Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ZAGARA – THE REVIEW



THE VAULT’S LATEST DEPOSIT, BUON APPETITO

Temecula, CA – “You will wind up living in a small town and love it”, was the way my first mother-in-law put my then distant future. I looked at her and said, “I hate small towns. Everyone knows your business.” She finished with “Be that as it may”, a catchall old school phrase that roughly meant ‘mark my words’, another term meaning ‘what I say will come to pass’.

What that woman said to me long ago did come to pass when I came to Murrieta, and to a similar degree, Temecula. As with most people I would think, the things I viewed one way have proved to exist in a different and opposite light. Knowing ‘someone’s business’ means knowing their history and here that also means you are a part of that history. There is a double portion of that in this Zagara Resaturant review. Because of that and my desire to always present a true review, I took along Devin Sanchez to be my food critic.

Zagara, the Italian restaurant, was once an upscale bayou eatery that started life as a spot called Frankie’s, the original upscale Italian restaurant at that location [source: electrician for Palm Plaza’s Dippin Dots]. The Zagara owner is a true Italian whose son recently graduated from college and the most romantic guy I know, having learned English after falling in love with an American singer in his native Italy. I know this because the owner of Zagara, recipient of at least 75 rave yelp reviews and one awesome Google + review [they only had one at the time I checked], is the former owner of The Vault, the original grown from the Footloose days of Temecula when you could hear Christian bands in church basements, get drunk and shit-kick in Old Town, or do a beer run to go burn pallets on a hilltop and smoke weed.

Monday, September 15, 2014

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS



TO ALL MY ROWDY FRIENDS

Temecula, CA – This may seem strange but there is a petition going around to put Martin Luther King, Jr. on the twenty dollar bill to replace Jackson. Having met Dr. King in person, I can tell you this is a dishonor he
wouldn’t have wanted. Please don’t sign the petition or better yet, start a petition to take him off the list.
Here’s the story that started this Ferguson guilt-trip.

“My public high school wasn’t the best, but we did have an amazing history teacher. Mr. L, as we called him, brought our country’s story to life. So when he taught us about the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears, Andrew Jackson’s campaigns to force at least 46,000 Cherokees, Choctaws, Muscogee-Creeks, Chickasaws, and Seminoles off their ancestral lands, my classmates and I were stricken.

It was unfathomable that thousands of Native American men, women, and children were forced to march West, sometimes freezing to death or starving because U.S. soldiers wouldn’t let them bring extra food or blankets. It was hard to hear that the Choctaw Nation lost up to a third of its population on the death march. It was disorienting to learn that what amounted to ethnic cleansing had come at the insistence of an American president.

But then it was lunchtime, and we pulled out our wallets in the cafeteria. Andrew Jackson was there, staring out from every $20 bill. We had been carrying around portraits of a mass murderer all along, and had no idea.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

THE SNORE OF SONORA



LA POT DECLARATION HAS A SOFT OPENING

Temecula, CA – As promised, this reporter covered the official press release proclaiming an end to cannabis’ unlawful right to be publicly utilized. Although the day trip would later lead to meeting Amelia
Earhart’s artist nephew, an around the campfire story, the called press event concerning LA’s Mexican Sonoratown [now Chinatown] pot bust 100 years ago did not draw anywhere close to the expected audience. In fact, you almost got the feeling that the event was a pay-for-view presentation to be presented somewhere else for viewing.

There was no commercial network media though marijuana legalization is the number one topic, or elephant in the room. People may be talking about ISIS, the Middle East, Ukraine, and the botched procedure that led to Joan Rivers’ untimely death, but the real gorilla in the room is still cannabis and will continue to be. The cloud of smoke around marijuana continues to befuddle the periphery of those who would look in on this latest opening round legal effort.

Some old friends were there, some social acquaintances, some expected players, and they even brought in the token black from the token safe organization. It was a great day weather-wise, like, a poster day under clear unsprayed blue city skies. In fact, there weren’t even helicopters flying. That’s how nice a day in LA, DTLA, it was last Thursday, or Thor’s Day. So who was there and what does this all mean? All that, right after the jump.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

POT’S HOT HUNDRED



SEE THE RANGE OF CANNABIS CUTIES, HERE

Temecula, CA – Few stories give me greater pleasure than introducing my readers to the range of cannabis
cuties, everyday beauties that include a 420Nurse or three [including #98 and my source for this story], in a contest for Hemp Girl in the coming Las Vegas HempFest.

As you peruse each entry, to be appreciated as much for their appearance as their unique projected emotion, compare the liquid personalities portrayed in pose versus your Bud Light girls, not that there isn’t some objectification here. This is, after all, a modeling contest but it isn’t about and doesn’t show just the bikini side of today’s young woman, many of whom are medical patients getting relief from today’s environmental imposed health causes.

Whether you decide to go to Vegas or not, you owe your eyeballs and mindset the treat of knowing the kind of women who aren’t joining ISIS, or having sex with their brothers and students, who don’t brawl, bawl, or even do nude book reading in public. These are the girls just down the street; the ones you catch a glimpse of at the store sometimes; the ones that make you go ‘hmmm?!’; the ones that smoke pot.

By making the jump, you agree you are old enough for adult content in regard to cannabis use, cough, cough.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I AM ALI FILM OUT IN OCTOBER



I KNEW HIM BACK WHEN

Temecula, CA – Graduating in 1963 was advantageous time wise but being in Louisville, KY during those years was noteworthy because of a man named Cassius Clay. Later re-named Muhammad Ali, I doubt Ali would remember my face now but I will never forget the last time I saw him up close and personal.


It was wintertime and I was standing outside a small neighborhood mini mart either on Greenwood or Virginia Ave just a short block from Western Parkway, the area of some premium black homes and particulate toxic fallout from refinery sludge. This particular day was cold by Louisville standards but it wasn’t freezing and it was sunny. There was ice still on the ground.

It was probably about 3 or 4 in the afternoon and along with people in general, a black Cadillac pulls up and Cassius gets out. He was Champion but much of his turmoil was ahead of him. As was the custom in those days, if you were important, someone drove you. Someone else was driving that day. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FOOTBALL NEWS AFTER NFL WEEK ONE



FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER

Hello Football Fans,

Attached is my attempt at an abbreviated letter, although there is just too much happening and I'm afraid I failed this week.

Anyway, it was the first week of the NFL season, and I hope your fantasy leagues and other pools got off to a good start.

Enjoy,

The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL


I was going to write a long summary of last weekend’s games on the gridiron, but I decided to take some extra time and write a shorter one, based on advice from Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

POT POLITICS



THE START OF CALI WEED LEGALIZATION – AND YOU ARE THERE

Temecula, CA – Along with D.C., Maine, Hawaii, Alaska, and Oregon, California is perhaps the biggest domino on the board that could drastically change the national landscape in terms of prohibition. If Oregon and California are both able to pass legalization measures, then the entirety of the U.S. west coast would be comprised of states that have ended prohibition, creating a Mecca of sorts for cannabis fans. Of course, California is the most populous — and probably most demographically complicated — state in the union.

Looking north in Venice Beach
California represents one of the world’s largest economies all on its own, and if cannabis is legalized, it will have a dramatic effect across the country. The state is already home to one of the most robust medical marijuana markets in the world, so the state’s residents aren’t exactly unfamiliar with the product either.
Although it’s not expected to reach the ballot until 2016, the wheels in motion to make California one of the next states to end marijuana prohibition start moving Thursday morning in, where else? LA, City Hall, on the steps. And the Calendar will be there.

“Now that Colorado and Washington have legalized adult use and sales of marijuana, and Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia are poised to do so in November 2014, California will do well to re-examine its long, unproductive war on the marijuana plant and enact laws to regulate it for the benefit of all,” said Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

JACK THE RIPPER FINALLY IDENTIFIED



DNA PROVES CULPRIT 126 YEARS LATER

Temecula, CA - It is the greatest murder mystery of all time, a puzzle that has perplexed criminologists for more than a century and spawned books, films and myriad theories ranging from the plausible to the utterly bizarre.

But now, thanks to modern forensic science, the true identity of Jack the Ripper, the serial killer responsible for at least five grisly murders in Whitechapel in East London during the autumn of 1888 can exclusively revealed.


DNA evidence has now shown beyond reasonable doubt which one of 3 key suspects commonly cited in connection with the Ripper’s reign of terror was the actual killer – and we reveal his identity.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

THE WAITER WITH THE CHECK



A LOOK AT THE LATEST FROM KHALED MESHAAL

Temecula, CA – With the continued seizure of Gaza Strip land from the Palestinians along with the brutal living conditions [compared to anywhere else in the world], and the predicted assassination of Netanyahu [The Bible Code], the Calendar takes a look at the guy who will be a person of interest, Khaled Meshaal, a leader of Hamas that Netanyahu once killed, almost, by poisoning, only to be talked out of the antidote by Slick Willy’s boys back in the days of cool Presidents. Though he may not pull the trigger during the upcoming Hunter’s Moon, the second blood moon's name in the current tetrad, this is a guy with a grudge and a finger on everything. Let's meet the man up close and personal in the following report by Elie Hanna.


This in-depth view presents a fascinating look into the political process that takes place between leaders of movements and leaders of countries in regard to the current world scenario. It is presented unedited so you, the Reader, can know what is being said transparently and form your own opinion. This is a Sunday evening political read, so’s you know.

‘On September 5, Al-Akhbar published the secret minutes of the meeting for negotiations held during the most recent assault on Gaza, at the court of the emir of Qatar, between a delegation from the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas and a delegation from Hamas led by Khaled Meshaal. Al-Akhbar publishes the second minutes of the meeting today for the session that brought together the same parties held before the Palestinian Authority delegation travelled to Cairo.

A SUNDAY STORY WITH A HAPPY ENDING



SOMETIMES THE GOOD GUYS DO WIN

Temecula, CA – When you become a story while covering a story, it’s pretty obvious that you’re not looking
back, only straight ahead. It isn’t that I don’t wonder the latest on Autumnwood and the Toyota battery fight, it’s just there seems no time for resolution. Well not this time or this story. The Calendar presents the concluding chapter to a story first posted by the Valley News then later expounded on here about my friend, Basil Maqbool, the druggist at Vail Ranch Pharmacy on highway 79 South. The conclusion, in his own words.

“My youngest son, Nomaan [‘Nomi’], suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as Leber's Congenital Amaurosis, due to a mutation in the gene RPE65, which causes blindness. He began a clinical trial to try and restore his vision. This is our account of the process finish.

It's been almost a year since Nomaan was treated. I haven't posted as often as I would have liked to in recent months. Life, as is always the case, has kept me quite busy. Between work, family, school, etc., we have all had our hands full.

This year, we have only had two visits to CHOP.  I received an email this week, finalizing our plans for our next visit. In November, we will have our final visit of 2014. After that time, we will have annual visits only.