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December 16, 2021

Highway 247 May Get Scenic Designation

"The San Bernardino County Planning Commission voted Dec. 9 to support designation of State Route 247 as a scenic highway."

County backs push to make 247 a scenic highway

By Jené Estrada
Hi-Desert Star
Dec 15, 2021

MORONGO BASIN — Old Woman Springs Road got one step closer to being designated a state scenic highway, fulfilling the work of a grassroots movement started by local volunteers in 2009.

The San Bernardino County Planning Commission voted Dec. 9 to support designation of State Route 247 as a scenic highway.

The Scenic Highway 247 Committee, under the Homestead Valley Community Council, has been pushing for the designation since 2009. The commission’s approval will move the proposal to the county board of supervisors. From there it will go to the California Department of Transportation and then to the county board of supervisors for final approval.

Proponents say the highway, also known as Old Woman Springs Road, gives travelers a connection to the San Bernardino National Forest, tourist destinations in Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, historic Route 66, Barstow’s tourist attractions, Calico Ghost Town and other destinations. It is also the most direct route between Joshua Tree National Park and Las Vegas.

Caltrans manages the State Scenic Highway Program; as part of the designation process the applicant must create a Corridor Protection Program and allow the public to comment on it. The planning commission meeting Thursday allowed the public to comment on the proposed Corridor Protection Program.

Designation would regulate grading to prevent erosion, minimize development and make development that does happen blend into the landscape.

Jim Harvey, president of the Homestead Valley Community Council, said the committee is seeking designation for four specific parts of the highway. Section one starts in Yucca Valley and goes past town limits. Section two encompasses three miles coming into Landers. Section three travels through Johnson Valley into Lucerne Valley and spans 15 miles. Section four encompasses 27 miles of north Lucerne Valley.

“The 247 traveler follows the trail of the early settlers, cowboys and miners on the only route along the San Bernardino Mountains,” Harvey said. “It is one of the least altered landscapes in the state.”

He detailed a rich history of early cowboys, settlers and miners traveling through 247. More information on the history of the road can be found at http://scenichighway247.com.

After a brief presentation the commissioners said that they supported the project and would recommend it.

“This is an outstanding project,” said Commissioner Thomas P. Haughey. “It’s a shame it’s taken 12 years to this point but hopefully we’ll have this scenic highway soon.”

Filed under California,Travel | permalink | December 16, 2021 at 07:57 AM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2021

A Christmas Video

Modeling chocolate!

Filed under Food and Drink | permalink | December 14, 2021 at 08:15 PM | Comments (0)

Some Photos

Flower (7399)
Ektachrome, 2001

Vintage Plymouth
A vintage Plymouth on Comm Ave in Allston
, Kodachrome, 2002.

Hoover Dam (7)
Hoover Dam
, Agfa Scala film, 2001.

Christian Science Center Fountain (2)
The fountain at the Christian Science Center in Boston
, Kodachrome, 2001.

Filed under Automotive,Photography | permalink | December 14, 2021 at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2021


The first two photos are the Arlington (Massachusetts) Reservoir. Once a year they would open it up to let the public see inside the concrete outer shell. (Wikipedia page for the Arlington Reservoir.) Both shots are Kodachrome from 2002.

Arlington Water Reservoir (2)

Arlington Water Reservoir (3)

RFK Bridge (6)
Triboro Bridge in NYC
, Ektachrome, 2000.

San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge - western span (2)
Entering the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
, Kodachrome, 2002.

Filed under Photography | permalink | December 12, 2021 at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2021

As Goes Texas

Governor Newsom announced that he will propose a bill structured similar to Texas' anti-abortion law, but the California bill would target firearms.

Gavin Newsom calls for bill modeled on Texas abortion ban to crack down on gun manufacturers

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday he will push for a new law modeled on Texas’ abortion ban that would let private citizens sue anyone who makes or sells assault weapons or ghost guns.

Newsom has excoriated the Texas law for limiting women’s access to abortion by allowing people to sue anyone who “aids or abets” one performed after about six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. Nevertheless, he said the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to let the law stay in effect while legal challenges proceed has opened an avenue for states to circumvent federal courts.

In a statement Saturday evening, Newsom pointed to a recent federal court decision to strike down California’s assault weapons ban. In his decision, a judge compared assault weapons to Swiss Army knives, language Newsom has harshly criticized.

“I am outraged by yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Texas’s ban on most abortion services to remain in place,” Newsom said. “But if states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army knives, then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm’s way.”

Newsom said he will work with his staff, the Legislature and California Attorney General Rob Bonta to craft a bill that would let citizens sue anyone who “manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts” in California. They could seek damages of at least $10,000 per violation plus costs and attorney’s fees, Newsom said.

“If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that,” said Newsom, a longtime advocate of strict gun control laws.

Legal experts had predicted that other states would try to copy the tactic used in the Texas abortion law, which attempts to circumvent legal challenges by giving private citizens the power to sue.

Arguing against her conservative colleagues’ decision to let the Texas law stand, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had warned their action would “clear the way” for other states to “reprise and perfect Texas’ scheme in the future to target the exercise of any right recognized by this court with which they disagree."

Filed under Politics | permalink | December 11, 2021 at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

December 9, 2021

Riverside County Supervisors Approve New Districts For Which They Will Be Sued And Lose

The Board of Supervisors approved "Map F" for the new supervisorial districts. Map F provides only one district (of five) with a majority Hispanic voting age population, despite the county's overall Hispanic voting age population of 45.5%. Their justification for this is that Map F avoids splitting some cities among two or even three districts.
Map F Riverside County Supervisor Districts
Map F's numbers (highlighting added); click for greater readability

Filed under Politics | permalink | December 9, 2021 at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

December 8, 2021

COVID May Take Up Long-Term Residence In Fat Tissue

"'The bottom line is, "Oh my god, indeed, the virus can infect fat cells directly,"' said Dr. Philipp Scherer, a scientist who studies fat cells at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas." The study has not been peer-reviewed or published.

Filed under Health,Science | permalink | December 8, 2021 at 07:49 PM | Comments (0)

Forbes On What's New In Coachella Valley

The Forbes article entitled "There Are New Reasons To Go To The Palm Springs Area This Winter" begins with Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa Oasis and the new trail into Long Canyon:

Desert Hot Springs is a sleepy little town, 11 miles northeast of Palm Springs, past open desert dotted with wind turbines, and not much else. But you don’t come here for the activity, you come here for the mineral rich springs acknowledged as some of the best in the world and definitely the best in California. If you check into the 40 room Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa Oasis which opened in April, there are several ways in which to experience them: five pools of different temperatures between 85 and 104 degrees (the water emerges from the ground at 174 degrees) including a 100 foot long main pool for lap swimming. By day, the view is of Mt. San Jacinto; at night, since the pools are open 24 hours, of the dark desert sky stars.

For more privacy, 22 of the rooms have their own square tubs with a separate faucet for filling them with the mineral water, an aid to relaxation very much in sync with the look of the rooms. Designed with neutral colors, natural jute rugs and splashes of color from African textiles in pillows and bed sashes, the rooms are meant to be soothing retreats (to further that: no TVs but there is good WiFi so the world can still intrude if you want it to.)

Apart from the hot springs, the resort offers a range of spa treatments from a detoxifying desert sage clay wrap to facials with citrine gemstones along with antioxidant serums or Himalayan superfruit, a blend of goji, pomegranate, acai and bilberry. There’s also a Himalayan salt room, the only one in the area, also open 24 hours. And the culinary operation, now a café, due to become a more expansive restaurant in coming months, features a correspondingly healthful but not flavor-deprived menu with dishes such as carrot raisin French toast with blueberry raspberry compote for breakfast and a sesame seared tuna bowl with brown rice, green beans and daikon sprouts with a spicy Thai almond sauce for dinner.

While in Desert Hot Springs it is a 45 minute drive to the mystical rock formations and spindly trees in Joshua Tree National Park. Hikers got a more direct route last week, though, with the long-planned opening of the Long Canyon Trailhead, a 1 ½ mile trail starting from Long Canyon Road in town directly into the park.

The rest of the article focuses on some of the usual suspects in the rest of the valley, whether they have anything new to offer or not, such as Parker Palm Springs (nothing new mentioned).

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | December 8, 2021 at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

December 5, 2021

Feds Trying To Kill Cadiz Water Project

"Federal authorities have moved [in federal court] to reverse a Trump administration decision that cleared the way for Cadiz Inc. to pipe water across public land in the California desert."

“Due to the lack of analysis, the [BLM] does not know the source of the water that will be transported through the pipeline and therefore could not have analyzed the potential impacts on the environment or historic properties of drawing down the water at its source,” [attorneys for the federal government] wrote. “Cadiz did not provide specific information about its plans, and the agency, nevertheless, proceeded to grant a right-of-way without knowing either the specifics of Cadiz’s plans or evaluating the potential impacts of Cadiz’s operations.”

Filed under California,Politics | permalink | December 5, 2021 at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

December 4, 2021

For Those Who Dare

The restaurant at Desert Hot Springs Spa has reopened.

The restaurant at Desert Hot Springs Spa, at 10805 Palm Dr. in Desert Hot Springs, which had been closed since Oct. 19 for having a rodent infestation and failing an inspection while on probation — and which developed a cockroach infestation while closed — was permitted to reopen Nov. 23. All violations had been corrected and it purchased a new health permit for $1,106. It remains on probation after failing four inspections and being shut down three times for rodents since 2019.

South of the Border was also cited:

South of the Border, at 11719 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs, was inspected Dec. 1 in response to a foodborne illness complaint. It received a failing grade of 80/B with one critical violation, for dishes not being washed properly. Among the 13 other violations, there were multiple flies in the kitchen, large containers of cooked beans weren’t being cooled down safely, and equipment and other surfaces needed cleaning.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Health | permalink | December 4, 2021 at 06:01 AM | Comments (0)

December 1, 2021


2021 version

The 1961 version.

Filed under Film/Movies,Music | permalink | December 1, 2021 at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)