Welcome to the first edition of the P&P Salton Sea Times! Don’t worry, this is not a spam attack. We just want to keep you informed about what is going on at the Salton Sea, update you with the latest news about our John Waters narrated documentary "Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea" (which has won 34 awards for Best Documentary so far,) pass along some interesting links and videos, and keep you updated on any Hunky Daddy sightings.
We hope you are having a merry and salty holiday season! As Christmas comes around, we have two recommendations:
1) Visit the Salton Sea! It is really beautiful and warm down there now. The weather is absolutely perfect and the sunsets are as glorious as ever. Get out of the snow, get into the salt, and say “Hi.” to Hunky while you are there. One of the easiest and best ways to support the Sea is to visit it.
As for us, we have both been out on the road and continue to host theatrical screenings of "Plagues & Pleasures" across the country. Be sure to check our website plaguesandpleasures.com, because we might just be in your area during the next couple of months. The screenings are fun because we usually have some lively Q&As after the film. We are also currently in production on a feature length documentary on the legendary ska-punk-rock band Fishbone.You can check out the live music video Sunless Saturday that we shot on their European tour last Fall and which was featured as an extra on their new album.
SALTON SEA GETS $30 MILLION IN FUNDING
This month, the US Senate approved $30 million dollars in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to study the Salton Sea. The funding was part of the Water Resources Development Act, which was originally vetoed by President Bush. This marks the first veto override of the Bush administration. Rep. Mary Bono, R-Palm Springs, was among the 138 House Republicans who voted to override the veto. "This federal funding will work in conjunction with local projects already in place to restore the Sea," Bono said. "These projects are necessary in order to ensure economic and environmental security in the region." However, the money isn't a sure thing, as funding would need to be inserted into appropriations bills that will be considered next year. The funding is quite small, considering that the current restoration proposal calls for at least an $8 billion project. Once again, funding is delayed and the studies continue. Read more about it here.
RICK DANIELS LEAVES THE SALTON SEA AUTHORITY
We are sorry to say that Rick Daniels, director of the Salton Sea Authority, tireless advocate of the Salton Sea, and all around great guy, will be leaving his post. He is going to become the city manager of nearby Desert Hot Springs. We wish him well and all the best in his new post, but are sad to see him go.
SALTON SEA AUTHORITY CUTS JOBS
Financially strapped and leaderless, the Salton Sea Authority decided last month to downsize its staff and ask local governments to contribute more money and more of the workload. The decision means that the La Quinta based authority has been reduced from four staffers supporting restoration of the state's largest lake to one staff member who likely will work out of a Riverside County building. The cost-cutting measures came after authority board members received a financial report showing the agency has dipped into reserves and will be slightly in the red after paying its outstanding bills. It may have a political cost, as the decision means the board won't replace the face of the authority, Rick Daniels, who left the executive director post to become Desert Hot Springs' city manager. It's not yet known exactly what this will mean for the troubled Salton Sea. Despite a reduced staff, board members say they're still committed to trying to save the lake, which left untouched, will dry up into a dust bowl, causing environmental problems for the region. Read the rest of the article here.
SAVE SONNY'S SEA
Help save the Salton Sea by writing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger a Sonny Bono Salton Sea postcard! After all, they were both entertainers turned Republican politicians. Show your support for the Sea and get a chance to send an extra special message to the Governator. Just download, print, fold in half, write your message, and SEND.
Find out more about the SAVE SONNY'S SEA campaign and other ways to save the Salton Sea by going to our website at www.plaguesandpleasures.com
|DEATHS IN THE FAMILY |
We are also sad to announce that several members of the Salton Sea community that were featured in the film have passed away. They include Harold Gaston (of Gaston's Cafe in Niland,) Donald Scheildler (the Nudist,) Petre Melvin (charming woman on the golf cart in Bombay Beach,) and Bobbie Todhunter (of Bombay Beach.) We will miss them dearly, as they were all good friends of ours.
INTO THE WILD
Leonard Knight and the Salton Sea are featured prominently in the new feature film INTO THE WILD which was directed by Sean Pean and is based on the book by John Krakauer. It tells the true story of 22 year-old Christopher McCandless who walked away from his privileged life and began traveling around the country in search of adventure. He eventually ends up at Slab City, a squatters' paradise just south of the Salton Sea where Leonard Knight lives and builds his mountain. You can also briefly see Salton City and the Oh-My-Go Hot Springs, where nudist Donald Scheildler started out. McCandless, who called himself "Alexander Supertramp," eventually dies in a bus in the Alaskan wilderness. The story is also chronicled in the new documentary THE CALL OF THE WILD by Ron Lamothe. This film documents the filmmaker's journey as he attempts to retrace the steps of Chris McCandless. Along the way he keeps bumping into Sean Pean's big Hollywood film crew. The film also debunks both the book and the feature film - claiming that McCandless didn't actually die from poisonous berries, but instead just died of starvation.
This photo was recently posted to our MySpace page. It shows a few "Plagues & Pleasures" fans posing with the one and only HUNKY DADDY! Daddy is doing well and drinking lots of Milwaukee's Best beer. Last year, when we were in Hungary shooting the Fishbone project, we got Hunky Daddy some Unicum, which is a prized Hungarian liquor. Daddy was very happy when he received it in the mail.
Of course we were always nervous about what Hunky Daddy would think when he saw his rear end on the big screen. But Daddy was very happy with the film and apparently shed a tear upon watching the section on the Hungarian Revolution. Go Hunkys!
This Fall the film was released by Docurama Home Video and is available nationwide in stores and in selected hair salons. This new edition of the DVD features a bunch of new stuff, including Lost Interviews, Deleted Scenes, and the additional Directors' Audio Commentary by Chris & Jeff. If you have the Centennial Edition DVD of the film, you are missing out on some great new features.
WATCH! as Leonard Knight and Naked Don work out their differences on Love, Jesus, and Nudity.
GASP! when we revisit Lechon, Olivia, and other Bombay Beach regulars several years later.
CRINGE! at a lost interview of Hunky Daddy philosophizing about Hungarian communism and dirty city people.
Support the filmmakers by buying directly from THE SALTON SEA EMPORIUM. And if you bought the Centennial Edition of the film (from the website,) don't feel ripped off, because if during the next few weeks you purchase a Docurama edition DVD, we will give you a free Friends of Dean Martinez CD - "Lost Horizon." Just send an email with your name and "FODM ME" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org after you make your order. It also helps if you forward your receipt email from your last order with us, that is, if you have it around.
Although they are both quite religious and promote love to the world, Leonard Knight and Naked Don don't exactly see eye to eye. Check out this video clip where we ask Leonard about what he thinks of Donald. You can see the full length clip in the Deleted Scenes section of the new P&P Docurama Edition DVD. Unfortunately, we can't show you all of naked Donald on You Tube, but don't worry you can see all of him on the DVD. See the video.
Have a Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!
Chris & Jeff
(aka Metzler & Springer)
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