January 12, 2022

Coachella 2022?

Is there a betting pool for the date they'll announce its rescheduling or cancellation?

permalink | January 12, 2022 at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2022

IGLA Coming to Desert Hot Springs

IGLA is International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics. They have just announced that in April 2022 IGLA will be coming to Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs. The water polo competition will be at the Furbee Aquatic Center. Specific dates will be April 6 through 10.

permalink | January 11, 2022 at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2022

Four On Ilford Delta 3200

These first two photos are from the cactus and succulent show at the L.A. County Arboretum that took place way back in August. These were displayed indoors without bright lighting, so I used Ilford Delta 3200 film, no filter.
L.A. County Arboretum Cactus & Succulent Show (4)

L.A. County Arboretum Cactus & Succulent Show (1)

The next two photos I shot at the George Zander Candlelight Vigil and March on Friday evening of Palm Springs Pride week. Also Ilford Delta 3200, unfiltered.
George Zander Candlelight Vigil and March (4)

George Zander Candlelight Vigil and March (2)

permalink | January 9, 2022 at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2022

Four Photos In The Coachella Valley

Apple Store on El Paseo (1)
Shot on Ilford Delta 3200 film

Cereus peruvianus flower with bee (1)
Bee in a bloom on my Cereus peruvianus
. Kentmere Pan 400 film.

Parking Garage Palm Springs
A parking garage in Palm Springs
, also shot on Kentmere Pan 400.

Palm Springs' Downtown Park Fountain (3)
Fountain in Downtown Park in Palm Springs
. Kentmere Pan 400 film.

permalink | January 6, 2022 at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

January 5, 2022

Four On Kentmere Pan 400

All these photos taken in Desert Hot Springs were shot on Kentmere Pan 400 film. Kentmere is Ilford's cheaper brand. I used a red filter with these.

Cactus Drive
On Cactus Drive

Dollar General Construction (17)
Dollar General construction a few months ago

The Former El Reposo Spa
El Reposo Spa
, a former spa on Fifth Street. It's obvious they've been under a little pressure from code enforcement over the last couple of years to finally clean up the place. Not long ago they removed the plywood that had been covering these windows into the hot mineral water pool room, which I'm sure is no longer in use. I would think the room could get really overheated on sunny days.

Boarded Up On Fifth Street
This is the mobile home park between Fifth and Sixth Streets
which is also finally getting seriously cleaned up.

permalink | January 5, 2022 at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

January 4, 2022

The New Long Canyon Trailhead

I went to explore the new Long Canyon trail not long ago. The actual trailhead isn't right there where the MWD dirt road intersects paved Long Canyon Road. Nor is it at the other end of the MWD road, where the aqueduct lies. Instead, it's about halfway between the two. The parking areas are obvious, but if you miss them there is this sign.
Long Canyon Trailhead

BTW, that was shot on Rollei Infrared film with an infrared filter, as are all of these photos.

The trail proceeds not on the MWD road, but to the right, in the wash between the great stacks of tailings from the aqueduct.

Long Canyon Trail (1)

Long Canyon Trail (4)

Colorado River Aqueduct at Long Canyon (3)

Colorado River Aqueduct at Long Canyon (6)

Colorado River Aqueduct at Long Canyon (2)
A lot of bees around the eastern "hatch" for the aqueduct
. I concluded they must have a hive down below the hatch. If they were simply gathering water, then I should have found just as many bees around the western hatch, but I saw none.

permalink | January 4, 2022 at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 1, 2022

Four More Infrared Photos

These were all shot in November using Rollei Infrared 400 film with an infrared filter.

Mobile Home and Tamarisks
A double-wide on Sixth Street in Desert Hot Springs

Palm Springs Infrared View (2)
Palm Springs viewed from Painted Hills Road

Albert Frey's Cree House From Above (1)
Also from Painted Hills Road, but turning more towards Cathedral City.
Albert Frey's Cree House is visible in the lower right.

Little San Bernardino Hills Above Desert Hot Springs (2)
Desert Hot Springs
. The road running away from us is Mission Lakes Boulevard.

permalink | January 1, 2022 at 06:18 PM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2021

Four From Palm Springs Pride

All of these were shot on Let It Snow! film with a dark red filter.


Pride On Palm Canyon Drive

Posing At Pride (1)

Leather Teddy Bear

permalink | December 31, 2021 at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2021

Four More On Let It Snow! Film

All of these were shot with Film Photography Project's Let It Snow! film which is sensitive into the infrared zone. I used a dark red filter.
Palm Springs Bike Rack (1)
A Palm Springs bike rack

Palm Springs' Downtown Park Fountain (1)
The fountain in the new Downtown Park in Palm Springs

History Of Suspended Time by Gonzalo Lebrija (5)
Another shot of "History of Suspended Time" by Gonzalo Lebrija
, this time with Palm Springs Pride happening in the background.

The mural at Delicia's on Pierson Boulevard in Desert Hot Springs

permalink | December 28, 2021 at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

December 8, 2021

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).

permalink | December 8, 2021 at 09:07 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.

permalink | December 4, 2021 at 06:01 AM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2021

Four Infrareds In Palm Springs

Our Lady of Solitude Church (1264)
Our Lady of Solitude Church

Our Lady of Solitude Church (1268)
Our Lady of Solitude Church

342-344 N. Palm Canyon Drive (1313)
342-344 N. Palm Canyon Drive

Water Feature In Downtown Park
The fountain in new Downtown Park (click for video)

permalink | November 14, 2021 at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2021

Four More Photos

Palm Tree Silhouettes (1)
Ektachrome, 1991

Then Shall The Earth Yield Her Increase And God Even Our Own God Shall Bless Us
Part of a frieze on the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City
. Kodachrome, 1991.

Copa (7137)
Part of the neon sign at Copa in Palm Springs
. Digital, shot just six days ago.

Forever Marilyn (7152)
"Forever Marilyn,"
also digital from just a few days ago.

permalink | November 11, 2021 at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

November 9, 2021

57° Is Just Fine

Arthur C. Brooks is a Bostonian who has has written an article for The Atlantic to try to convince himself (and others, I suppose) that the weather there is ideal and people should not be moving from there to warmer climates like, say, Desert Hot Springs, California. He has even found a study that claims 57° is the optimal outdoor temperature for happiness.

He is very, very, very wrong.

If all else fails, you can simply give up and decide to stop complaining. I have lived in sunny places (Boca Raton, Santa Monica, Barcelona) and gray places (Seattle, upstate New York) in roughly equal measure and have been keeping careful track of my happiness for decades. Despite it being a convenient grievance, the climate has not affected my well-being in any systematic way. Confronted by the data, I have simply given up whining about the Boston winters, and that has helped me like them better. I focus instead on the things I live here for, such as a university teaching job I love.

I wish we could get an objective measure of his "happiness." Sounds like depression to me. Brooks is "the William Henry Bloomberg professor of the practice of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a professor of management practice at the Harvard Business School."

permalink | November 9, 2021 at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

November 2, 2021

Fall River, Mass., Visits Palm Springs

While waiting for the George Zander Candlelight Vigil & March to get started last night in Palm Springs, the PromoHomoTV reporter comes across a couple visiting from Fall River, Massachusetts, who acknowledge that "Fall River is not like it is here [in Palm Springs]."

permalink | November 2, 2021 at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2021

One Million Dollars

The Riverside County Sheriff places unusual emphasis on the "1 Million Dollar Arrest Warrant" in this press release.
One Million Dollars

Gang Member Arrested on 1 Million Dollar Arrest Warrant

On Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 12:15 P.M. the Coachella Valley Violent Crime Gang Task Force conducted an arrest warrant service in a residential area located in the 49000 block of Highway 74 in Palm Desert. Gang Task Force Officers located documented criminal street gang member Robert “Lil Rob” Cruz, 40 of Coachella, as he was delivering furniture to a residence for a local furniture store where he is employed as a delivery man. Cruz was taken into custody without incident on a 1 Million Dollar Arrest Warrant for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Witness Intimidation. Cruz had evaded capture since June of 2021 when the warrant was issued for his arrest. Cruz was subsequently booked at John Benoit Detention Center in Indio.

I don't even know what it means to attach a dollar value to an arrest warrant. Does it mean the Riverside County Sheriff's Office is going to receive a million-dollar reward for arresting this guy? I don't think so. Does it mean somebody was willing to spend up to a million dollars to catch this guy?

permalink | October 28, 2021 at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2021

Health Dep't. Permit Revoked For DHS Spa Restaurant

The chronic problems at the Desert Hot Springs Spa restaurant seem to be, uh, very chronic.

Restaurant at Desert Hot Springs Spa, 10805 Palm Dr., Desert Hot Springs

Closed: Oct. 19
Grade: 83/B, failing
Reason: Rodent infestation, failing an inspection while on probation. The inspector found fresh and dry rodent droppings on cases of margarita mix and the floor in a storage room and below the bar sink. The restaurant has been on probation since July; it has now failed four inspections since 2019 and was shut down because of rodents twice last year. This time its permit was revoked. To reopen, it would have to correct all violations and purchase a new permit.

permalink | October 23, 2021 at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2021

MSWD Board Approves More than $43 Million For New Sewage Treatment Plant

On Monday, October 18, the Mission Springs water District Board of Directors approved its largest ever single expenditure, $43,035,300, for the construction of a new sewage treatment plant on Little Morongo Road south of Dillon. I would have expected MSWD to have a press release set and ready to go as soon as the board voted, but I've seen no mention of it in the Desert Sun or other local media. So here we go.

Most of the discussion by the board on this subject took place at the Thursday, October 14, study session. If you want to follow along in the video of the meeting, the discussion starts at about 19:48. And here's a link to the agenda packet, if you want that.

The lowest bid came from J.F. Shea Construction, Inc. at $40,986,000. Add to that a 5% contingency ($2,049,300) to get the total of $43,035,300. The engineer's estimate from 2020 had put the cost around $34 million. "Based on discussions with several of the Bidders, the costs for various commodities including cement, pozzolan admixtures, PVC pipe, steel and ductile iron pipe were as much as twice the cost of 2019, before the pandemic in the US and globally." "The District is currently slated to receive at least $16,000,000.00 in grants toward the project through the State Water Board that will help alleviate the construction cost increase, and fund the reminder through a low interest loan." Bids from other companies were as high as $50,801,000.

This first phase of construction will build a 1.5 million gallon/day (MGD) sequence batch reactor (SBR) wastewater treatment plant.

The existing Horton Wastewater Treatment facility is at capacity. Daily flows there are averaging above 2 MGD while the plant has a legal capacity of 2.2 MGD. Expansion of capacity is required in order to (A) continue with the program of replacing septic tanks with sewers, and (B) be able to take parts of the Horton facility offline for required regular maintenance.

General Manager Arden Wallum said that the district is in the best financial situation possible right now to begin this large project. The project officially goes back to 2006 when it was included in the district's Wastewater Master Plan. Preliminary designs began in 2017. The sequence batch reactor process is a lower cost alternative and can be readily upgraded to membrane bio-reactor (MBR) technology in the future. MBR produces a higher quality effluent. The board approved the preliminary design in 2018.

Initially, the plant will be fed with 0.2 MGD (i.e., 200,000 gallons/day) diverted from the Horton plant. In the future, 0.32 MGD will be diverted from Horton, extending Horton's operating capacity by ten years.

During the staff report by Steve Ledbetter, he mentioned an ultimate capacity at the new plant of 20 MGD. I don't know if that was a slip of the tongue or a real figure. I don't see the number anywhere in the written report.

The 1.5 MGD SBR facility could be converted to a 3.0 MGD MBR facility without having to remove or replace any equipment. At the 1.5 MGD level, the plant will have a life of 10 to 15 years. That's baseed on the assumption that all the septic tanks are replaced with sewer connections.

There is a Dos Palmas lift station that currently sends sewage to Horton. Those flows will be rerouted to the new plant. Horton could send sewage to the Dos Palmas lift station, where they would then flow to the new plant. Alternatively, the district could build a new interceptor line elsewhere to bring flows to the new plant. A new line running from Two Bunch Palms Trail down Little Morongo could extend the life of the Horton plant 15 to 20 years before it needed any expansion.

The final funding agreement with the State Water Resources Control board is expected in November or December. Already approved are an $8 million grant from the Small Community Wastewater Grant Program and another $8 million from the Groundwater Grant Program. Under review is an additional grant of up to $33.1 million under SB 129. Beyond that, funding is available from the State Revolving Loan Fund at an interest rate of only 0.9%. Assessment District 15 would also supply $4,250,000.

Mr. Ledbetter presented the following chart. With total expenses listed on the left and total funding listed on the right, one would think that it is intended that we compare these two bars, but when you add up the figures you get something quite different.

Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 16.13.54

The bar on the left lists these construction costs:

GQPP Area M-2 CM/Insp/Admin:$1,251,547
GQPP Area M-2 Construction:$10,429,554
Conveyance Line CM/Insp/Admin:$937,200
Conveyance Line Construction:$7,810,000
WVWRF Design/CM/Insp/Admin:$8,253,400
WVWRF Construction:$42,945,000

The bar on the right lists funding sources:

GW Grant:$8,000,000
SCW Grant:$8,000,000

Then he showed an alternate funding bar that includes an IA Grant of $33,100,000. Those figures are as follows:

IA Grant:$33,100,000
GW Grant:$8,000,000
SCW Grant:$8,000,000

In both cases the total funding comes to $68,526,701, but the total expenses are $71,626,701; a shortfall of $3,100,000. I don't suppose this was intended as a demonstration that MSWD staff can't add or that they forgot the need to pay for $3,100,000. Maybe they never intended the two bars, presented next to each other on the same page, to be compared, although it is quite common to compare costs and funding this way.

Staff analysis in the last year shows the district has over $60 million in debt capacity, so borrowing the full amount of $42,945,000 would be doable.

The new plant would be operational within 18 months after J.F. Shea is given notice to proceed. The date construction will start will be controlled by the district. There are at least a couple months worth of work to be done before ground could be broken.

The actual vote to award the job to J.F. Shea took place at the Monday, October 18, meeting. Here's the YouTube video if you want to see that.

Director Grasha moved for approval. Seconded by Vice President Martin. Approved 5-0.

permalink | October 21, 2021 at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2021

Video Inside Desert Hot Springs's Biggest Cultivation Facility

Video inside the San Jac marijuana cultivation facility in Desert Hot Springs. They say this is the largest such facility in DHS. The story is broken into four segments, so keep viewing to the end to see all of it. I'm impressed with the audio in this little documentary. Everywhere they go inside the facility there is overwhelming white noise from the ventilation system (640 tons of A/C we are told), yet the voices are always clear enough to be understandable. (The first 2½ minutes are just intro that you can skip).

permalink | October 14, 2021 at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

Police Shoot & Kill Fleeing Suspect At Indian And I-10

Very early this morning. Riverside County Sheriff's Office press release:


Deputy / Officer involved shooting occurs after Beaumont Police officers, Riverside Sheriff’s deputies and Palm Springs officers locate suspect who shot at a Banning Police officer during a traffic stop.

On Thursday, October 14, 2021 around 12:24 AM a Banning Police officer was shot at by a suspect during a traffic stop off State Highway 243 in Banning. During the shooting the gunfire struck the Banning Police vehicle and disabled it. The suspect fled the scene in an older model green wagon. Banning Police requested the assistance of surrounding law enforcement agencies. Beaumont Police officers responded to the area and located the shooting suspect driving eastbound on Interstate 10.

Beaumont Police Department officers attempted to stop the suspect who failed to yield. The suspect fled at a high rate of speed and a pursuit was initiated. Beaumont Police Department officers were joined by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputies as they pursued the suspect eastbound on Interstate 10 towards the Palm Springs area. The suspect shot several times at Beaumont Police officers who were behind him during the pursuit. Information was relayed to Palm Springs Police Department advising them of a pursuit of an armed suspect heading towards their jurisdiction.

Upon entering the Palm Springs area, the suspect exited on North Indian Canyon Drive where he ultimately stopped his vehicle on the offramp. At that time, a deputy / officer involved shooting occurred.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Bureau and the Palm Springs Police used Armored Rescue Vehicles, to protect the law enforcement officers from the suspect who was still armed and barricaded inside his vehicle. Upon approaching the vehicle, the suspect was found deceased. The rifle used by the suspect was located inside the vehicle. The suspect’s identity will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

No deputies or officers were injured during this incident. There are no outstanding suspects and there is no threat to the public.

The following agencies were involved in the deputy / officer shooting: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Beaumont Police Department and Palm Springs Police Department. The involved deputies and officers will be placed on administrative leave per their Department policy. The names of the involved deputies / officers will not be released at this time.

UPDATE 10/19/2021: "The suspect has been identified as Russell Leggett, a 30 year old resident of Idyllwild."

permalink | October 14, 2021 at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)