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The Hurt Locker


by Nick Jon

ocks the R o C d a R d Rock Yar

Tween and teen fashion


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E-mail: Desert Local News 65911 7th Street DHS, CA. 92240

BY LESLIE ANDREWS DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CA“It’s a neat way to connect to the city,” said Desert Hot Springs Mayor Yvonne Parks as she saw the city’s new Facebook page for the first time on Thursday. “This will bring people together, as this city is moving forward, not backwards during these rough economic times.” The new page, accessible from Facebook. com and by signing up (if you’re not already a member), features many links to the city’s government and entertainment, plus also features a video about the many fine spas that

Desert Hot Springs has to offer. Coming soon will be links to Cabot’s Museum as well. Those who sign up as a fan of the DHS page will receive updates to many events, including the City Council meetings and activities from the city’s Police Department as well. Current news and information will also be available too. This Facebook page is the brainchild of Laura Green, the secretary of City Manager Rick Daniels.

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Trend 2 - Accessorize!

This year’s back-to-school clothing trends are all about expressing individual personality. Actress and singer Selena Gomez has teamed up with Sears to promote today’s hottest teen trends. Here’s what the coolest kids in school will be wearing this year:

Accessories are this year’s easy and affordable way to transform any outfit and make it more unique. For girls, this could include necklaces, bracelets, scarves and fun colored socks. For boys, watches, sunglasses and shoes top the list.

Trend 1 - Be inspired by music

Trend 3 - Mix and match for style success

“For me, music and fashion are two ways I really get to express myself,” says Gomez. Like many tweens and teens, the music she likes has become a huge influence on her taste in fashion. From rock to rap styles, this year will be the year of music-inspired clothing.

Get the most out of your back-to-school wardrobe. Consider new combinations, interesting patterns and mixing textures to find a style that is uniquely you. Visit to view all the hot new fashion trends.


At Least One More Officer To Be Added To DHSPD



DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CADespite possible cutbacks and hiring freezes due to the California State Budget, the Desert Hot Springs Police Department will have at least one more officer added to their ranks. On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the City of Desert Hot Springs was awarded a COPS Hiring Recovery Program Grant in the estimated amount of $346,258. The grant funds will provide an additional police officer to the department for at least three years. Desert Hot Springs was 1 of 51 police agencies from jurisdictions in California with a population of less than 150,000 that applied for the highly competitive grant, and was 1 of the fortunate 14 agencies that was awarded funding from the federal government. The Desert Hot Springs City Council approved 2009-10 Operating Budget provided funding for 33 officer positions. The increase to 33 officers was made possible in part by the passage of Measure A in May, 2009. The award of the grant will increase that number to 34 officer positions. Presently, the Department has 29 positions filled, and Police Chief Patrick Williams is actively recruiting and filling the vacancies.  “Public Safety is the Desert Hot Springs City Council’s number one priority,” said Chief Williams in a statement. “The addition of another officer is an important step in the process to the long-term community safety that our residents, businesses and visitors have come to expect.  The addition of this position will help us increase community safety, improve the Department’s capacity to deter crime and to proactively seek out those who would do harm in our neighborhoods.”

DHSPD Chief Pat Williams proudly shows the ‘Badge” Photo by Bruce Montgomery


When Creditors Attack: DLNEWS CONSUMER WATCH • DESERT LOCAL NEWS July 31, 2009

t? o N Is t a h W d n A l a eg L Is t a h W

BY LESLIE ANDREWS DLN CONSUMER WATCHDick and Marla were a well-to-do couple, making ends meet for many years until the struggling economy hit them hard. Dick was laid off as an auto engineer and Marla was a schoolteacher affected by the recent statewide teacher layoffs. Both of them have been unemployed for nearly six months, living off of unemployment checks and doing odd jobs left and right.

make up names that sound official, with the words “United” or “Federal” included. They would pose as police officers, attorneys or other forms of law officials and scare you into paying your debt, regardless if you actually owe it or not. Marla explained, “It’s a form of extortion. We know better. However, at first, we were forced to fork over $200 or they were going to prosecute us for fraud, writing bad checks, et cetera.”

With rent and food being priorities, they had to let their good credit go south by not being able to pay their credit card bills nor their personal payday loans, which were obtained online. Now, they are being approached by bill collectors and life has not been pleasant for this average unemployed couple. Dick explained, “They have threatened both me and Marla with arrest if we didn’t pay them by a certain date and time. Plus, when they call us, they sometimes hang up and don’t leave a message explaining who they are. But if we answer, it’s disaster.”

Through a website called, Desert Local News was able to learn a lot about the phone numbers that were identified and what tactics they were known to do. On this site, people would complain that the individual who calls would use different names but have a thick foreign accent. For example, the person would identity himself as “Bill Smith” but talk with a Middle Eastern accent. Then, the same voice would come off as “Tom Jones”. One of these names would contact a debtor and say “You have until 5 PM today to pay $400 or you will be arrested. We have a warrant ready for you.”

Desert Local News has learned that some of these collection agencies would

Some creditors may simply threaten to garnish wages by sending the debtor’s

employer some official-looking paperwork. However, it doesn’t work that way. In truth, wage garnishment requires court due process and an appearance before a judge. In Buffalo, New York, one collection agency was recently busted by the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI for using these same practices to collect money from debtors. It turned out that those who were operating were posing as police or federal agents and these same individuals had intense criminal histories themselves. One rule of thumb is, no matter how much one owes a creditor or a collection agency, it is definitely against the law for the collector to threaten the debtor with arrest or to press charges against the debtor for non-payment. This is completely a civil matter, not a criminal one. As for Dick and Marla, they have now sought the advice of an attorney to seek damages from the bill collectors. They may be entitled to up to $2000 per creditor for the suffering they have faced.

Police Looking For Three Juveniles Who Stabbed A Man BY VICKI LAWSON DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CAPolice in Desert Hot Springs are searching for three juvenile suspects who stabbed an 18-year-old male over a bicycle Tuesday night. At around 11:00 p.m. that evening, the man was approached by three male juveniles while riding his bike. They demanded his bike and when he refused, he was stabbed. The victim fought

back and the juveniles took off emptyhanded, according to reports. The victim discovered that he was injured once he got home, then went to Desert Regional Medical Center to be treated. There is no description of the suspects at this time. If you have any information, you are urged to contact the Desert Hot Springs police department at (760) 329-2904.


Got a chronic illness? Make yourself a priority and ask for help


Women still spend more time than their male counterparts on caring for families and managing household activities. Because of this, women often put others’ needs ahead of their own health and well-being. However, studies show that when a woman is diagnosed with a disease, her social network and relationships can affect her long-term health. This is true for chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) where close relationships can lead to better physical and emotional health, and the ability to complete daily tasks more easily. Women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with RA than men, with the average age of diagnosis between 30 and 50 years old, according to the Arthritis Foundation. While sometimes hard to detect, RA is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic joint pain, stiffness and swelling that can cause permanent joint damage. Seemingly simple tasks, like getting dressed or tying shoes, can become painful chores for women with RA. Though loved ones and friends cannot reduce the painful physical symptoms of RA, they can play an important role in helping manage the disease. “Patients with a strong support network tend to be in better control of the disease,” says Dr. John Klippel, chief executive officer of the Arthritis Foundation. For women diagnosed with RA, creating a group of friends and family who can offer help is important to contribute to a better quality of life through emotional support and assistance with everyday

tasks. Try these suggestions: * Develop a list of friends and family who would be willing to help. * Tell the people on your list exactly the type of help you may need. * Keep a detailed calendar to schedule specific chores, exercises and more where you may need assistance. * Consider professional services for physically challenging tasks like mowing the lawn, cleaning gutters and more. With a strong support system in place, women with RA can face their condition with less worry by knowing that someone is always available to offer encouragement, companionship and assistance, if needed.

There are tools and programs that help patients and doctors work together to manage health conditions like RA and help teach patients to communicate about their symptoms and disease management. The Arthritis Foundation’s “Let’s Talk RA” program provides a free Communication Kit that includes stepby-step discussion tips, as well as a symptom tracker that patients can use with their rheumatologists. The “Let’s Talk RA” Communication Kit, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, can be ordered at no charge from the Arthritis Foundation Web site, or by calling (800) 283-7800. Courtesy of ARAcontent ©



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31 y l u J


It has been said, if any Coachella Valley city is going to get the proverbial “ShortEnd-Of-The-Stick,” it’s a dead on cinch to be Desert Hot Springs. All one needs to do is to look at the “compromise budget diddling” that the state of California bestowed upon the city, and other “regional inequitable decisions,” to understand this obvious city problem. Granted, Governor “Arnold” and the guys and gals of the Democrat controlled State Legislature had to do something about their tax-spend-and-tax gaping budget hole of $26.8 billion, but to strip poorer and hard-pressed-for-revenue cities, like Desert Hot Springs of $4.8 million, is just plain unconscionable! Beyond the state budget hosing, do you remember the so-called “number-onepriority” of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) that was once upon a time, the widening and reconstruction of the Gene Autry Trail/ Palm Drive interchange at the I-10 Freeway? The first “due date” for the design and engineering was in 1991 – 18 years ago. Then

Cal-Trans, with both CVAG and the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s acquiescence, reset the “due date” back to 1997. Then they unilaterally set the “due date” to 2001, when I was Mayor of our city. Feeling that, maybe the badly outdated and much needed GeneAutry Trail/Palm Drive freeway overpass, on and off ramps were going to be constructed, I asked then State Senator Dave Kelley and Assemblyman Jim Battin to include some additional funding for the interchange project. This they did, as each Legislator added $5million to California’s 2000-2001 budgets. If you’ve been a Desert Hot Springs resident for any appreciable length of time, you must have noticed that this so-called “numberone-priority” of CVAG and Cal-Trans hasn’t shown any signs of being built. Furthermore, this admittedly “much needed” freeway interchange “due date” was delayed until 2009 because of the eco-freaks worry about the demise of the infamous “fringe-toedlizard.” When the DHS City Council recanted their

“no” vote on the Coachella Valley Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan in 2008, CVAG agreed to a “fringetoed-lizard” protection land around the freeway interchange quid-pro-quo, and along with Cal-Trans, agreed to move forward with the long-awaited I-10 freeway project. Have any of you seen any sign of surveyors and their surveying gear at this heavily used thoroughfare and interchange lately? Then there’s the subject of the “Measure A” ½-cent addition to the state sales tax. CVAG controls this enormous pot of money to repave and widen major valley arterials. Aside from the resurfacing of Palm Drive in 2000, CVAG has concentrated most “Measure A” expenditures on the other valley cities. If you think that this ½-cent sales tax money was spent on the repaving of our city’s streets, think again – that revenue came to DHS as the result of my request of Congressman Jerry Lewis for two federal grants of $2 million each in FY 2004/05 and 2005/06. Let’s get back to the “state budget fiasco.” Beyond the fact of the decreased

property tax revenue due to the lower home values, the state is “borrowing” at least one-half million-city property tax dollars. Faced with lower revenues, the city may have to can the City Attorney, and as I predicted, not be able use the Utility Users Tax increase to hire four additional cops. California is also stealing $3.4 million of the Redevelopment Agency’s “ERAF” money, ending the downtown redevelopment project. The state is also taking $840,000 of the gastax revenues, negating the city’s street maintenance program. Oh yes, while Palm Springs was receiving enough “stimulus money” from the feds to add 5 cops, DHS predictably only got enough to add one officer. How much more of the “Short-End-Of-The-Stick” syndrome, do you believe Desert Hot Springs can absorb? I plan on dealing with some possible solutions next time. Meanwhile, remember it’s a dry heat, etc.




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Issue 16

Hank Hohenstein


In Squeeze 14 I talked about growing weary. I have this disturbing dread that many Americans have grown weary with the effort it takes to keep moving. Americans seem obsessed with accumulating more and more material goods as they plod on in weariness. This weariness unfortunately translates into a fatalistic attitude. When the media repeats a story during daily news cycles and drags the story over many days the retelling of the story induces weariness. Every broadcast opens with the anchor or anchorette breathlessly elevating the story de jure to a point verging on national calamity. The manner of presentation takes a ‘bake sale’ announcement and turns it into a story demanding total program realignment. To most folks this process adds to the sense of hopelessness.

Former City Councilmember of DHS

Too many Americans are seeking someone to lift this weight from their shoulders. Candidly, there are too many legislators willing to relieve us of our burden. Oddly, it is none of their business. Thus it is a dangerous, but beguiling trap. Lawmakers never explain the full price. In fact, they do not know themselves. What is the price of the slow incremental loss freedom? The Declaration of Independence says: “WE hold these Truths to be selfevident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness …” There are two words we need to capture: Creator – our unalienable rights are not endowed by some far distant legislature, but by God; and Pursuit – we are endowed with the right to strive, to attain, to accomplish. If we are weary

we cannot be happy as we seek to strive or attain or accomplish. We have lost the joy of doing an ‘honest’ day’s work through which we have more choices and more personal freedom. The grave fear I experience as Americans grow weary is that there are folks in our country who are willingly and joyously attempting to shred our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. They will not grow weary! Please reread those two sentences – those folks are attacking the basic fabric of our country. We have to remain as tireless as they in this battle from within. In early July the movie ‘The Stoning of Soraya M’ was released. Please see this film. It cannot be sugarcoated – it is brutal, but the described circumstances are what we fight. I have taught in Muslim countries and quite frankly I feel extraordinarily safe. My wife

and I have friends we have known for a long time and their desires are similar to ours. They want to be able to work, to provide for their children and to educate their children. However, some of our friends, if given the opportunity, would vote for a theocratic state. A theocratic state would lead to the imposition of Sharia Law, the law that demanded Soraya be stoned. Some may say I exaggerate - not so. In mid-July there was a conference at a Hilton hotel billed as “The end of Capitalism.” Speakers there advocated the end of capitalism, the end of our constitution and the end of our free and democratic America. Their main desire is to impose Sharia law on us - they will not grow weary.




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aving been the former Mayor of the City of Desert Hot Springs, and being a longtime real estate broker, few can better express the uniqueness of the City of Desert Hot Springs and Coachella Valley at large and articulate the full brightness of its’ socio-economic and political future to an investor/developer.

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DESERT WOMEN FOR EQUALITY TO OFFER FREE MAMMOGRAMS IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS PALM SPRINGS, CA – Desert Women for Equality’s “We Care” mammography program will offer free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women in Desert Hot Springs on Wednesday, August 12, 2009. The clinic will be held at the Desert Hot Springs Senior Center,11-777 West Drive, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In order to register, women must be forty years of age or older,

without implants and have not had a mammogram for over one year. Appointments are available by calling (760) 325-4701 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays.

that the “We Care” program will have screened over 1,700 women by year’s end.

The next clinic will be held September 12 in Palm Springs. A complete schedule of the “We Care” free mammography remaining “We Care” clinics for clinics are held monthly at various 2009 can be found on the website locations in cities throughout the of Desert Women for Equality at Coachella Valley. To date over 1,300 women, who have no other access to a mammogram, have been screened. It is estimated





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Calibrate This, Mr. President EDITORIAL BY NANCY MORGAN • Desert Local News July 31, 2009

BY NANCY MORGAN Dear Mr. President, I’m one of those Americans that lives in flyover country. I was treated to your much publicized ‘teaching moment’ last night and felt a response was warranted.    I’d like to say, with all respect, that this American resents the patronizing arrogance you exhibited as you deigned to ‘teach America’ about race. First off, I don’t need lessons on race from you. I take my teachings from the Bible, not a man who sat through 20 years of ‘hate whitey’ sermons. I’d much prefer you bestow your teachable moments on, oh, say terrorists, or enemies of democracy.   Secondly, if you were genuinely interested in promoting racial healing, you might have used that teachable moment last night to address the third rail of race relations: namely, the reluctance of many blacks to look at whites without automatically assuming they are racists.   Last night, you had the perfect teachable moment, but, alas, you let it slip through your grasp. You had a wealthy, influential black man who continues to insist he is still oppressed. Then you had the white

police officer who was merely doing his job in the correct manner. And then, we had you, Mr. President, a prime example of the problem. Said problem being the automatic assumption of racism without any facts to back it up. You might have touched on the fact that many blacks of your generation have been taught that anything bad that happens in their life is a result of white oppression. You could have extrapolated or calibrated the fact that attitudes like that are extremely counterproductive and keep many blacks mired in the false comfort of victimization.   You might have addressed the fact that the only oppression happening these days is by your buddies Castro, Chavez and all the other third world dictators you seem to think are misunderstood men of good will.   Hey, you actually could have lectured your buddy Gates on the proper etiquette when dealing with law enforcement officers. Think of the great message that would have sent to young Americans. Respect for the law. That would have been a good thing to teach. But you let the opportunity pass with nary a word.  

I’m sorry you didn’t get a good soundbite or photo op out of this unrelenting media saga. I know you were envisioning a hearty three way handshake that could be flashed around the world, signifying absolutely nothing. But the evening wasn’t a total waste. I actually did learn something. I learned that you, and Henry Gates and other black men continue to believe that America is a racist country. I learned that you, Mr. President, will never solve any problems of race until you acknowledge your own racism against whites. I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime but I will continue to ‘hope’ for ‘change’.   And just out of curiosity, I was wondering what in the world you, the President of the greatest country in the world, is doing mediating the equivalent of a traffic ticket when our young men are dying in Afghanistan, our economy is in meltdown and Iran is on the brink of nuking Israel. Do you really think that was the best use of your time and political capital?  Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for

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How to cook like a TV chef


DESERT LOCAL NEWS • July 31, 2009

You don’t need to know the difference between salpicon and sous vide to cook like the celebrity chefs you see on TV. A fan favorite from Bravo’s “Top Chef: Chicago,” chef and restaurateur Richard Blais offers his tips and tricks for at-home cooks to prep like the pros:

Keep a clean kitchen

Be organized and clean as you go. Messy kitchens can deter you from cooking.

The right appliances Blais recommends the LG gas cooktop which features high performance and a center burner offering a powerful 19,000 BTU output. He also encourages home chefs to take advantage of the convenience of the microwave.

Surf and turf

“Always start your meat or seafood by searing in a hot pan to get good browning and finish in a lower temperature oven,” says Blais. If you’ve got a signature recipe you’ve created enter the LG “Taste of Something Better” recipe contest and cooking competition. For complete details and to enter, go to between August 5 and August 31 and you could be selected to participate in the LG culinary cook-off taking place in September in New York City -- complete with an impressive suite of culinary prizes, along with a chance to compete in a global cooking competition. Courtesy ARA



Movie Review: The Hurt Locker by Nick Jones • July 31, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW by Nick Jones • DESERT LOCAL NEWS July 31, 2009

Story by Palm Springs Guides Movie Guide Nick Jones

Just when I thought the dramatizations of the war in Iraq were finished and unsuccessful, along comes “The Hurt Locker,” a powerful film that follows an Army bomb squad in modern day Iraq. The film opens with a statement, “War is a drug.” It certainly is for Staff Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), who, on a day-to-day basis, is disarming bombs while under enemy fire. The film doesn’t necessarily have a standard moveforward plot; it simply counts down the days until their rotation is up, and they can go home. James is definitely on the Oscarnomination list. He portrays an overly cocky bomb technician who doesn’t do it for glory, awards or recognition; he does it because of the simple joy of doing it, the adrenaline rush. Trying to keep the cocky James in line is Sgt. J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), head of the support team covering James. Sanborn is in charge of everything from scanning rooftops for snipers, providing covering fire, assisting James through radio contact and helping James in and out of the bomb technician gear. Sanborn has a watchful eye on everything and because of the nature of his job, he is used to being in charge. That doesn’t sit well with James, and the two are constantly clashing. “The Hurt Locker” brings with it an intensity that is hard to capture on film. The film is so riveting that I could hear your heart pounding in my chest. I think it is impossible to walk out of that film and not feel shaken, being shown a world where people are constantly flooded with such adrenaline. I found myself wondering how they can think properly. “The Hurt Locker” is a great, intelligent, and suspenseful film depicting the unrecognized heroes, the madmen who get off on things that overwhelm most people to the point of they can’t even see clearly. War is a drug, the adrenaline can be addicting. Palm Springs Guides Movie Guide Nick Jones rates “The Hurt Locker” four-and-a-half Palm Trees. For more about “The Hurt Locker,” go to www.




Rad Co Rocks the Rock Yard

Story by Lynne Bunch Photos by Jeri Spence

Not far from Palm Springs, Fantasy Springs’ Rock Yard in Indio was true to its name. The crowd was treated to some rock ‘n’ roll by a mix of veterans of the sound and a newer generation of rockers. Starting off the evening’s free concert was Judge Jackson, a versatile hard-rock, funk-blues, acoustic folk band with a little bit of country thrown in for flavoring. Since 1998, this band has released five CDs, had one of their songs featured on “My Name is Earl.” as well as the Super Bowl, NHL and NBA playoffs and NASCAR. Singer Todd McTavish, along with guitarist Lee Jackson, J.J. Garcia on drums and Brian James on bass, certainly made a hot night even hotter. Rad Co, a tribute band to Bad Company, whose singer Steven St. James, not only looks like Paul Rodgers, but also could make me believe that I was listening to the real Bad Company. St. James is backed by one of the greatest rhythm sections whose members have crossed paths since the ‘70s. Wilson on bass and Rocky Romano on drums are both rock ‘n’ roll veterans of many touring bands in the ‘80s. Just recently Gary Rubinstein on lead guitar joined them in their debut concert that had the crowd dancing, screaming and singing along. Managed by Jeri Spence, a former resident of the area, we all got to reminisce over such hits, as “Movin’ On,” “Bad Company,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” Shooting Star,” “Rock & Roll Fantasy” and even a couple of Beatle songs. This band will definitely be back to rock an enthusiastic audience. For more on this story, visit



Fun ways to escape with your family BY STAFF ARA - A smaller budget and busy work and school schedules don’t mean your family has to stay home all the time. There are lots of alternatives to an expensive family trip. Looking for ways to escape your life for a few hours, a day and even a weekend? Disney -- an online resource that was created to provide parents with helpful information from experts and other parents -- has many tips to help you plan

for an afternoon or weekend getaway. * Bring the world to your neighborhood. If you’re “traveling” to Africa, make sure you have the safari animals present - whether they’re made with papier-mache, color craft paper or are your children’s favorite stuffed animals lined up around the table. * Pack the family in the car and check out some of the nearby county or state parks. Throw a picnic lunch into the

trunk complete with a couple of blankets, sunblock, bug spray, hiking shoes and a trail map. * Many museums have free hours, and every city has a historical, structural or architectural attraction to keep the family busy for hours. There are many more ideas for backyard holidays, day trips and weekend vacations at Courtesy ARA

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Combating multiple sclerosis for the long haul


Every hour of every day, someone is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and a common theme for these patients is the fact that they will never forget that moment. While MS is a chronic and disabling disease of the central nervous system, many people with MS continue with their normal daily lives -- working, spending time with friends and family and enjoying activities. For many, the key is to treat MS early and effectively in an effort to disrupt the disease and not their lives. Connie Harris, 44, of Denver, was diagnosed with MS on Aug. 4, 1996 at the age of 31 with symptoms that started as nothing more than a headache but progressed quickly. “Within a matter of days I was paralyzed from the neck down and having difficulty breathing,” said says Harris. By October of that year, Harris began treatment in combination with occupational and physical therapy in her home. By the end of 1996, just five months after her MS diagnosis, she had regained all of the movement she had lost and returned to work on a full-time basis. “In my personal experience, since starting treatment, I have been tremendously happy with the results I have experienced.” She went on to say, “Since 1996 I have not had the need or the desire to change therapies. I particularly enjoy the fact that my treatment of choice, AVONEX, is so simple and fits into my busy lifestyle with once-weekly dosing while other treatment options require more frequent injections.” Harris is a prime example of the need for patients to recognize potential signs and symptoms of MS and consult their physician for an evaluation to determine an accurate diagnosis and appropriate course of treatment is started as soon as possible. Data from a recent study have shown treatment success in patients over 15 years after initiating treatment, while a second study focused on early treatment and showed that patients beginning treatment immediately following their first MS-related event are showing success 10 years later. The goal of these studies is to

encourage patients to start on treatment early and maintain that treatment over time for optimal success. One patient that started once-weekly treatment after her first MS-related event is La’Shanda Ball from Seattle, who was diagnosed with MS in 1998 when she was just 18 years old. Within a month of her diagnosis she started MS treatment with AVONEX and has remained on that treatment successfully for nearly 11 years. “When I was diagnosed I had no idea what MS was. I was able to work with my doctor to find a treatment that worked for me. AVONEX offers once-weekly injections that fit my active lifestyle without a daily reminder of my MS. After 11 years I have never felt the need to change treatment and have not had a major MS event since my diagnosis,” she says. Dr. R. Philip Kinkel, director of the multiple sclerosis center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass. says, “The goal of treating MS is to delay the progression of physical disability. This is why it is so important for people living with MS to find an effective therapy early that they can start with and stay on for the long run.” To gain a better understanding of an MS diagnosis and starting treatment, Dr. Kinkel believes people living with a chronic disease may want to consider adopting the following tips:

Ask questions and gather information: Your doctor is there for you and should be ready and willing to sit down to help you better understand MS and to walk you through your treatment options. Also, take advantage of the vast amount of information available on the Internet to gain knowledge

on this disease and potential options so treatment can be started early.

Make educated decisions: Through research, locate the information that is important to you and that will help you move forward and fight back against MS. Work with your doctor to decide on a treatment regimen that is right for you and provide input so you and your doctor are working as a team.

Discover inner strength: Push yourself to find there are reserves you may not think you have. Too often when a person lives with a chronic disease such as MS, the disease can seem too overwhelming to face. Surround yourself with positive thinkers so that your spirit rebounds and take on challenges you may have thought too difficult before your diagnosis. For more information, visit www.AVONEX. com. Courtesy of ARAcontent ©

CALIFORNIA July 31, 2009


3,000 mile oil changes really necessary?


BY STAFF ARA For years, drivers have been hearing about changing their motor oil every 3,000 miles, but times have changed, and the ‘3,000-mile mantra’ may or may not apply to you and your car. The 3,000 mile oil change is a conservative approach to maintaining your vehicle that, according to General Motors, dates back to 1968. It’s also an oil change interval that continues to be encouraged by the automotive oil change industry. Automobile manufacturers cite modern oil and engine technology as the reason why oil change intervals can be extended. Numerous factors come in to play in determining the oil change interval you should follow including: The car you drive and the way you drive it, oil and filter selection and whether your vehicle has an oil life monitoring system. Every automobile manufacturer establishes recommended oil change intervals for each model they manufacture. Oil change intervals are now between 5,000 and 7,500 miles for many new cars. You should follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations on oil change intervals while the car is under warranty. If your car is no longer under warranty, you can extend your oil change intervals by upgrading to synthetic motor oil. This will reduce the number of oil changes saving you time and money, and reducing the amount of oil purchased and disposed. There are a number of quality synthetic motor oils available to choose from. Most lubricant manufacturers will give a recommended number of miles you can drive between oil changes under normal conditions. The number of miles you can allow between oil changes will depend on the way you drive and the oxidation stability (useful oil life) of the motor oil. Oxidation stability can be measured

by international standards board ASTM’s rigorous Thin Film Oxidation Uptake Test (TFOUT). The test is so severe that it lasts 1,300 minutes. Conventional motor oils typically last less than 300 minutes. Synthetic motor oils typically last less than 500 minutes. One high performance synthetic motor oil, Royal Purple has been shown to outlast the duration of the test. Royal Purple motor oils are recommended to extend oil changes intervals to as much as 12,000 miles under normal driving conditions. The motor oil has also been shown to improve fuel economy. You can find out more at If you elect to upgrade your motor oil, you should also upgrade your oil filter. Low quality filters are often made with the 3,000 mile interval in mind and may go into ‘bypass’ mode shortly thereafter. There are a number of premium oil filters on the market from manufacturers such as Wix, Purolator and Royal Purple. Check the recommended filter change interval on any filter your purchase. A fairly new technology impacting oil change intervals is the ‘oil life monitor.’ Many people are unaware that oil life monitor systems are simply computer software algorithms that determine when to change oil based on engine operating conditions. An oil life monitor looks at

mileage, speed and idling time to calculate when you should change the oil. A better name for the oil life monitor might be ‘oil life predictor.’ There is no actual oil condition sensor or a chemical analysis of the oil. In fact, you could drain the oil and replace it with any fluid and the oil change monitor would have no way of knowing it. Additionally, the oil life monitor does not monitor how well your oil filter is filtering the oil in your system. Contaminated oil is just as, if not more harmful than oxidized motor oil. The bottom line is that an oil life monitor is a useful tool that should be used in concert with common sense and good judgment. Whether or not you have an oil change monitor, if your car is still under warranty, stick with the car manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals. If your car is no longer under warranty, you can go beyond the typical 3,000 mile oil change or beyond the oil change monitor’s recommendations by upgrading to a high performance synthetic motor oil and high performance oil filter. Courtesy of ARA Content ©



Simple home changes that save big money Many homeowners are cutting back this year in an effort to save cash. But a few simple improvements to make your home more energy efficient can provide enormous return on your investment.

a year. According to the EPA, the average cost of a CFL bulb is between $4 and $9, but they pay for themselves quickly in savings on your utility bill.

“If you could invest a few dollars and save $100, you’d do that, right? That’s what you’re doing when you invest in making your home more energy efficient,” says Michael Chenard, director of environmental affairs at Lowe’s. “An inexpensive air filter replaced at recommended intervals can save you $100 or more on your heating and cooling bills. Making your home more energy efficient saves you real money.”

Programmable thermostats As little as $30 and an hour or two is all it takes to save up to $500 a year, according to a 2008 article in Money magazine. ENERGY STAR-qualified thermostats with pre-programmed settings are intended to deliver savings without sacrificing comfort. For instance, your thermostat can automatically adjust the home’s temperature during sleeping hours or when no one is home achieving significant savings. The EPA recommends raising your thermostat four degrees in the summer and lowering it seven in the winter. Savings may vary depending on where in the country you live.

Chenard recommends checking out, to answer a few questions about your home and receive a list of recommended home improvements along with your estimated cost savings. He also suggests several ways to save money in your home.

Utility Savings: Toilets - Replace an old, inefficient toilet with a WaterSense-labeled model and you can save up to $90 per year off your water bill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Light bulbs - When you replace your five most-used incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR-qualified compact fluorescent blubs, you can save up to $70

Do-it-yourself Savings: Lawn maintenance - If you use a professional lawn service to mow, trim and maintain your lawn and landscaping, simply doing it yourself can save up to $900 a year, based on the national average paid for professional services. Pest control - If you’ve got termites, ants or rodents, you might be tempted to throw up your hands and call a pest control service. But you can do your own pest control easily and affordably and save up to $300 a year, based on a national average of professional pest services four times per year.

Tax Credits: Windows - Replacing 300 square feet of old, singlepane windows with more energy-efficient ENERGY STAR-qualified windows can save more than $460 every year in energy costs, according to the EPA. You’ll

notice a difference in the summer when

you don’t need to run your air conditioner as often and in the winter when your heater can rest more often. Sealing and insulation - If you have less than 15 inches of insulation in your attic you can save money by adding more and also use expanding foam insulation to seal cracks and gaps where air seeps in and gets out and you can save up to $500 in annual energy costs, according to a 2008 Money magazine article. “In addition to the savings you’ll see in your monthly bills through energy-efficient improvements, you may be able to take advantage of the tax credits in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” says Chenard. “Certain energy-efficient improvements to residential properties, like replacement windows, are eligible for up to 30 percent of the cost of improvements (up to $1,500) in tax credits under the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit.” For more information and additional energy saving ideas, visit Lowe’s stores in United States and Canada and BuildYourSavings. Courtesy of ARAcontent


Simple secrets to spice up your shower



Showering is about so much more than just getting clean. Especially in stressful economic times, the bathroom can be a sanctuary -- the one private spot in the house where we are free to be totally ourselves, singing loudly and off-key in the shower and indulging ourselves with lather, rinse and repeat. The average American adult spends 8 to 10 minutes in the shower every day, according to several surveys on the topic. Upgrading your shower can help elevate those minutes from soothing to sensational. Plus, bathroom improvements are a proven way to increase your home’s value. So what are some hot trends and easy ways to make the most of your shower time? Here are a few ideas:

Showerhead secrets If you’re still showering under the same old showerhead that provides only a mediocre spray and coverage, it’s time to try something new. From single- and multisetting massaging showerheads to rainfall options and bodysprays that pour a soothing sprinkle overhead, today’s showerheads create a wide variety of experiences. Check out your local home improvement store or kitchen and bath showroom to get an idea of the options available. Adding a handshower -- either to replace an old one or to enhance an

existing shower -- is another easy, cost-effective option for punching up your shower experience. Long valued for their flexibility -handshowers are a great way to keep kids, pets and the shower itself clean -the handshower is also getting a smart upgrade with products like Kohler’s new, affordable Flipside handshower. While traditional handshowers have featured just one sprayface, the Flipside offers four sprayfaces that rotate. Each sprayface provides a different experience in an easy-to-hold and use handshower, including a traditional spray for maximum water coverage, a denser and enveloping downpour, a drenching spray and an invigorating massage spray. Visit to learn more.

Dress up doors

Most of us probably don’t think about our shower doors much until it’s time to clean them. If your shower door sports scratched acrylic, lime build up and dirty, corroded door tracks, you can boost the look of your shower -- not to mention your mood -- by installing a new door. Beauty and practicality are the watchwords of modern shower doors. Manufacturers like Sterling have given these necessary items a touch of class and elegance, blended with a healthy dose of functionality. The manufacturer offers 17 different decorative shower doors, from frosted with a viewing portal to a style that evokes the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. A quick way to add a finishing touch to your shower area, the doors include easy-toclean features like CleanCoat, which helps the door shed dirt and soap buildup, and a unique bottom track system that features smooth tracks that lack the crevices

where grime builds up in traditional shower door tracks. What’s more, some models, like Sterling’s Finesse line, install in as little as 15 minutes with just an Allen wrench. To learn more, visit www.SterlingPlumbing. com.

You’re surrounded Finally, if you just can’t bear the chipped pink ceramic tile straight out of the 50s, or the rust-stained porcelain tub that was old when your grandparents were young, a bath/shower surround can be a quick, easy way to put a fresh, modern face on your shower. A bath/shower surround incorporates three walls, the bathtub and shower doors into a single, seamless unit that is easy to install and maintain. Installing a surround is frequently less costly and quicker than creating one piecemeal with separate tub, shower walls and doors. For those really looking for ease of installation, consider the Sterling Accord bath/shower. It’s affordable and fast to install with an innovative click-together, caulkless wall system that saves time and money. Courtesy of ARAcontent




Nutrients, fats, sugars and more - it’s all on the food label BY STAFF ARA To determine the freshness of a fruit or vegetable, a person might squeeze, smell or even sneak a taste at the grocery store. However, when it comes to packaged foods, many Americans find it difficult to evaluate the quality and nutritional value of food items sold in cans, plastic containers and paper boxes. Seventy-eight percent of Americans want clearer to read nutritional information and ingredient lists on the back of food products, according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of Heinz. “It can be very confusing to try and compare food products on the shelf,” says Dr. Idamarie Laquatra, a registered dietitian and director of Global Nutrition at Heinz. “But label information and nutrition claims can be useful tools for shaping your purchase decisions.” To ensure that you’re a savvier shopper when selecting products that fit your personal nutrition goals, follow these tips from Laquatra: * Know what’s on the package: The nutrition facts label, which gives the serving size, calories and nutrients per serving, is typically found on the side or back of a package. The Daily Value percentages on the nutrition facts label are compared to nutrition recommendations for someone eating 2,000 calories per day. For example: a product listing fiber at 10 percent Daily Value means the product contains 10 percent of the amount of fiber needed by a person who consumes 2,000 calories. When reviewing a nutrition label, consider whether your nutrition needs are greater or less than

someone who eats 2,000 calories per day. * Seek out nutritious sources: Claims like “high in fiber,” “rich in calcium” or “excellent source of vitamin C” mean one serving provides at least 20 percent or more of the recommended daily amount of the specified nutrient. “Good source of” means an item contains 10 to 19 percent of the recommended daily amount per serving. * Minimizing the bad stuff: “Reduced” or “less” mean that the item has 25 percent less of a nutrient, such as sugar or fat, than the usual product that doesn’t carry this claim. * Tally the fat content: “Fat free” products must have less than half a gram of fat per serving. Products advertising that they are “low” in fat must have three grams or less of fat per serving. * Look for allergens: Carefully read product labels on a continual basis to ensure that your favorite products remain free of allergens. Heinz has a commitment to using pure ingredient lists in its brands, which can help you to eat healthier without worrying about allergic reactions. For instance, a list of Heinz gluten-free options are available at Just a little time spent looking at labels at the supermarket can make a huge difference in your diet. And, a little knowledge of what the labels are communicating can make all the difference in your well being. Courtesy of ARAcontent


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Guns Stolen, Four Random Act Of Violence Kills One Man In Suspects Caught in Blythe Coachella BY VICKI LAWSON COACHELLA, CAOne man is dead following a random act of violence, possibly a drive by shooting in Coachella. On Thursday at about 10:45 pm, officers from the Coachella Police Department were called to the Cedar Springs Apartments in the 53000 block of Harrison Street regarding a male adult who had been shot. A 24-yearold male, believed to reside in Indio, was found with an apparent gun shot wound to his torso. He was treated by paramedics and transported to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, where he later died. The identity of the victim

BLYTHE, CAOn Friday, July 24th, a burglary to a residence in the is being withheld pending the Sonora Homes Community notification of his family. was reported to the Blythe Investigators from the Police Department. A caretaker Riverside County Sheriff’s reported the burglary as Central Homicide unit were the owners were out of called to assist investigators. town on vacation. The No arrests have been made. home is located in the 800 Reports say that the block of Cypress Lane. shooter was seen riding in a A gun safe in the home white sedan. He exited the had been breached and a vehicle, hopped a wall, and large amount of firearms fired a shot at a residence.This were taken. Other property investigation is continuing. was also missing from the Investigators are asking residence which had been anyone with information ransacked. regarding this case to call The Blythe Narcotic Investigator Simms, Riverside Enforcement Team (BNET) County Sheriff’s Department and Riverside Sheriff Central Homicide Unit, (760) Investigators worked with 393-3500. Blythe Police Investigators to recover the stolen property. During the course of the investigation, BNET Investigators believed some of the stolen property may be located at a residence in the 300 block of San Jacinto. BNET Investigators, Blythe Police Officers and Sheriff Deputies went to the residence. BNET Investigators received permission to search the home from the property’s owner. Stolen property was immediately found in several locations. Four shotguns, four rifles, described the vehicle as a dark- three handguns, ammunition, colored, late-model, pick-up truck electronics, and other items of (possibly a Chevrolet Silverado). suspected stolen property were The vehicle sustained damage to the left front headlight as a result Chevrolet truck, single cab, side of the collision. The vehicle may and back tinted windows, 22” to also have moderate damage to 24” chrome aftermarket rims, the hood and grill. which protrude outside of the The man’s identity is being fender, and a single Chevrolet withheld pending notification of Bow-Tie emblem on the rear next of kin. tailgate. The truck should have Officers continued damage to the drivers side front investigating this crime through headlight area. the weekend. Based on witness Anyone with information accounts, the suspect vehicle regarding this case is is probably a 2007-2009, black

Truck and Driver Wanted For Fatal Hit and Run Collision

COACHELLA, CAOn Saturday, July 25, 2009, approximately 12:51 AM, officers from the Coachella Police Department responded to Avenue 52, east of Tyler Street, regarding a hit and run traffic collision. Upon arrival, officers located a deceased male in the roadway. During the investigation, officers learned the vehicle that struck the victim fled the scene and was last seen traveling northbound on Grapefruit Blvd from Avenue 52. Witnesses

recovered from the location. Two adult males and two male juveniles were arrested at the residence for burglary, possession of stolen property and conspiracy. The majority of

Arron Hamrick the items were believed to have been taken from the Cypress residential burglary. One handgun was reported stolen from Lake Havasu, Arizona. The two juveniles were booked into Juvenile Hall in Indio. One adult was released pending further investigation. Delbert Arron Hamrick (23) of Banning, California, was booked into the Blythe Jail. He is being held on $20,000 bail. Firearms are still missing and the investigation is ongoing. encouraged to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department dispatch at (760) 836-3215, or their investigators at (760) 8638990. To remain anonymous, information can also be supplied by calling Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-STOP and refer to case Y092060004. ©




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