February 7, 2018

Marijuana Sales Are Way Up

The West Hollywood location of MedMen (a marijuana dispensary) reported big increases in both revenue and customer traffic in January 2018. Revenues in January 2018 were 200% higher than in December 2017 and 500% higher than in January 2017. Customer traffic in January 2018 was also up 200% compared to December 2017 and 350% higher than in January 2017.

There were also large increases at their Santa Ana location.

permalink | February 7, 2018 at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2018

Mountain Lion P23 Killed

This is the female mountain lion who hangs out in Malibu Canyon which is where the CMEN gatherings are. She was hit by a vehicle.
P23 eating deer on Mulholland Highway
This photo of P23 feeding on roadkill on Mulholland Highway got a lot of press a few years ago

permalink | February 2, 2018 at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2017

Palm Springs Panorama from 2001

Coachella Valley - Kodachrome - 2001
In 2001 I shot this panorama with Kodachrome from the intersection of San Luis Rey and Sky Point Drive. Today that would put me immediately between Lowes and Walmart on Ramon Road.
In this photo Lowes would be on the right end of the photo, Walmart on the right.

Clicking the image will get you the full size version.

permalink | December 27, 2017 at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

December 9, 2017

No Smoke Here

Desert Hot Springs - December 9, 2017 (1504)
Desert Hot Springs today.

permalink | December 9, 2017 at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2017

Reverse Logic?

California has a new law that will increase the punishment for some crimes if they are recorded on video. Here's the business part of the new law: "667.95. In sentencing a person convicted of a violent felony listed in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, the court may consider, as a factor in aggravation, that the defendant willfully recorded a video of the commission of the violent felony with the intent to encourage or facilitate the offense."

But those videos have been helpful in getting convictions and lengthening sentences. Why do we want to discourage that? I'm all for some additional punishment if the video is made public, but if it's not made public what's the reason for an enhanced sentence?

permalink | October 12, 2017 at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

October 9, 2017

New Twist For The Cadiz Water Project

It has been determined that the state owns a parcel of land that the pipeline would cross.

The parcel is a tiny piece of the millions of acres that Congress in 1853 granted to California for the benefit of public education. The state sold most of the so-called schools lands but still owns desert tracts controlled by the commission.

[State Lands] Commission spokeswoman Sheri Pemberton said the state never sold the 200-foot-wide strip because in 1910 California granted a railroad right-of-way over it. Now, the commission says Cadiz needs a state lease to use that portion of the right-of-way for the water pipeline.

permalink | October 9, 2017 at 07:44 AM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2017

Ivan Sewell New Commissioner At MSWD

With a unanimous vote, the MSWD board selected Ivan Sewell to take John Furbee's spot on the board until the next election, November 2018. Then, the voters will get a chance to re-elect him to the remaining 2 years of Furbee's term, or elect someone else.
Ivan Sewell Being Sworn In As MSWD Commissioner

The two other candidates were perennial candidate Malcolm MacLean and Steve Grasha. Mr. Grasha is the inventor of the misting system, which is so ubiquitous here in Coachella Valley, if I understood him correctly. He's also working with the Trump campaign in some capacity and said that after the meeting today, he was heading over to Arizona. He seemed a bit reluctant to bring this up, at first saying he had been working for a candidate for "national office." There being only two elected national offices in this country, it wasn't hard to guess who he meant, but it became clearer when he referenced Arizona and said that he knew his views on who is in the President's office were not popular in DHS. He never named Trump.

I have been disappointed with the MSWD board's reluctance to replace Mr. Furbee before he passed away. We could have had Mr. Sewall working for the public good months ago.

permalink | August 21, 2017 at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2017

Los Angeles Neon Tours

Recently I went on two different bus tours offered by the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale. We toured on two Saturday nights, starting at 7:30 PM in downtown Los Angeles. The tours, while mostly about neon, become tours of architecture and history as well as drinking and dining suggestions. The buses rarely stop and stand still just where you want them to, but the surprisingly good image stabilization and fast focusing of one of my cheap Canon cameras managed to produce some good images.

Tower Theater (1024)
Tower Theater, which has been acquired by Apple to become the downtown Apple Store

The Last Book Store (1459)
Just like it says, in downtown LA

Palace (1537)

Out Of The Closet (1599)

L.A. City Hall (1485B)

KFC (1601)
Neon KFC!

KLYT Entrance (1447)
To my utter surprise, I learned this is the oldest gay bathhouse in LA!
I'd never heard of it before...nor had any of my friends who I asked. Klyt (I don't know what it stands for) opened in the 1920s on 4th Street not as a gay bathhouse, but evolved into one. How this escaped the 1980s, I can't imagine. My fear of bedbugs will keep me from exploring this one, although I'd really like to check it out.

K.G. Louie (1507)

Hotel Rosslyn (1453)

Downtown Los Angeles August 2017 (1488)
The Chinatown Chevron must have the highest prices in the state
. The price at Furnace Creek this day was only $3.069.

Downtown Los Angeles (1464)

Downtown Los Angeles (1440)

Coffee Breakfast (1615)

Chinatown (1510)

Bradbury Building (1437)
The Bradbury Building

Angels Flight (1426)
Angels Flight
, which is supposed to return to service in 2018.

2nd Street Tunnel - Los Angeles
2nd Street Tunnel video
. Click through to see the video.

US Bank Building (0899)
Still the tallest building in L.A., IMO

Eric Tour Guide (0821)
Eric, the tour guide for the first tour I went on
. The guide for the second tour was also named Eric, but looked a little different.

New Chinatown dates from the 1930s (0855)
"New Chinatown" is Chinatown
, which was moved here in the 1930s to clear way for the construction of Union Station.

Hotel Normandie (0936)

Bend (1010)
"Bendix," of course, but the bus was rolling and by the time I got the camera aimed, this is all I got

Axis on 12th (1008)

Mayan Theater (1002)
Mayan Theater

Eastern Clock (1018)

Clifton's Cafeteria (1029)

Bradbury Building New Lights (1046)
The Bradbury Building with its controversial new lighting

Main Street Garage (1051)
A parking garage at 4th & Main
. I think it's just art.

The complete sets of photos can be seen here.

permalink | August 11, 2017 at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

August 4, 2017

Dore Alley 2017 Photos

A few photos from this year's Dore Alley ("Up Your Alley") in San Francisco.

Dancers (1289)

Pink Man (1191)

Hug (1400)

Dore Alley was a sausage fest (1082)

Dore Alley (1114)

Dore Alley nude

Dore Alley nude seated

Many more NSFW images available here.

permalink | August 4, 2017 at 11:26 AM | Comments (2)

July 17, 2017

Speed Check

If you enjoy watching the military jets over the greater Death Valley area, you may like this story.

permalink | July 17, 2017 at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2017

Some Photos

Some photos not previously shared.

The Perfect American - Long Beach Opera (3397)
The stage at Long Beach Opera at intermission during The Perfect American

Precision Electric Company (3909)
This is not an old sign

Pink Barbie (6811)
I've got my eye on this pink Barbie

Edward Wenzlaff Education Center (0484)
Edward Wenzlaff Education Center
, formerly Edward Wenzlaff Elemntary School in Desert Hot Springs.

Desert Hot Springs Police (0486)
Like it says on the label

permalink | June 30, 2017 at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

June 8, 2017

Queer Burner Retreat

Over Memorial Day weekend I returned to Saratoga Springs, this time for what used to be called the "Queer Burner Retreat," but has been renamed to the meaningless "All Of Us." As a result we got one paying guest who feeling the need for a meditative weekend Googled and found Saratoga Springs, which led her to "All Of Us." She read no further, knowing that she must be one of us. She submitted her credit card and showed up to be rather surprised to find a Burner party underway. She stayed one night and then escaped.

Dan Reeves
Dan Reeves, the artist behind The Journey Project

The Journey 43
About one-quarter of the Journey Project

The Journey 19

The Journey 20

Home at Saratoga Springs
My little camp

Tent View
The view from my tent door

Comfort & Joy cabin
The well-known colors of Comfort & Joy, the biggest gay camp at Burning Man

The jacuzzi, all fresh and clean when I arrived

Hottub after a couple of days
After a couple of days of hard use

Main Lodge Front Porch - Saratoga Springs
On the front porch of the main lodge

Rand Larson & Me
Rand Larson on the left

Saratoga Springs 23
A new fire escape and an entirely new deck!

Unicorn Poopie

The complete set of photos can be seen here.

permalink | June 8, 2017 at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

May 9, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park this past weekend

These photos are mostly from Wonder Valley, but some are around Intersection Rock.

Bee & Friend In Wonder Valley (0309)

Intersection Rock (0092)

Joshua Tree National Park - West Entrance (0043)
In line at the West Entrance

Joshua Tree National Park (0079)

Joshua Tree National Park (0472)

Mojave Yucca (0460)

New Flower In Wonder Valley (0218)

Rock Climber In Wonder Valley (0271)

Rock Climbers in Wonder Valley (0325)

Wonder Valley (0184)

Wonder Valley (0352)

Wonder Valley (0399)

Wonder Valley (0411)

Wonder Valley (0427)

Wonder Valley (0430)

The complete set of photos is here.

permalink | May 9, 2017 at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2017

To Report Graffiti In Joshua Tree National Park: jotr_graffiti@nps.gov

Joshua Tree National Park as well as many other parks across the country, has experienced a notable increase in visitation in recent years. With that increase also means an increase of graffiti and acts of intentional vandalism within the park. Superintendent David Smith says, “99% of visitors are respectful and truly appreciate the pristine scenery the park has to offer. Unfortunately there are visitors who feel it necessary to damage what Mother Nature has produced."

The park, in its efforts to more closely monitor and mitigate graffiti, is asking for the public’s help and providing some easy ways for visitors to aid in the process. Park officials ask visitors to report incidents of graffiti that they encounter to a new email address, jotr_graffiti@nps.gov. In addition, new graffiti reporting forms will be available at park visitor centers and entrance stations. Keep in mind, when reporting graffiti; to provide a good, detailed description of the location. Photos and GPS coordinates are also very helpful in order to insure a quick response.

Joshua Tree National Park is a magical and unique landscape. Your vigilance and taking a few moments to report graffiti that you happen upon will insure that the park stays that way.

permalink | April 11, 2017 at 06:56 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2017

Good Nude Bowl Video

permalink | March 29, 2017 at 05:28 PM | Comments (1)

March 13, 2017

Joshua Tree Moonrise

I shot this in Joshua Tree National Park this past Saturday. When you buy (and register) a GoPro camera, you get access to GoPro's library of royalty-free music, including the over-wrought stuff you hear in a lot of GoPro videos. So I thought it might be fun to waste some of that here.

permalink | March 13, 2017 at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

March 6, 2017

P-45: The Studly Mountain Lion King of Malibu

Here's a really interesting New Yorker article about the mountain lions of the Santa Monica Mountains which run from Malibu to Griffith Park. The highways have isolated this area, in terms of mountain lions traveling. P-45, however, was able to cross a highway to get into this genetic island and sow his genes. The article describes the isolation of the mountain lions which may result in their extinction (in the Santa Monica Mountains) within 50 years...which is why a land bridge is going to be built in Agoura Hills.

On this map you can see the underpass at Liberty Canyon that they believe P-45 may have used to get across the 101 and into the Santa Monica Mountains. You can see there are gaps in the residential developments there that would allow a mountain lion to pass through without having to deal directly with humans. This is where the land bridge will be built.

permalink | March 6, 2017 at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)

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.

Marta Becket (3665)
Marta Becket.

Amargosa Hotel (3622)

Amargosa Hotel (3644)

Amargosa Hotel (3647)
Amargosa Hotel lobby.

Amargosa Opera House (3626)

Amargosa Opera House (3637)

Amargosa Opera House (3694)

Amargosa Opera House (3698)

Amargosa Opera House (3702)

Amargosa Opera House (3703)
The stove is the only source of heat and was burning with a low fire when we were there

Death Valley Junction Garage (3716)
Death Valley Junction Garage

Death Valley Junction Garage (3720)

Pink Tutu at Amargosa Hotel (3662)
Historic pink tutu not for sale.

More photos here.

permalink | February 28, 2017 at 11:13 PM | Comments (2)

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.

Well, looky here. Can you pick out the weed house in this neighborhood of neat homes? I imagine the police already had their eye on this place.
700 block of Washington in Pomona

permalink | February 6, 2017 at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)

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.

Green Leaf Basement Floor Plan
North is up.

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.

Tentative Parcel Map
This map shows the old city limits, prior to the annexation that reached to I-10

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.

permalink | February 6, 2017 at 01:53 AM | Comments (0)