Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: Sept. 19, 2022

Consider what happened in Mexico today to be a reminder to us all that we live in earthquake country.

You may also, if you so choose, consider what happened in Mexico today to be a reminder to us all that God/the universe/the higher power/etc. occasionally has a really bizarre sense of humor.

Reuters reports:

A powerful earthquake struck western Mexico on Monday on the anniversary of two devastating temblors, killing at least one person, damaging buildings, knocking out power and sending residents of Mexico City scrambling outside for safety.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a video address a person had died in the Pacific port of Manzanillo after a wall collapsed in a store. Authorities also reported damage to two hospitals in the western state of Michoacan near the epicenter, which was in a sparsely populated part of Mexico.

The magnitude 7.6 quake hit shortly after 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) near the western coast and close to the Michoacan border with the state of Colima—where Manzanillo is located, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

As for the great almighty’s bizarre sense of humor:

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), one of the country’s most prestigious seats of higher learning, said there was no scientific explanation for three major quakes on the same day and attributed it to pure coincidence.

But others could not quite believe it.

“It’s this date. There’s something about the 19th,” said Ernesto Lanzetta, a business owner in the Cuauhtemoc borough of the city. “The 19th is a day to be feared.”

Thousands of people were killed in the Sept. 19, 1985 earthquake and more than 350 died in the Sept. 19, 2017 quake.

So, yeah. This is why I’ll do my best never to be in Mexico on Sept. 19.

But on a more serious note … this got me thinking: Am I really prepared for a major earthquake here, in the Coachella Valley—something that is, if not likely, at least a very distinct possibility in my lifetime?

The answer … no, not really.

Most of the earthquake-preparedness tips on the Ready.gov website don’t really apply to me, or are sort of silly. (The first tip is “Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On with family and coworkers.” Do we really need to practice getting under a table?) I live in an apartment, so I am not in a position to “consider making improvements to my building to fix structural issues that could cause your building to collapse during an earthquake.” And I already have earthquake insurance.

But this tip isn’t bad: “Make a supply kit that includes enough food and water for several days, a flashlight, a fire extinguisher and a whistle.”

Hmm.

The San Andreas Fault calls the Coachella Valley home, just like we do—and that’s something we all need to keep in mind.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Hiking With T: Fall Weather Brings Ladders on Trails and Bighorn Sheep Frolicking in the Cooler Temperatures

By Theresa Sama

September 19th, 2022

It is finally time to get back out there on the trails to enjoy this perfect time of the year! Here are two trails you can’t miss.

For Future Authors and Playwrights: Middle and High School Students Are Encouraged to Enter CVRep’s Annual Writing Competition

By Kevin Mann

September 19th, 2022

In 2020, 38 contestants took part in the CVRep Youth Writing Competition; that number held steady in 2021. The hope is that with more awareness of the competition, that number will grow this year.

Unnervingly Authentic: Mia Goth Is Amazing as a Burgeoning Psycho in ‘Pearl’

By Bob Grimm

September 19th, 2022

As Pearl, Mia Goth runs the gamut of emotions, from extreme joy to tears bursting out of her eyes, and it all feels so natural.

More News

• In news about other awful natural disasters: Puerto Rico—which, we all need to always remember, is part of the United States—is again reeling from the effects of a hurricane, this one named Fiona. NPR reports (in a brief story accompanying some photos that really drive home how bad the situation is): “In Puerto Rico, the full extent of the damage is still unclear as the storm has unleashed torrential rains across much of the island, causing massive flooding and landslides. Island officials have said that some roads, bridges and other infrastructure have been damaged or washed away as a result of the downpour. Most of the island also remains without power, according to utility companies’ reports tracked by PowerOutage.us. More than 775,000 residents also have no access to clean water. The latest hurricane to batter the U.S. territory, Fiona struck two days before the fifth anniversary of Maria, the devastating storm that killed more than 3,000 people and nearly destroyed the island’s electricity system.”

• Moving from earthquakes and hurricanes to plagues: Despite President Biden’s surprising declaration that the “pandemic is over,” public-health experts (and, metaphorically, the virus itself) disagree. Want evidence? Look no further than the latest Palm Springs wastewater testing report for SARS-CoV-2, which says: “The average number of copies (per liter) recorded at the City’s wastewater treatment plant increased. The average of 488,820 copies/L from the previous week went up to an average of 572,152 copies/L for September 12 and 13, 2022.” That’s a lotta COVID, folks.

• The city is also testing wastewater for monkeypox, and those results are all over the place. On Aug. 29, tests detected almost 60,000 viral copies per liter; on Sept. 12, tests detected more than 13,000. And the week in between … tests detected nothing. I am pretty sure monkeypox and everyone who had it didn’t leave town for Labor Day, so I am not putting much stock in these figures. The testing for this is brand-new, after all.

Riverside County is reporting 256 cases of confirmed or suspected monkeypox, which is four more than when the Digest checked the numbers last Thursday. Here’s hoping cases here are starting to slow down, as they are in other parts of the country.

• Moving back to COVID-19, Time magazine attempts to answer the question: “Should You Get Your COVID-19 Booster and Flu Shot at the Same Time?” The answer? “The new boosters can be given at the same time as a seasonal flu shot, the CDC says. But should you get both jabs at once, or space them out? It’s a simple question with a surprisingly complex answer. Though the opinion isn’t universal, many experts, including White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, say you should get your COVID-19 booster as soon as you’re eligible—which is at least two months after your last vaccine dose or three months after your last SARS-CoV-2 infection. In a recent podcast interview, Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, recommended getting boosted by Halloween to ensure you’re protected for the holidays and the usual winter virus season.”

• Now we move to plagues to gun violence. Sigh. Yeah, sorry. But in this story may just offer a glimmer of hope: Our partners at CalMatters look at San Diego’s “red flag law” system, which creates a special type of restraining order: “There were four more requests for gun violence restraining orders on Jeff Brooker’s desk when he arrived at the San Diego City Attorney’s Office that July morning. … In an average week, they triage 30 referrals from local police, reviewing scenarios in which officers believe a resident is at risk of committing gun violence. About a third of the time—in those instances when the person clearly poses a danger to themselves or others, and they aren’t already prohibited from possessing weapons for another reason—the office will petition a judge to temporarily seize their firearms, under a six-year-old California statute that was among the country’s first ‘red flag’ laws. … These red flag laws, touted by advocates as one of the best tools available to prevent gun violence, received a renewed push this summer after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 students and two teachers dead.”

• And finally … did this Digest make you want to get on a plane to flee the world’s woes? Well … in the sort-of-near future, it’s possible the plane you’ll be getting on may be electric, or at least a hybrid. A professor of aerospace engineering, writing for The Conversation, explains: “Hybrid electric aircraft are similar to hybrid electric cars in that they use a combination of batteries and aviation fuels. The problem is that no other industry has the weight limitations that we do in the aerospace industry. … I see hybridization as a mid-term option for larger jets, but a near-term solution for regional aircraft. For 2030 to 2035, we’re focused on hybrid turboprops, typically regional aircraft with 50-80 passengers or used for freight. These hybrids could cut fuel use by about 10%. With electric hybrids, airlines could also make more use of regional airports, reducing congestion and time larger planes spend idling on the runway.”

Support the Independent!

Sometimes, the news isn’t great … and this Indy Digest is a prime example of that. But we always make sure the sadness is balanced by good things … like Theresa Sama’s informative hiking columns, Bob Grimm’s entertaining film/TV reviews, and arts coverage, like Kevin Mann’s piece on CVRep’s Youth Writing Competition—all of which can be found in the From the Independent section above. If you find that all of this—made available for free to all—has value, we ask you to consider becoming a Supporter of the Independent. Click the button below to learn more. As always, thanks for reading!

Read this Indy Digest at CVIndependent.com!

Avatar photo

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...