CVIndependent

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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

A sold-out crowd of more than 100 people enjoyed nine fantastic cocktails—all made with Ketel One Botanical vodka—at the Third Annual Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Championship, held Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Moxie Palm Springs.

Carlos Argumedo, of Farm, was declared the champion of the event, earning an amazing 92 points (out of 100 possible) on the judges’ scoresheets. The tally was close—three points separated first place from fourth place. Argumedo follows in the footsteps of 2018 winner Hunter Broggi, of Lulu California Bistro (who also participated in this year’s event), and 2016 winner Sherman Chan, of Trio Restaurant.

Trio’s Garrett Spicher was the Audience Choice winner.

Nine bartenders competed in the event, which sold out for the first time in its three-year history. Each competitor made tastes of their drinks for each attendee, before making full drinks for the judges: Ketel One’s Leslie Barclay; Brad Fuhr, of media sponsors Gay Desert Guide and KGAY 106.5 FM; and representatives of Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week’s beneficiaries: the Desert AIDS Project’s Darrell Tucci, and the LGBT Community Center of the Desert’s Alexis Ortega.

The championship is the highlight of Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week, a production of the Coachella Valley Independent. During the week, which continues through Saturday, Feb. 2, participating restaurants create a special drink for the week, or highlight an existing drink from their menus, and donate at least $2 from each drink sold during the week to the Desert AIDS Project and the LGBT Community Center of the Desert. A complete list of drinks and participants can be found at PSCraftCocktails.com.

Below is a collection of photos from the event, taken by the Independent’s Kevin Fitzgerald.

Published in Snapshot

More than 80 people came to the Copa Nightclub on Wednesday, Dec. 12, with one goal: to celebrate the people, businesses and organizations that make the Coachella Valley a fantastic place to call home.

The Coachella Valley Independent and Copa Nightclub sponsored the fifth annual Best of Coachella Valley Awards Show and Party, an event that honors the winners of the Independent's yearly readers' poll, which features almost 130 categories ranging from the best place to hike, to the valley's best restaurants, to the valley's best sex-toy shop. (Our readers say it's Skitzo Kitty, by the way.)

The biggest contingents at the party—hosted by Independent editor/publisher Jimmy Boegle, with help from assistant editor Brian Blueskye—came to celebrate Barbara Carpenter, voted Best Real Estate Agent for the second year in a row, and Augustine Casino, which took the top spot in a whopping seven categories.

After the awards were given out, Best Local Band winner Avenida Music delighted the audience with a full set.

Below is a gallery of photos from the event, taken by Kevin Fitzgerald. In the media section, find the welcome video from Rep. Raul Ruiz, as well as a video of the event, courtesy of Tantalum Films. (Originally published on Dec. 13; updated with video Jan. 3.)

Published in Snapshot

Representatives of many of the Coachella Valley's top businesses, groups and organizations gathered on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Copa Nightclub for the Best of Coachella Valley 2016-2017 Party.

The revelry was the culmination of a process that started back in August, when first-round voting in the third annual Coachella Valley Independent readers' poll began. The top three to five vote-getters in each category then moved on to a second round of voting, which took place through October. The results were announced at CVIndependent.com on Nov. 28 and in the December edition of the Independent

Held at Copa, the Best Nightclub winner, the party was hosted by Independent editor/publisher Jimmy Boegle. After the awards, Best Local Band winner Venus and the Traps treated the audience to a set.

Below are pictures from the evening, by Independent contributor Cory Courtney. Enjoy!

Published in Snapshot

I have done pretty much everything there is to do at a newspaper during my career. But last week, I did, to quote Monty Python, something completely different.

I rented a 24-foot U-Haul truck, drove to the printer, and picked up 15,500 copies of the debut issue of a brand-new paper; I then trucked that haul to our distributor.

Yep. That was a first.

As I type, those 15,500 copies of Vol. 1, Issue 1 of the Coachella Valley Independent are on racks and/or are about to be distributed on racks throughout the Coachella Valley.

The feedback is starting to dribble in already, for which I am grateful. For example, one person was kind enough to call me at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday and praise the food writing, and to suggest that I freelance for The Desert Sun, because the daily seems to need food writers right now. (Um … no.)

If you have thoughts or suggestions, of course, you are welcome to call or email, just like this gentleman did. (I just ask that if you’re calling, at least wait until after 8 a.m. Maybe 8:30 a.m. on the weekend.)

One thing that nobody needs to call to tell me is that the font was a wee bit too small. It looked OK on screen, but on paper, it’s just a wee bit … too wee. For the next print edition, we’ll bump up the main font-size a half point, and the sans-serif (the font used for the DVD reviews and the Lucky 13 interviews) a full point.

And the crossword-puzzle text? It’ll be actually completely readable next time. Sorry about that. Hey, when you launch a new publication with a new design and a new everything, there’s gonna be some learnin’ to do.

But overall, all of us here at Independent World Headquarters are quite proud of how the debut print issue turned out, in terms of content, design and even advertising. We hope you like it.

We also hope that y’all will make, or will continue to make, CVIndependent.com a regular destination. While we’re pleased as punch with the print issue (well, except for that crossword thing), we’re also proud of the great stuff we’ve been posting each and every day for months now here at CVIndependent.com. After all, every bit of copy in the print issue appeared first, in one form or another, on the website.

To reiterate, feedback and comments are appreciated; I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 760-904-4208. As always, thanks for reading us, both in print and in pixels.

Published in Editor's Note

While most people in the Coachella Valley have yet to learn about the founding of this fine publication (which, given the sorry state of the newsmedia in the valley, is no surprise), the Independent's launch has been covered substantially in Tucson, Ariz. (the soon-to-be-ex home of the founder, aka yours truly) and in alternative-newsweekly circles.

Here are some links to some of that coverage:

Tucson Weekly, 'Weekly' Editor Jimmy Boegle Leaving Paper at End of Year, Heading to the Coachella Valley: "Boegle, 37, has seen the impact of alt-weeklies, both while growing up and working in his hometown of Reno, Nev., and during his 10-year stint with the Weekly, a publication he argues has played a significant role in Tucson’s arts community since its launch in 1984. He hopes the Coachella Valley Independent will be the publication that helps spark a similar blossoming there."

Tucson Weekly, Danehy: Yet another 'Weekly' editor will be departing soon—but Tom will miss this one: "Jimmy's leaving us to start (along with his partner, Garrett) his own paper in the Coachella Valley part of California. The Coachella Valley, best known for its rowdy springtime music festival, has an official motto of 'At Least We're Not Imperial Valley.' It sounds like more of a challenge than an opportunity to me, but I certainly wish him the best."

TucsonSentinel.com, 'Weekly' editor Boegle leaving to found Palm Springs news site: "The 37-year-old Boegle said he plans to launch a print version of the Independent in the fall. The plan's been in the works for a while, at least in a conceptual way; Boegle first registered the domain name in 2007."

Inside Tucson Business, 'Tucson Weekly' editor Boegle to launch Palm Springs pub: "(Boegle) had his eye on the project for years since putting together a business plan to launch the alternative publication in a market that doesn’t have one."

Association of Alternative Newsmedia/Altweeklies.com, 'Tucson Weekly' Editor Jimmy Boegle Leaving to Launch New Publication: "With the Coachella Valley Independent, Boegle will attempt to bring 'honest-to-goodness ethical' journalism to the areas surrounding Palm Springs."

 

Published in Media

Ever since I was an intern at the Reno News & Review in the summer of 1996, I have been something of a newsweekly nerd.

Every time I’d visit a new city, I’d scour newsracks and bookstores for the local newsweekly. I love the mix of hard-hitting local news, compelling commentaries and unmatched arts-and-culture coverage.

Sometime in the mid 2000s, I visited the Coachella Valley for the first time, when my significant other and I came to visit a friend. I did my usual find-the-newsweekly thing … and I couldn’t find one. There was the Desert Post Weekly, a weak Gannett-owned faux-newsweekly in which the locally produced stories could be counted on one hand. There was The Desert Entertainer, which seemed to specialize in coverage of events that took place at the local casinos. And that was it.

Meanwhile, Garrett and I started to fall in love with the place—the culture, the mountains, the diversity, and so many other things.

I decided to look into starting a real newsweekly in the Coachella Valley. Over several years, I crunched numbers, did interviews and got bids; I put together a business plan; and in the spring of 2008, I presented the plan to Wick Communications, the company I have worked for since November 2001, and for which I have been the editor of the Tucson Weekly since January 2003.

My plan was to start a print weekly, the Coachella Valley Independent, with a staff of about seven folks—in other words, I wanted to hit the ground running. However, the budgeted first-year financial loss—in the neighborhood of a quarter-million bucks—was unappetizing to the Wick folks, and understandably, they said no, especially since the economy was at that point showing sides of weirdness. Several months later, we’d all begin to realize that weirdness was actually the first manifestations of the Great Recession.

In the years since, I have visited the Coachella Valley several times every year, falling in love with the area a little more each time. During every trip, I’d think of that business plan. And I’d pick up every publication I could find. Some publications—the Desert Star Weekly and then later, the Coachella Valley Weekly—came. Others—like the LGBT-focused The Bottom Line—went. While some of the valley’s publications had their positive moments (as well as not-so-positive ones), I learned some of them were selling editorial articles to advertisers—and not labeling those articles as advertorials. That, combined with the continuing mediocrity of the daily Desert Sun, was disheartening.

As it stands right now, if a Coachella Valley reader wants honest community news coverage, or an unbiased food review, or just good, compelling writing, where can they go?

Enter the Coachella Valley Independent.

I, along with my partner, Garrett, have decided it’s time to make the leap. I have given my notice at the Tucson Weekly, and in January, we’re moving to the Coachella Valley so I can dedicate myself to the Independent full-time. We’re winging it as we do this on our own; the plan is to spend a good chunk of the year building up the publication online, and if all goes well, in the fall, we’ll launch a print version.

Seeing as we’re building this from nothing, there will be growing pains. We started the website from scratch, and as of now, it’s probably about one-third built. (Call it our very, very beta version.) Most of the content currently on the site is nowhere as in-depth as the content will be when we’re here full-time. And we’re doing this on a budget that makes the word “shoestring” sound generous.

But we’re going to pull this off. We love good, honest, true, fun journalism, and the positive effect it can have on communities. As we say on the (very, very beta version’s) “about” page: “We believe in true, honest journalism: We want to afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted. We want to be a mirror for the entire Coachella Valley. We want to inform, enlighten and entertain.

“We will never let advertisers determine what we cover, and how we cover things. In other words, we will always tell it how we see it. For example: Some other publications in this valley do puff-piece reviews or feature stories on advertisers to make said advertisers happy. We will never, ever do that. If we lose an advertiser due to an unflattering story, a negative review or something else, so be it.”

Welcome to the Coachella Valley Independent.

Published in Editor's Note