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Snapshot

11 Jul 2013
Brandon Viloria, 8, was running wind sprints in 95-degree weather at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday (July 10) outside of the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. His mother, Shannon, was by his side. What would possess a kid to do such a thing? Turns out Brandon is the current California boxing champion in the 8-to-10-year-old, 55-pound bantam weight class, and he was slated to compete at the 12th Annual Desert Showdown tournament at Fantasy Springs this weekend. “He’s got to drop 1.4 pounds right now so that he can make his weight limit at the weigh-in,” explained his father, Dominic. “We’re trying to become the Desert Showdown champion now.” Brandon’s commitment and determination is typical of the aspiring boxing champions who have converged on the Coachella Valley in July to compete in boxing coach and promoter Ralph Romero’s dream event. As the USA’s second-largest amateur boxing tournament, the Desert Showdown has become…
27 Jun 2013
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As thousands of people celebrated in 100-plus-degree heat, Rancho Mirage City Councilmember Scott Hines had sobering words. Standing directly under the Forever Marilyn statue in downtown Palm Springs, the gay family man, military veteran and elected official explained that he was there representing not the city of Rancho Mirage—just himself. He had asked the current mayor of Rancho Mirage, Richard Kite, to issue a proclamation celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court's partial repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, as well as the decision effectively appealing Proposition 8—therefore setting the stage for gay marriage to be legal once again in California. But Kite refused, Hines said. Such a proclamation, or even allowing Hines to speak on behalf of the city, might be offensive to some. Despite Hines' sobering words, thousands of people showed up to celebrate the happy events. Below are images from the celebration of this historic day.
31 Mar 2013
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The Palm Springs Convention Center was awash in white Saturday night and Sunday morning (March 30 and 31) at White Party 2013. Chippendales dancer/The Amazing Race alum Jaymes Vaughan joined forces with the great Madame to interview celebrities (such as White Party performer Carmen Electra) on a "white carpet" outside of the convention center. Inside, many thousands of men (and a few women) danced, snapped pictures and enjoyed themselves on a dance floor that got increasingly crowded—and sweaty—as the night went on. Scroll down to see pictures snapped at the event by the Independent's Jimmy Boegle and Linda Ray.
21 Mar 2013
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Hundreds of attendees came out to peruse the offerings of dozens of local authors at the Palm Springs Writers Guild's annual Desert Writers Expo. The event—held at the Rancho Mirage Public Library on Wednesday, March 20—included about 42 authors who have penned books on topics ranging from "cyber thriller" to travel to past-life regression. The Independent stopped by and took a few snapshots of the event. Enjoy.
16 Mar 2013
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Student and professional artists came out to the parking area behind "Forever Marilyn" in downtown Palm Springs on Saturday, March 16, for the Third Annual Palm Springs Chalk Art Festival. Chosen subjects ranged from turtles to angels to a image from Oz the Great and Powerful. Students competed for a $250 first-place prize, while the pros (who, unlike the students, had to pay an entry fee and/or get sponsors) competed for prizes topping out at $500. The event was presented by the Palm Springs Sun-up Rotary Club and the City of Palm Springs Public Arts Commission. Proceeds were slated to go to the Rotary Foundation, Palm Springs Unified School District art education, and the Rotary's PolioPlus program. The Independent stopped by to take some pictures about an hour before judging was slated to begin. Scroll down to see our pictures (please ignore the photo's shadow in one of them; he…
22 Feb 2013
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A traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall has arrived in the Coachella Valley, and is on display at the Palm Springs Air Museum through the weekend. The wall is a project of American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT), and is a traveling replica—with all of the names—at 80 percent of the original's size. It's some 360 feet long. The wall is on display on the tarmac of the Palm Springs Air Museum through Sunday, Feb. 24. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday (with a special ceremony and program at 1 p.m.); and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sunday. Vietnam War veterans are admitted for free. Otherwise, on Friday and Saturday, viewing of the wall is included with regular admission fees: $15; $13 for seniors 65 and older, retired military members and kids age 13 to 17; and $8 for children ages…
14 Jan 2013
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Temps in the 40s and 50s? Who cares? The sun was out on Sunday, Jan. 13, so that meant the crowds still came to the College of the Desert Alumni Association's Street Fair. Several hundred vendors sold everything from children's toilet seats to handcrafted art to socks—just as they do every weekend. The College of the Desert Street Fair takes place every Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (October through May) or 7 a.m. to noon (June through September). Fun fact: It'll also be open on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 18. The fair takes place at College of the Desert, at the intersection of Fred Waring Drive and Monterrey Avenue in Palm Desert. For more information, call 636-7957, or visit www.codstreetfair.net. And, of course, scroll down to see more pics!
04 Nov 2012
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On Saturday (Nov. 3), a decent-sized crowd "braved" 90-degree temps at the Palm Springs Pride Festival. Attendees browsed the booths for local businesses, nonprofits, political organizations and lubricant companies, while a variety of entertainers crooned from several stages. Here are some pictures from the event (scroll down) , which also takes place on Sunday, Nov. 4. Enjoy!