Indy Digest: May 12, 2022
One of the first features the Independent had—the first one ran online on Jan. 16, 2013—is the Weekly Independent Comics page, and it’s been a part of the Independent each and every Thursday since then.
Comics have long been a regular part of alternative newspapers, and even though they’re one of the few non-locally-focused features the Independent has, I love them. Overall, they’re creative; they can be funny; and they make me think.
Take this week’s comics page, for example. Other than Red Meat (which is always gorgeously bizarre), the other strips generally address the big issues of the day (admittedly with a liberal bent)—and this week, the status of Roe v. Wade was definitely on the cartoonists’ minds.
When it comes to making me think, Jen Sorensen’s comic definitely did so this week. The strip poses the question: Should we still respect the “institution” that is U.S. Supreme Court—long considered the most respectable federal government body—given what’s been done to it in recent years?
View the strip (the fourth of five here), and decide for yourself. Agree or disagree with the cartoonists, I hope you enjoy—and I hope they made you think, too.
From the Independent
Coral Mountain Controversy: After the La Quinta Planning Commission OKs the Proposed Development, Opponents Demand a Commissioner Resign
By Cat Makino
May 12, 2022
La Quinta Residents for Responsible Development (LQRRD) have demanded that Kevin McCune, one of the city’s planning commissioners, immediately resign.
The Lucky 13: Dale Crover, La Quinta Resident and Drummer of Melvins, Performing at Pappy and Harriet’s on Thursday, June 16
By Matt King
May 12, 2022
Get to better know Dale Crover, a La Quinta resident and the drummer for Melvins.
May 12, 2022
Topics addressed on this week’s comics page include Susan Collins, a potential stampede, stifling darkness—and more!
• Just a heads-up that we’re starting to see a fair number of businesses close or have service issues again, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The city of Palm Springs announced last night that the Swim Center would be closed today (Thursday) “due to short staffing,” though the news release did not specify the cause of that short-staffing. It should be open again tomorrow (Friday), the news release said.
• Palm Springs International Airport has had frighteningly long TSA security lines at times this week due to COVID-19-related absences. I showed up at 4:55 a.m. on Monday for a 6:17 a.m. flight, and got to my gate at 6:13. (The gate agent took mercy and re-opened the door for another passenger and me to board.) A lot of people missed their flights that morning. Airport spokesman Daniel Meier said on Monday that the TSA would call in additional officers, but I heard rumblings about long lines on Tuesday as well. So … give yourself extra time if you’re flying out of PSP, and be patient!
• First comes sewer detection of SARS-CoV-2; then come cases; then come hospitalizations. Kevin Duncliffe, who follows the state hospitalization database every day and posts the results on Twitter, reports that 19 people are now hospitalized with COVID-19 among our three valley hospitals. That number is tiny compared to the 200 or so in late January … but it’s a lot more than the two reported a couple of weeks ago.
• The New York Times says that North Korea is now reporting that the country—which has almost no people vaccinated—has had its first COVID-19 cases: “North Korea on Thursday reported its first outbreak of the coronavirus, declaring a ‘maximum emergency’ and ordering all cities and counties in the nation of 25 million to lock down to fight the spread. It was an abrupt change for a secretive country that had long insisted it had no cases of the virus that first emerged in neighboring China more than two years ago. Outside experts had been skeptical, however, citing a lack of extensive COVID testing and the North’s threadbare public health system. The danger posed by an outbreak is greater in North Korea than in most other nations because most of its people remain unvaccinated. Outside health experts have long questioned the North’s ability to fight a large-scale outbreak, although its regime is capable of imposing totalitarian control on residents’ movement.”
• “Immigration officials created network that can spy on majority of Americans, report says,” so says a Los Angeles Times headline. Sounds bad, right? Yeah, it’s bad: “Immigration and Customs Enforcement has crafted a sophisticated surveillance dragnet designed to spy on most people living in the United States, without the need for warrants and many times circumventing state privacy laws, such as those in California, according to a two-year investigation released Tuesday by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology. Over the years, privacy law experts and civil rights activists and attorneys have accused ICE of overreach in its surveillance tactics directed at immigrants and Americans alike, but the Georgetown report paints a picture of an agency that has gone well beyond its immigration enforcement mandate, instead evolving into something of a broader domestic surveillance agency, according to the report, called ‘American Dragnet: Data-Driven Deportation in the 21st Century.’” Yikes.
• You may have heard about a severe shortage of baby formula; a pediatrics professor, writing for The Conversation, explains why: “There are really two factors that have driven the current shortage. First, we have the supply chain problem, which has affected all manner of goods since the onset of the pandemic. It eased off a little, but then at the beginning of 2022 it became worse. Then in February a major baby formula manufacturing plant in U.S. went down. The FDA shut down Abbott Nutrition’s factory in Michigan. The closure came after Abbott’s nationwide recall of multiple brands of formula, including routine Similac cow milk-based formulas such as Similac Advance and several specialty formulas for allergic babies, including Similac Alimentum and Similac EleCare. Closing the factory had to be done amid an investigation into bacterial infections in connection to powdered formula produced at the plant, and the deaths of at least two babies. The problem is there just isn’t much redundancy in U.S. infant formula production. In other words, there aren’t enough other factories to pick up the slack when one goes down.”
• Related is this compelling BuzzFeed headline: “People Are Telling Parents To Breastfeed In Response To A Formula Shortage, But That’s Not How Boobs Work.” The story goes on to explain: “People on social media are telling parents who are currently dealing with a nationwide infant formula shortage to just whip out their breasts and feed their kids the way ‘God intended,’ as if their chest is a fridge fully stocked with cartons of milk. But that’s not how lactation actually works. Some people can’t or choose not to breastfeed, or don’t have the time off from work or social support to maintain an adequate supply of milk for their infant. ‘It’s just really ill-informed. People obviously don’t understand how much goes into trying to provide your child with human milk,’ Jackee Haak, a lactation care provider who is on the board of directors for the United States Lactation Consultant Association, told BuzzFeed News. Although breastfeeding is considered the healthiest option for babies, we live in a society famously unsupportive of the practice. People are shamed for doing it in public, and maternity leave—essential for establishing the ability to breastfeed—is often relatively short or nonexistent in the U.S.“
• And finally … May is mental-health awareness month, and the good folks at Jewish Family Service of the Desert are doing their best to help. From a news release: “Counseling at JFS is available for the entire family. Appointments are available for both Telehealth and In-Person counseling. JFS clinicians are there to help. Needs-based emergency financial assistance is also available. Please call 760-325-4088.“ Learn more at jfsdesert.org/counseling.
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