Lawsuit over Marilyn statue moves forward with fewer claims allowed
Fans and opponents of the Forever Marilyn statue in downtown Palm Springs turned out for its unveiling on June 20.

Lawsuit over Marilyn statue moves forward with fewer claims allowed

A Riverside County Superior Court judge on Thursday upheld a ruling from earlier this week that many of the points made by the Committee to Relocate Marilyn (CReMa) in its lawsuit against the city cannot be carried forward in the proceedings.

In the lawsuit, filed earlier this year, CReMa argued that Palm Springs officials violated multiple city, local, and state laws when they approved closing Museum Way to allow for installation of the Forever Marilyn statue. Four of the six claims made by the group, mostly about traffic and environmental laws, were dismissed on Thursday at the request of the city. The two remaining claims assert the statue’s three-year installation does not constitute a “temporary” placement.

“We are extremely pleased that the court today reaffirmed that the City Council’s  action was in compliance with state and local laws,” said City Manager Justin Clifton in a prepared statement. “It is the city’s hope that the committee will end what remains of its lawsuit, so that we as a community can move on and focus our energy on more productive issues, such as homelessness, affordable housing, economic development, and the environment.”

CReMa has not indicated if it plans to halt the legal proceedings. It continues to seek funds for legal fees, while its members and other opponents continue speaking out at public meetings and in online forums against the 26-foot-high statue.

Those opponents were criticized by Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege during a public meeting earlier this month for what appeared to be conflicting statements both supporting the statue’s location at a planned downtown park and also calling for its removal entirely, saying it was a misogynistic disgrace. A representative of the Committee of Courageous Resistance of the Desert/Indivisible 36 was quick to point out in an email to The Post, however, that there are actually two groups with separate messages acting in opposition to the statue.

“The folks in one camp (CReMa) may feel strongly about the issues in the other camp (#metoo movement), but they each represent entirely different issues and the mayor knows this,” wrote Lisa Schoenberg, coordinator of the Committee of Courageous Resistance Women’s Issues Committee. “This controversy is between many of the constituents that feel strongly about the statue’s location and it’s existence.”

PS Resorts, an organization of hoteliers and tourism stakeholders in the city that purchased the statue for $1 million, unveiled it on June 20, drawing both fans and detractors.

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BRIEFLY

HOLSTEGE ENTERS RACE: Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege is turning her attention toward state office, announcing Thursday she will run for the 42nd District seat in the California State Assembly currently occupied by Chad Mayes. Holstege, who works as a social justice attorney, was first elected to the Palm Springs City Council in 2017. Upon reelection in 2020, she was appointed as the city’s first female mayor. The mayor role rotates between councilmembers based on seniority.  Mayes, who grew up in Yucca Valley and served on that city’s Town Council, was elected to the State Assembly in 2014, defeating then-Palm Springs Police Chief Gary Jeandron in the primary. He served as Assembly Republican Leader, but in December 2019 he left the Republican party and filed for re-election as an independent. He was reelected in 2020 with 35 percent of the vote.

Firefighters from Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Cal Fire extinguished an attic fire Thursday in a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood.

FIRE DOUSED: Firefighters quickly extinguished a blaze at a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood Thursday afternoon. A spokesperson for the Palm Springs Fire Department said 18 firefighters, including those from the Cathedral City Fire Department and Cal Fire, battled an attic fire first reported by neighbors around 4 PM. No occupants were in the home, and no firefighters suffered any injuries. The fire is not believed to be related to a spate of fires believed to have been purposely set in the city in recent months. Palm Springs Fire Department Capt. Nathan Gunkel said the public’s help is still needed to help solve those cases. Earlier this month, he asked that anyone reporting a fire please remain at the scene to speak with investigators. “The best thing you can do is be a good witness,” Gunkel said.

VACCINE REQUIRED: Representatives from the Mizell Center announced Thursday they will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for anyone entering the facility, located at 480 S. Sunrise Way, starting Monday, August 9. “We love having everyone back in the building,” said Wes Winter, Mizell’s executive director. “We’re grateful to each and every one of you for respecting the policies we’ve put into place and deeply appreciate your cooperation, going forward.” In making the announcement, Mizell becomes the first senior facility in the Coachella Valley to require all guests, members, staff, and volunteers to be vaccinated as a condition of entry.


TODAY’S EVENTS

MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers five programs, starting at 8 AM. Among the offerings are Wii bowling and a pair of painting studio sessions. Today’s complete schedule can be found here.

WEEKEND EVENTS

INDOOR MARKET: The Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 8 AM until 12:30 PM, and has moved indoors for the summer. The market is located inside the Palm Springs Pavilion, 401 S. Pavilion Way. Of note this week: figs are in season and will be available from a few different farms, but they do sell out fast. Also, masks are again required inside the venue in order to comply with city, state, and federal guidance.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Well in the Desert distributes food every Saturday at 6 AM and 10 AM at 181 N. Indian Canyon Dr. For the early distribution, guests typically begin lining up at 5 AM and must show proof of residency (a rent receipt, utility bill, etc.). For both distributions, guests are asked to bring a box, bags or other containers to transport food items. More information is available by phoning the Well’s office at 760-656-8905. The Well also offers hot lunches Monday through Friday at 11 AM and 1 PM at various locations throughout the city. A complete schedule of those services is available here.

FLEA MARKET: A flea market and food fest is held Saturday at 675 Crossley Rd. from 7 AM until noon. Information can be found here.

BRUNCH: Multiple venues offer drag brunch, champagne brunch, and more on weekends. View a complete list here.

LIVE MUSIC: Many live music events are posted on this Facebook page, maintained by two Palm Springs residents since 2015.

SING-ALONG: The Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 East Baristo Rd., and Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus are collaborating for nine weeks on “The All Summer Long Snazzy Sassy Songsational Summerific Sing-A-Long” every Saturday through September 11. A social hour is held at 6 PM and screenings start at 7 PM. Tickets are available here. Rosemary Galore is the mistress of ceremonies each week, encouraging the audience to sing and join in the fun.


COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Want to know what’s happening in your city and at agencies that make decisions affecting your neighborhood? The following links should help.

City of Palm Springs calendar of events | Official city contacts

Palm Springs Library calendar of events

Palm Springs Unified School District calendar | Board meetings

Mizell Center calendar of events

Desert Water Agency calendar

ONE-PS calendar of events

Police reports | Submit a police report

Code compliance reports | Report a code violation

Current road projects and closures

Street sweeping schedule

Currently active development projects

FIND Food Bank mobile market schedule

Well in the Desert daily meals | Food distribution

Palm Springs Disposal pickup schedule

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