« June 2013 | Main | August 2013 »

July 31, 2013

Dore Alley 2013

It was a chilly Dore Alley Fair so there was very little nudity. Most of the photos I took are just faces, so it's not too risky to look at them. But like I said most are just faces, which means some are not. Samples:

Dore Alley 2013 (3022)

Dore Alley 2013 (3027)

Dore Alley 2013 (3036)

Dore Alley 2013 (3051)

Dore Alley 2013 (3061)
Yeah, those are doggie dishes
- genius!

Dore Alley 2013 (3075)

Dore Alley 2013 (3088)

Dore Alley 2013 (3092)

Dore Alley 2013 (3113)

Dore Alley 2013 (3118)

Dore Alley 2013 (3129)

Dore Alley 2013 (3153)

Filed under California,Gay Issues,Photography | permalink | July 31, 2013 at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

Spencer Tunick at Burning Man - Again

Spencer Tunick will be at Burning Man this year, as previously reported, and he's been there before! I did not know that. He made nude photos at Burning Man in 2000, 1999 and 1997.

Filed under Burning Man,Naturism-Nudism,Photography | permalink | July 31, 2013 at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

Galleta Meadows Timelapse

Video of the unique sculptures by Ricardo Breceda in Galleta Meadows in the area around Borrego Springs.

My own less exciting photos from Galleta Meadows.

Filed under California,Photography | permalink | July 31, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

Rick Daniels Resigns As City Manager

From the Office of Mayor Yvonne Parks, City of Desert Hot Springs, CA

July 31, 2013

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Rick Daniels has chosen to resign as the City Manager for the City of Desert Hot Springs, CA. In his resignation, Mr. Daniels states he is resigning his position to pursue other opportunities. From my perspective Mr. Daniels has served our community faithfully over the last six (6) years. During that time our community has come together to accomplish a number of objectives significantly improving the quality of life for our residents and setting the stage for an economic renaissance including:

  1. Operation Falling Sun which reduced crime by 47% over the last six years
  2. Parolee reduction by 50%
  3. Over 48 miles of local streets paved
  4. Construction of our new Community Health & Wellness Center which includes a 22,000 s.f. Boys & Girls Club, CIF qualified John H. Furbee Aquatic Center, a health center with two intern physicians and a four-chair dental clinic, a cardiovascular gym, and a 3,000 s.f. community room.
  5. Rehabilitation of a number of buildings in our downtown corridor
  6. The imminent opening of the new Borrego Community Health Foundation Clinic with 17 exam rooms, 10 physicians, a blood lab and an x-ray lab
  7. Completed overpasses at Palm Drive and Indian Canyon
  8. New center medians in downtown core
  9. Annexation of 4,000 acres

This is to name just a few. Progress and change is never easy. For this I offer to our community that as the Mayor I have asked the City Clerk to add to the August 6, 2013 City Council Agenda a closed session item so that we as a city council can discuss an appropriate succession plan that will continue our community to move forward with the progress it has seen over the last six years.

Finally, it is important for our residents and business community to recognize that continuity of leadership and teamwork is vital to our continued success. During this transition, I will re-double my efforts to work closely with all of my city council collogues to ensure that the needs of our residents are met in a professional manner.

The Desert Sun has published a copy of his resignation letter dated July 24. He says the resignation is effective "early September."

July 24, 2013

Honorable Yvonne Parks, Mayor,

This letter is to notify you that I will be leaving the City in early September to pursue other opportunities in either the private or public sector. I have been fortunate, honored, and humbled to have served the good and decent people of Desert Hot Springs and their City Council. I will work with you to assure a smooth transition.

Over the last 6 years much has been accomplished in Desert Hot Springs under your Council's leadership: Street and Parks Improvements, Downtown Renovation, Graffiti Removal, Community Health and Wellness Center, Local Business Prosperity, New Business Recruitment, Workforce Development and the soon to be completed Borrego Family Health Clinic. Equally important is that the public is safer today because of the major improvements to the City Police Department and their proactive approach to community policing and crime ñghting since "Operation Falling Sun".

In public service one only hopes that as one departs, the community is better off and progress towards their community vision has been initiated. Under your Counoil's leadership and the administrative support that the management team has provided, that progress is evident. Desert Hot Springs' brightest days are ahead of it as it moves cioser to the "Shining City on the Hill" to which your leadership has been aiming.

Joyce and | have made many friends in the community that will tast a lifetime. It is with mixed emotions that I move on with my career. Thank you for the opportunity to have served as your City Manager.

Respectfully and optimistically,

Rick Daniels

The Needles Desert Star (not a Gannett newspaper, so it's readable) has a news article saying that Rick Daniels is going to Needles as City Manager.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 31, 2013 at 07:21 PM | Comments (1)


Aerial views of Bodie, California, created with a GoPro Hero3 and a DJI Phantom quadcopter.

Filed under California,GoPro,Photography | permalink | July 31, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

Live Video Feed From Black Rock City - Question Mark?

Will there be a better live feed from Burning Man to the outside world this year? Will there be one at all?! Oh, the thrill of last minute preparations! Seems that our 10-year video crew is taking a break, along with their toys. Volunteers are being sought. Burning Man may buy equipment. Over here on Facebook, Camp Envy is having a long discussion on this subject.

If they're restarting from scratch, then I have hope that all will be done well (or not at all). High-def with an automatic lens cleaner would be nice.

When (if?) it streams, this will be the place.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | July 31, 2013 at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2013

USS Hornet

The USS Hornet was a US Navy aircraft carrier and is now a museum in Alameda. The ship went into service in 1944. The peak of its fame was the recovery of Apollo 11 after it returned from the moon. The Hornet also recovered Apollo 12 and an unmanned Apollo test module. If you go to visit you may want to be aware of the rule about backpacks. There are signs on the dock saying no backpacks are allowed, that you should leave them in your vehicle. I, being the wild man I am, walked on board with mine. For a net cost of $3 they rented me a locker where I could stow it. I took everything out of it and put it in my pockets, so that now the locker held nothing but an empty backpack. If this is some sort of security measure, 100% of what was in my backpack was now on board the Hornet. If, OTOH, this rule is just because a backpack would seriously get in the way bumping through all the narrow passageways, then they don't need the over-the-top signs out on the pier.

This was the first aircraft carrier I had been on and it seemed to be nearly infinite, even though most of the ship is closed off from the public. You can freely wander about 70% of the open areas. For the other 30% you'll be led by a docent...who all seem to be old sailors, although not all had served on the Hornet.

The Hornet prior to this Hornet was CV-8, which went into service in 1940 and was sunk in October 1942. Peak claim to fame for that Hornet was as the launch point for the Doolittle bombing raid on Tokyo in April 1942. So there are some exhibits on board the subsequent Hornet about that.

USS Hornet - Apollo Quarantine (2806)
The quarantine module for Apollos 11 and 12.

USS Hornet - Apollo Test Module (2811)
The Apollo test module from 1966.

USS Hornet - One of our docents (2827)
Our docent when he served on the Hornet in 1956
and his W-2 showing wages of $1,197.81 for the year.

USS Hornet (2760A)

USS Hornet (2765)

USS Hornet (2767)

USS Hornet (2785)
Aerial photo of San Francisco Bay in the 1940s.

USS Hornet (2805)
The helicopter used to retrieve the Apollo modules.

USS Hornet (2835)

USS Hornet (2841)
This was behind plexiglass so we couldn't read it.

USS Hornet (2850)

USS Hornet (2854)
The Marine head
which, the sign told us, was probably the cleanest place on the ship.

USS Hornet (2859)
Pilot briefing room.

USS Hornet - View of SF (2925)

USS Hornet (2892)
Next to these bunks is high voltage equipment
. Behind me as I took this photo was a 2-story high diesel engine. Great place to take a nap.

USS Hornet (2934)

USS Hornet (2935)

USS Hornet (2940)

USS Hornet (2965)

USS Hornet (2982)

The complete set of photos is here.

Filed under History,Photography | permalink | July 30, 2013 at 10:26 PM | Comments (1)

Highly Stylized Stalingrad Coming In October


Filed under Film/Movies,History | permalink | July 30, 2013 at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)

National Night Out In DHS, August 5

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT – August 5, 2013

From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday August 5, 2013, residents are invited to Guy J. Tedesco Park 12800 West Arroyo, Desert Hot Springs for a "Night Out" with your community partners.

All activities are free so come out and have a great "Night Out" with us. There will be food, prizes, McGruff the crime dog, P.C. the patrol car, face painting and kids games with the Boys & Girls Club, kids bounce house, live music, vehicle displays by several public safety agencies, and more.

On Monday, August 5, 2013, neighborhoods throughout Desert Hot Springs are being invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 30th Annual "National Night Out" crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored locally by the Desert Hot Springs Police Department, will involve over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world. In all, over 37 million people are expected to participate in 'America's Night Out Against Crime' this year.

National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | July 30, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

Construction Of Black Rock City Begins

Golden spike 2013
Will Roger driving the Golden Spike
which marks the spot on which the Man will stand. This took place yesterday. Who is Will Roger?

Will Roger
Director of Nevada Relations & Special Projects

Will Roger builds Black Rock City, and comes to us from Rochester, New York, where he taught photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. As a teacher he was known to be patient, saturnine, and subversive. He naturally attracted a group of devoted students. The title of his course, "In Search Of the Mystical Image," expresses the character of his work. Vapor trails of motion in these portrait studies seem to blend body and spirit, and this, in turn, suggests Will's person.

His prepossessing presence combines with a serenity of character. Will has a way of seeing the large picture, of grasping the greater scope of things around him, while, all the while, remaining planted in the present moment. He is an excellent cook, a disarming host, and a knowing connoisseur of life's varied pleasures. He is also mischievous. While patrolling the perimeter of our camp's circle in 1995, he'd speak to motorists who threatened to invade our central plaza. Mostly they were locals, he recalls, in pickups sporting gun racks. "You may not want to go in here," he would tell them, as if imparting an intimate confidence, "there's is a girl who's pretty wild and she's on a motor bike. Her father," he would add, "is an attorney." Without a further question, he informs us, they would turn around drive away. In 1998 Will was the head honcho while building our city, and worked on both the permit and required Environmental Assessment. Additionally, he established the first Gerlach office for Burning Man in an old jail. Currently, he is the chief of staff of the DPW. In 2001, Will and the DPW began development of the new property at Black Rock Station.

The gates open in 25 days, the Man burns in 32.

Webcams in Gerlach with a view of the Black Rock Desert.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | July 30, 2013 at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2013

LA World Naked Bike Ride Photos

The Los Angeles World Naked Bike Ride (Facebook) took place on June 8, 2013. In addition to shots with my usual handheld camera I took photos with my GoPro mounted on my helment pointing backwards. You can see all the photos here. There are over 4,900 photos and no sane person is going to want to page through all the GoPro photos and Flickr's slideshow completely sucks. So what I've done is create a slideshow using GraphicConverter. I made a few attempts to create the slideshow with iMovie, but it ran out of memory every time no matter how I tried to downgrade the video. The slideshow produced with GraphicConverter is 1920x1440, 1 photo per second with no transitions, making it just shy of 1 hour and 2 minutes long, with music, 4.2 GB. I don't know of a site that will allow the easy sharing of a large file that includes nonsexual nudity, but if you have a suggestion I'll listen. In the meantime, I'm making it available to some people on disk. Ask me for a copy. The video is available on Vimeo. In addition to the riders, of course, the video/slideshow becomes something of a survey of the streets of central Los Angeles as we traveled through a variety of neighborhoods. Unfortunately, my memory card filled up after we got off the bike path, at about the 80% point in the ride. Next year I'll do better. A few of the pictures:

L.A. World Naked Bike Ride (4728)

L.A. World Naked Bike Ride (4776)

L.A. World Naked Bike Ride (4764)
Gil from Palm Springs.

L.A. World Naked Bike Ride (4737)
Sunset Boulevard.

L.A. World Naked Bike Ride (4848) Cudgel Lady
The nice lady with the cudgel on the bike path warning us to "move on" after her male associate stopped us by throwing a punch at one of the riders.

Filed under California,Cities/Urbanism,Cycling,GoPro,Naturism-Nudism | permalink | July 28, 2013 at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2013

A Wallflower At Burning Man

A chubby wallflower finds happiness at Dust City Diner in Black Rock City.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | July 26, 2013 at 07:59 PM | Comments (1)

July 25, 2013

Dronenburg Through The Looking Glass

Gay activists in San Diego County held a press conference Tuesday morning to address San Diego County Clerk Dronenburg's petition in which he sought to halt same-sex marriage in California. Dronenburg himself showed up at the press conference and explained "I believe it's cruel to set up [same-gender couples] for marriage and then take it away. That's why I'm simply seeking clarification to the court's rulings so we don't have to do this again."

So the reason he wanted to stop same-sex marriage is because it would be cruel to do so. I understand now.

Filed under California,Gay Issues | permalink | July 25, 2013 at 07:21 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2013

Twenty County Clerks

San Diego County Clerk Dronenburg said that the California Supreme Court would be hearing from 20 more county clerks, and indeed he was right! But they were 20 county clerks who urged the Supreme Court to reject Dronenburg's petition. "Written by Monterey County Counsel Charles J. McKee, the petition noted that the state Supreme Court already ruled in an earlier marriage equality case, Lockyer v. the City and County of San Francisco, that county clerks and recorders serve 'under the supervision of state officials' when it comes to administering marriage laws."

Really! Does a county clerk need the Supreme Court to explain to him that the Constitution of California applies to the entire state?

UPDATE: Here's the petition filed by these twenty county clerks. Central to their argument is Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco which was the decision in 2004 that county clerks "are state officials with respect to administration of marriage laws." That decision was what stopped same sex marriages in San Francisco.

Filed under California,Gay Issues | permalink | July 24, 2013 at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

This is why we don't have prayer in public meetings

This is at a recent Alabama Public Service Commission meeting. The initial build up to the minister comes from Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, President of the Commission. The minister is John Delwin Jordan. It has been my experience that one thing all religious leaders have in common is the ability to speak clearly to a gathering of people. Mr. Jordan is the exception. Give him a microphone and he mumbles into it muddily. Fortunately (or not) the video comes with a transcript. Here's the wrap-up:

God, we've taken you out of our schools, we've taken you out of our prayers, we've murdered your children ... we've said it's OK to have same-sex marriage, God. We have sinned. And we ask once again that you'll forgive us of our sins.

If there is anybody here that is in agreement with this, may us in the powerful, most mighty name, the name that's above all names, and that's Jesus ... and everybody said, "Amen."

There's probably no money in suing public commissions for offending ones religious sensibilities, so I don't expect a team of lawyers to be jumping on this.

John Archibald wrote an opinion piece at AL.com saying he thinks it was part of a strategy to cloud the issues before the PSC.

Filed under Religion | permalink | July 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

NYC Tap Water Promotion

Stay hydrated with delicious NYC water!
A hose and some taps in the shade
. Don't need anything fancier than that! Photo by Scott Beale.

Filed under Cities/Urbanism,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

BLM Approves First Multi-year Permit For Burning Man

The Bureau of Land Management has approved a permit that will allow Burning Man to take place on the Black Rock Desert through 2016. The population cap has been set at 68,000. A copy of the decision itself (13-page PDF) is available here. It makes some revisions to the EIR. Other BLM info is available here.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | July 24, 2013 at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2013

California Supremes Say "No" To Dronenburg

Were we expecting anything different?

Filed under California,Gay Issues | permalink | July 23, 2013 at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

DHS Planning Commission - 7/23/2013

The Desert Hot Springs Planning Commission met tonight with one item on the agenda: amending the sign ordinance to regulate political signs. Commissioner Colarossi was absent from this meeting.

Political signs are defined only as those relating to an election: signs for or against candidates or questions on the ballot. It does not regulate other signs that might have a political message like "No More War."

The sign ordinance currently exempts political signs from ALL regulations. They can be as big as they want and put wherever they want. The proposed ordinance was approved as written 4-0. It will go to the City Council for their vote at the first (and only) meeting in August. If approved, they must vote on it again in September. It would become effective 30 days after that.

The proposed ordinance removes the exemption for political signs from the sign ordinance. It specifies that they must be removed within 10 days after the election. There is no restriction on how early signs can be displayed. Other than that, political signs will be regulated the same way other temporary signs are in Desert Hot Springs.

  • If on private property, the owner's permission must be obtained.
  • In residential zones that signs can be no larger than 4 square feet nor higher than 5 feet.
  • In commercial and industrial zones they can be no larger than 32 square feet nor higher than 8 feet.
  • Illumination is prohibited.
  • No signs on public property, which includes rights of way and roadway medians.
  • No signs attached to other signs or utility poles.

There was a discussion about political banners or balloons. Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Mizrahi said a temporary political banner would be regulated the same way as any other temporary banner. As for balloons, she said she didn't think the city's code addressed advertising balloons. It probably also does not address skywriting or laser displays on the hillsides, so let's see if any candidate has the nerve to drive a truck through those loopholes.

It was noted that for the sake of simplicity in enforcement, the size restrictions are based solely on zoning so, for example, signs in a residential zone are always limited to no more than 4 square feet, no matter how large the residential area is, nor whether it is built up or still undeveloped.

Director's Report

Martín Magaña reported that he toured the new Borrego Clinic building today. The floors are in and they were installing baseboard. They expect to complete construction and hand it over to Borrego in 3 weeks, well ahead of the September 2 deadline.

The city has still not received plans for the development of Pierson Professional Plaza. The county has given the developers a deadline of September 2014 for completion of the county building that will go there.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 23, 2013 at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)

Boston compared to Detroit

An op-ed by Tom Keane in the Boston Globe. In 1980 Detroit and Boston were similar. Population had dropped. They both suffered from white flight to the suburbs. Crime soared. Properties sat vacant.

Since then Boston's population has climbed, it has a large middle class population, and property values are headed for the sky again. What made the difference? Keane says it comes down "to one key essential: public safety." He says that from 1980 to the present "crime in Boston dropped precipitously, thanks in large measure to a series of crime-fighting reforms dubbed the 'Boston Miracle.' Boston was soon being called one of the nation's safest big cities."

I moved to Boston in 1980 (but I'm not ready to attribute all of Boston's improvements to that fact) and while it did get safer while I lived there, I don't recall anyone referring to a "Boston Miracle," nor do I remember any talk about crime-fighting reforms. I do recall that every time I dealt with Boston Police (I was always the innocent victim of some crime, never the perp) the great majority of the cops were incompetent or rude to me or both. I avoided dealing with them as much as possible.

Public safety undoubtedly played a role in Boston's recovery, but I think Mr. Keane is overlooking other major influences on it, especially the economy. Detroit's economy was based mostly on traditional American heavy industry. Boston's was mostly education (including medicine) and the arts. The high-tech industry grew out of that. Boston's old traditional industries (shoes, export/import) died away long before Detroit's heavy industries, so Boston didn't have to deal with that over the last 30 years.

Googling "Boston Miracle" shows me that the term came into use after I left Boston and referred to programs that began in the mid 1990s including Operation Ceasefire: Boston Gun Project which was a complex operation that focused on "a small number of chronically offending gang-involved youth responsible for much of Boston's youth homicide problem." Credit is given to David Kennedy and he's published a book about it entitled Don't Shoot

Filed under Books,Cities/Urbanism,Public Safety | permalink | July 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)