Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: Aug. 2, 2021

Brad Fuhr is a friend of mine, and I can tell you that he is NOT insane.

Really. Seriously.

OK … well, maybe he’s a touch insane. After all, anyone who’s willing to go all-in with “legacy” media (newspapers, terrestrial radio stations, etc.) circa 2021 has to be a little loony. right?

I say all this, because Brad—who is well known as the owner of Gay Desert Guide—just announced that he’s purchasing KGAY 106.5.

“Radio has been in my blood since age 15, when I started at my hometown radio station running the Sunday morning religious programs,” Brad said in a note to friends and readers he posted at GayDesertGuide.com. “I learned how to read the news and be a DJ after those big booming voices I heard coming out of my AM radio from all over the country. What’s most exciting is that this is the station I helped found in 2018.”

As Brad mentioned, he was integral in the founding of the station, which was launched on Christmas Day 2018. He left the station rather suddenly less than 10 months later, along with morning hosts John Taylor and Shann Carr (who are also friends of mine); they would go on to launch the I Love Gay Palm Springs podcast, which is set to soon return after a summer hiatus.

Regular readers of the Indy Digest know I was a regular guest on KGAY before the aforementioned departures; they also know I have been a regular on the I Love Gay Palm Springs podcast. This will continue—in fact, I am slated to be on the KGAY morning show tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, with John Taylor, who has returned as KGAY’s morning show host.

I couldn’t be happier for Brad and John, both of whom are legitimately thrilled at their return to KGAY. Chris Shebel, KGAY’s original programmer, is also back in that role; he’s hosting the afternoon show, too. Retro Lunch with DJ Galaxy and DJ Eric Ornelas will continue each weekday at noon, with a “brunch” replay on Sundays.

Let’s now circle back and address Brad’s sanity. I didn’t get the memo eight-plus years ago that newspapers are dead, much like Brad apparently didn’t get the memo about terrestrial radio’s death. So … what in the heck is he thinking, as he purchases the station (which is also on the dial at AM 1270, whatever “on the dial” means these days) from Sunnylands Broadcasting?

“To me, there’s really a sense of opportunity,” Brad told me. “There are so many things we can do together.”

The “we” he’s referring to are Gay Desert Guide and KGAY. He thinks that by combining the digital aspect of Gay Desert Guide (which includes the aforementioned podcast) with the radio aspect of KGAY, he can stay in the black and help the local LGBTQ community as well. In fact, the new business entity has been organized as a California benefit corporation—which means the company has to operate in the public’s interest, and not be purely profit-driven.

“I did that because I feel that radio should go back to its roots, which is serving in the public interest,” he said.

Congrats to Brad, John, Chris and the rest of the KGAY team. I’m confident that their ambition—and just a touch of insanity—will prove to be a winning combination, both for them and the community as a whole.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Good, Trashy Fun: Desert Rose Playhouse’s ‘Trailer Park Musical’ Is Hilarious, Chaotic and Masterfully Performed

By Bonnie Gilgallon

July 30, 2021

The Desert Rose Playhouse’s production of The Great American Trailer Park Musical is a whole lot of trashy fun.

Content Shifter: Eleven August TV Premieres You Can Stream

By Bill Frost

August 2, 2021

The summer used to be a slow time for TV. However, thanks to streaming shows, that’s no longer the case. Here are 11 August premieres that may (or may not) be worth your time.

August Astronomy: The Moon Makes Way for What Could Be a Brilliant Perseid Meteor Shower

By Robert Victor

July 30, 2021

The diminished moon should make for a great Perseid meteor shower this year, peaking on night of Aug. 11-12.

More News

The mask mandates keep on a-comin’. SFGate reports: “Seven Bay Area counties—San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Marin and Sonoma—are now mandating that everyone—regardless of vaccination status—wear masks indoors as the delta variant of COVID-19 spreads in the region. The seven highly vaccinated counties previously recommended, but did not require, masks indoors. Napa and Solano counties are the only Bay Area counties not mandating indoor masking, but Napa County issued a recommendation two weeks ago.”

• And in L.A.—where an indoor mask mandate has been in effect since July 17—a lot of businesses and other institutions are starting to require proof of vaccination. Same goes for other places, too, according to the Los Angeles Times: “A growing number of restaurants want proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. That uptick followed announcements by at least 33 Los Angeles bars that they also had taken the step, according to L.A. Taco, which has publisheda running list. And on July 26, the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance announced that it was recommending that its 300-plus member establishments require suchproof from patronswho wished to sit indoors. At least 60 bars and restaurants are requiring proof of vaccination in the Seattle area, according to a list compiledby the Seattle Times.”

• Meanwhile, I have not heard of any local bars or restaurants that are requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to drink or dine indoors. If you have, please let me know. We’ll give them a much-deserved shout-out in this space!

• Meanwhile, in Riverside County, supervisors have made it clear that no indoor mask requirement is coming, because, uh, I dunno, #freedom? Meanwhile, a majority of ’em have had to quarantine because of COVID-19 exposure at county HQ. Ya can’t make this up. The Press-Enterprise says: “At least three of Riverside County’s five supervisors went into quarantine after someone at county headquarters tested positive forthe coronaviruslast week. Supervisors Karen Spiegel and Chuck Washington have quarantined as a precaution, while Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said via a text message he quarantined until receiving a negative COVID-19 test. Supervisor Jeff Hewitt did not return multiple requests for comment, while information on Supervisor V. Manuel Perez’s status was not immediately available Monday afternoon, Aug. 2.” Sigh.

• And in D.C., the Biden administration thinks the media as a whole has been too alarmist—and in some cases flat-out wrong—regarding its coverage of the Delta variant. CNN’s Oliver Darcy says: “At the heart of the matter is the news media’s focus on breakthrough infections, which the CDC has said are rare. In some instances, poorly framed headlines and cable news chyrons wrongly suggested that vaccinated Americans are just as likely to spread the disease as unvaccinated Americans. But that isn’t quite the case. Vaccinated Americans still have a far lower chance of becoming infected with the coronavirus and, thus, they are responsible for far less spread of the disease. ‘The media’s coverage doesn’t match the moment,’ one of the Biden officials told me. ‘It has been hyperbolic and frankly irresponsible in a way that hardens vaccine hesitancy. The biggest problem we have is unvaccinated people getting and spreading the virus.'”

• On the medical front: MedPage Today says the government will now allow some people who have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 to receive monoclonal antibody treatment before they even test positive for COVID-19: “Casirivimab-imdevimab (REGEN-COV) is the first monoclonal antibody treatment that can be used either as a treatment for COVID-19 or after exposure but prior to a positive COVID-19 test, Regeneron said. The new indication covers individuals ages 12 and older who were exposed to someone with the virus or who were exposed to the virus in an institutional setting.”

• One place you could get exposed to COVID-19 is at a hospital … and not because of sick patients, but because of unvaccinated workers. The Orange County Register, via pe.com, reports: “… Almost a quarter of California’s hospital workers remained unvaccinated for COVID-19, according tofederal data. Vaccine hesitancy is far more pronounced at some hospitals than at others, and may reflect a community’s affluence—or lack thereof. At Redlands Community Hospital, 42% of workers were not vaccinated as of July 16, according to federal data. At Kaiser Foundation Hospital West L.A., 33% were unvaccinated. At Kaiser Foundation Hospital Riverside, 29%. Officials said about 30% of employees at Los Angeles County hospitals—including‘safety net’ facilities that care for uninsured and underinsured patients—were still unvaccinated, though federal figures put the unvaccinated rate far closer to 50% at County USC Medical Center in Los Angeles and County Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar, and at 38% at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance.” I repeat: SIgh.

• Well, at least we have bacon to get us through these dark times. Right? Right?! The Associated Press (via HuffPost) brings us this disturbing news: “At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules. Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market. … With little time left to build new facilities, inseminate sows and process the offspring by January, it’s hard to see how the pork industry can adequately supply California, which consumes roughly 15% of all pork produced in the country.”

• Could rolling blackouts be a thing this summer? CalMatters’ Emily Hoeven says a recent move by the governor hints at the possibility: “First, Gov. Gavin Newsom offeredcash for vaccinations. Now, he’s offering cash for energy conservation. In a sign that California is at dire risk of rolling blackouts this summer, Newsom on Friday signedan emergency proclamationthat orders the state to reimburse utilities for payments made to energy-thirsty industrial customers who agree to reduce their use when the grid is strained. The directive authorizes payments of up to $2 per kilowatt-hour—well abovethe 14-cent averagepaid by industrial customers. The move suggests that conditions have worsened since May, when Elliot Mainzer, president of the state’s electric grid operator,expressed ‘guarded optimism’that California would be able to avoid blackouts. In the emergency proclamation, Newsom said the state currently faces an energy shortfall of up to 3,500 megawatts—enough to power 2.6 million homes—and could face a deficit of 5,000 megawatts next summer.”

• Sorry about all the heinous news … but let’s close with a laugh, shall we? I’d like to draw your attention to The Associated Press’ story about the eternally-in-the-works infrastructure bill. The headline on the piece is currently: “$1T infrastructure bill gets first action as senators dig in.” Fair enough. However, that was NOT the headline on the story when it was included in the AP’s Morning Wire newsletter. The image below shows what was—and I’m almost certain some AP headline writer got a serious talking-to after this.

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Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. A native of Reno, Nevada, the Dodgers fan went to Stanford University intending to become a sportswriter—but fell...