DAILY BRIEFING: COD meeting, film fest, grocery talks, and more

Good morning. It’s Monday, April 4. Expect sunny skies and a high of 92 degrees today. First, some news you need to know …

COD officials set to address City Council this week

The saga between leaders of Palm Springs and College of the Desert (COD) takes another turn this week when the City Council meets in regular session Thursday evening.

The big picture: Voters approved more than $900 million in bond sales in 2004 and 2016 to help fund several COD projects, including expansion, repair, and modernization of its campuses throughout the Coachella Valley. One of those expansions is supposed to be in Palm Springs.

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How we got here: The city purchased 119 acres in northern Palm Springs and gave it to COD a decade ago, but the college backed out of plans to build a campus there. The college then purchased 29 acres in the city’s center, cleared it of an old mall but has done nothing with it since.

  • What about that 119 acres? A developer wants to build 850 units of housing there now, but its sale is complicated. The city plans to ask the public what it thinks.

At issue: New leadership at the college took over last year and were initially mum on plans in Palm Springs. When COD President Martha Garcia eventually spoke, she said the college needed more time to study what COD would be doing in the city and when. Since then, Garcia and others have repeatedly stated they plan to move forward in Palm Springs. They recently laid out a five-year plan.

  • Politics at play? A former COD president and others have accused Eastern Coachella Valley politicians of purposely ignoring Western Coachella Valley projects. In Palm Springs, a community group was formed to keep pressure on the college to build in the city.

Next up: A public presentation by the college, already delayed once, is on the Council’s agenda Thursday evening. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. You can read a brief staff report about the presentation here.

Today’s edition is brought to you in collaboration with Poolside Realty

? Briefly

A banner hangs over Downtown Palm Springs advertising the 2021 Palm Springs International Film Festival. (Shutterstock image)

FILM FEST RETURNS: The Palm Springs International Film Festival will return in-person next January, it was announced last week. The festival will return with the Palm Springs International Film Awards on Jan. 5, 2023 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Screenings will begin Jan. 6 and run until Jan. 16, according to spokesperson Lauren Peteroy Kelly. The 2022 festival and film awards were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with festival organizers instead opting to honor the year’s award winners on Entertainment Tonight. The Palm Springs International Film Society, which hosts the event, is a nonprofit with the stated mission of cultivating and promoting the art and science of film through education and cross-cultural awareness.

GROCERY STRIKE: Talks between Southern California grocery workers and stores including Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons, are expected to continue this week, with the workers’ union already having authorized a strike if no deal is reached on a new contract. “We are back at the table today and we’d like to complete a deal as soon as possible,” John Votava, director of corporate affairs for Ralphs, told City News Service on Saturday. Talks were scheduled through Tuesday, at which point the union’s bargaining team was expected to meet and decide on the next step if no deal is reached. In 2003-04, Southland grocery store workers walked off the job over a contract dispute, and the strike lasted 141 days. 

? Today’s events

For more events in Palm Springs, check the complete community calendar. Want your event listed? Just click here.

? What to watch for

  • The Palm Springs Historical Society presents a talk titled The Evolution of Human Rights in Palm Springs on Wednesday at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, starting at 5:30 p.m.
  • The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce’s next tribute band performance takes place at Downtown Park Wednesday at 7 p.m. This month’s performer is Kenny Metcalf, performing as Elton John.
  • The Friends of the Palm Springs Library Book Sale begins Friday April 8 at 10 a.m. and continues Saturday, April 9.
  • The Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus performs April 8 through 10 at the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater. Razzle Dazzle Shine! features songs from the stage and screen.
  • The Desert Art Center‘s next show and reception is Friday, starting at 5 p.m.
  • The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards (AKA The Chase) takes place Saturday, April 9. The annual gala helps raise funds for DAP Health.
  • The Havurah of the Desert is now accepting reservations for a 2nd-night community Seder, planned for Saturday, April 16. Reservations are $45 and can be made by going here.
  • The next Lez Out Loud comedy show is slated for April 23. Emcee and Comedian Mina Hartong is joined by two other comedians during the event at Runway Bar and Grill.

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