Search:

The ABC Diane Sawyer’s Bruce Jenner interview

April 26th, 2015

     The Huffington Post’s review of the ABC Diane Sawyer blockbuster interview with Bruce Jenner was less about the content and instead emphasized the style. There are two perhaps overlooked but nevertheless very important stories coming out of the great interview.

     First, of course, is the actual interview of Jenner as a Transgender person which in itself was groundbreaking in so many respects.

     The second important story is the manner in which the interview was conducted. It’s so rare for members of the 4th Estate to treat subjects and issues with genuine respect, empathy and actually listen. Far too often reporters seek the sensational and gravitate to that which will produce headlines. The Sawyer interview was the work of a truly dedicated, talented and caring journalist who clearly her viewed role as perhaps little more than a scribe taking accurate notes.

     Kudos, in fact barrels of kudos, to Diane Sawyer and ABC for the manner in which the interview was conducted and presented. It’s the type of journalism not often practiced anywhere.

Bond Shands
April 26, 2015
The Notebook at www.bondshands.com

Click here to view the Huffington Post review referenced above.

[TNR13]

Footer Bar small

[To reply select Comment or No Comments on line below.]

Bicycling Goodwill Ambassadors

April 18th, 2015


Do “Bicycling Goodwill Ambassadors” Exist?

     Bicyclists need to earn respect. I say that as one who is familiar with several modes of personal transportation for I walk 3 miles and bike 22 miles each morning plus I hike and drive an automobile. It’s from these perspectives that I’ve concluded there aren’t many “Bicycling Goodwill Ambassadors” using the walkways, bike paths and motor vehicle roadways.

     Bicycling as a legitimate mode of transportation is recognized by law (both state and local) and legal road use rights and rules exist. The majority of bicyclists appear far more familiar with those “rights” than they are with the rules and  restrictions. It is the failure of the latter that leads to a lack of respect for bicyclists among other users (motorists, runners, walkers, etc.).

     Developing and following a bicycling education safety and use code would be a good way to start earning the respect bicyclists need to earn. There’s an important list of steps that bicyclists should incorporate into their daily riding routines. They include such issues as:

  • ..  Obeying basic traffic laws (stop signs, single-file riding on public roadways, keeping to the right, using arm signals for stops and turns, riding in the traffic flow direction, etc.);
  • ..  Using a bell or other sounding method when passing others on walkways and paths;
  • ..  Riding only on pedestrian walkways posted and/or approved for that use;
  • ..  Riding single file and knowing when to occupy an entire vehicle lane and when to share it;
  • ..  Practicing courtesy and safety whenever others are present or encountered.
  • ..  Consider conduct worthy of accolades as a good role model for under age 18 riders and wear bright colors plus a safety helmet.

      A “Bicycling Goodwill Ambassador” should be one whose personal code of riding performance is worthy of respect from other users of the various transportation routes. It’s from such respect that the right flows to ask and lead the public into supporting enhancements, improvements and/or additions to the transportation route needs of the bicycling community.

     Coachella Valley bicycling benefits from many public resources devoted to promoting it as an alternative mode of transportation. There are many walkways, paths and streets that have been signed for bicycling and a new 52 mile route linking all valley cities is in the planning stages. The latter, known as CV-Link, is a $100 million dollar project that needs community support in order to surmount a number of stumbling blocks that could serve to hinder successful completion. It’s important for the bicycling community to seek ways to generate that needed community support. A “Bicycling Goodwill Ambassador” program, or something similar, should be considered in conjunction with an education outreach program to both bicyclists and the community in order to foster respect for the bicycling community. Individual bicyclists must become involved by promoting and following good cycling practices and other steps that seek to generate public respect for them and their mode of transportation. Failure to generate significant community respect may result in failure to successfully complete the proposed 52 mile CV Link bicycle route.

     Are there currently any “Bicycling Goodwill Ambassadors” in the Coachella Valley? Will there ever be an organized effort to promote respect for bicyclists and bicycling needs in the valley? Will bicycling continue to be viewed as more of a sport or casual outdoor activity than as a significant and possibly necessary transportation mode entitled to the accord and respect afforded motor vehicles? Individual bicyclists can make a difference in changing public perception of their cycling activities – will they make the effort?

Bond Shands
April 18, 2015
The Notebook at www.bondshands.com

[TNR12]

Footer Bar small

[To reply select Comment or No Comments on line below.]

Woman in Gold Movie

April 17th, 2015

 Woman in Gold – at the Camelot Theatres

      Just returned from viewing Woman in Gold at the Camelot. Despite the mixed reviews I found on the Internet, I enjoyed the movie very much. If the purpose of a movie is to inform, entertain and hold my interest, then Woman in Gold succeeded on all points. It’s the type of movie I’m happy to recommend to others. It didn’t hurt that the movie starred Dame Helen Mirren for I’m a big fan.

     Woman in Gold is a true story about an extremely valuable painting looted by the Nazi’s from the home of a Jewish family in Austria. After the war the painting was put on display in a Vienna museum where it was regarded as a priceless national treasure. The movie is about the attempts of the original owning family’s heir, Maria Altmann , living in Los Angeles, and her attorney, Randol Schoenberg,  to have her claim to ownership recognized and the painting restored to her. The painting’s value, at the conclusion of the movie, was over a $100 million dollars. Read more about the painting and its history on Wikipedia at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_in_Gold

Woman-in-GoldWoman in Gold painting
WOMAN IN GOLD Stars Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds

Bond Shands
April 17, 2015
The Notebook at www.bondshands.com

[TNR12]

Footer Bar small

[To reply select Comment or No Comments on line below.]

Palm Springs City Elections 2015

April 6th, 2015

      It’s local political season time once again in Palm Springs. This year the Mayor and two Council Seats are up for election. Already we’ve learned Mayor Steve Pougnet has a challenger in City Commissioner Robert Moon. Incumbent council member Paul Lewin is seeking another term while the other incumbent, Rick Hutcheson, has decided not to seek reelection. Announcements from challengers (for both seats) have been made by Planning Commissioner J.R. Roberts and former Equality California leader Geoff Kors.

     The five named individuals are all seen as highly qualified, experienced and knowledgeable. That will undoubtedly serve to make this year’s election one truly worthy of closely following. The expected campaign platforms and debate encounters will provide opportunities for learning about each candidate and then deciding which ones will receive votes.

     Among the “wish list” of local issues the candidates may be asked to address are the following:

1.  Palm Springs city government has many citizen boards and commissions. However there is no Finance Commission, Publics Works Commission or Streets & Transportation Commission. Should any of these city departments receive the oversight and scrutiny that would result from creation of a new city commission for their area?

2.  Motor vehicle speed limits are viewed by many as too high on several city streets. Sunrise Way, Farrell Drive, East Palm Canyon Drive, Mesquite Avenue (between Sunrise Way and East Mesquite Avenue), Ramon Road, et.al. are all examples of streets with high-speed limits. Speed limits are set using a required formula, but there are ways to achieve speed limit reductions. Should steps be taken to reduce some of the high-speed limits?

3.  There is no written Mission Statement to guide public works officials in the administration of funding and policies related to streets, bicycle paths, sidewalks and walkways. Past policies have worked to allot the majority of the funding and attention to the needs of motorized vehicles. That sometimes leads to disadvantages for non-motorized vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, runners and walkers. A Mission Statement that clearly differentiates how the share of funding, safety attention and support policies between the groups is needed.

4.  Official communications transmitting news of significant new or changed city ordinances is needed. Too often important decisions made by the City Council fail to receive adequate dissemination to the public. A recent example would be the new city water conservation ordinance that mandated changes in water use by everyone. That information should have been sent by mail (possibly a postcard) to all residents in order to alert them to the change. Each city council action should include an assessment of the type of publication it should receive.

5.  District Elections. In Palm Springs the members of the City Council are elected At-Large as opposed to election by district. In California many districts and communities have switched to election by district in order to facilitate equal representation. Should the City Council provide Palm Springs voters with a ballot option to switch to district elections or retain the existing system?

     These are but a few of the many issues that could be addressed by those seeking election this year. While it’s doubtful any would actually result in official actions, their consideration could serve to provide voters with a better understanding of what to expect from the individual candidates.

Bond Shands
April 6, 2015 (updated April 10, 2015)
The Notebook at www.bondshands.com

[TNR12]

Footer Bar small

[To reply click Comment or No Comments on line below.]

Lucy Chamberlain Art Glass Sculptures

April 6th, 2015


      I’ve long been a fan of Lucy Chamberlain Art Glass Sculptures. I first met her during a weekend outdoor art festival in Palm Springs in 2002. During the following annual festivals I continued to admire her beautiful glass art work. In 2003 I purchased my first piece. Lucy names all her large pieces and I acquired the “Rosso Mare” sculpture in 2004, followed by “Luisa” in 2005.

     This year during the La Quinta Arts Festival I visited her booth, as usual, and one of her latest designs really caught my eye. After much thought about the sculpture and its placement in my home I decided it was time to add to my collection.

     Lucy personally delivered my new art glass piece (it’s actually 14 pieces) in the week after the arts festival ended. This one bears the name “Presentare Primavera” and is the one in the photos.

Presentare Primavera_0661

     The following is from http://www,lucychamberlain.com.

Here exotic flowers, fruit, ocean and natural geological references intertwine in my �garden of the goddess�. My artwork is not meant to be realistic but something from a dream, a fantasy of brilliant form that evokes a visceral response, surprising the viewer. Most importantly, I want my glass sculptures to celebrate the material of molten glass; its forever-liquid state, the way light changes it, and it changes light. I hope the viewer will do a double-take and wonder, �Did that just move?� I work in series, with each original piece of a series related to the others by color and form. Greetings to my friends, old and new. I hope to see you in the garden.”

Bond Shands
April 6, 2015
The Notebook at www.bondshands.com

[TNR12]

Footer Bar small

[To reply please click Comment or No Comments on line below – and thanks for sharing.]