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supervisor benoit's office
760 863 8211
lt. Johnny Rodriguez
760 863 8990
760 540 1878
760 393 3344
Bermuda Dunes Community
760 347 3484
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LIFE IS GOOD IN BERMUDA DUNES
ABOUT BDSA AND
4th Thurs. of every
month at 4PM
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
BDSA is managed by
Desert Resort Mgmt.
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:
If this is urgent, please
contact Security at:
Main Gate: 760-360-1322
Glass Gate: 760-772-3137
Here is what
(BDCA) is responsible for
most problems relating to
property owner's home
and lot, dogs,
draining, trash cans,
fountains and landscaping
at the main gate.
Committee reports to the
Dues are $120 per year
and are payable in
January in lump sum.
Troy Reis | Association
The Management Trust
39755 Berkey Drive, Suite
A • Palm Desert, CA 92211
P: (760) 776-5100 x6343 |
F: (760) 776-5111
|Today is Friday, November 27, 2015
THE BLOGFOLKS CONTACT INFORMATION
Email us: Theblogfolks@bdcommun.com
|Palm Springs Art
Free Admission Every
Thursday, 4-8 p.m.
Thank You to the City of
|3rd Resident Community Membership MEETING
Please attend the 3rd town hall meeting to discuss the details of the community
membership proposal with BDCC.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 10, 2015 5:00 PM
Bermuda Dunes Country Club - Upstairs, Main Dining Room
|December 5 & 6, 2015
Click Below for
|SAVE THE DATES
|*UPDATES FROM NOVEMBER 12, 2015 COUNCIL MEETING
Bermuda Dunes Community Council Agenda
6:00 p.m. Thursday, November 12, 2015
Bermuda Dunes Community Center 78-400 Avenue 42, Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203
I. Pledge of Allegiance - Led by Robert Nelson
II. Roll Call - Everyone Present
III. Approval of the Minutes - Approved
IV. Appointment of Secretary - Delayed until next meeting
V. Councilmember Reports and Comments - Donna Nelson thanked Axl Spinks for his support in getting a painting class started and
possibly a card class at the Bermuda Dunes Community Center. Date, Time and Fee for the painting class TBA.
VI. Staff Reports: Presenters must direct their report to the council. At the conclusion of the presentation, Chair may allow questions. Each
speaker must first be recognized by the Chair.
a. Office of Supervisor John J. Benoit – Joe Pradetto, 760-863-8211, email@example.com - Joe gave the Council members a copy of the
Submittal to the Board of Superviors, County of Riverside : Ordinance No. 927, regulating short-term rentals in our area.
He also reported about the new VETERAN stamp. *See below
b. Sheriff’s Department – Lt. Johnny Rodriguez, 760-863-8990, firstname.lastname@example.org - gave report
c. CAL Fire – Battalion Chief Eddy Moore, 760-540-1878, email@example.com - gave report
d. Code Enforcement – Brenda Hannah, 760-393-3344, firstname.lastname@example.org - not present
e. Desert Recreation District – Axl Spinx, 760-347-3484, email@example.com - Alx reported that they will have one new program to offer at
the BD Community Center and another one in the works.
f. Other Departments
VII. New Business: Presenters must direct their report to the council. At the conclusion of the presentation, Chair may allow questions. Each
speaker must first be recognized by the Chair.
a. Project: Bermuda Dunes Luxury Apartments
i. Recommendation: That the Bermuda Dunes Community Council tentatively support Bermuda Dunes Luxury Apartments in
concept and request another review before final approval.
ii. Record of Action: Advised to revisit Council at a later time
iii. Description: Mixed use residential/commercial project with 69 apartments and 5,500 sqft of commercial space on 1.44 acres.
Remaining 2 acres reserved for possible additional apartments
iv. Location: 42500 Washington Street, Bermuda Dunes (APN 609020015)
v. Project Status: Not yet submitted to Riverside County Planning Department
vi. Contact Information: Charlie Knickerbocker, firstname.lastname@example.org, 760-218-0840
b. Presentation: El Nino Preparedness
i. Background: The Riverside County Emergency Management Department is coordinating a multi-agency educational outreach
effort to prepare residents to deal with potential damage from rains associated with El Nino. This presentation will discuss what precautions Riverside
County is taking and what precautions residents should consider taking. This presentation is for information only and will not require a vote.
ii. Contact: Jerry Hagen, East Desert Coordinator, 951-955-4700, Jerry.Hagen@fire.ca.gov - Bermuda Dunes Community will
have sand bags available to the community. Please go pick them up.
I. Public comments: All persons wishing to address the Council on items not specifically on the agenda or on matters of general interest should
do so at this time. Please limit your remarks to 3 minutes.
II. Agenda Items for next meeting - Jerry Hagen will return to finish presentation
III. Adjourn meeting
2016 meeting schedule: Jan 14, Mar 10, May 12, Sept 8, Nov 10 (Additional meetings may be added if needed). Please visit Supervisor
Benoit’s Web site to access more information: www.RivCo4.org
If you would like to get agenda’s and other important meeting information for the Bermuda Dunes Community Council, please send your email address to
Joe Pradetto at email@example.com.
|California DMV Offers Veteran Designation on Driver Licenses, ID Cards
The new program launches on Nov. 12, 2015
By Monica Garske
California Department of Motor Vehicles
A look at the new "Veterans" designation available on driver licenses and identification cards via the California DMV beginning Nov. 12, 2015.
Beginning Thursday, U.S. military veterans can apply for a special “veteran” designation on their driver licenses and identification cards in California, the
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced.
The California DMV, along with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), will launch a new program honoring U.S. veterans by allowing
vets to apply for the special designation.
“California’s new driver license and identification card program honors and recognizes the military service of our veterans,” said CalVet Secretary Dr.
Imbascani said the designation will make it easier for businesses to confirm a veteran status when offering discounts to service members. There’s a one-
time $5 fee for the veterans designation, plus other fees already in place at the DMV for applications and renewals of licenses or identification cards.
•Veterans Day Freebies in San Diego
The program is the result of Assembly Bill 935, authored by Assemblymember Jim Frazier.
According to the DMV, the application process for the veteran designation is as follows:
•Vietnam Veterans' Bond Forged Again With Kidney Donation
•Get Records: Find your military discharge certificate (DD214). If you need assistance obtaining your military records, then contact any County Veteran
Service Officer (CVSO).
•Visit Any County Veteran Service Office (CVSO): Take your DD214 and government identification to any CVSO to obtain your Veteran Status
Verification Form. For faster CVSO service, make an appointment with any CVSO by calling 844-737-8838 or finding your local CVSO here.
•Visit Any DMV: Go online or call DMV for an appointment. Bring your Veteran Status Verification Form to any DMV field office. Pay any application fees
and complete all application and testing requirements. To schedule an appointment at any DMV field office, visit the DMV website or call (800) 777-
Once approved, the new ID card or driver license will include the word “VETERAN” printed on the face of the card issued to the vet who applied for the
In anticipation of the new program, the DMV has launched this webpage specifically for vets, active-duty military and their families to aid in the
application process and other DMV services for military.
|BERMUDA DUNES, Calif.
Draining your swimming pool to fill it with fresh water could waste thousands of gallons of water.
We are always talking about conservation when it comes to battling the drought, but what about innovation? One local small business owner is going
mobile so you can recycle the water in your pool to make it clean enough to drink.
A typical swimming pool holds about 18,000 gallons of water. Every few years, some pool owners in the Coachella Valley drain their pool and swap it out
for fresh clean water. Especially when calcium begins to build film along the edge.
Drew Clark owns Roadrunner Pools and this month his company got a filtration system that uses reverse osmosis to recycle this precious resource
during the drought.
"What it does for you is it removes your calcium to removes the total dissolved solids from the pool, so the magnesium salts, the metals like iron and that
sort of stuff, any molecule that is bigger than a water molecule doesn't pass through the filter membrane," said Clark.
This process has been used in San Diego for a few years but according to Clark he has the first system in the desert.
Water gets sucked up from the deep end, goes trough the filter, then back into the shallow end. The system also blasts the water with UV light.
"It breaks up the cell structure of organic material and sanitizes the water and any viruses that you might have in the water," said Clark.
The process isn't perfect; about 15 percent of the water that runs through the system gets wasted.
I called the Coachella Valley Water District to see if it wanted to comment on this new process. A spokesperson told me the CVWD can't endorse any
business, but if a homeowner uses this recycled filtration, they should try to save some of the run-off and use it for their landscaping.
If you have a regular sized pool, having it filtered will set you back about $550. But when that's compared to water rates and penalties for using too much
water if you just tried to refill your swimming pool, it could end up being more affordable.
|NOTE FROM MRS. BLOFOLKS
We have waited almost 2 years to get on this Water Awareness Tour. It fills up so quickly that it is almost impossible to
get a seat.
Because we are members of the Desert Horticultural Society of Coachella Valley...we were able to attend.
We will take photos and share all the information with you.
This is the fourth in a series of special bulletins that the Coachella Valley Association of Governments has sent as part of our commitment to keep you
informed about CV Link, a 50-mile alternative transportation corridor that will connect our cities.
Each of these bulletins addresses the frequently asked questions about the project by highlighting facts about the project that have included:
•CVAG has assembled more than $75 million to fund CV Link, with a lot of the funding coming from outside of the Coachella Valley;
•Cathedral City is working with CV Link consultants to break ground on a pathway along the Whitewater River channel by early 2017; and
•Adding golf carts and neighborhood electric vehicles adds only 3.8 percent to the project costs, but opens up all sorts of funding opportunities not
available to standard bike paths.
Will the project go through Rancho Mirage?
CV Link is envisioned as a project that will connect the entire Coachella Valley. The City of Rancho Mirage has previously been supportive of the project,
and even expressed support to help CVAG obtain grant funding.
In recent months, the Rancho Mirage City Council has expressed opposition to the routes in the city and many other aspects of the project. CVAG has
spent years developing more than a dozen different alternatives through the city with hopes of addressing the concerns. CVAG also held two public
forums and several meetings with local homeowners and the business community to hear their feedback.
In September, the Rancho Mirage Council said they would support building CV Link along Ramon Road starting at Da Vall Road and continuing east
along the railroad tracks to the city limits. The CVAG Executive Committee on September 28 decided not to include this option with the alternatives that
are included in the environmental studies. There were concerned raised that the City had proposed an isolated segment that had no connections to the
rest of the project. A few days later, Rancho Mirage sent CVAG a letter saying all routes through the city were removed.
CVAG is now are studying what is called a "no build" scenario, which will forecast what will happen for CV Link users if the project doesn't continue
through the city. For any of you that travel along Highway 111, you can surmise that bike riders, joggers and golf cart drivers will not stop riding through a
city just because CV Link doesn't exist. Those who have biked or jogged along the valley's busy streets know that even the wide lanes can be
intimidating and even dangerous.
Rancho Mirage already allows golf carts along the Whitewater River channel -- the same area where they have rejected CV Link.
Could CVAG build just a traditional bike path in Rancho Mirage?
Yes. CVAG has offered this idea twice but it hasn't gotten support from Rancho Mirage leaders. First, CVAG staff presented it to the Executive
Committee but Rancho Mirage Mayor Dana Hobart voted against it. The offer was made for a second time on October 13, but the City Manager sent a
letter to reject the proposal.
The City of Rancho Mirage has had a golf cart plan for years, which allowed people to ride their carts along the Whitewater Channel where CV Link was
Other cities also allow golf carts and neighborhood electric vehicles. Removing them entirely from CV Link would put some of the project's funding at risk.
Rancho Mirage voters will see six measures related to CV Link on the April 2016 ballot. What does this mean for the project?
All but one of the ballot measures approved by Rancho Mirage City Council are advisory measures, meaning they do not supersede policy decisions
made by governing agencies. The Rancho Mirage City Council has already taken a series of votes to make the City's position known.
Stay informed by checking us out online at www.coachellavalleylink.com. Stay connected by following us on Facebook or on Twitter at @CV_Link and
|WE ARE GLAD TO ANNOUNCE THAT
HAS BEEN SELECTED TO BE A BENEFICIARY OF BARRY MANILOW'S "A GIFT OF LOVE III" CONCERT SERIES AT THE
DECEMBER 8, 9, 11, 12 AND 13, 2015
Additional Premium Tickets have been added to the "A Gift of Love III" concert series. Tickets are on sale NOW exclusively at
Manilow Music Project - www.agiftoflove3.com .
General tickets can still be purchased through the McCallum Theater
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS IN TIME FOR A SPECIAL HOLIDAY GIFT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, AND ANIMAL
SAMARITANS RECEIVES A PORTION OF EVERY TICKET SOLD.
Animal Samaritans was founded in 1978, and is a leading 501(c)(3) no-kill animal shelter, full-service veterinary clinic, and
comprehensive outreach animal welfare organization committed to "Improving the Lives of Animals and People."
Animal Samaritans relies on foundation grants and the generosity of individual and corporate donors to protect and save abused
and abandoned animals; educate students and the public about the importance of humane treatment of animals through our
Humane Education Program; provide Animal Assisted Therapy to patients in hospitals, residents in assisted living facilities and
nursing homes, as well as the disabled; offer financial assistance programs for pet owners on a limited income, discounts to our
active military, and low-cost high-quality veterinary care for all pet owners.
|2015 LA QUINTA ARTISTS OPEN STUDIO TOUR
Hosted by the La Quinta Historial Society and
the La Quinta Museum
Sunday, December 6th
10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Join the fun of visiting over 20 art studios in La Quinta. It is a great
opportunity to talk to the artists about what inspires them as well as
purchase local, original art. Old Town Artisan Studio is thrilled to participate
in this wonderful event for a second year!
Contact the La Quinta Museum for more information and to purchase
What is your opinion of the Resident Community Membership?
Mr. and Mrs. Snyder, Glass Drive
Hi Mr. and Mrs. Snyder:
I always say that I am the messenger for the community. I generally keep my personal opinions private, but since you
asked so nicely, and because I would like to talk about the HISTORY of Bermuda Dunes...not the golf course, or the
club house...just the HISTORY of Bermuda Dunes.
Our community was a favorite place for Presidents, Vice Presidents, Dignitaries, Princesses, Queens and Kings, Movie
Stars, Generals and Mobsters; they flocked to Bermuda Dunes in the earlier years.
And...people are still flocking to the desert.
I can't help but remember how many years (must be about 60 or more years), the Equity Members at the Club have kept
this community afloat. They have provided a green belt for those who are fortunate to live right on the course. For
those of us who do not live on the course, we still have a wonderful opportunity to see the park-like property as we
What a horrible thing it would be to see our famous community turn in to dust and just go away! This is our
opportunity to 'take the bull by the horn,' and keep this community alive and well for many more years.
And...I live on Ryan Way - Ernie Dunlevie named some of the streets after his good friends.
Excerpt from Gangsters in Paradise
'Ray Ryan climbs into his luxury Mark V Lincoln Continental after a workout at the Olympia Health and Beauty Resort in his wife's hometown of
Evansville, Indiana. He turns the key in the ignition and a spark sets off a deadly explosion.
The 73-year-old oilman, developer, gambler and philanthropist is blown to pieces.
The local cops call it a mob hit. Ryan was from Palm Springs, after all, a known gangster's paradise.
The events that led to Ryan's death on Oct. 18, 1977, were set in motion nearly three decades before.
It's 1949 and Ryan is playing a private lowball poker game with professional gambler Nicholas "Nick the Greek" Dandolos at the Thunderbird Hotel, an
ornate casino on the Las Vegas strip with a giant neon head of an Aztec god at the entrance. Its secret owner is Meyer Lansky, financial mastermind of
the national crime syndicate.
Ryan, who made millions through his oil company in the '40s, has spent the past week playing Dandolos, five or six hours a day. When Nick the Greek
folds his final hand, he's out $550,000.
Ryan returns to Palm Springs, where he and a team of investors recently purchased El Mirador Hotel after the government used it as an Italian POW
camp during World War II.
Two years pass.
Dandolos is told Ryan cheated him in that marathon game in Vegas. Rumor is Ryan had confederates reading hands through binoculars, tipping him
off via short-wave.
Friends insist Ryan is just too good to resort to cheating.
"I had gamblers in Vegas tell me he was the best gambler ever," longtime Palm Springs Mayor Frank Bogert says years later. "He could remember
Ryan denies cheating, but pays Dandolos $26,000 to pacify him. This turns out to be a deadly mistake.
Hacienda Hot Springs Inn
A T R A N Q U I L D E S E R T R E T R E A T
12885 Eliseo Rd Desert Hot Springs CA 92240
Jan. 9, 1904 - Oct. 18, 1977
In many ways, the success of Palm Springs as a resort in the 1950’s was due to Ray Ryan, a charismatic oilman, gambler, and developer from
Evansville, Indiana. He owned the El Mirador Hotel and he developed Bermuda Dunes Country Club, housing tracts throughout the Coachella Valley,
and the North Shore Yacht Club on the Salton Sea. Known as “Mr. Palm Springs,” Palm Springs Major Frank Bogert remembers him as the “desert’s
greatest booster.” Friends with movie stars, presidents, society figures, and gamblers alike, he still kept a home in the quiet midwestern town of
Evansville, where he had made a fortune in oil leases in the 1940s. With William Holden he opened the Mount Kenya Safari Club. One of the greatest
card players of the last century, Ryan played in Las Vegas and Chicago, often with underworld figures who were usually the only players prepared for
the high stakes games he relished.
In 1977 he was mysteriously murdered in Evansville and only recently have definite facts surrounding the case come to light. The following articles by a
reporter for the Evansville Courier & Press, October 14-18, 2002, based on personal interviews, police reports, and court documents, reveal the
murder to be linked to the famous poker game Ryan played with Nicholas “Nick the Greek” Dandolos in Las Vegas in 1949. At the end of the week-
long game Ryan had won over half a million dollars but was later accused of cheating by Dandolos.
RAY RYAN - LIFE AS A GAMBLE
By Herb Marynell
Oil and gambling do mix, and Ray Ryan excelled at both. Gambling and oil suffered little during the Depression, and they brought
money - and colorful characters - to Evansville. Prohibition during the 1920s made some of those who supplied illegal liquor
wealthy. It also sped the creation of organized crime in major cities. When Prohibition ended on April 7, 1933, those with money
looked for other ways to make more, and gambling and bookmaking came to the forefront. Big gambling areas were New York,
New Jersey, Chicago, New Orleans, Florida and Hot Springs, Ark. But, Evansville did more than its share. Gambling already was
in the blood of oil men. And hundreds of them poured into Evansville in the late 1930s, trudging fields during the day, ending up in
hotels at night, muddy from a day’s work and ready to trade yarns, information and oil leases. Officials at the Vendome Hotel didn’t
take kindly to dirty carpets and the mess. Soon, the McCurdy Hotel, where officials had less discerning tastes, became the
headquarters for many oil men who spent idle time gambling. Ron Lankford, retired Old National Bank president who started
working at the bank in 1956, said the oil men would send the hotel bell captain over before the bank closed at 2 p.m. with checks
for $500 or $1000, whatever they felt they needed for a night of gambling... Ray Ryan, Lankford recalled, would come into the
bank occasionally to pick up $10,000 for “walking around” money. A Ryan friend also remembered Ryan going swimming in the
Bahamas with $5000 in a swimsuit pocket. Even in the late 1930s, city officials sought to halt the city’s growing gambling element.
In 1938, Mayor William Dress ordered a ban on slot machines in public places. Police arrested bookies, and citizen groups urged
a greater crackdown on gambling. In May 1939, 48 bookies operated in Evansville, paying $35 a month for the telegraph service
bringing in race results. Dress eventually said the lid on gambling would be put on “perpetually, everlastingly, forever and longer
than that if possible.” Little did he and the citizens groups realize the futility of it all. Evansville was on the verge of one of the most
amazing periods in its history. The Trocadero Club opened in the fall of 1939 on “no-man’s land” along U.S. 41 South north of the
Ohio River on property in Kentucky. The club offered plush surroundings, top entertainment and an upscale gambling operation
upstairs. Other gambling clubs, often joints catering to the less wealthy, opened in Evansville. When the United States became
involved in World War II, thousands of military personnel from bases in Kentucky and other cities would come to Evansville where
nightclubs, gambling, red light districts and other activities flourished. Noted gambling expert John Scarne concluded that in the
1940s, “Evansville, Ind., had more horse rooms and gambling dives per capita than any other city in America.”
There wasn’t a lack of tips, clues and ideas on why Ray Ryan was killed in a car bombing on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1977. The
problem for federal, state and Evansville investigators, though, was figuring out which tips meant anything. Information rolled in as
dozens of police officers scoured neighborhoods, businesses and hotels. Altogether, 40 local officers were involved in the early
investigation. Witness reports included: A white and blue car, possibly a newer model Ford, parked on the street with a man inside
reading a newspaper. It was parked behind Ryan’s Mark V. A man running just before the explosion to a dark blue Lincoln or
Cadillac with Kentucky plates parked near the Olympia Health and Beauty Resort, where the bombing occurred. A “rough-looking”
man in the city prior to the bombing, tipping waitresses $50 and $100 and driving a car with Delaware plates. A man, who looked
like Elvis Presley only much larger, talking at the Executive Inn on Monday saying “something big” was going down Tuesday. The
man drove a black Cadillac with a white top and Texas plates. A cream-colored Chrysler Cordova, with Pennsylvania plates,
operated by a man, about 35, dark-skinned, Italian looking. It, too, was parked near the spa. Neighbors near Ryan’s residence
reported seeing several different cars parked on the street in days and weeks before the bombing, apparently watching the Ryan
home. One car with two men drove off when a neighbor walking his dog approached. Another car was occupied by a man about
50, stocky, wearing a gray felt hat. Police ran down those tips and dozens of others, but no definite leads resulted. Officers fanned
out to the city’s hotels and motels, collecting the names of those registered there three days prior to the bombing. The list was up
to 1000 people. Records from car rental companies were obtained. The numbers of telephones at restaurants and phone booths
were taken down, and calls were painstakingly checked. An examination of Ryans’ Mark V showed it was in park with the ignition
on at the time of the explosion. Employees from the local Lincoln dealer said there were only a few places to attach a bomb under
that car, and police theorized the bombers were pros. Attaching a bomb to the car, police concluded, would take less than two
minutes. David Newcomb, the spa manager that day, still wonders about the man sitting in a nearby car reading a newspaper, and
whether someone triggered the explosion with a remote control. The car was across the street in the auto parts store parking lot
facing the spa. As he came to work Oct. 18, Newcomb saw the car, thinking it unusual someone would park there. The store was
closed the day before the bombing and remained closed on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1977. When Ryan arrived at the spa, he handed
Newcomb, who was at the counter, his gold necklace with gold coins and a medallion for safe keeping. Ryan usually worked out
about 20 minutes on light weights before swimming in the spa’s pool, and he didn’t wear the necklace when swimming. Newcomb
placed it in a lockbox. Newcomb’s dad, Kenneth Newcomb Sr., the owner, was in the spa that day. He said he talked about 15
minutes with Ryan, and he planned to go with him later and look at real estate Newcomb had purchased. But Newcomb said he
first had to go home on an errand, and he had driven four blocks when he heard the explosion. David Newcomb said he was
taking the trash out when the blast occurred, knocking him to the ground. The younger Newcomb raced outside, fearing his father,
who had just left the spa, was hurt. Newcomb looked at the body on the parking lot asphalt and knew it was Ryan. He saw the
About 30 people attended the private funeral for Ray Ryan on Oct. 20 at Ziemer’s Fountain Terrace East funeral home. And
undercover police and FBI agents were around, one investigator posing as a window washer at a nearby business so he could
take pictures of people who attended the funeral. Actor William Holden, Ryan’s longtime friend and a partner in the Mount Kenya
Safari Club in Africa, was there. Holden left the funeral with Lt Gene Martin and police officer Steve Bagbey to talk. The 59-year-
old Holden said he was introduced to Ryan in New York City in 1939 by Lex Thompson, then owner of the Philadelphia Eagles
National Football League team. Holden said he met Ryan again during World War II at the El Mirador, the Palm Springs, Calif.,
hotel that Ryan and a group of investors restored, helping enhance Palm Springs standing as a playground to movie stars. Holden
told the investigators that he joined Ryan in oil ventures in Kentucky in 1953 that resulted in 13 dry holes. Holden said he jokingly
told Ryan he would stay out of the oil business if Ryan, whose attempt to buy RKO Pictures failed in 1952, would stay out of
making movies. He met with Ryan in 1958 in Europe for a safari that resulted in them agreeing to go into business together and
buy the safari club, Holden said. Ryan eventually sold his interest in the club. Ryan’s daughter, Rae Jean, said her father was
dear, kind and loving. Also interviewed was Frank Hayden, who watched over Ryan’s businesses in California, and Doyle
Dressback, who handled the local oil company operation and Ryan’s Lake Malone Inn in Kentucky. The person who had handled
Ryan’s business operations for years, William Gorman, died in 1974 in a horseback riding accident. Ryan, police learned, usually
divided his time among Africa, Palm Springs, Lake Malone and Evansville. Steve Bagbey today is 54, and an Evansville City
Council member for the past 11 years, representing the city’s 2nd Ward. In 1977, he was working in the bunco-fraud unit of the
police department. By January 1978, the investigation into Ryan’s murder seemed at a standstill. Bagbey said Lt. Frank Gulledge
of the detective department told him to devote all his attention to the Ryan case. Bagbey said he was surprised by the
assignment, since other detectives had more experience. He later was told he was selected because they “wanted someone who
would push and not take no for an answer.” Today, federal or local investigators in the Ryan case still refer most questions to
“Bags,” Bagbey’s nickname, because the Ryan case never left Bagbey.
The Ryan murder case took dizzy turns in 1978. Investigators looked into former police officers with the Lexington, Ky., police
department, who left the agency and ran into trouble with the law. One of the men, while still an officer, met Ryan and other
friends during a visit to a Lexington hotel, and tried to sell paintings by Glen Robinson. Ryan liked that painter, took him to Africa
once and provided him a studio at Lake Malone. Local witnesses viewed mug shots of the former Lexington officers, but that lead
didn’t pan out. A former Evansville police officer who was in state prison said Puerto Rican terrorists had bombed Ryan. Time was
spent visiting northern Indiana and Chicago to check into the terrorist group. Witnesses were re-interviewed, evidence checked.
Contacts were made with police agencies in states where Ryan had enterprises - California, Texas, and elsewhere. Deeper
contacts were made with the FBI, ATF and federal Strike Force groups across the country. Interpol was asked to interview Ryan’s
acquaintances in Europe. Although all agencies wanted to solve the murder, Bagbey would discover FBI and ATF offices
sometimes engaged in “turf wars” during the investigation. He would become frustrated with the bickering among federal
agencies. A year after the bombing, federal agencies had spent more than $100,000 in the investigation. Bagbey interviewed
singer Patti Paige, the former wife of Charles O’Curran, a longtime friend of Ryan. Ryan was the best man at Paige’s 1956
marriage to O’Curran, a choreographer for movies, including ones by Elvis Presley. Paige and O’Curran divorced in 1972 and
Paige hadn’t seen Ryan since then. The Ryans, she said, were gracious to her. She recalled O’Curran once saying Ryan had a
suitcase full of money in a New York hotel. She also said a man passing through stayed briefly at their Beverly Hills, Calif., home.
O’Curran later told her the man was Sam “MoMo” Giancana, then a suspected member of the Chicago mob. O’Curran, police
would learn, would travel to Palm Springs, Evansville or other places to visit Ryan and play cards. O’Curran fell out of favor with
the Ryan family after Ryan’s death. About two years after Ryan’s murder, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Indianapolis called a grand
jury to hear testimony about Ryan’s slaying. The grand jury was called to make sure witnesses would cooperate and to give
authorities an idea where the case stood, Bagbey said. The grand jury testimony could become a permanent record of testimony if
witnesses died before an arrest, he said.
Mob-ordered killings were common in Chicago during the first half of the 20th century. The Chicago Crime Commission logged
986 gang killings between 1919 and 1964. Of those, 727 were committed between the years 1919 and 1934. In all, just 13 of the
986 cases resulted in murder convictions. Killings increased after Al Capone came to Chicago in 1919 to join his New York boss
Johnny Torrio to take over one mob and battle other gangs for control of saloons, gambling joints and houses of prostitution. With
the arrival of Prohibition in 1920, the wars escalated. Millions were to be made by offering illegal liquor. By the close of the 1920s,
Capone ruled Chicago. He beefed up his forces by recruiting young toughs from the “42 Gang” and the “Circus Gang” on Chicago’
s west side, gangs that quickly went from auto theft and burglary to murder and mayhem. Several became top figures in Chicago’s
organized crime, and some figured prominently in the life of Ray Ryan. The “42 Gang” members included Sam Giancana, Sam
Battaglia, Felix “Milwaukee Phil” Alderisio, Albert “Obie” Frabotta, Charles Nicoletti and Marshall Caifano. Most were investigated
in more than a dozen murders each. Alderisio and Nicoletti were the mob’s main executioners, police said. The “Circus Gang”
contributed Tony Accardo, Tony Spilotro, Joseph Hansen and others. Accardo later had one of the longest and most efficient
reigns as head of the Chicago syndicate. Giancana, Battaglia and Alderisio also would become mob bosses. They would have
parts in Ray Ryan’s life, but Caifano, who never reached the pinnacle of the Chicago mob, had a lead role. Born July 19, 1911, in
New York City, Caifano moved to Chicago as a youth. At 5-feet 5-inches in height, Caifano was known as “Shoes” for using
elevator shoes. Between 1929 and 1951, he was arrested 18 times, often under other names, for auto theft, grand larceny and
other crimes. The Chicago Crime Commission in 1958 said the tough, stocky Caifano was questioned numerous times about
gangland murders and shootings. Among the cases were slayings of other hoodlums, another’s girlfriend who was bludgeoned
and burned to death, and a man who killed Caifano’s brother. But Caifano’s career was on the rise. In the 1940s, wide-open
gambling parlors and casinos in Florida were closing under pressure from local and state officials. Organized crime was looking
for better places to make money. That became Nevada, which legalized all forms of gambling in 1931. Reno already had casinos,
but the spotlight soon shifted to Las Vegas. In 1946, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, backed by New York mobsters Frank Costello and
Meyer Lansky, opened the Flamingo in Las Vegas. The love affair between organized crime and Las Vegas bloomed. But the mob’
s love of Siegel did not. Siegel, believed to have pocketed large sums of construction money, was killed in 1947. During the
decade after the Flamingo’s opening, more New York-backed casinos opened, providing millions to be skimmed. Chicago didn’t
get a Vegas casino until the Stardust opened in 1958. John Drew, a familiar face in Chicago, represented the Chicago syndicate
in the Stardust’s operation. He came from the Bank Club casino in Reno, which the Chicago mob took over a few years earlier.
Drew’s name would show up frequently as a friend of Ray Ryan. Caifano was calling Las Vegas a second home by the early
1950s. He was sent there to buy property and take care of problems for his bosses. While in Nevada in 1955, he legally changed
his name to John Marshall. Also often showing up with Caifano was Charles Delmonico, who had changed his name in 1953.
Delmonico was born Charles Tourine Jr., the son of one of the New York Genovese family’s top members, Charles Tourine Sr., a
key figure in the family’s drug and gambling operations. A crack in organized crime’s influence in Las Vegas occurred in 1957 with
the shooting and wounding of Costello in New York. Police found a note listing the day’s take at the Vegas Tropicana casino in
Costello’s pocket. Media coverage focused on organized crime and Las Vegas, and reforms would slowly occur. Also in 1957,
Accardo stepped down as Chicago’s mob boss after a term that began in 1946. As his replacement, he selected Giancana, who
assigned Caifano to be Chicago’s representative in Las Vegas. Police said Caifano used intimidation - and possibly more drastic
measures - to assert his authority. Gus Greenbaum, who turned struggling casinos into a large profit for syndicate owners, was a
problem in 1958 because of drugs, drinking and huge gambling losses. In December, after Caifano took over his new job,
Greenbaum and his wife were found dead in their Las Vegas home, their throats slit. No one was ever charged. In 1960, Nevada
started the Black Book of undesirables, people banned from the casinos. Caifano was among 11 on the first list. He kept going
into casinos and state officials had him arrested. Caifano filed a lawsuit to remove his name from the Black Book, but he lost in
court. By 1963, Caifano was on a downhill slide. He and Delmonico would soon encounter extortion involving Ray Ryan and end
up in jail.
Ray Ryan sat outside a Las Vegas casino at a table of cards, facing one of the world’s most famous gamblers. It was 1949, and
the Thunderbird Casino was among the newest clubs on the expanding Las Vegas strip. Ryan, a 45-year-old millionaire oilman,
was pitted in a private game of lowball poker with Nicholas “Nick the Greek” Dandolos, legendary for his skills at the card table.
Both were accustomed to card games with stakes worth six figures. Ryan, a friend said, would train for weeks for games of such
importance. He had a knack at cards, being able, for example, to determine a player’s hand after a few draws and discards in gin
rummy. The game with Dandolos lasted a week or more, lasting five and six hours a day. It ended with the 67-year-old Dandolos
losing $550,000 and reportedly paying a large portion, or all, of the loss. Dandolos later claimed he learned from a man that Ryan
had cheated. The allegation: The man said Ryan paid $20,000 to use confederates to monitor the game with binoculars. Ryan
would then learn about his competitor’s hand through a short-wave device. Dandolos said he demanded the money back in 1951,
but received only $26,000. Ryan denied cheating and playing in that 1949 game. He did say, however, that he won $15,000 from
Dandolos in a 1951 game at the Flamingo casino. The story of the Ryan-Dandolos game, however, made the rounds. Novelist Ian
Fleming used the scenario in his 1959 James Bond book, and subsequent movie “Goldfinger.” The incident, investigators would
later believe, also set off a chain of events that would lead to Ryan’s 1977 car bombing death.
Ryan was a familiar figure in the 1950s in Las Vegas, where he was known as a high roller who often bet against house odds.
Those in Palm Springs also knew him as a developer of houses and clubs. Around 1952, Ryan and 17 investors purchased the El
Mirador Hotel in Palm Springs and spent nearly $5 million to restore the hotel to its former glory. Built in 1928, the hotel had
declined after World War II, when General Patton used the property for troop training. Ryan bought out the other investors in
1960, but sold the hotel before the decade’s end. Ryan also acquired vast tracts of land around Palm Springs and began
developments in the 1950s. He built a home that he gave to Clark Gable in hopes of attracting other movie stars to buy second
homes in Palm Springs. Frank Bogert, Palm Springs mayor during the 1950s, called Ryan “one of the greatest guys who ever
lived. He was the best liked guy we ever had here. “You couldn’t find a nicer guy, happy, laughing, and giggling. He was doing
something every minute,” said the 92-year-old former mayor, who lives in a subdivision developed by Ryan. Ryan would be known
as “Mr. Palm Springs,” he said, and was the “desert’s greatest booster.” Ryan knew a lot of movie stars, and they came to Palm
Springs, Bogert said. “All the important people came here - the queen of England, Prince Philip.” So did President Eisenhower,
and Ryan was there to greet him. President Kennedy visited four times, and his brothers made visits, as did Vice President Gerald
Ford. Bogert said Ryan was a “one-man chamber of commerce for the city.” At one time, Ryan was the largest single developer,
building the Bermuda Dunes Country Club and surrounding area with realtor Ernie Dunlevie. Ryan owned a good portion of
downtown Palm Springs. He also owned 2500 acres in nearby Desert Hot Springs. Ryan and Don Eastvold spent millions
developing the North Shore Beach Yacht Club and Marina with a capacity for 400 boats, a luxury hotel and homes at Salton Sea,
30 miles south of Palm Springs. Ryan, Dunlevie and Charlie Farrell, the former silent screen actor, were building the new
Bermuda Dunes Racquet Club when Ryan was killed. Farrell called Ryan “a wonderful guy, very sweet and nice and a gentleman
at all times.” Bogert said Ryan made $10,000 a day from his oil holdings. So he made numerous donations to local charities and
programs, but also frequently visited Las Vegas to gamble. “I had gamblers in Vegas tell me he was the best gambler ever,”
Bogert said. “He could remember every card.” Bogert said Ryan’s only association with organized crime figures was playing poker
with them. “They were the only guys who had money. He (Ryan) had to have someone rich enough to make it interesting for him,”
While people in Palm Springs watched Ryan with admiration, others in Las Vegas watched with greed. Marshall Caifano had been
the Chicago mob’s representative for a few years, overseeing any problems. His friend, Charles Delmonico, was considered a
“roving ambassador” for Chicago out west. The Nevada Gaming Commission banned Caifano from the casinos, putting him in the
first Black Book in 1960. In 1963, Caifano and Delmonico - well aware of Dandolos’ claim of Ryan’s cheating - decided to extort
$60,000 a year from Ryan, supposedly to repay Dandolos, according to court records. Caifano’s fellow mobster, Felix “Milwaukee
Phil” Alderisio was being investigated at the same time for three cases of extortion, one in Florida and two in Colorado, according
to reports. Mob informants told investigators extortion was a way to obtain “walking around money.” Ryan reported the extortion
attempt to the FBI. “They tried it once before. It didn’t work then and it never will work. They won’t get anything out of me,” Ryan
told a Chicago newspaper. Ryan said he was the object of shakedowns in the past, “but I didn’t pay off and I never will.” Federal
authorities charged Caifano, Delmonico and Allen Smiley, who later was acquitted, in the Ryan extortion case. The 1964 trial was
held in a Los Angeles federal court. Ryan was kept under FBI protection until the trial, and he hired a bodyguard. The extortion
attempt, according to news reports of the trial, started when Caifano contacted Ryan at the El Mirador Hotel in April 1963. Ryan
said he talked with his old friend, John Drew, co-owner of the Stardust Casino and long associated with the Chicago mob’s
gambling operations. Drew told Ryan that Caifano was “OK.” When Caifano and Delmonico arrived at the hotel in a car on April
30, Ryan got in. Delmonico was driving, and Caifano was in the back seat. Ryan, still unsure of the two men, told the hotel bell
captain and a hotel stewardess to follow in another car. During the car ride, Ryan testified, Caifano and Delmonico mentioned the
Vegas card game with Dandolos. They demanded $60,000 a year as syndicate protection money and $15,000 to repay Dandolos.
Delmonico, Ryan testified, struck him across the chest, saying “that’s just to show you we mean business.” The argument over
money continued until Ryan was let out of the car because he was flying to the Desert Inn in Las Vegas that night. Ryan said he
had someone contact Drew, then in Reno, who said there was nothing he could do. At noon on May 1, Caifano came to Ryan’s
room at the Desert Inn, saying Ryan hadn’t paid. Caifano said the syndicate had protected him in the past from being kidnapped,
but from now on he had to pay $60,000 a year, Ryan testified. Ryan quoted Caifano as saying: “You’re one of the people we’re
going to put in line. I know you know a lot of important people, including Bobby Kennedy, but we’ll take care of that too.” Caifano
said they were going for a “little ride in the desert.” Ryan testified he was escorted out into the hallway, where he saw Delmonico
and Dandolos. He then made his getaway, dashing behind a a porter and his luggage racks. He started running, saying: “Shoot
me in the back - that’s the way you do business.” Ryan told the court “I thought I’d make my stand. If I was going to get it, it would
be right now. I wasn’t going in that car into the desert.” Ryan would say several Chicago crime figures tried to convince him not to
testify, including John Roselli, the man Caifano replaced as Chicago Las Vegas representative, and Sam Giancana. They warned
he would have trouble with the IRS if he testified. (Ryan did face problem with the IRS after the trial.) Ryan’s friends and an
informant later told police a prime reason Ryan went to the FBI was because of being struck by Delmonico. The Los Angeles
extortion also resulted in Delmonico being charged for an Evansville bank robbery. When his picture appeared in Evansville
papers in 1963, employees of the First Federal Savings Bank said Delmonico was the man who robbed them on Oct. 8, 1962, of
$22,800, then the largest bank robbery in the city’s history. John Stinson, the bank’s executive vice president, said the robber
forced him to open the vault, then drive the robber away. After four blocks, the robber told him to stop the car and walk back to the
bank, Stinson said. In 1965, the charges were dropped after Delmonico’s noted Washington, D.C., attorney, Edward Bennett
Williams, and federal authorities said Delmonico, who said he was in Florida when the robbery occurred, passed a number of lie
detector and truth serum tests. The bank vice president and teller, however, continued to claim Delmonico was the robber. J.
Robert Duvall, a retired FBI agent, said he believes Delmonico was in Evansville in 1962, tracking Ryan. When he discovered
Ryan was out of town, he decided to rob the bank instead, he said. During the 1964 Los Angeles trial, Dandolos filed a civil
lawsuit against Ryan, seeking $1.5 million in damages. The case later was tossed out and Dandolos died shortly thereafter.
Marshall Caifano’s problems didn’t end with his extortion conviction. He had fraud and other charges to face. Caifano received a
10-year sentence, and Delmonico a five-year sentence, in the Ryan case. Both eventually went to federal prisons in 1966.
Delmonico was released in January 1970 and Caifano in December 1972. But Caifano never forgot Ray Ryan. His hatred of
Ryan, authorities would learn, would eat at Caifano for years, even after he was free.
In 1957, Ray Ryan had entertained top political leaders, made millions in oil and entrenched himself as a man of respect among
Hollywood stars, sports heroes and society’s elite. By the end of that year, though, Ryan would also attract attention from a new
group: investigators with the federal government. Two events in November of 1957 focused the government’s attention on
organized crime, and that meant Ryan, too, became entangled in the dragnet. On November 14, police broke up a meeting of the
country’s major organized crime bosses gathering at Apalachin, a small community in upstate New York. The resulting publicity
forced FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to crack down on organized crime. Soon all federal agencies focused on anything resembling
organized crime. About two weeks after that raid, federal agents broke up a Terre Haute, Ind., gambling operation that handled as
much as $10 million in bets during a 10-week period. A federal grand jury was convened to investigate the gambling operation.
More than 170 people nationwide were subpoenaed, and Ryan was one of them. The investigation uncovered a nationwide
telephone betting system that had wagers on everything from college and professional football to the World Series. Bets on single
games were as high as $10,000. Records showed numerous telephone calls between Ryan and the gambling operation, federal
officials said. In 1958, Ryan went to Europe to avoid attempts to subpoena him. Ryan was in Belgium when federal officials got
legal proceedings completed to subpoena him there. Before he was served with the subpoena, however, he moved to Switzerland
and the whole process had to start over. Before that could be done, the federal grand jury’s investigation was over. But Ryan’s
troubles with the federal government were just beginning. While federal officials became interested in Ryan in 1957, other law
enforcement agencies noticed Ryan earlier. He was a frequent visitor to Chicago. Chicago newspapers would note Ryan would
be seen at high-stakes card games in the Blackstone Hotel. In 1941, Ryan and his wife, Helen, were robbed by two men who
posed as FBI agents. They stole $7400 in cash and jewelry, newspapers reported. Helen Ryan reportedly told her husband it was
a holdup. Ryan opened an eye and said: “It’s just a gag. Tell them to quit kidding.” The two men, one an escapee from a Texas
prison, were captured the following year and convicted. In 1953, FBI agents arrested the sheriff of Madison County, Texas, for
aiding in the escape of prisoners, including one who robbed the Ryans. That announcement was made by J. Edgar Hoover. In
1944, The New York District Attorney’s office asked the Chicago Crime Commission for information about Ryan. And in 1951, the
Pinkerton Detective Agency sought information on Ryan’s involvement with New York gangster Frank Costello after Costello’s
testimony before the Kefauver Senate investigating committee. Letters were exchanged in 1953 between the Chicago Crime
Commission and officials in Nevada, where John Drew was seeking a gaming license. Drew, said Chicago officials, was a close
friend of Ryan and staying at Ryan’s El Mirador Hotel in Palm Springs. Drew, once a dealer and employee in Chicago clubs, was
arrested in 1943 on gambling charges. One memo by Chicago officials said a confidential informant told of a plan by Drew and
friends to take a large sum of money from Jack Benny in a crooked dice gambling game. There was no indication such a game
In 1958, actor William Holden received a call from Ryan, still in Europe, inviting Holden to join him for an Africa safari. In Africa,
Ryan and Holden stopped at a hotel where Ryan complained about the service. Holden asked Ryan why he didn’t buy the hotel
and make things right. Ryan did the next day. Ryan, Holden and Carl Hirschmann, head of the Commercial Credit Bank of Zurich,
became partners in acquiring the Mawingo Hotel in Nanyuki, Kenya. They turned the hotel and grounds into the Mount Kenya
Safari Club, an exclusive playground for the rich and famous that still exists today. Ryan figured club visitors would want to hear
tom-toms at night so he built a nearby village for 200 who played tom-toms. The Safari Club was a hit, and Ryan also built schools
and clinics and other facilities for the area. Charter members of the safari club included Winston Churchill, former President
Eisenhower, Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands, Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Hollywood stars like Clark Gable, John Wayne
and Joan Crawford. Evansville’s mayor, Frank McDonald Sr., was also a charter member. There were other names on the list,
however, that would later interest federal investigators. Frank Erickson, king of the bookmakers and a friend of Ryan’s, gave
memberships to 18 people at the top of the New York mob in the early ‘60s. The names including Gerardo Catena, Thomas Eboli
and Pasquale Eboli. When Ryan testified in a 1964 federal court case in Los Angeles against two Chicago mobsters who tried to
extort $60,000 a year from him, the IRS was on alert. Court documents showed an IRS agent began investigating Ryan in 1964
because of testimony in the extortion trial about Ryan gambling with large stakes. In 1969, the IRS filed a U.S. Tax Court civil suit
claiming Ryan owned $6.7 million in taxes and penalties for alleged unpaid taxes from 1958 to 1965. The government slapped $9
million in tax liens on 50 Ryan properties in nine state. Federal officials said they suspected Ryan was laundering his own income
and possibly organized crime cash through a Swiss bank. A long court battle ensued as the government sought Swiss bank
records and records from Ryan’s companies in Kenya. The Justice Department also filed a criminal case, saying Ryan altered the
records of the Mount Kenya Safari Club to conceal the membership of top organized criminals. Ryan was convicted in July 1970 in
federal court and sentenced to three years in prison. An appeals court, though, reversed the conviction. Herbert J. Miller Jr., Ryan’
s attorney, said Ryan only meant to protect charter members, not obstruct justice. Miller, now 78 and still practicing law in
Washington, D.C., was assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division - a presidential appointment - during Ryan’s
1964 testimony against mob figures in Los Angeles. Miller went into private practice in 1965 and was eager to represent Ryan in
the Mount Kenya membership criminal case. “I went to bat for him because he had testified for the government (in 1964) and put
himself at risk,” Miller said. Miller doesn’t believe Ryan laundered any money. “As far as I was concerned he was not guilty of any
crime,” Miller said. “They (the IRS) were sure after him,” Miller said. Miller said he asked federal officials several times for proof
Ryan was tied into organized crime. “I never got a straight answer or an answer I could believe,” Miller said. “I hate to think how
much they spent on the investigation.” Ryan’s high-stakes gambling would cease during the last 10 to 15 years of his life, police
investigating Ryan’s 1977 murder were told. Ryan still played cards - gin rummy, poker, Spite and Malice - as much as possible,
but the days as a high roller were over, police were told. Years before his murder, Ryan told a reporter: “Every time I made a bet it
would be exaggerated four or five times as the story went around. When it got to the government, it was a staggering figure. “It got
so every time I wanted a little action, two months later I had to spend three days with the men from the IRS. So now I don’t bet at
all or I wouldn’t have time to take care of my business.” The government would get $2.5 million from Ryan’s estate to settle the tax
court case. Ryan’s estate was $12 million. Ryan would sell the safari club, but would return to Africa for months at a time to visit.
To get IRS permission to travel outside the country, Ryan had to put some of his Indian Wells holdings as bond. “I never seem to
have time to think until I get to Mount Kenya,” Ryan once told a reporter. “It’s the only time where I feel like I can take a deep
breath. When I die I want to be buried there.” After he died in the 1977 car bombing, Ryan was cremated and his ashes were
taken to Africa by his wife, Helen, who died in 1998. She once told an Evansville newspaper executive that “Ray’s never happy
unless he is walking on the edge.”
A road map for investigators into the 1977 car bombing slaying of Ray Ryan came from unlikely sources - federal informants.
Investigators learned key information from four of them. They learned that Ryan’s name had been used as bait in the mob-ordered
executions of two hoodlums. They learned of the deep-seated hatred of a mobster who wanted to see Ryan slain. And one
informant gave information about two mob enforcers who triggered the bomb that killed Ryan 25 years ago today. Three
informants would tell investigators about Marshall Caifano. Caifano spent six years in federal prison because Ryan testified in
1964 against him and Charles Delmonico, two men Ryan claimed had tried to extort $60,000 a year from him. One federal
informant said Delmonico struck Ryan during the extortion demand. Ryan was so angry about being hit that he decided to testify,
ignoring requests from other mob figures to remain quiet. Ryan’s decision to testify, an informant would say, was a way to protect
his pride, more important to him than his own life. When Caifano got out of prison in December of 1972, he was 61 and no longer
a force in the Chicago mob He received menial chores such as watching over porn shops. His mentor, Sam Giancana, was gone
as Chicago boss, stepping down after a year in prison in the mid-1960s for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury under
immunity. Two other old Caifano mates, who had served a year or two each as Chicago’s mob boss after Giancana left, were in
jail. Joseph Aiuppa was the Chicago boss when Caifano got out of jail, and Caifano would try to work his way up in the Chicago
crime hierarchy. It was a November 1977 telephone call by Caifano that helped push one of the informants, Aladena “Jimmy the
Weasel” Fratianno, into the federal witness protection program in 1978. Police said Fratianno probably committed 16 murders,
helped plan others and served for a time as mob boss in Los Angeles. He would become the FBI’s most important informant.
According to a 1981 biography of Fratianno’s life, Caifano called Fratianno in 1977, asking him to come to Chicago to introduce
another individual to Benny Binion, owner of the Horseshoe casino in Las Vegas. Fratianno knew that Caifano knew Binion as
well as anyone, and that the Chicago and Los Angeles syndicates were then in conflict. Fratianno concluded he was being set up
to be killed if he went to Chicago. FBI agents, who had become friendly with Fratianno, also warned him that Chicago-backed
hoods were following him. Fratianno decided it was time to go with the FBI and into the Witness Protection Program. Under FBI
protection as an informant, Fratianno told police about the murder of Louis “Russian Louie” Strauss, a hustler and gambler who
was trying to blackmail Binion. Binion went to the Los Angeles syndicate and agreed to build another casino near his own and
give the mob a 25 percent interest if the problem with Strauss was solved, according to Fratianno’s book. The murder contract
was handed to someone else, but after 18 months nothing was done and he was given the contract, Fratianno said. He enlisted
Caifano to help, Fratianno said. He and Caifano proposed loaning money to Strauss, who had gambling debts, if Strauss would
be an intermediary to extorting money from Ryan in Palm Springs, Fratianno said. That was in 1953, 10 years before Caifano did
try to extort $60,000 a year from Ryan. Fratianno said Caifano dropped out of the trip supposedly to extort Ryan, but sent another
hood instead to accompany Fratianno and Strauss. At a house in California, where other mobsters waited and watched, Fratianno
said he and another man garroted Strauss to death. Gerald Thomas Shallow was a former Chicago police officer who also turned
informant when facing stolen securities charges. He told investigators that Ryan’s name was used as bait in the December 1973
slaying of Richard Cain, Shallow’s friend and former partner on the Chicago police force. Cain had an amazing career as a double
agent. He worked for the Chicago police department and as chief investigator for the Cook County, Ill., state’s attorney office, all
while working for the Chicago syndicate. He was personable, flamboyant and a media favorite, leading reporters and
photographers on raids. But Cain was involved in scandals over money taken from a madam, and the killing of a petty extortionist.
He used police equipment to conduct lie detector tests on gangsters suspected of talking to cops, and passed on the names of
those who failed to mob bosses. He was fired by the police department in 1960, but managed to get a job with the state attorney’s
office. In 1964, he was fired from that job, and convicted of crimes that were later overturned. In the 1970s, Cain traveled with ex-
mob boss Giancana to Mexico and other parts of the world, drumming up large-scale gambling schemes. Cain and Giancana
parted company in 1973, and Cain returned to Chicago. Shallow told authorities the Chicago syndicate wanted Cain dead for
making derogatory remarks about a top mob associate, said John J. O’Rourke, former FBI agent in Chicago. The former agent, in
a recent interview, said Shallow admitted he and Cain killed the girlfriend of a Chicago mobster in Indianapolis in 1972 on a mob
contract. In December 1973, Caifano approached Cain about the idea of killing Ray Ryan in Evansville with a rifle, Shallow told
FBI agents. Cain told him “Marshall (Caifano) must be back in the good graces,” Shallow said, according to the FBI report turned
over to Evansville police. Caifano and Cain were to meet Dec. 20, 1973 at Rose’s Sandwich Shop in Chicago, but Caifano left
shortly before Cain arrived. As Cain sat at a table, two men wearing ski masks and carrying shotguns entered, one stepped
behind Cain, pointed a gun at his head and killed him, according to reports of the shooting. The former FBI agent said it was
Shallow’s “personal opinion” that as a reward for setting up Cain, the Chicago syndicate later authorized the “contract murder of
Caifano’s sworn enemy, the millionaire named Ryan.”
Alva Johnson Rodgers was nearly 50 and had spent 23 years in prison by the time he was interviewed in June of 1979, at the
Federal Corrections Institute in Miami, Fla., by Evansville detective Steve Bagbey and a FBI agent. Around 1969, Johnson was
serving a lengthy term in federal prison in Atlanta for possessing counterfeit money and a parole violation of a bank robbery
charge. A transcript of Rodgers’ interview by police showed Rodgers was in an eight-man cell when Caifano transferred in from
the Marion, Ill., federal prison. They would share a cell for about three years, according to the interview. Rodgers was familiar with
case law as a jailhouse lawyer, and started working on Caifano’s case. He eventually managed to get Caifano out of jail about
one year early. Rodgers said he learned about Ryan and his background, the 1949 poker game between Ryan and Nicholas
“Nick the Greek” Dandolos in which Dandolos claimed Ryan cheated him out of $550,000, and the 1964 extortion trial in Los
Angeles. Rodgers, in his interview with police, said Dandolos ran to Chicago “for muscle to get his money back” and Caifano got
involved. Caifano was “a very vindictive guy” and obsessed with Ryan, Rodgers told police. “It ate at him (Caifano) the whole time
that he was in jail, the whole time that I was with him (later) in Chicago (that) it was Ryan who was still walking around,” Rodgers
said in the interview. Caifano had told him the New York mob said they would convince Ryan not to testify in 1964, Rodgers said.
Ryan, through his gambling and oil deals, was acquainted with some New York mobsters over the years. But Ryan testified
anyway. Caifano was released from prison in December 1972. About six months later, Rodgers was released from jail and joined
Caifano in Chicago. Rodgers said Caifano was grateful for getting an early release from prison. Informants Fratianno and Rodgers
told investigators about times Ryan’s name came up in Chicago shortly before the millionaire’s car bombing. Fratianno, in his
book, noted he was at a restaurant in 1976 with Joey “The Clown” Lombardo, a top Chicago mob figure, Caifano and others when
Caifano said he was upset that Ryan wasn’t No. 1 on the “hit parade” to be killed. Rodgers told authorities of frequent trips with
Caifano, who didn’t like to drive, to a golf driving range to meet Lombardo and others where Ryan’s name came up. Rodgers, in
his police interview, said Caifano “wanted to take care of Ryan when he first got out,” but that Caifano was told to leave Ryan
alone. Lombardo told Caifano five or six times over several weeks that “we are taking care of it, we are working on it,” Rodgers
told police. Lombardo said the syndicate had been trying for years to nail Ryan, even following him to Africa while Caifano was in
jail, Rodgers told investigators. Lombardo then suggested Ryan be told to pay a settlement of $1 million to be left alone and “die a
natural death,” Rodgers told police. Caifano was to receive half of the $1 million, Rodgers said. Caifano said, “Let’s take the
million dollars and hit him anyway.” Lombardo said no, telling Caifano: “The people that we are dealing with, you know, the people
that was going to be the in-between. If we give them our word, we are going to have to live up to it,” according to transcripts of
Rodgers’ interview. Police believe the proposal to Ryan to pay $1 million was made by Binion to Ryan probably in the spring of
1977 in Las Vegas. Binion, after Ryan’s slaying, denied to police that the meeting took place.
After his murder, Ryan’s daughter, Rae Jean, told police about a conversation with her father when he visited her July 4, 1977, in
California. He said Binion told him that Caifano wanted $1 million “or steps would be taken to get even,” the daughter told
investigators. Her father said he told Binion that Caifano would have to get in line behind the “G” (government), meaning the IRS,
which had a federal tax court case seeking $9 million, Rae Jean Ryan said. About 3 months later, Ryan was killed in Evansville, a
place the millionaire oilman and developer and his wife, Helen, called home. They could have lived anywhere in the world. The
Ryans, together or separately, would spend months in Palm Springs, Africa or elsewhere, but for Helen Ryan, Evansville was the
family’s base. It was where their daughter grew up and graduated from Memorial High in 1961 before going to Indiana University,
Marymount College in California and eventually living in that state. “Evansville always will be my home,” a friend recalled Helen
Ryan once saying. “I have too many roots here to consider another place.” Bagbey would believe that Ryan’s friendships with
Frank Erickson, the king of the bookmakers, Frank Costello, a leader among the New York mobs, and possibly Giancana were
“buffers,” people who were able to use their standing in the mob to prevent anything bad happening to Ryan. A former bodyguard
for Ryan told investigators that when he left Ryan’s employment in Africa in the late 1960s, Ryan gave him a letter for Erickson
and a message to deliver to Costello. By 1977, the “buffers” were dead, Bagbey said. Erickson died in 1968, Costello in 1972 and
Giancana was murdered gangland style in 1975. Bagbey said Evansville probably was selected as the site to kill Ryan because
“this was his safe haven. This was where he felt protected and this is the reason he was executed here.” Bagbey, who retired
from the police department in 1999, admits the chances of someone being charged in Ryan’s murder “is very remote. That’s very
unfortunate for Mr. Ryan and his entire family. “We gave it everything we had and we went down swinging.” Ryan always knew
the possibility existed that the mob might kill him. In the year before he was killed, Ryan once told an employee: “They’ll get me
some time, I know it.” In 1980, Caifano received a 20-year prison term for conspiracy in a scheme to peddle stolen stocks and as a
dangerous special offender. Caifano was released from prison in 1991. Now 91, he lives in Florida. He did not return a phone call
requesting an interview. Richard Eisgruber was an FBI agent in Evansville when Ryan was killed. Eisgruber, 63, is retired from the
FBI and works security for an airline in Atlanta. The Evansville FBI office for several years had someone close to Ryan keeping
track of his comings and goings, but no illegal activity was noted. Several months after Ryan was killed, another informant, this
one providing information about Cleveland’s syndicate, told authorities two veteran organized crime enforcers killed Ryan,
Eisgruber said. Bagbey and Eisgruber said one of the men fit the artist’s drawings of the balding man seen in the spa shortly
before Ryan was killed and another drawing of the man with sideburns who was seen around Ryan’s car in the parking lot. But
police never could place either of the two men in the Evansville area at the time Ryan was killed. Eisgruber said the Ryan murder
was one of the toughest cases he ever dealt with as a FBI agent. “We feel we know who did it and why it was done, but never
were able to tie the knot,” Eisgruber said. “We had informant information. While that’s kind of nice to know and puts you in the
right direction, it doesn’t make your case for you. “The bad guys got away with one, and that’s not good.”
|Ernie Dunlevie, was one of the founding fathers of the 1960 Palm Springs Golf Classic, the golf tournament currently known as the
Humana Challenge in partnership with the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Dunlevie was the last surviving founding board member of the tournament and served as the tournament’s president five times. He
also served on the original board of the Eisenhower Medical Center.
Born in New York City and a World War II veteran, Dunlevie spent most of his life in the Coachella Valley and left an indelible
legacy in the area. He had a passion for golf and became one of Arnold Palmer’s closest friends after that first Palm Springs Golf
Classic in 1960. He played an integral role in incorporating iconic entertainer Bob Hope with the golf tournament, as it was renamed
the Bob Hope Desert Classic in 1965.
Dunlevie also was instrumental in helping to develop Bermuda Dunes Country Club (which included Bermuda Dunes Airport and a
Racquet Club, now Murph’s Gaslight Restaurant) and Eisenhower Medical Center. Since 1960, Desert Classic Charities, the non-
profit entity that organizes the Humana Challenge, has donated more than $52 million to Eisenhower Medical Center and numerous
other non-profit organizations in the Coachella Valley.
John Foster, Humana Challenge President and Chairman of the Board, called Dunlevie "A visionary entrepreneur that helped
develop the Coachella Valley. He was loved by all, with the quickest of wit, and a gentleman to the end. An American hero from the
'Greatest Generation,' and one of the greatest men I've had the privilege to call my dear friend."
"Mr. Dunlevie, through his vision, dedication and love of his fellow man, helped conceive and build a professional golf tournament
that literally changed the cultural and economic fabric of our desert communities," Humana Challenge Executive Director and CEO
Bob Marra said. "He is one of the all-time great local legends who will always be remembered with respect and gratitude."
"We are saddened by the passing of Ernie Dunlevie," said Bruce Broussard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Humana. "As
a founder and past president of the tournament who participated as an active member of the board of directors for decades, his
contributions to the Coachella Valley community and the PGA TOUR have been enormous. We are most grateful for his dedicated
work and passion on behalf of the tournament."
Said PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem: "We were saddened to hear the news today of Ernie Dunlevie's passing. Ernie
played such a dynamic role in the creation, growth and impact of what is now the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton
Foundation, from the recruitment of Bob Hope to lend his name to the tournament to the critical role the event played in the
development of the Eisenhower Medical Center. Ernie was a friend to the PGA TOUR and many of our players throughout the
years and he will be missed. We wish to express our sincere condolences to his family."
After graduating high school in 1936, Dunlevie and his mother drove cross-country to Palm Springs to visit artist friends who spent
the winter painting in the desert. They never left. Prior to World War II, Dunlevie held an assortment of jobs in the Palm Springs
area at different times, delivering groceries on a bicycle, working at a gas station, driving a truck during the construction of Palm
Springs Airport, and working in the men's department of Bullocks Wilshire and Desmonds.
After the war, Dunlevie earned his real estate license and opened his own office on North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. His
clients included Howard Hughes, Cary Grant, Fernando Lamas and Ava Gardner, among others, and he also befriended Clark
Gable through his involvement at Bermuda Dunes.
|Water Conservation Gardening
Desert Regions USA
The vast majority of the population considers the desert to be a barren wasteland that is only filled with tumbleweed, rattlesnakes, and the occasional
cow skull. If you lived in the desert you would know that the ratio of cows to people is zero! In addition, the desert is far from barren. It is teeming with
gorgeous wildflowers, cactus, and grasses. One step outside during the early morning sunrise will bring the fragrant aroma of Cleveland sage as well as
the song of a gilded flicker in the distant sky. There are few better ways one can live than in the gorgeous surroundings of the desert.
The scientific definition of a desert is an area that receives less than 10 inches of rainfall per year. However, that number can vary widely, with some
years producing little to no rain at all. The year 2015 brought extreme and exceptional drought conditions to the Southwest area. Other parts of the desert
are experiencing moderate to severe conditions. At the time of this writing Lake Mead is sustaining the lowest water levels since it came into existence
in the 1930s. There is no question that the situation is bad for area residents.
While current conditions are worrisome, scientists are expecting to see mega-droughtî conditions within the next 85 years. While for many of us this
should be of no concern, it will be for our children and their children. What effect would a mega drought hold for the residents of this area? In the 1200s
mega drought conditions have been linked to the decline of the Pueblo people. Will that same fate hold true for future generations that would like to enjoy
Scientists believe that if the world and our nation stay on the current course there is an 80% chance of a mega drought taking hold of the American
Southwest for more than a 30 year period. While it may sound like the plot of a blockbuster science-fiction movie, there is a real possibility that our future
generations are looking at a disturbing scenario.
While there have been discussions for years about new forms of irrigation systems and water conservation efforts, little action has been taken. The last
ten years have brought drought conditions to much of the area, causing a direct impact on water supplies, agricultural efforts, and the balance in
As a community, more needs to be done on an individual and local level. Residents need to begin taking further action without the proclamation of the
government telling us we need to do it. While there are water regulations in effect for not washing cars, driveways, and allowing outdoor irrigation only on
certain days, more can be done. Water conservation begins with the individual.
Understanding Real Water Conservation
The vast majority of people across the nation are doing their best to conserve water. However, they are doing it all wrong. While taking quicker showers,
turning the water off while brushing teeth, and even reducing the amounts of flushes are excellent, they account for an insignificant amount of water. Many
homeowners would be surprised to learn that 70 to 90 percent of all water used is for outdoor needs.
The vast majority of the water being used is wasted through evaporation, leaks, and run-off. Homeowners are not using the most efficient ways to water
their landscaping and gardens. Not only are they wasting water, but they are increasing their monthly water bills. There are many ways that desert
residents can have the gardens they desire while conserving precious water.
Monitor Your Plants' Water Levels
One of the most important aspects of gardening is keeping water levels accurate. Too many home gardeners either over-water or under-water their
garden. Either scenario is setting your garden up for failure and wasting water.
Over-watering - So many gardeners believe that the more water a garden gets the better the vegetation will grow. This could not be more wrong, and is
actually more harmful to plants than under watering them. By using too much water, vital nutrients are washed away. In addition, plants are more likely to
suffer from rot and disease.
Under-watering - When plants that are not drought tolerant go without water for extended periods of time it will lead to stressful growing conditions. These
plants will grow weak and not be very productive. In addition, gardeners will try to revive them with gallons of water once again leading to water waste.
The best solution is to know how much water your individual plants require for optimal growth. All plants are different and have unique properties.
However a general rule of thumb requires an inch of water per week. Living in an arid area such as this, you can expect to double that number per week.
With this knowledge and an inexpensive water gauge in the garden you will be able to better estimate how much water your garden is actually getting.
One of the biggest wastes of water in our gardens comes from the natural process of evaporation. However, this can easily be combated by adding
compost into the soil as well as a thick layer of mulch on top.
Start with Compost - For your efforts it is best to add compost material into the soil before you plant. Compost that has been added to the soil will give
your plants more of an ability to store water due to the absorbent nature of compost.
Finish with Mulch - Mulch is an important step in controlling weeds and conserving water. In desert areas the best types of mulch to use are those that
help to reflect sunlight. Consider using red mulch or even mylar mulch, which has incredible benefits for the desert gardener.
There are many components that go into proper irrigation, including watering in the early morning hours or late evening. It is also recommended to turn off
any irrigation systems during rain showers. However, there are more efficient ways to water your garden and conserve.
Drip Irrigation - Perhaps one of the greatest contributions you can make as a home gardener is installing a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation allows
for the proper amount of water to reach the plants' roots. A series of tubes and emitters are placed throughout the garden, with each emitter watering an
individual plant. Water can be regulated through the use of a timer, saving even more water.
Barrel Irrigation - Through the use of a barrel, the homeowner has the ability to capture rainwater as it flows down a spout from the roof. However, in
desert areas it may not always be that effective. This is especially true in years with little to no rain. However when the drip irrigation tubes are used in
conjunction with barrel irrigation you have created a powerful water conservation effort.
Make Long Term Changes To Your Gardening
While some of the above measures can be started today, we all need to plan for the future. One of the most important steps we can make is by choosing
our plants more wisely. Native plants should be used for landscaping purposes, while drought resistant plants are better suited for vegetable gardening.
Gorgeous desert landscape
Natural Low Water Landscaping
The following plants added together will create a gorgeous garden that is low water tolerant. These plants have also been specifically selected for their
ability to draw in various wildlife.
Argentine Hedgehog - This cacti makes a wonderful addition to any native landscaping project. Features brilliant red and orange flowers on evergreen
foliage. The Argentine hedgehog will grow up to 2 feet in height and features a clumping growing pattern 3 feet wide.
Arizona Poppy - This annual flower is stunning around borders for its bright orange flowers with dark orange centers. With a height up to a foot tall these
are guaranteed to be little show stoppers.
Autumn Sage - This perennial is another favorite for planting around borders and edges. Reaches a height of up to 2 feet and features red, pink, or white
Bamboo Muhly - A touch of lush green grass is always a welcome sight in an arid desert landscape. Bamboo muhly offers a deep green coloring with a
generous 4 foot height. The only downside is that this grass generally requires a more moderate amount of water than the others on this list.
Bee Brush - This shrub is a perfect backdrop for the rest of your plants. Features a height up to 6 feet tall with white to light purple flowers. The shrub is
excellent for very low water conditions, just watch out for those small thorns that are hidden on it!
Vegetable Gardening in the Desert
Drought Resistant Vegetable Gardening in the Desert Regions
Few things can beat fresh vegetables from your own garden. Whether creating a luscious garden salad or roasted vegetables on the grill, you cannot go
wrong. The following are some of the best vegetables you can grow in your home garden with limited water resources. With the addition of compost,
mulch, and drip irrigation, you can have a bountiful growing season.
Beans - Without a doubt one of the hardiest vegetables to grow in the Southwest are beans. Tepary beans are some of the best, they mature very quickly
and taste amazing. However, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and even pole beans are excellent choices.
Corn - I know you are might be thinking that corn has very high water requirements. However, I cannot resist a delicious ear of corn slow roasted on the
grill and smothered with butter, so I was determined to find a way. There are several varieties that have incredible drought resistant properties such as
Hopi blue corn or Cherokee long ear.
Tomatoes - While they are not exactly marketed as drought resistant they are an incredible asset to any home garden. Tomato plants grow long roots
that seek out any water, and they produce up to 30 pounds of produce within the season. With proper deep water irrigation methods you can have
Amaranth - This leafy green isn't known to many home gardeners, which is a real shame. Many of the healthy leafy greens that do the body so good, do
not do well without water. However, amaranth is an exception to that rule. This makes an exceptional replacement for iceberg lettuce in salad!
No one knows what the area will hold in the next 100 years for sure. Is it possible our region will be in the midst of a mega drought? That is a very likely
situation according to scientists. However, we can't do anything about an event that may or may not happen in a hundred years. We do have the ability to
make life better right now. By conserving water through better irrigation methods and planting drought tolerant plants we can make a difference today.
|Click on Roadrunner Pools
for additional information.
|THE NON-EQUITY MEMBERSHIP AT THE BERMUDA DUNES COUNTRY CLUB IS THE
BEST DEAL IN TOWN.
'DO THE MATH'
|Nearly 9,000 Artifacts Uncovered in California Desert, Spanning 11,500 Years of History
Archaeologists exploring the remote reaches of a military training base in southern California have uncovered nearly 9,000 artifacts that represent more
than 11,500 years of human history in the Mojave Desert, a new study reports.
The artifacts, found at multiple sites across the base, include more than 8,830 stone tools, flakes, ground stone, pieces of ceramic, and bone, as well as
a single large biface blade that researchers say is a “classic” example of the 13,000-year-old style known as Clovis.
This biface blade, fashioned in the Clovis style from local jasper, was found near the surface on the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, and is
thought by archaeologists to be around 13,000 years old. (Courtesy Far Western/MCAGCC)
The relics were just part of the finds produced by a comprehensive survey of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), a training base
covering more than 2,400 square kilometers (930 square miles) of desert near the town of Twentynine Palms, California.
In addition to surveying the surface and conducting test excavations, archaeologists compiled 30 years worth of unpublished research based on digs and
surveys done on one of the nation’s largest training bases.
The evidence turned up by this research led archaeologists to propose that two sites on the base be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“This … recent work demonstrat[es] the presence of hunter-gatherers in the MCAGCC before the Younger Dryas [a period of global cooling that began
about 13,000 years ago], and the potential preservation of significantly ancient buried deposits in some areas,” the researchers write, in the journal
Among the finds was the lone biface blade, discovered near the surface in a northern stretch of the range.
Fashioned from local jasper and about 7 centimeters (3 inches) long, the point is the first of its kind to be found on the base, said Dr. Ryan Byerly, an
archaeologist with the firm Far Western Anthropological Research Group, who reported the findings with colleague Joanna Roberson.
“The specimen … is an example of a ‘classic’ Clovis form,” he said in an interview.
“In terms of size, this specimen is similar to various Clovis points from Texas, Blackwater Draw [in New Mexico], and Domebo [in Oklahoma].”
The point itself can’t be dated, he noted, but its deposition suggests that its age probably falls within the range of other well-dated Clovis sites, which
typically date from 12,800 to 13,100 years ago.
“As a probable example of a Clovis form, there is no reason to suspect that the specimen is not contemporaneous with dated Clovis components,” he
Elsewhere on the base, the review of previously unpublished research showed that dozens of other distinctive stone points had also been uncovered,
dating back as much as 9,000 years.
Near a dry lakebed, or playa, by the western border of the base, for example, archaeologists in 2000 found at least 19 points fashioned in the Western
Stemmed Tradition at various sites in the area, as well as more than 14 so-called Pinto points, whose triangular style has been found around the Great
Basin at sites dating back 6,000 to 8,500 years.
Estimating the ages of these artifacts is challenging, Byerly noted, because the dynamics of the local geology has caused deposits from different
periods to mix together.
“Most sites around regional playas are palimpsest surface deposits, and very few demonstrate single component integrity,” Byerly said.
“Local geomorphology is complex, in that very old surfaces may be exposed on the contemporary surface, and very young materials may be very deeply
But the most productive site that the team studied was by an outcrop of lava from the Mojave’s extinct Pisgah volcano.
Test excavations at a rocky blister of lava turned up 8,830 artifacts, discovered in several layers that together span up to 9,800 years of human
The uppermost layer, on and just below the surface, revealed stone flakes and other artifacts dating from around the 13th century, Byerly noted.
“Surface artifacts, and likely many of those extending to 30 or 40 centimeters below the surface, reflect one or more occupations that, based on
radiocarbon analysis of a surface hearth, date to around 1290 AD,” he said.
Further down, a new layer of sediment appeared, along with a “sharp increase” in tool-making fragments, particularly obsidian and other volcanic rock,
and weathered pieces of deer and sheep bone.
Unlike most stone tools, obsidian can be dated, using a technique called obsidian hydration analysis, and it showed that these deeper components of
the site seemed to have been used several times, from 8500 to 6500 years ago.
[Learn about another recent discovery: “10,000-Year-Old Stone Tool Site Discovered in Suburban Seattle“] 29-Palms-Mojave-Desert-dig
Archaeologists studying the areas around a lava flow on the base found nearly 9,000 artifacts at various depths, spanning some 9,800 years of human
occupation. (Courtesy Far Western/MCAGCC)
In addition to adding voluminous and valuable data to the study of human history in the Mojave Desert, the findings might also contribute to the
understanding of the movement of people around in the ancient West, Byerly noted.
Most of the artifacts detailed in the new Mojave study date from 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, he said — the same time when a decrease in human activity
appears in the archaeological record several hundred kilometers away, in the northern Great Basin.
Changes in the climate several thousand years ago led to drier summers and colder winters, in places like Nevada, southern Idaho, and southeastern
Oregon, he noted.
While this period coincides with decreased signs of human activity in those areas, the new research seems to show increased activity around
This raises questions about whether ancient hunter-gatherers migrated from the colder, drier northern Great Basin to what’s now the Mojave Desert,
beginning around 7,000 years ago.
“Lowland conditions in the Mojave Desert, responding to similar sets of environmental triggers, may have manifested differently and actually been a boon
to human habitation,” Byerly noted, adding, “This is an undeveloped hypothesis, however.”
[See more new insights into ancient migrations: “13 Ancient Villages Discovered in Wyoming Mountains May Redraw Map of Tribal Migrations“]
In all, the thousands of artifacts and 30 years of research aided Byerly and his colleagues in recommending that two sites on the Marine Corps Air
Ground Combat Center be placed on the Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.
One is the site by the lava blister that turned up artifacts spanning 9,800 years; the other is along the same formation, where previous research had found
an obsidian flake estimated to date between 9,000 to 11,700 years old.
[Read about another recent find in the desert: “Over 1,000 Ancient Stone Tools, Left by Great Basin Hunters, Found in Utah Desert“]
“All of the sites are important in their own right,” Byerly said, “but among those we evaluated, we recommended that those on the western edge of the
Pisgah Flow be listed on the National Register.
“In my estimation, this portion of the lava flow has the best potential aboard [the] base to preserve early dated sites.”
I would like to recommend Felipe for painting projects.
He not only a kind and decent man, but very fair.
Call Felipe Alvarado
Don Bennett from North La Quinta
Thanks Don. To check ouy Felipe, Click on The List and then Click on "P" for painting
|Six months ago, I bought this 21 gear Townie at our new Palm Desert Cyclery on Country Club Drive. It’s adorable in Wintermint with
white trim. After tax with the white seat and rear rack (also a trunk bag to attach), the grand total was $800! I have the receipt and manual.
Unfortunately the peddles are slightly forward - like a wheelie.
I’m thinking around $475 since it’s like new.
Thanks so much!!! Linda
What a cool bike. I have put this on The Hot Sheet, along with your contact number.
|Professor Johnston often said that if you didn't know history, you didn't know anything. You
were a leaf that didn't know it was part of a tree.
~Michael Crichton, Timeline
|A CAMEL IS A HORSE DESIGNED BY A COMMITTEE!!!!!
|ATTENTION OWNERS, MEMBERS AND RESIDENTS!!
Scruffy, the Jack Russell canine service companion of Club guest Michael Greer (760)699-4865 remains at-large!
There are eye witness accounts placing Scruffy at the ClubHouse earlier this month.
PLEASE ASK YOUR GARDNER IF HE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT SCRUFFY!
CONTACT PAT ORTEGA of the BD SECURITY ASSOCIATION IMMEDIATELY WITH ANY INFORMATION LEARNED ABOUT SCRUFFY
THERE IS A CASH REWARD FOR SCRUFFYS SAFE RETURN
PLEASE, HAVE A SAFE AND WARM HOLIDAY !!
|Maybe I missed it, but I did not see my request about getting a place near our Montego West condo for my kids and grandkids to stay between March
19-27 (on seven March 22-27th).
Joan Reid 760-565-7404
I did post your request, however, here it is again. I will keep in on the blog for several weeks.
|How do I put ads in this blog sheet?
Send us your information along with photos in a jpg file, contact name and number and we do the rest.
|How do I get an ad about our company’s remodeling abilities in the Blog?
We answered Jeff's email privately