CVIndependent

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Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

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24 Mar 2016
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Editor's Note: For a clarification and follow-up to this piece, go here. The city of Desert Hot Springs has a reputation problem. KDHS FM 98.9 hopes to be part of the solution. The low-frequency, all-volunteer radio station is starting to garner attention thanks to community-outreach efforts being made by Michelle Ann Rizzio, who is currently running the station. She said her father started the station as a hobby back in 2006. “I went off to college in 2009 at the University of San Francisco and immediately got involved with KUSF,” she said. “When I came back most recently, in September 2014, my dad was still operating his radio station, and still had it as a closed thing and a lot more hobby-oriented. He was getting open to ideas for having local shows and volunteers to get a little bit more of a formal radio station. I thought, ‘This is what…
16 Mar 2016
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Imagine legendary U.S. soccer stars Abby Wambach and Julie Foudy kicking around a soccer ball here in the Coachella Valley … on a golf course. No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke. Welcome to the fast-growing sport called FootGolf, a combination between soccer and golf, that’s getting lots of attention, nationally and internationally, across all generations and genders. Wambach and Foudy, both retired U.S. National Team soccer players, each with two Olympic gold medals to their credit, will participate along with LPGA golf stars in an exhibition match against Japan on Tuesday, March 29, at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, as part of the ANA Inspiration women’s golf tournament (formerly known as the Dinah Shore). In fact, the headquarters of the American FootGolf League (AFGL) is here in Palm Springs. “Coachella Valley is the U.S. golf capital; hence AFGL was established here (in) 2011,” said Roberto Balestrini,…
14 Mar 2016
Last spring, Shoshana Walter with the Center for Investigative Reporting filed a routine public records request with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for a story on a rogue firearms instructor. The request was unceremoniously denied, so Walter did exactly what reporters do in that situation: She pushed back. Moments later, she received an email that she was never meant to see. “Okay, now what? She is being a pain. Do we ask Peter what to do with her?” wrote the public servant handling the request. The official immediately tried to recall the message. Within an hour, the sheriff’s department had a sudden change of heart and agreed to release the information. Meanwhile, all Walter could do was commiserate with other transparency advocates on the #FOIAFriday thread on Twitter. Scroll through #FOIAFriday tweets, and you’ll find that Walter’s story is far from uncommon. In fact, the only thing unique is that,…
09 Feb 2016
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At the heart of age-old disagreements about who should own and manage public lands in Western states—the federal government, states, or local communities—is one key document: the U.S. Constitution. Supporters of transferring federal lands to state or local control, including the armed occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, often cite the Constitution, along with original statehood documents, to justify their cause. Here are three of their main arguments, and what mainstream legal scholars have to say about them. Enclave Clause In a Fox News interview two days after the Malheur occupation began in early January, a reporter asked ringleader Ammon Bundy, “How is what you're doing not lawlessness?” He replied: “I think that we have to go to the supreme law of the land to answer that question. And that is that the federal government does not have authority to come down into the states and to…
22 Jan 2016
Play began in this year’s Coachella Valley PGA tournament stop—formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic, more recently as the Humana Challenge, and now as the CareerBuilder Challenge—on Thursday, Jan. 21. Tour pros teed off at the La Quinta Country Club (the only layout to return from last year’s competitive three courses), the Nicklaus Tournament Course and, most surprisingly, the TPC Stadium Course. Players took on this challenging 18 holes for the first time—and, until this year, the last time—in tour competition in 1987. It’s fair to say quite a bit has changed in the pro-golf world in the interim—much of it fueled by the impressive amount of money at stake. In 2016, the total purse for the entire tour season is roughly $330 million. Also, the simple game of golf—hit a ball with a well-manufactured but twisted stick until you knock it into a hole—now generates some $3.4 billion…
25 Jan 2016
In the United States, 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute of every day on average, according to a 2015 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence report. That equates to more than 10 million victims annually. While there was a steady decline in the number of incidents reported in California from 2005 to 2012, the last two years for which statistics are available have seen increases, according to the California Department of Justice. In 2014, the nine cities of the Coachella Valley recorded 1,317 domestic-violence incidents; more than 20 percent involved the use of a weapon. On average, that works out to just less than four reported incidents per day in our valley—where Shelter From the Storm (SFTS) provides one of the only sources of hope to frightened and often desperate victims and their families. “There’s a high need, and we’re still the only provider out here,” said…
07 Jan 2016
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Since Jan. 2, a crew of self-proclaimed militiamen have occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. The occupation is a reaction to the sentencing for arson of Dwight and Steve Hammond, local ranchers who have become symbols of the Sagebrush Rebellion over the last two decades. But the action goes far beyond just one family’s fight with the federal government: It’s an escalation of an insurgency sparked by the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014. The Hammond family has been at odds with the Bureau of Land Management since the early ’90s, initially over grazing and water rights, and more recently over arson. The son and father were sentenced in 2012 and served abbreviated sentences—a year and three months, respectively. This October, the Hammonds were resentenced to five years each, with credit for the time they already served. That aroused the passion of Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy;…
22 Dec 2015
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When Chris Zander shared the news on Dec. 10 via Facebook that his husband—local LGBT activist and local Equality California field director George Zander—had passed away, many people in the community reacted with shock. George and Chris Zander had been attacked on Nov. 1 near Calle Encilia and Tahquitz Canyon Way in Palm Springs after leaving Hunters Nightclub. Two suspects, Keith Terranova and Christopher Carr, have since been arrested; both have pleaded not guilty to crimes including battery with serious injury, elder abuse and hate crime. The Palm Springs Police Department said Carr has nine previous arrests, and both Carr and Terranova have previously been convicted of battery. Chris Zander, 33, required stitches after being struck in the back of the head with a tire iron, while George Zander, 71, suffered a double-fracture to his hip, which required surgery. George had gotten through the surgery and was back home after…
09 Dec 2015
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When Sonoma State University professor Carl Jensen started looking into the new media’s practice of self-censorship in 1976, the Internet was only a dream, and most computers were still big mainframes with whirling tape reels and vacuum tubes. Back then, the vast majority of Americans got all of the news from one daily newspaper and one of the three big TV networks. If a story wasn’t on ABC, NBC or CBS, it might as well not have happened. Forty years later, the media world is a radically different place. Americans are now more likely to get their news from several different sources through Facebook than they would from CBS Evening News. Daily newspapers all over the country are struggling and, in some cases, dying. A story that appears on one obscure outlet can suddenly become a viral sensation, reaching millions of readers at the speed of light. And yet, as…
13 Nov 2015
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During the rise of professional skateboarding in the late ’70s and ’80s, one man involved in the industry became known not for riding a skateboard, but for the photos he took of skateboarding’s rising stars. Meet Jim Goodrich. He’ll be one of the legends appearing at the El Gato Classic in Palm Springs Friday through Sunday, Dec. 4-6. During a recent phone interview, Goodrich explained how he became a photographer. “It really was an accident,” Goodrich said. “I had a photography class when I was in high school, but I was sort of a kid without direction back in those early days. My brother started skateboarding, and that’s what got me interested in it. I got a homemade board and didn’t really know anything about the skateboarding scene. I played around with photography while I was in high school and never really thought about it. I just wanted to skate…