Daily Briefing: Grant will help youth in crisis, intersection remains a mess, and more
We Are One United staff, including founder John Epps (right), at a backpack event at James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center in 2021.

Daily Briefing: Grant will help youth in crisis, intersection remains a mess, and more

Kendall Balchan and Mark Talkington image

Kendall Balchan and Mark Talkington

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May 3, 2022

📅 It’s Tuesday, 5/3.

☀️ Today’s weather: Mostly sunny and 93 degrees.

🎶 Setting the mood: Tuesday Afternoon” by The Moody Blues.

💖 Situational awareness: You all were extremely kind about the redesign of the newsletter yesterday. That makes the sleepless nights all worth it.  

This is a 3.5-minute read. Ready, set, go  …


Leading off: Help for youth in crisis

A Palm Springs-based nonprofit focused on tackling the crisis in youth mental healthcare is celebrating grant funding that will be used to help Western Coachella Valley students most in need.

We Are One United, formed during the early stages of the pandemic to address the needs of youth suffering from the effects of isolation, recently received $30,000.

  • The money came from the Regional Access Project (RAP) Foundation in partnership with Desert Healthcare District and Foundation.
     
  • It will be used to train and develop students in underserved communities of the desert, focusing on north Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs.

At issue: The pandemic isolated children from friends, teachers, and extracurricular activities and forced them to turn inward and rely on social media as their only method of communication.

  • Visits to the ER in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to the same time in 2019.

Even before the pandemic, a 2019 Desert Healthcare District needs assessment revealed a lack of awareness and access to mental health for young people and a shortage of practitioners in the Coachella Valley.

  • The California Healthy Kids Survey showed that during 2015-2016, 33% of students in grades seven, nine, and 11 in the Palm Springs Unified School District experienced chronic sadness and hopelessness, and 19% had considered suicide.
     
  • More than 60% of local mental health providers surveyed said there was a high need for mental and behavioral health services for the Hispanic community, and 47% said the same for the Black community.
     
    • “The lack of understanding of African Americans and the distrust between mental health providers and their trauma [is an unmet need].”

Unique approach: Lauren Bruggemans, CEO of We Are One United, said the organization’s grant proposal was two-fold, targeting both students and adults in different ways.

  • For youth: “We want to createa youth ambassador program. We will upskill them, not just in mental health and accessing resources, but also in digital marketing, creating digital content, and navigating the digital world.”
     
  • For adults: “We’d love to create parent support networks to connect and convene within different communities.”

What’s next? The grant program’s funding is for a year-long project still in development.

  • We Are One United hopes to kick the program off right before the new school year so kids can have a new and more hopeful outlook on mental health.

Dive deeper with our full story.


In brief: No stopping the confusion

The flashing red lights at North Palm Canyon and Vista Chino are frustrating drivers.

The intersection of North Palm Canyon and Vista Chino has been sending the frustration level of drivers from zero to 60 in record time for months. When it will all end is a mystery.

Driving the news: The lights are flashing red in all four directions. At times, some have been on stands about waist high, but all are now firmly attached to poles.

  • Problem solved, right? Nope. All the work needed to make them return to a normal red/yellow/green timed cycle is still not finished.
     
    • It’s not the city’s problem. The roadway is actually Highway 111, so it’s up to Caltrans to fix it.

Frustrated driver/marketing guru Tim O’Bayley dug into the issue, asking the state for an update. He got a response on Monday, but not much of one:

  • From Caltrans: “The current signal will be replaced with a temp signal pole at the start of project in summer – could be a month or so out. Thanks.”
     
    • Our take: Isn’t this where we’re at now?

Looks like we should all be prepared for more of the “You go … No, you go … No, please, I insist” routine.

Rules of the road: Until the situation is resolved, remember the first car to arrive has the right of way. Or is it the car on the right? The left? We’re just going to walk, thanks.


🤠 AM Roundup: Grab a cup & catch up

✈️ The airport has a new, familiar, executive director. (The Palm Springs Post)

🔬 A significant spike in the city’s wastewater virus levels causes concern. (CV Independent)

🎤 Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton chatted with Karen Devine before tonight’s State of the City. (KESQ)


📅 On tap

💬 The State of the City is tonight, and you’re invited to tune in or show up.The event: The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce sponsors a speech from the city’s mayor and hands out some hardware to locals of note.  

  • This year’s event kicks off with a food and wine reception ($80), followed by the speech and awards presentation. It’s free to attend the speech.

Details, details: The reception starts at 5 p.m., followed by the full program at 6 p.m. at the Plaza Theatre downtown. For tickets and additional details, turn here. You can also tune in on the city’s cable station or YouTube channel.

🗓️ Also today:

  • The Palm Springs Animal Shelter is looking for volunteer foster caregivers as we enter kitten season. An informational foster class is tonight at 5 p.m.

  • Jazz on the 2nd Floor runs from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.

  • Toastmasters starts at 6 p.m. online. Check here for information, including a special offer for subscribers to The Post

📌 Looking ahead:

  • The next free concert in the new Downtown Park is Wednesday evening.

  • The Sunrise Student Film Festival celebrates local middle and high school students, on Friday evening.

  • The Richmond/Ermet Air Foundation (REAF) is hosting a cocktail party on May 21 at 5 p.m. benefiting REAF-Palm Springs and the Cathedral City Senior Center. 

See our complete community calendar or list your event.


And finally …

As the valley heats up, may we remind you that there’s a quick escape to the mountains right in our backyard?

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway’s summer pass for SoCal residents went on sale Sunday. Passes are valid through Aug. 31.

  • Details: The $85 pass allows unlimited Tram admissions for one and a 10% discount on additional admissions.    

Why the Tram: If you’re a local who’s never made the trip up, now’s the time. When you’re more than 8,000 feet high it’s usually 30-40 degrees cooler than the valley floor.

  • Want proof? Monday afternoon in Palm Springs the temperature was 88 degrees. On the top of the Tram it was about 57 degrees.
     
  • Hiking, picnicking, camping, oh my: There are more than 50 miles of hiking trails and plenty of places to picnic and camp. Plus two restaurants, a cocktail lounge, and even a natural history museum.

Click here to purchase a pass.


🚗 Kendall can now drive around Indio traffic-free.

🚋 Mark is ashamed he has never been on the Tram.

📝 Miss a day?Read past newsletters here.

📣 Want to connect with our 8,000+ subscribers? Reach out here.

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