Indy Digest: Aug. 22, 2022
Happy Monday, everyone. I’m going to use this space today to go over a couple of FYIs as far as the Independent is concerned.
• Consider this a loving reminder that it’s Best of Coachella Valley voting time!
Nomination-round voting is taking place in our ninth annual readers’ poll, which is again being presented this year by KESQ News Channel 3. In the nomination round, the ballot is open; you fill in the blanks to tell us what you think is the valley’s best in each category. Nomination-round voting will take place through Monday, Sept. 5.
The top vote-getters from the nomination round will move on to the final round of voting, which will begin on Monday, Sept. 26; we’ll close voting on Sunday, Oct. 23. The results will be announced on Monday, Nov. 21, and in our special Best of Coachella Valley edition (our December issue).
Heads-up about a couple of rules that make our readers’ poll a little different (and a lot better, in my opinion) than others. First: We ask people to vote only once per round. We aren’t so desperate for web traffic that we want people to come to our website over and over again to continuously vote for the same businesses. Instead, we want the results to be as legitimate as possible. So … feel free to vote early, but do NOT vote often—just once per round, please!
Second: We ask that readers vote in at least 15 categories per round, and that they vote for at least five different nominees in the first round. Again, we want the results to be as legit as possible, and this keeps people from hopping in to vote for just one business, and/or vote for one business 15 times (often in inappropriate categories) in the first round. You’d be surprised how many burger joints get votes in the Best Sex Toy Shop category.
If you have questions, feel free to hit reply—and if you have not yet already done so, click here to go vote!
• I’d like to welcome our new editorial intern, Kevin Mann, to the pages of the Independent.
Kevin is not a typical intern. After a career as a bankruptcy paralegal, Kevin decided to head back to school and pursue two passions: writing and filmmaking. He joins us after writing for The Chaparral at College of the Desert, as well as The Desert Sun.
Kevin’s internship is being funded by the Coachella Valley Journalism Foundation. I thank the CVJF for giving Kevin and the Independent this opportunity to work together—and I am very happy to see the CVJF expanding its efforts beyond essentially giving money to Gannett (a multi-billion dollar company that keeps laying off reporters and editors, and overworking the employees who remain, while compensating its CEO to the tune of $7.74 million last year) to fund the salary of The Desert Sun’s opinion editor.
Kevin’s first two pieces—on the new CV Philharmonic Society at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, and on the Purple Room’s soon-to-start new season—are already published and enlightening our readers; they can also be found in our September print edition.
From the Independent
Candidate Q&A: It’s Democrat Christy Holstege vs. Republican Greg Wallis in California’s New Assembly District 47
By Kevin Fitzgerald
August 21st, 2022
We asked the two candidates for Assembly District 47 the same slate of seven questions. Here, in their entirety, are the answers.
By Charles Drabkin
August 22nd, 2022
The latest Coachella Valley food news, including the much-awaited opening of Workshop L.A.; new Mexican fare in Palm Desert; and more!
By Bob Grimm
August 22nd, 2022
Tatiana Maslany is fun in the She-Hulk role—but our reviewer just couldn’t get past the fact that she totally looks like Shrek.
Back in the Swing of Things: The Purple Room’s New Season Features Old Favorites and As-Yet Unheralded Talent
By Kevin Mann
August 22nd, 2022
Michael Holmes’ Purple Room will kick off the 2022-2023 season with a variety of acts—including both Purple Room favorites and newcomers.
By Bob Grimm
August 22nd, 2022
As the body count stacks up, and the paranoia builds, Bodies Bodies Bodies lacks any structure or true sense of mystery that would make us care.
• The amount of SARS-CoV-2 in Palm Springs’ wastewater remains frustratingly high. As the report on testing done on Aug. 15 and 16 says: “The average of 548,427 copies (per liter) from the previous week went down to an average of 504,331 copies/L” A closer look at the stats reveals that the Aug. 15 reading showed the highest number of copies per liter in a month (683,078), while the Aug. 16 showed the lowest number of copies per liter in several months (325,583). I have no idea what this means in terms of long-term trends; all I know is even that “low” Aug. 16 number represents a LOT of COVID-19 in Palm Springs.
• The number of confirmed or probable monkeypox in Riverside County cases stands at 128. According to the county dashboard, 99 percent of those cases have been among men. Broken down by city, Palm Springs has by far the most cases (67), followed by Cathedral City (21), Riverside (7), DHS (5) and Palm Desert (5). The rest of the county’s cities have had less than 5 cases.
• If it has seemed atypically (and annoyingly) humid as of late, you’re not imagining things. The Palm Springs Post reports: “Experts at the National Weather Service’s San Diego forecast center don’t track humidity, but they do track storms and the precipitation they bring. They also track something equally important—the dew point. Their measurements show this summer we are definitely feeling more like Palm Springs, Fla. As of Aug. 19, there had been 13 ‘monsoon days’ for the mountains and deserts of Southern California, forecaster Miguel Miller said. That’s five more than we’ve been averaging for the past seven years, and there’s still a month to go. In fact, this year’s monsoon season has already cracked the top 20 for measurable precipitation in nearby mountains. While not much of that rain has reached the Coachella Valley, there have still been many more cloudy days than normal. All that leads to dew points (lower ones mean the air feels dryer and higher ones mean it feels wetter) that have been ‘off the charts’ this summer.”
• Back to COVID-19 news—and some good news for once, compliments of the Los Angeles Times: “Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its combination COVID-19 vaccine that adds protection against Omicron subvariants, a key step toward opening a fall booster campaign. The Food and Drug Administration ordered vaccine makers to tweak their shots to target the BA.4 and BA.5 strains that are better than ever at dodging immunity from earlier vaccination or infection. If the FDA quickly clears the updated shots made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, boosters could be offered within weeks. The U.S. has a contract to buy 105 million doses of the updated vaccine as soon as health authorities greenlight them, and the company said doses are ready to ship. Moderna is expected to file a similar application soon. The U.S. has a contract to buy 66 million doses of that updated vaccine.”
• Yet more news about the mess the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion made of things … Time magazine reports: “In the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, physicians around the country have struggled to navigate new legal landscapes when providing care for patients experiencing emergency medical conditions, including ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, preeclampsia, and other severe pregnancy complications. Federal health care law already required that physicians treat pregnant people—and all patients—in medical emergencies and provide care to stabilize them, regardless of state laws around specific procedures or the patient’s ability to pay. The Biden Administration issued guidance last month that explicitly reminded providers abortion is included those scenarios. … But now that new guidance is facing its first two legal tests as lawsuits in Texas and Idaho head to court. The outcomes in either case could have major implications for how physicians understand state abortion laws, whether they can provide abortions in emergency situations even in states that have banned it, and what kind of care pregnant patients can expect in their home states.” Sigh.
• Remember MoviePass—the card that allowed you to go to as many movies as you wanted for one modest monthly fee—which worked great, until it didn’t? Well, somehow, MoviePass is making a comeback. CNBC says: “On its website, MoviePass now indicates a ‘beta’ launch is coming ‘on or around’ Labor Day weekend. The launch will feature three pricing tiers that will ‘generally’ be at $10, $20, $30, with each level getting a certain number of credits toward movies every month. As for participating cinema chains, the site says the new service ‘will feature all major theaters that accept major credit cards in the US.’ A MoviePass spokesperson declined to comment aside from referring to a Business Insider story published Monday that says the service has partnerships with 25% of theaters in the U.S. The service will be launched in waves depending on local interest and deals with exhibition partners, according to the MoviePass website. In the meantime, a waitlist for people interested in signing up goes live Thursday, and it will be open for five days. Once the window closes, the service will be by invitation only; every person who signs up during the wait-list period will get 10 friend invitations.” Hmm.
• And finally … does turning off the air conditioning when you’re not home (on days when that’s possible without cooking your home by doing so) actually save energy? Some engineers crunched the numbers for The Conversation, and: “The answer boils down to how energy intensive it is to remove heat from your home. It’s influenced by many factors such as how well your house is insulated, the size and type of your air conditioner and outdoor temperature and humidity. According to our unpublished calculations, letting your home heat up while you’re out at work and cooling it when you get home can use less energy than keeping it consistently cool—but it depends.”
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