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August 23, 2021

Rollei Infrared 400 Film

These photos were shot on Rollei Infrared 400 film at the Los Angeles County Arboretum when I was there a couple of weeks ago. Rollei says the film is sensitive to light up to a wavelength of 750nm (visibility ends at about 700nm) But other sources say the film is sensitive to 820nm. There are other 35mm films that are sensitive to IR light which are available to the ordinary consumer, but those usually claim to be sensitive only as far as 720nm. So, the Rollei film is the most infraredishly sensitive that I've found.

These were shot with a red filter, but dark red and infrared filters are on order so I can ruin more film for you.

L.A. County Arboretum (2)

L.A. County Arboretum (9)

L.A. County Arboretum (8)

L.A. County Arboretum (1)

More to come.

Filed under Photography | permalink | August 23, 2021 at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

Toaster Discrimination

Snopes reports on a list of items prohibited at a Trump rally, including "APPLIANCES (I.E. TOASTERS)."
prohibited items at a Trump rally
The misuse of "I.E." indicates that toasters and only toasters are to be considered as "appliances" and therefore forbidden. Microwave ovens, hair dryers, and Instant Pots, for example, would seem to be welcome.

Filed under English,Politics | permalink | August 23, 2021 at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2021

Two Pairs Of Unclear Origin

These first two were shot in October 1992, a month in which I visited Washington DC, so there's a good chance I saw them in a museum there. Both are Kodachrome.
Statuette (1).

Slender Sculpture (1)

These next two were shot on Ektachrome in May 1995, in which month I was in California for California AIDS Ride 2, but neither look like California. More likely the Boston area...or Washington DC...or possibly any urban center in New England.
City Market
I'm pretty sure Boston was not using trash receptacles like these in 1995
, but Cambridge? Somerville? Springfield?

1961 Chevy Impala (1)
That's a 1961 Chevrolet Impala

Filed under Art,Cities/Urbanism,Photography | permalink | August 22, 2021 at 08:03 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2021

Death In (Near?) Mission Creek Preserve

A Desert Sun article about a death in Mission Creek Preserve where we are, once again, left confused as to the actual location. The Coroner's press release about this death gives the location as 605500 Mission Creek, Whitewater which I thought must be a typo, but Google maps puts that on Mission Creek Road east of the gate into Mission Creek Preserve. Apple Maps puts it clear down at the intersection of Mission Creek Road and Highway 62. Bing Maps does the same as Apple. So maybe it is a typo.

The part that really confused me was this sentence in the Desert Sun article: "The gate leading to the preserve's headquarters building, which is owned by the Wildlands Conservancy along with the adjacent Whitewater Preserve, was open and several deputies were nearby." There is no headquarters building in Mission Creek Preserve...or at least none that I've ever seen or heard of. HQ is over in the Whitewater Preserve. Mission Creek Road leads to a shelter in Mission Creek, but no HQ. This had me wondering for a bit if the body was actually found over in Whitewater, but I don't think the Sheriff's Department would get that so wrong. Easier to believe that a Desert Sun reporter just doesn't know what's in the Mission Creek Preserve.

28-year-old man found dead in Mission Creek Preserve near Whitewater; sheriff investigating

Christopher Damien Palm Springs Desert Sun

A 28-year-old man was found dead in Mision Creek Preserve last week, according to preserve leaders and law enforcement, and a cause of death investigation remains open.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday that Matthew Jernigan, 28, was found dead in the preserve on Aug. 10.

Preserve Manager Kerry Puckett said that one of his staff rangers traveled to the preserve early that morning for regularly scheduled monitoring of the 4,760-acre property just east of Highway 62 on Mission Creek Road.

The gate leading to the preserve's headquarters building, which is owned by the Wildlands Conservancy along with the adjacent Whitewater Preserve, was open and several deputies were nearby.

Puckett said the deputies had been dispatched after a hiker had reported seeing the body about 30 feet south of the road leading to the building. The deputies told the ranger, Puckett said, that the deceased person was believed to be homeless.

Puckett added that the body was found unclothed and that clothes and belongings were found strewn in the brush on the opposite side of the road, about 50 feet away.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department has not yet determined what caused Jernigan's death, but it remains under investigation.

Kelly Jernigan, Matthew's aunt, said that the family has been informed that there were no signs of trauma found on the body, but that not much is known about what caused his death.

"Matthew was loved," Kelly Jernigan said by phone.

She added that he had been living with family in the area for the last couple of years, and had been struggling with homelessness.

Puckett said that preserve staff occasionally are involved in rescuing injured hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail, which hikers can access from the preserve. But in his seven years as preserve manager, he's never had a body found on the property.

"This is a rare occurrence, and the public shouldn't be worried about the safety of wilderness areas," Puckett said.

Jernigan's is the second unclothed body found in a remote area in the Coachella Valley by a hiker within a month. The body of Ty Alan Everroad was found July 13 by a hiker along the train tracks in northern Cathedral City, about 10 miles east of where Jernigan was found.

Cathedral City Police Commander Julio Luna said in a statement issued the following week that Everroad appeared to be homeless and that there was no evidence of foul play. The Riverside County Coroner's Office has not yet publicly released Everroad's cause of death.

Thomas Gerling, who found the body, said that he was concerned about how Everroad's neck appeared to be at an extreme angle and looked to have maybe been broken.

Puckett added that Jernigan's possessions were left in the brush after the body was taken by the coroner's office.

"We found it odd that the clothing wasn't removed from the scene," Puckett said. "We don't feel it's our place to dispose of them. We're working to get the belongings to the department in case any family members want them."

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | August 19, 2021 at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2021

The 2021 Bulwer Lytton Awards

Grand Panjandrum's Special Award

Victor Frankenstein admired his masterpiece stretched out on the lab slab; it was almost human, OK, no conscience or social awareness, and not too bright, but a little plastic surgery to hide the scars and bolts, maybe a spray tan and a hairdo, and this guy could run for President!

David Hynes, Bromma, Sweden

Filed under English | permalink | August 17, 2021 at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

MSWD Response To Uken Report

Background: Back in October 2020, when flows to the Horton Wastewater Treatment plant were especially heavy because so many people were staying home due to the COVID pandemic, the crew at the Horton plant built a temporary holding pond for treated wastewater. "Treated wastewater" is what you get after sending sewage through primary and secondary treatments. It's clean enough under federal and California law to discharge back into the environment; i.e., allowed to percolate back into the groundwater (as at the Horton plant) or discharged into a body of water, if you've got such a thing. The dike forming the temporary holding pond was breached and treated sewage flowed out of the Horton plant and into the neighboring residential area. It was cleaned up within 24 hours and no private dwellings were damaged.

In the General Manager's Report submitted to the MSWD Board of Directors at the November 12, 2020, and November 16, 2020, board meetings, GM Arden Wallum wrote:

The Horton WWTP experienced a breach of a temporary containment area for secondary effluent from the percolation ponds. Staff had been pumping the water out of a pond into the temporary basin to expedite the cleaning and preparation for the pond to be put in use sooner. The water that left the plant flowed into the Dos Palmas service area. Once staff was notified of the situation, all necessary measures were taken to clean up the area and prevent any further flow from leaving the plant. No major damage occurred during this spill.

That paragraph from Mr. Wallum is the entirety of public information voluntarily provided by the MSWD staff and board until Director Grasha began making some noise about it a few months ago. I do not believe I have missed watching any public meetings of the board since October 2020. There was no larger press release to fill in the details of the rather vague paragraph that Mr. Wallum provided.

For those not familiar with Director Grasha's style of handling himself on the board, imagine a Donald Trump who is less intelligent, lies more, has no political sense at all, is frequently unable to organize his thoughts, and is unable to control a childish level of anger that pushes him into a frustrating speech impediment accompanied by screaming. How could such a fool get elected, you should ask. Because there were a few thousand voters who didn't do even the most basic research into the candidates; a few thousand voters who suddenly became very defensive when the Desert Sun published an article shortly after the election exposing Grasha for what he is. Hint to the Desert Sun: publish that kind of shit before the election next time, ya worthless asshole of a paper.

Anyway, a few months ago Director Grasha began spewing BS nonsense from the dais about the spill. He did this at more than one meeting. There are four other directors on the board. NONE of them challenged Director Grasha's word salad. NONE asked GM Wallum to provide an honest description of what had occurred. NONE used their comment time to try to explain to the public what had really happened. So while Grasha was obviously the lying asshole, all four other directors were at least passively complicit in letting this go on unchecked.

Basically, MSWD staff and the Board of Directors created an information vacuum and laid down a red carpet, virtually inviting Grasha to sit at the dais and publicly spew lies. The apparent lack of curiosity on this subject shown in the board meetings by the four other directors strongly suggested to me that staff had informed the board about the spill, and they were all sufficiently satisfied with what they knew. But I am mystified why none of them recognized the need for someone at MSWD to provide accurate information to the public.

Director Grasha became the sole source of info for the general public about this treated wastewater spill, and I knew that nothing he said could be believed.

But then came this article in the Uken Report dated July 20, 2021. If that article disappears from the Uken Report website, I have a copy I will share. With a headline like MSWD DIRECTOR CLAIMS MISSION SPRINGS WATER DISTRICT'S 'INTENTIONAL ACT OF DUMPING RAW COVID-INFECTED SEWAGE' INTO THE NEIGHBORHOODS KILLED PEOPLE, you can pretty well guess where it's going. It's an outlandish chunk of hyperbolic fiction.

"This," I thought to myself, "has to get some kind of response from MSWD," and it did. Hence, the August 16, 2021, MSWD Board Meeting. YouTube video here (it's only 45 minutes).

The meeting had been called by President Nancy Wright whose intention was to write and submit to Uken Report a letter rebutting Grasha's madhouse claims and setting forth the facts of the situation. She could have done this unilaterally as President of the Board, but thought it wiser to consult with the other board members to seek their support.

Director Grasha was absent from this meeting which is consistent with some of his previous acts of cowardice.

President Wright began by summarizing the Uken Report article and said that the author, Cindy Uken, did no fact checking. Uken contacted neither MSWD nor the Regional Water Quality Control Board which has jurisdiction over matters like sewage spills. Uken simply reprinted Grasha's baseless assertions.

Wright said "When a public official intentionally lies to the public and makes a false claim to any law enforcement person or agency, that is a crime and the truth needs to be told." She continued, "Mr. Grasha received the same information as the rest of the board, including MSWD's response to the notice of violation from the regional board."

Wright is also the chair of the RWQCB. She was appointed to the board by the Governor. She has recused herself from any RWQCB dealings with MSWD, including, of course, this spill.

After reading her opening announcement, Wright had the Desert Sun article from November 14 [after election day], 2018, displayed. The article is readable in the video starting at 5:28 or here on the Desert Sun's website where it does not seem to be behind the paywall.

President Wrights proposed draft response to Uken is included in the MSWD agenda packet that was posted online 15 minutes before the meeting, at the same time a copy was made available to all the board members. For anyone who might be a virgin at reading government board meeting agenda packets, the agenda always comes first, and then you scroll down to read all the rest of the supporting documentation for the meeting. The draft response is six pages long, so I will not include it here. If you'd prefer not to do all that reading, you can listen to GM Wallum read it all aloud and verbatim in the video beginning at 6:55.

A few highlights:

  • I agree completely in uncovering facts that are important to my community; but I draw the line when "facts" are distorted, manufactured and deceitful. Please share with your readers the following, all of which I believe is verifiable and accurate, regarding the District's inadvertent discharge of treated wastewater that occurred in October 2020. Had you taken the time to contact the District or the State regulatory agency over accidental spills of treated sewage or assumed the ethical responsibility with which all journalists are charged, you could easily and quickly have verified the facts before you published this article. Unfortunately, very little of the information you reported bears any semblance to the truth.
  • There was no "intentional" act of "dumping." On October 3, 2020, TREATED effluent, which was permitted and tested prior to its discharge, ACCIDENTLY overflowed via a breach in a temporary holding pond. This was not a "long term" or "ongoing release of COVID-infected Sewage." The accidental release was discovered and restrained within just a few hours, when District staff immediately began to notify neighboring residents and initiated the cleanup process. No private dwelling was damaged or affected, and the cleanup was accomplished in less than 24 hours. The treated effluent was not raw sewage. It had been treated to a standard which allowed it to be discharged from the wastewater treatment plant into recharge basins. The "spill" also did not "kill" or, to our knowledge, make anyone sick. These facts could have been easily verified by a simple call to the District's General Manager.
  • This barely intelligible reporting appears to confirm a number of unsubstantiated, uneducated claims. Mr. Grasha, who was given a comprehensive tour of the wastewater treatment plant following his election in 2018, seems to have forgotten most of what he was taught. The statements attributed to him in this article suggest that he remains uninformed and unfamiliar with the operation of wastewater treatment plants or the regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over their operation.
  • The above statement attributed to Mr. Grasha confirms that even after more than two years as an elected official of the District he remains completely ignorant of how wastewater treatment plants work. He should know, for example, that "disposal records, truck weights and trips" only indicate the volume of solids removed and are mostly associated with loading to the treatment plant and not the treatment levels or effluent standard. More important is the fact that the District tests its effluent for certain constituents and has always met the strict standards set by the RWQCB.
  • If Mr. Grasha had even a rudimentary understanding of the wastewater treatment process and the wastewater system operated by the agency for which he is an elected Board member, he would have known it is impossible to impose a "water use restriction" on wastewater. For someone who described himself on election materials as a "water systems engineer," his statement demonstrates his complete lack of understanding about water and wastewater operations.

Public Comments

Janet Wilson went first (via Zoom, there are still no public permitted in the small, possibly insufficiently ventilated board meeting room), and asked where she could find the draft response letter on the website. This went on for a bit as staff repeatedly told her exactly where it was and she repeatedly denied it was there. It was there. I had downloaded it just 15 minutes earlier myself. This was what IT politely refers to as "operator error."

I will add my comment that MSWD has just about the simplest and easiest to use access for its meeting agendas. You first click on "About Board of Directors" and then click on "Board of Directors." There you will find a simple reverse chronological listing of meetings with agenda, packet and minutes available for download, as appropriate, for each meeting. The packet includes the agenda. The agenda does not include the packet.

Ms. Wilson went on to ask if President Wright was saying that Director Grasha had potentially committed crimes. Wright answered that she was making a general statement about falsehoods and crime. She said she does not know if Grasha made false statements to law enforcement. Ms. Wilson said that President Wright had said it was a crime (Wright had not said that) but now didn't seem to know if it was a crime (Wright had also not said that).

Vice President Russ Martin said that it is illegal to make a false report to police or the district attorney. While Uken Report asserts the Grasha did make false statements to the district attorney, a proper investigation would be required to determine if he made those false reports and if that did constitute a possible criminal action.

For some reason, President Wright and the MSWD attorney allowed this forbidden back-and-forth conversation in public comments to continue.

Ms. Wilson also wanted to know how the district knew that Grasha wrote the article. She was referring to the sentence in the description of this item on the agenda: "It is recommended to authorize the Board President to issue a response to Director Grasha's July 20th article related to the spill at the Horton Treatment Plant and give direction to the General Manager to distribute the response." Wright responded that she had never said it was written by Grasha, but it sounded like it was written by Uken using information provided by Grasha.

Then Ms. Wilson wrapped up with the unusual request "Anybody else want to add anything?" as if she were now chairing the meeting. Russell Betts chimed in uninvited - this is the slippery slope you can get on if you allow back-and-forth conversations in public comments. Wright advised him to wait until he was called upon. But then Ms. Wilson came back with another question [somebody needed to hit the mute button, IMO] asking again for the link to the agenda packet.

Then Councilmember Betts was called upon. He asked if the district had gotten word about any potential fine to be assessed by the RWQCB. The potential maximum fine would be over $9-million, but no one is anticipating anything close to that. GM Wallum responded that they had not yet heard anything about a fine. Then Mr. Betts helpfully summarized the important events about the spill - this was the first time these were announced in public at an MSWD Board meeting.

  1. A holding pond was constructed without an initial permit,
  2. And that holding pond breached,
  3. MSWD did NOT inform the RWQCB immediately.

GM Wallum responded, "Yes, I mean, I think basically that's what happened." So, at the time of GM Wallum's November General Manager's Report he knew that the district had waited past the deadline to report the spill to the RWQCB, but he did not include that in his report to the board. [Man, if I was a Director I'd be calling for a closed session evaluation of the General Manager, unless perhaps he was keeping the board informed in the background about the potential fine while keeping that information out of the public's eye.]

Suddenly, Ms. Wilson came back into the meeting uninvited [if necessary I could loan MSWD a hammer, if that would help them hit the mute button when they need to] claiming whatever link she found for the agenda packet was not good. More minutes were wasted in attempting to hold her hand and guide her to the easy-to-find packet. It took two people telling her multiple times that she needed to scroll past the first page of the agenda to find the draft letter. Upon this revelation, Ms. Wilson wanted to know if it had been there some 18 hours earlier. The answer was no (and my answer would have been "Who cares?"). It was available before this meeting began. Ms. Wilson said she thought it would help things if they could makes things "as accessible as possible." The only way to make it more accessible than the very accessible way it is already made available would be for Ms. Wilson to be elected to the board. Then MSWD staff would deliver the agenda packet to her directly so all she would have to do is open her mailbox.

Board Discussion

VP Martin said that disagreement and diversity of opinion on the board were okay and expected, but that personal attacks, threats or intentionally making outrageous lies to inflame public opinion for political gain or to intimidate fellow board members were not acceptable.

Director Sewell said he completely agreed with the response as written and that he is hopeful the lies in the article are going to be corrected on the Uken Report.

President Wright called on Director Grasha at this point, possibly on the chance that he had come into the meeting late. He was not present.

Director Duncan recounted how he had to deal with Grasha's lies frequently while he was board president. He said none of those incidents sank to the level of the article in Uken Report.

President Wright agreed with Duncan, saying the district and the board had ignored several of Grasha's lies published in various media.

VP Martin moved to issue the response, seconded by Director Duncan. I had hoped the motion would include a stipulation that someone first correct the misspellings and small grammatical errors in the response, but now that it's been voted on, those are all set in stone.

Approved 4-0 with Grasha, obviously, absent.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Politics | permalink | August 17, 2021 at 01:19 PM | Comments (4)

August 14, 2021

Four With Skin

On The Beach (1)
Not sure which beach this is
. The Kodachrome slide is date-stamped November 1991, but I suspect I took this months before then and let the film sit in my camera before finishing and developing it. Probably Cape Cod.

Under A Waterfall On Kauai
On Kauai
, 1986, Kodachrome.

Lower Spine
At the fountain in the Christian Science Center in Boston
, 1983, Agfachrome.

Performers at Polynesian Cultural Center (1)
At the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu
, 1986, Polaroid Polapan instant slide film.

Filed under Naturism-Nudism,Photography | permalink | August 14, 2021 at 09:15 PM | Comments (0)

Hyundae Resort Closed By City

The city worked with this owner for years to try to let him bring his property up to full code compliance.

Desert Hot Springs hotel shut down by city over code violations


Hyundae Resort and Spa in Desert Hot Springs was shut down and its operating license was revoked on Aug. 6 following a July hearing for code violations.

According to city documents, the violations include hotel personnel giving room keys to unauthorized individuals and granting access to any hotel room on the property, fire hazards such as locked fire exits and other hazardous activities by hotel occupants, inoperative vehicles on the property, and many dispatch calls for criminal and gang activity and illegal drug use.

The condition of the hotel and its exterior were also included in the violations.

The hotel is owned by Charles Yeh, of Los Angeles, who testified at the hearing and said his intent was to provide housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yeh also said he wanted to improve the conditions of the hotel, but avoided opportunities provided by the city, adding it would cause a financial hardship to close. He said he had one line of credit he could access to correct the violations, however.

During a recent visit to the property, there were signs on the door and at the front desk saying there weren't any available rooms. A front desk employee said he would connect The Desert Sun to Yeh and his attorney, though neither party immediately contacted the Desert Sun.

A spokesperson for the city of Desert Hot Springs, Doria Wilms, said the city became aware of the issues after calls from residents reporting public safety issues and the "substandard conditions at the hotel."

"That is what made it abundantly clear this was not being utilized as a hotel, it was being utilized for long-term tenants," Wilms said.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | August 14, 2021 at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2021

Leptospirosis in Los Angeles

There has been a surge of cases of leptospirosis in dogs in L.A. in recent weeks. Leptospirosis can be transmitted via rat urine. There is speculation that the increase in homeless encampments have caused in increase in the rat population.

Filed under Health | permalink | August 13, 2021 at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

Surprising Population Jump In Desert Hot Springs

Not surprising that our population grew, but that it grew so much and that somehow, the census was actually able to capture it! According to this article in the Desert Sun, the population rose from 25,938 in 2010 to 32,512 in 2020, a 25.3% increase. This puts us above the 30,000 line which some say is a magic number for attracting more investment from retail chains. Also interesting is how much the white population dropped; from 15,053 in 2010 to 11,115 in 2020. That's a 26.2% drop. The black population grew by 23.6%, from 2,133 in 2010 to 2,636. The Hispanic/Latino population grew from 45.7% in 2010 to 61.2% in 2020! Here are all the race numbers as reported in the article:

5,520two or more
31,670total identified
32,512grand total

That seems to be a pretty high number for "other" which usually encompasses Native Americans and other indigenous people. We might have Australian aborigines or native Hawaiians living here, but not in such high numbers.

Census 2020: Desert Hot Springs is the fastest-growing city in the Coachella Valley


Desert Hot Springs is the fastest-growing city in the Coachella Valley, according to new data released by the U.S. Census on Thursday.

Desert Hot Springs's population grew from 25,938 in 2010 to 32,512 in 2020, representing a 25.3% increase. Nearby cities Palm Springs and Cathedral City grew by just 0.1% and 0.6% respectively over the same time period, the Census said.

"I am very happy to see us pass 30,000, that's what we've always been focused on to try to bring retailers and businesses into the community. That's going to help us in the future with our economic development," said Desert Hot Springs Mayor Scott Matas.

Matas said that in the past, the city has tried to bring in businesses only to hear that major chains look for cities with at least 30,000 people.

The new data shows that Desert Hot Springs has grown at an even faster rate than previously estimated. The California Department of Finance reported an estimated population of 30,086 for Desert Hot Springs as of January 2021.

Matas attributed the city's new status as the fastest-growing in the Coachella Valley to housing affordability.

"You go 15 minutes over the freeway and you're spending half a million dollars on a home that you can buy for $350,000 here — it just comes down to affordability. There's not a lot of the services here such as retail, but with a 15-minute drive over the freeway you can get to those services, and own a home for $150,000 to $200,000 less than what you were looking at in other cities," said Matas.

Demand for housing in Desert Hot Springs recently kickstarted the long-dormant Skyborne community on the west side of the city. Homebuilder Lennar finalized a deal earlier this year to build homes on 187 lots at Skyborne.

As its population has increased, the city has also become more diverse. The number of white residents has decreased over the past decade, while the number of people identifying as Black, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, two or more races, or other has increased.

The number of white residents dropped from 15,053 in 2010 to 11,115 in 2020. About 34.2% of Desert Hot Springs residents identified as white in the 2020 census, down from 58% in 2010.

The number of Black residents grew by 23.6%, from 2,133 in 2010 to 2,636 in 2020, making up about 8% of the city's total population.

Hispanic or Latino residents make up 61.2% of the city's population, with an increase of 45.7% from 13,646 people in 2010 to 19,887 in 2020. The city's Asian population has also increased by 16.3%, from 675 people in 2010 to 785 in 2020. Residents identifying as American Indian saw a large percentage increase of 119%, from 357 individuals in 2010 to 783 in 2020.

The number of people who marked "two or more races" while filling out their 2020 Census form grew by 326.9% to 5,520 people, up from 1,293 in 2010. The number of people marking "other" also grew by 83.1%, with 11,614 people, or 35.7% of the population, marking "other" in Desert Hot Springs.

In a press conference Thursday, U.S. Census officials noted that the country experienced unprecedented multiracial population growth over the past decade, with 33.8 million people reporting being of more than one race.

Matas said the city's increasingly diverse population will play a role in what types of services and retail the city should work on attracting.

"If you have a large Hispanic/Latino population, or a large African American population, they need services that fill their needs, which can go anywhere from social services to retail services like 'I want to buy these types of goods here in the city,'" said Matas.

Matas said the city could potentially hold a town hall focused on the specific services and businesses that community members want.

"We also want to know if they're driving to get their goods, are they needing to drive 30, 40 minutes to get things that we could instead try to attract to our cities? The makeup of your community is going to push the retail services and social services that you provide in the future," said Matas.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | August 13, 2021 at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

Date Shake History

Here's an interesting and informative podcast on the history of dates and date shakes in the Coachella Valley. I'm sure I don't need to caution my informed readers to beware of the claim that somehow date sugar is more "natural" than refined sugar and, therefore, is safer for diabetics. Sugar is sugar.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Food and Drink,History | permalink | August 13, 2021 at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2021

Seen On The Internet


Filed under Automotive,Health,Nutjobs | permalink | August 12, 2021 at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

80 Dogs Seized, But There's Good News Too

Nearly 80 dogs were seized from what I would call an illegal encampment in Winchester. People were living in several RVs illegally, according to the report which doesn't say why it was illegal. Trespassing? Zoning violation? But there's unusual good news. All of the dogs appeared to be healthy, some were even overweight, and all showed good behavior and temperament, even the pit bulls. The article:

PUBLISHED: August 11, 2021 at 5:20 p.m. | UPDATED: August 11, 2021 at 5:24 p.m.

Nearly 80 dogs were seized from a man who was living illegally on a property in Winchester on Wednesday, Aug. 11, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services said.

The joint operation between Animal Services, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and county Code Enforcement personnel took place around 8 a.m. on a piece of land on Beeler Road, which is not maintained by the county, near the 32000 block of Adams Street, said John Welsh, spokesman for county Animal Services. The dog's owner and others were living there illegally in multiple RVs, Welsh said.

The dogs — which consisted of about a third of pit bulls, one-third German shepherds and one-third Labrador mixes — were being held in kennels, pens and small cages, Welsh said.

Code Enforcement had made Animal Services aware of the situation and officials initially asked the owner to surrender the dogs, Welsh said. However, the owner refused and Animal Services obtained a seizure warrant from Riverside County Superior Court, Welsh said.

To Welsh's surprise, none of the dogs showed any signs of abuse or neglect, and some were in fact overweight, he said. There was no running water on the property, but it appeared large containers of water were transported onto the property.

However, Welsh said there was a large amount of animal waste and flies around the property.

"It's almost 100 degrees on a day like today out there so it's not a good situation for them," Welsh said.

All of the animals were transported to a San Jacinto facility by around 10:30 a.m. and many were able to receive vaccinations on site by veterinary staffers. The dogs all exhibited pretty good behavior and temperament as well, Welsh said.

"We're hoping this can be a 100 percent save for the dogs," Welsh said. "We're optimistic that's going to happen with this situation."

Some of the dogs recovered appeared to be microchipped and Animal Services was going to contact any possible owners, Welsh said. The dogs are being held for a 10-day period in which the owner at the Winchester property will have a chance to request the dogs back through the court, however, the dogs will be eligible for adoption or fostering after the 10-day period, Welsh said.

During the operation, the owner did not impede the seizure of the animals and was ultimately transported to a hospital for a mental evaluation after he allegedly said things that concerned authorities about his mental state, Welsh said. The owner will also face citations for trespassing as well as various building code violations, according to Welsh.

Filed under Public Safety | permalink | August 12, 2021 at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2021

Four Kodachromes From The Early '90s

The Bandstand On Boston Common (1)
The bandstand on Boston Common
, Kodachrome, 1991.

NYC Public Library During Pride - 1994
NYC Public Library on Fifth Avenue during Gay Pride
, 1994. Kodachrome.

Robert Frost, poet
The grave of Robert Frost and other members of his family
in Bennington, Vermont, Kodachrome, 1991.

Cannondale Bicycle At Covered Bridge
My Cannondale in front of a covered bridge somewhere in New England
, Kodachrome, 1990.

Filed under Architecture,History,Photography | permalink | August 11, 2021 at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

Giuliani's Begging Cup

Giuliani makes himself available via Cameo. Prices start at only $275. Not sure what you get for that. News story.

Filed under Politics | permalink | August 11, 2021 at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

August 9, 2021

Plumeria At The L.A. Arboretum

This past Saturday I went to the L.A. County Arboretum in Arcadia primarily to see a somewhat disappointing cactus and succulent show. But I wandered the arboretum, nonetheless, and discovered the plumeria were in bloom in a far, far off corner. I was shooting black & white film, but plumeria need color, so I whipped out my trusty pocket digital camera and got these. The black & whites will show up in the usual film time...weeks hence.

Plumeria at the L.A. Arboretum (5660)

Plumeria at the L.A. Arboretum (5654)

Plumeria at the L.A. Arboretum (5651)

Plumeria at the L.A. Arboretum (5657)

Filed under California,Photography | permalink | August 9, 2021 at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

Voluntary Manslaughter Charge For Corona Costco Shooter

It was June 14, 2019, when off-duty LAPD Officer Salvador Alejandro Sanchez shot and killed another shopper, Kenneth French, in the Corona Costco. Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin submitted the case to the Grand Jury because some witnesses were not cooperative. The Grand Jury did not indict. But today, the Attorney General's office charged the ex-officer with voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Sanchez was arrested this morning.

Filed under Public Safety | permalink | August 9, 2021 at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 7, 2021

Do Not Eat At The DHS Spa

Selected from the Press-Enterprise.

Desert Hot Springs Spa, 10805 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs, was placed on probation July 29. Riverside County Environmental Health officials said there were repeat violations at the facility, including inadequate handwashing, improper food temperatures, improper cooling of hot potentially hazardous foods and evidence of cockroach and rodent infestations.

Kam Lun Chinese Food, 66610 Eighth St., Desert Hot Springs
Closed: Aug. 3
Grade: C/74, failing
Reason: Rodent infestation. After a complaint was filed, an inspector found rodent droppings and flies in the kitchen and a food storage area. The inspector also noted that employees were not sanitizing surfaces properly.

Barrel District, 35939 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City
Closed: Aug. 5
Grade: Not graded
Reason: No hot water. An inspector found the hot water temperature to be well below the minimum 120 degrees. The inspector also noted finding rodent droppings in the dining room.

I know problems like cockroach or rodent infestations are challenging for a restaurant to deal with and eliminate, but the issues that arise from employee misbehavior (e.g., "inadequate handwashing, improper food temperatures, improper cooling of hot potentially hazardous foods") should be immediately and permanently correctable with decent management and adequate employees. The fact that the DHS Spa has had these problems going on for months is very telling.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Health,Public Safety | permalink | August 7, 2021 at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

August 6, 2021

A Return To Slides

Saguaro National Monument (9)
Saguaro National Monument
, 1988, Kodachrome.

Cactus (6)
Ektachrome, 1988

Road Ahead UNSAFE
"Road Ahead UNSAFE For Trailers Trucks Buses."

Boston City Hall Plaza (1)
Boston City Hall Plaza
, Agfachrome, 1984.

Filed under Cactus,Cities/Urbanism,Photography | permalink | August 6, 2021 at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

Northeastern University & Mills College

An Alameda County Superior Court judge has temporarily halted the planned merger of Mills College in Oakland with Northeastern University in Boston. In other weird news of the day, Mills College in Oakland is considering merging with Northeastern University in Boston.

From Wikipedia:

Mills College is a private women's liberal arts college in Oakland, California. Mills is an undergraduate women's college for women and gender non-binary students with graduate programs for students of all genders. Mills was founded as the Young Ladies Seminary in 1852 in Benicia, California; it was relocated to Oakland in 1871, and became the first women's college west of the Rockies. In 2014, Mills became the first single-sex college in the U.S. to adopt an admission policy explicitly welcoming transgender students.

"For the 2018–19 academic year, Mills student body included 1,255 students, with 766 undergraduate women and 489 graduate students of all genders."

More from Wikipedia:

Northeastern University is a private research university with its main campus in Boston. Established in 1898, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs on its main campus in Boston as well as satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle, Washington; San Jose, California; San Francisco, California; Portland, Maine; and Toronto and Vancouver in Canada. In 2019, Northeastern purchased the New College of the Humanities in London, England. The university's enrollment is approximately 19,000 undergraduate students and 8,600 graduate students. It is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity." Undergraduate admission to the university is categorized as "most selective."

| permalink | August 6, 2021 at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)