IMPORTANT EDITORIALS & LETTERS

President Clinton signs the Ryan White Reauthorization Act our cover for June 21, 1996

DO CONSERVATIVES

AND MODERATES

SMELL ALIKE?

February 13, 1998 editorial questions Mary Bono

 

How conservative is Mary Bono? - or - How conservative does Mary Bono want to appear?  Those questions gnaw at me, as she begins her bid for her late husband's 44th Congressional District post.  In a conversation with Brian Nestande, Mary's campaign manager, I asked the following:  On social issues, does Mary Bono relate more to moderate Republican Christy Todd Whitman or ultraconservative Jesse Helms?  It's a loaded question, but I wanted to find out because statements have been attributed to Mary recently, revealing a conservative slant that previously had not been seen.  I always thought that the name "Mary Bono" and the word "conservative" in the same sentence was a contradiction.  Mary has always been a moderate - when did she change, and if she did, Why?

As a registered Republican, I am aware of the right-wing inspired battle for the "heart of the party" of Lincoln.  Who could forget the 1992 Republican Convention with Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed and Jerry Falwell basking in the limelight of their mean-spirited rhetoric.  Their center stage absence from the 1996 convention was a well choreographed production in deceit - and the American people didn't buy it.  But, you can still find their fingerprints all over the party platform - they were the authors.  The Republican Party cannot allow fringe groups to divide its members on social issues.  The Democrats consistently adhere to that policy.  The Democratic Party gives our gay community promises and lip service and then fails miserably when it comes to gays in the military and the Defense of Marriage Act.  If we want to keep government out of people's lives why do politicians continue to pass legislation demonstrating the opposite?

As Nestande explained, "Mary is pro-choice - and believes that abortion is a person decision."  I couldn't agree more.  He continued, "But, she's against special rights legislation."  That sounds too familiar!  Haven't we heard the same thing from other moderate Republicans who were too afraid of upsetting the conservative wing of the party?  Safeguarding the rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution is not "special rights legislation."  Chastity needs to talk to Mary, maybe she will have better luck explaining that equality is not conditional.  Some politicians are unwilling to recognize my rights as a gay person, but those rights are the same that were addressed by our Founding Fathers - equality, life, liberty and happiness.  If you do not recognize my lifestyle then how can you deny me my rights as an American citizen because of my lifestyle?  Nastande agreed.  But, we know the reality of it all.  Just as you cannot legislate morality, you cannot legislate behavior modification.

When legislation impacts gay people, you are interfering with my life.  When you seek to overturn the landmark case of Roe v Wade, you are interfering with a woman's decision.  When the fanatical conservatives and the spineless moderates get their collective noses out of the private parts of individuals, the Republican Party will have a better view of democracy.

CENSORSHIP OR REGULATION?

Our cover of March 3, 1995 with Jan Coloccia and David at the Vista Grande Resort.

March 3, 1995 my editorial on the controversial

ADULT  BUSINESS  ORDINANCE

The implementation of an Adult Business Ordinance in the City of Palm Springs has been the topic of concern by business owners and residents alike.  Considering that tourism is our main industry, hotels, night clubs and restaurants would feel the impact that such an ordinance would make; as well as many other businesses and annual events.

Presently, the ordinance contains wording that is ambiguous and vague.  Many of the aspects are open to interpretation as well as controversy.  The Planning Department and Commission have been meeting with business owners to address their concerns and re-word areas of the ordinance that are unclear.

Palm Desert resident Karen Holgate, executive director of h.o.p.e. (Help Oppose Pornography and Exploitation) has been insisting that every city in the valley to adopt such ordinances.  Recently, in Palm Desert, Holgate was able to conduct a business survey (dealing with adult businesses and their impact on the community) with city approval and report her finding to the city attorney's office thus providing the reasons for an adult business ordinance.  I question the procedures and logistics of allowing an individual with agenda, to play such an import part in decision making.  At a meeting with representatives of h.o.p.e. and DBA president Dick Haskamp and Dr. Herb Lazenby, I was surprised to hear Holgate ask why she received such hostility in both Cathedral City and Palm Springs in regards to such an ordinance.

The simple answer is to be found historically.  When the City Council of Cathedral City held their meeting at the Senior Center to discuss the adult business ordinance, representative of various religious groups spoke against the gay and lesbian community.  Not only did these people scream, plead, cry on cue, but the venom they spewed revealed that these people are bent not on regulating adult businesses - they would prefer to be the censors of the valley.  Anything or anyone that does not conform to their standards, has no place in the desert.  Likewise, in Palm Springs, a similar situation occurred.  During the second reading of the proposed Human Rights Ordinance four years ago, the city council chamber was filled with the same fanatics, the same threats, the same degradation - and the same bigotry. And, she spoke at both events.  Guilt by association.

If, as Karen Holgate stated, they are not interested in censorship and pornography, they why does their organization's name state the opposite.  Holgate did state that they are concerned with "snuff" films and child pornography.  Interestingly enough, these forms of pornography are already illegal.  So, what's the point?

Yes, Palm Springs officials should address the adult business ordinance, but they must realize that such an ordinance will require enforcement.  To whom will this be delegated?  Will the enforcing agents understand the wording or will they have the benefit of interpreting the ordinance according to their own agenda?  And most importantly, what impact will the ordinance have on the generating revenues for Palm Springs?  I can live with regulations - but, I will not tolerate censorship!

 

From left: Greg Pettis, Jeffrey, Robert & friend at the Cathedral City meeting at the Senior Center, 1995

TO PRESERVE OR DECEIVE

Bullocks Wilshire building on Palm Canyon Drive, 1992.

September 17, 1993 -  I was perplexed by the devious tactics of city hall and government manipulation at work

Reinventing government has become the catch phrase in headlines.  The plan calls for an evaluation of existing operations and make the necessary adjustments so that government serves the people instead of the other way around.  Vice President Al Gore spearheads the reinvention plan that will address the cumbersome paperwork, and the glacial speed of politics.  To believe that only the federal level needs to be improved is not addressing the total structure of government.  All levels: state; county, and municipal need to be investigated and evaluated as to the effectiveness of each component.

Personally, I have always believed that by opening the doors to local government through commission and board seats can bring about change.  With inclusion of diverse talents, beliefs and ideas, democracy would only improve because the creativity of individuals would enhance the sum total.  You would think that such a premise would be easily attainable.  If it were that simple government would work.

On September 14, the Palm Springs Historical Site Preservation Board convened after a two month hiatus.  The news was not good.  A historical part of Palm Springs is dying and the board sat in disappointment and regret.  But, it's the same problem with every level of government: too little - too late.  The Bullocks Wilshire building, built in the early 40's, is facing the wrecking ball of Wessman Development.  In its day, the idea of having a major department chain placing a store in a small desert town was unheard of.  The structure itself is unique in design  By nature it is an example of Art Moderne, one of two structures in Palm Springs built in this form of architecture.

To understand the situation, you need to know that a few years ago the HSPB met with representatives of R.M. Macy owners of the building.  We also were told by their legal counsel that they did not want the building historically designated, as well as their promise that they would continue operations in that location.  Weeks later they closed the store and the saga of political intrigue began.  Within the last year we were told that demolition of the building was eminent.  Did the HSPB do anything about it - NO.  Are they sorry about their lack of action - yes.  Will they be more prone to action in the future - probably not!  Just watch what the city will do to the Welwood Murray Memorial Library, if left unchecked.  Will the Historical Site Board members care?  Probably not, because for the last three years that I have been on this board, members have refused to discuss the Welwood and the preserving of the building.  I would think that if you are a member of a board that is called "Historical Site Preservation" your duty would be to preserve historical sites.  It is unconscionable for people to utilize their hidden agenda that destroys the very things the board is there to preserve.

If commission and board members are to act as "the ears and eyes of the city council" why have our appointed people become sightless and deaf?  Why does this commission lack the energy to build an agenda that is based on the duties and responsibilities of such a board?  Why did one board member ask, "Why does this commission exist, if no one listens?"  If this is the common attitude of commissioners, then Palm Springs is in serious shape.  Our city needs people who can think for themselves  That may be an innovative idea.  But as a commissioner, I cannot play the role of a blind and deaf puppet.  To do so is not serving the community.

If you are planning to apply for a seat, please do so - but only if you are serious about making our government work.  I have six months left on my term on the HSPB.  In that time I will do everything possible to see that we live up to our responsibilities.  By the way there are two openings on this board. . .and I invite your assistance.

LETTER TO THE MAYOR

Mayor Maryanov and his wife, Mina at the 4th DAP Walk

The following letter was sent to Palm Springs Mayor Lloyd Maryanov in 1993 instigated by my frustration with the Historical Site Preservation Board.

For the last three years I have been serving on the Historical Site Preservation Board (HSPB) of Palm Springs.  During this time I have found certain inconsistencies that defy rationale.  It is hoped that the following list will elucidate the situation I have been struggling with.

1.  Past chairperson, Nancy Watt, is an independent contracted employee of the Palm Springs Library, her direct supervisor is head librarian Henry Weiss.  During her tenure as chair of the HSPB she has refused to discuss the Welwood Murray Memorial Library.  On a personal note, Ms. Watt would like to support the preservation of the Welwood, but felt it would be a conflict of interest due to her employment with the library.

2.  The Historical Society curator, Sally McManus is an employee of the Palm Springs Library.  During the time that one of my writers was working on a brochure on the life of Welwood Murray, he was unable to receive any help from the historical Society, even though he had requested in person, information on numerous occasions.  Ms. McManus' direct supervisor is head librarian Henry Weiss.  The brochure is to be used at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library as an informative pamphlet for visitors.  The writer finally was able to find the information needed at the College of the Desert.  Why is there a problem coming from the historical society against the Welwood Murray Memorial Library board of directors?

3.  The present chairperson of the HSPB is Frances Nunan.  Ms. Nunan is the board representative to the historical society.  Every time that I have tried to discuss or place on the agenda the Welwood Murray Memorial Library, I have received her patronizing response, "Oh Jim we're not going to talk about the Welwood."  I find Ms. Nunan's approach to preserving buildings or even discussing the preservation of such historical treasures, a contradiction to the mission of the HSPB.  I regularly receive the agenda for the HSPB, but since Ms. Nunan has become chair, I receive no notification of an agenda, no notification of meetings.  As a fellow board member I expect equal treatment, even if I do not agree with what Ms. Nunan is doing!

Due to the fact that it appears that the historical society, and certain members of the HSPB are working on a level of questionable motives, I am requesting that you and the city council, or the city manager speak to the HSPB and remind them of their duties and responsibilities.  Also, it would be more consistent if the historical society was placed under the supervision of the Historical Site Preservation Board.  I feel that the problems that exist are due to its relationship with the Palm Springs Library and Henry Weiss.

It is hoped that any problems that exist will be resolved with a friendly reminder of what is expected from people who agree to accept the responsibilities of the Historical Site Preservation Board.

 

RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT CLINTON

"Serving In Silence" The Margarethe Cammermeyer story starring Glenn Close. Our cover January 20, 1995

July 23, 1993 editorial on the

DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL

controversial compromise

THE     NEW     BILL     OF     RIGHTS

The following are specifics in President Bill Clinton's "honorable compromise" to the military ban on gays and lesbians.  My apologies to William Shakespeare and Nathan Hale.

ENLISTMENT:  Applicants will not be asked about their sexual orientation, but they will be warned that homosexual conduct is prohibited.  No distinction is made between conduct on or off military bases.  If military conduct is so important, are we led to believe that heterosexual conduct, as in the Tail Hook incident, will be equally prohibited.  Excuse me!  Do we have conditional freedom, prejudice, bigotry, homophobia and fear in operation in this picture?  No, we have Clinton's "honorable compromise," and Clinton is an honorable man.

DISCHARGE & PROHIBITED ACTIONS:  ALL signs of affection between members of the same gender.  No distinction is made between conduct on or off military bases.  Service members would be subject to discharge if they: engage in homosexual acts or declare their lifestyle; of if they marry or attempt to marry someone of the same gender.  No distinction is made between conduct on or off military bases.  That means you can't do anything, anywhere with anyone of the same gender.  That doesn't sound like fun!  Will they ask as much from heterosexuals or will they subscribe to conditional freedom?  But Clinton's compromise is honorable, and Clinton is an honorable man.

INVESTIGATIONS:  Only when there is "credible information," that a basis for discharge or disciplinary action exists, will investigations or inquiries be held.  Credible information must be based on articulable facts.  There would be no investigation solely to determine sexual orientation, and "rumors, suspicious and capricious allegations" would not justify investigations.  Just how and who will interpret "credible information," and "articulable facts"?  Will such honorable men include the likes of: Sen. Sam Nunn; Gen. Colin Powell: and Joe McCarthy; or has Clinton's honorable compromise just become the definitive approach in the justification of intolerance and discrimination?  But remember that Clinton is an honorable man.

PERMITTED ACTIONS: Going to gay bars, associating with known gays, reading gay publications and attending gay rights rallies in civilian clothes.  Wow, that means you are allowed to drink, talk, read and wear clothes.  I'm sure we can think of many more preferred activities.  This sounds like conditional freedom, but it really is Clinton's "honorable compromise" and Clinton is an honorable man.

Two somber facts cannot be overlooked in all of this verbiage, and they are: gays and lesbians will continue to serve and die for the United States of America with valor and distinction, no matter what the final outcome may be; and Clinton's "honorable compromise" has just re-written Nathan Hale's famous quote to read, "I only regret that I have but one lifestyle to give for my country."

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

Toasting to the New Year on December 23, 1994

December 23, 1994

Always the cheerleader, a number of my editorials would be pep-talks on creating unity in our ranks.

Closing the chapter on 1994 is bittersweet.  The past year has been filled with victories and sadness, challenges and obstacles, gains and losses.  It was a year that witnessed the first openly gay city councilman in the Coachella Valley, the many losses of friends and acquaintances, the debut of the Palm Springs Open Tennis Tournament, the 2nd Desert Rodeo, another Desert Gay Festival and Parade, as well as a myriad of parties, events, fundraisers and memorials.  I tend to become maudlin at this time of the year; as my mind is flooded with the images of 1994 - memories of times gone by that now are part of our desert community's history.

With the ushering in of the New Year comes the hopes, aspirations and expectations brimming with optimism and potential.  The Desert Business Association and the Gay Tourism Council are on the threshold of joining forces in creating a strong, more cohesive and unified coalition.  With the appointment of Greg Pettis to the Cathedral City Council, comes the unparalleled opportunity for that community to truly exemplify "a city in perfect balance."  In many business people's minds, the logical and anticipated result when the Agua Caliente Casino opens in 1995, will be a stronger more stable economy.  While formulating your resolutions for the New Year may we add a few suggested elements that, if allowed to exist, will hasten the fulfillment of the many great expectations:

Realize that cooperation and compromise are based on mutual respect and will make any endeavor - any effort so much easier to attain.

Carry in your hearts a positive feeling about yourself and your community and learn to plumb the depths of your potential and abilities.  Anything is possible - it just needs to be approached with the confidence and belief that success is just a matter of overcoming egos and releasing past difficulties.

Strive to become part of the solution rather than complain about the problems.  Negativity is in itself, a detriment to success.

Compel yourself to establish and encourage lines of communication with others.  More harm can be created when communication is conveniently forgotten.

Manifest your love and concern for others.  Remember, "No man is an island."  We need to build upon our strengths rather than upholding our weaknesses to ridicule.

Be patient, be kind and be involved in everything and everyone around you.  Jumping to conclusions, or worse yet, allowing others to coerce you into negative actions is destructive to the strength and cohesion of the community.

Our wish for everyone is that this holiday season be filled with happiness, understanding and joy.  And, may those feelings of respect and love permeate the New Year.  1995 can be a banner year for our community and the Coachella Valley.

WE ARE EVERYWHERE

The L.A. Gay Pride Parade on our July 7, 1995 edition

July 5, 1996 editorial on celebrating

G A Y    P R I D E

America is Our Country, Too!

For a brief moment in time each year, the City of Los Angeles is transformed into a colorful tapestry of gay and women proudly united in celebration.  It is the reaffirmation in self-determination and the belief that the founding documents of our nation insure the freedoms and rights of individuals regardless of race, age, religion, gender or sexual orientation .

Throughout the Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade, I was astounded by the scope and diversity that were represented.  Police officers, postal workers, lawyers, judges, pilots, teachers were part of the vast sea of men and women who no longer were willing to hide in the proverbial closet and suffer in silence.  The numerous religious groups, political organizations and health care organizations presented a community whose members can be found in every age group, social level, economic bracket, political party and ethnic origin.  Why do you think the social conservatives ridicule and berate gays and lesbians?  They fear the unknown strength of our numbers and depth of convictions

Is there a gay agenda?  None that I am aware of - but if there were to be an agenda for the gay & lesbian community, I would expect it to read as the Declaration of Independence.  "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  For us to settle for anything less would allow an American society to exist that subscribes to bigotry and prejudice - and that would be un-Constitutional.  Over the two hundred and twenty years this nation has existed, the struggles of oppressed people fill the pages of history and paints a country in conflict.

At one time it was illegal to marry a person of another race.  There was a time when women were prohibited from voting.  The Afro-American community's quest for equality continues, even to this day, as we read about the torching of Southern churches.  When our Founding Fathers convened over two centuries ago in Philadelphia, they created a document for all time.  Its universality speaks to each and every generation, imparting the same philosophy and wisdom.  For equality to exist in this country, it must include all of her people.  For critics of the gay community, this form of reasoning is difficult to accept.  In their zeal, they have forgotten that America is not only their country but it exists for all of her people.  The Statue of Liberty stands in the New York harbor holding on high the torch of freedom, and the strength of this country is not built on the uniformity of her people, but rather on the diversities of her citizens.  America is our country, too!

 

COLONIZING THE DESERT

SEPTEMBER 16, 1994 - our covers featured the desert as a haven for the gay & lesbian traveler

APRIL 11, 1997

My editorial this issue addressed the desert economy and the gay & lesbian influence

During Easter Week, our officers were inundated with calls from Mike Meenan of KPSI, Mark Henry of The Press Enterprise, the BBC, and Cassandra Stern of the L.A. bureau of The Washington Post.  All of them wanting to know about the gay and lesbian invasion of Palm Springs for Spring Break.  You could detect the astonishment in their voices and the innocence of their questions.  Little did they know that Easter has traditionally been one of the biggest springtime celebrations for the gay and lesbian community.

For the last fifteen years, we have been publishing The Bottom Line, and over the years we have been able to track the peaks and valleys of our desert visitors.  Because of the vast numbers of lesbians that visit our valley at the end of March, we started publishing Shore Patrol ten years ago.  And, for the last few years, we have been distributing more and more publications outside our valley's walls.  Friends in Los Angeles and San Diego, accuse us of colonizing the desert.  That is just one of the more pleasant outcomes of keeping Palm Springs in the forefront of their attention.

In conversations with real estate agents we are aware that certain residential areas of Palm Springs have as many as a 40% gay/lesbian ownership.  Far higher than the one to two percent that our critics have been using to gauge the gay community.  And, according to one agent, "If it weren't for the gay/lesbian buyers, the real estate market would have been flat for the last five year."  As one developer stated, "Our first phase was equally purchased by either gays/lesbians or senior citizens - and we now have designed homes that are built with entertaining in mind."  Yes, the gay and lesbian community continues to have a major influence on the economy of the desert.

The women's parties during the Nabisco Dinah Shore Golf Tournament began over fifteen years, while The White Party has been going strong for the last eight years.  Each of them bring tens of thousands of men and women to the Palm Springs area to rest, relax, party - and help our local economy.  This year, The Desert Sun chose to cover the events with a business slant rather than from the social element that caused varied reactions from its readers last year.  In the April 2nd Business Section they presented facts that charted the growth of gay visitors for the last four years.  During that time, a 36.15% increase of Transient Occupancy Tax, or a $128,653 jump in bed tax was generated by gay hotels.  Even though Cathedral City revenue from the bed tax on all hotel rooms has decreased 4.87% from 1995, revenue from bed tax generated by gay hotels has increased 5.01%.

The numbers are irrefutable, and that has made media representatives and our elected officials to sit up and take notice of something that we have known about for a long time.  The excitement of Palm Springs as a destination resort area continues and the gay and lesbian valley business leaders should be commended for their untiring efforts.

HEAVEN OR HELL

APRIL 11, 1997 - "Morning Checkers" by local artist Maggie Ruley. Interviews with local artists featured their work on our covers

SEPTEMBER 26, 1997

Editorial upon the passings of

MOTHER TERESA

& PRINCESS DIANA

ONE PERSON'S HEAVEN

ANOTHER'S HELL

What motivates an individual to devote her entire life to serving the world's most unfortunate people?  A simple nun seized each day with love and compassion for others.  She accepted humility, sacrifice and poverty graciously and lovingly.  Her personal agenda was to ease the suffering of people - speaking out on injustices - and administering to the sick and dying.  Truly her legacy is a sterling example of the good that can be accomplished in one's lifetime.  The world witnessed an unfathomable loss with the passing of Mother Teresa.

Never have I seen such extreme individuals as Mother Teresa and Diana, Princess of Wales.  Their lives were so unique and yet their deaths have had such an impact on the world.  They lived at the opposite ends of the social spectrum.  From the jet-setting opulent life of the wealthy to the impoverished slums of Calcutta - the difference is wider than the Grand Canyon.  Yet they shared the same concerns for humanity.  Each of them reached out to help change the world.  Diana gave us the human side of the aristocracy - Mother Teresa showed the human side of poverty.  One person's heaven may very well be another person's hell - their lives, so vastly different and yet so similar, will be richly remembered.  With their deaths the brevity of life is underscored and we are reminded of our own fleeting moments in life.

How we live life is up to us.  For some - life offers opportunities; to others - it is a war-zone filled with obstacles.  We make our own reality!  As a former high school instructor, I remember the motivational pep talks I would periodically give my students.  These were meant to bolster their will to succeed and strengthen their resolve.  An improved self-image along with an eagerness to exercise their potentials on future opportunities were hoped for side effects.  By building on their strengths, their weaknesses diminished.  Instead of allowing them to slide by on excuses I encouraged them to be part of the solution, and not allow their negative feelings compound the problems.  How good or bad a life experience will be is dependent on the manner in which life is approached.  The lighter the heart, the easier the journey - the inverse is equally true.

Death is an equal opportunity - until that point, life's journey has been of our choosing.  We have no one to blame but ourselves.  Life requires a certain finesse.  Mother Teresa and Diana each embraced their lives with the courage to succeed.  They could have chosen different paths, and probably would have had an easier lot in life, but by facing and surmounting their challenges they grew more aware of their potentials.

Remember: When life gives you lemons - make lemonade!

 

LOVE = HATE = LOVE

Our May 19, 2000 edition featured the Millennium March on Washington

October 23, 1998 editorial reacting to the vicious murder of

MATTHEW SHEPARD

A  SORRY  CHAPTER

Religious intolerance has a new interpretation in our country.  Today religious intolerance refers to the man-made directive that you have right to outwardly hate other people based on your religious beliefs.  Love and understanding have been swept from sight - anger and violence is regulation.  Mean-spirited rhetoric spews from pulpits and echoes in the halls of Congress.  Christian Conservatives seek to deny gays and lesbians the right to liberty, happiness - and even life itself.  In their misguided faithlessness, the Christian Coalition and similar "traditional family values" groups, no longer subscribe to the virtue of charity.  Their religious philosophies are reinvented by: the Pat Robertsons, the Jesse Helms; and the Trent Lotts - all espousing inequality and prejudice.  Hate is equated to "Christian Love."  Personal freedoms are conditional.  Twisting the teaching of The Bible into their own Christian Manifesto - they use Holy Scripture to validate their terrorism.  The Christian Coalition actively cultivates this anger and unrest in our country.  Their tactics are reminiscent of Gestapo Germany and the KKK - and I never met a Klan member that was not a religious zealot.

Our nation no longer has the threat of the Soviet Union.  We now have the threat of foreign and homegrown terrorists, numerous areas of unrest around the globe, and the threat of chaos and self-annihilation as a nation.  Currently our elected officials in Washington are embroiled in a battle of moral superiorities.  Congress no longer is interested in fulfilling the People's work - officials will now sit in judgment and become the agents of moral control.  We sent our representatives to Congress to speak on our behalf, not to represent us at the latest Christian Inquisition.  And yet, this is what our nation is facing at the end of this century - a sorry chapter in the history of a great country.

As a child, raised in a religious home, I was instructed on the three great Christian virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love.  The greatest of these is love, for without love or charity the other virtues could not exist.  I was also taught the two great commandments: "The love of God." and, "The love of your neighbor."  The greater of them is the love of your neighbor.  As it was explained to me, "if you cannot respect and accept others, how can you profess your love for the Almighty?"

.   .   .

To the family and friends of Matthew Shepard whose violent death occurred in part to intolerance, we extend our heartfelt condolences.  We share in your loss.

PRIDE '99 COUNTDOWN

SEPTEMBER 24, 1999 - Rainbow magic in the desert

SEPTEMBER 24, 1999

EDITORIAL

I never hesitated to: lead the crowd in cheering for themselves; keep them informed: invite their involvement; and, build the excitement leading up to the 1999 Pride - something I learned as a high school cheerleader

There is less than seven weeks to our Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival & Parade and the community is ablaze with excitement and anticipation.  The Pride directors and officers have been gearing up for the past ten months and as we enter into homestretch we're working on areas that need to be fine tuned.  The Pride Program is at the printers, entertainers have been scheduled, sponsors procured, volunteers signed, parade route set, festival schematic being refined, city permits obtained, Celebrity Grand Marshal to be announced, Community Grand Marshal chosen, parade applications sent, vendors assigned, and a myriad of other items that are too numerous to list.

Each day presents new ideas and challenges - as well as new faces added to a growing army of interested individuals who are volunteering their talents and energies.  From discussions, we know that there will be many more parade entries of floats, decorated cars and marching units.  The festival will feature a beverage garden serving beer and cocktails.  The food court will include a diverse menu of cuisines.  Entertainment ranges from Rhythm & Blues to Country/Western - Disco - Cabaret - and Comedy.  Vendors will be unique and varied.  Arenas Road will serve as our corporate sponsor plaza and feature the dance pavilion.  What the Pride Board is creating this year for the desert community is truly special.

We encourage your support and involvement.  Applications can be downloaded from our website www.pspride.org and you can see photos from past desert Pride festivals and parades.  Pride event information is included as well as recognition for our sponsors whose financial contributions and support make our festival free.  Requested donations will be gratefully accepted during  our festival on November 6 & 7.  It is our hope that donations received will fund next year's event as well as establishing a number of new scholarships through the Desert Business Association Foundation.  Current discussions may lead to the formation of a "Community Chest Fund" for emergencies that our local groups experience from time to time.

Catch our excitement as we formalize the final preparations of what many have said will be "a festival and parade the likes of which the desert has yet to see!"  Pride is our community in action.  Please join us in making the magic.  Upcoming events include: Oct. 8 - Tool Shed Spaghetti Dinner Benefit; Oct 10 - Volunteer Reception at Club International; Oct. 16 - Pride Benefit at Millennium 2001 with Irene Soderberg; Oct. 23 - Volunteer Appreciation & Orientation at the Desert Palms Inn.  We hope to see you there.

BREAK THE LAW GET ARRESTED

RUDY AT THE BLUE ANGEL WITH BILL & JOHN

March, 10, 2000 Rudy dela Mor graced the edition along with my response to the Ruth Hardy Park police event

As a resident of Palm Springs for the past twenty years, I have personally witnessed the highs and lows of our gay community.  Over the last two decades our desert area has grown from a handful of gay oriented businesses to a thriving, ever-growing, strong and vital community.  Our businesses and residents contribute to the financial welfare of the desert cities.  The vast majority of our locals and visitors endeavor to be good upstanding, law abiding citizens.  But every now and then there are a few people who feel the need to flaunt their sexuality in public regardless of the laws and moral standards.

Recent Ruth Hardy Park has been the subject of a police sting resulting in some 23 arrests for lewd behavior.  At a rally called by home owners surrounding the park, Palm Springs councilmen Jim Jones and Ron Oden, Joane Garcia-Colson (Desert Business Association president) along with Jane Smith, Bud Sinclair and Palm Springs police Sgt. Bryan Anderson spoke of the importance of making the park a safe location for families and individuals.  Sgt. Anderson also reassured that police surveillance would continue until the problem is solved.  The website that advertizes encounter locations has been notified to delete any reference to the park.  A situation occurred some 10 years ago when a gay guide advertized similar information and resulted in police surveillances and arrests.

The illegal activities by a few individuals is indefensible.  Our desert gay community has not come this far only to sink this low.  Our local residents continue to work to improve the communications between the many segments of the desert population.  Gays and lesbians in the desert enjoy the comfort of living in a most accepting and welcoming community.  We cannot allow any interference that would change or damage the strides that our community has achieved.  If you intend to commit illegal activities, you must be ready to be arrested.  No one is above the letter of the law!

FAREWELL - NOT GOOD-BYE

Our 20th Anniversary Edition of September 22, 2000 featured past cover photos

This was my final editorial in the September 22, 2000 edition - upon the sale of our publishing company.

20 YEARS OF SERVICE

TO OUR DESERT COMMUNITY

What started as a pipe dream, has become a reality!  Little did Bill and I know that when we purchased The Bottom Line magazine from David Cobbs that it would grow to be what you see today.  Bill and I fantasized what we wanted to see 20 years from that day.  Originally, the magazine was a "bar-rag" complete with local inside stories and the dish of the desert.  Our first issue was 24 pages in length with some 16 advertisers.  As you can see, The Bottom Line is more than just another bar-rag.  Over the last two decades there have been so many wonderful individuals who have assisted in the metamorphosis.

Twenty years ago, writers and staff members included: Rusty Parker; Sydney Cohen; Tom Childs; Billy Frazee; and, Bob Hoven.  In those early days David Barter of Bar-Bia Graphics, and Maurice Bachant of Desert Print Shop were our printers, and ads for the Cathedral City bars - GAF and Buns, would appear on the cover.  The GAF is now Gentry Plaza on Ramon Road at Cathedral Canyon Drive.  Buns is now part of the new town center of Cathedral City.  As the publication evolved, we purchased our own printing presses and had: Jan Maybe, David Rager, John Cazes and Michael Izbinski creating magic on our A.B. Dicks.  Those were the years that home and office were together.  The scent of ink was a favorite fragrance.  And, each magazine was collated, stapled and folded by hand.

Our graphic designers and writers have helped shape and define the scope and presentation of our publication.  The talents of Dave Iraci are responsible for creating our desert map and business guides.  He guided us into the computer age of publishing.  Dave was a dear friend who passed away years ago, but his work continues to be a guide for our visitors.  Photographer Kane Price has given his talents in creating covers that captured community moments.  Another dear friend who has helped is Jamie O'Neil (assistant editor).  Jamie is a wonderfully talented and extraordinary woman.

Managing Editor Jim Hooten brought harmony to chaos by organizing our front office - loyalty and integrity are his hallmarks.  He and I have grown close over the years and he is a very dear friend and confidant.  Special recognition goes to our Travel/Leisure Editor Newt Deiter whose encouragement and assistance has proven to be indispensable.

As we enter our 20th year, our production staff includes: Craig Lawver, Daddy Ken, Pete Loehner and Chas Robards.  Their talents and energy are an inspiration.  With the impending sale of the publication, we have been informed that there would be no immediate change to either The Bottom Line or PULP magazines.  I will continue as editor and directing the staff, as we implement new features and elements.  Bill Gordon will retire as publisher.

Bill and I thank the desert community for allowing us to serve you for the past twenty years.