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Chasing musical legends in Joshua Tree National Park

By at June 20, 2014 | 2:37 am | 0 Comment

The wide opens spaces, accommodating inns and restaurants, and the echoes of Gram Parsons draw them to the desert each year. But during this visit, a lively 3-year-old is in the mix.

Reporting from Twentynine Palms – Typically, we go to the desert at least once a year. We love the expansive space, several of the inns and restaurants and, of course, the otherworldly foliage of Joshua Tree National Park. We also enjoy the musical legacy of Gram Parsons, the former Byrd who overdosed in Joshua Tree in 1973, at age 26, after virtually inventing the alt-country movement that would blossom two decades later. We feel these echoes and others – the twangy music, the lands natural contours, the local cuisine – when were there.
But this year, my wife, Sara – a former music journalist – and I had one complication: our eager but mischievous son. Ian is no more difficult than the typical 3-year-old boy, but he loves life so unambiguously that he can be hard to corral. Traveling with a toddler is a whole different ballgame: We figured some things would be better, some things worse, but we did know quite how it would all work out.

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Immigration law supporters rally in Arizona

By at June 20, 2014 | 2:37 am | 1 Comments

Immigration law supporters rally in Arizona

PHOENIX — Hundreds of people supporting Arizonas new law cracking down on illegal immigration gathered near the state Capitol on Saturday as soaring temperatures were expected to hit 107 degrees. The Pennsylvania-based group Voice of the People USA organized the demonstration, which it touts as a grass-roots effort. Attendees came from every region of the U.S., Voice of the People President Daniel Smeriglio said. The rally turnout fell far short of the march organized by opponents of the law last weekend, when an estimated 20,000 people gathered.The immigration law requires that police conducting traffic stops or questioning people about possible legal violations ask them about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that theyre in the country illegally. Reasonable suspicion is not defined. The law also makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally or to impede traffic while hiring day laborers, regardless of the workers immigration status. It would become a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit work. The law takes effect July 29 unless blocked by a court as requested under pending legal challenges. Hundreds of motorcycle riders kicked off the rally by riding in a procession around the Capitol.The rally at a park in downtown Phoenix follows dueling events last weekend that drew thousands of opponents and supporters of the law to the area.

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