One of the loudest gripes heard about the “Forever Marilyn” sculpture is the amount of unwanted local media coverage being foisted off on those living in “her” community. The sculpture was acquired for its promotional value and press coverage elsewhere has proved it a good investment on behalf of local tourism. That doesn’t mean residents need constant reminders that “Forever Marilyn” now dwells among us.

The sculpture didn’t appear to warrant or need more local print coverage, but a Valley Voice piece in the local paper proved an exception worth reading. Bruce Bonafede, in his Desert Sun op-ed titled “Will ‘Forever Marilyn’ be just the first of celebrity statues in Palm Springs?“, is a must-read by all who are familiar with the workings of the Palm Springs city council, boards and commissions. A few city officials may not appreciate the author’s witticisms but others, with smaller egos, should find them rather entertaining.

Bonafede’s “Forever Marilyn” piece is simply hilarious. It starts with “the response has been unanimously positive – except from those who don’t like it.” He reports visiting the City’s “DUD” department, refers to a new “Celebrities in Public Places Commission“, takes a brief swipe at “neighborhood associations and political clubs“, discusses a new commission setup process that emulates the Measure J Oversight Commission appointment debacle, and tops it off with a reference to “The Preservation Society to Save Everything Old and Ugly in Palm Springs.”

The “Will ‘Forever Marilyn’ be just the first of celebrity statues in Palm Springs?” is an interesting choice of titles for this sardonic and clever reminder that Palm Springs politics does have a funny side. The author, Bruce Bonafede, is a columnist worth reading and one whose frequent offerings should be encouraged. Bringing him aboard would surely enhance the opinion pages of The Desert Sun.

Bond Shands
Palm Springs

Click here to view the Valley Voice article on the website.

Obligatory photo – one is expected of all local “Forever Marilyn” promotion pieces.

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Embarrassed city officials neglected to inform the public that City Hall had been burglarized over the weekend. The occurrence was not reported until more than three days had passed. The days of Pony Express communications are behind us. We live in an age of telephones, fax, Internet email and the U.S. Postal Service. A three-day delay in news reaching the public can’t be blamed on a communications delivery failure. A better explanation is needed.

Palm Springs City Hall Petty Cash Heist Cover-up

Palm Springs, California. Today’s “Thieves take cash in Palm Springs City Hall heist” story in the local paper reported a break-in and theft of petty cash at City Hall sometime over the past weekend (either Saturday or Sunday). The break-in was not reported on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and not until yesterday were details made public. Had it not been for the excellent investigative journalism work of newsroom mainstay Mr/Ms Staff Reports, the entire tragic occurrence would have remained concealed.

Apparently Staff Reports was unsuccessful in obtaining quotes from City Hall officials and the story content is based on a news release from the Police Department. Although City Hall has an excellent media staff who daily (if not hourly) churn out press release notices every time the mayor changes his shirt, the lack of an official response from them must surely be viewed as a cover-up. Theft of city funds is not only a serious crime, it is one about which the public needs to be informed. The petty cash supply is part of the General Fund and its theft will have budgetary implications. Cutbacks in city services will surely follow and its certain there will be a reduced amount of funds available for purchase of staples, paper clips and number two pencils. If funds are not recovered, budget cutbacks or higher taxes will be the only possible solutions.

The Police Department is across and down the street from City Hall. Their proximity may make them another potential petty cash heist target. It may be advisable for both locations to join the Neighborhood Watch program in an effort to prevent future break-ins and thefts. Police personnel responsible for advising the Neighborhood Involvement Organizations about crime prevention and protection of private property should be asked to address City Hall officials, as well. A strong Neighborhood Watch program could do wonders in terms of protecting civic center government offices from events of this type. And, of course, City Hall staff should always call the police department and report thefts and break-ins. Such reports not only start the investigative process, they also contribute to important policing statistics.

While police investigators work to apprehend those responsible for the theft, the Petty Cash Heist Cover-up needs to be investigated by officials in City Hall. Surely the matter is one destined for the next City Council meeting agenda. It may be necessary to create a new commission to investigate the cover-up. Appointment of citizens to sit on the new Petty Cash Heist Cover-up Investigative Commission may require a city-wide candidate recruitment process. And, of serious importance, the opinions of city officials need to be uncovered so residents may become better informed and convinced their best interests are being protected.

Bond Shands
March 30, 2012

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In my lifetime I’ve noticed how our language usage has changed and how it adapts to what is probably best described as the interests of newer generations. In particular the use of profanity in word and print continues to evolve – just as has sex and drug use. That which I learned to avoid is now becoming commonplace.

I’m reminded of the change in language norms by Jeffrey Goldberg’s back page article in the May edition of The Atlantic magazine. The Atlantic (founded in 1857 as The Atlantic Monthly)  originally presented “literary and cultural commentary” but in modern times now targets “thought leaders”. Profanity, though still taboo in the airwave broadcast medium, has found greater acceptance in the print factories and The Atlantic has joined that pack.

Jeffrey Goldberg’s “What’s Your Problem?” column illustrates the level at which profanity is now an acceptable form of language use in society. He wrote, “And if all this fails to soothe him, remind him that he’s a f__king dog“. Why have I substituted underlines for letters in “f__king dog”? It’s because too many censors would object, probably claiming it’s indecent, offensive and a vulgarism. 

If the use of profanity in print is truly becoming acceptable for national print publications, why is it considered objectionable in the local newspaper or on websites monitored by censors? Is discrimination against vulgarisms really appropriate in a free society where the rights of people, animals, corporations and historical sites are deemed sacred? Perhaps it’s time to free vulgarisms from the tyranny of censors, decent folks, atheists and parents. The voices of newer generations need to prevail. So, to those who represent our “thought leaders” I put the question: “Shouldn’t they prevail?”

Bond Shands
Palm Springs

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Last week while attending the mid-week session of my Contract Bridge group, the Director called me over and said he had a request to make. Would I be willing to serve as “Plan C“. The Director explained that next month he would not be able to participate in the weekly session and that the Assistant Director would be absent, as well. That required the operation be handled in accordance with “Plan C” – meaning me. Naturally, and without hesitation, I accepted.

Now that I’m soon to be recognized as “Plan C” it leaves me wondering how others will handle my introductions. Naturally they’ll wish to introduce me as “The Honorable Plan C” on occasions where formal address language forms are appropriate. What about other occasions when folks with whom I’m not acquainted need to address me? What format should they use?

It’s customary for Popes, English royalty and nobility to be addressed using the format in which the first name of the individual follows the title. Prince Bond, Sir Bond, etc., would suggest that “Plan C Bond” is an appropriate form of address. Then there’s the courtesy form of recognition used when addressing government officials. That format is to have the individual’s last name follow the title. President Shands, Premier Shands, Secretary Shands, etc., suggest that “Plan C Shands” is the way to go. Clearly this is an issue in need of definitive clarification.

If I’m unable to resolve the question of the appropriate manner in which my new title is to be used, the best solution may be to take the fake humility route and simply reject it as inappropriate for a citizen in a Democratic society. There are lots of public role models for taking that step (the fake humility thing) and it’s something I can easily do. Yep! No fancy titles for me – I’ll take the job and let them chuck the fancy title.

Bond Shands
Palm Springs

p.s.  Best Wishes for the happiest of holidays to all.

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Boy’s choir singing 185 year old Cat Duet by Rossini

Les Petits chanteurs a la croix de bois, Concert in Seoul, Korea, Nov 30, 1996

I found the following interesting comment on the Internet.

“This piece is called Duetto buffo di due gatti in Italian otherwise known as the “Cat Duet”, generally attributed to Gioachino Rossini. It is non-religious and intended to be light and humorous (i.e. you are supposed to laugh).”

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What happens when the President is accused of not living up to the country’s expectations?
He breaks into song!!

ronniebutlerjr | October 11, 2010


What happens when the President is accused of not living up to the country’s expectations? He breaks into song!!

Directed by Ron Butler
Director of Photography, Raphe Wolfgang
Editor, Charles Little
Music recording & mixing, Cory Mooney
Created and written by Ron Butler

Ron Butler (Barack Obama)
Lucy Butler (Asst.)
David Reaves (Secret Service)
Vernetta Jenkins (Michelle Obama)

Greg Ainsworth
Lisa Bode
Dominic Bogart
Ralph Cole jr.
Barrett Crake
Curtis Heard
Teresa Huang
Justin Jones
Michael Ryan Joyce
Thor Knai
Kerri-Anne Lavin
Mark Mosely
Keith Parks
Lowe Taylor
Gabrielle Wagner
Justin Michael Wilcox
Nicole Tillman
David Zack
Chris Zirbel

Shauna Bloom (1st AD)
Sharon Butler (Production asst.)
Jim Falkenstein (Prop consultant)
Lynne Haddock (Craft Services)
Curtis Heard (Musical director)
Steve Hibbert (Production consultant)
Lerelle Mills (Production asst.)
Phil Sheeran (Sound editor)
Scott Swenson (Production consultant)

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