Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: Nov. 22, 2021

Those of us here at Independent World Headquarters are a wee bit tired.

It’s a good tired, though.

On Friday, we shipped our Best of Coachella Valley issue to press. At 56 pages, it’s the largest issue of the Independent we’ve ever published.

Over the weekend, we attended all sorts of events, including Queer Works’ Coachella Valley Transgender Day of Remembrance program at Oscars Palm Springs, and the penultimate performance of Desert Rose Playhouse’s fantastic production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. When we weren’t at events, we were prepping all of the Best of Coachella Valley content to go live at at 8 a.m. this morning.

Today, we made sure all of the aforementioned BOCV stuff went online—before heading to the printer to pick up the issue. (It looks really good, if I do say so myself.) Then I was on Eye on the Desert with Patrick Evans to kick off News Channel 3’s week-long Best of Coachella Valley coverage. Finally, shortly after I hit “send” on this Indy Digest, we will head to Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge for one of the most festive events of the year: The Wreath Auction, benefitting the LGBTQ Center of the Desert and the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.

We’ll be putting in full days tomorrow and Wednesday as well … before taking Thursday off. There will be much sleeping and food—but no Indy Digest this Thursday. The Digest will arrive in your inbox and at on Friday instead.

If you haven’t perused it already, you can find all of the Best of Coachella Valley pieces, as well as some other Independent coverage, in the “From the Independent” box below.

I hope you enjoy the fruits of all this labor—because you, our readers, are why we do what we do. And we are truly thankful for each and every one of you.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Best of Coachella Valley 2021-2022: Readers’ Picks

By Staff

November 22, 2021

Some 1,300 people voted in the final round of this year’s Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll—and here are the results!

Best of Coachella Valley 2021-2022: Staff Picks

By Staff

November 22, 2021

Here are a few of the things our staff and contributors really, really liked—enough to give them Best of Coachella Valley props—over the last 12 months.

Pinching Himself: Best Local Musician Winner Bob Gentry Looks forward to the Next Phase of his Career’s Third Act: Performing in Front of Crowds

By Matt King

November 22, 2021

Bob Gentry—the Best Local Musician, according to the votes of Independent readers—just released a new music video for his song “That Life.”

Airy and Edutaining: The Palm Springs Air Museum—Our Readers’ Choice as Best Local Museum—Takes Flight as Both a ‘Flying Museum’ and a Safe Events Space

By Kevin Fitzgerald

November 22, 2021

The Palm Springs Air Museum, our readers’ Best Museum pick, gets ready for a stealthy new addition.

Credit: Bill Swindle

The Lucky 13; Vincent Corrales, aka DJ Galaxy, Voted Best Local DJ

By Matt King

November 22, 2021

Get to better know the three-time reigning Best Local DJ, according to Independent readers.

The Lucky 13; Joan Gand, Keyboardist of the Gand Band, Voted Best Local Band

By Matt King

November 22, 2021

Get to better know Joan Gand, the keyboardist for two-time Best of Coachella Valley winner the Gand Band.

A Note From the Editor: I Have Just a Few More Personal ‘Best Of’ Picks …

By Jimmy Boegle

November 22, 2021

While the BOCV package already contains some staff-pick awards, including several of my own, I’d like to offer up a few more here.

Vine Social: Your Life Experiences Shape What You Smell in a Glass of Wine

By Katie Finn

November 19, 2021

Why does a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand smell like grapefruit? There is actual science behind this. It all comes down to chemistry

Too Much Homage: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Ruins the Promise of an Original Story by Going Crazy With Tributes to the Original

By Bob Grimm

November 22, 2021

Ghostbusters: Afterlife overdoes the fanboy elements, similar to what happened with the final Star Wars installment. Just call this The Rise of Ghostbuster.

Best of Coachella Valley Winners’ Advertising Spotlight!

More News

• Have you heard what is happening at various high-end retail outlets in the Bay Area? Here’s how our partners at CalMatters explained it (with links to other articles): “On Sunday, a pack of looters robbed a jewelry store in a Hayward mall, smashing glass cases and absconding with the valuables into waiting cars. Also Sunday, Walnut Creek police recommended that businesses close early, citing intelligence that the 80 thieves who ransacked a Nordstrom on Saturday night could strike again. Officials labeled the Nordstrom robbery as ‘organized retail theft’ and said it was possibly linked to a series of burglaries in San Francisco on Friday night. In San Francisco, social media videos showed masked looters sprinting out of high-end stores in Union Square—including Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry and Bloomingdale’s—with arms full of stolen merchandise worth thousands of dollars. Police arrested eight suspects and seized two cars and two guns, while Mayor London Breed announced plans to restrict vehicle access to Union Square to limit thieves escaping in getaway cars.” I don’t say this lightly: YIKES!

• Closer to home, in Los Angeles: “Authorities in Beverly Hills are investigating after two storefront windows near the tony shopping area of Rodeo Drive were smashed just after midnight Sunday,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Officers responded to reports of attempted burglaries at a shop in the 200 block of Rodeo Drive and another in the 9600 block of Wilshire Boulevard around 12:30 a.m., according to Capt. Max Subin of the Beverly Hills Police Department. Witnesses reported the locations as a Louis Vuitton store and a Saks Fifth Avenue. Subin said that multiple suspects were seen traveling in several vehicles and that they ‘descended on the locations and used a sledgehammer to try to break through front windows.’ No entry was made in either case, he said.”

• Let’s now turn our attention to the pandemic, and a story from the Los Angeles Times that should serve as a warning: “California is entering the holiday season with an uncertain outlook. Optimistically, new weekly coronavirus cases have become stable statewide; the vaccination rate is higher than in many other states, and there are few signs right now of a big winter surge. But the deteriorating conditions in Colorado offer a cautionary tale of how things can go south quickly, even in a state where many residents are vaccinated. Colorado ‘may be a precursor to what we could see ultimately here in California as things get cooler for us,’ UCLA epidemiologist Dr. Robert Kim-Farley said. Chillier weather hits Colorado earlier than California, sending people indoors, ‘which leads to higher potential for transmission of COVID.’ While Los Angeles County has about six hospitalized COVID-19 patients for every 100,000 residents, Colorado has 27—a rate not seen in L.A. County since February.”

• As for the weekly Palm Springs wastewater testing for COVID-19, the numbers for Nov. 15 and 16 show that levels are remaining pretty steady. The report notes that the numbers were “slightly higher” than the week before, but the line on the graph has remained fairly flat since early/mid-September.

MedPage Today talked to 24 public-health experts and doctors and asked them a simple question: Are you comfortable with holiday gatherings this year? While pretty much all of them said they’re comfortable doing more this year than last year, their answers otherwise varied. Here’s a portion of the answer from Stephen Morse, from Columbia University Medical Center—Epidemiology: “We’ve had three doses of mRNA vaccine by now, as have most of my relatives and colleagues who qualify. The vaccine has been a very positive development, but the gaps in vaccine uptake, as well as the much more transmissible Delta variant, make me feel that discretion is still the better part of valor. There’s a temptation to let down our guard prematurely whenever cases decline, and then see the inevitable spike.”

A drug-regulation and patent-law expert, writing for The Conversation, looks at the battle between Moderna and the U.S. government over the rights to the vaccine’s formula—after the government had a significant hand in its development. Key quote: “In July 2021, Moderna made it clear that it would not name government scientists as co-inventors in a patent application covering a much more significant component of the vaccine: the mRNA sequence used to produce the vaccine, known as mRNA-1273. Moderna’s position was that Moderna scientists alone had selected the sequence. The company informed the Patent and Trademark Office of its position in a 2020 statement. In November 2021, government officials publicly challenged the company’s decision after months of failed negotiations with the company.”

Our area is lagging behind much of the rest of the state in childhood COVID-19 vaccinations. The Orange County Register, via The Press-Enterprise, says: “In wealthy Marin County, north of San Francisco, 30.7% of newly eligible children have received the first shot. In San Francisco, 24% have been jabbed. It was 22.2% in Santa Clara County and 20.2% in Alameda County. Southern California, meanwhile, lags far behind. Orange County had the highest uptake of the four big Southland counties at just 9%. In Los Angeles County, it was 8.7%; Riverside County, 4.6%; and San Bernardino County, 4%.”

Also from our partners at CalMatters: The supply chain issues are making it hard for some Californians to get important medical devices. The lede: “When Henry Genung was four months old, doctors cut a hole in his windpipe and inserted a tube to help him breathe. Born with a rare genetic mutation that blocked his upper airway, Henry, who is now 18 months old, will need the tube for several more years. For three months, Henry hasn’t had a new rubber tracheostomy tube even though doctors recommend that they be replaced weekly to reduce the risk of infection. Instead, Henry’s parents have resorted to soaking his used tubes in hydrogen peroxide and boiling them for five minutes. Their medical supplier and doctor’s office told them they don’t know how soon new supplies will be available. ‘It’s an ongoing saga of delayed shipments,’ said Myah Genung, Henry’s mother, who lives in Los Angeles with her husband Dillon and son.”

• And finally … if you’re traveling for Thanksgiving this year, be safe, please—because airports are going to be very, very crowded. And, oh yeah, airlines still are having staffing issues. As Vox succinctly puts it: “Thanksgiving air travel will suck this year.” A quote: “‘No one expected travel to rebound as quickly as it did,’ said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and the president of Atmosphere Research Group. ‘That rebound was a double-edged sword. It’s great that people are traveling again, but the airlines were caught with their pants down. They had to bring grounded planes back into service. They had to bring back employees.’ The nightmarish turn of events is bad news for eager travelers. Fares are up (the cost of jet fuel has increased), middle seats are full again, and airlines are no longer as flexible with their booking policies. Holiday fliers should expect the short end of the travel stick: crowds, long security lines, packed planes, poor customer service, and an overall meh flying experience, unless they can afford first-class treatment. Travel experts suggest booking trips with few to no connecting flights if possible, and to select airlines with a larger flight network, in case of cancellations.”

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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...