Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: April 17, 2023

The hubby and I were returning from a nice lunch at Billy Reed’s on Saturday when I discovered something concerning: The front door of our apartment was unlocked.

We were pretty sure we’d locked it when we left, so we opened the door carefully.

“Hello! Maintenance!” a voice called out.

The good news: We had not left the door unlocked, and there was no foul play. The bad news: Water was leaking into the apartment below ours, and that meant there was some sort of plumbing issue.

The apartment-complex maintenance guy said he’d checked the water heater, and it did not appear to be leaking, so It was probably coming from a leaky pipe in the wall. He cut several holes into the drywall, and everything seemed dry. But there was definitely water leaking into the apartment below—so a plumbing company was called in.

The plumbers would soon arrive. They went back and forth from our apartment to the one below, trying to find the leak. They theorized it was in the wall behind our water heater (a short, squat model tucked into a corner of the kitchen below the counters). They said they had no choice but to drain the water heater, remove it and cut yet another hole into the wall.

By the time this was happening, it was early evening. We had plans—we were going to Art in the Park in the Dark—but someone needed to stay home while the plumbers did their thing. So the hubby decided to stay home while I went.


While I headed to Demuth Park and had a lovely time—it was a GREAT event—the hubby texted me updates. The latest hole in the wall had revealed nothing but dryness, so the plumbers decided to check the water heater, now outside, for a leak. Sure enough …

You may ask: How in the world could they not see that the leak was coming from the water heater (which, we would learn, had been sitting there, unchanged, since 2005)? Beats me. All we knew was that our kitchen was a wreck—and that we’d be without hot water until at least Monday.

To repeat: Sigh.

Multiple friends were kind enough to offer their homes for us to shower. The hubby pondered trying to find an affordable hotel room nearby—until I reminded him it was the Saturday night of Coachella weekend one, literally the worst night all year for affordable hotel rooms in the Coachella Valley.

Murphy’s law—one version of which is, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time”—is a thing, folks.

Fortunately, Murphy wound up letting us off fairly easily. Yeah, I had to take cold showers yesterday and today. (Why does 73-degree water feel so freaking frigid?!) But the maintenance guy was at our door with a new water heater this morning before 10 a.m. He just finished installing it, and we now have hot water again.

So if you’ll excuse me, folks, I am going to now go take a hot shower. A nice, long, hot shower.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Trash Talk: The Audience Learns and Laughs as It Rides Along With Two Sanitation Workers in Dezart’s ‘The Garbologists’

By Valerie-Jean (VJ) Hume

April 15th, 2023

Dezart Performs’ production of The Garbologists is a most unusual show, full of great dialogue, humor and personal revelations.

Obsession and Fantasy: DET’s ‘Future Thinking’ Goes Behind the Scenes of Comic-Con to Tell a Complex Tale

By Valerie-Jean (VJ) Hume

April 16th, 2023

Even if you’ve never been to Comic-Con, you’ll find Desert Ensemble Theatre’s well-done production of Future Thinking to be quite interesting.

CV History: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies Helped Revitalize the Plaza Theatre and Brought Crowds Downtown for 22 Years

By Greg Niemann

April 16th, 2023

The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies packed in crowds for 22-plus years (1991-2014) and helped catalyze the resurgence of Palm Springs as a resort destination.

Wasting Cage: ‘Renfield’ Needed More Dracula, and Less of Everything Else

By Bob Grimm

April 17th, 2023

Nicolas Cage is, unquestionably, one of the funniest, scariest and most eccentric Draculas in cinema history. Too bad the movie around him is a complete drag.

Miracle Man: Jeremy Renner’s Disney+ Series ‘Rennervations’ Is a Renovations Show With Heart

By Bob Grimm

April 17th, 2023

Mere months after nearly being killed by a snowplow, Jeremy Renner is showing off his fun new Disney+ series, Rennervations.

Artists Council Presents the ‘Young Artists Exhibition’ (Nonprofit submission)

By Suzanne Fromkin

April 17th, 2023

The Artists Council, in collaboration with local art educators, selected the theme TRUTH for this year’s Young Artists Exhibition, funded by the La Quinta Art Foundation.

More News

Local drag performers and their supporters will be holding a big rally in downtown Palm Springs at 5 p.m., tomorrow (Tuesday), April 18, at the Forever Marilyn statue. It’ll be hosted by Bella da Ball, DJ Galaxy and the Durbins. I’ll be there to show my opposition to the idiotic anti-drag laws and ordinances that are popping up around the country. Hope to see you there! Head to this Facebook page for more information.

• Hollywood productions could soon grind to a halt, after the Writers Guild of America voted overwhelmingly—98 percent to 2 percent—to authorize leaders to call for a walkout if they can’t agree on a new contract. The current contract expires May 1. The Los Angeles Times reports: “The radical transformation of the TV business caused by the rise of streaming platforms has fueled much of the labor conflict. Writers are seeking a package of compensation increases valued at nearly $600 million. That includes increases in minimum pay and higher residual payments from streaming, along with increased contributions to the union’s health and pension plans. Writers argue that despite the streaming boom, their median pay has fallen in the last decade, citing a WGA report. Complicating matters is that major studios such as Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. Discovery and Netflix are facing their own economic pressures to slash costs in the face of rising debt levels, a reassessment of the streaming business and a possible recession.”

Our partners at Calmatters look at the problems flooding is causing for the state’s dairy farms—and these may be just the start of the problems, as the record snowpack melts: “Thousands of San Joaquin Valley farmers, workers and residents are coping with acres of floodwaters and muck, tallying the damage. One industry official estimated $20 billion in losses for dairy, California’s number one agricultural industry, generating $7 billion in revenue statewide. Some who lost homes also fear losing weeks or months of income. After months of atmospheric rivers, storms and record floods, the long-dry Tulare Lake is rising again from the San Joaquin Valley floor. It will be fed, experts said, by an historic snowpack melting in the Sierra Nevada. Will California be ready?”

CNBC just did a fascinating and depressing story on how much of our country’s supply chain is supported by forced labor around the world. The lede: “Since late June, federal authorities have seized $961 million worth of goods over suspected ties to forced labor, officials told CNBC. In many instances, companies have no idea their supply chain is tainted, officials said. CNBC received exclusive access in February to the Port of New York and New Jersey, the largest port on the East Coast, located a few miles southwest of Manhattan. There, millions of dollars’ worth of cargo—from solar panels to bedding to floor tiles—was being held while major companies scrambled to prove their supply chains are clean.”

Sort of related: NPR just did a fascinating and depressing piece on child labor … right here, in the good ol’ USA. The lede: “José Velásquez Castellano started working in agriculture when he was 13 years old. Ten-hour days, five or six days a week, in North Carolina’s summer heat. It was sometimes blueberries, sometimes cucumbers—but mostly, it was tobacco. … For children 12 and older in the United States, difficult, low-paying and dangerous work in tobacco fields for unlimited hours is legal, as long as it’s outside school hours. Child labor laws are more lenient in agriculture than in other industries, and efforts to change that have repeatedly failed, leaving growers and companies to decide whether to set the bar higher than what’s legally required of them. In the meantime, kids work, often trying to help their families make ends meet.”

And finally … no, it’s not aliens; it’s just rocket fuel. The Associated Press explains what in the heck I am talking about: “Northern light enthusiasts got a surprise mixed in with the green bands of light dancing in the Alaska skies: A light baby blue spiral resembling a galaxy appeared amid the aurora for a few minutes. The cause early Saturday morning was a little more mundane than an alien invasion or the appearance of a portal to the far reaches of the universe. It was simply excess fuel that had been released from a SpaceX rocket that launched from California about three hours before the spiral appeared.” Be sure to click on the link … because the photo that appears with the piece is amazing!

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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...