CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

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15 Sep 2020
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On the weekend of Nov. 6-8, there will be no festival in downtown Palm Springs. There will be no parade. However, Greater Palm Springs Pride will go on—mostly online, like almost everything else has since COVID-19 reared its unbelievably ugly head in March. However, there will be a few events with an in-person aspect … sort of. The Front Runners’ 5k run, a fundraiser for the LGBT Center of the Desert, will take place—but instead of everyone running together, the participants will pick their own time and route. Pride-themed movies will be screened at the Palm Springs Cultural Center—outside, on the newish drive-in screen, with attendees in their cars or socially distanced. And then there’s the possible car caravan—which, when it was first announced, caused Palm Springs Pride president and CEO Ron deHarte no small amount of grief after certain locals, perhaps not understanding the concept, freaked out on social…
31 Jul 2020
Ginny Rowlette introduced her dear friend Sharon Mottern to Mama’s House. Ginny Rowlette has served on the Mama’s House board of directors for three years and is very passionate about the organization’s critical mission. Mama’s House is the only residential home in the Coachella Valley providing shelter for women in crisis pregnancies. The nonprofit opened its doors seven years ago and has since served more than 230 mothers and babies, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these mothers to conquer fears, face challenges and get back on track for success. The young women who come to Mama’s House are in crisis pregnancies—with nowhere else to go, and no means of support. After Sharon began learning more about the nonprofit’s good work, she began to think about how she could help these young mothers. She felt her career as a certified K-12 teacher with 10 years of classroom experience would definitely make…
24 Jul 2020
A little more than a year ago, in June 2019, then-incoming La Quinta High School senior Lizbeth Luevano beat out hundreds of other students to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 2019 R2L NextGen week-long program, organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and sponsored by State Farm. The Independent covered the story of her experience. This summer, Luevano has earned another honor: She’s one of four Inland Empire students participating in a prestigious, paid internship with Bank of America’s Student Leaders Program. According to a press release, the students will engage in an “experience of leadership, civic engagement and workforce skills-building with local nonprofit OneFuture Coachella Valley. In light of the health concerns that remain in local communities, the program has been adapted to a virtual format. … As part of their Student Leader program, each student will receive a $5,000 stipend.” The Independent recently spoke…
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…

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