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July 28, 2010

Nazi War Criminal Charged

2010 and the work isn't finished yet. Samuel Kunz, a prison guard at the Belzec camp in Poland, has been charged by the German government. He is now 88 years old and already testified back in the 1960s about his time at Trawniki where he trained with Demjanjuk.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center had labeled Samuel Kunz as "the No. 3 suspect," which should make you wonder who are numbers 1 and 2. They are Alois Brunner and Dr. Aribert Heim. Alois Brunner may be in Syria and was responsible for deporting 128,500 Jews from Austria, Greece, France and Slovakia. "Brunner was Adolf Eichmann's assistant, and Eichmann referred to Brunner as his 'best man.'". Dr. Aribert Heim may be in Spain or South America and "murdered hundreds of inmates of the Mauthausen concentration camp by injecting phenol into their hearts." From Wikipedia:

According to a former camp inmate, an 18-year-old Jewish man came to the clinic with a foot inflammation. He was asked by Heim why he was so fit. He replied that he had been a football player and swimmer. Instead of treating the prisoner's foot, Heim placed him under anesthesia, cut him open, took apart one kidney, removed the second and castrated him. The man was decapitated and Heim boiled the flesh off the skull for use as a paperweight and display.

| permalink | July 28, 2010 at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

DHS City Council - July 27

The audio recording of this meeting of the Desert Hot Springs City Council is available here.

Councilmember Pye attended via teleconference from Illinois. Councilmember Baker did not come to this meeting. All the members of the public in attendance sat on the left hand side of the room (from our point of view). I'm sure that's the first time I've seen that.

Certification of the June 8 Election Results

Approved 4-0, what else.

Some numbers from the Registrar of Voters:
There were 7,696 registered voters in DHS at the time of the vote.
1,303 voted by mail; 1,054 Yes, 202 No (47 not voting) = 83.9% Yes.
843 voted at the polling places; 623 Yes, 152 No (68 not voting) = 80.4% Yes.
That's a total voter turnout of 27.9%. 5.4% of those who voted, did not vote on Measure "G."

Refinance Skyborne CFD Bonds

Mayor Pro Tem Matas recused himself because he rents in Skyborne. He asked permission to just skip on out of the rest of the meeting.

The rate of interest on the existing $2,080,000 in bonds is 9%. This is a proposal that does two things: allows staff to refinance the bonds at a rate of 6.75% to 7% and reimburse the $50,000 from Development Impact Fees that were used to make the Skyborne fire station actually usable. You may recall that the plumbing had not been connected to the sewer, among other shortcomings.

Mayor Parks congratulated staff on putting this deal together that will save money for those who own property in Skyborne.

The exact rate of the bonds will be reported to the city council after they are sold.

Approved 3-0.

The meeting adjourned at just under 9 minutes. A record that will probably stand for a while.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 28, 2010 at 04:28 PM | Comments (2)

The DHS Medical Clinic

Less dramatic than demolition or pulverization, work has continued to progress on the new medical clinic at Desert View and Palm.

DHS Medical Clinic Under Construction

DHS Medical Clinic Under Construction (5987)

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 28, 2010 at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)

"Women In The Arts" - November 4-7

LA Women's Theatre Project Women In The Arts

WHO: The Los Angeles Women's Theatre Project
WHERE: Casablanca Studios, Desert Hot Springs, California
WHEN: Thursday-Sunday, November 4-7, 2010
TICKETS: On Sale August 1, 2010.

  • Weekend VIP Pass --$175.00 -- Includes Access to all theatrical performances, films, music performances, workshops and Presenters - Including Opening and Closing VIP Receptions and pass to Janis Ian Concert.
  • Weekend All Access Pass-- $110.00 -- Includes Access to all theatrical performances, films, music performances, workshops and Presenters. (Excludes Janis Ian concert and Opening/Closing VIP receptions.)
  • Individual Day Pass --$45.00 -- for each day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Includes Access to all theatrical performances, films, music performances, workshops and Presenters for day of pass. (Excludes Janis Ian concert and Opening/Closing VIP receptions.)
    ONLINE TICKETING: www.lawomenstheatreproject.com


A 3-day celebration of Theatre, Film, Music, Literature and Visual Arts, created by Women...for everyone!

The Los Angeles Women's Theatre Project (LAWTP) is a 501c3 Nonprofit organization founded in 2007 by Playwright Dee Jae Cox and Songwriter Michele Weiss. The LAWTP, whose mission is to create opportunities for women in the performing arts, is a recent recipient of the prestigious Women In Theatre, 2010 - 'Red Carpet Award.' The LAWTP will produce the three day festival, WOMEN IN THE ARTS, November 4, 5 , 6, and 7 in Desert Hot Springs, California, and showcase the best from women artists in the fields of Theatre, Film, Music, Literature and Visual Arts.

Grammy award-winning, singer/songwriter, JANIS IAN, whose hit songs, 'At Seventeen' & 'Society's
made her a music icon, will perform at the event on Saturday November 6. Ms. Ian will also teach a special "Master Class in Artistry" workshop on Sunday November 7, 2010.

The weekend kicks off Thursday, November 4th, with a VIP Reception, sponsored by Billy Reed's Restaurant and hosted by Dezart One Gallery in Palm Springs, California.

Friday (12:00p – 10:00p) Saturday (12:00p – 10:00p) and Sunday (12:00p – 5:00p, Closing VIP reception immediately following). The weekend will be scheduled with a multitude of short and feature length films, stage plays, musical performers, as well as visual and literary arts.

Saturday, November 5th, Superstar Janis Ian will perform in concert and will follow up on Sunday, by teaching her 'Master Class in Artistry' workshop.

Sunday will present a panel of 'Women In The Arts,' professionals from the fields of television, film, stage, literature, music and visual arts, who will speak on their experiences and provide inspiration for other women artists, in reaching for their goals and dreams. Stage presentations of plays and other performances will also be held. And a closing VIP reception will wrap up the event.

Women In The Arts will be presented at the Casablanca Studios, 66-321 Pierson Blvd., Desert Hot Springs, California, owned by Leanna Bonamici, founder of Palm Springs Women in Film (PSWIFT) and Creator/Producer of "Shorts Showcase."


A call for submissions has been announced. Women Artists in the genres of Theatre, Film, Music, Literature and Visual Arts, may submit their work between July 1st and August 15th. Criteria and submission information can be found at: www.lawomenstheatreproject.org

Introduction & Fundraising Soirée

Dezart One Gallery, 2688 S. Cherokee Way, Palm Springs California, will host a Sunday wine and cheese soirée on August 29th, 2010, 1-4pm, for The LA Women's Theatre Project, in support of fundraising and introductions to the community of the upcoming Women In The Arts. The selected Artists, whose work will be showcased at the festival, will be announced at the afternoon event and will be posted on
the website www.LAWomensTheatreProject.org, by September 1st.


Two winners from each genre will be selected and honored at an awards luncheon in January.

Tickets will go on sale beginning August 1, 2010 through the LAWTP website: www.LAWomensTheatreProject.com

For more information on The LA Women's Theatre Project and WOMEN IN THE ARTS, visit: www.lawomenstheatreproject.com or contact us: info@lawomenstheatreproject.com - 818-471-9100

For Sponsorship or Advertising opportunities contact: Michele Weiss - mwiess@lawomenstheatreproject.com

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

Anti-Mosque Protestors Encouraged To Bring Dogs

The L.A. Times is reporting that there are on-again/off-again loose plans to protest a proposal to build a mosque in Temecula. The article says the information used to be on this website that encouraged people to "bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing voice" to the protest which will be held on Friday outside the current location of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley during prayers. Dogs are considered offensive by many Muslims.

The Press-Enterprise reports that the Planning Commission hearing on the mosque has been rescheduled from August 18 to mid-November to give them time to do a traffic study.

Filed under Religion | permalink | July 28, 2010 at 02:47 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2010

Un chant d'amour

Un chant d'amour is the only film directed by Jean Genet. Highly erotic, it would be rated NC-17 by today's standards. It was made in 1950 and shown twice in Paris. In 1964 it was smuggled into the United States in pieces by Jonas Mekas who showed it twice in New York City, whereupon he was arrested and charged with obscenity.

The film, only a half-hour long, was released in a two-disc DVD set (lots of extra features) in 2007. They do NOT have it at Netflix, but it is available at Greencine. Or you can buy it at Amazon.

Much to my amazement, someone has posted it on YouTube in three segments! Consider them all NSFW, although the second segment does not include explicit nudity.

The film is completely silent, but someone has added some music to some of these. The DVD is, of course, much higher quality, and I'm sure these YouTube segments will disappear some day.

Filed under Film/Movies,Gay Issues | permalink | July 27, 2010 at 07:34 PM | Comments (2)

Good News! Work On Cactus Drive Goes Big Time

Next Monday, August 2, the contractor for the Essential Transportation Project will begin pulverizing the asphalt and rough grading the roadbed on Cactus from Pierson to Hacienda which will force the City to close Cactus.

On Tuesday, August 3, Mission Springs Water District will begin replacing water lines in Cactus, with completion expected by Friday the 6th. The Gas Company will replace their lines in Cactus from Monday, August 9 to Friday, the 13th. The street will be opened immediately thereafter as a gravel road until paving.

While Cactus is closed there will be NO traffic allowed on or across Cactus.

Acoma, Buena Vista, Cahuilla, Desert View, Estrella, Flora, and Granada Streets will not allow through traffic from West Drive to Palm Drive. Local traffic only will be permitted.

The MSWD work may result in water service disruptions. Residents on those streets are being notified by MSWD and if any resident needs to use the cooling center at the Senior Center, it is available.

Every effort is being made to notify the community and appropriate traffic barriers will be employed.

If anyone has a question or concern please call City Manager Rick Daniels. Thanks to all for their patience and understanding as we improve this neighborhood.

Rick Daniels, City Manager

City of Desert Hot Springs
65-950 Pierson Boulevard
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

760-329-6411 x 101

760-408-4350 Mobile

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 27, 2010 at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

Boston on an Etch A Sketch

Boston on an Etch A Sketch
Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall as seen from City Hall
. I want to take this opportunity to point out that Faneuil Hall was built a long time ago for people smaller than us, but no one puts it on a list of "9 Worst Meeting Halls In America."

Filed under Photography | permalink | July 27, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

Verified: 65 Lost Ansel Adams Negatives Found

Glass negatives that were thought to have been destroyed in a 1937 fire turned up at a garage sale in southern California Fresno.. They are from early in Adams' career.

UPDATE: Rick Norsigian, the owner of the negatives, has more info on his own website. His press release. I notice an unusual typo on the site: "fotographer" to describe Patrick Alt (who is not German).

Prints are already for sale. One print, for example, can be had for $1,500 ("Digital Print") or $7,500 ("Silver Gelatin Dark Room Print"). Nothing is said about who will be doing the printing. As we all know, for an Ansel Adams photo, it's all in the printing.

Genuine Ansel Adams
A genuine, known Ansel Adams photo printed by Ansel Adams.

Norsigian Negative
Print from one of the Norsigian negatives.

"October 14, 2010 An exhibition of the actual images will open at the Phebe Conley Gallery on the Fresno State campus following the special screening [of a documentary entitled ANSEL ADAMS: LOST AND FOUND] and travel to other prominent galleries throughout the United States."

Filed under Photography | permalink | July 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM | Comments (2)

What's 0.33 Between Friends?

The Anoka County, Minnesota, Sheriff’s Office got a new crime lab. On January 1 of this year they began processing urine samples in DWI cases for three counties. According to this article, the last step in that urinalysis is to multiply the grams of alcohol per milliliter by 0.67, but oops, they didn't. As a result, an inaccurately high alcohol level was reported for 111 drivers.

The Sheriff has to report the error to city attorneys and county prosecuting attorneys who handled these cases. They then have to notify the defense attorneys. Things proceed on a case by case basis from there. I imagine there will be lawsuits.

| permalink | July 27, 2010 at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2010

No Budget Magic In Bell, California

I had wondered how the working class city of Bell was able to pay its top staff and city council such huge amounts. What magic industry did they have that poured tax dollars into the treasury? The answer is none.

Even as the City Manager is pulling down more than $700,000 and the Police Chief $457,000 and each city councilmember (save one) nearly $100,000 a year, the rest of the city budget was being cut as badly as any other city's. Community services were cut 21%, police training was cut 58%. Low-paid city staff were laid off.

Having supposedly dealt with the City Manager, Police Chief and Assistant City Manager (they are all scheduled to leave peaceably), the Bell City Council met tonight to consider cutting their own luxurious pay.

They voted to cut their pay by 90% and two will not seek re-election.

UPDATE: More detail on those paycuts. Mayor Oscar Hernandez and Vice Mayor Teresa Jacobo will forgo all pay. The pay for Councilmembers George Mirabal and Luis Artiga will be cut to $8,000. There is no word on whether former Councilmember Victor Bello will continue to receive his $96,600 for his work at the food bank.

Filed under California | permalink | July 26, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

Man With Head Up Ass Rates Fenway Park

His name is Howard Cosmell (note the "m"). He wrote this list of the 9 worst sports stadiums in America. #3 is Fenway Park on this turd-for-brains' list. It's old, it was built for people smaller than us, wah-wah-wah. See my earlier report on Symphony Hall. Nobody puts Boston Symphony Hall on their list of "9 Worst Concert Halls In America." These places are temples.

And get this: "the fact that you can’t park a car near Fenway for less than $30 demonstrates that a new facility is probably in order to make coming and going a little easier for fans." It's In BOSTON! It's served by three light rail lines, a heavy rail line and buses, all within a block of the park. Plus, it's within a mile walking distance of about half-a-hundred hotels and thousands of residences. Why does he want to drive to Fenway?!

Apparently this is the only thing he's put his name to on this website.

Filed under Architecture | permalink | July 26, 2010 at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

Brits Try To Start Their Trip To Burning Man

Filed under Automotive | permalink | July 26, 2010 at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

Family Visit

Last week the relations were visiting Coachella Valley. I guess they love the heat. Five little ones were along.

Riley as shot by Nathan his 4-year old cousin (1091)
This photo was taken by my 4-year old great nephew.
I turned the camera on for him and showed him the button to push to take a photo. After that he did it all himself.

The Cousins (1087)
Four of the five posing.

Dylan at Children's Discovery Museum (5975)
Playing dress-up at the Children's Discovery Museum.

I guess they learned both the Pledge Of Allegiance and some sort of T-ball pledge, and here they combine them:

You probably need to crank up your volume to hear them.

More photos here.

Filed under Photography | permalink | July 26, 2010 at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

Today At The Temple Demolition Site

The Temple Demolition (5983)

The Temple Demolition (5982)

The Temple Demolition (5981)

Looks like it's just about time to start calling it "the future site of the temporary fire station." Rolls right off the tongue.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 26, 2010 at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

Here ya go!

Tamarisk trees along I-10

Photo by A.C.Thamer. Russ Martin suggested this photo many months ago, and here one A.C. Thamer has taken the risk to snag it! These are the mostly burned tamarisk trees that line the northerly side of I-10 between Ramon and Date Palm. In the background is Edom Hill.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Photography | permalink | July 26, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

Looking Ahead To 2012

The video comes from Nextmedia which is either Hong Kong or Taiwan. Judging from the perfect English in the video itself, I'm going to guess Hong Kong...not that there aren't people in Taiwan who speak perfect English, but your odds are better in Hong Kong.

| permalink | July 26, 2010 at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

"It's basically a Ford Ranger truck engine"

Literally. The Boeing Phantom Eye will be powered by two Ford Ranger truck engines that have been converted to burn liquid hydrogen. It will begin testing at Edwards Air Force Base this month. Ultimately, this plane should be able to fly for 10 days nonstop, which would allow it to travel and observe any spot on Earth while remaining based in the "continental U.S.," as they describe it. I've no idea why they've ruled out Hawaii for basing this technology.

Also, I see that Ball corporation makes more than just mason jars.

Filed under Automotive,Technology | permalink | July 26, 2010 at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)

$5.9 Million Wasted, Fails To Save Child

This remarkably incomplete AP story picked up by The Desert Sun sent me searching the L.A. Times for the more complete story. And here it is.

Last month, 11-year-old Jorge Tarin spent an emotional morning with school officials reporting that life was unbearable, his parents beat him, and he wanted to kill himself. He was sent home and a social worker and police officer visited the home where they met Jorge's mother and step-father and the social worker spoke privately with Jorge.

The social worker did not have complete information about the case, partly because there were only 400 wi-fi cards for the 2,400 tablet computers that the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services bought in 2007 (for $5.9 million). "Based on the mental health workers' assessment that Jorge did not pose an immediate suicide risk, the social worker left him in the home but kept the investigation open in order to gather more information over the following days."

Later that evening Jorge hung himself with a jumprope in a closet. He died the next day.

One of my first questions was about the existence of tablet computers in 2007. Yes, the fireball created by the appearance of the iPad has somehow seared my memory so that I forgot that there were tablet computers before the iPad. I don't know where to find archival information on specs and prices of computers in 2007, but both the Motion LE1600 and the Lenovo ThinkPad were on the market then. And either could have cost about $2,500 each. But lacking built-in wi-fi? How is that possible, even in 2007? What sort of crap tablets did Los Angeles County spend $5.9 million on that didn't even come with built-in wireless capability? And then to buy only 400 wireless cards? That rendered 2,000 of the tablets useless.

I don't know what wireless cards cost in 2007, but today you can get a Belkin card for $86. 400 of those would cost $34,400 without a volume discount. So it's $5.9 million plus maybe about $30,000-something for wireless to get 400 working tablets. That's $14,750 per working tablet. You could get a lot of smartphones that actually work for the price of a single one of those tablets.

| permalink | July 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

Khmer Rouge Murderer To Serve 11 Hours In Prison Per Victim

"Comrade" Duch (AKA Kaing Guek Eav) ran a Khmer Rouge detention center where he oversaw the killing of 15,000 people in the 1970s. Finally brought to justice, he has been sentenced to a total of only 19 years in prison. "The Cambodian co-prosecutor, Chea Leang, declared herself satisfied with the verdict and the prison term." The BBC reporter was apparently unable to find anyone else who was "satisfied." For mass murderers like this, public hangings are exactly the right punishment. Besides providing a quick death, photographs of the hanging body can serve to discourage future would-be mass murders.

Here's how it should have gone down:

Each of the convicted were given 15 days to appeal his sentence.

Technically, Duch's sentence was for 35 years:

[He was] sentenced to 35 years in prison, but won't serve any more than 19 years, CNN reported Monday. The judge took away five years for the time Duch was detained before a U.N.-supported tribunal was set up and erased another 11 years for time served.

| permalink | July 26, 2010 at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)