Friday, May 31, 2019



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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019



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 14th Street, 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.

Thursday, May 16, 2019



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.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019



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 sound track. 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.

Saturday, May 11, 2019


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 gave almost 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??