Indy Digest: July 19, 2021
All weekend, and into today, there’s been a voice in my head, yelling: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiigh!”
This is the voice I hear, metaphorically (usually), when I am stressed and anxious and there’s just a lot of crap going on.
Barring some heinous change of plans, I’ll be getting on a plane to Boston tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. (Well, technically, it’s a plane to Phoenix, followed by a nail-biter 38-minute layover, and then a plane to Boston.) That’s where the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) annual conference is being held this year, and I am excited to be going. I am currently on the AAN board, and I’ve gone to 19 of the last 20 such conferences, through last year, when the conference went virtual, because, well, you know.
Flying across the country had a lot more appeal, say, a month ago, when the delta variant was just a thing in the news that was potentially scary, but not really an immediate threat, as opposed to now, when it’s seemingly everywhere.
Anyway, AAN rudely scheduled this year’s conference during the deadline week for the Independent’s August print edition. As a result, I’ve been frantically working ahead, so as much of the paper is done as possible before I head for Boston, where newspaper production will necessarily consist of me squinting at my laptop screen and possibly uttering expletives due to questionable hotel internet.
In the middle of my working weekend, I received an email from AAN, politely requesting that all board members, vaccinated or not, get a COVID test before our board meeting and dinner, since we’ll all be in close quarters, and the delta variant is a terrible thing.
Given I am supposed to get on a plane tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, I had two choices: I could fork out some cash for a rapid test, or I could go to CVS and get a “free” test. The problem with the latter option is that I wouldn’t likely get the results back until Tuesday or Wednesday, leading to a potential nightmare scenario of learning I’m an asymptomatic positive while in Boston or on that 38-minute layover in Phoenix.
So I chose the former option. About a half-hour after paying $99 and letting a gentleman violate my nostrils with a swab while I sat in my car in a blockaded-off section of the airport cell-phone lot, I received a text and email saying I had, thank heavens, tested negative for COVID.19.
But the whole process set me further behind on all the work I wanted to get done before departure.
So that’s where I am at, folks. How was YOUR weekend?
From the Independent
Stopping Suffering: Supporters of California’s End of Life Option Act Work to Remove ‘Unnecessary Barriers’ Via a New Senate Bill
July 17, 2021
Senate Bill 380 would remove the California End of Life Option Act’s sunset provision and streamline the process for patients seeking the life-ending medications.
Surf’s Up? Some La Quinta Residents Battle a Proposed 600-Home Development—With a Kelly Slater Wave Pool as Its Centerpiece
By Cat Makino
July 19, 2021
The Coral Mountain Resort would include 600 homes, with prices starting at $2.5 million—bit it is the development’s planned centerpiece that has neighbors most upset: a Kelly Slater Wave Pool.
Artsy ‘Pig’: Nicolas’ Cage’s Latest Is Not a Gonzo Revenge Pic; It’s Actually a Restrained, Deliberate Art Film
By Bob Grimm
July 19, 2021
Pig isn’t a revenge thriller; it’s actually a slow-burner about a dude—and some other dude—dealing with loss and death.
By Matt King
July 17, 2021
The Summer Concert Series with Leanna and The Jazz Collective continues at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 20, at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.
By Kevin Carlow
July 16, 2021
Diversify your tequila portfolio with some classic cocktails beyond the margarita.
Hiking With T: The Coachella Valley’s Central Location Means There Are Nearby Mountains and Beaches Where You Can Beat the Extreme Heat
By Theresa Sama
July 17, 2021
One great perk of living in the Coachella Valley is that it’s very centrally located: We’re just a short drive to both quaint mountain towns and gorgeous ocean beaches.
A Slightly Better ‘Jam’: While LeBron James Can’t Act, the ‘Space Jam’ Sequel Has Enough Charm for Kids and Fans of the Original
By Bob Grimm
July 19, 2021
Space Jam: A New Legacy gives LeBron James a chance to have his big-screen moment in what is essentially the same movie as the original.
• Annette Bloch, one of the valley’s most prominent and beloved philanthropists, passed away late last week. She was 94. Here’s a remembrance from the Kansas City Star. Locally, she was very involved with DAP Health; here’s a snippet of DAP’s remembrance: “In 2016, Bloch announced a $3 million gift during the 22nd Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards to fund the expansion of DAP Health’s medical facilities. (DAP Health CEO David) Brinkman, who counted Bloch as a close friend and an ally in the organization’s advocacy-based healthcare work that today serves 9,700 individuals annually, recalls her passion for the organization’s mission. ‘She was energized by her intention to make life better for anyone suffering. She often said everyone, regardless of income, should have access to world-class healthcare.'”
• The New York Times takes a look at how Los Angeles is thus far accepting L.A. County’s new mandate that people again mask up, vaccinated or not, in indoor public spaces. The policy went into effect on Sunday. Here’s a scene from Santa Monica: “Most customers dutifully took their masks on and off at the entrance of shops, where signs were posted to remind them of the policy and where, in some cases, complimentary masks were offered. Out-of-state tourists found themselves wearing masks for the first time in months, sometimes annoyed but largely compliant, and one restaurant employee who forgot about the mandate was able to secure a mask by running across the street and asking employees at the Starbucks if they had extras.”
• Related: The Los Angeles Times did a nice, and somewhat reassuring (if you’re vaccinated), piece that seeks to answer the question: “Vaccines are incredibly effective against Delta variant. So why do we need to wear masks indoors?” Key quote (though it doesn’t answer the aforementioned question; the piece gets to that later): “L.A. County’s massive public hospital system has not had to hospitalize anyone for COVID-19 who has been fully vaccinated, Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said. ‘We have not admitted any single person for COVID who is fully vaccinated—with either the J&J, Pfizer or Moderna vaccines,’ Ghaly told the county Board of Supervisors last week. L.A. County’s public hospital system has a vast reach and primarily serves people especially vulnerable to COVID-19. There are four county-run hospitals.”
• The filing deadline for the gubernatorial recall election has come and gone, and our partners at CalMatters take a look-see at the slate we’ll all get to choose from come Sept. 14: “Just 41 candidates filed all the paperwork necessary by the 5 p.m. July 16 deadline to run to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in the Sept. 14 recall—a field that includes GOP politicians, a reality TV personality, a YouTuber, a retired detective, a cannabis advocate, several business owners and even a new-age shaman. What it doesn’t include: Anyone with the star power that actor and body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoyed when he disrupted the political scene in 2003 and ousted then-Gov. Gray Davis. It also doesn’t include any prominent Democrats who might be seen as a viable alternative to Newsom by California’s overwhelmingly blue electorate. That’s good news for Newsom as he fights to keep his job, said the man who managed Davis’ unsuccessful campaign against the 2003 recall.”
• The Palm Springs Post reports on the latest efforts to revive downtown Palm Springs’ Plaza Theatre: “Whether fundraising begins again in earnest, and whether the building can be used to host fundraising events, remains to be seen. An important first step in allowing any events at the theater comes this week as the Palm Springs City Council considers allocating $50,000 for minor updates needed to make the building safe for occupancy. That consideration is on the Council’s agenda Thursday evening. Money from the city, if approved, would go toward making minor improvements to the theater needed for occupancy during the planned Oasis Music Festival in October. Organizers of that event, including Palm Springs Life Magazine and former City Councilmember J.R. Roberts—a current member of the city’s Planning Commission—hope the theater can serve as a hub during the four-day festival. They plan to earmark a portion of any event profits for restoration of the theater.”
• Here’s a headline to show anyone who doesn’t believe that systemic racism is a thing, from the San Francisco Chronicle (subscription required): “Black youths nine times more likely to be incarcerated than whites in California.” Sigh. Key quote: “Overall, the rates of confinement for white and non-white juveniles nationwide have become slightly more equal than they were in the past, but racial minorities are still far more likely to be locked up than whites, said the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit that advocates for reduced imprisonment. The study was based on data from October 2019. … In California, the report said, the rates were 433 Black youths incarcerated for every 100,000 in the population and 48 white youths per 100,000. That 9-to-1 ratio, while marginally less than California’s rate in 2015, was the fifth-highest differential of any state, with New Jersey’s 17.5-to-1 disparity the highest.”
• Also from our partners at CalMatters: If you are a student in the UC system, are the parent of one, or the parent of a potential UC student: “Get ready for whiplash: After receiving $1.3 billion in new money from lawmakers this year, the University of California now wants to raise tuition on each incoming undergraduate class. Every year. Indefinitely. Once tuition spikes for an incoming class, it would stay flat for six years for that class — allowing students to more reliably calculate the multi-year cost of a degree. The UC Board of Regents will vote Thursday on a tuition-hike plan two years in the works that was initially derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic but has since been resuscitated.”
• And finally … we’ll conclude with some news that the local daily felt was important enough to send a special “news alert” email about this morning. From a news release: “Summer wouldn’t be the same without ice cream parlors. That’s why Blue Bunny launched ‘The Heart of Fun’ to find parlors committed to bringing the fun and making a positive impact in their community that could use some help after a tough year. Now that the application period has ended, Blue Bunny is unveiling the winners.” Well, one of the winners was Palm Springs’ Monster Shakes, and tomorrow (Tuesday), July 20, the first people who come in can get free ice cream—until Blue Bunny’s $1,000 tab is spent.” Yay for free corporate advertising by newspapers! Sigh.
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