Comp Curfew

sweetdevil

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County closes Competition Hill

By LAURA MITCHELL

Staff Writer

Competition Hill, a spot for some of the wildest parties at the Imperial Sand Dunes, will be closed at night this Thanksgiving holiday to help gain control of lawlessness in the dunes.

The nighttime closure, effective immediately, was declared in a resolution as an emergency item by the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday after law enforcement officials realized the number of people visiting the dunes is increasing.

"We think there will be huge crowds. The two weekends surrounding Halloween this year were bigger than expected, so we think Thanksgiving will be bigger, too," county Sheriff Harold Carter said.

Last year the four-day Thanksgiving holiday at the dunes was the most violent weekend ever there as fewer than 40 law enforcement officers tried to control more than 200,000 visitors.

The weekend saw a shootout in which a man lost his life, stabbing incidents and someone in a BMW — trying to evade a speeding ticket — running over a bureau ranger.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management Supervising Ranger Bob Haggerty said the problems are a lot like what used to happen in Palm Springs during spring break and what happens in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

Last Thanksgiving we counted up to 10,000 people partying at Comp Hill, Haggerty said.

Most of the people at the dunes are law-abiding and are there to ride. The problem is the smaller percentage of visitors who come to the dunes to party, he said.

Carter agreed, saying the rave parties in the bowl at the bottom of North Competition Hill don't have anything to do with off-roading.

"It's not safe for off-roaders, law enforcement officers or paramedics," he said.

Carter said once Comp Hill is closed at night, the rave crowd will probably move to other locations in the dunes known for parties. These areas might have to be looked at for closure as well.

Haggerty said the BLM is working to close five problem areas at night in the dunes by the New Year's holiday: North Competition Hill, South Competition Hill, Oldsmobile Hill, Test Hill and Patton Valley.

Carter said he would like to get to the point where the areas can be open all the time but he must think of safety first.

American Sand Association President Jerry Seaver said he heard rumors about a possible nighttime closure but was surprised by the decision. Seaver said he was told by law enforcement there would be some discussion before anything happened.

"We've never been for any closures but we understand what's motivating this," he said.

Off-road groups have been fighting against environmental closures imposed in recent years.

Local off-roading advocate Chuck Mobley of Brawley said he considers the action just another closure, but added, "If it will stop the rowdiness and lawlessness, I would be all for it — if it works."

Center for Biological Diversity Desert ecologist Daniel Patterson said the board's action shows the situation at the dunes had gotten out of control.

But, Patterson added, he was not sure what authority the supervisors had to close federal land.

"It's dangerous to hand over federal land decisions to a local authority," he said.

Conservationists are concerned the BLM does not become "puppets of the county board," Patterson said.

He said he is concerned the parties will move to another, more environmentally sensitive area of the dunes.

County Supervisor Wally Leimgruber, whose district includes the sand dunes, said Comp Hill will be closed for a half-hour before sunset until a half-hour after sunrise.

Haggerty didn't say how officers will keep people out of the bowl, only that it is still being planned.

The board is also considering asking for county Fire Chief Joe Buzo's support to declare a state of emergency. The county declared a state of emergency in December 2001 because of increasing chaos at the Imperial Sand Dunes following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.


http://www.ivpressonline.com/display/inn_news/news05.txt

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Kritter

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ITs good to know I contirbute to ASA to keep the land open and then jackasses come out and get areas closed during certain weekends. I wish cops could just shoot people!

Kris
"Buy American before it's too late..."
 

sweetdevil

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This came as a suprise to the ASA too, this wasn't discussed with them beforehand... I just wonder what they think they're going to do about 15,000 people who are ready to go to comp this weekend!!! One of two things is going to happen, everyone is either going to leave and go Olds, where people will be all riled up becuase of the closure, cause even more havoc, getting stuck and getting into accidents, and there will be less LEO's there, cuz they're all giving out citations at Comp, or there is going to be a riot at Comp.... i don't think this was a wise decision. Comp went pretty smooth on Halloween, they should just keep up the check points...

Life Sucks.... get a friggin helmet

Heaven Doesn't want me, and hell is afraid I'll take over
 

fishd00d

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There is no way they can close comp....

Go Big Or Go Home
United Jumping Truck Society
 

evan_clanin

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all hell is gona break loose, telling drunk people were they can and cant go, is not going to go over well, its gona turn nasty, glad im just here fighting the coconut man instead of back out there

i wana be like austin when i grow up, he gets all the chicks
 

bajaruner11

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Not sure if there is any truth to this or if it's just rumor, but It's been said since Glamis is on federal land that the national guard may be used to patrol. Anyone else heard anything along these lines?
 

dezerts10

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not much of a glamis person but personally i wouldnt mind seeing my tax dollars spent if the national guard was out there with there M1a Abrams tanks and hummers it would be a pretty cool site i think it would deffinately curb some of the rowdyness i think. but then again it would just be another place where the gobment " invades" the lifestyles of the regular law abiding dezert person. IMO

Gregg
 

Ryno

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I just talked to a friend that went out there...and comp is already all closed off. They are supposed to have anywhere from 200-1000 law enforcement out there this weekend. Olds is going to be the hot spot, expect mammoth amounts of chaos there. He's the problem.....You have young kids (15-22) going out there with nothing to ride. Rather than just being cool and hanging out, they have to be Mr. Bigshot, and raise cain. This in turn leads more of their peers to join along, now we have a nice snowball effect. Is this why I don't go to Glamis until after Presidents day anymore????

Ryno

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jwfab1

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Halloween weekend there were 2 national guard hummers roaming around Comp Hil. There were also Sherriffs in full riot gear, about 20, in a line walking around, making their presence known. I heard the weekend before they were telling people on megaphones that the hill would be closed at 10:00PM. Now it is 30min past dusk and until dawn.
 

ACID_RAIN28

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PREACH ON BROTHA!

What I don't understand is how a local government can override or superseed(sp) the federaly controled land.

Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream.
 

jeff

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Well I think we all see what is going to happen here... instead of "if you build it, they will come..." you get "if you close it, they will move."

If you close Comp and EVERYONE goes to Olds at night, imagine how NASTY that is going to be on the road out there? You know the blind rollers I'm talking about... like the last mile on the way to Olds is gonna be f'ing death central. That's just a recipe for disaster right there. What I can't really figure out is what is all the law enforcement really doing out there? I know every year more and more cops show up but is it really getting any better or worse? Is it any safer with 100, a 1000, or even 10,000 cops out there?

Side note: If anyone wants to go that ain't got a ride or a place to camp let me know. I'm going to head out Thursday afternoon or early evening and will return early-ish Sunday morning. I don't have my woman riding shotgun so I'm driving solo this year. If anyone else wants to meet up and shoot the breeze PM me. Our camp should have 20-30 people or so and if you don't like fire or explosions our camp ain't for you.

Aloha
 

martininsocal

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Jeff- how can you complain about the law enforcement, then turn around and say "if you don't like fire or expolosions, our camp aint for you..." kinda makes you look like an idiot. I used to go to Pismo Beach in teh '70's. The whole place was open, you could ride to the pier, Sand Station was where you drove your buggy to get fuel, and you could leave teh KOAn your rail and drive it to the sand for a day of fun. Then folks started to get out of hand. The creek crossing became a spot where people played chicken with you to get you to stop in the water and get stuck, then they would offer to pull you out for 50 bucks. People started racing through camp sites on the beach. Fourth of July turned into a litteral war zone with rockets, explosions, and blown off limbs...We all know what Pismo is like now. Fast forward to Glamis today and see what is happening. Folks like you are doing everything you can to close it off for folks like me who go to offroad, not drink, be stupid, blow [censored] up, and basically not know how to act as soon as I leave my backyard. If your gonna go, recreate responsibly.

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

Ryno

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Martin-

I think Jeff is going by numbers. They expect 200,000 people out there. 1000 cops is nothing. for that matter...10,000 is still hugely outnumbered. Safety is why I don't go out until later in the year, and I think that's the issue in hand. Olds is going to be insane. Anyone wanna take bets on the number of trucks rolled, then burned for the insurance? I'll put my number at 10. That's only 1 truck for 20,000 people. I wish my best to those of you going out there...Stay the hell away from Gecko.

Ryno

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jeff

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Martini-n-socal

First off, if you think I'm an idiot that's just swell. I am not complaining about the law enforcement, just wondering what they've been able to accomplish as they've grown over the years. I've never had a problem with ANY of the law enforcers out in Glamis - not even one! I just want to know what the benefit is of having that many "troops" out in the field? If you are outnumbered 100-1 can the addition of more enforcers really fix the problem? No. Does closing down Comp at night fix the problem? No.

Unless you are that little devil on my shoulder how could you know I drink and drive? How else could you know I blow "stuff" up? How else could you know I am stupid? Are you there watching me act stupid? Have you ever seen me act stupid in the desert? Ahh no.... you assumed these things and when you assume Martini-n-socal people will throw you into the same boat as the rest of us idiots.

I admire your passion though and your thoughts (and heart) are in the right place. Suggesting I am one that is ruining your right to play is just plain wrong. But you my friend have jumped to an unfair conclusion and I must set the record straight. Before you get too bent out shape let me say this... you could stick your tongue out at me or call me an idiot all day long and I wouldn't have a problem with you. With that said.... We (our group) do like to burn a huge pile of Christmas trees on New Years and we do like big bonfires. We don't burn pallets or jobsite wood that has nails, screws, or other things that like to pop paddles. We do clean up our trash and usually pickup the camp sites around us. We do enjoy going to the hills at night but we go there to watch the chaos... but we don't participate in it. We usually go up to the top of the hill off to the side and watch from there... or if we are feeling randy we go make one cruise through the channels. The explosions you are so worried about? They ain't measured in k-tons and nobody has ever been injured, or as far as I know, pissed off by them. Our explosions are measured in ounces. Those would be the 12-oz comedians in our group that think it's funny to toss a beer or coke in the fire every once and a while and watch em' blow. Sure, on New Years we light off a few fireworks but I don't really see the harm in that.

Well I'm off to burn the Milk Vetch and run over the turtles... an idiots job is never done! (j/k Martin)

Aloha
 

AZmiik

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I heard from a friend in the CHP that there will be around 50 CHP at comp in addition to whatever else is there and that they are not there to hand out warnings. They expect to fill El centro jail by Wed. night. I say let the wackos play there at least everyone knows where they are that way.

MIke
 

sweetdevil

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Hey Jeff, me and a couple buddies need a new place to camp, like I said... too much drama for us in the old camp... but we bring our own explosives... ha ha j/k... well, we do stupid stuff with beer cans and hot dogs too! Gotta have something to entertain us at night, cuz I don't think I'll have the balls to go to comp or Olds... too scary

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Waldo

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Jeff, I looked at the BLM web site prior to this thread because, I too, heard the same rumor. They list a couple of press releases stating that the criminal and/or idiot behavior has actually decreased in the last couple of years.

I can't remember if they listed "why" but I have a philosophy. Some of the decrease probably has to do with the law "cracking" down on so-called minor offenses...helmets, flags, double riding (sweetdevil - j/k), speed on sand highway, etc. Also, I think just "the knowledge of" that the law enforcement is there plays a big part. Knowing Johnny Law is there and that they now have BLM Big 5 buggies, quads, etc., might make some of the abusers think twice before acting stupidly.

However, the people will probably change the venue to Olds. Hopefully there won't be any hazardous happenings. BE CAREFUL AND WATCH YOUR @SS! TAKE THE DUNES IF YOU ARE GOING TO GO TO OLDS AT NIGHT - THE MAIN SANDY ROAD WILL BE A CLUSTER$#CK...TRAVEL IN A GROUP...DON'T PARTY AND DRIVE/RIDE...AND IF YOU ARE GOING TO BLOW STUFF UP...BLOW RESPONSIBLY!

BRAAAAAAAAP!
 

martininsocal

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Hey Jeff- did you read your own post? I wasn't talking about the issue of cops and enforcement, I was talking about the fact that you said something like..." if you don't like fire and explosions, then our camp aint for you..." How the hell am I suppose to interpret that? I can think of many ways, and none of them are legal. I sure hope you understand the laws about burning stuff in Sothern California...and you think the BLM can crack down...wait until you see what the SCAQMD can do with a fine. Don;t take stuff out into the desert to burn unless it is sawn wood(no nails). Too many couches, Pallets, etc...have ruined way too many tires. Oh, and any firework that goes boom, bang, or flies is illegal in the entire State of California. Period.

Martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

sweetdevil

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that's not true... is it? Every year, everyone goes to Indio to buy fireworks, cause they're legal there... They're just not legal here in Palm Desert... I don't think there is any harm in blowing stuff up in a fire or lighting off fireworks. As long as your not stupid like our group, who lights off roman candles at EACH OTHER... but even still with the stupid behavior, alochol, and fireworks, I've never seen anyone get hurt, beyond a little blister... lol

Life Sucks.... get a friggin helmet

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Kritter

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Take a look at the movie Jackass and as long as nobody is doing that with their fireworks...everybody should be OK

Kris
"Buy American before it's too late..."
 
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