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DESERT LOCAL NEWS October 18, 2009


Desert Local News in Africa



‘Sign Wars’


Movie review by Nick Jones

Comes to the Coachella Valley Photo by Pat Krause Pages 10-11

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Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Max Liebermann CEO/Publisher Frank Cera President

RDA Money At Work Downtown: Streetscape Revitalization Kicks Off

ADVERTISEMENT 760-671-4309 VP-Marketing/Community Alex Bias 760-464-4470 NEWS ROOM Editor/Senior writer Leslie Andrews 760-835-1542 STAFF WRITERS Vicki Lawson Harriet Brindle

Dr. Lisa Robyn Lawrence Dr. Allen Lawrence Pat Krause


Just the Fact’s Max Hank Hohenstein Matt Weyuker

Joe McKee PHOTOGRAPHERS Bruce Montgomery Cathy Jardine Pat Krause Ken Dow Classifieds 760-671-4309 **DLN Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the relevant contributors.

U-REPORT: 760-671-4309 Advertisement


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


Maria Lease, (covered Eric Pontius), Jan Pye, Scott

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CACrank up the sound of jackhammers soon. Desert Hot Springs officials gathered together Thursday morning to begin the groundbreaking for new improved downtown streets, as part of the Downtown Revitalization project, thus marking the beginning of the long-promised Vortex design. “It’s another exciting day for Desert Hot Springs, as we’ve broken ground on the Health and Wellness Center, parks and now we’re moving to downtown,” said Laura Green as she introduced Mayor Yvonne Parks, who was joined by Councilmember Russell Betts, Councilmember Scott Matas and Councilmember Jan Pye. “It’s going to be nothing like anything else in the Coachella Valley,” Parks said. “We will have a signature here at the intersection of Palm and Pierson.” She also thanked the Steering

Committee for their aggressive work to redesign the downtown structure. Business owners also had their say in this project. Eric Pontius, owner of Playoff’s Bar, added, “When I first learned of this project, I was skeptical. I’m standing here today because I’m so impressed with council’s efforts to move this forward. They will accommodate us to see what we would want in this plan. They have been receptive so far. It is the buzz around town.” The streetscape project price tag is around $3.5 million, as $31 million was bonded for city improvements. What people will expect to see are pavement improvements and lighting, and the facelift façade for the buildings will begin later this month. Rick Daniels, City Manager, expects construction work on the streets to begin as soon as Monday.

Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Matas, Yvonne Parks, Russell Betts, Russ Martin

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Desert Local News • October 18, 2009


Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Vote NoVember 3 Russell Betts Mayor

Desert Hot Springs Have a Question? Call Russ (760) 693-1430

Of course we continue our progress! For a safe city, we have to make sure our police are funded. But there is not enough money in homeowners pockets alone to stop crime. Others must contribute. Large landowners and developers must become equal partners in our city’s public safety progress. “I support Russ because he supports homeowners like me.” - Bobbie Smith, Desert Hot Springs homeowner

Russ stopped a tax increase that would have doubled the city property tax on homeowners. You can count on Russ to put your interests first. He’s already proved it!

A Vote For Russ Is A Vote For Us!

Paid for by the committee to Elect Russell Betts. Campaign ID# 1317810


Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

ELEVEN POINT PLAN Public safety remains the number one issue facing the citizens of Desert Hot Springs. Many of you are aware of my 31 years in law enforcement and my efforts on your behalf in serving on the Police Commission; recruiting, hiring and promoting additional police officers; serving on the Parolee Ad-hoc and Fire Ad-hoc Committees. My background makes me uniquely qualified to join the city council and help make Desert Hot Springs the community we all want. However, there are other issues that are important to our community. Here are a few that I will be fighting for during the next four years. This is my 11 point plan......... 1. I will not support a parcel property tax on homeowners. My opponents have been dodging this issue and will not state their position until after the election. 2. I will never support a real estate purchase like the Jewish Temple that wasn't necessary for our development; wasn't properly inspected; and wasted 1.4 million dollars of tax payers money. 3. I support fair development impact fees and art in public places guidelines already in place with no further negotiations with outside interests who are trying to undermine our efforts. Make those running for office take a stand on this issue before the election. 4. I will bring a movie theater and new restaurants to Desert Hot Springs. 5. I would never discourage businesses (Applebees, Asian Deli etc.) from investing in our city because they don't “fit into our Vortex Plan” (??) rather we need to project an image of being “business friendly”. 6. I support sensible development and a slowing of RDA expenditures until the parcels already purchased have been developed. 7. I will fight for light industry development that PAYS A LIVING WAGE. 8. I want Desert Hot Springs to be the “Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park”. The park is less than a 2 mile hike from our boundary. 9. I will work on an attractive gateway to our city by beautifying and landscaping Palm Drive from the I-10 into our city. 10. I will insist that the city attorney do everything legally possible to retrieve the parcel of land that Mayor Parks gave to Cathedral City during annexation negotiations. 11. I will never allow police officers to be laid off as was done in 2006 at a time when Desert Hot Springs had the highest crime rate in the Coachella Valley. We are still paying for that mistake.

More on other side

DESERT LOCAL NEWS • FEBRUARY 2009 Desert Local News • October4,18, 2009

Community Cleanup For Residents of Desert Hot Springs (No Commercial)

October 26 - 31, 2009 Up to two Bulky Waste items picked up at curb Additional household waste pickup Electronic Waste (PC’s, TV’s, etc.)

Drop-off site at the West end of Hacienda, 8-2 P.M. Please place extra waste at curb by Monday, October 26 -31, 6:00 A.M.



Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

A Piece of the Pye: Councilwoman Gets Full Support From Colleagues, Realtor’s Groups

(In the photos with Jan: Maggie Hickman, Judy Zeigler, Pat Fredericks- California Desert Association of Realtors and Mayor Yvonne Parks)

BY LESLIE ANDREWS DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CACouncilwoman Jan Pye held a fundraising dinner Tuesday night at the Elks’ Lodge in Desert Hot Springs, to support her campaign as well as fellow members Scott Matas and Mayor Yvonne Parks. Three members from the Desert Realtors Association came all the way from Indio to support Pye, whom they have known for a long time. Checks were presented to her as well as to Matas and Parks, as this is the first time the DRA supported all three incumbent council members from a single city. Pye served as Councilwoman from 1999 to 2001, then returned to the council in 2009 after being appointed by Mayor Parks to replace resigned Al Schmidt. “Desert Hot Springs is my baby,” she said. Pye praised her Matas, her colleague for finding solutions to the city’s parks issue and the parolees, in which he started a committee to help solve the problem. “This is an evening for Jan, and I will say

one thing-we work well as a team,” said Matas. “We appointed her because she’s a team player. We want to see progress for our city. She sits up there as a leader and she understands her role. We’re asking for four more years, to keep this team together.” Pye praised Parks as a smart leader and says that she’s proud to follow her. Parks, in response, said, “She is what we needed in that seat. I believe that I have been a good leader in the past two years and that I brought together a team. I am proud of every one of my fellow counselors. We have a great city staff and we’re working together in moving forward.” Pye also works in finances, and is currently in an internship for her CPA. During her hiatus from politics, she went back to school to earn her degrees in Business Administration and a Masters in Accounting. “This is what I will bring to the party. I will watch your money,” she concluded.

Desert Local News • October 18, 2009


Protect our Water and our Wallets

Re-Elect Nancy Wright for Mission Springs Water District Board Please vote for the most qualified and experienced candidate for Mission Springs Water District, Nancy Wright. Please visit Nancy’s web site at Nancy has proven leadership and has been working with you and on

your behalf for 20 years to supply safe, clean, reliable and cost efficient water. Our water and sewer district is financially


Don’t believe the challengers, they are using scare tactics and half truths to try to get elected. If they get elected

our water and sewer rates could skyrocket because of the unnecessary personal pet projects they want you to pay for.

The challengers, Jeff Bowman and Dick Cromwell want to move an award winning waste water treatment plant at a cost of about $150 million dollars. Their pet projects would increase your rates by about $112.00 per month for 20 years.

Nancy is committed to keeping rates as low as possible. Nancy Wright President MSWD

Protection of our hot and cold groundwater is a top priority. Sewer assessment district 12, a groundwater protection project is “shovel ready” and MSWD has been authorized by the federal government to receive $35 million dollars in grants (we do not have to pay back grant money) to complete this groundwater protection project. Mission Springs Water District’s groundwater protection project has abated over 6000 septic tanks and has stopped thousands of gallons of contaminants from seeping into the ground and has enhanced water quality. MSWD has received a $478,000 grant to complete the design and engineering for the next phases of this groundwater protection project which will abate many more septic tanks. The design of the Horton Waste Water Treatment Plant’s third expansion will soon be completed and will include state of the art technology that will address any future fly and odor problems.

During these tough economic times it is not the time for change it is the time for experience, dedication, understanding and knowledge of our water supply.

Nancy Wright’s experience is an asset that is vital to us, economic growth and future generations. Protect our Water and our Wallets Vote right…Vote Nancy Wright….. for Mission Springs Water District Board. Paid for by Friends of Nancy Wright for MSWD Director ID # 1320316


NBA Comes to the Coachella Valle SPORTS NBA • Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Story and photos by Pat Krause The Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns at Indian Wells Tennis Gardens near Palm Springs, California, Saturday, Oct. 9. What an upset. The score kept going back and forth until the fourth quarter. The final score was 104 to 101. This open-air NBA game is one-ofa-kind and it is in its second year here in the desert. The Open was between the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors. This should be a yearly event as it gives fans, especially young children, a chance to see a real basketball game where they usually only get to see it on television. Almost 15,000 fans entered the stadium to witness this preseason event even without big names like Shaquille O’Neill. The Warriors brought some of their youngest players. Fans started entering the arena early in hopes of getting a glimpse of their favorite players practicing on the court. They were not disappointed. There were a lot of people on the court shooting baskets, including young local players. The color guard and a local singer started the games. Entertainment was provided after

each quarter ended. Joshua Tree Dancers showed they could dance with the best of them. There was never a dull moment during the whole evening. Two-minute warnings and timeouts would bring out the dancers, acrobats or mascots. The mascots really worked at getting the crowd excited. Every time there was a moment on the court when the players were at their seats, a group would come out and throw t-shirts into the crowd. Halftime brought out the Palm Desert High School Dancers to the court and also acrobats flying thru the air to make baskets. Fans were picked from the audience to participate in several events like cart riding and dancing. Play was exciting. Baskets were made from across the court while free throws would be missed. As the score became closer, the play got more aggressive. Fouls were made and players were pushed to the floor more often. Sometimes two or three players would be lying on the floor at the same time. It was very exciting and amazing no one was hurt. So goes the sport. For more about the Suns/Warriors game, go to


SPORTS NBA • Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

~photos by Pat Krause



Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Join us for the next meeting of the Democrats of Desert Hot Springs Guest Speakers:

Where: Agua Caliente Hotel and Spa 14-500 Palm Dr. Desert Hot Springs 760-329-4481

Pat Oygar – Desert Water Agency Dick Cromwell – Mission Springs Water

When: Saturday October 24th at 11:00 am

For more information call:

Directions: From center of town on Palm Dr. Drive south to Park Lane Corner Park Ln. on Palm Dr.

Alex Bias at 760-464-4470 Chuck McDaniel at 951-453-0250

Desert Local News • October 18, 2009


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Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

At Home With Mayor Yvonne Parks… BY LESLIE ANDREWS DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CAMayor Yvonne Parks of Desert Hot Springs held a campaign meeting at her home Wednesday night, inviting a few neighbors, friends and fellow council members over to discuss city issues and why she should be reelected. In attendance were Mayor Pro Tem Karl Baker, Council members Scott Matas and Jan Pye, Mission Springs Water District President Nancy Wright and former Councilwoman Mary Stephens. Light refreshments and snacks were served, then the community gathered to listen to what everybody had to say. For starters, Parks talked about her achievements during her first two years as Mayor. Among these achievements include the I-10 annexation proposal (which finally will go before LAFCO on October 22nd), crime reduction and parks improvements. “It’s been a team effort working together and I’m so proud of what my fellow councilmembers have done,” she says. “When I am reelected, I will work to attract vibrant new businesses to our city.” Also, she mentioned that she and her staff had made some goals to achieve by the year 2015, and so far, half of them have been accomplished. Matas, who also got a chance to speak, praised former City Councilwoman Mary Stephens for her eight years serving the city. “Because of her leadership, we have Rick Daniels serving as our city manager,” he said. Matas also spoke about how much potential the city’s hotels have to be able to produce transient occupancy taxes on a daily basis. “This would mean more police officers,”he continued. Also, Matas, being a volunteer firefighter, praised the recent efforts


And Friends

bringing the Skyborne Fire Station up and running without costing Desert Hot Springs’ taxpayers a cent. Pye, who also had a fundraiser dinner the previous night, gave Stephens a chance to speak before she got to say a few words herself. “You have to have a functioning city council as well as a functional city manager,” she added, having experienced different varieties of councils over her eight year period of serving. She also felt that the current council is functioning well as well as the current board at the Mission Springs Water District. When Pye spoke, she discussed a variety of issues, including programs for seniors and kids, but most importantly, she talked about the upcoming World Music Festival. “This will not cost the city $1.5 million as was rumored,” she said. “It will only cost the city $250,000, payable in payments.” She also added how local businesses and hotels would benefit from this festival, and how word-of-mouth about Desert Hot Springs would bring in many repeat visitors.

Councilman Scott Matas, Mayor Yvonne Parks and Councilwoman Jan Pye

Wright, who is seeking reelection with the MSWD, defended her title and her achievements as well. “My goal is that we have safe, reliable drinking water and that we have our infrastructure in place,” she said, along with the fact that her fellow board members have sewers as a top priority for all of Desert Hot Springs and its outlying areas. Finally, before questions and answers were taken, Mayor Pro Tem Baker had several words of support for his fellow council members and mayor. “Yvonne and I used to fight like a dog and a cat in a cage two years ago,” he said. “Now, we work together as a team. So please, return the incumbents.”

Former Mayor -Pro Tem Mary Stephens and a Parks supporter


The Palm SpringsTimes Movie Review: ‘Surrogates’ • Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

The Palm SpringsTimes Movie Review: ‘Surrogates’ • Desert Local News • October 18, 2009


By Palm Springs Guides Movie Guide Nick Jones In the near future, people live out their lives through Surrogates, robots connected to the brain that live out your life for you. They can look however you want and do whatever you want them to do without any risk to yourself. Ninety-nine percent of the population is living out their lives through their “Surrogates,” with the exception of the Dreads, a human resistance scattered about the world. Bruce Willis plays FBI Agent Thomas Greer, looking quite young and with a full head of hair while living through his Surrogate, and also kind of creepy. Greer and his FBI partner Jennifer Peters (Radha Mitchell) are assigned to check out what appears to be merely a crime of destruction of property; two Surrogates found destroyed. Striking them as strange, they wonder why the owners of said Surrogates haven’t come forward or reported the crime. The crime quickly elevated to something much more serious — the first homicide in 20 years. The Surrogates’ owners are found in their homes, hooked up to their Surrogate-operator machines with their brains liquefied in their heads. One of the victims is the son of Dr. Lionel Canter (James Cromwell), the

inventor of Surrogate technology. No longer associated with the company, Cantor has become a recluse, coming to loathe his technology that changed the world. Greer’s pursuit of him brings him to the Dreads, humans living on reservations rejecting a life through Surrogates. The Dreads are lead by a man whom they refer to as The Prophet (Ving Rhames), who preaches against Surrogates, as they have created a lie through which humanity now lives. Now, with a premise such as this and practically the entire human race living their life and interacting with others primarily through machines, one would lead naturally to intriguing considerations. Unfortunately “Surrogates” descends down the same path as most movies these days, reducing their ideas to shoot-outs, chase scenes and other standard action clichés. Palm Springs Guides Movie Guide Nick Jones rates “Surrogates” three-and-one-half Palm Trees.

For more about “Surrogates,” go to


The Palm Springs Times • Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

The Palm Springs Times • Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Rona Barrett Gets Her Star

Story by Denise Ortuno Neil Photos by Pat Krause


ell wishers came out to celebrate the newest addition to The Palm Springs Walk of Stars, former entertainment journalist and current philanthropist Rona Barrett, on Friday, Oct. 9, in downtown Palm Springs, California. It was a beautiful, temperate October day, a perfect backdrop to honor a very special lady. The crowd was a mélange of friends, family, fans and the curious. All gathered on the southwest corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way to see the petite icon receive a well-deserved “Star.” “Miss Rona” was greeted by heavy applause, as she pulled up in a stylish bronze convertible. Robert Alexander, president of The Palm Springs Walk of Stars, presided. The organization has been honoring exceptional individuals for 18 years, and Barrett’s star is the 323rd placed on the famous Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Barrett joined such luminaries as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, former President Gerald Ford and many others. Alexander passed the podium over to special guest speakers eager to extend a congratulatory hand and to say a few words. Actress Ruta Lee was one of Barrett’s long time friends who spoke at the event. She took the microphone with glamorous vigor, wearing a lovely green chiffon hat that brought a touch of classic Hollywood to the scene. She called Barrett, “My little sister,” and reminisced how the two were often mistaken for one another, highlighting a moment when a fan didn’t believe her when she said, “I’m Ruta Lee.” “No you’re not, you’re the other one” the fan protested. Barrett was then presented with a stream of proclamations from the city of Palm Springs to the State Assembly to a Congressional recognition. Barrett then took the podium with absolute gratitude, provided everyone with the information that it was her birthday the day before, making the event even more special. She talked about her parents and especially her father and how he didn’t want her to leave the nest at first, but then how he became her biggest fan encouraging her to go the distance and never give up. For more about this event, visit


Kaye Ballard Still Enchanting


PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA • Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Story by Denise Ortuno Neil Photos by Pat Krause


inger, actress, comedienne, movie star and writer, Kaye Ballard, kicked off the Ninth Annual Palm Springs Women in Film and Television (PSWIFT) Luncheon Series on Sat. Oct. 10. The event was held at the La Quinta Resort & Club in the Salon De Fiesta Ballroom. Ballard is a member of the PSWIF and a local resident and was the guest speaker. Another local member of PSWIF, television show host and writer Gloria Greer was the moderator for this series. The luncheon consisted of a delicious chicken salad and a fruit dessert. Sherry Halperin started the luncheon with some of the new events coming up. Then she gave each PSWIF member 30 seconds to tell what new things they were involved in or that were coming up in the near future. Members Carol Hightower, Elaine Church and author David Stewart were among several of the members speaking. Then it was Greer’s turn to introduce Ballard to the guests. Ballard and Greer went to the stage, but Ballard did not want to climb the steps, saying that was the way she broke her leg. Chairs were brought down to the main floor and the session continued there. Ballard brought laughter about it to all the guests. Greer would ask Ballard about different aspects in her career. Ballard wrote a book about her life titled, “How I lost 10 pounds in 53 years.” She said they were in Wisconsin for several months and it was so cold they kept busy by writing this book. She was frustrated because they left so much out of the book that she made an audio version of the book . It is the unedited version so it contains many of the things that were important to her that were left out of the printed version. She brought copies of the audio version, “My Life, In My Own Words, With My Own Mouth,” for sale and she autographed them. For more about this story, go to www.

Desert Local News • October 18, 2009


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Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

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Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Realtor Says Village At Mission Lakes Is A Good Deal BY LESLIE ANDREWS DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CASince 2007, the Village at Mission Lakes has sat unattended after the funding ran out to complete the project, which was supposed to have been a world class shopping center at the corner of Little Morongo Road and Mission Lakes Boulevard. Now today, October 2009, the project is beginning to show signs of life again, as the whole property is selling at a hot price. Desert Local News spoke to Craig Way, a real estate broker for Seaway Properties of Temecula. “There has been a lot of opportunity, but we’re not in escrow yet,” he explains. “We’ve also been cleaning up the site and everybody wants to cooperate. The process is to get buyer and to move forward from there.” Way is aware of the fact that the Village at Mission Lakes property is in need of a lot of work, but his company’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the lot sold. “I don’t think it’s bad. The main buildings are almost done. Whomever buys it will get it completed very fast,” he says. “It’s a great deal.” At a selling price of less than $3 million, it sure would be. However, Way says that the unfinished portion of the second building could possibly be spared, despite previous reports that the weathered wood is unsafe. “There’s not much rain in the desert,” he explained. “I’ve seen projects much worse.” Also, he says

that there is a possibility an architect could get creative and design something even better. Nonetheless, crews as of this past week have already begun clean-up efforts, with bulldozers running and hard hats in place. The company of Fieldstone Community Development has been hired by the court appointed trustee to clean up the Village as well as the Paradise Springs Housing Development nearby. The vacant homes and unfinished buildings will be secured. All at a price tag of $40,000 to clean up the properties and make the necessary repairs. Between October 8th and the 23rd, there also will be weed abatement, removal of stock piled rocks and asphalt and buildings will be boarded up at the Village property. The previous week, garage doors and three vacant homes were boarded up and tended to at the Paradise Springs project. “This is a big step forward to remove a serious problem in our community that is causing blight in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Yvonne Parks. “Thanks to the diligence of our Code Enforcement Division, we are seeing positive results across the City with the clean up of vacant lots and empty homes.”



Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Sign Wars:

Is bigger better?

BY LESLIE ANDREWS DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CASigns, signs, everywhere a sign. Either one that supports Incumbent Mayor Yvonne Parks or her challenger, Councilman Russell Betts floating around all over Desert Hot Springs this election. Even the Mission Springs Water District Board members are facing a battle over campaign signs. Desert Local News gives you, the reader, an insight about what’s going on in this heated campaign. One Auto Parts store manager even complained about it, saying that he didn’t want any signs from any candidate being posted on his property. Betts has caused a spark of controversy regarding a painted sign on the side of his political headquarters on Eighth street. He commented, “I am far more interested in discussing the issues in this campaign than I am about campaign signs. A primary issue is the homeowners’ property taxes.

These signs are at Indian and Pierson Blvd. DLNews Photos© We need to have that debated. The issue that’s important is the development impact fee how they help fund our soccer field, our little league field and our police department. The two candidates for mayor in this race have included pictures of public officials in their campaign flyers. Nobody presumes that it is an endorsement.” Rumors have circulated that City Manager Rick Daniels is endorsing Betts, but Betts commented that it was definitely not true. Pam Zanelli, who manages Parks’ and Matas’ campaigns, feels that the sign wars have definitely gotten out of hand. She adds, “I was stunned to see a sign on a building painted. Some cities don’t allow that. I just think that a lot of people don’t like to be overwhelmed with signs. To be fair to the general public, there should be a law about it. People don’t like negative politics.” Councilman Scott Matas also has had to replace defaced or damaged signs, at a

cost of around $500, as did Mayor Parks. In regards to the sign laws, he commented that political signs were exempt. “We will enact tougher sign laws after the election,” he stated. So far, Zanelli has focused on a positive campaign involving Matas and Parks, focusing on the positives that both have done for the city rather than to dwell on the negatives regarding their opponents. Randy Duncan says that some of his signs have disappeared, and has heard that kids have been kicking down his signs too. “The flags have been disappearing and they are a buck a piece,” he said. This is the first time Duncan has had to do campaigning, as he ran unopposed. He also has a huge billboard on Dillon and Palm, and so far has gotten good reception over it. “It’s noticed, but I haven’t had anybody say anything about it. Fortunately, it hasn’t been grafittied,” Duncan added.

Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Randy Duncan takes the cake, with his billboard on Palm and Dillon Rd. Photo DLNews

Russell Betts in front of his big campaign sign, in the back artist Marvin Welton. ~photo DLNews



Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

It’s Bunco Time At The Skyborne!!!

Sharon, Jan, Lynn, Jodi and Tereza

BY LESLIE ANDREWS DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CAA packed house full of ladies and a few gentlemen gathered at the Skyborne clubhouse all decked out in western gear Saturday night for a western barbecue dinner and a game of bunco, all in support of the Soroptomist House of Hope, a women’s recovery center in Desert Hot Springs. Contests were held for best costumes and hats, as well as whoever got the most wins or losses at bunco. A silent auction and a raffle were also taking place, all benefiting the center. Ladies from as far away as La Quinta and Beaumont’s Soroptomist Clubs were present, as well as Mayor Yvonne Parks and Councilwoman Jan Pye.

Desert Local News • October 18, 2009


O S Y L T H AND RIG Former DHS Mayor Matt Weyuker


“THE GOVERNMENT IS BEST WHICH GOVERNS LEAST” – THOMAS PAINE. More wrong decisions that lead to additional massive debt anyone? Ten months into President Obama’s trillionsof-dollars-debt-ridden administration, and after decades of California’s statehouse “tax-spend-elect” bankrupt policies, most taxpaying citizens have looked to their local governments to use “safe-and-sane” tax-and-spend” guiding principles – but it isn’t happening here in Desert Hot Springs. This November election should be about the candidates concern for the tax and ratepayers who are shouldering an incredible financial load. Both the Desert Hot Springs (DHS) government and the Mission Springs Water District (MSWD) candidates must focus on those vital “pocketbook” issues – instead they are trying to sell the electorate on either their personal popularity, or some “photo-op” issues. For example, Mayor Yvonne Parks defends her untenable position on doubling the Parcel Tax to over $240 annually earmarked for public safety. She believes that homeowners receive most of the public safety calls, while lot owners cause little or no police or fire service. Her opponent, Councilman Russell Betts opposed that senseless tax increase. The

Parcel Tax doubling will swell to over $290 in 2020! The city council has made some City Manager Daniels-led bad decisions – especially not rejecting the Redevelopment Agency’s (RDA) downtown land and building purchases. They have put our community in harm’s way, creating millions of dollars of needless bonded indebtedness, and aiming the city toward bankruptcy and possible dissolution. There have been some misleading accusations hurled at Councilman Scott Matas’ reelection bid, because of his close association with the former Steve Masarch, now Rabbi Alan Barok. Councilman Matas never disclosed this connection in the RDA’s purchase of the Jewish Temple on Pierson Boulevard for an exorbitant $1.4 million. However, the onus really belongs to the entire city council (with the exception of Councilman Betts “No” vote) for their ill-advised votes to buy this overpriced piece of property! The Mission Springs Water District board has spent over half of its $13+ million reserve on wasting money on putting band-aids on its treatment plant, instead of protecting the precious groundwater by replacing sewers for

the district’s many septic tanks, and constructing a badly needed new sewertreatment facility. Board-member incumbents Nancy Wright and Randy Duncan have been, and are part of the water district’s problem. Oh, they are pointing to their “accomplishments,” but the excessive rate increases and the ratepayer revenue waste is the ineffective result. Jeff Bowman and Dick Cromwell are two MSWD board candidates who are speaking on those, and some other important water district matters, and the voters should vote wisely and consider what they are saying on election day. We are hearing and reading a lot of “verbalized-political-garbage” from the office-seekers, especially the well-financed incumbents. Don’t let your guard down – demand fiscal responsibility, individual accountability, and transparency from those who seek our votes. THOMAS JEFFERSON SAID THIS ABOUT A GOVERNMENT ENTITY – “WHEN THE GOVERNMENT FEARS THE PEOPLE THERE IS LIBERTY; WHEN THE PEOPLE FEAR THE GOVERNMENT THERE IS TYRANNY.” And Rightly So.


Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

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Desert Local News • October 18, 2009


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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Shirley Bales’ Storybook Journey to Africa Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

BY ALEX W. BIAS Photos by Ms. Shirley Bales and Mr. Allen Petersen EXCLUSIVE- Ms. Shirley Bales and Mr. Allen Petersen had a fifteen day excursion tour of Kenya (Nakuru, Narok, Nairobi, Masai Mara, Namanga, Amboseli) and Tanzania (Ngorongoro, Tarangire). This is not an inexpensive trip, in fact, it’s one of the most expensive vacations that one can take. “It was not a “shop till you drop” kind of trip! It was work! It was definitely designed for younger people! But, it was a wonderful experience! It was just great! And they loved Obama!” said Ms. Bales. “The next person they like is Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Terminator. When they heard that I was from California the first thing out of their mouths was: Oh… Obama!” Bales describes how 53 different tribes make up the Masi people. In their tribe, the women build the huts, which are 9 feet by 12 feet in size. The men build the fences. She adds, “In Tanzania you saw more of them out and their aim in life is just sitting there watching the cattle. You kind-off wonder does some child say, gee I would really rather do something rather than sitting here watching cattle.” Bales and Peterson took a balloon trip, which cost $160.00 per hour. She saw dry lands all across Kenya and Tanzania. “Things were so dry. Usually you would see the Wilder beast when they do the big migration, where they traditionally cross over into Tanzania the one that you would see on TV. They were beginning to get closer together.

“When we first started out, the different herds were really apart and then all of a sudden they started to get together. They don’t do that until after the rains when the grasses come. Kenya is much dryer than Tanzania!” As of right now, most of the Wilder beasts are in Kenya, waiting for the grass to grow in Tanzania. The Masi, who are able to graze their cattle, are grazing them along the side of the roads because conditions are so dry. Bales added, “I don’t even know what these cattle are grazing off of, it like they are eating off of the asphalt! I didn’t see anything that they were eating but they seem to hang in there. Tanzania seems to be a little greener. The Wilder beast eats the grass down and seem to know that they need to give it a rest so this is why they go to Tanzania and the reverse. When they eat the grass in Tanzania they go back to Kenya. Nature works wonders!” Because of Kenya’s dry conditions, Bales saw a lot more carcasses in Kenya than in Tanzania. Together, they visited the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the Saerengeti National Park in Tanzania. Bales concluded, “It was a wonderful experience; it was an adventure of a lifetime!” Shirley Bales’ Background here in Desert Hot Springs: Shirley was a Kindergarten Teacher for 30 years in the City of Westminster, just outside of Denver, Colorado. After

retiring she and Allen R.V.-ed off and on for the next twenty years. Bales said, “There were a lot of mornings that I didn’t want to get up…but there was never, every, a single day that I didn’t want to go to work. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching kindergarten!” They are like a sponge! You can teach them anything and they are really ready to learn!” She was prepared to teach in middle school, but when she got her first teaching job, the district told her that a Kindergarten teacher was needed. Bales added, “They said…you are a Teacher so you can teach anything! I thought it was a good thing that it wasn’t Chemistry or Music! So, all I every taught was Kindergarten. I went to the first grade teacher and asked them what do you want your student to know? And that’s what started it all!” Bales and Petersen planned on just living in Desert Hot Springs during the winter. She said, “We stayed here just one season and said ‘Hey we don’t want to go back! This is great!’ So I have become really very much in love with Desert Hot Springs! And I get so tired of people that bad mouth us! This is my choice! I have only had good feelings about Desert Hot Springs and see that it has tremendous possibilities.” The couple is now planning a thirty day excursion cruise to French Polynesia Tahiti and Bora Bora Island, scheduled for March 2010.


Desert Local News • October 18, 2009

Ms. Shirley Bales and Mr. Allen Petersen in Seregeti Tanania Termite ‘Hotel’

Ms. Shirley Bales Serengeti Warriors Tanzania & Desert Local News Rothschild Giraffe Center

Ms. Shirley Bales and Mr. Allen Petersen at Giraffe Manor.

Ms. Shirley Bales Masai Mara, Kenya Mara Sopa Lodge0


Desert Local News • October 18, 2009


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Desert Local News Oct. 18 Edition  

The NBA at Coachella Valley, Desert Local News in Africa, Election 2009 in DHS

Desert Local News Oct. 18 Edition  

The NBA at Coachella Valley, Desert Local News in Africa, Election 2009 in DHS