By Allen David
In the latest attempt to reintroduce mountain yellow-legged frogs into their ancestral home in the San Jacinto Mountains, scientists release about 100 captive-bred members of the endangered species into a stream near Idyllwild. With permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, some of the released frogs were fitted with tiny radio belts to track their movements for up to 30 days after their release.
It’s the first time they’ve tried releasing juvenile frogs. Previously, they’ve tried to nurture egg masses or tadpoles in key San Jacinto Mountain streams, but if any frogs were produced, they have not been found. Native populations of mountain yellow-legged frogs dropped below 200 adults in 2003, their numbers reduced by the usual list of modern threats—habitat loss, human activity, environmental factors—as well as chiytrid fungus in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains. Efforts to fortify the numbers of mountain yellow-legged frogs in the San Jacinto Mountains got underway in 2006 and now involve a partnership among at least eight public agencies and zoological organizations. It’s a really nice fellowship, but it would be so much nicer if they could work a few mountain yellow-legged frogs into the mix.
THURSDAY, JUNE 13
Former President George W. Bush is paid a reported $175,000 to take part in an invitation-only, no-media-allowed, question-and-answer forum at the Western Riverside Council of Government’s annual General Assembly for an audience that includes members of city councils and administrators from throughout the Inland Empire at . . . Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa? Well, one thing’s for certain: Ol‘ President Non-Sequitur hasn’t lost his touch. That middle initial still stands for What th—? But Morongo couldn’t be a better site for the 60-some protesters who have gathered outside for an hour-long rally titled, “Never Forgive, Never Forget: The Trial of George W. Bush.” The protesters call Bush a “war criminal” for getting the United States involved in the war in Iraq. They contend he should be put on trial for crimes against humanity. And is there a more-appropriate place to charge a self-righteous, Bible-banging, warmongering, former U.S. President with crimes against humanity than one of the last—and one of the most-perverse—remnants of decimated Native American culture? Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa? Loosely translated it’s, “I shall fight no more forever.”
FRIDAY, JUNE 14
When the headline reads, “Wrestling Club Coach Arrested,” do you really have to read any further? Well, only on the chance that the story is not about what it so very much seems to be about. So you do, hoping . . . but nope . . . that’s exactly what it’s about.
SATURDAY, JUNE 15
Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and, it feels weird to say this, but I am REALLY—and after all these years, FINALLY—rooting for the Spurs.
SUNDAY, JUNE 16
It’s Father’s Day. My dad is a retired truck driver. We haven’t always communicated well. An exception is when we talk about driving. Here, our perspectives have always seemed to merge—and merging is the maneuver that tests most of the skills and attitudes my dad holds dearest, in driving and in life. He knows we all share the same road. He believes we can share it peacefully. Me, too. “The idea is to keep everybody moving at a steady speed,” my dad has always said. “Everybody is responsible for making that happen. Be up to speed when you move into traffic. Make room for others when they try to move in. The idea is to flow.” But it never takes much to shatter his spiritual spell—an unnecessary flash of brake lights, someone sitting at a just-turned-green signal, a too-late lane change. “Yay-hoos!” my dad calls such offenders. “They cause the accidents, but they’ll never get a ticket!” My dad concedes the need for traffic laws but insists the real issues of the road can only be solved by individual application of common sense. “Get the big picture, realize your part in it,” he’s always said, “and let it roll.” I understand. And if I ever forget what my dad means—about anything, ever—I can just go for a drive. I’m never more certain I’m seeing the world through my dad’s eyes than when I’m behind a steering wheel and looking down a road.
MONDAY, JUNE 17
Latinos now make up 50.5 percent of San Bernardino County’s population, making the county the second largest in the nation with a Latino majority, according to just-released U.S. Census data. Miami-Dade County in Florida, at 64.3 percent, was the only other county with a population of more than 2 million that had a Latino majority. In 2000, Latinos made up 39.2 percent of San Bernardino County’s population. They accounted for 26.7 percent of the population in 1990.
TUESDAY, JUNE 18
Although the Latino majority is certainly significant, the demographic has yet to achieve political clout and a power base in the Inland Empire, said Jose Calderon, an emeritus professor of sociology and Chicano studies at Pitzer College in Claremont. “Certainly there are the demographics, but we haven’t yet reached the level of where it has translated into political power,” he said. “We’re just beginning to see the beginning of that.”