This week, Loose Lips breaks its ban on discussing the City-County Airport Smackdown to bring you a new development in this story.
Winfrey's private jet flew into Merced Municipal on Saturday morning, touching down just before 10 a.m., according to Airport Manager Lloyd Partin.
Winfrey's jet, a Bombardier Global Express, retails for around $30 million, said Partin. Other owners include Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, and Celine Dion. The jet can fly for about 7,000 miles without refueling.
Partin said Merced Municipal's ability to handle such a special aviation customer speaks well of the airport.
"The type of clientele that are coming in and out of the airport is changing drastically," said Partin. "We're starting to see more and more customers with their own aircraft. It shows a positive trend for the community."
What was Oprah doing here?
Partin reports that Winfrey did some shopping before she flew out of town in the late afternoon.
"I don't know where they went, but she showed up with all kinds of packages that they put on the aircraft," said Partin.
Lips hasn't been able to find out where Winfrey dropped her dollars.
Winfrey's net worth was last estimated at about $1.5 billion, according to the Forbes 400 list (She was No. 242 on last year's list.)
That means she could hand out $6,000 to every man, woman and child in the county, which would be enough to buy two first-class tickets on USAirways from Merced to Paris.
That voyage requires stops in Las Vegas, Ohio, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, so we'd rather fly with Oprah.
Lips wonders whether she uses the ring tone when she's negotiating deals at City Hall. When her adversaries hear the distinctive melody, it may mean she's getting ready to make an offer they can't refuse.
As Councilwoman Michele Gabriault-Acosta pointed out recently, "(Wooten) has connections that go all the way back to North Beach."
Her connections certainly go all the way to Sacramento.
With Wooten running for re-election, it looks like she's got the Ladies Who Lunch vote all locked up.
Maybe her North Beach connections can help her win over the rest of the electorate. Sounds like a fitting name for the sorority Wooten seems to have started with Galgiani and Barbara Matthews would be La Cosa Nostra. If you don't know what that means, you're not in the family.
The plan fizzled, much to the delight of librarians. But it looks like Morse is still doing damage control to repair his book-hating image.
The D.A. will visit a local school today to read books to students.
"I hope it dispels the notion that I'm some book burner," Morse said.
It turns out the D.A. is an avid bibliophile. On his bedside table right now is a copy of the World War I history tome "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman and "The Afghan" by Frederick Forsyth.
To stay on top of current events, Morse said he reads Mad Magazine.
Lips' new name for the district attorney is Literary Larry.
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