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Honored by the NRA!

August 31st, 2014

Once again I’ve received a communication via U.S. Postal Service from the National Rifle Association of America. This time they’ve chosen me “to represent gun owners in your area” by completing a “2014 National Gun Owner’s ACTION SURVEY” on their behalf.

The ACTION SURVEY consists of twelve Yes-No-No opinion questions about the Second Amendment to our United States Constitution, about guns, or gun owners, the Obama gun-ban agenda, and the NRA. The survey form includes a carbon copy for me to file with my records. And it has an eight-digit Registration Number.

I’m not a gun owner!. Nevertheless, the NRA has additionally honored me by providing an invitation to join their organization. They’ve offered to reduce their normally $35 one year membership term fee to $25. And, if I quickly take advantage of their generous offer, they will send me a “FREE NRA Pocketknife!”.

Fortunately the ACTION SURVEY, the reduced membership fee offer and the promise of a “FREE NRA Pocketknife!” don’t appear to have an expiration date so there’s no need for an immediate decision on my part. However, the accompanying letter does urge me to Act Now! For now I think I’ll just bask in the limelight that accompanies the honor of having been chosen to represent gun owners in my area. Even though I know almost nothing about guns (but I did own a B-B Gun once), will do my best to represent my gun-owning constituents.

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Pageant of the Masters Excursion Report

August 7th, 2014

Spent most of yesterday in Laguna Beach with my good friend Andrea. She and I often take bus trip excursions together and the one yesterday via Cardiff Tours was a repeat of an earlier trip with the Palm Springs Frontrunners & Walkers organization.

This year’s Pageant of the Masters presentation is titled “the Art Detective” and is being performed in the outdoor Festival of the Arts bowl. Since a dark theater area is required the performances don’t start until 8:30 pm and end around 11 pm with one 15 minute intermission. The Pageant productions are a series of artistic masterworks displayed on a stage in which the human figures in the display have been replaced by appropriately costumed performers. Midway through the performance the audience is treated to an open stage view of how a famous artwork is reproduced on stage that shows how a canvas background, a special frame, just the right lighting and costumed performers are able to create a very good visual reproduction of the actual painting. Fifteen masterwork visual copies comprised the evening’s performance. The annual Pageant has a two-month run each July and August. I saw my first Pageant performance in 2002 and this one was my fourth time. Have always enjoyed the presentations.

Our bus left Palm Desert at 1 pm and we arrived at Laguna Beach’s art festival complex by 3:30 pm. Free shuttle buses provide transportation and serve as a good way to see much of Laguna Beach. We rode one and then shopped the main street’s varied retail establishments. Afterwards had an early dinner on the beachfront deck of the Ocean View Bar and Grill. Good food and excellent location for people watching along with viewing beach, ocean and a portion of the waterfront activities.

We next returned to the Festival of the Arts area and spent time looking at all the artwork and other handiwork offerings on display and for sale. In the center of the area an almost genuine grass section was filled with tables and chairs in front of a stage from which live musical performances were occurring. Folks seated at the tables appear to have brought their own tablecloths, wine and food (or purchased it in the nearby food stands) to consume while listening to the music, people watching or enjoying table conversation. A really nice little venue and entry to that section of the festival area is included in the Pageant’s ticket price.

I’m an early riser and I believe Andrea is one as well. Our return home (it was 2 am when I reached my place) meant we both had experienced a 20+ hour day. Was surprised when I woke around 7 am this morning for had expected to remain asleep a bit longer. But, as some may guess, no bicycle ride this morning for me. Plan to simply enjoy a quiet day.

August 7, 2014

Desert Water Agency Forced To Adopt Mandatory Water Restrictions

August 6th, 2014

Desert Water Agency (DWA) serves the communities of Palm Springs and Cathedral City. They’ve been the subject of ongoing controversy because of their perceived reluctance to enact, promote, monitor and enforce significant water conservation measures needed to address the state-wide emergency drought needs. However, the State of California recently required all local water agencies to activate their emergency water ordinances. The Desert Sun local newspaper reported in their recent “Desert Water Agency adopts mandatory water restrictions” story that the DWA board has finally recognized the need to address the drought conservation needs.

The newspaper’s story could also have been titled “Desert Water Agency Forced To Adopt Mandatory Water Restrictions“. It’s a simple fact that Desert Water Agency (DWA) did not want to impose any form of mandatory water conservation measures. They finally did so because California water officials ordered all local water agencies to implement their emergency drought water ordinances.

The DWA emergency water ordinance is one of the least restrictive in the state. It covers the minimum that should be done to address water drought conditions. The agency’s Board of Directors could have added some teeth to their 1980’s emergency ordinance but instead chose to do nothing in terms of amendment to add needed provisions.

The DWA board could have added provisions to address irrigation water runoff into gutters – but they didn’t!

The DWA board could have added provisions to address water waste that will occur during the upcoming grass scalping season – but they didn’t!

The DWA board could have added provisions to enforce their “mandatory” restrictions ordinance – but they didn’t!

The DWA board could have held a meeting in which they genuinely sought public input that would receive their attention and foster meaningful actions on their part – but they didn’t!

Instead of producing an ordinance the fully addresses the current drought’s need for strong and effective mandatory water use restrictions, DWA has passed the buck to the City of Palm Springs. They plan to encourage Palm Springs officials to enact all the water restriction measures that DWA failed to address.

I applaud the State of California for addressing the state-wide drought and forcing local water agencies to implement mandatory water use controls.

I applaud the City of Palm Springs for the steps they have already taken to address water conservation issues in our community.

I applaud the fact that a few water conservation use restrictions are now in place.

Kudos to all those genuinely responsible for these timely and necessary actions.

August 6, 2014