September 30, 2006
If this article is correct, the Palomino in North Las Vegas is the only place where full nudity and alcohol are permitted "in the area," and one would think the "area" means not just Las Vegas proper, but also the strip. And they have male dancers who will, for $20, give a lap dance to female customers. The author of the post says he's checking out the provisions regarding lap dances for male customers this very night.
Joshua Tree Clean Up
The clean up in Joshua Tree National Park went really well today. They said it was the first time they did it, but it was well organized and there was a big turnout — but no team of Marines, to my disappointment. Gardner, Andy and Tim showed up from the Coachella Valley, and we all joined the team to go clean up Indian Cove campground.
I'd never been to Indian Cove before, and heard it referred to rather dismissively a couple of times. But the site is really beautiful...and awfully clean, even before we started. It's a lot easier to clean up BLM land where you can stand in one place and pick up 50 pounds of trash, and a team can fill a gigantic trash bin in only a couple of hours. In the circuit that Gardner and cleaned at Indian Cove we were reduced to picking up bottle caps, bits of glass, about 6 soda cans, some nails, 3 or 4 cups, two condoms (very well used). In more than 2 hours we got less than half a bag of trash, and I was exhausted. Give me a couple of filthy mattresses and a dead pig any day.
I had time to squeeze off a few photos. There were some petroglyphs that were so easily accessible that I hope I haven't been fooled by modern graffiti.
There was this bush bearing a little reddish flower that I don't recall ever seeing before.
A few other things we saw:
And here are the signature rocks that form the camping area. This would be a pretty decent campground for families with kids. You're only a couple of miles drive from total civilization, and you can camp right at the base of jumbo rocks for your kids' playground. Of course, there's no guarantee all your kids will survive with all their limbs, but that's the excitement of a national park.
"It's vile. It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."
Naturists will also recall that it was Foley who so actively campaigned against naturist youth summer camps.
ABC News has provided this PDF version of an online chat between Foley and the very young man of his dreams. Foley even uses the classic "you need a massage" line. I was pleased to see that the young man is in advanced placement English, and his spelling is better than Foley's.
September 29, 2006
DHS Police Officer Arrested
The officer, 35, has been one of the more prominent in the department, often speaking to the media. The Desert Hot Springs resident also recently received the Golden Bear award given to officers who make five or more arrests based on fingerprints found at a crime scene, officials said.
"He's been one of the fair-haired officers over there - or should I say, one of the more visible police officers in the Police Department," City Manager Ann Marie Gallant said.
He is one of only a handful of the city's officers who actually live in Desert Hot Springs. He had worked as the DHS High School resource officer and was recently reassigned to the special investigations unit, where he was in charge of juvenile investigations. He earns $62,400 annually.
September 28, 2006
Are You A Sculptor?
In implementing the City's "cathedral" theme, the City Council has stipulated that Public Art at additional entryways also represent cathedrals. They can be interpretive free forms, or more conventional architectural structures. The inspiration for the cathedral theme comes from the light playing on the granite mountainsides, which reminded early explorers of the inside of a grand cathedral. It is not intended to have religious connotations. Therefore, symbols of the cross and angels should not be incorporated into any of the submissions. Artists are encouraged to think "Cathedralesque".
Let's hope the accepted proposals are something better than the controversial one they put up on Date Palm which just looks like surfboards to me.
What The Hell?
Michael Hillyard was riding his motorcycle on Andreas when he was attacked by a man in a Jeep Liberty who called him a "straight boy" and then bit off a part of Hillyard's ear! Now, interestingly enough Hillyard is gay, but one wonders if this may qualify as a hate crime because the attacker perceived Hillyard as straight!
New Cactus Flower
I was completely surprised to see this cactus flower in my front yard this afternoon. Even as late as this morning I thought it was just growing a new leaf, or maybe even fruit. This cactus started as a cutting (actually a "fall off") from a friend's cactus in Cathedral City cove. It and its twin have done well in pots, and this one has done VERY well since I depotted it and put it in the ground earlier in the summer.
Tahquitz Canyon Baby
A woman give birth yesterday morning in a homeless encampment in Tahquitz Canyon. She cut the umbilical cord herself and then passed out. They say she and her son are now doing fine after being taken to Desert Regional Medical Center.
Owens River Restoration
"A state Court of Appeal panel late Wednesday gave Los Angeles a strong push to move ahead on restoring a 62-mile stretch of the Lower Owens River by upholding a court order that would ban the city from using a key aqueduct if it continues delaying the project."
Los Angeles began taking water from Owens Valley in 1913 and has, over the decades. turned it into desert. I go through Owens Valley on the way to Saline Valley, and the first time the name "Owens Valley" rang a bell. "Is this the Owens Valley of Los Angeles water infamy?" I asked myself. There is a muddy looking stream there, and a big dry lake bed.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has missed 13 court-imposed deadlines in this restoration project, but the spokesman for the city attorney says they have been in compliance and will meet the next deadline.
September 27, 2006
A photo of the Salton Sea from high in the Mecca Hills, plus a couple of the newly-lined Coachella Canal near North Shore on the Salton Sea.
Oh Boy, More Recalling
Gabriel King who bumbled a recall petition attempt a year ago has announced a campaign to recall Yvonne Parks from the DHS City Council. If you want to read his own mangled words on the subject, you can find them on his own ugly ass website. You'll have to search (because he doesn't provide any means to directly link to individual posts) for the "06/27/06" entry. Yes, Mr. King has been thinking it's June for a few days now, apparently. Or you can read this copy:
Three council members have effectively firing the dully elected peoples choice for mayor. It does not matter who the mayor is or if you agree with him or not on the issues. The people elected him as our mayor. And the people are the only ones who have the right to fire him. It is not the council's right to effectively fire the Mayor the people elected. It is not the council's right to effectively fire the Mayor the people elected just because they disagree on issues.
The 3 majority council circumvented the most cherished right of the people to elect representatives when they effectively fired the Mayor through recent actions. Their actions once again brought dishonor to our city's reputation and is a slap in the face to anyone who believes in the constitution of the United States and the democratically elected republic it stands for.
I have filed a recipient committee with the CA. Secretary of state to recall Yvonne Parks. It is called RecallParks.Com. Many citizens have told me that they want a complete council sea change. All the other candidates are up for elections in a year while Yvonne is up for election in 3 years. Recalling Yvonne Parks will give the voters the opportunity to replace everyone if they so choose to during the next elections. We are giving the voters of our city the opportunity many have asked for. The opportunity to elect a all new council if they choose.
I have also have turned Friends Of Desert Hot Springs into a Political Action Committee.
It'd be good to give Parks the boot, but it's too bad King's going to be in charge of it. You may recall my frustrations in simply trying to sign his petitions last year — the petitions that failed for insufficient signatures.
Marijuana in Riverside County
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors rejected a bill to allow marijuana collectives and dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county. They also directed staff to write a new ordinance that would ban collectives and dispensaries.
In addition, they voted to join a lawsuit mounted by San Diego, Merced and San Bernardino counties against the state of California's requirements that counties issue marijuana identification cards to patients.
September 26, 2006
Public School Teacher Gouges Out Student's Eyeballs With Rusty Barbed Wire And Then Ships Her To A Sudanese Brothel
No, not really, not exactly. But Sydney McGee, 28-year veteran art teacher at Wilma Fisher Elementary (Our Motto: "Never be anything less than everything you can be.") in Frisco, Texas, is going to be fired because she led a school trip to the Dallas Museum of Art during which a fifth-grade student observed a nude sculpture. There you have it.
I haven't been to the Dallas Museum of Art, but it looks like a fine, big city art museum, displaying fine works such as this one, which is perfectly SFW, unless you teach fifth grade in Frisco, Texas.
Free Day At Joshua Tree
This coming Saturday, September 30, Joshua Tree National Park will waive the usual $15 per vehicle entrance fee (had I mentioned that the fee was raised to $15?) in recognition of "Public Land's Day." The article also says they are looking for volunteers to pull weeds and remove trash. Unfortunately, I can't find any info on the official Joshua Tree website about when or where to meet to volunteer. Even their official press release says nothing about it. I suppose I can figure out how to pick up trash without some gummint official telling me how to do it, but I don't think I want to start pulling plants without genuine approval from a uniformed figure.
The volunteerism is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.
Volunteers will meet and register at the Joshua Tree National Park Oasis of Mara Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms.
Volunteers can choose from three projects: Hidden Valley trash pick-up, which will likely take three hours; Lost Horse Valley weed pull, set to take four hours; or Queen Valley vegetation management, which is estimated at five hours.
Volunteers are urged to bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, work clothing/shoes and water.
Those wanting to work on the weed pull are asked to bring a hula-hoe. Organizers will provide free T-shirts, snacks and cold beverages.
Keith Olbermann Eviscerates Bush
American Dad, Family Guy, South Park; 100%
The Nuclear Energy Institute conducted an opinion survey on nuclear power. We are, perhaps, not surprised that the results were rather favorable for nuclear. They say 68% favor building new reactors at the sites of the nearest current nuclear power facility. The actual survey results are available here as a PDF.
The questions seem to be good ones, not leading, allowing for the wide variety of possible answers. But I wonder about how representative their sample really was. They were 34% Democrats, 27% Republicans, 31% independent. 84% said they were registered voters, and 58% considered themselves environmentalists. 14% say they have visited a nuclear power plant for an information center at a nuclear plant. That sounds like a very high percentage.
Only 19% of those responding think that waste management is a disadvantage of nuclear power, and 65% think nuclear waste can be safely stored on site until it's moved to a permanent facility. 72% say the government should continue to develop Yucca Mountain as a permanent waste disposal facility. They didn't ask if some other permanent disposal facility should be researched.
22% of the respondents (if I read it right) think that nuclear power plants emit greenhouse gases, about 47% realize they don't, while the rest don't know.
If you've been reading Ron's Log for awhile, you will remember that about a year ago two houses just west of me caught fire and burned lustily on a windy day. For clarity we will refer to the house where the fire started as "#1." It was an abandoned, junk house well before I bought here. Just to the east of #1 is #2 (see how this is going?) which was ignited by the fire in #1 very quickly - the wind was from the west, as always. #2 had been junky when I bought, but they had fixed it up and rented it out just a couple of months before the fire. To the east of #2 is #3, a newer house undamaged by the fire, and east of that is me, AKA #4.
#1 has been sitting as a scorched shell since the fire. Someone put up a No Trespassing sign after the fire, but there were no further improvements...until today! Today there's some heavy equipment in there and they are scraping that site clean! Halleleujah! It was definitely the ugliest, most dangerous lot on the street.
House #2 has been the scene of some occasional work over the last year, but 2 or 3 months ago somebody came in with a real plan. The original house at #2 (as at #1) had been a little cinder block thing, hardly bigger than a 2-room. But attached to this 2-room thing they began to erect a monstrous box. Over time it became obvious they were building an RV garage. In Desert Hot Springs, as in a lot of cities I guess, it's not permitted to park an RV in your driveway or on the street. (There's probably some time limit in that rule, so maybe you could park it one or two nights, or sump'n.) So you have to rent a space in some RV lot, and there are several of those around. Or, you could build a garage big enough to swallow your RV. I thought maybe some wealthy person living nearby just wanted an RV garage and would be able to use this little house (#2) as an excuse for the massive garage, which contains probably 3 times the volume of the house.
I've got no problem with that, and in fact in the last week they've begun to make improvements on the little house itself, so it won't be so tiny when they're done. But what has surprised me is that building on the RV garage hasn't stopped. It's going higher! It looks like they may be building a deck up there. The garage by itself is taller than my house. Yesterday I noticed that the workers up on top of the garage can see over my neighbor's house (#3) and into my backyard. And, as if in verification of their sightlines, I got a little surprise visit from the workers yesterday afternoon. I had just lighted some charcoal in preparation to grill some sausages, and as I stood there watching the fire catch, I heard someone clomping down the eastern side of my house. I thought at first that it was the meter reader from Edison, but the guy continued past my meter and into my backyard. He was wearing big ear protectors, knee pads, work boots and stared at me as I stared at him. I was dressed, BTW. After a moment, another man in work clothes clomped down the western side of my house to stare as well.
The one wearing ear protectors explained they were from house #2 and they saw and smelled the smoke and thought my house was on fire, and apologized. I just said "Okay," and waited for him to leave. He seemed a little slow about it. I was a bit put off by his panicky drama, since I smell and see smoke lots of times in my neighborhood and give it a careful examination before I start running breathlessly. It's always somebody lighting a barbecue with just two exceptions: the fire that burned #1 and #2, and the brief little fire in the house behind me.