See this ... um ... interesting looking box? Well, the Independent has rescued 50 of these poor things from the streets of Phoenix, and between now and the launch of our monthly edition in October, we will be placing them across the valley. (Several are already out!) Hideous plastic outside ... gorgeous journalism inside.

I was just flipping through some of this week’s local free print publications—and boy, is it ugly.

One of them is filled with mere press releases (save a couple of bylined culture columns), as it always is. Another features a page-one music story that, at least at the start, seems more about the publishers’ crush on the band than the band itself.

I could go on, but I won’t. If you’ve read these publications before, you know what I am talking about.

(If you think I am being rude by pointing out these publications’ weaknesses: I am sorry, but valley residents deserve better, don’t they?)

That’s why I am particularly excited about the second print issue of the Independent, which will be hitting the streets of the Coachella Valley this week.

There are no reprinted press releases in our summer quarterly (and no stories discuss my crushes, musical or otherwise). Instead, here’s what we do have:

• An opinion section featuring the usual Independent goodness (including ¡Ask a Mexican! and the Desert Potted Garden), as well as pieces from artsOasis’ Robert Stearns and Coachella Unincorporated’s Alexandra Alcaron.

• Seven news and features stories (eight if you count our “Snapshot” page) ranging from an interview with the mayor of Indio to a look at the Salton Sea area’s International Banana Museum.

• An arts section anchored by pieces by Valerie-Jean Hume (theater) and Richard Almada (visual arts).

• Movie reviews from the great Bob Grimm.

• A food section that includes a feature on Fame Lounge, restaurant news, our Sniff the Cap wine column, and Indy Endorsements from restaurants across the valley.

• A variety of music pieces, including features on Teddy Quinn and DJ Day, a review by Brian Blueskye of the Queens of the Stone Age’s new album, and a series of Lucky 13 interviews.

• A fantastic story by Erin Peters, aka the Beer Goddess, on the soon-to-open Coachella Valley Brewing Co.

• Plus comics, Jonesin’ Crossword, and yet more features not mentioned here … all presented in a package that features gorgeous design, fantastic advertisers and a more reader-friendly font size.

In other words, we’re giving the Coachella Valley the alternative publication it finally deserves. And we want to give the valley more: As we’ve mentioned before, we’re going monthly in print, starting in October.

Of course, we’re still posting fantastic pieces each and every day here at—at least three things every weekday, with stuff on the weekends, too.

More great stuff is coming, too: This coming week, Anita Rufus—you may know her as the “Lovable Liberal,” or perhaps from her congressional run a while back against Sonny Bono—will debut as a regular columnist for the Independent. The informal theme of her column will be: “Do you know your neighbors?” Every other week, she’ll tell a compelling story about a person, or a group of people, who call the Coachella Valley home. It’s going to be fantastic.

Speaking of fantastic: Robert Victor, an astronomer from Michigan State University who retired to the valley, is now bringing Independent readers a monthly look at the nighttime sky. Look for it at the start of each month—and in our monthly print edition come October.

We’re still looking for other great people to contribute to the Independent. If you want to be a part of the valley’s only true alternative publication, email me at We’re especially looking for people who want to tackle news and features.

As always, thanks for reading; let me know your thoughts at

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...