July 2, 2022

Kam Lun Chinese AGAIN!

There seem to be a lot of especially gross reports in this week's list of health department inspections in the Press-Enterprise, including this bit: "the inspector saw several dead cockroaches, including in a pot on the stove" [Pho TYC, Wildomar]. But there were only these three in the Coachella Valley.

Kam Lun Chinese Food, 66610 8th St., Desert Hot Springs
Closed: June 29
Grade: 81/B, failing
Reason: Failing an inspection while on probation. Among the 13 violations, the inspector saw rodent droppings in several areas including by the food-prep sink and a microwave; there were flies at the cook line; cooked meat was sitting at room temperature and an employee said the practice is to leave it on the counter until it’s ordered; shrimp, beef and eggs were at unsafe temperatures in a refrigerator that was impounded for not keeping cold; dishes weren’t being washed properly; raw and ready-to-eat foods weren’t adequately separated; and the floors, walls and ceilings needed cleaning. The restaurant has been on probation since last August after failing three inspections and being shut down twice for rodent infestations in a two-year span. This is its second failure and closure since going on probation. To reopen again, it would have to correct all violations and purchase a new health permit.
The restaurant at Desert Falls Country Club, at 1111 Desert Falls Parkway in Palm Desert, was inspected June 22 and received a failing grade of 80/B with one critical violation. Dishes and other surfaces weren’t being sanitized. Among the 11 other violations, the inspector saw a live cockroach in a walk-in cooler and two dead roaches in other locations, meat and cheese were at unsafe temperatures in a cook-line fridge, the bar area didn’t have hot water, the women’s restroom didn’t have cold water and there was a long list of items that needed cleaning and repair. On June 29, the restaurant passed a follow-up inspection with a 97/A.
The restaurant at Terra Lago Golf Club, at 84000 Terra Lago Parkway in Indio, was inspected June 20 and received a failing grade of 82/B with one critical violation. The inspector saw rodent droppings on top of the food prep sink, on the back of a unit for holding hot food and on the floors, and noted rodent and cockroach traps in the kitchen and bar areas, as well as dead flies in the bar area. Among the 10 other violations, some food wasn’t being kept hot, there was pink mold in the ice machine and equipment, floors and walls needed cleaning. On June 23, the restaurant passed a follow-up inspection with a 94/A.

permalink | July 2, 2022 at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2022

Herb Ritts Took A Photo In Desert Hot Springs?!

I had never heard of that before. "David with Lampshade, Desert Hot Springs, 1989".

permalink | June 27, 2022 at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

Desert Recreation District in Cathedral City

The City of Cathedral City is considering joining the Desert Recreation District. Doing the same in Desert Hot Springs has been discussed occasionally. The main drawback for Desert Hot Springs is that some form of additional tax would have to be levied to pay for it. Cathedral City is considering a new property tax to pay for it, according to this article in The Desert Sun, but in keeping with the usual deadhead standards at the newspaper, the article doesn't really tell us what the tax rate would be.

Cathedral City is preparing to have voters decide whether to impose the tax — which would be 15 cents per square foot on single-family residential units — in the Nov. 8 election.

"15 cents per square foot on single-family residential units." Assuming this is a complete and accurate description of the tax, I would take that to mean SFRs would be taxed at 15¢/s.f. of inhabitable space (of course); and that in multi-family buildings it would be applied to the square footage of the residential units themselves, excluding common areas; and that commercial and industrial properties would be exempt. But that would be a difficult tax to sell and to assess. So I went digging into the agenda for the city council of Cathedral City and, quelle surprise, that is not how the tax would be assessed.

Here are the facts, which were just too, too difficult for a Desert Sun reporter to research:
Proposed tax rates for Desert Recreation District in Cathedral City
These actual proposed rates look to be more fair and palatable than the Desert Sun story led me to believe
. Now I wonder why a condo unit will have to pay $24 more than a rental unit. Do condo residents use more recreation facilities than residents of rented apartments?

TL;DR: The Desert Sun continues to suck badly. If you want to know what's happening in your city government, you need to watch your city council meetings (at least).

permalink | June 27, 2022 at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2022

Desert Hot Springs LGBTA+ Pride Proclamation Video

permalink | June 22, 2022 at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2022

First-Ever Pride Proclamation In Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs' first-ever proclamation recognizing LGBTQIA+ Pride was delivered at tonight's city council meeting by Mayor Scott Matas.
Mayor Matas Reading Pride Proclamation (1104)
Mayor Matas reading the proclamation
.

James Nindel Speaking On The Pride Proclamation (1110)
Planning Commissioner James Nindel speaking on the significance and need for the proclamation
.

Pride Proclamation by the City of Desert Hot Springs (1117)

And while I'm on the subject, you should check out GayDHS.com.

The City Council meeting tonight was a lot of the usual administrative items that they always have to handle at this time of year: landscape and lighting districts, putting DVD bills on the property tax bill, etc. But there was one significant item: approval of $3,172,000 to Onyx Paving Company and approval of a total project budget of $4,298,600 for a total redo of Palm Drive north of Pierson. This includes not just resurfacing, but bike lanes, sidewalks, additional street lighting, a 4-way stop at 12th Street and newly painted crosswalks. Palm Drive north of Pierson will be reduced to two lanes for motor vehicle traffic. The additional space gained will be used for the sidewalks and bike lanes. Councilmember Nuñez suggested the sidewalks should be 8 feet wide. Assistant City Manager Porras said that 8 foot sidewalks could be constructed where there are no sidewalks, but to tear out all sidewalks to rebuild them to an 8-foot width would really expand the size of this project [and I think it would probably need to be re-bid and, thus, delayed].

Mr. Nuñez's really bonehead suggestion was to retain the current four lanes for motor vehicles on Palm Drive, but WIDEN the road to be able to add sidewalks (16 feet) and bike lanes (maybe another 16 feet or so?). I'd suggest Mr. Nuñez actually go look at that segment of Palm Drive. It has the least traffic of any segment of Palm Drive. Residences north of 12th Street already suffer cramped front yards and driveways and no street parking is permitted. A narrowing of this part of Palm Drive has been under discussion for years. There are businesses along Palm Drive north of Pierson, including the new Dollar General, that are close to the roadway. The city couldn't add 16 feet to a side without the considerable expense of having to tear out or rebuild some commercial buildings.

And then there's the utter lack of need for a 4-lane road that far north in the city. The population won't grow much at that end of the city, unless someone is planning on building multi-family housing up the sides of the mountains. The growth in the city is all farther south, west or east.

The item was approved 3-1 with Mr. Nuñez voting against. Councilmember Betts was absent tonight.

Finally, there was this:
Red Curb Parking (2269)
It was okay because no conflagrations were on the schedule for tonight
.

permalink | June 21, 2022 at 08:34 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2022

Something Stinks, Do You Smell It Too?

For years now, Arden Wallum and Nancy Wright have treated MSWD board meetings as if they were their own little coffee chats, speaking spontaneously and freely without recognition from the board president, even interrupting other speakers, including board members, staff and members of the public.

Since the board meeting where then-President Duncan called the cops to eject Director Grasha, every board meeting has begun with the attorney reading the "rules of procedure." I'll summarize:

  • The rules of procedure were adopted by the board;
  • Rosenberg's Rules of Order are followed;
  • Directors should refrain from responding directly to public comments;
  • The President is responsible for maintenance of order and decorum;
  • No one speaks who has not been first recognized by the President;
  • No board member should speak more than once on a subject until every other board member has had a chance to speak;
  • No board member shall interfere with the orderly progress of the meeting; and
  • The President regulates the amount of time spent on each agenda item.

These guidelines are applied to Director Grasha but usually to no one else. Let me say up front that they do really need to be applied to Director Grasha. He cannot control himself and attempts to run amok at almost every meeting.

The board President is Russ Martin. Nancy Wright is Vice President, but that gives her no special rights when the President is present and presiding.

At the June 16, 2022, study session the discussion of the budget begins at 6:56 in the video of the meeting. President Martin said that before they began to get into the budget, he wanted to discuss some good news about the financing of the new wastewater treatment facility. He recognized staff member Steve Ledbetter to deliver the good news. Arden Wallum began speaking immediately, without asking for recognition and without apology. Mr. Wallum said it was good news, indeed, and asked Mr. Ledbetter if he would like to share the info. Then Mr. Wallum just kept talking. But Director Grasha interrupted with a "point of order," saying "This kind of news should be backed up with documentation." Vice President Wright, unrecognized and unapologetic, said something but she was too far from her microphone to be heard clearly. Mr. Grasha continued, "Making assertions that certain things have happened without the documents being forwarded to the board prior to the meeting." Then Mr. Grasha, never knowing when it's in his own best interest to just shut up, wandered into vague accusations that there have been many lies from other directors and staff. His suggestion that the board should never hear any news unless it's backed up by solid, printed documentation that has already been distributed to the directors is just nonsense. It's common for staff of any agency to share good (and sometimes bad) news with their respective boards as soon as possible, even though sometimes the paper verification won't be received for weeks or even months. If the staff did not do this, directors like Mr. Grasha would accuse them of attempting to hide something.

Ms. Wright began speaking again (unrecognized, of course). She said this is a public meeting so it will be public information...as if that were some sort of satisfying logic.

Mr. Grasha countered with another point of order, "Would you get your board member under control, please." President Martin asked Mr. Grasha if he had made his point. There was no response, so Mr. Martin again recognized Mr. Ledbetter and this time Mr. Wallum let Mr. Ledbetter speak.

He reported that he spoke to the State Water Resources Control Board on June 15 and was told that the assistant deputy director has approved that the new wastewater treatment facility can proceed "at 100% grant funding." Those grants will come from a number of different buckets, but the important thing to my ears is "100% grant funding" which on the bare face of it says to me that someone else will be paying for the construction of the new facility, and it doesn't get any better than that. 100%. He said 100%. The documentation will not be finalized for two to three months, because, jeez, do you have to ask? It involves water and government money from multiple sources. That is not a small and nimble operation.

Mr. Wallum, unrecognized, thanked Mr. Ledbetter and continued to talk, adding no substantive information. Then he asked President Martin if he would like him to introduce the budget. Mr. Martin said he would.

Here's the link to the agenda for the June 16, 2022, meeting with budget info included.

The board had discussed the budget at a workshop earlier this month (video).

Mr. Wallum introduced Finance Director Arturo Ceja. The district has 53 staff positions and this budget seeks to add one more in wastewater. The salary matrix is unchanged from the previous budget.

Director Grasha interrupted to repeat, using different words, his wish to see some documentation of the agreement by the state to 100% fund the construction of the wastewater treatment facility. Mr. Ceja repeated what Mr. Ledbetter had said, in essence. The documentation isn't there because the district doesn't have it yet.

Then Mr. Grasha went on to say that he couldn't find anything in the budget to reflect "the $10-million fine that we're facing that will be required to be paid in October." He's talking about the fine for untimely reporting of a sewage spill at the Horton wastewater treatment plant. The maximum possible fine would be $9-million, but nobody expects the maximum possible fine.

Several voices erupted at once; one of them might have been Mr. Ceja's. Someone sounding like Mr. Wallum said "Irrelevant." Other voices were unclear. Then President Martin spoke saying "You're getting off-topic." Mr. Wallum said "There is no $10-million." Mr. Grasha (who was never recognized to begin with, either) spoke up, "This is a board meeting, not a staff meeting, Mr. General Manager. This is between the five directors. This is the directors' budget. This is what you expect us to provide you and it needs to be complete and the public needs to be assured..."

President Martin called him out of order. Mr. Grasha countered saying Mr. Martin was out of order. Mr. Martin acknowledged that he never recognized Mr. Grasha, but he let him proceed until he "went on this rant."

So, while Mr. Martin may have been right on procedural matters, Mr. Grasha was right in what he said. If Mr. Wallum wants to interrupt a director he should seek recognition from the president before he does so. The only person who had been recognized to speak was Mr. Ceja.

The budget is anticipating a 38% increase in revenue from property taxes, from $1,517,480 this fiscal year to $2,099,989 next fiscal year. Salaries and wages are budgeted to increase about 12.3%, from $4,268,359 to $4,795,173. The biggest increase in budgeted expenses is in capital improvements which will rise from $30,589,349 in 2022 to $87,180,394 in 2023; an increase of $56,591,045, or 185%.

At this moment, the board secretary interrupted to report that Russell Betts had a question. The secretary's interruption was out of order, IMO. She should have either notified President Martin silently (but I don't think they have a way to do this) or wait until Mr. Ceja had finished his presentation. A public comment is not quite an emergency. Mr. Betts said he would be happy to wait until the public comment period, whereupon the secretary responded "Thank you. We'll allow Mr. Ceja to finish his presentation." Oh, we will, will we?! Who actually is presiding at these meetings? The board secretary and Mr. Wallum act as if they're in charge.

Director Grasha (recognized!) said he saw nothing in the budget to address the expenses of meeting the as yet unestablished chromium-6 standard two years hence. We don't know what the standard will be, we don't know what the expense might be, and it's not going to be in the next fiscal year, so what does he want? President Martin called on Mr. Wallum to answer that. Mr. Wallum said the district has no idea what the standard will be. Mr. Ledbetter pointed out the budget does have a line item for a chromium-6 compliance study.

Mr. Grasha continued, failing to acknowledge that no one knows what the target level will be, saying in essence that the district should follow the credo "Ready. Fire. Aim."

Ms Wright spoke up, unrecognized, saying that in the last few years some water agencies have found less expensive ways to deal with chromium-6.

President Martin called for public comments. Pamela Edmondson spoke first. She had three (maybe four) questions

  1. It appears to her that the total budget is $114-million. Is that correct? Does that cover some of the things brought up by Mr. Grasha?
  2. The budget shows a revenue increase. What is there to substantiate those increases? Can you really count on that revenue?
  3. Will those increased revenues provide for hiring additional employees, covering unexpected expenses like chromium-6, or even paving 20th Avenue to the new wastewater treatment facility?
  4. How close was the district on the 2021-22 FY budget?

Mr. Wallum suggested Mr. Ceja would be the one to answer these questions. President Martin said he was concerned that the board couldn't have a back and forth with a public commenter. "You can," Mr. Wallum incorrectly advised.

The $114-million figure is the Gann limit, not the total budget. Mr. Ceja said he was very conservative in estimating future revenues. (The budget anticipates an increase in water revenue of only 1% and a 2.7% increase in sewer revenue.)

Ms. Edmondson asked if she could ask a follow-up question. President Martin told her to go ahead. Will the interest rate hikes have any influence that the district can foresee? Mr. Ceja said that the district has access to loans at lower than market rates as well as grants. Mr. Wallum spoke again without asking for recognition, saying that the district has already locked in some loans at low interest rates.

Ms. Edmondson said she had one more question. What about new employees or paving that road? Mr. Wallum said that the district had not yet been required to pave the road, but they might be expected to.

Now Mr. Martin called on Mr. Betts for his comment. He spoke about the spill at Horton and the impending fine. He said DWA had been fined $1-million for a sewage spill that they had. Ms. Wright began to speak. Mr. Betts addressed the President saying he would like to get his statement out without being interrupted. Mr. Betts said the Desert Sun reported the DWA fine was $1-million. His question was how is a fine ($10-million or whatever) handled in a budget. President Martin responded that the district was never facing a $10-million fine. The maximum is $9-million. "That's splitting hairs. I'll correct myself to $9-million," Mr. Betts said. Mr. Martin responded, "You're interrupting me."

At this point in the meeting there had been many interruptions by different people, and President Martin sat there silently every time. But now, when a ratepayer calls in with a very legitimate question of how to budget for a potentially large fine of an unknown amount, the President gets snippy and decides the rules will be enforced. Mr. Martin went on to say there had been a lot of back and forth (between whom he did not say) and they were not prepared to give any info. Then Attorney Pinkney spoke up to say there wouldn't be a $9-million fine or anywhere near that figure. The district has been in discussions over the matter but the discussions are still confidential.

Mr. Betts spoke again, "Mr. Chair, may I ask." Mr. Martin replied "Just a moment, just a moment." But Mr. Betts continued speaking "We're way off of the question. I didn't ask for any of these answers."

"You brought it up, sir," Mr. Martin replied. "No I didn't bring...I brought up a very specific question."

"Okay, that's enough. You're cut off," Mr. Martin announced.

There you have it. If you've followed MSWD meetings for as long as I have, you've seen their well-established practice, regardless of who is board president, of being very sloppy in allowing back-and-forths with public commenters. I don't think they should do it that way, but there is no question that the standard of conduct at MSWD board meetings permits casual back and forth conversations between the public and either staff or the board. But now that someone wants to ask a real question about how a potential $9-million fine can be budgeted for, the ax drops, the board is going to work to the rules and the ratepayer can just shut up and fuck off.

This is from the same board that knew about the spill and the potential fine, but never informed the public until Director Grasha brought it up at a board meeting. Some shit stinks here. I just can't tell yet how deep the shit is or who has stepped in it.

President Martin felt the need to add "One of the things that was another mistake that Councilman Betts made was the fine for DWA. Nancy can you clarify that?" Ms. Wright said the fine was $150,000-$160,000 plus building some project. "The $9.5 million what it was in the newspaper, that was somebody else made those. They took what the maximum fines could be. I don't think I've ever seen a maximum fine actually used." The $9.5-million figure was never put out by the regional board.

All still leaving Mr. Betts question unanswered. I'd like to know the answer too. Yes, the board can mut a public commenter who is abusing his privileges, but that doesn't mean the comment and question just go away. I'd like to know how it is budgeted and I'd really like to know why the board is so defensive that they can't even hear the question. The answer might be as simple as "We just don't put it in the budget; when we know the final amount, then we'll adjust the budget." Maybe. But nobody was willing to say that.

BTW, the DWA fine was $181,947, but half of that amount will go to "purchase and install the Cathedral Canyon Lift Station Flow Meter Monitoring Vault and Sample Box to detect flow variations that indicate pipe breakages and take water samples to identify pollution in the river channel and local groundwater." But DWA's fine was for the sewage spill. It's my understanding (not that anyone on the MSWD board would ever feel the need to explain to the public) that MSWD's violation was that the sewage spill was not reported in a timely fashion, so we may be comparing apples and applesauce.

Mr. Grasha had another point of order. But now that President Martin had strapped on his testicles, he interrupted Mr. Grasha to say he was not recognized and Mr. Grasha stopped.

That was the end of the budget discussion. The board meets again on Monday, June 20 (no Juneteenth holiday for them!) to vote on it.

If you'd like to see a meeting properly and efficiently conducted in accordance with the Brown Act, you only need to look to the City Council of Desert Hot Springs. It's extremely rare for the City Manager to speak up unless called on by the Mayor. If anyone tries to speak over another person, Mayor Matas will shut that down instantly. He never, never, ever permits a back and forth with a public commenter. And no one is on a first-name basis while the meeting is proceeding.

permalink | June 17, 2022 at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2022

Photos From The MSWD Groundbreaking

Yesterday was the groundbreaking ceremony for the new wastewater treatment facility for the Mission Springs Water District.
MSWD Wastewater Facility Groundbreaking (2265)

MSWD Wastewater Facility Groundbreaking (0765)

MSWD General Manager Arden Wallum (0772)
MSWD General Manager Arden Wallum
.

Mayor Scott Matas (0762)
Desert Hot Springs Mayor Scott Matas
.

Free Lens (0774)
If you're missing a 50mm Canon lens
, you left it sitting like this atop a loudspeaker.

permalink | June 11, 2022 at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2022

The Fire Was Where?

There was a fire last night around 7 PM in Desert Hot Springs. The Desert Sun phoned it in, relying on the fire department's tweet that said the location was "66700 Blk 6th St." But the fire department included a map in their tweet that pointed to the coordinates 33°58'07.4"N, 116°29'47.1"W, which is on 8th Street just east of Mesquite.

KESQ actually sent out a reporter and camera, but they were even less specific than the newspaper. KESQ said it was at "Mesquite Avenue, just off of Palm Drive." Since Mesquite parallels Palm, that's the equivalent of saying "somewhere on Mesquite."

So I put on my Brenda Starr boots and headed out to investigate. The fire was right where the fire department's map was pointing; they just mistyped 6th for 8th.

permalink | June 4, 2022 at 08:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2022

Getting My Legs Back

Palm Springs Vista (2253)
The view across Palm Springs from the popular lookout point on what might be called "Palm Hills Road,"
the road that climbs into the hills behind Vons Rimrock Plaza. Today is the first time I've been able to reach this point since my hip replacement surgery this past October. I'm sure I have not been able to hike to this point since at least 2019, maybe earlier than that. Even more satisfying than simply making it is that I caught up to three 20-something men who had a good head start on me, passed them and made it to the lookout point well ahead of them. Age and experience count for something.

Palm Springs Vista (2252)
The view from a lower spot on the trail
. You can see the silhouettes of the three young men I passed resting (they took 4 or 5 rest breaks on the climb) in the right half of the image, at the top of a rise. You might need a larger image to see them.

permalink | May 28, 2022 at 03:46 PM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2022

That Was A Nice Slam!

Heard it coming. Felt it coming. And then it came. Most distinctive slam of an earthquake that I've ever felt. It didn't sound like I had any damage. It was small, but sharp. I'll get you the numbers as they become available.

It was in Long Canyon, within walking distance (a long walk). 4.27 miles (6.87 km) from me, measured on a direct line according to Google. Some boulders have moved.

USGS info. Currently estimated at 3.8. Noticeable.

permalink | May 15, 2022 at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 7, 2022

China Star, Indio

From The Press-Enterprise:

China Star, at 81022 Highway 111 Suite B in Indio, was inspected April 27 and received a failing grade of 76/C with one critical violation. The inspector saw two live and one dead cockroaches near the wok, as well as flies by the dishwashing area. Among the 15 other violations, some chicken and bean sprouts were at unsafe temperatures, the restaurant’s dishwashing process was incorrect and an employee was standing directly on the stove to replace a hood filter. This was the restaurant’s third failed inspection since 2019, and it was closed for two weeks last June because of a cockroach infestation, so it now faces an administrative hearing. The inspector also told the facility to increase pest control service to every two weeks until the current activity ceases.

permalink | May 7, 2022 at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2022

Public Health Report

From The Press-Enterprise:

Canton Bistro, at 79405 Highway 111 Suite 5 in La Quinta, was inspected April 26 and received a failing grade of 74/C with three critical violations. Some cooked chicken had been left at room temperature for hours. Surfaces weren’t being sanitized. And there was no hot water at the kitchen handwashing and bar dishwashing sinks. Among the 11 other violations, food had been delivered that day and boxes of raw meat were left sitting on the wet and dirty floor, while boxes of produce were left in an outside alley next to a grease bin that was attracting flies. The restaurant also needed cleaning and decluttering.
ROC’s Firehouse Grille, at 36891 Cook St. Suite 10 in Palm Desert, was inspected April 26 and received a failing grade of 80/B with 11 violations, two of them critical. Food was at unsafe temperatures in two refrigerators that were impounded for not keeping cold. The dishwashers in the kitchen and bar also were impounded for not dispensing sanitizer, and surfaces weren’t being wiped down with sanitizer. This was the restaurant’s third failed inspection since 2019.

permalink | April 30, 2022 at 07:21 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2022

BMW Ad Shot Locally


According to Adweek it was shot "in Yucca Valley, where a replica of the iX was placed atop a 12-foot stone tower." "Other scenes of natural beauty were shot in Joshua Tree National Park and Mount San Jacinto in Palm Springs, Calif."

permalink | April 26, 2022 at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2022

Thai Smile - Palm Springs

From the Press-Enterprise:

Thai Smile, 100 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Closed: April 12
Grade: 71/C, failing
Reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector, visiting in response to a complaint about dirty conditions, saw a live cockroach on the wall behind a microwave. Among the 16 other violations, food including raw beef, pork and fish were at unsafe temperatures; food was being stored on the floor in the prep and cooking areas, including a large bucket of soup that was left to cool at room temperature; the beer gun line was in contact with ice; food was being stored uncovered; and equipment, floors and walls needed cleaning. This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection in less than a year, so it now faces an administrative hearing.
Reopened: April 13

permalink | April 16, 2022 at 06:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2022

Coachella Livestream

Three of 'em:

permalink | April 15, 2022 at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2022

Tracy Turco Buzz

Maybe this Tracy Turco thing will work out well. A point of view from waaaaaay outside the city could be good for generating tourism, but I find it a little grating when she refers the city as The Desert Hot Springs as if we were a freeway or a formerly occupied nation (The Ukraine, The Congo, The Sudan). But I do want to draw your attention to this "logo" (is that what it would be called?) that she has designed with a faux-neon font. It looks like something from Hot Springs Hotel, the "adult" TV show that was shot in the Miracle Springs Resort in the 1990s.
Tracy Turco design

On the plus side, so far the city has given her only $25,000; her scope is limited to one block of Pierson Boulevard; she has real experience; and she's putting her own money into other investments in the city. The city will be getting some benefit from the time and money spent on the Downtown Vortex plan from years ago which tore down some of old buildings that were too small for commercial use, and bought up parcels so they could be combined to a practical size.

permalink | April 12, 2022 at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2022

Health Department Report For This Week

From the Press-Enterprise:

Blue Coyote Grill, 445 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs

Closed: April 7
Grade: 72/C, failing
Reason: Excessive flies. The inspector, visiting in response to a foodborne illness complaint, saw flies landing on and crawling in washed lettuce in the food-prep sink, a container of tortilla chips, clean plates, cutting boards and below the bar counter and sinks. There were also four dead cockroaches in a cabinet and two more in the bar area. There were two other critical violations: Food was at unsafe temperatures in a refrigerator that was impounded for not keeping cold, and cooked food wasn’t being cooled down fast enough. Those led to well over 100 pounds of food being discarded. Among the 12 additional violations, there was biofilm in an ice machine, the person washing dishes didn’t know manual dishwashing procedures and the facility needed cleaning.
Reopened: April 8

Meng’s Filipino Cuisine, at 34091 Date Palm Drive Suite B in Cathedral City, was inspected March 30 and received a failing grade of 81/B with one critical violation. Meat skewers that had been left in the handwashing sink and a tilapia that had been put in a bowl of hot water to defrost that morning and left underneath the dishwashing sink were at unsafe temperatures. Among the 11 other violations, dishes weren’t being washed or sanitized properly, a fly swatter with a dead fly stuck on it was hanging next to clean dishes, food was being stored uncovered or in unapproved plastic bags, and the floors needed cleaning. The restaurant passed a mandatory follow-up April 6 with a score of 95/A.

permalink | April 9, 2022 at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)

April 7, 2022

IGLA Water Polo in Desert Hot Springs

The International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Association (IGLA) is holding a competition in Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs. Today and tomorrow it's water polo at the Furbee Aquatic Center. I walked over this morning and got a few photos. Here are four of them.

IGLA Water Polo at Desert Hot Springs (9483)

IGLA Water Polo at Desert Hot Springs (9458)

IGLA Water Polo at Desert Hot Springs (9454)

IGLA Water Polo at Desert Hot Springs (9481)

permalink | April 7, 2022 at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2022

Mission Creek Preserve Today

Brittlebush In Mission Creek Preserve (2227)
The brittlebush is looking good!

permalink | March 27, 2022 at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2022

Health Department Inspections in the Coachella Valley

From the Press-Enterprise:

China King Restaurant, 295 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Closed: March 18
Grade: 68/C, failing
Reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector visited in response to a complaint and found five or six roaches on a wall behind hanging utensils and another one on the floor. There were three critical violations: An employee killed a roach with bare hands and then touched diced bell peppers without washing. Food was also contaminated when an employee placed a trash bag on food at the prep table, and because raw chicken and beef were touching in overfilled containers. Additionally, shelled and pooled eggs were at unsafe temperatures, and tapioca balls and hoisin sauce that required refrigeration had been left out for two to three days. Among the 15 other violations, an employee said utensils are washed only once a day (at least every four hours is required), weed killer was stored next to the meat grinder, cooked pork wasn’t being cooled down safely and the facility needed cleaning. This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection since 2019.


Wang’s in the Desert, 424 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Closed: March 18
Grade: Not graded
Reason: Rodent infestation. An inspector visited in response to a complaint that someone saw multiple rats. The owner was aware of the problem and said they’d been working with pest control. The inspector found droppings throughout the facility, including inside containers of clean dishes, on shelves holding clean dishes and open containers of food, below prep tables and cooking equipment, on shelving at the food pickup window, in the customer dining area and in the employee break room. There were also gnaw marks and droppings on a package of salt.
Reopened: March 23 after pest control visited twice and affected areas were cleaned. The inspector did find a few old droppings on the floor behind some cardboard.
New grade: 92/A, passing


Sammy G’s, at 265 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, was inspected March 18 in response to a foodborne illness complaint and received a failing grade of 81/B with one critical violation. Several items were at unsafe temperatures in the walk-in dairy refrigerator, which was impounded for not keeping cold. Among the 11 other violations, cooked chicken and pasta had been left at room temperature to cool, there was biofilm in the ice machine, knives had been put away dirty, there were a few flies, the inspector found two old rodent droppings in an unapproved food storage area that wasn’t properly vermin-proofed, and the restaurant needed cleaning. This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection since 2019.

To Go Sushi, at 40101 Monterey Ave. Suite G2 in Rancho Mirage, was inspected March 16 in response to a foodborne illness complaint and received a failing grade of 80/B with one critical violation. The sushi chef didn’t wash hands after using a dirty towel. Among the 11 other violations, raw tuna and imitation crab were at unsafe temperatures in two coolers, one of which was impounded for not keeping cold; other prepared food wasn’t being cooled down safely; and utensils weren’t being sanitized properly.

permalink | March 26, 2022 at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)