Indy Digest: Aug. 25, 2022
One of my biggest strengths as a newspaper publisher is also one of my biggest weaknesses: I always feel like the Independent can and should be doing more than we are now.
This feeling becomes particularly intense every election season. In an ideal world, we’d comprehensively cover every contested race in the Coachella Valley. But, then, reality sets in: It’s not just possible for us to do so.
One reason: We have very limited resources, both in terms of finances and people. Counting yours truly, the Independent has three employees: One veteran part-time news guy (Kevin), one temporary grant-funded, arts-focused, part-time intern (the other Kevin), and yours truly (not a Kevin).
We’re also blessed with a dozen-plus amazing regular freelance contributors (only one of whom is a Kevin). Unfortunately, none of them—due to time constraints, expertise or desire—is in a position to help with election coverage. As a result, most of the election-coverage duties falls to Kevin (the part-time news guy one).
The other reason: The Coachella Valley is NOT an easy place to cover elections.
We’re a valley of 400,000 people, more or less. On a state level, our valley makes up parts of two senate districts and two assembly districts. We have one county commissioner. On a federal level, we now make up part of two congressional districts.
And then we have NINE cities. Nine. In a valley of 400,000 people, more or less. And all of those cities are having council elections this year.
That’s a lot of elections for one part-time Kevin to cover.
Even if I can carve out some time to handle a race or two, and even if we primarily keep our coverage to our Candidate Q&A series, there’s no way Kevin can cover it all. So, as a result, we’re in the process of figuring out what we can cover, and what we will have to skip, in the 10 or so weeks (and two print editions) we have left between now and Election Day.
We’re truly, honestly doing the best we can here at the Independent—and we’re doing quite a lot. But I can’t help feeling frustrated that we’re not doing more.
From the Independent
Civic Solutions: Elected Officials Are Making Progress on Infrastructure Equity, East Valley Residents Who Lack Safe Drinking Water Say More Needs to Be Done Now
By Melissa Daniels
August 24th, 2022
Many residences aren’t connected to the main water service in the area, managed by the Coachella Valley Water District. Instead, there are at least 100 smaller unconnected water systems, and residents rely on wells. This has resulted in a lack of safe water access and potential health problems.
Vine Social: A Three-Day Birthday Trip to Paso Robles Resulted in Amazing Wine and Memories to Last a Lifetime
By Katie Finn
August 25th, 2022
I spent three days in Paso Robles for my birthday, surrounded by my family and dearest friends, eating delicious food, drinking incredible wine, and making memories to last a lifetime.
By Jimmy Boegle
August 25th, 2022
The folks at Wang’s consistently do the dish right: The meat is delicious and not overcooked; the vegetables still have some crispness; and the curry sauce offers a lot of flavor without overwhelming.
August 25th, 2022
Topics that can be found amongst this week’s comics include Batgirl, edgy-enough looks, Dr. Oz, pan-seared sea scallops—and more!
• In less than 13 years, new gas-powered vehicles will no longer be sold in California. Our partners at Calmatters break it down: “New gasoline-powered cars will be banned in California beginning with 2035 models under a new groundbreaking regulation unanimously approved today to force car owners to switch to zero-emission vehicles. In its biggest move yet to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and fight climate change, the new rule approved by the state Air Resources Board culminates a decades-long effort to transform the auto and power industries and change the cars people drive—the state’s leading source of air pollution. The regulation is the first in the world to end the sale of traditional gas-powered vehicles and ramp up sales of cars powered by electricity. A small number of other states and nations have set only voluntary targets. The proposal was first unveiled in April. In response to several board members’ concerns, the staff made minor revisions today to address issues related to electric car battery durability and added provisions to enhance assistance for low-income residents.”
• In less than two weeks, you may be able to get an updated COVID-19 booster shot. NBC News reports: “The Biden administration is preparing to distribute the updated booster shots to teenagers and adults as part of its fall booster campaign. Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s so-called bivalent vaccines target the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, in addition to the original coronavirus strain in a single shot. … Vaccinations with the updated shots could begin as early as the day after the national holiday, one the people said.”
• In Momkeypox news: Riverside County is up to 164 confirmed or suspected cases. And both the city of Palm Springs and Indio’s Valley Sanitary District are starting to test wastewater for the monkeypox virus as well as SARS-CoV-2.
• Flooding has made a mess of Interstate 10 east of the valley. Per the Los Angeles Times: “One eastbound lane on Interstate 10 reopened Thursday morning following flash flooding from intense storms from the night before that washed out part of the freeway near the California-Arizona border. The damaged road near Desert Center was a detour lane created because of ongoing construction, said Emily Lenien, a spokesperson for Caltrans. Images posted on Twitter showed a portion of the road had been washed away. The eastbound lane that opened Thursday morning was one of the regular I-10 lanes that was part of the construction, Lenien said. Commuters were still warned to expect delays. Caltrans advised commuters traveling to Blythe or to Arizona to use Highway 86 or Highway 111 down to Highway 8 from the 10 or to use Highway 15 to Highway 40 into Needles.”
• Aha! Airlines, which had been offering nonstop flights between Palm Springs and Reno, is no more. Oregon Live explains: “Nevada-based discount airline aha! has stopped flying after its parent, ExpressJet Airlines, filed for bankruptcy protection and said it would sell its assets. ExpressJet said it faced lower-than-expected revenue because demand for travel weakened with new COVID-19 variants. It also said it was burdened with high costs, particularly for jet fuel. The Atlanta-area company filed Tuesday for protection in the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. Aha! flew to about a dozen cities on the West Coast, including Redmond, Eugene and Medford, from its base in Reno, Nevada.”
• CNBC has a nice explainer piece regarding the limited student-loan forgiveness plan announced yesterday by the Biden administration. A taste: “The Education Department said it will launch an application in which borrowers can input their income data and request the loan forgiveness. The application will be available before the end of the year, the department said, and borrowers can sign up on its website for updates about the process. The department also said it already has the income data for nearly 8 million borrowers. These people may get automatic cancellation.”
• And finally: Two experts, writing for The Conversation, point out that America is in the midst of a craze I fully endorse: “Move over bacon and ranch dressing. There’s a new hot flavor in town. A pickle craze is sweeping the nation, with dill pickle toppings and seasonings in such high demand that they’re appearing on popcorn, chewing gum, seeds and nuts. The pickle obsessed can now order a pickle pizza with a side of pickle potato chips and wash it down with a pickle beer. Need dessert? Choose from pickle cotton candy, pickle ice cream and pickle marshmallows. Or you can head over to your local Sonic Drive-In and order a Pickle Juice Slush.” Yes!
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