Okay, I guess we all know who the Wicked Witch of the West is now ...
or perhaps the Cowardly Lion...
Bush motorcade leaves other folks fuming!
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 wizard.
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 Malibu.
"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 gridlock.
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 miles-long jams.
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 honking."
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.
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 - twice."
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 tickets.
"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!"
George W. Bush
"I'll Auntie Em you! - DIE you little sniveling rotton kids .. heeheeheeheeheeheehee!"