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Editor's Note

29 Dec 2016
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I have always been blessed with the ability to see and understand both sides of various issues. One can select almost any hot-button topic, and I’ll be able to empathize with people who take each position—even if I disagree. However, I am completely baffled by the modern-day “conservative” movement in the United States. If someone believes in a smaller, less-intrusive government—traditionally a conservative value—I get it, even if I don’t agree with it. Meanwhile, if someone thinks the government should play a role in legislating do’s and don’ts when it comes to “moral” issues—like, say, LGBT rights or a woman’s right to choose—I can understand where that person’s coming from (even if I strongly disagree … and I most likely do). I get lost and confused, however, when these two rather contradictory beliefs are melded together, as they are by a lot of so-called conservatives today. If you think the…
01 Dec 2016
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I wish were using this space to discuss the results of the third annual Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll—and explain how we received an all-time-high number of votes, and gush about how proud I am that our list of winners and finalists represents all parts of the valley. I wish I were using this space to discuss the inaugural Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week—and tell you all about how the week was an amazing success that featured amazing cocktails, lots of fun and thousands of dollars going to two amazing charities. However, I feel compelled to instead discuss the president-elect of the United States. Barring something freaky coming out of the proposed recounts and challenges, and despite the popular-vote results, it’s undeniable: Donald Trump won, fair and square. He deserves significant credit for confounding the experts and the establishment, and for tapping into and exploiting the serious concerns and…
11 Nov 2016
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When it started to sink in late Tuesday night that Donald Trump—racist, misogynist, media-basher—was going to clinch enough Electoral College votes to become the next president of the United States, editors and art directors at many of the Independent's alternative-weekly brethren started thinking: How in the hell are we going to properly convey what has just happened?! Below is a sampling of the amazing work they came up with.
07 Nov 2016
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I became a fan of craft cocktails about five years ago thanks to a little speakeasy-style bar in Tucson, Ariz., called Scott and Co. Before I visited Scott and Co., I didn’t really know—or, frankly, think—much about cocktails beyond whether I wanted my martini dirty or not, and what type of whiskey tasted best when mixed with Coke. But Scott and Co. opened my eyes to the fact that drinks can have just as much flavor and nuance as any well-prepared entrée. I learned that ice matters—both in shape and size. I learned that ingredients don’t have to be rote: One can create amazing syrups, bitters and spice mixtures to pair with good liquors. I learned that things like smoke and herbs and gratings and oils can do wondrous things when mixed in the right portions. I learned that truly talented bartenders don’t even need liquor to concoct delicious drinks;…
04 Nov 2016
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When residents of the Coachella Valley joined many, many thousands of visitors from around the globe last year to celebrate Greater Palm Springs Pride, the mood was decidedly mixed. On one hand, the year 2015 had brought us arguably the greatest LGBT-rights legal victory ever: full marriage equality in all 50 states. On the other hand, we were reeling from the news that just days before Pride—mere feet from the site of the Pride enclosure on Arenas Road—George Zander, a prominent LGBT-rights activist that so many of us knew and loved, had been gay-bashed along with his husband, Chris, after leaving Hunters Nightclub. Fortunately, George’s prognosis was good, although he faced a lengthy and grueling rehabilitation process after injuries including a broken hip. As 2016’s Greater Palm Springs Pride approaches, the mood of locals and visitors alike is decidedly less joyous than it was a year ago. In the months…
25 Oct 2016
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One of my favorite idioms, often attributed to President John F. Kennedy, is: “A rising tide lifts all boats.” This phrase came to mind one recent morning when I woke up to an email from a manager at a local business. He had agreed to participate in an event with the Independent on the day before, but then changed his mind when he realized the event has an advertising element. “We have never paid for advertising, and we never will,” the manager wrote. That phrase, frankly, pissed me off. After all, advertising is what keeps the lights on here at the Independent, and it funds all of the journalism that we do here. My response to him: “I’m a bit befuddled when you say (your business) ‘never will’ advertise. Seeing as I’ve put every dime (and then some) I have into creating a local business that tries to cover our…

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