CVIndependent

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Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Features

10 Nov 2015
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Wallace Stegner (1987): “The West is defined, that is, by inadequate rainfall. … We can’t create water or increase the supply. We can only hold back and redistribute what there is.” In the 19th century, as settlers moved West, the gold seekers got most of the attention and publicity. But more of settlers traveled West for a less exciting reason—to farm. In many cases, it never occurred to them that the land might not be suitable for the purpose. Some reports reached the East about desert lands, but they circulated mostly in educated circles. More common was talk of the fertility of Oregon, California and other places. Besides, farming increased rainfall. As white settlement moved West, the federal government sent four survey parties to case the joint. Led by Clarence King (1867-78), George Wheeler (1872-79), Ferdinand Hayden (1867-78) and John Wesley Powell (1869-1879), they took scientific approaches to their work.…
07 Nov 2015
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This weekend, downtown Palm Springs is being taken over by Pride. It’s been an amazing couple of years for Greater Palm Springs Pride, and the LGBT community in general. The festival’s move from Palm Springs Stadium to downtown last year was a huge success. In fact, organizers say Palm Springs Pride is now the second-largest pride celebration in California, bested only by San Francisco Pride. After the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality earlier this year, there is a lot to celebrate. One of the most recognized symbols of the LGBT community is the rainbow flag. The flag was designed in 1978, with a lot of revisions since. Its colors represent the diversity of the LGBT Community, and it has been used for pride marches and equality-related protests. For Palm Springs Pride this year, I thought I’d reach out to a handful of local LGBT community entertainers…
30 Oct 2015
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It’s 5:35 a.m. on Arenas Road in downtown Palm Springs. The short block of Arenas between Indian Canyon Drive and Calle Encilia—home primarily to gay bars and other LGBT-targeted businesses—is bustling with activity every afternoon and night. But at this hour, things are fairly calm. And just a little bit eerie. A beer truck is parked between two bars, and the driver is unloading a pallet of beer and soda to wheel down the sidewalk to the Circle K. A leafblower can be heard in the distance. Even though Eddie’s Frozen Yogurt has been closed for hours, and won’t be open for hours, its outdoor music system is on—and the Village People’s “Go West” is blaring among the empty buildings. In 25 minutes, this section of Arenas Road will formally begin its day. That’s when Score the Game Bar, at 301 E. Arenas Road, will open its doors. According to…
30 Oct 2015
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In 2011, Palm Springs’ Golden Rainbow Senior Center expanded its mission to serve all members of the LGBT Community in the Coachella Valley—and the LGBT Community Center of the Desert was born. The Center has come a long way since then, with the addition of new programs, including low-cost counseling. In an era when many LGBT centers around the country are struggling, the LGBT Community Center of the Desert’s membership is growing—and now The Center is getting ready to move into a brand-new building of its own. In November, the LGBT Community Center of the Desert will release details about the new space to the public. Mike Thompson, The Center’s chief executive officer, offered the Independent some information about the new building, and talked about why The Center needs a new, expanded space. “The Center has a big vision to truly be a community center for LGBT people living in…
23 Oct 2015
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When in the military, our servicemen and servicewomen often miss the comforts of home. That’s where the USO comes in. A lot of military members come through Palm Springs to get to and from the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms—and the Bob Hope USO at the Palm Springs International Airport is there to fill the need. It has been in operation since December 2006. During a recent visit to the Bob Hope USO, center manager Teresa Cherry offered a tour of the facility. It seems small at first, but once you get past the sign-in counter, the canteen, TV area, game room and other areas are sizable—and comfortable. She explained why the Bob Hope USO in Palm Springs came to be. “We have Marines and Navy (members) at Twentynine Palms, and when they were getting off the airplanes here, or were coming down here from up…
17 Aug 2015
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Editor's Note: Allene Arthur died on Friday, July 31. She was 91 years old. Independent contributor Brane Jevric was a dear friend of Arthur's; he often drove her to various social events. And on Jan. 30, 2014 at CVIndependent.com, and in the February 2014 print edition of the Independent, Jevric toasted his dear friend with a story talking about this fabulous woman and journalist. I was so impressed by something Arthur said in the piece—“I write for the reader—not the advertiser or the people being written about, but the reader!”—that it was the motivation for my Editor's Note in that print edition of the Independent, in which I railed about the unethical pay-for-play "journalism" that is so prevalent in our valley and our world. In honor of this amazing woman, we're republishing Jevric's piece below. Allene, you're greatly missed. —Jimmy Boegle After close to a century, Allene Arthur finally came…
24 Jun 2015
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In most ways, Aiden Stockman is a typical 18-year-old guy. The Yucca Valley resident recently graduated from high school. He is just getting his driver’s license, and he’s debating what to do with his life. However, attendees of Palm Springs Pride’s Harvey Milk Breakfast, held in downtown Palm Springs on May 22, know Aiden is far from typical: He and his mother, Kelli Drake, spoke at the event, and had many attendees in tears as they told Aiden’s story of struggle—and surprising acceptance—in Yucca Valley as a transgender youth. Of course, transgender people are all over the news these days, thanks to the success of Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, the Golden Globe win for Jeffrey Tambor playing a transgender woman on the Amazon.com series Transparent, and, most notably, the journey of Caitlyn Jenner. However, Aiden—who was born Victoria Stockman—was dealing with what’s called “gender dysphoria” well…
17 Jun 2015
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Two days before the highly publicized recent New York prison break, a local K-9 apprehended a suspect who was wanted for questioning regarding a robbery in Palm Springs. There were no cameras present. There were no reporters on the scene. There was not an army of police officers, nor were there numerous K-9’s tracking the escapes. There was just one police dog and one officer patrolling Indian Canyon Drive after 9 p.m. Kane, the 5-year old Belgian Malinois, who has been with the Palm Springs Police K-9 unit since 2011, simply did his job: As the suspect ran from the scene, Kane was released by his handler, officer Luciano Colantuono, and Kane caught the suspect a short distance away. I briefly met officer Colantuono while he was patrolling with Kane. As I spoke to Colantuono, Kane was inside the SUV barking—and the sheer force of his movement was shaking the…
18 May 2015
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Kimberly Long spent the day of Oct. 5, 2003, bar-hopping around the Corona area with her boyfriend, Oswaldo “Ozzy” Conde, and their friend, Jeff Dills. The three ended the day at a bar called Maverick’s and then went to the home she shared with Long, around 11 p.m. There, she and Conde got into a fight, after which Long left with Dills to cool off. She returned home around 2 a.m. on Oct. 6. During a recent phone interview from the California Institution for Women in Corona, about 65 miles from Palm Springs, Long choked back tears while talking about that night. “I remember walking through the door, and it was unlocked when I came in. I saw a light on in the back. I kicked off my shoes, and I saw Ozzy on the couch, and I called his name,” said Long, who was an emergency-room nurse at the…
12 May 2015
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Edgar Mitchell is a true American hero: He’s the sixth man to walk on the moon, as part of the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. He’s spoken extensively about his journey to the moon—and he has also spoken at length about his unique views on extraterrestrial life and cosmology. He will be lecturing at Contact in the Desert, a UFO-themed conference at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center May 29-31. During a recent phone interview from his home in Florida, Mitchell said his interest in extraterrestrial life started thanks to the UFO incident in 1947 in Roswell, N.M. Mitchell, 84, grew up in Artesia, N.M., near Roswell, and remembers it well. “The truth about it is that it was real,” Mitchell said. “I was there when the Roswell incident took place. I was on my way to college and had just graduated high school. One day, it was in the Roswell…