Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: Sept. 27, 2021

Happy Monday, everyone.

Earlier today, we announced the finalists and launched the Final Round of voting in our Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll. If you’d be so inclined, I’d really appreciate it if you went to sometime between now and the end of the day on Oct. 27 to vote.

This is the eighth year in which we’ve conducted this Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll, and we still regularly get questions about it—the primary one being, from the cynical sorts: Why? More specifically, why do we go through all the work of conducting a Best Of poll when the daily and the city magazine do them, too?

Here are three reasons why we do the Best of Coachella Valley poll every year:

1. We think we can do better than the daily and the city magazine. The main difference between our poll and the others is that we only ask/allow people to vote once per round. Not once a day … just once per round, period. Some publications love Best Of polls because of the website traffic it brings them. As for us … we’d rather get the best slate of finalists and winners as possible than a temporary boost in our analytics.

2. It helps fund and draw attention to our journalism. As a way of checking the validity of the email addresses on the ballots, everyone who votes agrees to get signed up for this Indy Digest newsletter. In fact, several hundred of you are getting the Indy Digest for the first time today, because you voted in the first round. (Welcome!) Some people get one or two newsletters and then unsubscribe—but a lot of people stick around to become loyal Independent readers. Heck, you may, or may have, become an Independent reader because you heeded the call by some business to go vote in the Best of Coachella Valley poll.

Then there’s the revenue portion: Every ballot advertisement or print edition advertisement sold to a finalist or a winner helps fund the journalism that we do—and it costs a lot of funding to write, edit, fact-check and distribute good journalism. Our writers gotta eat, after all.

3. People genuinely enjoy and learn things from the Best of Coachella Valley results. Regular readers, newbies, visitors researching the valley and many others like to see who won or finished as a finalist in all the various categories—and may learn about new restaurants, organizations and service businesses from the results. It can mean a lot for businesses to win or be honored as a finalist, too.

So … that’s why we do the Best of Coachella Valley poll every year: It’s good for readers; it’s good for us; and it’s good for the nominated businesses and organizations.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Restaurant News Bites: 4 Saints Reopens With a New Chef; Palm Desert Welcomes Jolene’s; and Much More!

By Charles Drabkin

September 25, 2021

The Kimpton Rowan welcomes Ysaac Ramirez as 4 Saints’ new chef; Salt Flats gets ready to open in downtown Calthedral City; I Heart Mac and Cheese makes Palm Springs plans; and more!

Determined to Defy: Black Midi Brings Its Unique U.K. Rock and a Wild Stage Show to Pappy and Harriet’s

By Matt King

September 27, 2021

The London-based rock band Black Midi is known for both stage energy and sonic experimentation—and you can see for yourself at Pappy and Harriet’s on Oct. 9.

Ew, Evangelists! Jessica Chastain’s Amazing Performance Helps ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ Succeed

By Bob Grimm

September 27, 2021

You’ll cringe more than you will laugh at The Eyes of Tammy Faye—but Jessica Chastain’s performance makes the ugly parts go down a little easier.

The Indy Endorsement: The Mensaf at Taste the World Bar and Grill

By Jimmy Boegle

September 27, 2021

You’re probably wondering: What in the heck is mensaf? It’s a delicious Jordanian rice-and-meat dish—with an amazing yogurt sauce.

More News

• Last week, I expressed concern that the Coachella Valley could possibly be heading in the wrong direction in terms of COVID-19 cases. Well, the latest Palm Springs wastewater testing report has encouraging news: The amount of SARS-CoV-2 detected in wastewater samples taken on Sept. 20 and 22 is down compared to the week before. Read the report, if you’re so inclined, here. It’ll be interesting to see what’s in the county’s new local COVID report when it’s posted.

• Mail-in voting in California—brought on in widespread fashion by the pandemic—will now be a permanent thing. The Los Angeles Times, via SFGate, reports: “Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature Monday on Assembly Bill 37 makes California the eighth state in the nation with a law on the books requiring every voter to be mailed a ballot. The new law is part of an evolution of voting in the state over the last two decades, an effort to provide voters more options for when and where to cast their ballots.”

Our partners at CalMatters say rapid COVID-19 tests are in short supply all across the state. And this is a problem: “Online and in stores, major retailers are sold out of the popular at-home tests, and medical supply vendors can’t find enough rapid test kits for schools, shelters, nursing homes, employers and other groups. Across the state, people in low-income communities are being turned away as community groups and clinics are forced to ration their tests. Workers in need of regular screening for employment struggle to find them. Some parents are spending hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket to test their school kids. And nursing homes are told they may have to wait weeks for testing kits. … Experts say quick and easy testing is vital to contain the spread of COVID-19. Without widespread access to tests, people don’t know they are infected and need to quarantine, causing outbreaks that could have been prevented. ‘There should be little stations where you can get rapid tests anywhere, anytime,’ said Joe DeRisi, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UC San Francisco.”

Booster shots for some Pfizer vaccine recipients are now happening. The New York Times explains: “President Biden may have gotten ahead of the government’s scientists in announcing prematurely that virtually all Americans would begin getting coronavirus booster shots this fall, but he made a show of getting his own. The president spoke briefly before he received a Pfizer-BioNTech booster on Monday afternoon. … His third shot came only days after federal regulators moved to allow millions of Americans to get Pfizer booster shots if individuals received a second dose of that vaccine at least six months ago and met new eligibility rules. Frontline workers, older people and younger adults with medical conditions or jobs that place them at higher risk got the green light following weeks of intense debate within regulatory agencies that left much of the American public confused about the specifics of the booster plan.”

• Progress is also being made on getting kids age 5-11 vaccinated. CNN says: “Pfizer/BioNTech plans to ask soon for authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for some children under 12, bringing the U.S. one step closer to offering protection to a population that has grown particularly vulnerable as the fall season gets under way. ‘It is a question of days, not weeks,’ Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told ABC News on Sunday about when the company will submit data on children ages 5 to 11 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for consideration. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Monday that the CDC will review data on vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds with urgency.”

• Oral treatments for people suffering from COVID-19—and for people possibly exposed to SARS-CoV-2—could be coming in the not-too-distant future. NBC News explains: “(It) could be the world’s next chance to thwart COVID: a short-term regimen of daily pills that can fight the virus early after diagnosis and conceivably prevent symptoms from developing after exposure. ‘Oral antivirals have the potential to not only curtail the duration of one’s COVID-19 syndrome, but also have the potential to limit transmission to people in your household if you are sick,’ said Timothy Sheahan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who has helped pioneer the therapies.”

An expert on asylum law, writing for The Conversation, does not like what he’s seeing from the Biden administration regarding asylum-seekers—especially the people from Haiti seeking asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border. A snippet: “Haitians have suffered from discriminatory treatment in immigration for decades, and it would, I believe, be naïve to attribute this adverse treatment to anything other than systemic racism, which pervades so many aspects of American society. Shortly after the U.S. enacted the 1980 Refugee Act, it began to stop Haitians on the high seas and to return them to Haiti so that they could not apply for asylum in this country. This violation of international law was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1993, and the practice continues to this day. Before the border was closed to them, Haitians who reached the U.S. and applied for asylum were denied at a higher rate than just about any other nationality—notwithstanding the dire human rights conditions in their country.”

• And finally … if you’re a fan of the Saturday Night Live cast from recent years, we have some good news for you. The Associated Press reports: “After an off-season of some mystery involving several favorite performers, Saturday Night Live said it was returning for its 47th year this weekend with all but one of its incumbent cast members on board. Only Beck Bennett, known for impersonations of former Vice President Mike Pence and a buff Russian leader Vladimir Putin, is exiting. Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and Pete Davidson, all busy cast members whose returns were considered questionable, will be coming back.”

Support the Independent!

As mentioned above, it costs a lot to do what we do—and we give all of our journalism away for free, with no paywalls or subscription fees. If you’d like to voluntarily chip in and help us out, click the button below to learn more. We’d sure appreciate it. Thanks, as always, for reading the Independent.

Read this Indy Digest at!

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...