Friday, May 31, 2019

RUSD STEM MEETING

YOU CAN'T SPELL MONEY W/O “O” -

BSC, CA – Birds of prey are anti-birds. These birds chase away or feast on other, smaller, unaware birds who aren't of the same feather. Birds of prey are easy to spot in nature, but in human nature that is usually not the case, since people tend to see with their ears. This is the reason for an 'oversight committee'. If everyone was going to Heaven there would be no need for such groups, but alas, this just isn't the case.


In 2016, the Riverside voters were sold Measure O, a band-aid of upgrades, safety issues, and repairs to rundown elementary schools around this town. Voters were rallied by two political groups, both pro Measure O. Riverside is an old city and the heart of the county. Government buildings, like domes, are everywhere. The city gets what it wants, except when it doesn't. It is the job of the Measure O Citizens Oversight Committee to make sure the measure's intent of what the people's tax money is spent on, is what was promised in selling that tax to the public.

The Committee is unelected but not unaware of school board members, so public input is vital, and this includes the students at UCR, whose future is touched by this issue through, yep, you guessed it – money [for soccer fields]. Even given this final exam period, four students did manage to come late but had to leave before the Committee meeting finished. This was a far cry from the first meetings which were at UCR.

The issue of a brand new STEM high school on the UCR campus has push-back from the neighborhood, from parents and students polled, from the environmental report, even from some of the men on the School Board, but James Brown is dead. This ain't A Man's World anymore. The side I wrote in with was balanced, two female lawyers and two men, one of whom wrote a letter to the district, and the other, Kevin Dawson, spoke on behalf of the students who had to leave.

On the evening's agenda was the update on Measure O Projects, with the controversial STEM High School at the current site moving forward as if there is no outcry. This seems to fall on deaf ears at RUSD and the meetings held at UCR. An advocate for the current STEM HS plan left after five minutes into the meeting which went overtime by an hour and a half. Is 'the fix' in, or did this 'church lady' type hit the trail at seeing the public speakers present, none of whom was pro-UCR/STEM project?


Though the public input group was small, the thoughtful queries put forth by Committee member Jason Hunter, neighborhood warrior and UCR grad, Kevin Dawson, the other lady lawyer who has a child who could be affected by redirected funds, and neighborhood lawyer, Letitia Pepper. Four UCR students did show up but didn't get their speaker cards turned in to count. They did stay long enough to get the gist.

And the gist is this. Has the school board pulled a 'bait and switch' on the voters by including the STEM/UCR plan in the group of fast-tracked updates presented to Committee members [and the public attendees]? The STEM plans were the last update shown in the color project update booklet.

This is exactly the question the OC committee wants to School Board to answer in their query on whether the focus of Measure O has been tweaked to emphasize completely new construction like the STEM HS program slated for UCR.

The other question for the School Board is about what funding is available for their own independent law representation for the Committee rather than the School Board's San Fran Measure lawyer who was present to 'guide' the Committee on options and meanings of semi-colon use [you had to be there for this Bill Clintonisque moment].

Some of you may wonder just what drives the burning desire to get a STEM HS on UCR's campus is all about. The reasoning is simple. It is about attracting money, state money, and getting a prime reason for married professors to teach at UCR. The campus STEM HS would be available for any UCR professor living outside of Riverside with their kids, to access. After high school these same kids have rubber stamp entry into UCR, giving the elite students sway over any local [Riverside] applications while attracting a better, more stable staff to the University.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Ghost in the Attic - A Book Review


It’s not easy being the new kid. It’s never easy switching schools midway through the year. It is the WORST when you are the new kid in the middle of the year and on the first day, you catch the eye if the school bully.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

FINAL EXAM FOR HIGH SCHOOL COLLEGE

STEM STUDENT SHOWDOWN –

BSC, CA – It started out like any myth, “This tax measure will fix a certain undeniable problem...” But after the vote the people with your gold make rules, unless you speak up. Make no mistake, it may be your future, UCR undergrads, but you are being cut out as sure as the working class residents of the surrounding area. All by people who don't live in the area using your tax dollars as they want to. This is your first final exam in real life, as a voter.


Here's the skinny on how you can pack the place. Wednesday, 4:30-6:30, 3rd floor, RUSD Office. Address corner of 14th and Lime, or 3380 14thStreet, across from Jack In The Box. This is the Measure O Oversight Committee Meeting and the issue of using 'Measure O' money to build the STEM High School [on the UCR Campus] is on the meeting agenda.

Please help spread the word as this is a bad idea all around and does noting to alleviate the already parking situation for commuters or address the housing situation for students. The more you research the issue, the worse it becomes right down to the environment, which is both physically toxic [being close to a toxic waste site] and morally toxic by diverting money for needed repairs to serving as a project grant for gifted, not underprivileged students.

Here is where this fight started.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Deceased and Desist - A Book Review


Tallie Graver was making a name for herself as a cleaning lady extraordinaire in her native central Pennsylvania. She even landed the window cleaning job at the Crossing Bridge Inn for the grand reopening. Just when Tallie thought life might be evening out, she finds herself atop a wobbly ladder staring into the unblinking eyes of a stranger. Seconds later, she is on the ground soaking wet and thoroughly confused.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE

WILEY Y. DANIEL – R.I.P.

BSC, CA – In a strange weekend which began last story, on the Friday before the wedding, I received news that my first cousin had passed away. For about 48 hours this part of my life was bottled up, now I get to talk about my cousin, one of the family members I was most proud of. Wiley was a Colorado Supreme Court Judge. This is not an everyday occupation, but we never talked about that. I did visit him a few times at where he worked, especially after 911. The guards chuckled at seeing my pipe show up on the x-ray machine.

Most of the time I saw Wiley, either as I was going through Denver, or was visiting him. In my stays there over the years, we rarely talked about his work [lawyer] or career [judge], but I saw his environment. And we never talked politics or culture. We had grown up almost as brothers since birth, only being a year apart. So when we got together as adults, we didn't have to talk about the world, we just talked about stuff. Sports sometimes, if the time was right.


One visit I showed him an old trick learned from having 'city cars' that got his jeep started. Plus he was always a gracious host, both he and his wife, Ida. Like all of my family I am proud of, I have to admit, having a judge in the family is better than a doctor. Wiley represented the 'silent minority' of blacks you don't hear of normally, unless they get famous like Clarence Thomas. These are successful blacks, raised by two professional parents, who graduated college, then went on to the highest possible position their education could bring them. Wiley was at the peak of the pecking order in the fam to me.

On one such visit we went to his church worship. The service was very orthodox [Protestant], but as I watched Wiley greet or be greeted by various other members, I saw the smile of his mother and warm greeting from his father. That side of Wiley I enjoyed the most. The side which always wanted to do the best and help organize it. These are the qualities of a community leader. Wiley led an active civic life socially, much like his mother and father.

This side surprised me on the occasion of my 70th birthday by having a family reunion up in LA. I was honored, and humbled to be thought of in such a way.

The screensaver since my birthday
Though our public paths rarely crossed, they did so recently. The first time was the Detroit Municipal Bankruptcy. I had visited that city back when Motown was there. Wiley had also worked there his first six years out of law school before Denver. The Denver newspaper did a story on the locals who went to Detroit [2013]. The whole case went on for awhile, taking about two years, I believe.

Shortly after the Detroit thing, I was listening to a newscast by Anonymous about the back door effort by HRC minions to circumvent the electoral college in declaring a Democratic outcome. There were three Supreme Court Justices in 3 different states listening to appeals. Wiley was one of them. All three Judges gave the requests a thumbs down. As far as I was concerned, Wiley stayed true to his values as a Judge and did the correct thing. I wrote a story on that surprising newscast and sent it to him.

I guess the most recent dialogue that Wiley and I had was via email. We hardly ever talked by phone, though I can still hear his voice in my mind. I talked about the re-edit of my book for kindle, or KDP. Besides inserting more punctuation to better show clause ideas, I recalled an earlier family visit that corrected what I remembered in my retelling. In short, I was wrong about my conclusion and planned to correct it in the KDP edition. I let all 3 cousins know of the corrections. As Wiley was the one who did a family tree [that I know of], I always informed him of things. Wiley remembered birthdays, names, occasions, events, especially since we cousins no longer lived in spitting distance of each other.

Since Wiley wasn't sick or frail like the people you see in ads or on the bus, the news of his passing caught us all by surprise. It brought the reality of our mortality home to us, the cousins of our generation. Now we are down to three.


I have the sadness from not seeing Wiley again until I cross over. His life though, to me, was perfect. He got good grades in school, graduated college, got married, went to Law School and then into practice. He moved to his wife's home town, and established himself. He became a father three times, giving birth to 3 successful children. His first wife was his only wife. Wiley followed the plan a long time before Ben Shapiro took credit for naming it, and so became a pillar in his community there

Wiley's journey was completely different from mine and for that, I was glad for Wiley. I was proud of his life and for him being a Judge. Beneath what the world made us, there existed a bond where Wiley always knew what to make of whatever I said. If I could see him one last time, it would be to give him a big hug and say, 'You have lived a life to emulate, in becoming a Judge, in being a Man, and in leaving a legacy. For me though, this is bittersweet. Rest well, Cuz, enjoy Paradise, and say a blessing for the rest of us still here.'

Wiley Young Daniel R.I.P.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

THE WEDDING IN MAY

MCCLAIN and FEENEY -

BSC, CA – Tis not everyone who gets to have two home towns or two childhoods, both outside the Old Folks home. Rarer still are love stories, but the rarest of all are the ones which have a scene track. No, that isn't a typo for soundtrack. You see, it was a genuine music scene [see George Plimpton's definition] that birthed this wedding magic. In fact, it was Ivan MCCLAIN who first said that all my stories are about me, aka, all told from my point of view. Ivan is correct again, because I was there when these two hit the scene. It was in the second wave of the valley's golden music arc that first began at Madeline's. Ivan and Paul caught one of the last shows and Paul's band [Inverse] played a tour end gig there.

However, it was during the Java Joz phase that Ivan became a force in the music scene, and it started with the debut of the coffee shop built for music by a Rasta. That night was also the first time meeting Elissa Feeney, who had the mightiest handshake in a small frame. She had learned to be a masseuse from her father, a chiropractor in Hemet. She seemed a little Disney Princess who could break bricks like Bruce Lee. Ivan and Elissa were just two voices in this cast of music lovers/makers.

Ivan, in white
If Elissa was a faerie princess, then Ivan was a prince in the vein of Lone Starr [Spaceballs] complete with camper. Actually more a king, a drama king. It wasn't long before yours truly was also dragged into the swirl, as a reporter, as a friend, and as a sage. The result was a bevy of unsigned musical talent, homegrown and touring, with local fans/musicians the benefactors of two great promoters, given their varying musical tastes.

But Ground Zero was a group, a family who shared love and compassion for each other. When the scene was popping, I could bicycle by Chaparral High School and hands from a gym class would wave back. We had started Mr. Pete's Breakfast Burrito Extravaganza*, a Paul and Ivan brainchild. Though we were all known in the scene, Ivan was The Man. Once, Ivan and I were at the mall. He was arguing over his recognition with me when a random kid walks by and says, “Hi Ivan.” I chuckled. It was one time when Ivan didn't have a comeback.

Ivan and his proud mother
When The Vault finally closed their doors, the last vestige of the local music scene dissipated. The bands moved on, the players moved on, and the fans moved on. Music was everywhere but there was no more music scene. Ever the creative mind, Ivan looked around and started a new scene in this neck of the woods – Cosplay.

Though he didn't invent the genre, Ivan put his touch to this scene and instantly a crowd appeared, or so it seemed to me. Of course Ivan and his little troupe put together a successful show, bringing all the local nerds, aka comic book, anime, SF, and movie-themed fandom together under one roof. It was a wild ride, capped by an onstage proposal of marriage on bent knee, to Elissa.

Elissa, in white
Elissa was always part of the family so she and Ivan had become friends over the years. Ivan's life and her life had circled back to realization. They had both grown into the people they were looking for. Normally this would novel, but here in this magic valley, it brought out over 200+ guests, chasing away a doom and gloom thunderstorm forecast with joy for the Harveston Lake area of Temecula.


Paul, that same Paul, performed the service with the flair of an uncle. It was a family affair, a Ivan Cosplay Production. In true fashion, my name wasn't on the seating chart though I had RSVP'd, so I was told to just take an empty seat. The first seat I saw and took was next to my publisher, the person who started the music scene and one time competing promoter, Bill Gould and his wife, Jeney Kingsbury [Keenwild]. Perfect!


He may cosplay as Professor X, but Ivan took Cap's way out. Woohoo!

(*- If you see a story picture of a man holding up half a huge burrito, smiling as if Santa Clause had given it to him – that's how good they were. The picture speaks for itself. We only had 3 burritos; they were 'The Wake 'n' Steak, The Man (there's a reason you smell bacon), and The Vegetable Monologues').

Saturday, May 11, 2019

ENDGAME – A NON-SPOILER REVIEW

RDJ & THE 616 MCU -

BSC, CA – It was my second trip to see Avengers – Endgame this past Tuesday, after I saw the movie on Sunday of the opening weekend. My mind was numb then. I knew a second viewing was called for. Apparently so did a lot of other folks, since it passed 2 Billion worldwide just 11 days into its first run. Even with these impressive box office totals, some of my readers may have not seen the biggest movie of the year, so there will only be one spoiler, if you can spot it.


Endgame is heavily front-loaded [movie talk for blasting out of the ticket gate] because Marvel Studios took the time to invest in its primary characters and keep them true to their comic book natures. This feature brought in many 'normies' [people who go to the movies] while the comic book fans were also satisfied. Though this makes 'common sense' on the look back, it seems the people over at Disney Star Wars missed this elementary movie business class. Marvel Studios is run by fans of the characters they write about, and it shows.

The movie Endgame, is not Infinity Wars, Part 2. Endgame is the wrap-up to the series of 22 movies, 11 years, and three thousand flickering minutes which diehard fans ate up. Like a sexual yoga exercise, Endgame gavealmost everyone a satisfying, climatic ending, and that includes me. In short, if you haven't seen Endgame yet, I highly recommend doing so, at least twice. Why??

The movie length. At 3:02 in running time, much has been said about bathroom breaks. You do want an empty bladder, but seeing the movie the first time in a 99% full house with about 50% kids, when the movie started, all the chatter ended. All other audience sounds, like laughs, uh oh's, and cheers, came at the proper times. Otherwise, everyone was engaged in the film from start to finish. People did make a run for the bathroom as soon as the credits started to roll, and there is even a meme using this theme. The interesting thing is the second time I viewed Endgame. I stayed through the whole film and just barely felt an urge to pee as the credits finished rolling.

The second showing, viewed just this week in a mid-afternoon time slot with a scant audience, had a different reaction beside just my bathroom urge. A second viewing got me past my initial shock at certain scenes, written in tune with fan hopes and expectations. Though the movie has a dark theme, which moves Act 1 through character interaction, the plot never drags along. Also this time three hours felt more like 2 ½, and maybe this is the audience buzz or lack of it; all that is hard to say.

After the first viewing, I went on YouTube and watched most of the spoiler reviews. The vast majority, access media or underground, all had positive reviews, including myself. Again the box office boffo proves two points; people have been waiting for this movie and Endgame delivers.

Endgame delivers on character arcs. There is an ending to this epic finale. This point is illustrated by the absence of a visual end credit scene. As in the comics, certain mantles are passed and a new crew rises from the ashes. As an old time comic reader and collector, I remember when Marvel would go down a multi-character arc woven through a number of comic titles, only to wind up in a Super-Sized Comic Book, Summer Sensation, 100 page story. Endgame has visions of that.

With Endgame crushing it at the box office, talk of possible Oscar noms were bound to start, given comic book movies in recent history. However, the talk that sticks is what Grace Randolph had to say about Robert Downey Jr. or RDJ. This whole movie arc began with a B character comic-wise, and a great actor at the bottom of his arc. Just as in the comics, Iron Man rose to A level, as did RDJ's star power as the 11 year cycle went on. It seems like an event made in Hollywood, and made for Hollywood. Plus, I had always liked RDJ as an actor. He brings that edge. I can understand why the Academy didn't give him the Oscar for Tropic Thunder [for fear it would send the wrong signal], but the tongue-in-cheek performance was certainly worth it. The movie within a movie aspect is classic, even to the ending. This is a finish that RDJ sticks as well. Maybe this year will be his.

See Endgame, but see it twice. You will need to.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Help us (Keenwild) win so we can play the Temecula Balloon & Wine Festival!

Many of you know that we also play music under the name Keenwild. 

If you didn't know that - then get over to www.Keenwild.com and listen to all of our songs! 

We have been entered into the 'Rising Star' competition that Radio 94.5 puts on. Winner gets to play the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival. 

We REALLY want to win. Please visit the 94.5 website at this link below and vote for our song every day!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Update: Riverside County Board of Supervisors take no vote on Animal Services deal with City of San Bernardino


***UPDATE***

Riverside, California - On Tuesday the Riverside County Board of Supervisors heard information about the proposed Animal Services Agreement with the City of San Bernardino.

After many public speakers asking the County to not support the agreement with the City and multiple questions about possible employee related costs to the County; none of the Board members would put forth a motion to support the agreement.

The agenda item was not ratified. No further information was available.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Local Schools: PUHSD 'Liberty High School' construction update

Construction site of Liberty High School on Leon Rd
French Valley, California - Last week we reported on the upcoming Liberty High School that will serve the students of Perris Union High School District (PUHSD), including many who live in the incorporated area known as 'French Valley'. We received a ton of response to this article, so we followed up.

We spoke with PUHSD and asked for more information on this project and the timeline. Today by email, we heard from Hector Gonzalez, the Director of Facilities for PUHSD, "Yes, construction has begun on Liberty High School. Work began back in February on the site and crews are currently working on earthwork and grading for the project." 

Indeed, this new school is currently under construction at the corner of Leon Rd and Wickerd Rd. This is north of Scott Rd, in a very rural area just east of Menifee. We drove out to the site to see it for ourselves. Admittedly, since it is somewhat out of the way, very few people would stumble across this project, although it is huge.

Fake News Fact Check: No, these are not 'new 2019 California DMV laws'

The #FakeNews post
For the last few weeks I've seen this 'California DMV 2019 new laws' post floating around in different groups and profiles on social media. Much of it seemed far fetched, so I did some research today.

I have found this is indeed 100% #FakeNews.

None of this 'info' is correct or relevant to California in any way. This image is a combination of proposed laws in various American states that weren't enacted, Canadian provincial laws that were enacted in January 2019 and Photoshop (changing words and terms).

Absolute, total rubbish.

Many of us (myself included), have re-posted misleading or untrue things on social media and almost always it's well-intentioned. But spreading fake info just confuses other folks for no reason.

I encourage everyone to take everything you see posted on the internet with a grain of salt.

Please, before spreading what maybe untrue information, do a little research so that we can all be better informed.

Share *this* post instead.
:)

Thursday, May 2, 2019

French Valley News Update - New Shopping, Schools, a Library and Paving!

Corner of Thompson Rd / Winchester Rd
French Valley, California - As the area grows with new homes, the need for new shopping increases. Denny's recently opened a restaurant at the corner of Benton Rd and Winchester Rd to good reviews and plenty of business from local residents. The Popeyes Chicken next door is set to open very soon, adding a few more local jobs and quick serve food choices for families. 

Recently hundreds of local residents were on facebook groups posting about a new shopping center (French Valley Market Place) being planned for the northeast corner of Winchester Rd and Thompson Rd. Among the excitement there were a few concerns by residents who back up to the new project.  The Riverside County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on April 16 and ultimately approved the project - after questions by Supervisor Washington, who represents District 3, the area in question.