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Editor's Note

01 Jul 2014
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I’d never heard of Eventbrite or Brit + Co before a week or so ago. Turns out Eventbrite is an online events/calendar website, and Brit + Co is “an online media and e-commerce platform that provides tools to teach, inspire and enable creativity among women and girls” that its managers claim reach more than 5 million “creatively minded people” each month. Well, I’ve now heard of these sites, because Eventbrite’s Lauren Busley, in a post published on Brit + Co’s website, came up with a rather surprising list that quickly made the social-media rounds among Coachella Valley-area art fans: Eventbrite named Palm Springs as the No. 1 Coolest City for Art Lovers in the USA. Yes, really. Eventbrite supposedly “found out which U.S. cities have the highest proclivity for the arts looking at population, number of art events and amount of cash locals spent on art events” to make the…
30 May 2014
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Summer is here, more or less, in the Coachella Valley—and I couldn’t be happier. No, I am not one of those masochists who actually like triple-digit temperatures, steering-wheel burns and bouts of sunstroke. Not at all—in fact, I loathe hot weather. Still, this will be the 13th consecutive summer for me in a place where triple-digit summer temps are the norm, so I have obviously learned to deal with it—and in fact, I’ve learned to embrace it, because to me, summers in the Coachella Valley have far more pluses than minuses. Take driving, for example: Yes, driving around the valley on a 113-degree day can have moments of unpleasantness, especially when getting into and out of the car. But driving around the valley on, say, an 81-degree day in March has moments of unpleasantness as well: too much traffic, confused Canadians, etc. So I ask myself: Would I rather deal…
25 Apr 2014
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I first met Debra Ann Mumm and Ryan “Motel” Campbell in the weeks leading up to the party the Coachella Valley Independent threw last October to celebrate the launch of our monthly print edition. Debra’s Venus Studios Art Supply sponsored the event at Clinic Bar and Lounge by donating a 10-by-5-foot canvas (and other materials), on which Campbell painted a gorgeous work of art during the party. (The painting was then donated to the LGBT Community Center of the Desert for the nonprofit’s Center Stage silent auction.) To say I was impressed by both Mumm and Campbell would be an understatement: They always display an intense passion for the Coachella Valley, its art and its artists. That’s why I was not at all surprised when Mumm announced she and Campbell were raising funds for PLANet Art Palm Springs (www.exhibitps.com), a project to bring in four renowned muralists in early April…
28 Mar 2014
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April is going to be one helluva month in the Coachella Valley. I came to this somewhat obvious conclusion after a marathon editing and compiling session, during which I perused tens of thousands of words of copy—much of which details how and why, exactly, April is going to be so amazing. First up: music. Brian Blueskye has been hard at work over the last month-plus, doing interviews, gathering information and writing his butt off in preparation for our special print Music Issue. The result: four profiles on bands playing at Coachella; two profiles on Stagecoach bands; stories on other bands not to miss at both Coachella and Stagecoach; and a rundown of information on Coachella-related parties occurring before and during the festival. He also did two Lucky 13 interviews, as well as his normal monthly Blueskye Report. All of this music coverage, by the way, is fantastic; some of it…
24 Feb 2014
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Some folks just don’t like change. That’s one of the messages of Brian Blueskye's profile of Frank Tysen, the local hotelier who has been leading the charge against John Wessman’s hotel/retail development on the site of the former Desert Fashion Plaza. The piece went online last week, and serves as our March print-edition cover story. Tysen says he’s in favor of downtown redevelopment in Palm Springs—but not this kind of downtown redevelopment. He thinks the proposed Kimpton Hotel is too big, too boxy, too glassy, too L.A. He thinks a new shopping center in Palm Springs is a terrible idea. And he thinks it’s stupid to try to attract younger professionals and millennials as tourists to the Coachella Valley, because they lack the time and money that older visitors have. I don’t agree with Frank Tysen. I think, in this case, change is good. To my untrained eyes, the plans…
31 Jan 2014
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I recently received an email from a person who works at a local advertising agency, requesting coverage of an event. “Or all features given to advertisers?” the email said. “If so I understand.” Sigh. I sent a polite reply, explaining that advertising has nothing to do with our editorial coverage. (And, yes, we did cover the event, even though we didn’t receive any advertising—simply because it was an event worthy of coverage.) Sadly, emails like this to Independent World Headquarters are fairly common. These days—and in this valley, in particular—it’s fairly common for “legitimate” publications to sell editorial coverage along with advertising. This is an ethically questionable practice to begin with—and it’s downright wrong for publications to sell coverage without labeling that coverage as advertising. Yet it happens all the time. Every journalism school in the country teaches classes warning against “pay for play” practices—and it turns out that many…