CVIndependent

Mon07132020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Features

04 Jun 2020
There was no Palm Springs Power baseball on Friday, May 29—what was supposed to be team’s opening day. Rather than an umpire calling out “Play ball!” and cheers from the crowd wafting on hot evening breezes, Palm Springs Stadium—like virtually all baseball stadiums around the country—was empty, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re hopeful that we’re going to be able to play some sort of season later in the summer,” said Power vice president of baseball operations Justin Reschke during a recent phone interview. “Kind of the silver lining in this is that the college players who would come out to play for the team are (uncertain) if they’re going back to school, and they are very eager to play. We have local players, and even from other parts of Southern California, who are close enough to commute back and forth for Power games. So we’re not looking at…
27 May 2020
On May 8, the Desert Ice Castle announced it was closing for good, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason. “It is with great sadness and regret that—due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and despite our best efforts to remain in business—Desert Ice Castle has no choice but to cease operations, effective immediately,” read the notice at deserticecastle.com, where various equipment from the facility is now on sale. While the pandemic has caused many valley businesses to close—and will sadly claim many more before it’s all over—COVID-19 may have simply been the final nail in the figurative coffin of the Cathedral City rink. On April 13, 2018, the Desert Ice Castle filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the United States Bankruptcy Court’s Central District of California in Riverside. The rink apparently settled with its creditors, staying open—but on Dec. 13, 2019, Desert Ice Castle, LLP, owned…
19 May 2020
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For one Uber Eats and Grubhub driver, the pandemic has led to more work—but she worries about health and cleanliness, because she can’t access many restaurant bathrooms. Another Grubhub driver feels safer, thanks to the introduction of contactless delivery—while a DoorDash driver feels threatened by anti-Asian racism, stirred up by certain politicians based on the genesis of SARS-CoV-2. The Independent recently talked to three Coachella Valley-based restaurant-delivery-app drivers about their jobs, and how things have changed since COVID-19 arrived. Here are their stories, in their own words, edited only for space and clarity. Fabiana Bragagnolo I drive for Uber Eats and Grubhub; I’ve been driving since December. I was new to the area, and everything was working really well. With the pandemic, as soon as it started, I had more work. But then the whole dynamic changed because of the security measures. I used to wash my hands before deliveries.…
07 May 2020
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Jonathan Allen and Mark Christman have a story that is all too typical these days: When the pandemic hit, they found themselves out of work. They work in hospitality and manage an Airbnb—and to complicate matters, they are caring for Mark’s 85 year-old, disabled mother, who lives with them. When Riverside County suggested residents begin wearing masks outside of the house, they decided that making them would be a way for them to help support themselves—and give back to the community as well. They purchased the very last sewing machine on the shelf at Walmart, and Jonathan went to work practicing patterns. They first made masks for themselves, and then began donating them, starting with a few (former) co-workers. It wasn’t until they visited their local Albertsons grocery store that they realized that many of the employees there, who had become friends in the five years they have lived in…
23 Apr 2020
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The worst of times can bring out the best in people—and all over the Coachella Valley, folks are coming together (virtually, mostly) to aid health-care workers and first responders in need of personal protective equipment (PPE). These are just a few of the ongoing efforts under way to help protect our protectors. C.V. Mask Project When entertainer and philanthropist Lucie Arnaz got wind of the valley-wide need for personal protective equipment, she reached out to her idled entertainment industry pals, who set up a command center at The Five Hundred building in Palm Springs. Crafty costumers put their skills and ingenuity into play to source the fluid-resistant material needed to make isolation gowns. Enter Lowe’s, The Home Depot and others with donations of landscape weed barrier (talk about a “grassroots” approach!) and upholstery-lining fabric. That got the pipeline flowing. “We are fortunate that we have a community that comes together…
29 Mar 2020
Getting sober is one thing—and staying sober is another. Since 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings have been there to help members stay sober—offering a safe place for people to air their thoughts, questions and problems, with the tacit understanding of “what’s said here, stays here.” At least 10 percent of Americans deal with addiction issues, meaning AA and other 12-step programs are huge parts of many people’s lives. Then came the coronavirus—and a societal shutdown the likes of which the United States hasn’t experienced in more than a century. When people can’t attend meetings … what happens to sobriety? Enter the internet—and, specifically, Zoom meetings. While some local AA members continue to meet in person—risks to themselves and society be damned—most have turned to Zoom to continue to get the community and support they need. We recently reached out to nine AA members and asked them how they’re coping as we…
27 Mar 2020
As California officials desperately try to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Chris Miller is coaxing a sample of the virus to grow in a secure laboratory at UC Davis. Working in a laboratory nestled inside containment rooms and cut off from the world by filters, scientists dressed in space-suit-like protective gear are feeding cells to a virus isolated from a COVID-19 patient at UC Davis Medical Center. The goal is to create a supply of viral genetic material to help the clinical pathology team develop new tests. Without these viral samples to provide an unequivocally positive result, researchers can’t tell if a test is truly working. It’s a new mission for Miller, who, until about two weeks ago, was studying HIV and working to develop a pandemic flu vaccine. “Flu, at the time, seemed like the virus that was going to kill us all and was going to…
27 Mar 2020
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It’s hard to believe that about two weeks ago, I was at a Joshua Tree art opening, socializing and having a good time. Today, that night feels like it was months ago. Like many of you, I have been isolating at home—here in Morongo Valley, in my case—and I have only ventured out to the mailbox and grocery store as of late. I’m seeking respite and human connection online via Facebook and through phone calls with family and friends. Among my local acquaintances, I’ve noticed a lot of crankiness about out-of-towners in AirBnBs who are staying here to ride out the pandemic. There’s a real “don’t come here; go home” vibe, and a locals-only feeling within the high desert communities right now. While Joshua Tree National Park closed all roads to vehicles, bicyclists and hikers can still go in—yet I’ve seen online "reminders" to tourists that Joshua Tree park is…
26 Mar 2020
“The Ringer,” the first track on Eminem’s 2018 album, Kamikaze, includes a line that piqued Buzzfeed reporter Jason Leopold’s curiosity: The rapper claimed the Secret Service visited him due to some controversial lyrics about Ivanka Trump. To find out if it was true, Leopold filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the federal law that allows anyone to demand access to government records. After a year of delays, the Secret Service provided Leopold with 40 pages about the interview with the real Slim Shady, including a note that he was “exhibiting inappropriate behavior.” This wasn’t the first time government transparency has intersected with hip-hop. Type “Freedom of Information” into Genius.com (the site formerly known as Rap Genius) and you’ll turn up tracks by Sage Francis and Scroobius Pip using FOIA as lyrical inspiration. The hip-hop duo Emanon sampled Joanna Newsom for “Shine Your Light,” in which they…
27 Jan 2020
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Hank Plante is a familiar name and face to Coachella Valley residents who follow the news. He’s a political analyst for NBC Palm Springs, and recently stepped down from The Desert Sun editorial board after a five-year stint. Despite that familiarity, most people don’t realize how much of a trailblazer Plante has been throughout his career. The Detroit native has worked in print, radio and TV, and is best known for spending 25 years at KPIX-TV in San Francisco. He retired from the station in 2010 and later moved to the Coachella Valley. Here’s where the trailblazing part comes in: Not only was Plante one of the first openly gay TV reporters in the country; at KPIX, he helped tell the world about the horror and pain of the burgeoning AIDS epidemic. The station’s “AIDS Lifeline” project, done in the early days of the epidemic, was honored with a Peabody…

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