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July 31, 2021

Bad Police Work in Desert Hot Springs

Here's an article in the Press-Enterprise about the false charges brought against Roger Wayne Parker after DHS Police detectives did a poor job of trying to elicit a false confession from him.

He continued in the memo: "Many of these questions cannot be answered by 'further investigation.' There were many mistakes made during the investigation of this case. These mistakes cannot be undone, nor can many of them be remedied by further investigation. Forensic evidence hurts our case against the defendant and illustrates the mistakes made by law enforcement during the case investigation. It creates very reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt. Therefore, it is recommended that this case be dismissed."

Ross' lawsuit sums it up this way: "The facts demonstrated extremely shoddy police work that coerced a confession from an innocent man with significant intellectual disabilities who plainly knew nothing about the crime. The evidence, in fact, pointed to another individual as the guilty party."

Desert Hot Springs Police Chief Jim Henson declined comment on the quality of the police work and why the case remains unsolved. Henson, coincidentally, was one of the lead investigators on the Stevenson murder case.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | July 31, 2021 at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2021

Sheep Geometry

Filed under Art,Photography | permalink | July 29, 2021 at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2021

Gang Of Elk

Cannon Beach, Oregon.

| permalink | July 24, 2021 at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

Aluminaire House Coming To Palm Springs

It will be built in the south parking lot at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Google satellite view.

Filed under Architecture,Coachella Valley,History | permalink | July 24, 2021 at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2021

Four On Broadway (Los Angeles)

These were all shot on Ilford Delta 400 film.

Tim Cook (1)
Tim Cook

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (24)
Proscenium in the Apple Store

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (25)
Apple Tower Theatre

State Theatre - United Building
Not an Apple Store at all!
This is the State Theatre in the United Building, a block away from the Apple Store at Seventh and Broadway. The Gumm Sisters performed here.

Filed under Architecture,Photography,Shopping | permalink | July 23, 2021 at 08:05 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2021

Four More At The Apple Store Grand Opening

These were all shot on Ilford Delta 400 film.
Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (13)

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (11)

Apple Tower Theatre - Drinking Fountain Detail
Drinking fountain detail

Apple Tower Theatre - Ceiling Detail

Filed under Architecture,Film/Movies,Photography,Shopping | permalink | July 22, 2021 at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

Victorville City Council Nonsense

A report in the Press-Enterprise about an exciting city council meeting in Victorville. If the Press-Enterprise is to be believed, a man was arrested at the July 20 city council meeting for the crime of recording the meeting. This was an open Brown Act meeting, and you can watch all of it on YouTube, so where's the crime? Naturally, I had to go watch the video to understand what really happened. The very short summary is: incompetent reporting from a mediocre newspaper. The longer explanation follows.

The Victorville city council has a problem that we've seen before in other governing bodies. There's one city councilmember, Blanca Gomez, who does not want to observe the rules of procedure for the meeting. Her need to express her opinion is immediate and more important than any other matter before the city council. She does not need to ask for recognition. She does not need to express herself politely. She does not have to contribute constructively to the meeting. We've seen this many times, and the person who behaves this way never seems to realize that they could actually accomplish something if they followed the rules of the meeting. I have no data to support my opinion, but I think a lot of these people imagine they are the heroes of the downtrodden and they "prove" that fantasy to themselves over and over by being shut down my meeting chairs for failure to follow the rules of the meeting. Far from benefitting the downtrodden, of course, this behavior just wastes time and disrespects those who voted her in, hoping that she might actually accomplish something. I call elected officials who behave like this "grashites."

In the video, please skip ahead to 4:13:07 where Gomez begins to remark on the motion before the council. Mayor Jones tries to interrupt her.

Mayor Jones is the other half of this problem. Grashites do not do well in a vacuum, but put them under an imperious, arrogant chair and they thrive (and get articles in the newspaper!). Mayor Jones does not see her primary task to be overseeing a cordial and effective meeting. Her job is to keep people aware that she is imperious and arrogant. After all, the mayor of Victorville (pop. 128,000) is not a figure to be trifled with.

Unfortunately, the audio recording system in Victorville is not quite up to snuff, and whenever Jones tries to stop Gomez from speaking, Gomez leans closer to her microphone and raises her voice, so nothing can be understood. I couldn't understand these comments of Gomez, nor why Jones considered them out of order. Gomez continued to try to talk as the council was voting! That particular vote passed 3-1 with Gomez being the only No vote.

Gomez continued speaking even as Jones introduced the next item on the agenda, and didn't stop when the city manager began to speak. Minutes later when Jones called on Gomez for comments, Gomez had to ask her to clarify what agenda item they were discussing. Her need to speak over everyone else was more important than paying attention to where the meeting was going.

At 4:19:39 a bald-headed man enters the video frame and sits in the second row of the audience, first seat to the right of the central aisle. We will call him "Bald Man."

Then, shortly after the council began discussion of filling a vacancy on the planning commission at 4:20:29, another man enters and sits in the third row, second seat from the central aisle. He is wearing a fedora and a suit jacket and appears to be wearing a neck gaiter as a face mask (of the sort that is currently acceptable as an anti-COVID mask). He is holding an awake smartphone in his right hand. This will turn out to be Robert Daniel Rodriguez. If he is recording the council meeting, that seems to be secondary to his recording other things around him. Shortly after he sits down, he aims the phone (as if taking a photo or recording a video) to his right. Later we will see that there is a person sitting two seats to Rodriguez'a right, but at this point in the video they are off screen. Then at 4:22:54 Rodriguez appears to aim his phone's camera over the shoulder of Bald Man (who is just in front of and to the left of Rodriguez) as if trying to record whatever documents Bald Man has on his lap. This is probably technically legal, but it is damn rude as he is getting right into the man's personal space.

At 4:32:59 Jones is introducing the next item and pauses as she leafs through some papers. Gomez, without seeking recognition, says "I'm sorry. We're being entertained...there's discussion between your husband - to the chair - and the two women that are next to Mr. Metzler [the city manager, sitting at the dais]. That's very distracting." Jones thanked her for that, but then lectured her on seeking recognition from the chair before speaking. Gomez interrupted Jones saying "It's on video!" I've no idea what she meant by that. Jones then moves on with the meeting, not addressing the issue.

At 4:39:15 Rodriguez leaves his seat, heading toward the back of the room via the central aisle. At 4:39:44 he returns to the same seat. After getting seated, he takes up some papers in his left hand. This suggests that he went to the back of the room to get a copy of the agenda and was now looking at it, but all you can see is that it's papers. It's difficult to tell (the video resolution is only 720 and the ZOOM logo overlays the area where Rodriguez is seated) if he is reading the agenda or holding it up so that council members cannot see what little of his face remains visible.

At 4:40:44 Gomez stands up while the city manager is answering her question. She walks over to stand behind Jones and appears to be looking at something on the dais in front of whoever is to our right (the mayor's left) of Jones. Jones doesn't react to this and it appears to be irrelevant to our story, but it was strange. Gomez immediately returned to her seat.

At 4:42:55 Gomez rises from her seat again, but this time walks to our left, off the dais and off screen. A moment later we see her walk across the bottom of the screen to sit next to Rodriguez. At that point Jones interrupted to point out Gomez had left the dais without her permission. You can see Gomez gesturing, and Bald Man turned around briefly to glance, so it seems that Gomez and Rodriguez may be in conversation. I have never been in any California government meeting where a board member left the dais to talk privately to someone in the audience while the meeting was in full operation. After a minute or so, Gomez rises and walks to the left and off screen again. At 4:44:01 Gomez is back in her seat on the dais. A few moments later, as the mayor pro tem was asking a question, Gomez interrupts to ask Jones if she will recognize that she has returned to the dais. If you make it your mission to offend every member of the council, you will not make much progress toward any other goals.

At 4:45:35 the camera pulls back a bit so that now we can see the tops of the backs of the seats in the row where Rodriguez is seated. This allows us to see that someone is seated two seats to the right of Rodriguez. While the city manager was answering the mayor pro tem's question (which she had to repeat because of Gomez's earlier interruption) Gomez interrupted again. "Thank you for moving the camera. I appreciate that targeting. I'm watching." Jones began, "Member Gomez..." whereupon Gomez raised her voice so Jones could not be understood. Gomez: "No, I'm going to put it on the record. I see what you guys are doing." [Grashites live in a world where they are surrounded by conspiracies.] Gomez continued: "You, [some unintelligible name], and all of the [unclear] are driving that man back there." Gomez continued speaking and gesturing, but since she had raised her voice and gotten closer to the microphone, it was mostly garbled and I could make no sense of it. Then it seems Gomez's microphone was shut off. Jones asked the city manager to continue. Gomez continued to rant and either they turned her microphone back on or she yelled loud enough to be heard clearly on others microphones. "You guys are all on camera," Gomez shouted. At 4:47:42 Jones says that Gomez is not recognized, so it seems she must have been speaking again, but her microphone was turned off so we couldn't hear what she said. Gomez continued gesturing and then spoke loud enough to be heard saying "Nobody says anything to you. If I'm..." Here Jones spoke over Gomez, so Gomez's speech became unintelligible until she said "You have to be honest don't you. So correct yourself when you're talking [something in Spanish]". Jones was speaking at the same time. Jones denied speaking to someone. Gomez responded "I don't recognize you either, woman. Yes, I'm speaking to you." Jones said Gomez was "very much out of order." Gomez responded "You are out of order." Gomez continued to speak unintelligibly with a raised voice while Jones spoke. Jones repeated the Gomez had not been recognized. Gomez responded "You haven't been recognized." Jones asked Gomez to bring herself to order. Gomez responded "You shall bring yourself to order." Jones apologized to the city manager who had been trying to answer a question. Gomez said "There's no need to apologize for your behavior."

While discussing an agenda item on translation services, Jones made a motion. That's at 4:51:55. After getting a second, Jones recognized Gomez who offered a substitute motion. But she then she continued on with commentary on her substitute motion instead of waiting for a second. Jones stopped her saying "The motion, not commentary, just the motion." Gomez responded "Well, you do it all the time, so I'm following after your..." Jones interrupted her. There was no second, so Gomez's motion died.

While Jones was discussing her original motion, Gomez (without seeking recognition, of course) asked "So, can you modify your motion and say that?" Jones said she was not recognized. Jones explained that she was commenting on her pending motion. Gomez replied "Oh, you're commenting. Got it." At 4:53:57 Gomez interrupts Jones again starting to say "Which is easy when you..." but Jones spoke over her. Then Gomez interrupted again saying "I'd like to modify your motion to add exactly what you said, because you've brought a point that is not part of the motion." Jones said Gomez was not recognized. Gomez said "So then your a bunch of talk." After more discussion, Gomez again spoke without seeking recognition at 4:55:22 saying "There is no timeline, so whenever you guys want..." Jones interrupted her saying "Member Gomez has not been recognized and will suspend and bring herself to order." Gomez responded "You can suspend and bring yourself to order."

Gomez is actually recognized at 4:55:38. She began to read the staff recommendation from the agenda. Jones interrupted her, saying "We're talking about the pending motion." "Is this not the pending motion?" Gomez asks. She's been so caught up in her own childish theatrics she has failed to notice Jones made a motion that was different than staff's recommendation. But, you know, there's no need to actually know what's going on if you are a hero of the downtrodden. Jones explains that her motion was different than the recommendation. Gomez asked Jones to repeat her motion which she did.

Amidst that, at 4:55:59 we can see that Rodriguez swings his phone around to the right and extends his arm, apparently trying to photograph the man two seats to his right. That man waves him away, then pushes his hand. Rodriguez pushes his phone close to the guy again. The man seems to speak to someone off screen and then holds up his hand, seemingly trying to block the lens on Rodriguez's phone. Rodriguez is not discouraged.

Jones interrupts her discussion with Gomez saying "Mr Jones! The gentleman. There will be no communication in the...Mr. De Bortnowsky, does a member of the audience have a right to record another member of the audience?" Mr. De Bortnowsky, the city attorney, answered that "Right now that looks like they're disturbing the meeting and you could ask them to leave if they're going to be disruptive."

Jones says "The gentleman in the mask will cease at this moment or I'm going to ask you to leave." At about the same time Rodriguez reached over to the man on his right and appears to touch or nearly touch his chest. Gomez says "He's been recording." Jones says "My husband does not record." Ah! So now we learn that the man two seats to the right of Rodriguez is Mr. Jones, the First Gentleman of Victorville. We can see he has his phone out too. Later he slips it inside his pocket. Gomez says "I know. He's on my camera. Don't worry about...I HAVE HIM RECORDING. DON'T WORRY 'BOUT IT. Don't worry about it, I got it on my camera. Doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. I got it. Both of them are recording." Jones directs a deputy to look at Rodriguez's phone to "see if he's been recording." This whole back and forth does make it sound as if Victorville council members think recording their meetings is not permitted. The deputy appears on screen at 4:57:35. Gomez gets up from her seat and walks to our left, off screen. Jones calls a 5-minute recess. Video ceases and resumes at 4:59:54 where we see Rodriguez and three deputies now standing in the central aisle with Gomez between them. Jones tries to continue the meeting while this now much more obvious disruption is occurring right in front of the dais. Gomez has her phone out and appears to be photographing the deputies, as is Rodriguez. Then, as a vote is being taken, Rodriguez and Gomez appear to cooperate with the deputies and walk toward the back of the room and off screen.

Remaining items on the agenda were skipped and the council returned to a closed session that had begun before this open session. The subject was the employee evaluation of the city manager. Gomez was absent from the closed session. Jones adjourned the meeting solely by gaveling without saying a word. Is that valid?

BTW, if you're looking for the agenda, the link on the city's website doesn't work. This is a link that works. And this links to the agenda packet for this July 20, 2021 meeting. There is nothing written on the agenda nor in City Council Policy and Procedures Manual to suggest that recording of meetings is prohibited. The only mention in the manual is to specify that it must not disrupt the meeting.

Filed under California,Politics | permalink | July 22, 2021 at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2021

Four More B&W Film Photos

Wiefel's Mortuary (1)
Wiefel's Mortuary in Desert Hot Springs
, Bergger Pancro400 film.

Rialto Metrolink Station (3)
The Rialto Metrolink station
, Bergger Pancro400 film.

L.A. Union Station Ceiling (2)
A light on the ceiling in Union Station
, Rollei Retro 80S film.

Clifton's Cafeteria (1)
The sidewalk in front of the former Clifton's Cafeteria
, Ilford Delta 400 film.

Filed under Photography | permalink | July 21, 2021 at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

Academy Museum Announces Inaugural Programming

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will kick off its actual (not virtual) programming with a 70mm copy of Malcolm X on September 6. Following that will be The Wizard of Oz, accompanied by the American Youth Symphony.

Filed under Film/Movies | permalink | July 21, 2021 at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2021

Indictments For Gender Reveal Party

Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez have been indicted for "one count of involuntary manslaughter, three felony counts of recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury, four felony counts of recklessly causing a fire to inhabited structures and 22 misdemeanor counts" because their gender reveal party on September 5, 2020, involved a pyrotechnic device that ignited the El Dorado Fire which killed one firefighter, injured thirteen others, burned 22,680 acres, destroying five homes and damaging four others.

Filed under California,Public Safety | permalink | July 20, 2021 at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

Pinball Museum In Banning?

Who knew? But it's too late now. The Museum of Pinball will become a marijuana cultivation facility. Do you think it could have benefited from more publicity? It's been there six years and this is the first I've ever heard of it.

There is still the Pinball Museum with its webpage from 1993 in Las Vegas.

Filed under Coachella Valley | permalink | July 20, 2021 at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

Rick Daniels Makes The Front Page Of The L.A. Times

Rick Daniels, the former city manager of Desert Hot Springs, has been city manager of Needles since he left our fair city. The city is the water purveyor there. Water came from four wells until three of them were shut down for high levels of magnesium. The city has not adequately maintained infrastructure and doesn't have the $1.5 million to dig a new well. MSWD pays a lot more than that for a new well, but Needle's water table might be a lot higher, being right on the Colorado River.

One of America's hottest cities is down to one water well. What happens if the taps go dry?

JULY 20, 2021 5 AM PT

NEEDLES, Calif. — Rick Daniels lies awake at night worrying about a rusty contraption in a forlorn field, littered with discarded pipes and fire hydrants.

It is the only water pump in Needles that meets state water quality standards, running 23 hours a day to keep up with demand, according to Daniels, the city manager. That's a thin margin in one of America's hottest cities, an urban speck in the desert near California's border with Arizona.

If this lone pump fails, 5,000 residents face the ultimate risk of taps running dry, as temperatures soar past 120 degrees and people need to gulp as much as two gallons daily. In June, a transient person died while sitting on a curb midday, one of about 10 people a year who succumb to heat, city officials say.

Across California and the West, the current drought is causing many wells to dry up, but few other communities are looking at their single water lifeline going to zero.

"We are incredibly vulnerable," Daniels said. "We are talking about life and death."

The Colorado River flows right through this isolated historic railroad town, carrying about 6 million gallons every minute. But under western water laws, the city can't pull a single drop from the river.

Historically, the city has depended on four wells that draw from the river's nearby aquifer.

That worked fine for decades until late last year, when California's water authorities notified the city that three of its wells failed to meet state standards because of a naturally occurring mineral — manganese — that affects health. A May citation found the city had violated state water law and ordered a corrective plan by the end of this year.

The city says it can't afford a fix, which would include a new well for $1.5 million.

So, Needles' single well works around the clock. The city has three tanks that could keep water flowing for 24 to 36 hours if the pump stops — assuming everything else were to go just right. By comparison, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California requires its member water agencies to have a seven-day emergency supply.

Needles officials say state officials don't appreciate their desperate situation and protested that the order could jeopardize public safety. The city wants to keep the decommissioned wells as a backup in case of emergency.

Eric Zúñiga, the district engineer at the State Water Resources Control Board who signed the citations, said the board is encouraging the city to make its system more redundant, either by filtering or treating the bad water or by finding new sources. In an email, he added that his citation does not forbid the city from using wells contaminated with manganese if it notifies customers, but city officials believe they will be forced to physically disconnect them.

It is doubtful that, in an emergency, the city would facilitate a mass casualty event by not somehow supplying water — even contaminated water or water taken unlawfully from the Colorado River. But it has entered unknown territory, a zone of risk where few other cities venture.

Daniels agrees, but adds, "This citation was outrageous, insensitive and out of touch."

By all accounts, the city's water system is decrepit. In 2020, a 16-inch city water main burst at a bridge abutment over I-40 and dumped roughly 500,000 gallons on the freeway, a main freight route from California ports. The spill halted eastbound traffic for hours until one lane was opened. It took days to remove 3-foot-thick mud.

A lot of California water agencies are in tough shape, because of aging infrastructure, drought, rising temperatures and political priorities lying elsewhere. Jay Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, said that California has about 9,000 regulated water utilities and that as many as 1,000 of those systems have problems of some type.

Decision-making authority is diluted. Municipal water managers make most decisions and report to regional water boards. The regional boards are overseen by the state water board. The Department of Water Resources controls the supply of surface water. The California Public Utilities Commission oversees rate setting and service. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has some jurisdiction over state operations. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation controls the Colorado River.

"We have quite a few chiefs looking over this deal," Lund said. "If you are a regulator, you have all these systems all over the place, and you don't have much staff."

Needles, among the poorest communities in California, has always prided itself for persevering. But now an inhospitable climate is becoming unbearable in so many ways.

"Every time there is a heat wave, Needles is up there among the hottest temperatures of the day," said Brian Lada, an Accuweather meteorologist. A ranking of the nation's most blistering cities by Lada didn't include Needles because it is too small, he said.

A housing survey found that 55% of the residents are on some form of welfare assistance. There isn't a grocery market in town, though a well-stocked liquor store has a few aisles for canned goods and frozen food. A handful of cannabis dispensaries and shuttered 1950s-era motels cluster around the main drag, the historic Route 66.

The city's economy and its tax revenue are hurt by its proximity to Arizona, which is right across the Colorado River, and Nevada. On a recent day, gasoline was selling in Needles for $5.19 a gallon, but across the bridge it was under $2.90. A Walmart is 12 miles up Highway 95 in Bullhead City, Ariz.

Many of the highly paid in Needles live in Nevada or Arizona, spending their California income out of state. BNSF railroad has a crew station in Needles with about 500 employees, but the vast majority live in Nevada or Arizona, city officials say. Indeed, nearly all cars in the BNSF employee parking lot have Arizona or Nevada license plates.

Calling Needles "remote" would be an understatement. The city is more than 200 miles from the county seat, San Bernardino. Its state senator lives farther away in the Central Valley. The nearest major California city is Barstow, 140 miles away. Las Vegas is 100 miles away. It isn't clear what friends it would have in an emergency.

Even now, after begging for intervention, the city hasn't gotten much help. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state legislators and its congressional representative either didn't respond to letters or don't offer much, according to Needles officials.

"We need help," said Rainie Torrance, a city utility manager.

A nonprofit coalition of labor unions and contractors, known as Rebuild SoCal Partnership, has taken up the city's cause. It has helped contact state officials and prepare grant requests. Marci Stanage, the group's director for water and environmental relations, said she is surprised that nobody has responded to the city's problems or her group's efforts.

After visiting Needles to advise them on a new well, Dave Sorem, an engineer on the group's board and vice president of a Baldwin Park construction firm, said: "The city is in more trouble than it realizes. California has a $76-billion budget surplus, but it can't help out for a million-and-a-half-dollar well? Come on."

The city's single pump could fail for any number of reasons. Water wells have intake pipes at their bottoms, with screens to allow the water to flow into the pipe. The screens can collapse and plug the well, according to Bryan Hickstein, the city's chief water operator. The steel well casings can collapse, he said, or the motor can burn out, as it did last year. The city had a spare motor, and a contractor rushed out from Anaheim with a crane.

The city's problems began last November when the water board put the city on notice that three of its wells showed manganese levels above the maximum allowable level of 50 micrograms per liter. Then in May, the water board issued a citation, requiring a corrective action plan by the end of 2023.

Daniels said he complained about the list of requirements in the citation, and shortly after, the board issued a revised citation that moved the corrective action plan deadline to the end of 2021. Zúñiga, the water board engineer, said the original date was a typographical error and had nothing to do with comments from the city.

Manganese, not to be confused with magnesium, is a metal abundant in the Earth's crust. At low levels, it is an essential nutrient for humans, but at elevated levels it poses undefined risks. The state established a maximum allowable level, citing "aesthetic" issues with high concentrations, which stain clothes, sinks and stucco. It also leaves water with a bitter taste. Iron was another aesthetic problem in the wells, but it is generally not high enough to be harmful.

Water toxicologists say there is growing evidence that at higher concentrations manganese can cause neurological disorders, particularly in young children.

"We are moving toward a regulated level," said Donald Smith, a recognized national expert on manganese and a toxicology professor at UC Santa Cruz. "It is unclear whether a level of 50 micrograms per liter causes neurological effects. My professional opinion is that there is reason to be concerned. We don't know what level is safe and what level is unsafe."

California may be the only state to regulate manganese. Minnesota has a guidance limit of 100 micrograms per liter, twice California's level. Zúñiga said he is not aware of any other states that regulate the metal.

Janice Paget, a board member of the Needles Chamber of Commerce, said most people in town aren't aware of the manganese issue.

"I don't even know what kind of side effect it causes," she said.

Cost is a more common complaint, Paget said, noting that she and her husband, the only surgeon in Needles, had a water bill of $174 in June.

Drilling a new well would be one solution for Needles. The city hired a hydrologist who identified a site unlikely to be contaminated.

But the city doesn't have the roughly $1.5 million needed to dig the well, Daniels said. As it is, utility customers are more than $300,000 behind on their bills.

Filed under California,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 20, 2021 at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2021

The Cycle Of Life

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | July 19, 2021 at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

Another Four From Los Angeles

These photos were shot on Bergger Pancro400 film.

Gateway To Los Angeles (3)
Gateway To Los Angeles
, public art on the Los Angeles Street overpass over US 101.

Los Angeles Union Station (6)
Los Angeles Union Station

Los Angeles Union Station (3)
The north hall at L.A. Union Station
. Generally, this area is barricaded off so you can't walk in there, but one can certainly look and photograph. This part of the station is used mostly as a filming location — you've seen it many times.

Here is IMDB's list of more than 150 films that used Union Station as a filming location including the aptly titled Union Station, starring William Holden.

Los Angeles Union Station (4)
Turn 180° from the north hall and you're looking at this

Filed under Architecture,Film/Movies,Photography | permalink | July 19, 2021 at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2021

Four More In Los Angeles

These were shot on Bergger Pancro400 film.

Lamp Fixture at Union Station (2)

Million Dollar Theater (1)
The Million Dollar Theater
, the first Grauman theater. Wikipedia.

Million Dollar Theater (2)
The Million Dollar Theater, all of it

Cameo Theatre (1)
The Cameo Theatre
operated from 1910 to 1991, making it "the city's longest running, continually operating theatre." More info.

Filed under Architecture,Cities/Urbanism,History,Photography | permalink | July 18, 2021 at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

The Mayor Of Springfield, Missouri, On The Subject Of COVID

He may be an independent, or at least he won't say he's a Republican or Democrat.

Filed under Health,Politics | permalink | July 18, 2021 at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)

Dollar General

About half of what this video claims are the conditions that Dollar General looks for when selecting a location do not apply in Desert Hot Springs, but they're building a second one here anyway. IOW, the selection process is more refined than the WSJ says it is.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Shopping | permalink | July 18, 2021 at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2021

Four More From The Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (3)

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (2)

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6)

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (4)

All shot on Rollei Retro 80S film.

Filed under Architecture,Photography,Shopping | permalink | July 17, 2021 at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

Gubernatorial Candiate Forum At The Pickford, July 22

UNITE 911, a group whose name is appropriately all-caps, will host a gubernatorial candidate forum at the Pickford Theater on July 22 as part of their ongoing effort to save us from "the Marxist/Socialist/Communist agenda." So far they have commitments from six people who you never heard of:

  • Anthony Trimino. His website gives prominent placement to a video of his family in which two of his sons dress like carnival barkers. He's proud of the business he started, but he will not name the business nor even describe what sort of business it is. In his video he shows a building bearing the name "Traffik," so maybe that's his business. He is willing to specify that he is a member of the Forbes Agency Council, "an invitation-only, fee-based organization for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies." IOW, no big deal. On the issues, he says absolutely nothing specific. He does, however, say that he believes "faith" is a verb, and then proceeds to use it as a noun. I want to see him write a sentence using "faith" as a verb. I'm sure Shakespeare could have done it. Even on the perennial Republican subject of cutting taxes he can't name a single tax that he would cut. He avoids most of the so-called "dog whistles" that Trump supporters in other states use, but in his campaign video he does cite Critical Race Theory, but like all the other Republicans he fails to point out what schools are teaching it.
  • Steve Lodge seems to be best known as the fiancé of Vicki Gunvalson who was on Real Housewives of Orange County. I assume he is not a descendant of Henry Cabot Lodge, or he would mention that on his website. He has that annoying habit of capitalizing random words for no apparent reason, like this: "stared in the Television series." Ignore the spelling error, why is "television" capitalized? He's got a solution for homelessness: incarceration of drug addicts, alcoholics and the mentally ill. "They’re doing something similar to this down in Dallas County, Texas," he said. (You hear so many Californians pining for the Elysium that is Dallas County, Texas.) He doesn't say what he's going to do with those single moms who lost their job and just couldn't pay the rent. Also, he seems to suggest California should build MORE hydroelectric dams, claiming the drought is not the problem, lack of dams are the problem. He wants to terminate the High Speed Rail project which is funded with a voter-approved bond issue, so he would have to submit that to another vote of the people first.
  • Sarah Stephens. This is NOT Anthony Trimino's family. One of her principles is "Believing we can change everything and Make California peoples home again" which, even if you insert the probably missing apostrophe, is still a tortured sentence. And she claims to have an English degree from San Diego State where she graduated Magna Cum Laude! "Having been married to her husband Daniel, who has served with the United States Air Force and San Diego Police Department, Sarah has forever known and lived the price of FREEDOM." What does that mean? She describes herself as a pastor. Simple Googling does not turn up her church. She says she is "pro-life" "Not only will we be increasing the amount of people in our state, but we will be helping women make the right decision for their lives that they will NEVER regret." Because we all know it's the state government that knows best whether a teenager should carry a pregnancy to term. And those teenagers will never regret that because in her Republican government there will be a vast expansion of state-funded child care services and cash stipends to the parents of all newborns, right? Sure! "She believes that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE should California churches or places of worship EVER be closed again!" So, no locks on the doors or gates. All houses of worship to be open to all 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. It's not like they're private property or anything. "Vaccinations should not have to require a reason to skip a vaccine." This woman was an English major?! I've gotten a lot of vaccines in my life, but none of them required me to give a reason to skip them. Mostly I just had to hold still for a moment. Check out this campaign video.
  • Doug Ose. This guy at least has some political history. He served three terms in the House of Representatives and ran for governor in 2018 (Ballotpedia). According to Wikipedia, he graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in business administration. On his campaign website he argues against COVID policies of the past. As for vaccinations, he says they should be decentralized. AFAIK they are decentralized, but maybe he supports something even more decentralized, like offering shots door-to-door. He says homelessness is due to drug addiction/substance abuse and mental illness. His solution is to greatly expand the courts so that every homeless individual could be taken into "protective custody," thence to put them in privately owned community care centers for treatment; and to create a cabinet-level homelessness authority. In short, to create a large, highly invasive health care program to force state-approved treatments on people who do not necessarily consent. This from the same party that says vaccines should be voluntary. He says that California has done nothing to plan for water infrastructure for the past 75 years! He, like Lodge, calls for the building of more dams. "Return to prison the 20,000 convicted felons that Newsom released in May 2020." Okay, so we're going to have to expand the courts even more. Other than all of that, the usual lack of specifics.
  • Jenny Rae Le Roux. This one's got an education: "a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Columbia Business School." "She is a frequent presenter at Harvard Business School, the Wharton School of Business." She mentions starting at Bain, which is (was?) Mitt Romney's company. She's the only one of these candidates to say something about the wildfires on her campaign website: "Manage 4M acres of federal, state and private land using logging and controlled burn permits to reduce wildfires." Nothing specific, but it's a mention. She also says California should invest in "water storage," not necessarily dams. This suggests to me she might actually know something about water. But other than that, her position is platitudes and vagueness.
  • Diego Martinez. He makes no pretense of being an English major. Says he will fight to overturn Jones v. City of Los Angeles, meaning he wants to criminalize homelessness. Then he would "build state-run encampments." Manzanar is now a NPS-managed National Historic Site, so they can't use that, but there is still a lot of open space east of the Sierra. He wants to triple the amount of logging in the state. He wants to extend and widen highways throughout the state. "He will make the teaching of CRT or any other divisive Marxist, Socialist propaganda off limits in California school K-12." He thinks we have more than one state legislature. "Diego will end the gun roster restrictions, repeal the current ammo laws and bans on magazines." Neither he, nor any of the other candidates here, suggest how they will get any proposal through a legislature with Democratic super-majorities in both houses. "Diego’s first step will be to repeal the background check on ammo and will eliminate the non-California gun list, allowing all guns to be sold in California again." He would give illegal immigrants six months to turn themselves in, whereupon they would be given a 4-year work permit. After that, they would get a green card. The catch is, all of that is a federal issue and has nothing to do with who is governor of California. His solutions for homelessness are a sort of rambling wishlist. First, he says all the state's cities and counties should form a JPA. IOW, essentially recreate the state government. Why not just use the existing state government? That JPA should come up with a plan. He acknowledges that one of the problems is the lack of low-priced housing! Weirdly, this is something none of his fellow Republicans are aware of. "Every existing drug and needle dispensary throughout the state will be shut down." Drug dispensaries, as he calls them, are called pharmacies by most people. Shutting down all pharmacies is an idea that wouldn't fly even in Texas. "Faith based groups, habitat for Humanity, and other private building groups could build, remodel and repurpose buildings to provide shelter." And the money for this would come from where? Taxes? "Schools K-12 will no longer be able to indoctrinate our children with Anti American, Marxist, LGBTQ + propaganda." Oh, he said it out loud.

Filed under California,Coachella Valley,Politics | permalink | July 17, 2021 at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

Three Strikes for Gaetz and Greene

  1. First, they were kicked out of the Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills (Orange County).
  2. So they moved on to less sophisticated and more Republican Riverside County, but yesterday they got kicked out of the Riverside Convention Center.
  3. So the two quickly switched to the M3 Live Anaheim Event Center in Anaheim. But today that site has also given them the boot.

The rally was supposed to have taken place tonight. My suggestion (as if they would ask me) would have been to choose a venue in the Republican armpit of Riverside County, that is, the Temecula-Murrieta metropolis of fools.

UPDATE: Ultimately, they held a rally outside Riverside City Hall. The crowd was estimated at over 300 people.

Filed under California,Politics | permalink | July 17, 2021 at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)