DAILY BRIEFING: October 15, 2021

Police are closer to returning to duty at Palm Springs High School following approval of an amended agreement between the city and Palm Springs Unified School District.

Council approves amended agreement that moves police closer to returning to PSHS campus

The Palm Springs City Council on Thursday approved an agreement that will ultimately see armed law enforcement return to two city schools. The agreement was not without changes, however, involving the specific funds that would be used to pay for the police presence.

Two weeks ago the Council pulled approval of a proposed agreement with the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) from its consent agenda to learn more about the School Resource Officer (SRO) program. On Tuesday, the Board of Education approved paying for officers in schools in four cities, including Palm Springs High School and Desert Learning Academy, which share a campus here.

Under terms of the agreement approved Tuesday and considered Thursday evening, the district would have paid the city $182,000 for an officer to work in the Palm Springs schools, using $100,000 in Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) funds. Those funds are intended to provide services for students in need, not necessarily for the SRO program.

However, some on the City Council said they were uncomfortable with LCAP funds being diverted from students who need additional support. Councilmember Geoff Kors proposed amending the agreement to allow the city to pay $100,000 so that the LCAP funds were not used to reimburse the city. After some discussion, approval of the amended agreement passed 4-1.

Councilmember Grace Garner was the lone vote against approval. Garner, who represents District 1, said that parents in her district, including many in the African-American community, do not support armed police in city schools.

“I hear about school resource officers from the community members in my district,” she said. “They don’t want school resource officers in the schools. I feel pretty strongly that I need to stand with the parents in my district.”

Under the SRO program, armed officers are assigned to each high school in the district during the school day. Both city police and Riverside County sheriffs deputies fill the roles, depending on the high school location. An additional 45 unarmed campus safety officers work on more than two dozen PSUSD campuses across 214 square miles.

Officers were not slated to return to the schools until elected officials who govern departments that employ them authorized agreements. Thursday’s amended agreement in Palm Springs should ultimately see an officer on the PSHS campus through June of 2022.

Speaking Thursday evening, PSUSD Superintendent Mike Swize explained to city officials that changes to the school district’s SRO program, recommended by the district’s director of security and disaster preparedness, delayed funding for the program this school year. He said the changes were necessary to assure the program promoted overall student wellness, a concern that Council members had when they delayed approval at their regular meeting on September 30.

In other action Thursday evening:

  • The Council elected to defer a decision on whether to move the start/finish line of the 2022 Tour de Palm Springs to Indian Canyon Drive from Palm Canyon Drive. The move was proposed after some business owners along Palm Canyon Drive said their businesses are negatively impacted by the event closing down the street for a portion of a weekend each year. Council members said they prefer to keep the event on Palm Canyon Drive, but agreed to discuss the issue with representatives from the event and business organizations before making a final decision. The annual bicycling event has brought in more than $4 million for charities since 1999.
  • Kors brought up the topic of cannabis billboards that appear on nearby freeways, noting that Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed legislation last week that would have allowed cannabis products to be advertised on freeway billboards in most of California. Council members and the city attorney said they plan to look into the issue, as well as cannabis advertising at Palm Springs International Airport. During the meeting, the Council approved new fees for cannabis code violations.
  • Councilmember Dennis Woods read a proclamation honoring Friends of The Palm Springs Library, which is celebrating its 50th year of service to the community this year.

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DEADLY PURSUIT: A suspect who allegedly fired shots at Banning police during a traffic stop was fatally shot Thursday following a pursuit that ended on an Interstate 10 freeway off-ramp in Palm Springs. According to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Albert Martinez, the pursuit began around 12:20 AM when the suspect allegedly shot at Banning police officers during a traffic stop on State Route 243, disabling the officers’ vehicle. The suspect then fled in an older-model green station wagon, ultimately heading east on Interstate 10, prompting a pursuit that included officers from the Banning, Beaumont, and Palm Springs police departments and the sheriff’s department, Martinez said. The driver allegedly fired at officers several times during the pursuit, which ended when the suspect exited the freeway and came to a stop on the North Indian Canyon Drive off-ramp, where a shooting occurred involving the suspect and pursuing authorities, Martinez said. Find the complete story here.

FALL MODERNISM STARTS: Modernism Week’s Fall Preview weekend event kicked off Thursday, offering guests a taste of what’s to come during the 11-day festival in February. According to event organizers, the four-day “mini-Modernism Week” that runs through Sunday offers more than 50 events across the Palm Springs area, such as house tours, parties, and talks. It previews the annual festival that focuses on the mid-century modern design and architecture that helps define Palm Springs. Find the complete story here.


MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers a pastels studio, chair yoga, and more, starting at 8 AM. A complete schedule of all of the day’s events can be found here.

SUNSHINE SISTERS: The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters will be hiking at Andreas Canyon starting at 8 AM. You can sign up to be part of the group on Meetup here.

MEN’S CHAT: The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert offers a chat group for all men to discuss topics of interest and find connections every Friday at 10:30 AM. Information on registering for the event can be found here.

BOOK CLUB: The Friends of the Palm Springs Library Book Club meets on Zoom at 2 PM. This month the book club is discussing Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. To participate, email scott.biegen@palmspringsca.gov.

SINATRA CELEBRATION: The first Martinis and Moxie — celebrating the life of Frank Sinatra — is scheduled for the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E. Baristo Rd., at 6 PM tonight. Tickets for that event are available here.


MODERNISM: The Modernism Week Fall Preview runs through Sunday. The event offers visitors and locals a taste of modernism through talks and seminars, in-person home tours, and parties in unique locations not regularly open to the public. Tickets for dozens of events can be found here. In addition to the Fall Preview, you can find furniture, art, décor, and design elements at the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale Fall Edition that runs through Sunday at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros. Registration for that is available here.

TAHQUITZ CREEK CLEANING: The Tahquitz Creek Yacht Club meets to clean up a portion of Tahquitz Creek Channel at 8 AM Saturday. Volunteers gather at the south end of the footbridge at South Camino Real and South Riverside Drive. You can find the club’s Facebook page here, and contact the club via email at tahquitzcreekyachtclub@gmail.com.

FARMERS’ MARKET: The Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market is held at 2300 E. Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres) from 8:30 AM until 1:30 PM. All Certified Farmers’ Markets offer a $15/$15 match to customers participating in CalFresh EBT and a $10/$10 match for WIC, SSDI, and federal unemployment. The markets offer Market Buck tokens as an in-house currency/ATM alternative to all customers with a charge card or debit card, which can be used for purchases at any vendor. Find more details about all three Coachella Valley certified farmers’ markets here.

SHELTER BENEFIT: Saturday is the first-ever PS We Love You Scavenger Hunt. Starting at 10 AM at Palm Springs Animal Shelter and Demuth Park, individuals and teams will hunt for clues through an app-based scavenger hunt, visiting landmarks and local businesses while solving virtual clues. The team with the most points will win prizes. More information about the event, which will benefit the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, is available here.

SHREDDING: The city’s next Shredding and E-waste event will be held Saturday from 8 AM until 12 PM. at Palm Springs City Hall, 3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way. This is a free event for Palm Springs residents. Paper to be shredded is limited to three 9x13x17 boxes — the size of a case of paper from an office supply store. Electronic waste may include items such as computers, monitors, TVs, phones, fax machines, and small appliances.

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.

FLEA MARKET: A flea market and food fest is held Saturdays at 675 Crossley Rd. from 8 AM until 2 PM. Information can be found here.

SUNSHINE SISTERS: The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters will be playing Dirty Bingo at PS Underground on Sunday. You can sign up to be part of the group, formed to help women make new connections and friendships, on Meetup here.

PSYCHIC/HEALING ARTS: Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Dr., offers a psychic/healing arts fair this weekend, featuring card readers, psychics, crystal readers, and more. On both Saturday and Sunday the event gets underway at 11 AM. For more information, turn here.

MOVIE TIMES: The Regal Theater, 789 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, and Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Rd., offer first-run, fine art, independent, and foreign films in Palm Springs. Showtimes for the Regal are listed here. Showtimes at Camelot are here.


FILM FESTIVAL: The 8th Annual Reel Women’s Film Festival runs through October 23, benefiting Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. While traditionally held at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, this year, the event is entirely virtual. Instructions will be sent after registration, which can be done here. The Post is proud to help sponsor this event.

VOTING UNDERWAY: Our partners at The Coachella Valley Independent have started the next step in the process of determining the best of the best in the Coachella Valley for 2021-2022. The top vote-getters in each category have been selected, and now you can vote for the winners. To vote for your favorite in any one of multiple categories, start here.

PARK OPENING: Palm Springs will hold a grand opening next week for its new Downtown Park. The event will be held Thursday October 21 at 5:30 PM. The park is located at the intersection of Museum Way and Belardo Road, adjacent to the Forever Marilyn sculpture.

NEXT PLAY: Palm Canyon Theatre’s production of Shrek The Musical opens October 22 and runs through November 7. Showtimes are 7 PM on Thursdays, 8 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 PM on Sundays. For tickets or other information, call the box office at 760-323-5123 or order online at PalmCanyonTheatre.org.

CENTER CELEBRATION: On Sunday, October 24 at 11 AM, the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert (The Center) officially cuts the ribbon after a multi-million-dollar renovation at its headquarters, the McDonald-Wright building, 1301 N. Palm Canyon Drive. To register for the free event, go here.

PRIDE RUN: The Palm Springs Pride 5K Run & Walk takes place Saturday, November 6 at 8 AM. The event is both in-person and virtual for 2021. Registration is available here.

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