“The principal purpose of this website is to provide useful information for residents of Bermuda Dunes.  It is not possible, however, for The Blog Folks independently to verify information submitted to us.  
Accordingly, our listing of goods and services is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, an endorsement.  The purchasers of goods and services listed on our website are encouraged to perform
their own due diligence.”
This website is owned, operated and paid for exclusively by The Blogfolks. We are not affiliated with Riverside County or any other entity.

Board Members
Bermuda Dunes Security

Glen Smith-- President
(currently on leave of absence)
Jerry Lugo-- Acting President
Robert Nelson-- Treasurer
Phillip Bettencourt-- Secretary
Bill McMurtrey-- Director
John Thiele-- Director
Michael Tanner-- Director
Robert Nagles-- Director
Charles Bishop-- Director

John Walters-Clark-- Community
Manager with Associa

BDSA Meeting
4th Thurs. of every


Bermuda Dunes Security
Association (BDSA) is
responsible for streets
(potholes, cracks, street
drainage and dry wells),
Security entry/exit, patrol
vehicles, cable TV
agreement, fee collection
& payment, gates & gate
lights, medians, walls,
guardhouses and all
street/gate signage.

BDSA is managed by
Desert Resort Mgmt
John Walters-Clark
760 346 1161

The Admin Office is open
Monday thru Friday for
questions and concerns.
Admin staff can also assist
with access to the
Resident Login System

Admin hours are as follows:

Monday 10-6
Wednesday Closed
Saturday Closed         
Sunday Closed

If this is urgent, please
contact Security at:

Telephone Numbers:

Main Gate: 760-360-1322
Glass Gate: 760-772-3137
Admin Building:

Bermuda Dunes
Home Owner's
Third Tuesday at
6:00 p.m. each month

Adm Bldg
4:30 PM

Board Members

Ron Rowell-- President
Edward Testo-- Vice President
Mike Soran-- Treasurer
Janet McMurtrey-- Secretary
Danae Delaney-- Director

Greg Gamboa-- Community
Manager with Management Trust
Bermuda Dunes Community

Here is what
responsible for:

Bermuda Dunes
Community Association
(BDCA) is responsible for
most problems relating to
property owner's home
and lot, dogs,
landscaping, pool
draining, trash cans,
fountains and landscaping
at the main gate.

The Architectural
Committee reports to the
Community Board

Dues are $100 per year
and are payable in
January in lump sum

New Manager is
Greg Gamboa, Phone:
760-776-5100 ext 6309

The Management Co.
39755 Berkey Drive, Suite A •
Palm Desert, CA 92211

P: (760) 776-5100 x6343
F: (760) 776-5111

Email us:




TODAY is Thursday, August 17, 2017

To view lots of interesting information from the
Coachella Valley Hoticultural Society

Click HERE
Additional Information
for your  use
Click on the subject to

Bring your own set of bocce balls and play away.
You may need to clean up the courts yourself, but that goes
with the responsibility of keeping our courts looking great.

Playing in the early morning or late afternoon is the best!
We need volunteers:

Email to Ramina Arce in the Education Department at Thank you!

Associa reports that ballots are starting to come in...but we need approximately 400 more returned. Remember,if you don't
send in YOUR BALLOT it is counted as a NO VOTE.

I cannot express enough the importance of getting this passed. I, for one, will be very disappointed if I have to pay all that
extra money just because a neighbor was too lazy to help our community.

If you did not receive your ballot, please contact Desert Resort Management with any additional questions you may have
at (760) 346-1161. The is still time to get your ballot and get it returned...if you call them immediately.

John Walters-Clark
Community Association Manager

For any of you that are considering a NO VOTE in reference to amending our CC&Rs/Bylaws to allow your BDSA board to
enter into a 3-year contract for TV & Internet services, please consider your neighbors that want the benefit of substantial
cost savings for these services over the next 3-years.

A YES VOTE will allow passage of the amendments and will allow you the option of Opting Out. This is what we call a
WIN-WIN situation.

Whatever you decide, PLEASE VOTE.


Below is a letter that I have sent to Supervisor Perez addressing important matters in our Community.

August 15, 2017

Supervisor Perez
Riverside County 4th District

Dear Supervisor Perez:

Jacob Alvarez and I met with you regarding several issues we had on our plate as Bermuda Dunes Council members.

A recap of what we desperately need:

Medians to be finished with plantings

Code Enforcement reduction in forces addressed

Two vacant properties i.e. one wanting to build a storage unit on Avenue 42 and Washington and another builder wanting
to build on Avenue 42 and Yucca Avenue.

The latter two issues have been discussed at our Council meetings and were met with contempt and dismay as to why
these two properties would be allowed to build commercial-type structures within our small community.

Our recommendation to Riverside Planning Department was that these two projects should not be allowed in Bermuda
Dunes. Now I am told that they are both re-addressing our concerns and wish to come before our Council again!

The fact that our Code Enforcement has been crippled by the reduction of officers to patrol Bermuda Dunes is just
disgraceful. For the past week there have been couches, a chair,  and miscellaneous junk on Avenue 42. Some of the
duplex dwellers feel it is their right to throw their rubbish on Avenue 42.

I had contacted Brenda Hannah, BD Code Enforcement officer to advise her of this situation and she said she had been
spread so thin that she cannot do a thorough job for us any longer. Their staff has been reduced to almost half.  She
suggested we call Code Enforcement ourselves and advise them of our issues. What a shame.

I personally feel Bermuda Dunes could be a show place for Riverside County, if we could just get a few items addressed.
Top of the list would be completion of the medians.

This was mentioned at our meeting, and you seemed somewhat positive that this may be doable. What could we do as a
community to help speed up this process?

I have received many emails from realtors who sell Bermuda Dunes' properties, and their combined comments are that they
are ‘embarrassed’ to bring clients on Avenue 42 into the main gate into Bermuda Dunes Country Club.

We will be hosting the American Outreach event on December 9th at the Bermuda Dunes Airport and would very much like
to have the medians completed prior to this show.

I was told that our new liaison for Bermuda Dunes is Victoria Llort. I am very pleased to find this out. She is a personal
friend and I am sure will do an outstanding job for Bermuda Dunes.

Anything you can do to further our median issue and code enforcement – would surely be appreciated.

I will be looking forward to hearing from you.

Donna Hubenthal-Nelson
Bermuda Dunes Community Council
October 14, 2017

9:00am - 12:00pm

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month!

For every paid adult admission receive 1 kid’s admission free on
weekends only from Sept 15 – Oct 15.

La Gran Fiesta

Oct 15 • 9:00am – 12:00pm
Join us for a fun filled event that highlights Hispanic culture with
games, live music and dancing, animal enrichment delicious foods
and more! The first 1000 guests to celebrate La Gran Fiesta will
receive a FREE pepper plant grown at The Living Desert! One per
person, while supplies last.
FREE for members or with paid admission!

During La Gran Fiesta, The Living Desert will also be raising
awareness of the plight of the vaquita, the world’s most
endangered marine mammal. Current estimates state there are
fewer than 30 of these small porpoise left in the northern Gulf of
California. The vaquitas’ major threat is entanglement in fishing
gillnets. As a way to help save the vaquita, attendees at La Gran
Fiesta are invited to take part in the inaugural vaquita parade.
Guests are also encouraged to ‘adopt’ a vaquita to help support
their recovery in the wild – adopters receive an adoption certificate,
book, hat, and fact sheet – and all proceeds go to support the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ SAFE (Saving Animals from
Extinction) vaquita conservation action plan.

October 29, 2017 - October 31, 2017

Oct 29, 9am - 12pm • Oct 31, 6pm - 8:30pm


A Not-so-Spooky Zoo Adventure

Sunday, October 29 9am – 12pm
Free for members or with paid admission

Tuesday, Oct 31 6pm – 8:30pm
Free members night
$10 for guests

The Living Desert’s family-friendly Halloween event returns with
the wildly popular Howl-O-Ween, a not-so-spooky zoo adventure.
The 23nd annual Howl-O-Ween is set for Sunday, October 29,
from 9 am to 12 pm and Tuesday, October 31, from 6 pm to
8:30 pm.

Visitors are encouraged to dress up in their favorite costumes and
enjoy the exciting activities planned. Howl-O-Ween attendees
under 12 will receive a candy bag to hit the trick-or-treat trail with a
large variety of treat stations. New this year, Howl-O-Ween visitor
ghosts, goblins, and super-heroes can visit the park’s African
animals– trick or treat with the cheetahs and zebras, say boo to the
warthogs, and wander through Village WaTuTu.

Additional activities include pumpkin bowling, pumpkin decorating,
face painting, a monster maze, live entertainment and more.
Zookeepers will provide special animal encounters and The Living
Desert’s zoo mascots will also be making appearances throughout.
Dogs Are Invited to our Halloween Party!

We will have have water and goodies to keep them happpy

Capers come to mind when I think of boating. Nothing better
than bagels, creme cheese, smoked salmon and capers.
Sprinkle with pepper and you are set to go.

Capers are the unripened flower buds of Capparis spinosa or
Capparis inermis, prickly, perennial plants native to the
Mediterranean and some parts of Asia. Their use dates back to
2000 B.C. where they are mentioned as a food in the Sumerian
epic of Gilgamesh. Brined or dried, they are valued for the burst
of flavor they give to foods, a flavor described as lemony, olive-y
and definitely salty.

How Are Capers Made?
After the unripened flower buds are harvested, they are dried in
the sun, then pickled in vinegar, brine, wine or salt.

The curing brings out their tangy lemony flavor, much the same
as with green olives.

The size of the buds ranges from tiny (about the size of a baby
petite green pea) up to the size of a small olive. The smallest
variety from the South of France, called nonpareil, is the most
prized and comes with an equally notable price tag. You will also
find Surfines capers, which are a little bigger. Larger capers are
stronger in flavor and more acidic, so it is best to chop them up
before adding to recipes.

Since the caper buds are picked by hand, the cost of a small jar
can seem excessive. Pickled nasturtium seeds are a handy
substitute: Or try making your own Poor Man's Capers at home.

Note that capers are not the same as caper berries, which are
the fruit (not the flower buds) of the caper bush. They are larger
than the biggest caper, about the size of an olive, and attached to
a long cherry-like stem.

They have very small seeds inside (similar to kiwi seeds) and,
when pickled, make an interesting garnish for bloody mary
cocktails or martinis.

Capers in Recipes
Capers have long been a favorite in the Mediterranean region.
The small, green herb buds lend a piquant sour and salty flavor
to salads, dressings, sauces, vegetables and a variety of main

Capers are particularly common in Italian cooking, such as in
pasta puttanesca and chicken piccata. The French add them to
skate Meunier with browned butter. In India, the fruits and buds of
the plant are pickled. The vinegary burst of salt is a great
compliment to fish, especially rich ones such as salmon. Capers
are also non-negotiable when it comes to a bagel with nova lox
and cream cheese (New York-style).

Many recipes call for rinsing the capers before adding to remove
some of the vinegar allowing the flavor of the caper to come
through. You will also notice that the time to add the capers to
the dish is toward the end of the cooking process--this allows the
capers to keep their shape and maintain their signature taste.

Most people only know capers as the piquant little green orbs
that come out of a jar and flavor many Mediterranean dishes. But
if you live in a relatively mild climate where the caper plant
(Capparis spinosa) grows, chances are it's a prolific weed in your
area. And it's super easy to make your own capers (if you don't
live in a Mediterranean climate, try this version of homemade
capers instead).

The familiar store-bought version of capers is usually made from
the young, unopened flower buds of the caper plant, but
sometimes from the oblong immature fruits. Gather the buds or
fruits while they are still small and firm. The buds may have some
purplish coloration: this disappears during the pickling process.

As the species name spinosa suggests, the plants are thorny and
therefore picking capers can be a scratchy, time-consuming
process. But the tasty results are well worth it!

Step One - Soak the Capers

Before they are pickled, caper buds and fruits have a funky,
unpleasantly astringent flavor. This first step softens that. Simply
put the capers in a jar and cover them with water. Secure the lid
and leave them at room temperature for 24 hours. Every day for
three days, drain off the water in a colander or strainer, return the
capers to the jar, and cover them with fresh water.

Step Two - Pickle the Capers

There are two ways to pickle caper buds or fruits: You can put
them into a vinegar and salt brine, or you can lacto-ferment them.

Vinegar Method

To make the brine, combine equal parts white wine or apple cider
vinegar and water. Add 1 tablespoon of non-iodized salt per cup
of liquid (I know this sounds like a lot of salt but that saltiness is
part of the flavor profile of cured capers. You can soak the
capers in water before using them to reduce the saltiness).

Bring the brine to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to
dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and let cool for 30
minutes. Pour the cooled brine over the capers in a clean jar,
secure the lid, and store the jar in the refrigerator. The capers will
be ready to use in one week but will be even better if you can
bring yourself to wait a full month before sampling.

For long term storage in sealed jars at room temperature, can the
pickled capers in half-pint jars in a boiling water bath for 10
minutes (adjust the canning time if you live at a high altitude).

Fermentation Method

To lacto-ferment capers, dissolve 1 tablespoon kosher or other
non-iodized salt in a pint of filtered or non-chlorinated water
(Most municipal tap water is chlorinated to destroy bacteria, but
for lacto-fermentation you are counting on beneficial probiotic
bacteria to ferment the food.) Put the capers in a clean glass jar
and cover them with the salt and water brine. Loosely cover the
jar and place it on a small plate to catch the overflow that may
occur as the capers ferment.

Leave the jar of capers out at room temperature for 3 days. By
this time they should start to have the lightly sour but clean smell
typical of a young fermentation (think sauerkraut).

Transfer the capers to the refrigerator, and wait at least 2 weeks
before sampling. It is not necessary to keep the dish under the jar
once you've moved the capers into the refrigerator.
July's Employee of the Month!

Congratulations to Doc Morgan for being awarded July's
Employee of the Month.  Doc has been with the Club since March
2017 in Outside Services.  He always provides excellent
customer service to our Members and guests, is a solid team
player and takes the initiative to get things done making this a
well deserved honor.  In his spare time, Doc enjoys racing cars
and boats.

Congratulations Doc!
New Memberships at Bermuda Dunes Country Club

I am excited to announce our new membership offerings!  We
have added several new classifications including the Associate,
Second Club and Preview Memberships.  The Associate
Membership is perfect for those who golf on average once a
week.  The Second Club Membership allows members from a
private club within the Coachella Valley to make Bermuda Dunes
Country Club their second home.  Finally, the Preview
Membership allows someone to "try on" the club before making a
full commitment for dues only.

As always, I am available to discuss the benefits of each
membership and answer any questions you may have.  Please
stop by or give me a call!

Wishing you a wonderful summer and 4th of July!
Tracey Connole
Membership Director
760-345-2771, ext. 124
Originally, Balboa Island was little more than a mudflat surrounded
by swampland.

Today's Newport Harbor emerged only after dredging millions of
tons of silt. In the late 1860s, James McFadden and his brother,
Robert, purchased a large portion of the future site of Newport,
including the oceanfront of Newport Beach, much of Balboa
Peninsula, and the sandbars that were to become Balboa Island
and Newport Harbor's other islands. They immediately began
subdividing and selling their property.

They established a successful fishing wharf on the Balboa
Peninsula and the townsite of Newport Beach. In the late 1860s,
the bay was used as a landing to load hides, tallow, hay and other
goods for export. In September 1870, Captain Samuel S. Dunnells’
steamer Vaquero ventured into the bay to offload a cargo of
lumber and shingles. Captain Dunnells soon established “Newport
Landing” by constructing a small wharf and warehouse near the
west end of the present Coast Highway/Newport Bay Bridge.

Balboa Island 1928

The McFadden brothers acquired the landing in 1875 and for the
next 19 years operated a thriving commercial trade and shipping
business. However, the bay was not yet a true harbor and sand
bars and a treacherous bay entrance caused the McFadden
brothers to move the shipping business to the oceanfront by
constructing a large pier on the sand spit that would become the
Balboa Peninsula. The site was ideal because a submarine
canyon (Newport Submarine Canyon - a favorite breeding ground
for the Great White Shark), carved along with Newport Bay by the
ancient Santa Ana River, provided calm waters close to the shore.
McFadden Wharf was completed in 1888 and was connected by
rail to Santa Ana in 1891.

For the next eight years, the McFadden Wharf area was a
booming commercial and shipping center and a company town
began to grow. However, in 1899, the Federal Government
allocated funds for major improvements to a new harbor at San
Pedro, which would become Southern California’s major seaport.
The McFadden Wharf and railroad was sold to the Southern
Pacific Railroad that same year, signaling the end of Newport Bay
as a commercial shipping center.

In 1902, James McFadden sold all of his Newport property,
including the Newport townsite, about half the Balboa Peninsula,
and the swamplands that were to become Harbor, Lido, and
Balboa Islands (totaling about 900 acres) to William S. Collins and
C. A. Hanson for an undisclosed amount, suspected to be $35,000
with $5,00 down.

Creation by dredging, 1906-1941

Public Dock on Balboa Island, Newport Beach California

Collins and Hanson saw Newport Bay’s resort and recreation
potential. They took on Henry E. Huntington as a partner in the
Newport Beach Company. Huntington had acquired the Pacific
Electric railway system and used it to promote new communities
outside of Los Angeles. In 1905, the Pacific Electric “Red Cars”
were extended to Newport. By 1906, the Pacific Electric line Red
Cars began servicing the Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Pavilion,
and soon the Red Cars brought thousands of visitors from Los

Docks on Balboa Island, Newport Beach California

Collins built a dredge and, by 1906, began dredging a channel on
the north side of the bay and depositing the sand and silt on
tidelands that would become Balboa Isle. Between 1902 and 1907,
many of Newport Beaches’ waterfront communities were
subdivided, including West Newport, East Newport, Bay Island,
Balboa, and Balboa Isle. This established the grid system of small
lots and narrow streets and alleys that still exists today.

Balboa Island Main Street

Within a few years, real estate promoters began sending salesmen
to Pasadena and to Los Angeles (both connected by the Red
Cars) to promote property in and around Newport Harbor. Much
Balboa Island property was sold in Pasadena, one of the reasons
that many longtime Island residents have family and contacts in the
Pasadena area.

In 1908 and 1909, with permission of the Orange County Board of
Supervisors, Collins moved his small dredge to the eastern part of
the Newport bay, a mud flat called "Snipe Island," and begin
cutting a channel along the north side of the bay across from the
Pavilion, piling the sand and silt up on the mud flat and thus
Balboa Island was born.

As Balboa Isle began to take shape, Collins launched a national
advertising campaign, offering 30 foot by 85 foot inland lots for
$600 and waterfront lots for $750. He used a brochure picturing an
elegant, but non-existing, hotel on the isle to help sell his lots. He
also promised ferry service, electricity, paved streets, sewers,
streetlights, and water.[ However, despite the advertisements,
Collins originally sold lots on the Island for as little as $25.00, with
promises that all streets, sewers and street lights would soon be
installed and a bridge and ferry service to follow. Construction was
begun for the ferry landing. Streets were staked out and lots were
mapped. Even a few narrow sidewalks were built. A low 14-inch
(360 mm) wooden bulkhead was built along the south side of the
island and an impromptu sewer system was laid out with pipes
draining onto the beaches at their low tide levels to keep the
discharge out of sight. He established the still-running Balboa

Balboa isle owners struggled for years with poor roads, flimsy
sidewalks, sewers that poured directly into the bay, and a wall so
inadequate that homes were regularly flooded by high tides. By
1911, discouragement permeated the island, and owners left, tired
of inadequate services. Neglected homes dotted the island, and lot
prices fell to as little as $325. Still optimistic, Collins held an
extravagant Fourth of July celebration in 1914. He distributed
8,000 brochures nationwide as well as promoting locally. He was
successful, and thousands came to enjoy races, tours, food, and
parades. Lots began selling again. Before long, Collins had sold
700 Balboa Island lots, establishing it as one of Newport Harbor's
favorite residential and recreational areas.

The island grew slowly at first, but in 1916, it became part of the
City of Newport Beach. In 1918 the Balboa Island Improvement
Association was started (and is still going strong . The BIIA was a
motivating force in working with the City on bulkhead repair, ferry
service, a sewer system, water, gas, electricity, paved streets and
sidewalks, and street lighting.

In those early days of 1919, water for the Island came from the
famous "Wooden Water Tower" built on Agate Street, removed in
1929. In 1920, Park Avenue was the only paved road on the
Island. People had outhouses behind their houses as there was no
sewer, and some buried their trash in vacant lots. In 1920, a gas
utility came to the Island providing heating, cooking, and lights.

Joseph Beek, while still a student at Pasadena City College, was
enchanted with the area, and became one of Collins' salesmen.
Beek played a crucial role in the development of Balboa Island,
and spent a lifetime devoted to it. In 1919, Joe got the first contract
for a ferry between the Island and Balboa Peninsula. In 1920, the
first car was pushed across the bay (for 10 cents). In 1922, Joe
Beek got a 15-year franchise, using the ferry boat "Joker", which
could hold two cars. That franchise has continued to this day, with
three 64 ft (20 m) boats, named "Admiral," "Captain," and
"Commodore," that can each carry three vehicles. Beek later
became Secretary of the California State Senate, where he served
until his death in 1968.

By 1921, homes were beginning to fill in the Island and Balboa
Peninsula. Roads to the Newport Harbor area were still largely
undeveloped, and many people still arrived by rail to the peninsula
and took the ferry over to the island. Although the first bridge from
the mainland to the island's North Bay Front was built in 1912, it
was not capable of carrying automobiles until 1929, when it was

The seawall was rebuilt in 1922. The Grand Canal wooden
bulkhead and walk were rebuilt in concrete in 1929. The present
day Bay Front bulkhead, walks and public piers were completed in

In 1924, the narrow bridge to Balboa Island was replaced with two
lanes of wood. That bridge existed until 1928, when it was
demolished to make way for a concrete bridge. Some of the wood
from the old bridge was used to construct the building next to the
"Jolly Roger" Restaurant (now Wilma's) on Marine Avenue. In
1929, a new concrete bridge was built and served for 51 years.
The island's population grew from a little over 100 in 1929 to
today's 4,500 in winter, and close to 10,000 summer renters. In
1981, the existing concrete bridge was replaced with a new,
modern concrete structure with 9' wide walks.

In 1941 Englishman William Maxwell purchased 15 lots, an
investment that he still owns today.

Jamboree Road, 1953

                          1953 Boy Scout Jamboree Site

The 1953 National Scout Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America
held its event where Newport Center and Fashion Island are now
located. It was the third international jamboree, the first to be held
west of the Mississippi River, and had 50,000 scouts from all 50
states and 16 foreign countries. Thousands of tents were pitched
in the area accessible only by a muddy two-lane trail called
Palisades Road. The road was soon paved, and later the name
was changed to Jamboree Road in honor of the event. It remains a
major thoroughfare through Newport Beach, ending at Balboa

21st century

Balboa Island celebrated its centennial in 2016 with a parade.

According to the 2000 US Census, Balboa Island was one of the
densest communities in Orange County. Approximately 3,000
residents live on just 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) giving it a
population density of 17,621 person per square mile—higher than
that of San Francisco.[

Despite having some of the country's most expensive homes, most
of the dwellings are on small lots. A lot size on Balboa Island is 30
feet x 85 feet. In 2008 teardowns on interior lots of that size were
going for $2,000,000. As times change some of the lots are being
cobbled together into 1.5 or 2.0 sized lots for larger homes.

The perimeter of the island along the Bayfront is dotted with piers
for the homeowners' boats. Marine Avenue and Agate Avenue form
the commercial spine of the island.

Balboa Island has several associations. The Balboa Island
Improvement Association, a voluntary group of people who live or
work on Balboa Island. The Business Improvement District which
is a Merchant sponsored group on Marine Avenue and The Little
Balboa Island Association, a group of home owners only on Little
Balboa Island. There is plenty of opportunity for community
involvement on Balboa Island.

Balboa Island is one of the most expensive real estate markets in
North America outside of Lower Manhattan. A two-bedroom house
with a water view from the living room can cost about $3 million.

The sitcom Arrested Development is partially set on Balboa Island
where the family owned frozen banana stand is located.

Balboa Island's only bar, the Village Inn (or VI as locals like to call
it), has sat near the end of Marine Ave for over 80 years.
This past weekend The Blogfolks and kids visited Balboa
Island for some whale watching. We did not see whales,
but did enjoy our boat trip.

Upon entering onto Balboa Island it is a real zoo
atmosphere. Way too many peeps for us, but great for a
short stay.

We were blown away by the magnificent homes on the

Here are some photos of our trip. Hope you enjoy them.

Mrs. B

We highly recommend Newport Coastal Adventure
On Monday, August 21, 2017, a shadow will come across the
United States as the moon crosses in front of the sun to create
the first solar eclipse since 1918. It’s a cause for wonder and
celebration in itself, and for associations it’s the perfect
opportunity to cultivate a sense of community – with a solar
eclipse party.

Even though the date of the eclipse is fast approaching, there’s
still time to plan a quick, simple event that will bring your
community together— just follow these steps!

1. Choose the Right Location

While some locations will have a better view of the eclipse than
others, you can still find an ideal spot to watch the eclipse in your
local community. A common area with an open view of the sky,
like a park or a greenbelt, is ideal. An area with a few tables and
benches along with a grassy area for laying out blankets also
gives residents a place to sit while waiting for the big moment.
Ensuring that the location is as close and convenient as possible
will help drive attendance.

2. Promote Solar Eclipse Safety

Everyone knows that staring at the sun can damage your retinas,
and your residents might think that sunglasses offer all the
protection they need – but this is far from the truth. To promote
safety, encourage residents to bring solar eclipse glasses or
provide them as a party favor. You could also turn safety into an
activity by supplying the items for creating pinhole cameras that
will allow residents to view the eclipse without suffering
consequences to their sight.

3. Provide Out-of-This-World Refreshments

This is an opportunity to get a little creative and incorporate a
space theme without going overboard. If the budget only allows
you a few simple snacks, you’ve still got plenty of options: Sun
Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst, Milky Ways, sun tea, and any other
treats with extraterrestrial names are all fair game. Spring for
lunch by adding in all the components for the perfect picnic or
barbecue, or encourage residents to bring a sack lunch to enjoy
outdoors while watching the eclipse unfold.

4. Tell the Community about Your Event

There’s no point in planning an event unless you invite people to
it! Since the eclipse is happening in a matter of days, notify your
community via social media or email. The exact time of the
eclipse is different depending on your specific location.

It’s also important to mention whether you’ll provide eclipse
glasses or if residents need to bring their own. And you can
generate further interest by mentioning the refreshments you’ll

Because the solar eclipse is providing the entertainment,
planning a watch party for this rare occasion couldn’t be easier.
With these tips and a little planning and creativity, you can host a
simple, affordable solar eclipse watch party that lets you and
your community residents sit back, relax and enjoy the light show.

Reprinted from by ADAMS | STIRLING PLC
Surround yourself with what you love:
Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants,
hobbies, whatever..
Your home is your refuge.
All About Birds
Climate Change Or Habitat Loss? Study Weighs Future Priorities
For Conserving Forest Migrants
By Pat Leonard

This animation shows where the 21 species in the study occur
during each week of the year. Brighter colors (yellows) indicate
more species are present than darker areas (blues and purples);
overall, the species spend more time in Central American
wintering grounds than on their northern breeding grounds.

Birds are among the first to let us know when the environment is
out of whack. But predicting what might happen to bird
populations is tricky. Studies often focus on a single issue or
location: breeding grounds or wintering grounds, changes in
climate, loss of habitat. But in the real world, nothing occurs in
isolation. A new study just published in the journal Global
Change Biology pulls the pieces together.

“This is really the first study to measure the combined impact of
climate change and land-use change over a bird’s full annual
cycle,” says lead author Frank La Sorte at the Cornell Lab of
Ornithology. “Typically, studies tend to focus on the breeding
season. If you do that, you’re missing the real story which is
inherently dynamic and complex.”

The study merges projections for climate change with land-use
change to model what the future might look like for 21 species of
forest birds. Scientists ran dozens of scenarios to learn which
combinations of factors would make this group of flycatchers,
vireos, and warblers—all of which breed in eastern North
America and winter in Central America—even more vulnerable to
population decline.

Two key findings stand out:

Over the next few decades, already-declining populations of
these study species may become even more vulnerable on their
wintering grounds because of human-caused habitat loss.
By the end of this century, expected changes in rainfall and
temperature may reduce available habitat and food on wintering
grounds even further, threatening the birds’ ability to survive.
To reach these conclusions, study authors first set out to
establish where the 21 species are currently found and in what
density for every week of the year in every 4-square-mile block of
land north of the Equator. They used observations that
volunteers entered into the eBird database from 2004 through
2014. Then, they layered in modeled climate change projections
(temperature and rainfall) from the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change and habitat data (land-use changes) from a
variety of projects conducted by academic researchers, and the
location of protected areas.


The study examined 21 species of birds that breed in eastern
North America and winter in Central America:

                                   Least Flycatcher
Least, Yellow-bellied, and Great-crested Flycatchers

                                 Hooded Warbler

Hooded, Blue-winged, Golden-winged, Tennessee, Chestnut-
sided, Magnolia, Prothonotary, Worm-eating, and Kentucky
Warblers, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, and Louisiana Waterthrush

                                     Indigo Bunting
Other songbirds:

Indigo Bunting, Yellow-throated and Philadelphia Vireos, Wood
Thrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Orchard Oriole

The authors found the 21 study species spend the majority of the
year (approaching 60%) on their wintering grounds in Central
America, where they occur in higher numbers and densities.

“Our findings indicate that land-use change on their wintering
grounds in Central America may be the most pronounced threat
for these birds over the next few decades,” says La Sorte. “That
means more individuals of more species are likely to be exposed
over a longer period of time to habitat loss as people continue to
convert forests to cropland or grassland.”

“With this novel modeling approach, we can now put a number
on how concentrated bird populations really are and hone in on
areas such as northern Central America that are super-important
for wintering migrants and where the threats they face are
magnified,” says Cornell Lab conservation scientist Kenneth
Rosenberg, a coauthor of the study. “This allows us to direct
scarce conservation resources to where they are needed most.”

To address the habitat loss threat, the study’s authors
recommend conservation organizations work with agencies that
have authority over public lands in Central American countries—
the goal being to protect more land from development and to find
ways to better protect the public lands that already exist, as a
sustainable forestry project in northern Guatemala has done.

“Effective conservation ultimately requires collaboration with
local communities and governments,” says Amanda Rodewald,
conservation director at the Cornell Lab and another of the study’
s authors. “We need to develop conservation approaches for
‘working landscapes’ so that both social and ecological needs
are served.”

Over the long term—by the end of this century—the 21 migrants
studied are likely to encounter these altered climate conditions:

Greater warming on the northern breeding grounds and during
migration—a surface temperature increase of about 9°F (5°C)
with uncertain consequences for breeding and migration
success; a smaller increase of about 5.4°F (3°C) is projected for
their wintering grounds.

Less rain on the nonbreeding grounds: a projected decline of
20% or more during the summer would reduce available habitat
and food for birds arriving after fall migration.

More rain on the breeding grounds, nearing 25% more during the
winter on their breeding grounds. This could enhance vegetation
growth and increase insect densities for returning spring
migrants—a positive trend if the birds arrive at the right time.

A Wood Thrush in Mexico faces threats on its wintering grounds.

Timing is a crucial long-term climate-change threat, creating a
potential disconnect between when migrants depart their
wintering grounds—departure timing is based on amount of
daylight—and the availability of food when they arrive on the
breeding grounds.

This study highlights the interconnectedness and importance of
far-flung locations for birds. Even if a threat does not exist in our
own backyards, what happens elsewhere still has an impact on
“our” birds. For example, the Wood Thrush—one of the species
in this study—has actually been expanding its northern range as
nature reclaims abandoned farmland. But the Wood Thrush
population has still declined by more than 30% since 2009. The
cause of this decline likely has to do with conditions on the bird’s
wintering grounds throughout Central America.

Though the study brings together the possible effects of climate
and land-use change, additional human-caused threats to birds
will surely remain part of the equation, including light pollution,
window collisions, and cat predation.

“Human activities are placing pressure on bird populations from
many different angles at varying intensities,” says La Sorte.
“Birds are responding with tools designed to function under
gradual environmental change—but how effective this will be
under rapid change occurring from many different sources is not
well understood.”
Condo complex slashes water bills after removing


El Paseo Village HOA's new landscape features a palette of lush,
low-water use plants and a new water-efficient irrigation system.
Photos courtesy of Coachella Valley Water District.

Increasing water rates led a Palm Desert condominium complex to
tear out 16,000 square feet of street-side grass and replace it with
desert-friendly plants, a new irrigation system and lighting.

The change at the 30-unit El Paseo Village was “no easy task as it
covered three perimeter streets: Lupine Lane, Shadow Mountain
Drive and San Pablo Avenue,” says Tamara Sorensen, president
of the complex’s HOA and spearhead of the project.

“I knew we needed to become a more responsible community. Our
water usage had been designated as ‘wasteful’ for years.”

To gather ideas, she drove around the Valley looking for beautiful
and sustainable desert gardens. Sorensen’s vision for the project
was a lush Mediterranean garden with a contemporary desert
palette of low-water use plants.

The HOA worked with a train of experts: Coachella Valley Water
District Water Management Specialist Rene Ramirez, landscape
architect Gary Hermanowski of Moeller’s Garden Center Palm
Desert, and VIP Landscape, Palm Desert.

A stroll along the complex’s perimeter shows what she calls
“symbiotic events of color and texture” created with rocks
interspersed with drip-irrigated plants from CVWD’s list of desert-
friendly plants.

Hermanowski designed the placement of plants that includes little
Ollie olive, pencil bush, American agave, blue elf aloe, golden
barrel cactus, natal plum, and Mexican bird of paradise. Many are
shaded by the complex’s decades-old olive trees.

Comparing water bills for the first three months of 2017 to the same
period in 2016 shows the complex saw a 2/3 reduction in water use.

Along with CVWD rebates, those savings “are hard dollars we can
put into the coffers toward other improvements for our community,
said Sorensen.

CVWD continues to offer rebates for converting lawn to desert-
friendly landscaping. For information:
Senior National Parks pass price to jump from
$10 to $80

The Senior Pass that  allows lifetime access to more than 2,000
federal sites and parks throughout the country, including Joshua
Tree National Park, will increase from $10 to $80 on Aug. 28, 2017.

In December 2016, Congress passed legislation requiring that the
price of the lifetime Senior Pass be the same as the Interagency
Annual Pass, which is currently $80. The legislation also
introduces a new annual Senior Pass that can be purchased for
$20. Seniors who purchase annual Senior Passes for four years
can trade them in for a lifetime Senior Pass at no additional charge.

The price of the Senior Pass has been $10 since 1994. U.S.
citizens and permanent residents who are age 62 years or older
can buy the lifetime pass for $10 before Aug. 28 at a national park
or other Federal recreation area that charges an entrance or
standard amenity (day-use) fee. They are available at two Visitor
Centers in JTNP: Oasis Visitor Center at park headquarters in 29
Palms, 8:30 a.m. – p.m. daily; and Joshua Tree Visitor Center on
Park Boulevard in Joshua Tree, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

The pass can also be obtained by mail or online for $10 before
Aug. 28, but an additional $10 processing charge will make the
total cost of the pass $20. Due to high order volume, there could
be delays with online and mail order processing of up to several

Golden Age or Senior Passes purchased before Aug. 28 will be
honored for the pass holder’s lifetime.

The Senior Pass covers all entrance fees and standard amenity
(day-use) fees and may provide discounts for things such as tours
or campsites. The pass also waives the entrance fee for individuals
traveling with the pass holder. At per-vehicle fee sites, the pass
admits the pass holder and all passengers in a noncommercial
vehicle. At per-person fee sites, the pass admits the pass holder
and three other adults, while children under 16 are always admitted

The Senior Pass can be used at sites managed by the National
Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land
Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service,
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The increase in the fee will support critical maintenance projects at
national parks and federal recreational lands.