Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Editor's Note

21 Feb 2018
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It’s once again (or still?) election season in the Coachella Valley—well, it is in at least part of the Coachella Valley. That whacky central-valley city of 18,000 people, Rancho Mirage, likes to do things its own way—and so it holds its city election at a time (April 10) and via a method (mail) that are different from every other city in the valley. Speaking of doing things one’s own way, it’s also worth noting that Rancho Mirage is the biggest opponent of the proposed valley-wide CV Link pathway, and that the city just declined to participate in a valley-wide traffic-signal synchronization project. It’s kind of like this: Rancho Mirage city government is the metaphoric equivalent of an old man yelling at people (in this case, the rest of the valley) to get off his damn lawn! I mention all of this for two reasons: One, to highlight the fantastic coverage…
31 Jan 2018
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I am writing this column on our deadline day for the February print edition—the day we need to finish the issue to transmit it to our printer—and I am writing it a little later than I anticipated. Why? Well, earlier today, I received this message from Brian Blueskye: “I did an interview with Gary Allan, who’s playing at Fantasy Springs this weekend. About to send that over in a bit.” That Gary Allan piece is not in the February print issue—Allan’s show will have happened well before February—but it did make it onto and into our Jan. 18 weekly e-Edition, after I put aside working on the print edition for a bit to edit and post Brian’s unanticipated, last-minute story. Why am I telling you all this? I think it’s a nice anecdote that helps explain how what we do here at the Independent is different from what some…
28 Dec 2017
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The turn of the calendar from 2017 to 2018 Coachella Valley Independent means we’re kicking off our sixth year of honest, ethical local journalism ’round these parts. Our first five years have been incredible in many ways. While the Independent has its imperfections and limitations—as do all publications—it has become a part of the fiber of the Coachella Valley, through (so far) 54 print editions and more than 4,200 stories posted here at We’ve won two national journalism awards, honored hundreds of businesses and organizations via four Best of Coachella Valley readers’ polls, and raised many thousands of dollars for local causes through benefit concerts and Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week—which, by the way, is celebrating its second edition come January 19-27. (See more info at or in the January print edition.) However … as a member of the media, these five years have been incredibly difficult. If…
29 Nov 2017
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As you probably know by now, the results of our fourth annual Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll were released earlier this week. This marks the culmination of a process that started back in August, when Round One voting began. We asked you, our readers, to tell us what your area favorites are, via an open ballot—with no pre-selected finalists or recommendations. We compiled all of those results to determine the slate of Best of Coachella Valley finalists, and then launched the Final Round of voting. I’d like to thank Brian Blueskye, Mark Duebner and Robyn Tanzer, all of whom put a lot of work into the corresponding December print edition—and all of us at the Independent would like to thank you, the readers, for taking the time to vote in the Best of Coachella Valley. Other local publications also do “Best Of” readers’ polls … but these Best of…
30 Oct 2017
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Last week, the Independent published the final ¡Ask a Mexican! column, as penned by my friend and colleague Gustavo Arellano. I was shocked on Oct. 13 when I got the news that Arellano—a longtime OC Weekly scribe who had served as the paper’s editor and spokesperson for many years—had stepped down. He quit, he said, because he refused to lay off half of his staff, and the owner would not accept any of Arellano’s counter-proposals (one of which included cutting Gustavo’s own salary in half). At first, I fully expected Gustavo’s column to continue on in some form, albeit with a different name than ¡Ask a Mexican!, because the OC Weekly owns the rights to the name. In fact, in the version of this column that ran in the November print edition, I said the column would probably continue, as that was what I’d been told. However, after we went…
28 Sep 2017
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Let me tell you a little story that illustrates how what we do here at the Independent is different from what most other valley publications do. At first glance, nothing seems too complex or crazy about “Turnout Turmoil,” Brian Blueskye’s recent political story (which serves as the cover story for our October 2017 print edition). Essentially, it’s an 1,100-word story about a recent change in state law regarding when cities and other local governments have their elections, and how local cities are dealing with this new law. Simple, right? Actually, it’s not simple at all. The story behind the story: Brian worked on this piece, off and on, for six weeks. This was initially slated to be last month’s cover story, but we shelved it because, after two weeks of work (again, off and on), we were still figuring things out. Turns out we weren’t, and aren’t, the only ones…

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