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DESERT LOCAL NEWS • November 30, 2009


Moorten Botanical Garden page 6

Idyllwild Arts

Academy page 16-17


Movie revie 9 page 18-1

Retir Cal Fir ed efighte

POW WOW 2009 Page 2



The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians 28th Annual Powwow was held at Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio Calif., near Palm Springs, on Nov. 27-29. The time-honored celebration attracted thousands of Indian and non-Indian participants and spectators from states across the United States and Canada, all of whom came to take part in the three-day event. ~ photos Dr. Allen Lawrence

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Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

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Editorial by Matt Weyuker • Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

The big issue DHS PARCEL TAX



Former DHS Mayor Matt Weyuker

BY MATT WEYUKER Well, guys, I hate to say I toldya so – BUT I TOLDYA SO! In my May 15th “Stereopsis” column, I wrote the following, “City Manager Daniels told the community’s homeowners, landowners, and business owners that the “city leaders” plan on putting the DOUBLING OF THE PARCEL TAX on the ballot sometime after the November 2009 mayor and council elections.” Councilor Jan Pye was quoted in the Desert Sun recently as saying that the city would be hiring a “community-outreachcompany” for $120,000 (enough to pay for 1 ½ additional police officers), to “educate” (that means sell) the city voters on the need for “DOUBLING THE PARCEL TAX.” Property tax paying homeowners should look at their tax bills and see that the original 10-year parcel tax of $100 has grown to $120.86 in fiscal year 20092010 – next fiscal year, 2010-2011, the PARCEL TAX will be $123.28. DOUBLING that will amount to $246.56. In 10 years the DOUBLE PARCEL TAX effective fiscal year 2011-2012 will be a whopping $294.67! Almost $300 – a $170.79 increase over the 10-year duration!

My wife and I have already received 2 phone calls from this “communityoutreach-company” asking us if we will support paying an additional $10-a-month to have more police officers on the street. Marlene, my wife received the first call and asked, “How will the DOUBLING THE PARCEL TAX be worded on the ballot? Apparently the “community-outreachcompany” doesn’t answer any questions, because this “phoner” just went about the spiel and ignored my wife’s important inquiry. The need to look at some salient facts is obvious to me, and I believe cannot be ignored when our “city leaders” place this DOUBLING OF THE PARCEL TAX on an early-in-2010 ballot. The unemployment rate in Desert Hot Springs is a staggering 19.9%, the city home foreclosure rate is a shocking 10%, (one of the highest in California), DHS residents bear the heaviest tax burden in the Coachella Valley, and both the water district and SCE have raised its fees for DHS residents. Both California and the USA are reeling under the weight of a

devastating recession and the conversely enormous debt that our governments have amassed due to its “TAX AND SPEND” policies. So the question-of-theday is this – if they consider the current economic-facts-of-life, how can the Desert Hot Springs “city leaders” even consider placing DOUBLING THE PARCEL TAX before the voters in early 2010? The “city’s leaders” have other options that they apparently have not thought to consider to maintain public safety in this city. Before casting ballots, we the voters need to ask our “city leaders” this question – “Have you considered other options, rather than continue with your expensive “TAX-AND-SPEND” choices?” The “city leaders” that we just reelected to represent us ran on a platform of “ACCOUNTABILITY.” It’s long past the time that “We The People” should hold them ACCOUNTABLE for their frivolous spending of the city’s inadequate funds. The city voter’s should reject the “DOUBLING OF THE PARCEL TAX” – And Rightly So.

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Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

s n o i n u , s n o i n U y n a r o n e r e everywh drop to drink

Editorial by Joe McKee •Desert Local News • November 30, 2009


Joe Mckee

BY JOE MCKEE I have been thinking lately about the thirty year assault on unions. I will say at the start my father was a steelworker for most of his life. I have worked in management in both union and non-union shops. I have seen both sides of this debate. I feel, for the most part, the unions have been at a real disadvantage. They have few defenders and many who feel we would be better off without them. What really peaked my interest was the juxtaposition of two arguments by the Republican Party in the last few months. At one time the party talked about the sacred nature of a contract when defending bonuses on Wall Street, and cried for the breaking of the contract that existed between the auto workers and the auto companies. No one in the media seemed to feel this was a weird situation. It was totally all right to defend people who were perhaps guilty of fraud. Wall Street creates little or nothing in the long run. They don’t make anything. They bet on the future, move money around and pay themselves well. Auto workers, on the other hand, make things. In the past cars made in this country were inferior, but now are as reliable as any in the world. Let me get this straight. According to conservatives we should protect the guys that make nothing, caused the economy to crater, and want their million dollar bonuses to be protected. On the other hand an autoworker making $60,000 a year should be ground into dust. Makes sense to me. What was hidden in this discussion was why the auto industry got into this situation. Everyone knows the line workers in the 70s and 80s were not the most

motivated workers in the world. However, the biggest problems the industry faced were not created by line workers. Bad design, building gas guzzlers in the middle of high gas prices, and a belief that the world would not change were not problems created by people assembling cars. Yeah, but what about the cost of those outrageous contracts? Two parties were involved in the contracts, management and the unions. The management team played a game revolving around the future value of money. Those in accounting circles hold that money today is worth much more than money in the future. So, what did management do? They allowed the union to increase retirement pensions and medical care. The unions did this instead of getting pay raises because they understood that working on a line, with the repetitive motion required to assemble a car or truck, broke a person down. They gladly accepted an early retirement with a good pension and medical coverage instead of a higher hourly wage. So, during this time management got huge bonuses and stock options. Everyone was happy. But, there were two assumptions that threw this out of whack. First, the companies believed that they would continue to sell cars and trucks at the same rate forever. Their volumes dropped. Second, it was never believed that health care costs rise 250% in ten years. It was a perfect storm. Blame the unions. Something else was occurring during this time. Making things became less important. Economists on the right stated

that the loss of our manufacturing base wasn’t a problem. We would all become knowledge workers. Let the Chinese make everything. We will just move money around and use our brains. Now we know the truth. A person in China or India is just as capable in the area of knowledge as we are. And they are cheaper at that game too. Why pay a computer programmer in Silicon Valley a hundred thousand dollars a year when you can hire one in India for thirty thousand dollars a year? It is interesting to me that at the end of my career, when I was in charge of the maintenance and engineering departments of four factories, when adjusted for inflation I was making about the same in salary as my father when he retired as a union maintenance worker 20 years earlier. In the 30 years since the assault on unions began our standard of living has dropped. Both adults in our families must now work, sometimes two jobs, to provide the life that one could provide in the past. The real wages of middle class Americans have not improved in 30 years, blame the unions. The rich get richer, blame the unions. We move our manufacturing overseas, blame the unions. We need to stop looking for scapegoats now, and fix our problems. We need a manufacturing base for both our national security and to create higher paying jobs for most of our population. We need to talk about what is enough. Should we continue to reward the super rich at the expense of the majority? Warren Buffet continually complains his secretary pays a higher percentage of income tax than he does. Is that what we are about? Oh, I forgot blame the unions.


Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

A Visit to the Moorten Botanical Garden

Clark Moorten

Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten, a self-taught botanist and his wife Patricia started the business in 1938, and his son Clark Moorten now manages it.

Story and Photos by Janet Walker Living the good life in the desert by Palm Springs, Calif., causes the rest of the country to think we are spoiled. I really can’t disagree. Right now, many botanical gardens on the East Coast are closed, but Moorten Botanical Garden at 1701 Palm Canyon Dr. in Palm Springs welcomes visitors on a daily basis. If you have fallen in love with the proliferation of unique and unusual plants that the desert has produced, you will feel right at home at the Garden. Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten, a selftaught botanist and his wife Patricia started the business in 1938, and his son Clark Moorten now manages it. The amazing variety of succulents, cacti and exotic trees fascinate visitors, and harkens back to times that were less intense, when passing celebrities on a garden path was no big deal, and the focus was on a pleasant afternoon. Moorten knows his plants and rattles off the various names lickety-split. I personally loved the beautiful Agave specimen, and the many Golden Barrels that seemed to huddle together. An odd-looking root type plant called Adenium swazicum reminded me of what might have resulted from a Modligiani/

Picasso collaboration. But there is more: flowering Stapelia, Bombax, Mammilaria, Welwitschia, Cleistocactus straussii, Wax Plant, and a Palo Verde Tree. You’ll forgive me if I don’t go into further detail, since there are more than 2,000 varieties to peruse. Moorten’s green thumb is put to work by propagating some of his stock so that the public can purchase their favorites for their own yards. The mention of the forebodingsounding Echinopsis Chameracaus made me a little uneasy, although it only means “Peanut Cactus.” Other varieties were less intimidating, such as “Fairy Castle.” Crates of Echeveria and Kalanchoe waited for pickup by gardeners promoting the desert theme. Moorten’s Botanical Garden is a place that puts the mind at ease, and nudges the memory to reflect on Palm Springs when the living was truly easy. Maybe it was all the shades of lavender, purple and green, or that the admission was very reasonable, but when I left it was with an immense sense of calm. For more about Janet Walker’s visit to the Moorten Botanical Garden, go to www.

DESERT LOCAL 4, 30, 20092009 Desert LocalNEWS News• FEBRUARY • November



Desert Local News • November 30, 2009 Carson Daly, Pattie Daly Caruso, Jim and Jackie Lee Houston, and Andy Duvall

Desert Samaritans for the Elderly Honor Pattie Daly Caruso STORY AND PHOTOS BY PAT KRAUSE


Pattie Daly Caruso ~photos Pat Krause

Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries

he Desert Samaritans for the Elderly held their 18th Annual Gala at the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 21. This black-tie awards dinner comes with a silent auction and great entertainment. The 2009 Good Samaritan honor went to our local diva, Pattie Daly Caruso, with Jackie Lee and Jim Houston co-chairing the event. The Houstons were honored with this same award in 2002. Hors d’oeuvers and refreshments were served during the cocktail hour. During dinner, there was a slideshow on large screens on both sides of the room. The photos shown were testimonials from men and women who have been helped by this very worthwhile charity. Scott Kiner was the master of ceremonies with Judy Vossler and Jack Fitzgerald announcing the award, Vossler and Fitzgerald came up with a poem, which they asked the audience to participate, that told of Daly Caruso’s life. Then they presented Daly Caruso with a special plaque honoring her. State Sen. John Benoit sent a proclamation honoring Daly Caruso. Daly Caruso came on stage to accept her award. She thanked the Desert Samaritans for all their good work in the community and many others that were so instrumental in nominating her for this award. Then she thanked her family and said she was so glad that they took time from their busy lives to attend this event that was bestowed on her. She hoped her grandbabies would someday become

Samaritans. A few of her close relatives came from far away to be with her on this special day. She mentioned that her grandmother told her to always be joyful and gracious. She took that advice to heart and thanked her grandmother for those words. Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries provided entertainment. The band played popular music from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. The songs of the era brought people to the dance floor. A few brave souls started the dancing and soon the dance floor was full of dancers. Desert Samaritans for the Elderly is a nonprofit organization and all donations are 100 percent deductible. Kiner mentioned that many elderly live on less that $800 a month. They get 200 to 300 calls a month for help with utilities, food, rent, medications, transportation, glasses, dental care, wheelchairs and other medical supplies. These are all services provided by Desert Samaritans for the Elderly, plus so many other amenities. If they get a call and are unable to provide that service, they will find a charity or service that can help. On one occasion, a woman needed to move to a cheaper apartment and had no furniture. They found a business that was willing to donate furniture. There were other stories of Samaritans helping with other necessities of life to the elderly. That is what they do. For more about this story, go to www.

Lunchtime With Fire Chief Dean Veik Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

Fire Chief Dean Veik BY LESLIE ANDREWS

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CACitizens and civic leaders got a chance on Monday to eat lunch with Desert Hot Springs Fire Chief Dean Veik at the Sidewinder Bar and Grill to talk about anything concerning the way the fire department is running. Though a small turnout, the questions were effective and the Chief had no problem answering the people’s concerns over security systems and 911 services. Some were older residents who relied on Life Alert monitoring systems, which are supposed to dispatch a paramedic to their home in the event of an emergency. Others were concerned about how 911 works and how dispatchers are not yet equipped (or not always equipped) with GPS navigational devices if calling from a cellular phone.

DHSCM Rick Daniels

“It was put together by the Chamber of Commerce and I appreciate it every much. I am happy to see the public and the community come out and it was nothing but a positive experience,” said Veik.


Dr. Ross Also, the Fire Chief talked about mentoring programs for the city’s youth, ranging from the Boy Scouts Of America’s Explorer Program (for ages 14-21) and homework programs for kids who have learning disabilities. Not to mention a community-donated “Lunch with a Firefighter” program, where members of the fire department would have sit down and have lunch with school-aged children. City Manager Rick Daniels praised the Chief for his efforts, which also included moving the North Palm Springs Fire Station to the Skyborne area on Karen Avenue and Pierson Boulevard, without costing the city much money. Also, there were talks about a future fire station to be built in the East part of Desert Hot Springs, near the Hacienda Heights neighborhood. Chief Veik oversees the Desert Hot Springs Fire Station as well as the Skyborne Station and the Sky Valley Station.


Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

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Desert Local News • November 30, 2009


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Desert Local News • November 30, 2009                                     

Golf Tournament Hosted by the 

What:     When:          Where: 

Who:           Why: 

Del Rosa Hotshots



2nd Annual Del Rosa Hotshot Alumni Golf Tournament    (18 Hole scramble tournament format) 



January 23rd, 2010    10:30 AM Check‐in    11:30 AM Putting Contest    12:30 Shotgun Start 

San Bernardino Golf Club  1494 S. Waterman Ave  San Bernardino, CA, 92408 

Del Rosa Hotshot Alumni, Family, Friends, and fellow Firefighters 



We only have 144 spots open! So call to reserve your spot ASAP!  The Deadline to register is January 10th, 2010.  To raise money for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. The WFF is a non‐profit  organization which helps out the families of fallen wildland firefighters. 



$100 per person ‐ Includes:  18 holes of golf w/ cart  Practice range balls  Texas B.B.Q. Buffet  (Checks payable to Del Rosa Hotshot Alumni)   st



Prizes for 1 , 2 , and 3  place teams, raffle ticket winners, longest drive, closest to the  pin, putting contest winner, and much more.   Tee sponsors are available for $100 a hole. Call if interested. 


For additional information contact:    David Borero  work phone: (909) 383‐5567 or cell phone:   (909) 915‐5803        E‐mail:    Neil Gamboa  work phone: (909) 382‐2980 or cell phone: (951) 318‐1327        E‐mail: 

Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

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Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

Story by Connie Vargas Photos by Renee Vargas In the mountains above Palm Springs, Calif., the Idyllwild Arts Academy presented their Fall Dance Concert to an audience of 250 friends, family and guests from other communities on Thursday, Nov. 19. Students ranging in age from 14 to 18 performed an impressive array of classical ballet, contemporary modern, post modern and jazz dance. The first dance was “Pas De Six” from Sleeping Beauty. Six young ladies danced in harmony with each other, which in the eyes of ballet lovers was just superb. “Decote” was next. Eight dancers performed this contemporary piece with two male dancers commanding and complimenting the female dancers on the stage.

The jazz piece “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” performed by five female and one male dancer, reflects a performance you would see in “All That Jazz” or “Chorus Line.” A delightful holiday dance “Snow Scene” from the Nutcracker Swings, a jazzy swing ballet performed by 12 dancers with costumes donated by the City Ballet of Los Angeles. This piece will be performed on Dec. 19 at the Historical Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles as part of the City Ballet of Los Angeles’ performance of “The Nutcracker Swings.” But when it came to “Said the Spider to the Fly,” the audience was held in awe by David Strong, the Fly. He nearly out flew the Spider Queen, Tramayne Pauillac-Johnson, but she held her own

with her company of five Arachnids and he finally succumbs to their performance. The outstanding choreography was by Jonathan Sharp of the Dance Faculty. “Strata” was the last performance of the evening, a combination of modern, tribal and acrobatic dance. I hated to see the show come to an end, but Justin Patchett, the sole male dancer in this last performance, lifted the female dancers with such grace and ease he left the audience with a longing for more. The females were no less commanding in their ability to interpret the music and perform acrobatics. For more about the Fall Dance Concert, go to

Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

All Photos by Renee Vargas



Movie Review by Leslie Andrews Desert Local News Nov. 30, 2009

Desert Local News • November 30, 2009


MOVIE REVIEW BY LESLIE ANDREWS Although the movie has been out for a few weeks now, on Sunday I went to go see the film “2012”, which has gotten rave reviews and sparked an interest in curiosity, as there were several people at the theater that day. The film begins in India where a scientist in 2009 was discovering that the world was changing weather conditions quite rapidly. This same scientist was close friends with one who was a member of the White House Staff, and he told the President in 2010 that the world was ending, based on his findings. By 2011, the Chinese Government was building escape pods as a top secret project, and one man promised his Grandmother that he will save her as well as the rest of his family. When 2012 strikes, Jackson Curtis (played by John Cusak), a struggling writer whose book caught the attention of the same White House scientist, takes his children to Yellowstone National Park for the weekend, only to find the lake had evaporated. He then comes in contact with a crazed radio geek who has been telling stories on the radio about the world’s ending that same year. “The Mayans were the first civilization to discover that the Earth had an expiration date,” he said. Jackson takes his children home to their mother, whom he has been separated from for a while. This is in Santa Monica, California, where all of a sudden, massive earthquakes happened. Jackson and the entire family, including the mother’s boyfriend, (a breast enlargement surgeon) managed to escape the chaos and run to an airport where they took control of an airplane, managing to fly to safety. In Las Vegas, they stop due to running out of fuel, and manage to befriend a Russian billionaire and his family. They take their plane, which is like a tank compared to the one they were flying on previously. While Jackson’s family managed to stay safe in the air, the Earth was rotating rapidly, switching poles almost instantaneously. This was causing Nuclear Winter and all of the White House staff (excluding the President) got on board Air Force One to this secret location in China.

One all the people arrived in China, Jackson and his family managed to stow away on one of the escape pods, which carried animals as well as people. Masses were trying to force themselves into these pods and despite not having enough supplies, they managed to survive the end times once Earth’s massively changing weather patterns settled down. Watching this movie, it reminded me of the all-too-well-known story of Noah and the Ark. Two of every animal boarded the ship, as well as a chosen amount of people as God flooded the Earth for 40 days and 40 nights. This happened thousands of years ago. But many wonder, is the end really near? Scientifically, the world cannot shift poles overnight. It’s a 28,000 year process, as scientists reported earlier this decade. “The Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another. The message they give concerns our making a choice of how we enter the future ahead,” said one website, relating to the Mayan calendar. The American Atheists refer to this date as December Fool’s Day. They quote on their site, “On December 22, 2012, after the world has not exploded, or been hit my a meteor, or been overcome by aliens, we will have a party just to make fun of the people who wasted time, stress, and money on this non-event, and we will immediately reset the clock for the next predicted end-of-the-world -- and there will be a next one.” Remember Y2K? People predicted that the year 2000 was going to the be end of the world. That day has long passed and nothing happened. About a trillion dollars was spent globally to be “prepared” and most of it was all a waste of time. Overall, I think 2012 was a very entertaining film, comparable to Will Smith’s “Independence Day” (1996) and Bruce Willis’s “Armageddon”, which were nothing more than Hollywood exaggerations brought to light. Fear not, my friends, the world will survive past December 22, 2012.


Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

l a C d e r i t e R l a Annu rs Luncheon e t h g Firefi

Story by Connie Vargas Photos by Renee Vargas

I am a retired Cal Firefighter and attended the annual luncheon for retired fire fighters held at the new Cal Fire Clark training center in Riverside, Calif., near Palm Springs. Thursday, Nov. This group meets monthly at the Sizzler Steakhouse in Perris as well. Retired firefighters from many parts of the state had lunch with the Riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins. Hawkins gave an update as to the fire season plus some upcoming events. Carlo Guthrie, who lost her husband in a fire in 1959, gave an update as to the firefighters memorial dedicated to California firefighters killed in the line of duty. This includes those who died while fighting wild land fires. The memorial is located on the Ortega Highway, Highway

74 just West of Lake Elsinore. Chopper 301 from Hemet’s Ryan Field landed the way back from a rescue, so we old timers could see how much the fire department has changed through the years. There was also a brand new $800,000 fire engine to be used in case of massive casualties. It was the biggest engine I have ever seen. This new unit will be ready for service shortly after it is outfitted with an additional $800,000 in equipment. It will be ready for use anywhere in the county. Many of the old timers, myself included, look back 50 years remembering how it was back then. In Riverside County 50 years ago, there were only 23 fire stations; now there are nearly 100 fully staffed stations.

Back in the old days, we drove a lot of used World War II six-cylinder engine fire trucks. Our uniform was khaki pants and shirt, and a tin helmet furnished by the state. Now, firefighters are protected with the most modern equipment available. It is always a thrill to meet old friends with whom I worked with so many years ago. However, it is ever so sad to find old friends who fail to show up for the annual lunch. Nonetheless, the ranks will never completely thin, as there are always new faces joining the ranks of us retired. We old timers have stories to tell that the new men will top in years to come. For more about the Retired Firefighters Luncheon, go to www.PalmSpringsGuides. com

Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

Retired Firefighters ~photos by Renee Vargas


Monsters of Classic Rock


Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

By Denise Ortuno Neil Photos by Renee Vargas


potlight 29 Casino, near Palm Springs, Calif., rocked out Saturday night. Nov. 21, when The Monsters of Classic Rock took the stage. Former members from classic rock bands like AC/ DC, The Steve Miller Band and Huey Lewis and the News assembled to perform the best of the best songs from the groups’ glory days. Songs such as “Space Cowboy,” “Power of Love” and “Keep on Rockin’ Me Baby,” were executed with harmonic precision. The members of the band consisted of Chris Slade from AC/ DC on drums; Mario Cipollina from Huey Lewis and the News on bass; Greg Douglass from The Steve Miller Band on guitar; Terry Ilous from XYZ, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath on lead vocals; and Sam McCaslin on

keyboards. Douglass joked around when he tried to explain how the band got together, suggesting that the idea was hatched when they all resided at a nursing home, poking fun at their mature status. But if they came from a nursing home, it must have been the coolest one of its kind anywhere. It’s apparent that these guys love what they do, as Douglass surmised, ”You got to love the music business.” What was most impressive about the show was the amount of heart the band put forth. Most concerts play a program of songs, then have a finale number that seems extra long, kind of like the fireworks finale at the end of a Fourth of July celebration. But this band played every song that way, making their performance that much more awesome. Another highlight

was the solos in which they engaged with one that earned drummer Slade a standing ovation. The crowd gathered towards the stage and sang along as the band rounded out the night with a generous encore belting out the ultra crowd pleaser, “All Right Now.” The Monsters of Classic Rock concert was highly entertaining and gave me a new found appreciation for Classic Rock. So cheers to the bands continued success and let’s hope that they keep “Rockin’ On!” For more about the Monsters of Classic Rock, go to www.

Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

Chris Slade ~photos by Renee Vargas

Greg Douglass,Chris Slade, Erry Ilous,Mario Cipollina ~photos by Renee Vargas


24 BY LESLIE ANDREWS INDIAN WELLS, CA- It was a night for local stars shining brightly in the desert as the Songwriters Experience seminar kicked off in full gear Tuesday night at the Indian Wells Resort Hotel. Several local participants, including local band Caxton played at least three songs apiece, promoting themselves as well as their own CDs. Of course, no local performance is complete without an appearance from the Coachella Valley’s very own Brad Mercer of KDGL (The Eagle) 106.9 FM getting a chance to perform his own material, plus one cover of a Tom Petty song. Other special guests included Ronnie King and John Stanley King (brothers), plus Frank D. Wright, a giant in the songwriting industry. And the event was hosted by Danny Sheridan, who played along with some of the other artists. “I think this is fantastic, you have great opportunities with emerging talent. That’s what we’re doing. We’re helping structure writers to get to the point of getting their material published or to artists that could sell records,” said Wright. Robert Brondell was the organizer of this event. “The talent is amazing in this valley. We give them a forum to participate. This was a lovely night. Every week has been getting better and better,” he said. “You come and play and get good stuff. You can get good help here. Our seminar in December is all about having that possibility.” For those of musicians out there who wish to participate, another jam session will happen on Tuesday, December 1st at the same location at 5:00 p.m. Plus, the Songwriters Seminar will happen on December 10th, 11th and 12th. Tickets for the three day event run from $99-199. For more information, visit HYPERLINK “http://” www. (Editor’s note: Leslie Mariah Andrews from Desert Local News was also a participant, playing three of her own songs herself!!!)

Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

A Night For Local Songwriters: Seminar Kicks Off In Full Gear



Melissa Manchester at The Annenberg Theater • Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

Melissa Manchester at The Annenberg Theater

STORY AND PHOTOS BY PAT KRAUSE Melissa Manchester performed at the Annenberg Theater in the Palm Springs Art Museum on Saturday, Nov. 28. The theater was filled to capacity, with many fans coming from as far away as Los Angeles just to hear Manchester sing. This small, intimate theater is special and the desert is blessed to have it for these kinds of performances. Melissa is such a varied performer, listing songwriting, singing, acting and performing on Broadway to her list of accomplishments. On her road in music, she has had the pleasure of working with some of the top names in show business and has collaborated with the best in songwriting. Her skill as a pianist was evident in this show. Melissa started out the evening playing the piano and singing “Through the Eyes of Love” accompanied by one man on a keyboard. It takes a certain talent to be able to sing to only the piano and keyboard and still get the audience moved. A voice like that is a force with which to be reckoned. There was a backup singer on only a few songs and once a guitar was used for musical back up. She thanked the Art Museum for inviting her to this beautiful venue and also thanked the audience for supporting this wonderful theater. She said she had an epiphany at the age of 5 listening to Ella Fitzgerald. She was so engrossed in that song that she wanted to live in that kind of world. She sang “Lady Be Good” like she heard it back then. She mentioned the Desert was so cold and not the way she had envisioned it. Then she sang, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me

Warm.” She also sang many of her top hits such as,, “Well, Hello There,” “Coming In From the Rain,” “One More Time,” “Midnight Blue” and “Angels Dancing.” There was a short intermission when she changed her gown. She realized there was no Hanukkah song so she wrote one called, “Let There Be More Light.” Melissa mentioned she had a friend with breast cancer, so she co-wrote, “The Power of a Ribbon” that can be purchased online for 99 cents, and all the proceeds going to breast cancer research. She said she had given up her career of going on the road to raise her children. She wrote lyrics for many animated films and co-wrote many other songs for other artists during that time. She wrote ditties for her children, but they were not impressed. She co-wrote a song called “A Mother’s Prayer” that was her encore song after a standing ovation brought her back on stage. The lyrics are words that parents feel but are unable to communicate, a “WOW” song. Fans were able to meet her and buy a signed autographed CD in the theater lobby after the show. She had her new CD, “When I Look Down That Road,” available for purchase. Looking down the road she has taken was the theme for this night’s performance. For more about Melissa Manchester’s performance at the Annenberg Theater, go to

CRIME REPORT by Vicki Lawson • Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

Teen Arrested For Abusing Toddler, Letting Her Die


BY VICKI LAWSON BLYTHE, CAA Ripley teen was arrested on Monday after police discovered that he abused a child he was caring for, causing her death. At 7:22 a.m. on that day, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Colorado River Station responded to a medical aid in the 24000 block of School Road, in the unincorporated community of Ripley. When the deputies arrived, they discovered paramedics from the Cal-Fire performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a 20-month-old female child. Deputies also observed injuries to the child that were consistent with abuse. The child was transported to the Palo Verde Community Hospital in Blythe and pronounced deceased at 8:00 a.m.

The child was later identified as Sabrina Prieto. Based on her injuries, investigators from the Colorado River Station and the Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation. The investigation determined the child was in the care and custody of a 16-yearold male juvenile. The male juvenile was subsequently arrested for homicide and booked into Juvenile Hall in Indio, California. Due to the suspect’s age, his identity is being withheld. Anyone having information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Inv. James Merrill of the Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777 or the Colorado River Station at (760) 927-7900.

Police and Deputies Foil Bank Robbery In East Valley

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BY VICKI LAWSON COACHELLA, CA- Police managed to stop a bank robbery from happening at a Coachella bank on Tuesday, catching the suspect in the act. On Tuesday, investigators from the Coachella Police and the Indio Sheriff’s Department arrested Steve Fernandez, age 24 of Mecca for attempted robbery and solicitation to commit robbery. Investigators received information that Fernandez was planning to rob a Coachella business owner while that owner was making a deposit at a local bank, located at the 49-000 block of

Grapefruit Boulevard. Investigators intercepted Fernandez outside the bank before the robbery occurred. Fernandez was found in possession of a BB gun, which was a replica of a 9mm pistol, concealed in his waistband. He was wearing sunglasses and a ski cap. No one was injured during the incident. Fernandez was booked at the Riverside County Jail in Indio for attempted robbery and solicitation to commit a robbery. His bail was set at $100,000.00 Fully Air Conditioned Salon • Open 7 days


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Indian PowWow at FANTASY SPPRINGS • Desert Local News • November 30, 2009

The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians 28th Annual Powwow


Story by Denise Ortuno Neil Photos courtesy of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians 28th Annual Powwow was held at Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio Calif., near Palm Springs, on Nov. 27-29. The time-honored celebration attracted thousands of Indian and nonIndian participants and spectators from states across the United States and Canada, all of whom came to take part in the three-day event. Powwows in the past have been predominantly held in the spring to signify a new beginning, but as time passed, powwows have been extended and also take place at the end of the year for attendance convenience and also for harvest time. Powwows incorporate a multitude of traditions and are significant in the Native American culture, bringing tribal members together to dance and sing, maintain friendships and cultivate new ones, all with a strong sense of ancestral respect and heritage. The event holds a Grand Entry and

Bird Singing at different times each day of the celebration. The Grand Entry opens the powwow, utilizing the style of a rodeo procession, but with an awesome display of vibrant colors and an inspiring presence of tribal pride. All competitors take part in the parade of dancers, which also gives them an occasion to earn points from the judges. They are judged on different criteria depending on the style of dance. The men’s categories are, Traditional Dance, Grass Dance and Fancy Dance. All the dances represent different story lines from battles to hunting. The women are judged similarly with a Traditional Dance, Fancy Shawl Dance and the Jingle Dress Dance. One common thread of the judging of the dancers both male and female, is their ability to have both feet on the ground when the music stops, a talent that requires much attention and practice.. For more about the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians 28th Annual Powwow, go to

Desert Local News • November 30, 2009



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Desert Local News Nov. 30, 2009 Edition  

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Powwow 2009 Desert Hot Springs local news

Desert Local News Nov. 30, 2009 Edition  

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Powwow 2009 Desert Hot Springs local news