? It’s Friday, 5/13.
☀️ Today’s weather: Sunny with a high of around 100 degrees.
? Setting the mood: “Happy Birthday” by Stevie Wonder.
? Situational awareness: A final agreement between the city and a nonprofit supporting the transgender community was passed last night. It will see Palm Springs spend up to $200,000 to reimburse the organization as it applies to be part of a guaranteed basic income pilot program for some members of our community.
- Yes, but: The proposed spending has not been without controversy — including some that right-wing talk show hosts have contrived. Mayor Lisa Middleton, who is transgender, brought up a more relevant point last night, offering a broader perspective as she cast the lone no vote against the agreement:
- “I cannot support a basic income program. I don’t think it’s a municipal responsibility to act in this area. I don’t believe the outlines of these programs are such that they will win broad public approval and adoption.”
This is a 4-minute read. Let’s go …
Leading off: Another giant warehouse in the works
A second massive warehouse may find a home in Palm Springs.
Driving the news: Pre-application paperwork submitted to the city’s Department of Development Services last week shows Seefried Industrial Properties wants to build a 1.5 million-square-foot fulfillment center on land just north of Interstate-10 at Indian Canyon and 18th Avenue.
- The land is owned by Fred Noble of Wintec Energy. Noble owns several large parcels in remote locations in the city.
- There is no indication which business might use the big building. Typically, Amazon and Costco need such space.
Details: The 60-foot-tall building is considered a “distribution/ warehouse/ fulfillment/ e-commerce” center and will operate 24/7. Like similar projects, it could employ thousands of local residents.
Why now: In January, the Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously to change zoning rules, making it easier to build fulfillment centers up to 95 feet high.
- Big money: Unlike large buildings used as warehouses, fulfillment centers can generate tens of millions in sales tax revenue for cities that allow them because goods go directly to consumers instead of being shipped to stores.
Flurry of activity: The change in zoning laws appears to have sparked much interest among developers.
- Seefried’s proposal comes one month after a property management company submitted paperwork for a 750,000 square foot warehouse near the same location.
Familiar name: Seefried Industrial Properties is the same company hoping to build what would become the largest fulfillment center in the country — a 3.4 million-square-foot facility in Desert Hot Springs.
Yes, but: During deliberations at the January meeting, some councilmembers acknowledged that companies that build fulfillment centers are often called out for poor working conditions and low wages.
- If Palm Springs were to hold out, however, they feared the city would be left behind as nearby jurisdictions allowed the fulfillment centers and benefited from tax revenue.
Next up: The paperwork submitted May 3 is just a preliminary step. The developer would still need to complete a formal application and take it through the labyrinth of City Hall before shovels could go in the ground.
In brief: No decisions
A pair of hot-button items failed to receive a vote at Thursday evening’s Palm Springs City Council meeting.
Driving the news: Decisions on an appeal of a permit for a proposed downtown nightclub and adoption of the city’s policy on police use of military equipment were put off while city staff and others do more work. In March, the city’s Planning Commission denied a permit for the proposed Fuego Nightclub. It was appealed by the applicant and supposed to be heard in April, but the Council asked staff to study issues surrounding the proposal further. Elected officials asked for even more studying Thursday evening and did not rule on the appeal.
- At issue: Neighbors of the proposed nightclub, including those living in an adjacent apartment build and owners of several nearby boutique hotels, fear there will be noise issues and the potential for additional late-night disturbances in the area. They spoke again Thursday night.
Also delayed was the final adoption of city policies on the use of military equipment and appropriate training and methods by which citizens can make complaints about the use of military equipment.
- At issue: The Council, led by Mayor Pro Tem Grace Garner, wanted to see some final tweaks to language in the policies before signing off. Those tweaks would include wording about when and how police could deploy tear gas.
Of note: Garner also asked for a list of when such weapons have been used in the city and whether some of the weapons police have can be ditched. Police Chief Andy Mills promised to come up with the list and agreed that not all the weapons at police disposal were necessary.
- “Some of these items we rarely use,” Mills noted.
? AM Roundup: Grab a cup & catch up
? Rep. Raul Ruiz took to the House floor to call on Congress to take up his “Heroes Lesley Zerebny and Gil Vega First Responders Survivors Support Act.” (NBC Palm Springs)
? Your weekend
Jazz lineup: Christian McBride and Inside Straight, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Bill Charlap, Matthew Whitaker, and more jazz artists will take to the Plaza Theatre stage.
- Organizers hope the event will revitalize the theater and local interest in jazz.
Tickets are still available for the afternoon and evening shows on Saturday and Sunday.? Our take: You shouldn’t miss your chance to see the only American art form in a city that once hosted some of the greatest jazz performers in history.
?️ Also this weekend:
- Palm Canyon Theatre opens its production of Into The Woods tonight through Sunday.
- A community cleanup is planned for Saturday at 8 a.m. Bring your gloves!
- The Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market takes place at 2300 E. Baristo Rd. from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
- The “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally for women’s healthcare rights is planned for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Frances Stevens Park. Registration is encouraged.
- Palm Springs American Legion Post 519 hosts an open mic night on Saturday starting at 7 p.m.
- On Sunday, The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters are gathering at Smokin’ Burgers at 11 a.m. and then attending Soulful Sunday at 5 p.m.
And finally …
One of the hippest spots in town is closing its doors at the end of the month. Dead or Alive Bar, hidden away in a plain brown wrapper of a storefront along the East Palm Canyon Drive curve next to El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana restaurant, will no longer welcome loyal clientele to its “dark and sexy” interior after Memorial Day Weekend.
- Owner Christine Soto, a Level 1 sommelier who made wine a big part of the experience at DOA, announced the decision via social media Thursday afternoon on behalf of herself and partner Kristin Bloomer.
- “This business was built on grit and naiveté, and we’ve subsisted off momentum, a lot of goodwill, and resilience. I am deeply grateful and want to thank everyone who has ever walked through the doors of Dead or Alive, joined our wine club or bought wine, said a kind word, or offered support.”
No single factor: Soto said a number of circumstances, both personal and professional, led to the decision, and that after six-and-a-half years in business, “I have reached my threshold of risk and sacrifice for this adventure.”
A bow and a bang: There will be no funeral or wake for the business. Soto said they’ll go out with a celebration.
- “Come in for drinks, bring friends + family, sign up for the 150 Club finalé, buy commemorative DOA swag, stock up on bottles – and come get that bear hug IRL.”
? Kendall is keeping her eye on black cats, mirrors, and ladders this Friday the 13th.
? Mark is toasting his wife today on her birthday. She loves horses, Stevie Wonder, and me (two of those three show her excellent taste).
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