Indy Digest: Nov. 4, 2021
I lived in Arizona for a decade before moving to the Coachella Valley—and while I absolutely love the state, its politics are … well, troubled.
Arizona, after all, is the state that gave us the corrupt, dehumanizing Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It’s the state that once lost a Super Bowl because it refused to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday. It’s a place where two consecutive elected governors, Evan Mecham and Fife Symington, left office early, in shame, due to varied misdeeds.
But there is one thing Arizona politically has gotten gloriously right: Since 1968, the state has done no time changes—instead, most of the state is on standard time all year long.
This is on my mind, because this weekend, those of us in California—and most of the rest of the country—will yet again endure the danger and disruption caused by stupidly changing our clocks twice a year.
When I use the words “danger and disruption,” I am not kidding. Scientists say the time changes cause problems ranging from messing up sleep patterns to increasing the risk of hitting a deer with your car.
Locally, it just so happens that Greater Palm Springs Pride usually takes place on the same weekend that we “fall back.” On one hand, the extra hour of sleep is nice; on the other, it’s quite disorienting when it’s dark at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Pride Festival, in part because Palm Springs is tucked up against the sun-blocking Mount San Jacinto.
“Wait,” you may be thinking. “Didn’t we vote to do away with the time change a while back? Whatever happened with that?!”
Yes, you are correct: In 2018, 60 percent of California voters said “yes” to Proposition 7, which gave the state Legislature the go-ahead to knock it off with all this time-change nonsense. As for what happened with that … well, Congress happened with that.
California and at least 18 other states have said they want to stop springing forward and falling back, and just stick with daylight saving time (what we’re on from March to November) year-round. But Congress needs to give states the permission to make that change … and even though the idea has bipartisan support, Congress keeps being Congress and doing nothing.
So next week, when you’re all discombobulated thanks to the time change, shake your fists at neither your clock or the prematurely dark sky. Instead, shake them at Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell.
From the Independent
By Matt King
November 2, 2021
This year’s Concert for Autism will take place on two different days: The “warm-up event” will take place on Sunday, Nov. 14, at Coachella Valley Brewing Co., while the main event will occur on Saturday, Nov. 20, at Big Rock Pub.
Anything but Common: Palm Canyon Theatre Brings Del Shores’ Newest Play, ‘This Side of Crazy,’ to the Stage
By Matt King
November 3, 2021
Palm Canyon Theatre is producing Del Shores’ newest play, This Side of Crazy—and it’s only the third-ever production of the show.
November 4, 2021
Topics tackled on this week’s Independent comics page include sideboob, Vladimir Putin, permanent gerrymandering, city zoos—and much more!
By Guillermo Prieto
November 4, 2021
Flying-beer problems aside, I am serious when I say: Idles may be the best live punk band I have ever seen.
• Here’s the latest Riverside County District 4 COVID-19 report. (District 4 consists of the Coachella Valley and points eastward.) During the week ending Oct. 31, the positivity rate was 4.8 percent—up from 4.1 percent the week before, and 4.0 percent the week before that.
• Hospitalizations are on the rise, too. Kevin Duncliffe, who has been tracking local hospitalizations for much of the pandemic, reports that as of yesterday, the area’s three hospitals were treating 61 COVID-19 patients—26 more than just one week ago. This is alarming.
• Indio residents have overwhelmingly OK’d the extension of a sales tax in the city. We talked with Indio’s new city manager, Bryan Montgomery, about the issue in September. He explained: “Measure E will extend the (existing) sales tax. It won’t raise it; it will only extend it. … When (the original measure) was initially approved, it had a 20-year sunset. The new version that will be on the ballot would remain until the voters ended it.”
• Joy of Life Wellness Center—the reigning choice of Best of Coachella Valley voters as the Best Marijuana Dispensary—is now closed after the city revoked its license. Our friends at the Palm Springs Post break down what happened. “(Joy Brown) Meredith, who also owns the Crystal Fantasy retail store downtown, filed a six-page appeal on October 26. She said Wednesday that the Palm Springs City Council would consider her appeal, but she was not told when. Until the Council hears the appeal, however, her cannabis businesses remain shut. In the October 13 letter, an attorney representing the city alleges code enforcement officers, an investigator from the State Department of Cannabis Control, and patrol officers from the Palm Springs Police Department conducting an inspection at the West San Rafael Drive business on August 12 discovered evidence of marijuana cultivation in Unit 7 of the building. Meredith’s license covers only the adjacent Unit 6.”
• Meanwhile … if you’re not convinced that this country is broken, you should know what happened in Dallas earlier this week, as explained by The Washington Post: “In rainy Dallas with temperatures dipping into the low 60s, hundreds huddled with umbrellas, flags and signs to wait for history to be made on Tuesday. Some even brought folding chairs. At the site overlooking where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated nearly six decades ago, scores of QAnon believers outfitted with ‘Trump-Kennedy 2024’ shirts, flags and other merchandise gathered. They forecast the president’s son John F. Kennedy Jr., who has been dead for over 20 years, would appear at that spot, emerging from anonymity to become Donald Trump’s vice president when the former president is reinstated. The prophecy foretold online, of course, did not come true.”
• Also from the Post: The newspaper examined the increasing power that “constitutional sheriffs” a la Riverside County’s Chad Bianco have across the country. A snippet: “(Pennsylvania candidate Mark) Lomax embraces the unique powers of elected sheriffs, who report directly to voters, unlike police chiefs, who are generally hired and fired at will by city councils. ‘You pretty much have no authority above you government-wise; you answer to the voters,’ Lomax said, adding that despite this freedom he plans to be ‘a sheriff who enforces the laws.’ In dozens of races around the nation, answering that question has become a key campaign topic, as the constitutional sheriffs movement has capitalized on anger at pandemic restrictions. While it’s unclear exactly how many law enforcement officials embrace the ideology, one group that promotes it claims up to a tenth of the nation’s sheriffs as dues-paying members, and numerous candidates for sheriff now on the ballot echo its rhetoric.”
• As if we needed more evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is a scary virus … we now have this story, compliments of ArsTechnica: “Earlier this year, researchers found that many wild deer in Michigan had antibodies that suggested the animals had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was a significant cause for concern, as a large population of susceptible animals could act as a reservoir that allows the virus to spread back to humans. At the time, however, uncertainties abounded. The study looked at only a small sample of the deer population of one state—we didn’t know how the animals were exposed, and we didn’t know whether the virus was actually spreading among wild deer. Since then, a few of the blanks have been filled in. Critically, deer-to-deer transmission has been observed in captivity. On Monday, a preprint of a new paper answered some more questions, showing that infection is widespread in a second state, driven both by its spread from humans and deer-to-deer transmission. Overall, the news is not especially good, though we still don’t understand what risks it may pose to humans.”
• As mentioned above, this is Greater Palm Springs Pride weekend. If you’re going, but looking for something a little off the beaten path, here’s a fundraiser at Ruth Hardy Park you may enjoy. From a news release: “Gather your friends and come celebrate flagging, magical music and, of course, PRIDE at Ruth Hardy Park in the heart of Palm Springs on Saturday, November 6 from noon till 4 PM. The Desert Flaggers are excited to have beloved DJ Phil B joining us from San Francisco to provide the day’s soundtrack. Bring your blanket, picnic, and water bottle. Ice and water will be provided. The event is free to everyone—humans and (well-behaved and leashed) pets alike—but 100% of the money collected during our gathering will go to support our charity SafeHouse of the Desert. … Find out more about SafeHouse and get all our event details at www.flagginginthedesert.com.”
• And finally … if you’re at the Pride Festival this weekend, please stop by the Independent’s booth, where you can get a copy of our Pride Issue print edition; grab swag like an Independent logo frisbee; and chat with one of our fabulous scribes (including myself). Our booth will be located on Museum Way, more or less under Marilyn’s rear end. In the meantime, we bring you this story from The Conversation, on the emergence of Pride celebrations in small-town, generally conservative America. A taste: “The Pride festivals in Appalachia aren’t the only ones happening in small-town America. Others have occurred in places as far-flung as Window Rock, Arizona; Pocatello, Idaho; Starkville, Mississippi; and Stockholm, Wisconsin. ‘I think they are happening because people feel like they can make them happen,’ (Tennessee pride organizer Jason) Willis said. ‘These Prides in small towns will continue to emerge. We had Black Lives Matter and women’s marches. Not that they are the same, but you can have these cultural gatherings in small towns. We’re seeing that.’”
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