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DESERT LOCAL NEWS October 4, 2009

Cheech & Chong Pages 10-11

Boys Girls Club finally a New


in Desert Hot Springs Pages 16-19

Ground was broken for a long anticipated “Community Health and Wellness Center” in Desert Hot Springs.The facility will be a home to a new expanded Boys and Girls Club, an aquatic center, and teen and athletic centers. Exclusive photos by Bruce Montgomery.

FOR 24/7 Local News • Go to ~ US $ 1.95



DESERT HOT SPRINGS • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Max Liebermann CEO/Publisher Frank Cera President 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

PHOTOGRAPHERS Bruce Montgomery Cathy Jardine Pat Krause 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

From The City Manager’s Desk To Yours…

City Manager Rick Daniels photo by Bruce Montgomery

BY DLN STAFF Highlights from Desert Hot Springs City Manager Rick Daniels’ memo include: The Building and Safety Division has performed eight building inspections daily. They issued a correction notice to a property located at 10231 Palm Drive for a block wall being two feet too high. The owner will correct the situation or face citations from Code Enforcement. The BSD also met with the owner of Eagle Point to get him to clean up the property. The Business License Division managed to collect $5,968.71, of which $3,061.50 consisted of business license fees and renewals. Six abandoned homes were registered, totaling 817, with fees collected totaling $49,020.00. A new home business, Lucky One Poker, located at 6571 Burrowing Owl Court, was issued a license. General Plan Update-the Mission Springs Water District has agreed to join the city in the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan major amendment. The MSWD Board will have to formerly approve this action prior to the consultant revising the project description. Staff hopes to have a finalization by the end of October. They also approved the water efficient landscaping guidelines on a meeting held on September 21st. City will amend their existing ordinance to include the new guidelines and changes required by the State and bring it to

the City Council for adoption soon. I-10 Annexation meeting will take place on October 22nd at 9:00 at Riverside County Headquarters, 4080 Lemon Avenue in Riverside. Code Enforcement-Staff collected civil penalties from the sale of two properties, totaling $11,615.36. They prepared a Demand For Payment totaling over $7,000 for the cleanup of a vacant lot on Calle De Vecinos. Also, a property located at 66011 5th Street obtained voluntary compliance by removing the trash and debris. Staff has been in contact with the property owner to obtain compliance at 11171 Cactus Drive to address Safety Code issues. Desert Valley Disposal assisted staff to pick up furniture on Mesquite Avenue as well as two piles of carpet dumped at Little Morongo and Richard Way. Plus, the Public Works Department responded to two complaints regarding overgrown bushes blocking the view at intersections. They assisted Code staff by trimming a tree at the Vista Hacienda Tract that had grown over and fallen over the sidewalk in a public right-of-way. Police- Staff continues to work with Lockheed Martin to complete the Neighborhood Community Program. Officer interview were conducted with a selection board with several candidates. The city’s Community Resource Officer Jim Knabb conducted a Neighborhood Watch meeting at the Senior Center for a new area. This will expand the program to seven active neighborhoods.

Desert Local News • October 4, 2009



Desert Local News • October 4, 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.

D.A.’s Cousin Arrested For Triple Murder Dating Back To 1981 BY VICKI LAWSON INDIO, CAThe cousin of District Attorney Rod Pacheco was arrested in connection to a triple murder dating back to 1981 in the Coachella Valley. On Tuesday, July 1, 1981, at about 6:48 am, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Indio Station was dispatched to the scene of a triple homicide at 35040 Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage. At the time of this crime this was the unincorporated area of the County. Friends of the deceased had arrived at the location to visit and discovered the bodies and notified the Sheriff’s Department of the incident. The victims in this homicide were

Alfred Alvarez, with a date of birth of July 18, 1948, a resident of the location, Ralph Arthur Boger, with a date of birth of September 20, 1938, a resident of San Bernardino, and Patricia Roberta Castro, with a date of birth of January 17, 1938, a resident of Long Beach. All victims had been shot. After 28 years in investigating this case, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Cold Case Unit had an arrest warrant issued by the California Attorney General’s Office. A warrant in connection with these three murders was issued for the arrest of Jimmy Hughes, age 52. The warrant was executed in Miami at the airport

when Hughes was attempting to board a plane to Honduras. Hughes has been living in Honduras for past few years as a preacher. Hughes is currently fighting extradition to face murder charges in Riverside California. He is currently being held in Dade County (Florida) Jail. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has continued to monitor and re-examine this cold case and requested the assistance from the California Attorney General’s Office for prosecution due to the fact that the DA Rod Pacheco is related to the suspect. No further information will be released at this time on this case

Desert Local News • October 4, 2009



Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Paid for by the Committee to elect Russell Betts I.D.1317810




RUSS MARTIN Desert Hot Springs Public Safety Commissioner Desert Hot Springs Parolee Ad Hoc Commission

Desert Hot Springs Fire & Emergency Services AdHoc Committee. Desert Hot Springs Economic Development Sub-Committee Vice Chair Coachella Valley Coalition to stop “Green Path North”


BY VICKI LAWSON Palm Springs Police Department officers and rescue personnel were called to the scene of a traffic collision at Amado Road and Sunrise Way at 11:35 AM. A fire hydrant was sheared off in the collision, which caused some minor flooding and a road closure. Investigators determined that the driver of a red Ford truck, 27year-old Norma Leon of Cathedral City, had entered the intersection westbound on Amado and turned left in front of an eastbound red Toyota. The driver of the Toyota was identified as 60-year-old Palm Springs resident, Dianne Murphy. Both drivers reportedly entered the intersection from opposite directions on a green light, but Leon was cited for Failing to Yield to Opposing Traffic while Making a Left Turn.

31 years in Law Enforcement

Active member of the community

Palm Springs Accident Victim Dies In Hospital

ilding block bu e th is ty fe sa ic bl u “P nity. From that of every stable commu d a city.” starting point, we buil

Desert Hot Springs City Council 760-329-5145 Paid for by Friends of Russ Martin • Recipient committee #1318390

Both drivers were transported to Desert Regional Medical Center by ambulance for complaint of pain. Leon was treated and released, but Murphy was admitted. On September 27th, Murphy had died at the hospital. The Coroner’s office will be investigating the cause of death, which has not yet been determined. Traffic Investigators will coordinate with the Coroner’s office before decided whether additional charges will be sought against Leon.

DESERT LOCAL NEWS • FEBRUARY 2009 Desert Local News • October4,4, 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


Desert Local News • October 4, 2009 “Expect the Unexpected”

“We help build Community within your Community”

Ginger Hitzke, President and CEO with the late Senator Ted Kennedy

DHS Hacienda Terraces

43460 Ridge Park Drive • Suite 260 • Temecula, CA 92590 • 951-699-8400

DHS Business • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Making Lemonade out of a Lemon


Now, through the efforts of RDA Director Rudy Acosta and his able staff under the guidance of City Manager Rick Daniels, and in cooperation with the County of Riverside staff and Board of Supervisors, together with an experienced apartment developer, the project is on the verge of being completed as a residential apartment and occupied by some very fortunate tenants. BY DLN STAFF DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CAAfter almost two years of unsightly neglect, the long abandoned Hacienda Terraces Condominium project on Hacienda, East of Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs is about to be brought back to life with a new beginning. When former developer Walt Luce abandoned the Hacienda project, he left the city’s inhabitants with several started but uncompleted residential projects, creating monumental problems for city administrative staff, code enforcement and police. Hacienda Terraces was one such project. Hacienda Terraces has a sad history, having been started just as the nation’s economy and declining real estate values began to impact Coachella Valley and neighboring communities. First, Walt Luce abandoned the project. Then the lender, Security Pacific Bank went bust, throwing the project into the vast and growing list of real estate properties being taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) managed by asset management groups. The project was left to the elements as myriad legal entanglements could be sorted out and a realistic rescue could be planned. Now, through the efforts of RDA Director Rudy Acosta and his able staff under the guidance of City Manager Rick Daniels, and in cooperation with the County of Riverside staff and Board of Supervisors, together with an experienced apartment developer, the project is on the verge of being completed as a residential apartment and occupied by some very fortunate tenants.

The Developer, Hitzke Development Corporation (Hitzke) with support from the City of Desert Hot Springs was able to secure a grant from the County for a portion of the acquisition funding under the federal government’s stimulus legislation identified as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) for communities that have large numbers of foreclosures and unfinished projects throughout the United States. Once the project is ready for occupancy, expectant applicants for residency will be selected from a waiting list and screened with background and credit checks by a professional management team of Solari Enterprises, Inc. HYPERLINK “http://www.solari-ent. com” for suitability of residency. Ginger Hitzke, President and CEO of Hitzke Development Corporation, is headquartered in Temecula. Hitzke has over 15 years experience in planning developing, building and managing projects of this type throughout Southern California. “This has been one of our more challenging projects”, stated Ms. Hitzke. “Since first indicating our interest in acquiring and completing Hacienda Terraces in early May of this year and learning that we would be dealing with FDIC asset managers in Texas, FDIC officials in Tennessee and Florida as well as their local representative here in Riverside County to attempt acquire the property, my consultants, staff and I have spent endless hours coordinating with

City staff. We are very appreciative of the tireless efforts DHS city staff exerted to help us meet the deadlines set by federal, state and county agencies”. “Ginger Hitzke is a breath of fresh air and a pleasure to work with,” said Karl Schwarm, Housing and Neighborhood Services Director for the City of San Marcos. “Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious in an otherwise traditionally mechanical atmosphere.” “Hitzke Development has been a stellar client for Hanson Commercial Group”, declared Larry Dean, Broker/ President of the firm. “The long standing working relationship that Ginger Hitzke and Bill Effinger share has certainly proven beneficial in structuring this very complex transaction”, said Dean. “Restoring this project could not have happened without the untiring efforts and exceptional professionalism of Craig Way, of Seaway Properties who represented the asset manager for FDIC. I have rarely had the pleasure of working with such a responsive and cooperative seller’s agent”, stated Effinger. “My personal thanks go out to all of the agents, consultants, city and county staff who helped make this possible. I sincerely believe that when we have completed and moved the expectant tenants into Hacienda Terraces, we will have made great Lemonade out of a very old and tired Lemon for the community of Desert Hot Springs”, concluded Hitzke.

Cheech and Chong’s Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Light Up America & Canada Tour


Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong ~photos by Allen Lawrence

Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Story by Lisa Robyn Lawrence Photos by Allen Lawrence After a very long hiatus, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong are back with their Light Up America and Canada reunion tour. The atmosphere in the entertainment pavilion was heady to say the least, with so many expectant fans, old and young alike. The opening act for the evening was Shelby Chong. Tommy’s beautiful and bawdy wife of 25 years. Shelby spoke to the “stoners” in the audience, ”You ever notice that now there are more pot dispensaries than Starbucks?” Later, Shelby explained how Cheech and Tommy met in Canada, while Marin was there dodging the draft. It was love at first light, apparently. It was even hinted that Cheech and Chong are planning their next movie. “Cheech thinks it should be called, ‘Grumpy Old Stoners’.” Their fans cheered at the prospect.

Dope Deal” and “Ralph & Herbie,” the dogs greeting each other and circling each other smelling the other’s rear end. Tommy even brought out his guitar and played some blues. Some of the words to his songs resonated his philosophical view and acerbic, yet poignant and satirical comment on life. Very funny and obvious that he still has the blues in his soul. Each skit grew more outlandish as the night progressed, pushing the limits of hilarity, making social comment about society today and pointing out society’s incongruities and hypocrisy. As the evening came to a close with the dog skit, Shelby returned to the stage as a female dog and indescribable mayhem ensued. The audience gave an appreciative, thunderous standing ovation to these iconic performers.

Cheech and Chong started right into their very famous skits, each one more funny and outlandish than the next. They still know how to test the socially acceptable limits and still be right on funny.

Many fans had comments on the performance, Chrissie Glidden from Long Beach said that her favorite skit was the dogs, “They were really funny!” This interview was serenaded to the strains of “Basketball Jones,” playing in the background.

A few of their most identifiable skits were “Born in East L.A.,” “Let’s make a

For more about Cheech and Chong, go to



Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Paid for by the Committee to elect Russell Betts I.D.1317810

Desert Local News • October 4, 2009


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Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

   

              

                     

RIVERSIDE, CA. Desert Local News • October 4, 2009


Supervisor Marion Ashley Facing Possible Recall From Citizens BY LESLIE ANDREWS EXCLUSIVE- Two term Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley is facing a possible recall from a group in Western Riverside County that accuses him of siding with special interests. Desert Local News speaks exclusively to Ann Weston, Project Coordinator of BootThemOut. net and the Committee Supporting The Recall Of Supervisor Ashley and asks the questions, why. Weston explains that Ashley, 74, is not balancing jobs with construction efforts, thus is why Riverside County’s unemployment rate is so high. She says, “He’s been designated as a special interest politician. As a result, we are the highest in the state when it comes to unemployment. Only 12 percent in the Inland Empire thought that the area was going well in the way it was being handled. Public documents show that property values are going down.” Weston also explains, as she has also told the Press Enterprise and The Californian that this group is opposed to a proposed paramilitary training center being built in the Western part of Riverside County, near rural neighborhoods in Perris and in Hemet. She adds, “It was placed in that area, which is residential agricultural area. The planning department said we cannot support nor approve it. Nothing allows private police training. The zoning was never changed. They’re going to have planes that are for training. They don’t know if they will launch landmines and grenades. It was next to a church retreat that has been there for 20 years.” Despite objections from the planning departments, the Board of Supervisors approved the site plans, according to reports. Ashley, who was first elected in 2002, faces reelection in 2010. The group which wishes to remove Ashley from office sooner, could pave the way for a June 2010 election. At least 14,708 signatures will be needed to plan this recall election

and so far, about $1000 has been spent in efforts by the group. “It’s hard to sit by and not do anything. I don’t like to see people stepped on. Our democracy is falling apart,” Weston stated. Desert Local News spoke to two other citizens from the Western end of Riverside County, who believe Ashley should be recalled for other reasons. Garry Grant, a resident of Meadowbrook, which is an unincorporated area of the county, argued that Ashley simply doesn’t care about the lower class. “We believe that he is not for the interest of the general public but for the private developers. We’re a rural distinction and we’re fighting a losing battle. We’re in an economic downfall that doesn’t have a bottom,” he says. According to reports from the Press Enterprise, Riverside County has a 13% poverty rate. Grant added, “We do know there is a high percentage of unemployed. We had our sole direction of commerce was in the building industry.” As to who would take Ashley’s place, Grant reports that there are several other people willing to run for his position if recalled. “There are several people interested in doing so. The person we would vote for would follow the laws of democracy and the constitution. We feel we’re being used, abused and otherwise,” he concluded. Robert Carver Newman II, another resident of Ashley’s district, also claims that he has done little or nothing to help those in need. He states, “I think that it’s appropriate that he’s recalled and replaced with someone else who is more responsive to the constituents. I’ve had experience with him directly, but the major issue relates to the lack of sympathy with a former neighbor of mine.” In this case, Newman discussed how an elderly couple were unable to deal with a property that they owned that had some code enforcement violations. There were

four offers to buy the land at full price, but all fell through when they realized the number of violations involved with the property. Newman added, “When one sets aside humanity for gain or status of recognition, the person has violated the principal of which I live. We’re supposed to be dealing with people, and that’s what bothers me. An elected official serves the needs of individuals. That’s my philosophy.” Ashley sent a message to Desert Local News, stating that all accusations against him are truly false. He said, “Anybody who looks at this petition to sign it ought to be cautioned. This petition was made up by special interest groups and it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars. It will cost Riverside County $400,000. This is a deceptive petition and an abuse of the recall process.” Ashley adds that those who are behind the petition have a very narrow political agenda of their own. And that hosting such a recall effort will take away tax money that is needed to maintain public safety and other basic county services. He continued, “The frivolous claims regarding me are false and misleading. I have worked with groups to improve our quality of life.” In regards to what Weston believed was a paramilitary training ground, Ashley stated that this was a public safety training ground that was approved by the community council of Harvest Valley, which is the affected area. Also, it has been endorsed by the past and current Sheriff. Ashley’s district serves the cities of Perris, Moreno Valley, Hemet all the way to Desert Hot Springs and the northern portion of Palm Springs. Since the passing of Supervisor Roy Wilson, Ashley has temporary control of his district, which stretches from the Coachella Valley to Blythe.


Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

New Center In DHS To Benefit Children And The Community

BY DLN STAFF ~ Photo by Bruce Montgomery DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CADesert Hot Springs Mayor Yvonne Parks, along with the rest of the city council and other elected officials broke ground Thursday on a new facility that will house the Boys and Girls Club as well as a new health care clinic. The 26,000 square foot Desert Hot Springs Community Health and Wellness

Center will also house an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a gym, a clubhouse and a teen center at the corner of Pierson Boulevard and Cholla Drive, not far from the city’s high school and City Hall. Plus a community health center to be managed by the Borrego Community Health Foundation, which currently runs four clinics in the Coachella Valley, with the nearest one in Cathedral

City. The land was donated by city resident and Mission Springs Water District board member John Furbee. Funding is expected from the city, the Desert Healthcare District, Palm Springs Unified School District and other donors like Congressman Jerry Lewis and Senator Barbara Boxer. “This is another example of collaboration,” said Mayor Parks. “The City

Desert Local News • October 4, 2009


Attendees were a list of “who’s who” in county and city government, business and community leaders as ground was broken for a long anticipated “Community Health and Wellness Center” in Desert Hot Springs. Located between the current city offices and Desert Hot Springs High School, the facility will be a home to a new expanded Boys and Girls Club, an aquatic center, and teen and athletic centers. Only one person missing, Adam Sanchez, it was his project and his dream. of Desert Hot Springs is reaching out to partners to support a project that the youth and residents of our great city not only have earned but deserve. It’s a very proud day in Desert Hot Springs.” Russ Martin, Public Safety Commission member and candidate for City Council, added, “It was quite a day for Desert Hot Springs. As a former law enforcement

professional, I know how important a Boys and Girls Club can be for a community. It will provide a healthy environment for young people to gather and spend quality time with their peers. In addition, Desert Hot Springs High School will now have a first class regulation size swimming pool for the swim and water polo teams’ training sessions. A lot of different people had a hand in making

this a reality. My congratulations to all of them.” Construction should be completed by early 2010. The price tag for this project totals nearly $14 million. More photos of this event pages 18 &19. Photos by Bruce Montgomery


Community Health & Wellness Center • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

John Furbee ~ All photos by Bruce Montgomery

Mike Bickford

Laura Green

Chris Mills

Karl Baker Jr.

Photos by Bruce Montgomery • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Yvonne Parks & Marion Ashley

Rudy Acosta & Scott Matas

Chief Pat Williams

Jason Simpson



PALM SPRINGS • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

The Museum Trail, a gateway to the Skyline

Story by Jace Edwards Photos by Jace Edwards and Darren Cole Behind the Palm Springs Art Museum lay a gateway. It’s starting point is to the left of the O’Donnell Golf Club’s entrance. Hidden by a shrub and a couple of trees is the Museum Trail. This is a steep incline leading to the intersection of the Skyline and Lykken Trails. The Lykken Trail traverses the mountain from north to south Palm Springs. This hike takes you through much desert growth, so that means burrs and other uncomfortable dry, scratchy things. The Skyline Trail is noted as one of the most extreme hikes in North America and leads in its entirety a brave and well-trained hiker to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The Museum Trail’ beginning is marked with a sign honoring John Hollinger, founder of the Palm Springs Mounted Police Search and Rescue. This peak is adjacent to that junction of the Skyline and Lykken Trails. That is the perfect turnaround for a hiker looking for a challenge, but who has only a few hours to spare. A large brass seal adorns the steps that lead you onto the correct path, which is a very important place to be, by the way. It has been marked throughout the lower section of the trail that you are to stay onto the path.

The first series of switchbacks are well groomed and in some cases have railings installed. Once you reach the driveway of that muchmarketed property owner, the trail takes a turn upward. This is where the real hike begins. Keeping on a pathway that leads continually upward is the rule of thumb here. Drink water sparingly. With the intense physical labor created by this climb, adding a massive amount of water to an overworked system may induce cramping. Also watch your footing. This is especially important when heading back down. The rocky path has many hidden traps that can catch a hiker distracted by the view. A large, jutting rock marks a breathtaking viewpoint. After carefully perching myself on it, I could see an incredible view of the entire structure of Murray Peak. Its large base and rough terrain culminates to a pyramid-shaped top. Overall, I give this trail a high rating with a moderate to high difficulty factor. For more on Jace Edwards’ Museum Trail hike, go to www.

Desert Local News • October 4, 2009


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Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Jan Pye

Jeff Bowman and Dick Cromwell

Judy Bowman, Scott Matas, Catherine Rips, Dick Cromwell

Judy & Jeff Bowman


Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Bowman and Cromwell For Hot Water: And Sewers Too

Yvonne Parks DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CAMission Springs Water District board candidates Jeff Bowman and Dick Cromwell together held a fundraiser party at the Dillon Roadhouse Tuesday night. “My friend had twenty years to get sewers into Desert Hot Springs,” said Mayor Yvonne Parks, describing how a lot of talk and no action has taken place with the MSWD board. She, along with Mayor Pro Tem Karl Baker, Councilmembers Scott Matas and Jan Pye all got up to speak in support of two new faces to replace two incumbents this coming November.

Dick Cromwell

Richard Cromwell IV

The quality of Desert Hot Springs’ cold and hot water was a hot topic, as the candidates discussed how preserving it would keep the city thriving. “We have to protect our hot water by putting in sewers,” Bowman stated. “If we don’t protect it, we would be a dried up little town alongside the hill. This city brands itself with its hot water and mineral spas. We need to support the city and what they’re doing.” Both Cromwell and Bowman agree that the district has bandaged a lot of their problems and that it costs the taxpayers dearly in the long run. “If we could pump off-peak hours, we could save up to build a new well each year,” Bowman also said, describing how poorly managed the pumps are throughout the district. Both men in unison said, “We need to eliminate the need to raise your rates.” How is

Cromwell family by proposing to stop deficit spending by replacing bandages with permanent solutions. Bowman added that the current incumbents don’t back one another and that change must begin by electing new faces. “It’s like a junior high classroom where kids talk over each other,” he remarked. Most importantly, the men discussed the proposal to relocate the Horton Wastewater Treatment Plant, currently located near residential areas. “It’s not 1972 anymore,” Bowman said. That very year, the plant was built and there was little activity going on in the city at the time. On, Cromwell explains in a video how the plant would do better being located on 90 acres of property that the MSWD owns, not located near any residences or schools. Speaking of his partner in running, Bowman said that Cromwell had spent 20 years with the Sunline Transit Agency and described him as “a man of integrity.” Their decision to run together came after a lunch meeting, in which they discussed and shared ideas for nearly an hour. So far, their joint campaign has generated broad interests. Both believe that focusing on residents in the 92241 zip code, also served by the MSWD would help achieve a winning victory.


SPOTLIGHT 29 Casino • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Boyz Bles the S

Story Mika Young Photos by Ken Dow The crowds of the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, Calif., made their way out to Spotlight 29 on Saturday, Sept. 26, to witness the rights of passage for the biggest R&B male-singing group of all time transform from Boyz II Men after 20 years of proven success. The Grammy Awardwinning group did not disappoint as they performed staples like “End of the Road”, “I’ll Make Love to You” and “Down on Bended Knee” with their dynamic vocal delivery and synchronized dance movements. The concert, which began with a special music video presentation, provided the perfect segue into an introduction to the men of the evening. The group’s interactive invitation to sing, dance or sway was followed by an obedient high-energy response from the audience. Passionate screaming ovations seemed to crescendo as Boyz II Men paid tribute to a myriad of familiar songs from various albums spanning their career, as well as to a number of classic songs previously recorded by well-known artists. Concertgoers received a special treat when the very young son of member Shawn

Stockman came on-stage to sing “Happy Birthday” to his father. Another concert highlight came when Boyz II Men instructed the audience to call their mothers during the concert from cell phones as the group sang “A Song for Mama.” Screaming fans advanced to the stage like a Pentecostal alter call and many handed their cell phones to the members of the group to sing into their phones, directly. The concert closed with “End of The Road,” but the audience demanded an encore performance. Boyz II Men member Wanya Morris was the first to enter the stage with a brief talk thanking the audience for supporting the group for the 20 years. He began singing a soul-stirring solo rendition of “How Do I Say Goodbye to Yesterday?” and was later joined by the others for a high-energy finale of “Motown Philly,” which brought the audience to its feet. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, Boyz II Men can count on the blessings of the fans for years to come. For more about Boyz II Men, go to www.

SPOTLIGHT 29 Casino • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

z II Men ssed by Spotlight

Photos by Ken Dow



Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

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MATT WEYUKER COLUMN Desert Local News • October 4, 2009


O S Y L T AND RIGH Former DHS Mayor Matt Weyuker

BY MATT WEYUKER This November 2nd we’re going to be asked to vote for Desert Hot Springs (DHS) mayor and 2 council seats – plus 2 seats on the Mission Springs Water District (MSWD) board. I plan on covering the MSWD candidates in the next issue. Be sure that you’re registered to vote – and then exercise that right and VOTE! In the coming weeks, we are going to be inundated with a lot of rhetoric about “LEADERSHIP” – therefore, inform yourselves. Books-on-leadership author Warren Bennis stated it like this – “Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential.” Gulf War General H. Norman Schwarzkopf said it this way – “Leadership is a combination of character and strategy, if you must be without one, be without strategy.” A true leader steps out and leads the way – effectively. When you examine genuine leaders, they all have one thing in common – the ability to influence others. Those who have tried to lead and have failed either have not maintained their integrity or have adopted values that have caused their ability to influence to disappear. This brings us to the local candidates, and their leadership qualities.

While I think that Mayor Yvonne Parks is a concerned woman with many good qualities, strong leadership ability isn’t one of them. Yvonne has allowed City Manager Daniels to assume her mayoral responsibility of leading. A mayor should be the city’s leader and spokesperson, with a forward-looking plan of action, coupled with fellow councilor support. The city manager has taken over those duties. City Councilman Russell Betts on the other hand, has been an outspoken out-front leader on the subjects of city tax levels and against the push for a power line that would run thru the city – often at odds over these and other vital issues with the mayor and his fellow councilors. I think Councilman Betts fits the definition of leadership better than Mayor Parks, and therefore will be a stronger mayor, I’m voting for, and supporting his bid to become Desert Hot Springs next Mayor. Although I believe City Councilors Scott Matas and Jan Pye are good people, they have become part of the city’s problem. I think Councilman Matas’ onenote mantra of “public safety” is a case of his narrow view of our city’s problems. He has become another of City Manager Daniels robotic “yes-men,” voting “yes” on Redevelopment Agency (RDA) full-market price value purchases in a declining real estate market.

While Jan Pye is usually a thoughtful “bean-counter,” she too has been taken-in by Daniels. Jan’s automatic “yes” votes for his wasteful RDA spending proposals, and the city’s millions of dollars of RDA debt are the result. Two city council candidates that I believe will be able to think for themselves, as well as offer leadership, are Russ Martin and Terry Scheurer. Terry is a former Naval-Air-Veteran, and a businessman who serves Desert Hot Springs as a member of the Public Safety Commission. He thinks that local government should be accountable and more transparent. Russ is a retired police officer, having spent 31 years in law enforcement, and is also a member of the city’s Public Safety Commission. He knows that the city’s needed economic development goes hand-in-hand with public safety. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger summed up “leadership” perfectly when he said, “If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” – And Rightly So.


Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the relevant contributors.

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REAL ESTATE • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009


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Desert Local News • October 4, 2009


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Editiorial by Nancy Morgan • Desert Local News • October 4, 2009

Why I Became A Conservative


EDITORIAL BY NANCY MORGAN In early 1992, I heard five words that were to drastically alter the course of my life. H. Ross Perot was on TV. He held up a toilet seat and said “The government paid $700.00 for this toilet seat.” He then stated, “And this is public knowledge.” Huh? Perot then went on to outline more fascinating nuggets of information I had absolutely no knowledge of. He pulled out charts and graphs and proceeded to inform me of a world of facts to which I had never been exposed.   Having long prided myself on being informed, I decided to educate myself on all this “public knowledge.” What I found appalled and angered me. And changed my life forever.   For the first time in my life, I picked up a National Review magazine and started reading. I moved on to the Washington Times, American Spectator and various other conservative publications I had never been aware of before. The more I read, the angrier I got.   I had always assumed that if something was on TV or in the newspapers, it was correct. I always assumed that our elected officials knew better than I how to address the problems of our nation. I always assumed that my friends’ opinions were more valid and informed than mine. I was 39 years old and just finding out how incredibly naive I was.   Having lived in Los Angeles since my teens, I was never exposed to any other than the liberal point of view. I made the mistake of assuming it was the only valid view, just as millions of other Americans still do.   I had adopted the views of the herd, assuming that since everyone felt that

way, it was the right way to feel. Besides, I was too busy living my life to spend the time necessary to form my own views independently of my peers. I had taken the easy way out, accepting and spouting the currently fashionable talking points as my own. And patting myself on the back for being informed and knowledgeable. Ouch. After reveling in government approved and politically correct self esteem for so many years, the descent into humility was painful. How naive was I to have blindly accepted so many premises without question? How ignorant was I to have advocated certain positions based on face value and cheap sound bites? How stupid was I to have allowed others to manipulate and exploit my ignorance? The answer: Pretty darn stupid.   The anger I felt stemmed from finally realizing that no matter how thin the pancake, there are always two sides. And I had only been exposed to one. That didn’t set right. I felt I had been lied to my whole life. I responded by making it my mission to inform everyone I knew of the astonishing revelations I was finding on a daily basis. That was another big mistake.   I assumed everyone in my world would be just as appalled as I to find that things were not as they seemed. I studied, I amassed facts, I quoted sources, and I lectured. And I got yet another lesson in humility. Instead of applauding my efforts, my family, my friends, my husband and my co-workers sent me to the woodshed.   I soon realized that my facts took a back seat to their emotions. I found that the conservative point of view had been judged invalid years before I became aware of it. The case was already closed. Hadn’t I heard?    I persisted. “But how can you dispute these facts?” I railed. I quickly found out.

Liberals demolished my factual arguments by demonizing me, thus relieving themselves of the need to entertain or debate any facts that challenged their world view. Being stubborn as well as stupid, I continued my quest to inform one and all of the error of their way of thinking. With predictable results. Soon, everyone in my world informed me that there must be something wrong with me. Eventually, I started to believe them, and finally decided to keep my opinions to myself.   I tried. For three years, I consciously tried to keep my mouth shut. I tried to go along to get along. I failed. Long story short: I lost my husband. I no longer speak with my feminist mother and my liberal siblings. Having continued to read voraciously about all things conservative, I was exposed to the role Christianity played in our country’s founding. After further research and soul searching, I eventually became a Christian. Learning to have faith in Christ enabled me to have faith in myself - and faith in my traditional and conservative views.   Eight years after my epiphany, and 33 years after moving to Los Angeles, I sold my home and business. I said good-bye to the few friends and family I still had, and left Los Angeles for good. I knew there had to be a place in the world where I could be myself without ticking everyone off.   After a lot of searching, I finally found it. Its called Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Here in this little fishing village, I have found peace and happiness. I can identify myself as a conservative without having to go stand in the corner. Here in South Carolina, I am normal. I am also the luckiest of women. ©

Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the relevant contributors.


Desert Local News • October 4, 2009


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Desert Locl News October 4, 2009 Edition  
Desert Locl News October 4, 2009 Edition  

New DHS Boys and Girls Club civic and wellness center. Cheech and Chong, City manager report, Marion Ashley recall,