Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: Feb. 6, 2023

Here at the Digest, we get reader feedback … and we received several missives in response to “Florida’s Alarming Bans on Books, Black History” from Feb. 2:

Stop trying to tear our country apart with garbage narrative. Find something important to print and report about. Forget whether it’s Democratic or Republican policy, is it good for the country or is it the right thing to do? If so, that is what we as a country need to do.

There is nothing wrong with house bill 1467, certainly nothing to make you queasy about. There is nothing wrong with ensuring books for children are age-appropriate, free from pornography and “suited to student needs.”

The time for partisan politics with one view only is over.

If only that were simply what HB 1467 is about …

PEN America, a group that fights for writers’ freedom of expression, put context behind the bill in a piece published in March 2022: “What is this all about? According to State Sen. Joe Gruters, who sponsored HB 1467, the bill is simply an attempt to make the process for selecting instructional materials ‘completely transparent and open to the public.’ But it is difficult to divorce the legislation from its larger political context. There is a concerted campaign underway across the country to ban books and instructional materials containing ‘objectionable’ content. Often, that content amounts to little more than an acknowledgment of LGBTQ+ identities or the existence of racism or sexism. The purpose of HB 1467 is to facilitate that campaign. By creating a centralized list of every objection leveled against a book, film, article, handout, or instructional software program somewhere in the state, school districts will be under enormous pressure to skirt all controversy and adopt only the safest, most anodyne materials possible. This may be a good strategy for avoiding controversy, but it is no way to educate a child. And if recent trends are any indication, first on the chopping block will be materials related to LGBTQ+ identities, sexuality, diversity, and racism.”

Another letter:

Would you please unsubscribe me.

I don’t have interest in Florida news (or) the maga hat cartoons.



A month ago, I asked readers to comment on the direction of the Indy Digest: Should it take a more local approach? Or a more national-news-in-context approach? Or a mix of both?

The response from readers was mixed—some wanted more local news, while others wanted more curated national news. As a result, we’ve been continuing the same mix of local and national.

While this reader didn’t respond to that aforementioned query, he apparently wanted more local news (even though the Digest to which he responded included a LOT of local news as well). Oh, well.

The thing that I found disconcerting about this was his statement that he “doesn’t have an interest in Florida news.” Doesn’t he realize that this news could, now or later, affect him, too?

Finally, we received this letter:

What a nasty, biased article you vomited out regarding the wholly reasonable decision to examine the literature (and sexually explicit pornography) in Florida schools and to exclude the filth from being presented to our children. Those that can remove their children from the perverse meat grinder of public education have been doing so and it is expected to happen at a higher rate as parents are made aware of the freaks and deviant people entrusted with our children.

I will be certain to voice my opinion to your advertisers about how your rag runs against all decency, tradition and morality that made this country great.


Ps your opinion on masks and the poison gene therapy death elixir is totally wrong also. Color me shocked – lol

I just … wow. At least the phrase “poison gene therapy death elixir” was funny … or it would be funny, if Bob weren’t being serious.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Caesar Cervisia: There Are Finally Reasons for Optimism About the Local Craft-Beer Scene

By Brett Newton

February 3rd, 2023

I was concerned about my ability to be positive about the local craft-beer scene. Turns out I had no reason to worry.

Coffee and Community: Yes Please Café and Dessert Shop Is Quickly Winning Fans in Old Town La Quinta

By Cat Makino

February 5th, 2023

Yes Please café and dessert shop, in Old Town La Quinta, is a labor of love for its owner, Gina Mallano.

Humor and Darkness: Jason Segel, Harrison Ford Shine in Apple TV+’s ‘Shrinking’

By Bob Grimm

February 6th, 2023

Apple TV+’s Shrinking offers Jason Segel a nice balancing act for his comedic and dramatic talents—and shows how funny Harrison Ford can be.

The Indy Endorsement: The Twosome Dinner at Mr. Claws

By Jimmy Boegle

February 3rd, 2023

If you go to Mr. Claws, don’t wear fancy clothes—and be ready for a tasty mess.

Thought-Provoking Thriller: Dave Bautista Helps Make ‘Knock at the Cabin’ Worthwhile

By Bob Grimm

February 6th, 2023

Knock at the Cabin is one of M. Night Shyamalan’s better recent efforts, thanks in part to some fine casting.

Palm Springs Welcomes Its First New Sister City: San Miguel de Allende (Nonprofit Submission)

By David Perry

February 6th, 2023

The Palm Springs Sister City Committee is welcoming an official delegation from its first “Twinned City,” San Miguel de Allende, to Palm Springs this week.

More News

• You’ve probably seen some of the awful images coming out of Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquakes there—a magnitude 7.8 quake, followed by a magnitude 7.5 aftershock. While we may have stronger building codes and more earthquake-proofing … consider this your reminder that similar quakes could happen here, too. A seismologist, writing for The Conversation, explains what happened: “This area of Turkey is prone to earthquakes as it lies at the intersection of three of the tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust: the Anatolian, Arabian and African plates. Arabia is moving northwards into Europe, causing the Anatolian plate (which Turkey sits on) to be pushed out westwards. The movement of the tectonic plates builds up pressure on fault zones at their boundaries. It is the sudden release of this pressure that causes earthquakes and ground shaking.”

This BBC piece shows some before and after photos depicting the damage. To call them “startling” would be an understatement.

• DAP Health (formerly known as the Desert AIDS Project) is making a bid to take over Borrego Health. In a letter sent to supporters earlier today, CEO David Brinkman said: “As you may know, a community partner, Borrego Health filed for bankruptcy on Sept.12, 2022, placing 120,000 community members at risk of losing access to care. In many of the communities served by Borrego Health, there are acute provider shortages and few options for the uninsured and underinsured to obtain care. DAP Health, in alignment with its mission to care for our communities, made a bid to acquire Borrego Health. Our primary motivation in bidding for Borrego Health is to ensure the continuity of service for its patients. We will provide more information when the bidding process is complete.” A news release from DAP Health says the winning bidder will be notified this week.

The Palm Springs Post reports that a new U.S. Department of Transportation study shows that Palm Springs has one of the highest small-city roadway fatality rates in the nation: “With a population of 44,575 and 79 roadway fatalities between 2016 and 2020, the fatality rate in Palm Springs is 35.45 per 100,000 people. That’s high enough to place it in the top 25 among smaller cities. Malibu, with a population of 10,000, also made the top 25 with 21 fatalities and a rate of 39.42. Riverside County scored lower-than-median fatalities relative to its population, as did Los Angeles and Orange counties. … Calculating rates for anything in Palm Springs proves difficult since the city’s full-time population and its in-season population can vary widely, skewing the math.”

The state is dropping its school vaccinemandate plans. Our partners at Calmatters report: “The latest sign that California is easing out of the pandemic and into the endemic phase: The state has dropped its plan to require the COVID-19 vaccination for K-12 students as the state of emergency comes to an end Feb. 28, after nearly three years. That said—’we continue to strongly recommend COVID-19 immunization for students and staff to keep everyone safer in the classroom,’ the California Department of Public Health said in a statement. 

NPR reports on the not-uncommon situation of car buyers being “yo-yo’d”—meaning a car dealership takes back a purchase agreement, after the buyer had already taken possession of the vehicle, because financing fell through. The piece includes an anecdote about a particularly insane instance: “In the Johnsons’ case, the new deal raised the price of the car, paid less for their trade-in vehicle, and removed an insurance policy they had in the first deal. The Johnsons signed the new deal because they wanted to keep the car. But then a week later, they say the dealership told them they had to sign yet another deal. At that point, it just all seemed really fishy,’ says Darren. The couple refused to return and sign it. The dealer, Greenway Hyundai Orlando, sent a tow truck and repossessed the car. Meanwhile, documents show that Greenway had already sold their trade-in vehicle and didn’t give it back.”

• And finally … here’s a New York Times commentary, headlined “An Even Deadlier Pandemic Could Soon Be Here.” A snippet: “Bird flu—known more formally as avian influenza—has long hovered on the horizons of scientists’ fears. This pathogen, especially the H5N1 strain, hasn’t often infected humans, but when it has, 56 percent of those known to have contracted it have died. Its inability to spread easily, if at all, from one person to another has kept it from causing a pandemic. But things are changing. The virus, which has long caused outbreaks among poultry, is infecting more and more migratory birds, allowing it to spread more widely, even to various mammals, raising the risk that a new variant could spread to and among people. Alarmingly, it was recently reported that a mutant H5N1 strain was not only infecting minks at a fur farm in Spain but also most likely spreading among them, unprecedented among mammals. Even worse, the mink’s upper respiratory tract is exceptionally well suited to act as a conduit to humans, Thomas Peacock, a virologist who has studied avian influenza, told me.” Ugh!

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Jimmy Boegle

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...