CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Daily Digest

01 Jun 2020
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Welcome to June! Things are a mess! Here’s the latest: • All of Riverside County is under a curfew starting at 6 p.m. today. Yes, all of it—including the Coachella Valley. The curfew lasts through 6 a.m. tomorrow. But you probably already know this because of an alert screamed by your phone earlier this afternoon. Some of the details, according to the county: The curfew is in response to several areas of rioting and looting in Southern California over the weekend, as well as planned protests set to occur today in Riverside County. “We want the community to be able to peacefully assemble and exercise their first amendment rights,” said (County Executive Officer and Director of Emergency Services George) Johnson. “We must also take action…
29 May 2020
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Back on May 1, we wrote: “Welcome to May 2020—which should be one of the most fascinating months in American history.” Well, May sure lived up to that statement, didn’t it? It’s now May 29. Here in the Coachella Valley, retail stores, restaurants, some casinos and—as of this afternoon—some vacation rentals are again open for business. So far … so OK, I guess. Nationally, however, the country is in crisis—but not because of COVID-19, though the virus remains as deadly as ever. No, the culprit is good ol’ fashioned police brutality and racism. As of this writing, protests are continuing to grow in cities including Atlanta; Washington, D.C., Chicago; San Jose; and beyond, after rough nights last night in Minneapolis, Louisville and other cities. I…
28 May 2020
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While this Daily Digest is (for now, at least) dedicated to news about COVID-19 and the resulting societal and economic mess, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention what’s going on in Minnesota. Unfortunately, murders like that of George Floyd, at the hands of police officers, are nothing new—and until recently, police-involved deaths weren’t even properly tracked. This is something my friend and fellow journalist D. Brian Burghart discovered when he was the editor of the Reno News & Review newspaper. So he did something about it: He started tracking them—and, with grant funding, donations and a team of volunteers, created a national database of deaths, going all the way back to 2000, called Fatal Encounters. The Independent covered Fatal Encounters back in 2016, when…
27 May 2020
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It was an insanely busy news day, so let’s get right to the links: • First, a correction: In the emailed version of yesterday’s Daily Digest, I had the month portion of the date wrong for the city of Palm Springs’ “Restaurant, Retail, Hair Salon & Barbershop Re-Opening Guidance for Business Owners” webinar. As a few eagle-eyed readers pointed out: The webinar is taking place at 9 a.m., May 28—in other words, tomorrow. Get info here, and please accept my apologies for the mistake. • Other Palm Springs news: The City Council voted yesterday to extend the eviction moratorium through June 30. • While this news is certainly not surprising, it’s an economic bummer for sure: Goldenvoice is reaching out to artists slated to perform…
26 May 2020
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Viewers of the local news on NBC Palm Springs may have recently caught a short segment on all of the wonderful things Amazon is doing during the pandemic. “Millions of Americans staying at home are relying on Amazon,” the piece begins, before going on to talk about how “the company is keeping its employees safe and healthy,” and giving its oh-so-safe employees more than $800 million in increased wages and overtime pay. Unfortunately, this segment is slanted at best—and dangerously misleading at worst. Oh, and this segment wasn’t news. It was produced by Amazon, and sent to TV news stations around the country via a PR wire service. Most TV-news reporters ignored it; a few actually called out Amazon for sending out this piece of…
25 May 2020
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Hey, everybody. How was your long weekend? I slept in. I made some pork chops with some amazing fruit I picked up Saturday at the Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market. I took a lovely, mask-on walk through downtown Palm Springs. I had drinks—socially distanced—with friends in a backyard. So, all in all, it was pretty good. Well, except for the parts when I watched members of our community pointlessly tear each other to shreds on Facebook. Look … I get it: We’re all facing down a series of interconnected threats that are truly life or death matters: The virus, the effects of the lockdown, livelihoods, etc. This is serious shit. But … does going on social media and attacking each other really do anyone any…
22 May 2020
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Coachella Valley retail stores may now let customers in, and restaurants can reopen for dine-in service. Earlier this afternoon, Riverside County became the 45th of California’s 58 counties to get the state go-ahead to move further into Stage 2. When that fact is combined with today’s reopening of Morongo, Spotlight 29 and the two Agua Caliente casinos … it’s safe to say this is the most significant day the Coachella Valley has experienced during the reopening process, by far. However, it’s important to remember the news is not all positive. Riverside County announced another six deaths from COVID-19 had been reported in the last 24 hours; hospitalizations also ticked up in the last day. Within a week or so, total reported deaths in the United…
21 May 2020
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I have spent most of the last two days basically doing two things: 1. Getting everything ready to send the Independent’s June print edition to press. 2. Checking the state’s “Resilience Roadmap” page every 15 minutes for updates on the counties allowed to move further into Stage 2 of the reopening process—meaning stores can let customers inside, and restaurants can have dine-in customers. As of 6:45 p.m., 43 of the state’s 58 counties have been given the go-ahead … and Riverside County is NOT one of them, even though the county posted the paperwork to move ahead last Friday. This really could change at any time; San Joaquin County was added to the list since I started writing this, and about a half-dozen were added…