February 28, 2017
Amargosa Opera House & Death Valley Junction
I was camping with Great Outdoors at Tecopa Hot Springs this past weekend. One day we took a little drive up to Death Valley Junction to see the Amargosa Opera House. My first visit there. Read all about the opera house and hotel here. Marta Becket died January 30, 2017, at age 92.
February 19, 2017
OMG! OMG! OMG!
The Broad Museum
The Nazis by Piotr Uklański
These are photographs of actors who played Nazi officers.
The Broad Museum Lobby. The stack of giant plates is simply No Title by Robert Therrien. I think I could come up with a name easily.
The Broad provides two windows through which you can view their storage area. I've never heard of something like this before. This is the first time I've seen museum storage. I overbrightened this photo to bring out details in the shadows.
February 16, 2017
Can You Find The SpaceX Building?
Put on your spectacles!
February 6, 2017
Carjacked 1,200 Pounds Of Marijuana
In Pomona! They were caught when they were spotted from the police helicopter unloading the weed in the "700 block of Washington." So I went to Google maps to look at the aerial view to see if possibly there were other indications.
Planning Commission - January 31, 2017
This was a special meeting of the Planning Commission to deal with the heavy marijuana workload. There are currently only four Planning Commissioners. Those two statements aren't directly connected. It's city staff that has a heavy marijuana workload and, coincidentally, there are only four commissioners for now.
Basement Cultivation at Green Leaf Wellness
This item was the agenda for the January 10 Planning Commission meeting, but was continued because the owner of the dispensary didn't show up. Now, on January 31, the owner was present.
Commissioner De La Torre asked if the cultivation area in the basement extended under any neighboring business, such as the nail salon. City staff said it did not. Aw, too bad, because when I first saw these plans I could tell that it would extend under the nail salon. When the owner came to the podium he explained that the basement did, in fact, go under the nail spa. The point of that question was to determine whether an additional fire alarm should be installed in the nail salon, in case of a fire in the basement. The owner went on to list security measures he was putting in place, such as hardening the exit doors and installing card readers so he can track every employee who goes into a cultivation room.
Commissioner Cirner asked about ADA compliance. The plans show only two ways to access the basement and both of them are stairways. Rather than answer that question, the owner described more security measures he was putting in place. Mr. Cirner seemed to accept that as an answer. At the end of the meeting I asked Community Development Director Rangel about ADA requirements. His answer was, basically, that full ADA access in this space would be cost prohibitive. Yes, of course, but I didn't know you could compromise on ADA improvements solely because of their cost.
Someone (I could neither see nor hear who) moved to approve with the addition of an alarm in the nail salon connected to the fire detection system in the basement, Mr. Cirner seconded. Approved 4-0.
Tentative Parcel Map by DHS Properties, LLC
This is an empty 14.9 acre lot on Little Morongo Road north of Two Bunch Palms Trail. This tentative parcel map is for condominium purposes for marijuana cultivation. The agenda packet showed the applicant to be DHS Properties, LLC, but staff said the applicant was David Snyder.
The CUP for this parcel was approved in November 2015.
With no discussion or public comments, Commissioner Romero moved for approval, Mr. Cirner seconded, approved 4-0.
Four Parcels on Cabot Road
These four parcels are all adjacent and all will be used for cultivation. But there are two owners and some differences between each parcel, so this item includes FOUR CUPs, two development agreements and one mitigated negative declaration. (No partridges.) The two owners are Cabot Building Partners and DHS Therapeutics. It's on the east side of Cabot Road, a couple of empty lots south of Two Bunch Palms Trail. 6.29 empty acres.
Commissioner Cirner moved for approval with the addition of two lights on poles, seconded by Commissioner De La Torre, approved 4-0.
The entire meeting wrapped up in only 35 minutes.
February 3, 2017
Finnish Motorcycle Chase
Here’s a rare video. It's a police chase (ho hum) but it's motorcycle chasing motorcycle in Finland! With no cuts, this video is almost 34 minutes long, but the first 8 minutes and 15 seconds is nothing but what the cop happened to be doing for the 8 minutes and 15 seconds before he leaped into action. I assume it was a radio call that got him going. I can't see any motorcyclist breaking any obvious traffic rules that would have triggered him. So this video starts at the 8:15 point.
I wish I knew why this guy was being chased. The chase pushes him to make a lot of dangerous maneuvers and the chasing cop copies him in almost every move. Obviously, other people on the road were endangered. But there doesn't seem to be the sort of congestion I'm used to seeing in an American city - neither people nor traffic.
In the video you won't hear the cop relaying his location and direction to dispatch, as you would in America. I don't know of any maneuvers that can be performed by a chasing motorcycle cop to force the other one to stop. Can't do a pit maneuver. So it would seem his only hopes of catching this guy were either he'd run out of gasoline, or he'd make a mistake and crash, or the chased would simply give up, or other police would get ahead of the chase to try to block him off. But help never arrives. At least three times a police van appears ahead of him, sitting in the road. Once it looks like that cop is there only to control traffic while the chase goes through. In the other two appearances, the cops with the vans appear to be doing nothing, but if the chased man wanted to surrender and get a nice ride back to jail, they were there to serve.
Notice the one surprising scene where our cop gets well ahead of the chased, who had stopped in order to avoid an accident. The chased hurriedly gets back into his usual position, even though he had the opportunity there to turn right and go the wrong way on the entrance ramp. That might have given him enough head start to get away.
This is the cop who did the chasing. We don't see him until seconds before the video ends.
I don't want to spoil the ending, but I'll tell you I was surprised at how fast the chased person could run on two legs! He did way better than Americans who try to run from the cops.
February 2, 2017
Investigation of Dan Love
Dan Love, you may have forgotten, was the BLM agent who was "Utah's former Special Agent in Charge...who oversaw law enforcement at Burning Man for several years." He was the man behind the request for a million dollars worth of luxury for the BLM agents at Burning Man in 2015. Well, he had that position until he was removed from that position for that request...among other things. He was the Choco-taco man.
And those other things are coming out now, according to this article in the Reno Gazette-Journal. The official report can be found here. The BLM investigation revealed many of Love's abuses of the system, including buying three regular priced tickets after the point where all of those were supposed to have been sold out. He also brought family into the event and had on-duty BLM agents transport them around the playa in official vehicles. Love also created and placed a memorial at the Temple while on duty.
Love had been the BLM agent in charge at the 2014 Bundy standoff. After that he was transferred to a position in Utah where he seems to have managed to piss off just about everybody in Utah. And then he came to Burning Man and embarrassed the BLM there, after which he was transferred away, in time to get him out of there before the 2015 Burn.