CVIndependent

Tue06022020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Jimmy Boegle

When Andrea “Andi” Spirtos was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, she did not have health insurance, and had to figure out how to come up with at least $700 per month for treatment.

“I sold everything I could think of to sell,” she said. “I’d literally fast so I could save enough money for my chemo.”

Spirtos’ story is all too common—and that’s why the Desert Cancer Foundation exists. The nonprofit was founded in 1994 by Cory Teichner, Arthur Teichner and Dr. Sebastian George, and since then has helped many thousands of cancer patients who are uninsured, underinsured or otherwise lacking funds to pay for their care. Today, cancer-survivor Spirtos is in a much better place; in fact, she works for the Desert Cancer Foundation as its director of donor development.

October is going to be a busy month for Spirtos and the rest of the folks involved with the Desert Cancer Foundation, because it's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The foundation, with some help from the Miramonte Resort and Spa, is kicking off the month a little early: From 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26, the Miramonte will launch “Think Pink,” a month-long series of events and specials, during which some of the proceeds will be donated to the Desert Cancer Foundation.

The launch party will include a fountain commemoration, live music and specialty pink cocktails. Through October, the Vineyard Lounge will offer those special pink drinks, and each Thursday, Gina Carey will perform, and donate $5 of each CD she sells. The WELL Spa will offer special “Think Pink” treatments, and the Miramonte will accept donations for the foundation at the front desk.

Of course, the Desert Cancer Foundation has more big plans for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

On Saturday, Oct. 12, El Paseo in Palm Desert will be the site of one of the Desert Cancer Foundation’s biggest events: Paint El Paseo Pink. Through Oct. 5, individuals and teams can register online to participate for about $25 per person; on-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 12, with the walk starting with an opening ceremony at 9:30. The foundation, with the help of the Desert Healthcare District, hopes to raise at least $150,000 at the event, and some El Paseo businesses are getting involved; for example, Spirtos praised Brighton Collectibles for holding a special “Girlfriends Day” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., during which some of the proceeds will go to Paint El Paseo Pink.

However, raising money is not the only goal of the event.

“We’d like to raise awareness for people to get screenings,” Spirtos said. “Not just women; men can contract breast cancer as well.”

Spirtos said she’s proud of the fact that thanks to the support of local sponsors and the medical community, the Desert Cancer Foundation arranges $7 in services for every dollar donated.

“It’s wonderful to have people coming together to support the foundation,” Spirtos said.

For more information on the Desert Cancer Foundation, or to register for Paint El Paseo Pink, visit desertcancerfoundation.org. For more on the Miramonte Resort and Spa, visit www.miramonteresort.com.

The Purple Room Returns to Its 1960s Roots

After a quite a turbulent year, the Purple Room, located at the Club Trinidad (1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs) is getting a renovation and new management that could turn it into one of the valley’s coolest spots.

TRIO owners Tony Marchese and Mark Van Laanen have taken over the spot. They are keeping mum on some specifics, but they have set up a Facebook page and a website featuring a swanky logo and the tagline “Supper club, drinks and live music. It’s where Palm Springs plays.” We hear that a late October opening is in the works.

The website offers this description: “In the early ’60s, Palm Springs’ Purple Room at Club Trinidad became the sweet spot of the swinging supper club scene. Cats like Frank and Dino hung with their pals to eat, drink and play.

“The Purple Room reopens with its pedigree legacy in mind. Swanky décor and state-of-the-art sound for the best live music in town.”

It’s official: I am excited!

Head to the website to apply for a gig, join the newsletter list, or get more information.

Help People Help the Blind

The Desert Blind and Handicapped Association has two fantastic food-related events coming up—during which you can help out the organization just by having a good time.

First up: On Wednesday, Sept. 18, the organization—which offers transportation for those who are disabled—will be having a fundraising dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. at Nicolino’s Italian Restaurant, 35325 Date Palm Drive, No. 111, in Cathedral City. Tickets for the meal—which include salad, a soft drink, garlic bread, carrot cake and one of four entrées—are just $25.

Next up is one of the first events of the social/charity event season: The Fall Garden Party takes place from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5, at Copley’s on Palm Canyon, 621 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. The event will feature wearable fine art fashions by Lon Michels, and jewelry by Alexis Hunter (a Independent) contributor, modeled by local celebrities. Add in music by cellist Ray Kelley, emceeing by the incomparable Brian Wanzek (you may know him better as Bella da Ball), hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, and a swanky good time should be had by all; tickets are $50.

For tickets to either event or for more information, head to www.desertblind.org, or call 760-440-7720.

Have a Slice to Help a Great Woman With a Terrible Disease

Andie Jaeger—the mother of three (ages 2, 6 and 11), and the wife of Kurt Jaeger, of Indio’s Jaeger Metal—is in the midst of one hell of a fight.

According to publicist Tim O’Bayley, here’s the story: “Andie suffered a seizure while out with her husband and two of her three children. She was rushed to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. … After two spinal taps, (various) MRIs, and a biopsy, on Aug. 23, the doctors confirmed the worst, and Andie was diagnosed with Glioblastoma. Gliobastoma is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans. Her treatment protocol is still being decided but will likely include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”

Friends and loved ones have rallied behind the Jaeger family by organizing a series of fundraisers intended to help the Jaegers with what will be one horrible medical bill. On Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 5 p.m. to close, The Slice, at 72775 Dinah Shore Drive, in Rancho Mirage, will donate 20 percent of each purchase (except for happy-hour menu items) to Andie.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., various local Zumba instructors will team up to teach a class—limited to 35 people—at Inspired Fitness Studio, 78078 Country Club Drive, in Bermuda Dunes. Admission is $10, and $5 raffle tickets will be available; email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in advance for tickets.

Finally, on Sunday, Oct. 6, the Classic Club, located at 75200 Classic Club Blvd., in Palm Desert, will host the Thinking Happy Thoughts for Andie Golf Tournament. Registration begins at 7 a.m., and costs $150, or $500 for a foursome. Lunch will be provided.

Register for the tourney or get more info on these events at www.thinkinghappythoughts.org.

In Brief

The New York Company Restaurant, 1260 S. Palm Canyon Drive (a space formerly occupied by Brushfire), is opening this Friday, Sept. 20. (The restaurant announced an opening date several weeks earlier, too, only to take it back due to “processing” delays. More info at www.thenewyorkcompanyrestaurant.com. … Dragon Sushi, located at 82451 Highway 111 in Indio, is opening another location, in the shopping center in the 68300 block of Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City that once was home to Frickleburgers.

The Camelot Theatres are the home of one helluva LGBT film festival this weekend.

Cinema Diverse, the annual Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, takes place at the Camelot this Thursday through Sunday, and it’s packed with compelling independent films, all of which have a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered theme.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Compelling independent film” is often code for “well-meaning but mediocre.” However, those of us at Independent World Headquarters can personally vouch for these three films, because we’ve watched them, or at least know enough about them to know they’re worthy. (Unfortunately, unless you’ve managed to clone yourself, you’ll only be able to catch two of these three films this weekend—because two of them overlap.)

Cinema Diverse, featuring a wide variety of LGBT features and shorts from the morning through night, takes place Thursday, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 22, with all screenings at the Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs. All-access passes including the opening night reception are $169; all-access passes sans the reception are $149. Individual tickets for most screenings are $13, although the Southern Baptist Sissies opening screening is $15; or $35 for both the film and the opening-night reception. (More on that in a minute.)

Get a complete schedule and ticket info at cinemadiverse.org. Summaries of the three films we recommend are below; scroll down to view trailers for each.

Southern Baptist Sissies

5:30 p.m. reception; 7 p.m. screening, Thursday, Sept. 19

OK, this is the one we have not seen, but the trailer is so compelling, and the cast is so incredible (Leslie Jordan!) that we’re recommending it. This is a filmed theatrical performance of Del Shores’ renowned play about four gay boys who grow up in the Southern Baptist Church. Each of the young men deals with his sexuality—and his religion, which strictly forbids it—in a different way. At turns hilarious and poignant, this is a play/film you’ll want to see. As a special treat, Shores and some of the cast members will appear at a pre-film reception to kick off the festival.

Hot Guys With Guns

7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20

Danny Lohman (Marc Anthony Samuel) is a struggling actor who is taking private-investigator lessons to help him get a gig. However, when his slacker ex-boyfriend, Pip (Brian McArdle), becomes a victim of a robbery at a sex party, he and Pip—with the help of Danny’s crusty PI teacher (Alan Blumenfeld)—decide they should investigate. The film is touching, implausible, hilarious and downright enjoyable—with a fair amount of male eye candy.

Heterosexual Jill

7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20

Michelle Ehlen writes, directs and stars in this amusing and quirky film—it’s sort of a sequel to Ehlen’s Butch Jamie—centering on Jamie, an actress (Ehlen) who is in the cast of an odd film starring a cat. (Ehlen’s costumes are hilarious.) Her ex-girlfriend, Jill (Jen McPherson), is part of an ex-lesbian support group—and Jill then decides, somewhat neurotically, to date Jamie to prove she is no longer attracted to women. A subplot follows two of Jamie’s cast members—a gay man and a straight woman—who are lusting over the same man. And then something weird happens when Jamie accidentally sees a penis. I know this description doesn’t make sense at all, but trust me: It works. Go see it.

What: The Wedge Salad Trio Style

Where: TRIO Restaurant, 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $10

Contact info: 760-864-8746; www.triopalmsprings.com

Why: The ingredients are in perfect balance.

A while back, a local steakhouse that shall go unnamed offered a wedge salad as part of a prix-fixe special—and that wedge salad did not include bacon.

The menu was accurate—bacon was not mentioned in the description—but I did not notice this fact until I went back and looked later, because HOW IN THE HELL CAN YOU HAVE A WEDGE SALAD WITHOUT BACON?

Thankfully, the wedge salad at TRIO has bacon. And blue cheese, both on its own and in the dressing. And tomatoes, and pine nuts—and just the perfect amount of lettuce.

In other words, it’s a balanced wedge salad—a surprising rarity in this desert, where wedge salads often include a chunk of lettuce the size of one’s head. Not at TRIO; the amount of lettuce is just substantial enough to ensure that each bite will contain all the cheesy, piggy, crunchy goodness that comes in a wedge salad.

Another problem that afflicts salads, both of the wedge and non-wedge variety, both here and around the world, is too much dressing. In fact, my default setting at most restaurants these days is to ask for these dressing on the side, because soggy salad = blech. However, I never have to do so when I order the wedge salad at TRIO, because the house-made blue cheese dressing is applied in the perfect proportion, it seems, each and every time.

In a desert chock-full of steakhouses, it’s TRIO that has perfected the wedge salad. Bravo.

When we spoke to Jerry Hernandez before the inaugural IPACinema Saturday-night film series began in July, he told us that he wanted to fill every one of the 127 seats in the theater where IPACinema was taking place, and for good reason: He needed the admission revenues to rent a projector each week, because IPAC did not have one.

Well, those needed sellout crowds never came. (Given the lack of foot traffic in downtown Indio, and the fact that it was the summer in the eastern Coachella Valley, Hernandez's goal seemed a bit, well, optimistic.) Instead, Hernandez says, crowds have ranged from a low of about five to a high of about 70, for a sing-along to Grease.

But Hernandez’s passion for film earned him some fans—and his enthusiasm paid off when several weeks into the season, which began on July 20, generous IPAC supporters came up with the money to buy IPAC a projector and a Blu-ray player.

Today, as IPACinema 2014 enters its final month, Hernandez says he feels blessed—and he has reason to feel proud, too, as his film series has been far from a failure. After all, getting 70 people to downtown Indio in the middle of the summer to see Grease is an accomplishment indeed.

“Considering the lack of advertising dollars—(publicity) has all been through Facebook, word of mouth, fliers, (the Independent’s online) article, and several other articles—I think it’s been a success. It’s definitely been a learning experience,” he said.

The Saturday-night classic-film series will conclude its first year in October. On Oct. 19, an audience-participation showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show will take place at midnight; the series will conclude with the extended director’s cut of John Carpenter’s Halloween, at 8 p.m. on Oct. 26.

Meanwhile, Hernandez says he’s started planning next year’s film series—and based on the lessons he’s learned in his first year, viewers can expect more blockbusters and family-friendly fare. While the exact schedule is up in the air, Hernandez says IPACinema may return as a monthly event as soon as February, before ramping back up to a weekly event in May or June. Potential 2014 films include Jaws, The Ten Commandments, Purple Rain, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Zoot Suit.

It’s worth repeating another thing that Hernandez told us back before the series began.

“This series is about movies as they’re meant to be seen—on the silver screen,” Hernandez says.

IPACinema’s 2013 season concludes with the Fright Film Festival, featuring screenings on Oct. 19 and 26. The Indio Performing Arts Center is located at 45175 Fargo St., in Indio. Tickets are $6, or $5 for children and seniors. For a complete schedule and more information, visit www.facebook.com/IPACinemaEvent.

Thursday, 19 September 2013 15:30

The Lucky 13: Lino Mendoza, of the House Whores

Meet Lino A.F. Mendoza. The Santa Ana native works as a server as his “day job,” but at night, the Rancho Mirage native becomes a member of the House Whores. The DJ/electronic dance music group regularly plays at Azul/Alibi, and has a standing gig every other Saturday—including this Saturday, Sept. 21—at Clinic Bar Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive. The music starts at 9 p.m., and admission is free. Lino, “da sound guy,” recently was kind enough to take the time to answer The Lucky 13. For more info, find the Whores on Facebook.

What was the first concert you attended?

I believe it was Santana and Rusted Root at Glen Helen (now known as the San Manuel Amphitheater).

What was the first album you owned?

Violent Femmes.

What bands are you listening to right now?

None. I like EDM, so I like a lot of Sonny Fodera, Little Louie Vega, and Julz Winfield

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

This is a hard one, because I can’t say one thing is bad or worse than the other, so I’m gonna quote Ray Charles (and others): “There is only good and bad music.” It just depends on what’s being played.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

It would be Pink Floyd—Roger W. Pink Floyd. And Prince!

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

L.A. underground deep house.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Greek Theatre (in Los Angeles).

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

Jamiroquai’s “Little L”: “Why does it have to be like this? … With a little ‘l.’”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The Doors. Jim Morrison music was always really deep. He made you think, like, in 5-to-1.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

It would be Little Louie Vega: “How much has the music scene evolved since you were playing at Studio 54 in NYC?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Spirit in the Sky.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz Vol. 1, and/or Bare Essentials or Carte Blanche Vols. 1 and 2.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Anything from the Butter Factory.

What: Nora’s Nutty Salad

Where: Karen’s Café, 77682 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert

How much: $8.50

Contact info: 760-772-2800

Why: The crunch and the hint of sweetness.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you: I did not want to order Nora’s Nutty Salad.

Don’t get me wrong; the salad sounded yummy—I like romaine lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, onions, sunflower seeds, almonds, honey-sesame cashews and chicken—but Karen’s Café also serves breakfast, which means things like eggs and bacon are available, and really: Is there anything yummier on this planet than eggs and freaking bacon?

But, y’know, healthiness and losing weight are important, too, and Nora’s Nutty Salad came highly recommended by Nora herself (she’s the owner; she bought the place from Karen, apparently) at this charming little diner, located in the back corner of a Palm Desert industrial-area strip-mall building. So, I ordered the damn salad, even as the smell of freaking bacon wafted out of the kitchen.

In the end, I was glad I ordered the damn salad.

While what I received didn’t exactly match what was listed on the menu—walnuts and black olives were nowhere to be found, and the honey-sesame cashews that were present seemed more like honey-sesame powder clumps—what I received was delicious. The sweetness provided by the honey whatever-it-was enhanced the flavor of the fresh veggies, and the chicken was deliciously moist.

The mouth-feel of the salad nice and fun, too. Unlike most salads, this was crunchy in a variety of festive ways, thanks to the cucumbers, the sunflower seeds and the almond slices. The ranch dressing came on the side—always my preference with salad—which meant things didn’t get too soggy.

The best thing I can say about this salad: When I was finished, my taste buds were happy, despite the lack of bacon—and that meant that for one meal, at least, my waistline was happy, too.

Update: CV Brewing Co. Is Open for Business

Coachella Valley Brewing Co.—the brand-new brewery whose taps graced the cover of the Independent’s summer print issue—has finally opened its doors to the public, at least for special events.

The taproom, at 30640 Gunther St. in Thousand Palms, was the site of an Animal Samaritans special event this week.

However, as they always say (OK, not really, but play along), it’s not official until there’s a cheesy ribbon-cutting event—and that cheesy ribbon-cutting event will take place at noon on Friday, Aug. 30.

Everyone’s welcome, and if you want to try some of the beer, bring $10, and you can get tastes of four of ’em. Master brewer Chris Anderson will be on hand to answer questions, and a good time will be had by all.

Stay in the loop by calling (760) 343-5973, or visiting www.cvbco.com.

A Frickleburgers Comeback Is Not to Be

Frickleburgers, the Cathedral City restaurant that closed in May despite several “Best Of” wins, will not be making a comeback.

When the restaurant, which was located at 68375 E. Palm Canyon Drive, closed its doors, owner Michael Zoll vowed to do everything he could to fix his business plan, get new investors and reopen the restaurant.

However, his efforts did not pan out: He announced via Facebook on Aug. 19 that he and his family would be relocating to Chicago.

“I did everything I possibly could and followed every lead, path and inquiry to try and find a company or investor to reopen my dream which was Frickleburgers, all which ended with plenty on interest, but no capital,” he wrote.

We wish Zoll nothing but success in his future endeavors. He’s a damn fine burger-maker.

Fatburger Returning to the Coachella Valley

In happier burger news: Fatburger will be returning to the Coachella Valley.

The Palm Springs location on Ramon Road closed in 2011, but the chain restaurant, which touts itself as “The Last Great Hamburger Stand,” will open up shop in Palm Desert in November or December, according to the company’s website. (However, that website disconcertingly calls the city “Palm Dessert.”)

The Fatburger, at Highway 111 and Fred Waring Drive, will be joined by a corporate sister restaurant: Buffalo’s Café, which serves chicken wings.

In Brief

The Twin Palms Bistro and Lounge, 1201 E. Palm Canyon Drive, which closed after a fire on April 9, remains in limbo. “Still no word from the insurance or landlord attorneys,” said a Facebook post from the restaurant on Aug. 13. “Wish we had some news to share, but it is out of our hands at this point. The construction has started (which is a good sign) and pretty much everything is still the same. Thank you everyone for the kind words and support.” … Word is that Dhat Island—a Caribbean Creole restaurant in Redlands—is slated to open a second location at the old Marie Callender’s location at 69830 Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage. Keep your fingers crossed for an October opening. … Speaking of beer: La Quinta Brewing Co., in Palm Desert, is getting close to an opening date. Watch the pages (online and in print) of the Independent for more details soon, and follow the progress at www.facebook.com/LaQuintaBrewingCo.

Friday, 23 August 2013 08:00

The Lucky 13: Purple Reign's Jason Tenner

Jason Tenner, a 30-something from Las Vegas, is a dead-ringer for Prince—and he sounds a lot like the legendary and often-weird musical genius. His Prince tribute act, Purple Reign, will be rocking out the Rock Yard at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway in Indio, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31. Helicopter will also appear at the 18-and-older show, and admission is free; in fact, Fantasy Springs’ free Rock Yard shows run every Saturday until midnight through October. For more information on Fantasy Springs, visit www.fantasyspringsresort.com; for more on Purple Reign, visit www.purplereign.net. Here are Mr. Tenner’s answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

Billy Idol and Faith No More.

What was the first album you owned?

Led Zeppelin IV.

What bands are you listening to right now?

No one in particular. (I’m a) radio surfer.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Country.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

James Brown from the ’70s.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Classical.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Don’t really have one.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

I don’t get lyrics stuck in my head. I always thought that was strange that people do. Songs will pop in, though, depending on what’s happening—like my own soundtrack to life.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Michael Jackson. He made me want to be an entertainer.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Prince: “What is the Purple Rain?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“I'll Fly Away,” from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Led Zeppelin 4.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Whatever makes (people) feel best about the world and themselves.

Bassist Tim Scott joins Kirk “Caliente” Sorenson on guitar, and Kelly Heldenbrand on drums to make up The Stepping Stones. How does one describe the band’s sound? “The often dark, haunting vocal melodies are interwoven with guitar work that crosses several boundaries—sometimes metal, sometimes alternative, always inventive,” the band’s webpage says. “The dynamic, percussive accents in the live performance will leave you guessing.” If you want to find out what exactly this means, head to Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails, 32025 Monterey Ave., in Thousand Palms, this Saturday, Aug. 17, at 9 p.m. Admission is free. For more info on the show, call 760-343-2115, or visit www.myplanbbar.com. Scott, a financial planner and Southern California native who has lived in Palm Springs for a decade, was kind enough to take the time to answer The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods played my prom.

What was the first album you owned?

Chicago.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Foo Fighters, The Beatles, and Polysics.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Gangsta rap.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

The Beatles.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

1970s English punk.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Key Club (on the Sunset Strip). R.I.P.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

867-5309!

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The Style Council opened me up to jazz.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Kurt Cobain: “What were you thinking?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Too Much Too Young,” The Specials.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Nevermind, Nirvana.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Can't Have Fun” at www.thesteppingstonesrock.com.