Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: Aug. 16, 2021

I’ve heard a fair number of people mention lately that when it comes to news these days … they just don’t want to have anything to do with it.

Trust me; I get it. I was full of despair as I went through all of the possible things to include in this Indy Digest.

What’s happening in Afghanistan is simply horrible. The death toll from the (latest) devastating earthquake in Haiti continues to rise. COVID-19 keeps on claiming lives and wreaking havoc. Local hospitalizations as of yesterday are at a new high since February.

Awful, all of it.

While we all can stand to take a mental-health break from the news on occasion … I beg of you: Don’t give up on all the news, please, at least not from us—because there’s always good stuff to find, too.

To make my case, I refer you to the four pieces in the “From the Independent” section below. None of these pieces are breaking news, per se, but they’re all about good things in our community and beyond. There’s a fantastic feature on the artist responsible for an attention-grabbing display of public art in Palm Springs. There’s also a review of a Ryan Reynolds movie, our Lucky 13 music Q&A with one of the valley’s most beloved performers, and a beer column.

If there’s beer, the news can’t all bad. Right?

Look, I don’t mean to downplay or in any way minimize the importance of the serious, terrible news out of Afghanistan, Haiti and our country’s COVID-19 wards. I do mean to point out, however, that life in the Coachella Valley goes on—and that there’s good stuff here you should know about. Those of us here at the Independent promise to keep doing our best to let you know about both sides of life’s figurative coin.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

The Muralist: Tag Along as Renowned Artist John Cerney Installs His ‘Popsicles’ on Sunny Dunes Road

By Robert Crane

August 13, 2021

John Cerney’s Popsicles installation will be on display on Sunny Dunes Road in Palm Springs through 2021.

Caesar Cervisia: These Three L.A.-Area Breweries Create Fantastic Beers Using Old World Styles

By Brett Newton

August 16, 2021

You can find full-flavored, quaffable beers motivated by styles from around the world—just a couple of hours away.

Game Over: Video-Game Fans May Enjoy ‘Free Guy,’ but Non-Fans Will Just Find Ryan Reynolds Annoying

By Bob Grimm

August 16, 2021

If your house lacks a video-game console and a general appreciation for gaming culture, Free Guy may not be the movie for you.

The Lucky 13: ‘Keisha D’ Mimms, Singer/Performer

By Matt King

August 14, 2021

Get to better know “Keisha D” Mimms, as she is the latest to answer The Lucky 13.

More News

• The Palm Springs Unified School District was the first of the three valley school districts to begin the school year, starting instruction on Aug. 4 … and the district is reporting 65 COVID-19 cases so far—49 students and 16 staff members. You can find the district’s coronavirus reporting page here. Twenty of the district’s 27 schools have reported at least one case. While this is certainly not good, I want to applaud PSUSD leadership for the transparency, which will help families make the best decisions. I wish all governmental orgs were so transparent, and as their school years get going in earnest, I hope the Desert Sands and Coachella Valley districts do the same.

• The Palm Springs Police Department will soon have a new acting chief. Our friends at the Palm Springs Post report: “Palm Springs Police Department Capt. Melissa Desmarais has been named the department’s acting chief, the city announced today. She replaces Police Chief Bryan Reyes, who is retiring. The move will become official on Thursday and provides police department leadership while the city conducts a nationwide search for Reyes’ replacement. Reyes, who served 27 years with the city, announced his retirement earlier this year.”

• Climate change-spurred drought in the Western U.S. has led to another frightening first. CNN explains: “The federal government on Monday declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time, triggering mandatory water consumption cuts for states in the Southwest, as climate change-fueled drought pushes the level in Lake Mead to unprecedented lows. Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the U.S. by volume, has drained at an alarming rate this year. At around 1,067 feet above sea level and 35% full, the Colorado River reservoir is at its lowest since the lake was filled after the Hoover Dam was completed in the 1930s.” The cuts will affect Arizona and Nevada—for now.

• As they often do when big news strikes somewhere, the talented folks at The Conversation have assembled five reads from their archives that can help you better understand the current situation in Afghanistan: “For Afghans and international observers of a certain age, history is repeating itself in Afghanistan. The Taliban—which means ‘the students’ in Pashto—seized control of Afghanistan in 1996 after capturing Kabul in the Afghan civil war. They established a government based on their extreme interpretation of Islamic Sharia law and ruled for five years. The Taliban regime was then toppled in 2001 by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. Here, Afghanistan experts offer insight into the Taliban—then and now—and explain the United States’ role in Afghanistan’s collapse.”

• Speaking of talented folks: Our partners at CalMatters have assembled their coverage of the gubernatorial recall election into this here handy guide. It’s an impressive compilation of coverage of what could become a complete debacle for the world’s fifth-largest economy!

• High Country News notes that the wildfire smoke that’s all over the West Coast is not good for anyone … including cattle: “Six of Zach Rose’s cows at Rogue Creamery in southern Oregon came down with pneumonia shortly after a bad fire season in 2018, and he thinks the smoke was to blame. ‘You can see a lot of respiratory issues if they inhale a lot of smoke,’ said Rose, the organic dairy’s manager. ‘We try to keep them indoors obviously as much as possible in those times of really smoky conditions.’ Researchers and farmers are trying to figure out just how harmful wildfire smoke is to dairy cows’ health, and to their own bottom lines. ‘I bet it does affect milk production,’ Rose said. ‘I’m sure that it certainly can‘t be helpful for it.’ This summer, as the Western U.S. battles poor air quality and confronts a hotter, drier future of wildfires exacerbated by climate change, scientists from the University of Idaho are studying dairy cows in the Pacific Northwest to find out more.”

• Lulu California Bistro is doing a very good thing—and giving you incentive to do good as well. According to DAP Health: “In honor of Lulu California Bistro’s 10th anniversary, they are making a generous $10,000 donation to support vital healthcare services at DAP Health to our over 10,000 clients in the Coachella Valley. On top of this, if you make a $100 donation or more to DAP Health over Lulu’s anniversary weekend (Aug. 21 and 22), you will receive a $15 gift card from Lulu’s to dine at another time!” Visit the post to get the donation link and learn more.

• And finally … watch for coverage of this big (not really) news (not really) story out of Palm Springs tomorrow. From a news release: “Palm Springs residents and visitors will soon be able to play the world’s most popular board game in a way that pays tribute to all the things that make Palm Springs like no place else. Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege will join Mr. Monopoly on August 17, 2021 at 9 a.m. in front of Forever Marilyn to announce the new Palm Springs edition of MONOPOLY. MONOPOLY Palm Springs will be developed over the next several months and fans are invited to share which of their favorite locations, icons, and businesses that they would like to see featured on the board. Fans can submit their recommendations to the official MONOPOLY Palm Springs email at” Consider yourself pre-alerted!

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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...