twin girls had prepared for their
field trip for months. "He's not at the top of any list.
"The kids did not see the wizard."
While this may not be all that big of a deal to some, it certainly is to
those 100 kids who missed out on a day of fun. Of course the day after Katrina
hit, Bush was in California visiting a hospital who ultimately had to cancel
services such as operations and chemo therapy. Seems like where ever Bush goes
he just gets in the way.