DAILY BRIEFING: December 16, 2021

Good morning. It’s Thursday, December 16. Expect intervals of clouds and sunshine today and a high temperature of around 63 degrees. First, some news you need to know …

Public submits nearly five dozen Measure J fund requests; Commission to begin narrowing projects

From simple sidewalk repairs to major building renovations, Palm Springs residents have dozens of proposals for spending millions in tax dollars in the coming year collected through a measure first implemented a decade ago.

The tax, approved via Measure J in 2011, allows the city to collect one cent for every dollar spent here, with the exception of food purchased as groceries or prescription medications. It also allows for city residents to submit ideas for spending the money. Nearly 60 of those ideas, solicited during the past few months, will begin to be considered by the city’s Measure J Oversight Commission this evening.

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Most of the public requests that were submitted asked for repairs, upgrades, or additions to streets, sidewalks, and lighting in the city. Other requests included:

  • A bike rack/art piece that spells out “Palm Springs,” and four solar electric bike charging stations at the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce.
  • A COVID-19 memorial.
  • Permanent outdoor ping pong tables scattered throughout city parks and public places.
  • Internet installation for The Palm Springs Woman’s Club.
  • A new dog park at Ranch Club Estates, upgrades to the Demuth Park dog park, and shading at the city’s animal shelter.
  • Installation of a skate plaza (a park for skateboarding, BMX biking and other extreme sports) at James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center.
  • A community meeting room that, among other uses, can be a collaborative workspace for making, learning, exploring, and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.
  • A banquet room for the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort.

Combined, the requests would require roughly $22.5 million in funding, ranging from an estimated $1,500 for the ping pong tables to $12 million to refurbish the Plaza Theatre in Downtown Palm Springs. While $17.7 million is listed as budgeted for the next year, a large chunk of that will be spent on street maintenance, as it is every year.

Since its inception, the Measure J tax has provided for more than 100 projects in the city, including remodels of the Palm Springs High School auditorium and the city’s police station, repairs to fire stations, a new gym floor at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center, and restoration of the Cornelia White House.

Last year, in addition to road repairs, the tax provided roughly $3.4 million for five projects, including help for a preservation group to purchase land in Oswit Canyon, and police body cameras.


To participate: The Measure J Oversight Commission meets tonight at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Details on tuning in to the meeting or participating can be found here.


BRIEFLY

El Mirador Surgery Center, on the campus of Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

EL MIRADOR HONOR: El Mirador Surgery Center, on the campus of Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, has been named on Newsweek’s list of America’s Best Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC) for 2022. The El Mirador ASC has also landed in the top 10 list for Newsweek’s California Ambulatory Surgery Centers. The award is presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., a statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The full list can be viewed here. The America’s Best Ambulatory Surgery Centers 2022 list highlights the nation’s top ambulatory surgery centers based on quality of care, performance data and peer recommendations, relative to in-state competition. Centers in the 25 states with the highest number of ASCs were included in the study.

AIRPORT TRAVEL WARNING: After Thanksgiving passenger counts that exceeded 2019 numbers by more than 25%, and airport parking lots reached capacity, officials at Palm Springs International Airport are forecasting Christmas and New Year’s travel to be even busier. Airport officials are asking Christmas and New Year’s travelers to consider taking alternate forms of transportation, such as a taxi or Uber/Lyft, to the airport. Those planning to fly from PSP can monitor the airport’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for parking updates by searching for their handle, @flyPSP, on either platform. CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE STORY.


TODAY’S CALENDAR

MIZELL CENTER: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers canasta, bridge, a journaling class, and more, starting at 8:30 AM. A complete list of all programs offered today can be found online here.

WOMEN’S CHAT: The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert offers a chat group for all women — no matter how you identify — to discuss topics of interest and find connections every Thursday at 10:30 AM. You can find information about the event here.

STORY TIME: Librarian Nancy Valdivia reads stories, sings songs and shows early learning concepts (Wednesdays in Spanish and Thursdays in English) at 10:30 AM. You can watch the videos on YouTube here.

NOT TEEN TALK: The Palm Springs Public Library’s teen librarian hosts an Instagram Live session each Thursday at 3:30 PM. To follow along, follow @psplteenzone on Instagram here.

FOOD AVAILABLE: FIND Food Bank distributes food in the city today at a community food bank, 610 S. Belardo Rd., between 5 PM and 7 PM, and at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 North Avenida Caballeros, from 4:30 PM until 6 PM. A complete calendar of food distribution in the community this month is available here.

FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission from 5 PM to 7 PM. Tickets are required and can be obtained here.

REDISTRICTING WORKSHOP: A community workshop to discuss redistricting in the city is planned for the Palm Springs Public Library’s learning room, located at 300 South Sunrise Way, starting at 5:30 PM. More information about the redistricting process is available at https://mappalmsprings.org/.

MEASURE J: The city’s Measure J Oversight Commission meets at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Information on joining that meeting is available here.

VILLAGEFEST: The city’s weekly outdoor street fair takes place at 6 PM on Palm Canyon Drive downtown. The event includes vendor booths on both sides of the street, which is closed to vehicular traffic.

MOVIE PREMIERE: “Blame it on the Mistletoe” is showing at 7 PM at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E Baristo Rd. In the film, Musical Theatre University students trade stage lights for the big screen. Ticket sales benefit The Foundation for The Palm Springs Unified School District, which is working to save the arts in schools. Tickets are sold only online and include admission, popcorn, and a fountain drink. They may be purchased here.


HOLIDAY CALENDAR

Palm Springs comes alive in December with events for all ages and all tastes. The Post has put together a list of those events, organized by category, from reader submissions. Click here for the complete list.  Want your event included? If it’s happening in Palm Springs, or involves a Palm Springs-based organization or business, Email [email protected]


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

DADDY DAUGHTER DANCE: The Palm Springs Black History Committee is presenting a Daddy Daughter Dance Saturday, December 18, from 5 PM until 8 PM, at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 West Tramview Road. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $15 at the door. There will be a live DJ, food, a photo booth, and more during the evening. Semi-formal attire is required and attendees are encouraged to submit photos before the event for inclusion in a slideshow. For more information, visit this Facebook page or call 760-323-8271.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: The City of Palm Springs Parks and Recreation Department, along with the Palm Springs Gay Softball League, will host Breakfast with Santa, a free community event for local children and their families on Saturday, December 18, from 8 AM until 11 AM at the Palm Springs Pavilion, 401 S. Pavilion Way. Reservations are recommended and can be made by clicking this link.

SANTA PAWS 5K: Run Palm Springs presents the annual Santa Paws 5K run and walk on Saturday, December 18, starting at 9 AM. Gather your family, friends, and neighbors (dogs and reindeer, too) and join the organization for the happiest Christmas race around. All 5K participants receive a five-piece Santa suit, festive T-shirt, beautiful finisher medal, and milk and cookies at the finish line. The course is located in the iconic Las Palmas neighborhood and is expected to sell out. To enter or find more information, turn to the event page here. The event benefits Guide Dogs of the Desert.

MOBILE CHRISTMAS: Well in the Desert is again planning its annual Christmas event as a mobile event due to COVID-19 restrictions. The drive-up event will be held Saturday, December 18, from 11:30 AM until 3 PM at The United Methodist Church, 1555 East Alejo Rd. Volunteers will distribute a frozen turkey and pie, as well as gifts for children to open on Christmas Day to any family in need. Donations can be dropped off at churches where The Well serves hot meals, between 11 AM and 1 PM: Mondays and Tuesdays: United Methodist, 1555 East Alejo Rd.; Wednesdays: Church of St. Paul’s, 125 West El Alameda; Thursdays: Our Lady of Solitude, 151 West Alejo Rd.; and Fridays: Our Lady of Guadalupe, 204 South Calle El Segundo.

INTERFAITH EVENT: Several city congregations are collaborating to present “Blue Christmas: Longest Night Service” on December 21 at 6 PM at The Church of St. Paul in the Desert, 125 West El Alameda. The service is designed as a contemplative service for those carrying grief and trying to manage the holiday season with so much loss and pain.

10K YOUR WAY: Angel View’s biggest fundraiser of the year — the 10K Your Way event — begins December 31. The public is encouraged to register to swim, run, walk, bike, or roll 10 kilometers and collect donations to support their efforts. Funds raised will support the organization, a nonprofit founded in 1954 that is dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities. Last year, despite the pandemic, more participants joined in than ever and fundraising surpassed $80,000. Anyone interested in raising money through swimming is invited to the Palm Springs Swim Center, 405 South Pavilion Way, during its open hours on December 31. To register, send email to [email protected] or call 760-835-0464

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