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NEW POST: Former Republican Assemblyman Tom McClintock...

NEW POST: Former Republican Assemblyman Tom McClintock has a new job that plays to his pet interest: curbing government spending. . . . McClintock, who narrowly lost a bid to become state controller in the fall, is now director of economic and regulatory affairs for the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank. McClintock anticipates big demand for the center’s “free-market solutions to government problems,” given recent GOP gains. He’ll work in Sacramento, but “Ventura County’s still home,” he said. “It just may take me a year or two to get back.”

PLEASED TO SERVE: You go to a restaurant, have a nice meal, tip the server and leave . . . usually that’s the end of it. But a waitress who served Thousand Oaks High School wrestlers during the team’s recent road trip to Lompoc was so impressed by the Lancers’ exemplary behavior that she wrote a letter to school officials. “Many adults could learn by their example,” Debi Bolas enthused. “I hope if they return to Lompoc, I will be fortunate enough to serve them again.” School athletic clerk Barbara Safe wrote back, thanking Bolas for her “random act of kindness.”

CROSS DEBATE: The Rev. Glen (Hank) Mitchel of Oak Park’s Church of the Epiphany is proud of his new sanctuary--including its steeple and a cross that is still being completed (B5). . . . Early protests over the height of the cross have subsided and it stands poised to join the ranks of similar landmarks such as the Mt. McCoy cross in Simi Valley and the Serra cross at Ventura’s Grant Park.

PLAYING WITH PAIN: Sports injuries seem to be a way of life for basketball player Chris Loll, a forward from Thousand Oaks who’s starting at the Air Force Academy (C9). Despite injuries including a sprained ankle and a broken jaw, he’s averaging 16 points a game. . . . The jaw injury came during an on-court run-in with a former Ventura College player, now at Utah. “I was a little shocked at first,” Loll said. “Then the pain came a minute later.”

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