DAILY BRIEFING: October 20, 2021
Smoking inside apartments, condominiums, and other housing with shared walls would be prohibited in Palm Springs under an ordinance currently making its way through City Hall.

DAILY BRIEFING: October 20, 2021

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, October 20. Expect a few clouds early, but otherwise mostly sunny skies. The high temperature will be 82 degrees. First, some news you need to know...


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City again considering smoking ban in multi-unit residences, outside of bars

Palm Springs would join dozens of other cities in California that prohibit smoking or vaping in and around multi-unit housing properties if an ordinance currently making its way through City Hall is eventually enacted.

The ordinance, allowed to move forward during a Palm Springs Sustainability Commission meeting Tuesday evening, calls for restrictions on smoking inside any home with shared walls with neighbors, including apartments, condominiums, and townhomes, regardless of whether they are rented or owned. It also calls for a ban on smoking outside businesses, including downtown bars.

While the ordinance has received pushback from some bar owners, patrons, and residents, it is needed, proponents maintain, to prevent possible health issues related to second-hand smoke.

“Smoke travels,” said Patrick Tallarico, manager of the city’s Office of Sustainability. “You can get it through the walls and through ventilation systems. It has potential to do harm to people who are not just smokers.”

As currently drafted, the ordinance would prohibit smoking in common areas such as pools, laundry rooms, and carports, inside individual units, and within “exclusive-use areas” such as patios, balconies, porches or decks. The rules would not apply to single-family homes, mobile home parks, hotels and motels, inside free-standing tobacco shops, or for theatrical productions. Designated “smoking areas” would be permitted in some cases, but not outside bars and restaurants.

The issue first surfaced in Palm Springs in 2019, when both the Human Rights Commission and Sustainability Commission drafted similar ordinances. Tallarico explained that those ordinances were tabled until recently when the City Council asked the Sustainability Commission to take the lead with Human Rights Commission input.

The ordinance is far from becoming law. Before being enacted, it would still face a Palm Springs City Council vote, which would open the matter up to a public hearing. At least two members of the Council have expressed support, Commissioner Carl Baker reported Tuesday evening.

As of October 1, 67 municipalities in California had similar restrictions on multi-unit housing in place. Palm Springs long ago prohibited smoking on city property such as government buildings and parks and inside workplaces, businesses, and restaurants.

Some cities in California have banned smoking in all publicly shared spaces within their borders. While Palm Springs is not considering that, the ordinance moved forward Tuesday evening is nearly as restrictive. It prohibits smoking in any “recreational area” (for example, sidewalks and streets) and any “service area” (such as bus stops or ATMs).

Currently, enforcement of Home Owner Association (HOA) or complex requirements is done through property management companies and HOAs. If the ordinance is passed, it is likely that people would report violations or lodge complaints similar to how noise and cannabis odor complaints are reported now. City code enforcement officials would be called to assess the complaint and issue citations, if warranted.

As currently written, the ordinance allows for the city to issue fines and other penalties, including a citation up to $500, 25 hours of monitored community service work, or completion of a smoking cessation program.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Reach our newsroom via email at [email protected] or visit our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.


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BRIEFLY

Gary Johns (center) poses with a plaque that will be installed at the city’s new downtown park recognizing the land the park sits on as the former site of The Desert Inn.

DESERT INN PLAQUE: Long before there was a new city park on land at the intersection of Belardo Road and Museum Way, there was The Desert Inn. The inn, owned by Nellie Coffman — known as The Mother of Palm Springs — put the city on the map as the place to go for healthy, sun-soaked leisure. There will be no doubt now about what sat on the site of the park — which will be officially dedicated Thursday evening — after a plaque was commissioned by The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation (PSPF). The 16-by-34 bronze plaque will be installed today, but members of the PSPF, including President Gary Johns and Secretary Ron Marshall, were on hand Tuesday afternoon to present it to the city and make sure it would fit on a rock marker. Desert Promotions of Cathedral City produced the plaque in about six weeks. The story told on it was written by former Mayor Will Kleindienst, Palm Springs Historical Society President Tracy Conrad, Ken Lyon from the city’s preservation office, and members of the PSPF.

Participants in one of the many open-air bus tours line up during the recently completed Modernism Week Fall Preview in Palm Springs.

MODERNISM SUCCESS: If this past weekend was indeed a preview of next February’s Modernism Week in Palm Springs, the upcoming event might be the biggest yet. While exact totals are not in, organizers of the recently-concluded Modernism Week Fall Preview, held October 15 through 17, reported Monday that the event appears to have been an enormous success. Despite the ongoing battle with COVID-19, most weekend events were sold out in advance, they said, and attendance at the accompanying Show and Sale at the Convention Center is projected to be higher than anticipated. “This Fall Preview looks to be our biggest and best one yet,” said Modernism Week Executive Director Lisa Vossler Smith. “We had a terrific weekend with amazing guests and perfect weather.” Organizers now have their sights set on the main event, currently slated for February 17 through 27, 2022. They announced several new offerings to the usual lineup of home tours, lectures, and parties on Monday. For the complete story, turn here. For a complete list of 2022 events, turn here.

LGBTQ+ ARCHIVES: The newly formed LGBTQ+ History & Archives of the Desert will hold its inaugural exhibition, titled “Sharing Our Desert’s LGBTQ+ History,” during the November Pride celebration, and it’s looking for your contributions. The exhibition, an official event of Palm Springs Pride, will be held for free at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library in downtown Palm Springs from November 4 through November 7. If you have any LGBTQ+ treasures in your garage, attic, closet or storage area you would like to donate, please contact the organization by email at [email protected]. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Graffiti on concrete structures in downtown Palm Springs is allowed as part of a city public art project.

UGLY WORDING: There may be little the city can officially do to remove homophobic sentiment and other hateful language painted on concrete in a vacant lot across from the new city park along Belardo Road downtown, but one resident said he would take matters into his own hands today. Painting the concrete slabs on the property is approved under a public art project designed to allow graffiti artists to express themselves. Some residents recently raised questions about whether offensive language on the concrete — including distaste for a politician and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment — was part of the city-sponsored project. Contacted by one resident, a city representative said the language painted on the concrete may be protected free speech. On Tuesday, that resident told The Post he would be doing some painting of his own this morning — painting over the offensive language. The property was under consideration for a hotel project at one point and then a condominium project. It is currently undeveloped.


COMMUNITY CALENDAR

HOMECOMING WEEK: It’s homecoming week at Palm Springs High School. Aside from the annual homecoming football game (7 PM on Friday against Shadow Hills), the homecoming parade is scheduled for this afternoon. From 3:30 PM until 5:30 PM, the parade will be held on Palm Canyon Drive, beginning on Baristo Road and ending at Alejo.

FOOD TRUCKS: The Palm Springs Black History Committee is hosting food trucks today in the parking lot located behind Holland Pharms, 150 N. Palm Canyon Dr. Among the eateries invited to attend are Sweet Ashley’s, Electric Kitchen, Mam Ola’s Soul Food, and more. A happy hour concludes the event from from 5 PM until 7 PM.

MIZELL EVENTS: Programs at the Mizell Center today include Dick Brodie’s Jam Session, chair yoga, a knitting circle, and more. The center is located at 480 S. Sunrise Way, and events begin at 8 AM. For a complete list of today’s offerings, click here.

MOBILE HEALTH: A mobile health clinic will be parked at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 W. Tramview Rd., from 9 AM until 4 PM. Operated and staffed by Borrego Health, the mobile unit will provide a variety of medical services for residents.

BOOK CLUB: The Morning Coffee Book Club meets online at 10:30 AM. This month, the book club is discussing Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. More information on joining the book club can be found here.

HORA DE CUENTOS: La bibliotecaria Nancy Valdivia lee cuentos, canta canciones y enseña conceptos de aprendizaje temprano (miércoles en español y jueves en inglés) para estudiantes de preescolar de 10:30 a.m. a 11:30 a.m. Puedes ver los videos en YouTube aquí.

NOISE COMMITTEE: The city’s Airport Commission Noise Committee meets at 4 PM, virtually. More information about that meeting can be found here.

ARTS COMMISSION: The city’s Public Arts Commission continues its regular meeting at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Information about the meeting can be found here.

AIRPORT COMMISSION: The city’s Airport Commission meets virtually at 5:30 PM. More information about that meeting can be found here.


ONGOING & UPCOMING

Past participants at BOO BALL show off their outfits. Tickets are now available for this year’s event, to be held at the Palm Springs Air Museum on October 30.

BOO BALL: The desert’s version of Met Gala returns in person this year when the third annual BOO BALL takes place on October 30. The event benefits Boo2Bullying, a locally-based nonprofit organization founded by Dimitri Halkidis. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, you can email [email protected] or call 310-435-8528. You may also purchase tickets at this link. For the complete story, turn here.

DANCE FESTIVAL: Nickerson-Rossi Dance is holding the Palm Springs International Dance Festival Fall Series Thursday through Sunday. Events include an opening night party at 6:30 PM at Desert Rose Playhouse, 611 S. Palm Canyon Dr. An all access pass can be purchased here.

FILM NOIR: Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival runs Thursday through Sunday at Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E. Baristo Rd. The event was started in 2000 by Lyons, a mystery author and Palm Springs community leader who passed away in 2008. More information, including ticket prices, can be found here.

NEXT PLAY: Palm Canyon Theatre’s production of Shrek The Musical opens Friday evening 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.

DESERT ENSEMBLE BENEFIT: Desert Ensemble Theatre’s season-opening performances are this weekend at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E. Baristo Rd. The performances will benefit the company’s student training and scholarship fund. More information and advanced ticket sales can be found at desertensembletheatre.org.

HALLOWEEN EVENTS: The city hosts a pair of Halloween-themed events this weekend. On Saturday from 12 PM until 3 PM, you can take part in Candy, Cars & Community at Demuth Community Center, 3601 E. Mesquite Ave. The event features candy, cars, and games and is free to attend. On Sunday, come to the Floating Pumpkin Patch at Palm Springs Swim Center, 405 S. Pavilion Way, starting at 11 AM. The price of admission is $5 and includes a free pumpkin as well as coffin races, pumpkin painting, a selfie booth, and more. The Palm Springs Public Library is hosting a fun, free, community event called Spooktacular Drive-Thru on Wednesday. October 27. from 4 PM until 6 PM. Joined by PS Power Baseball, Mizell Center and PS Parks & Recreation, these groups will each have a station located in the parking lot in front of the library, 300 S. Sunrise Way, and will hand out candy and treats as participants drive through.

UPCOMING MUSICAL: Girlfriend, a production of Dezart Performs, will be performed at 7:30 PM from Wednesday, October 27 through Saturday, October 30, at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater, 71560 San Jacinto Dr., in Rancho Mirage. General admission is $45 in advance; tables for 6 PM. dinner seating is also available. For tickets or more information, call 760-322-0179, or visit dezartperforms.org. Find the complete story here.

BULKY ITEM COLLECTION: Palm Springs Disposal Services is hosting a free bulky items drop-off event Saturday from 8 AM until 2 PM in the north parking lot of City Hall, located at 3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way.

COMMUNITY CLEANUP: The Community Partnership on Homelessness and Palm Springs Clean Up are joining together for a monthly city cleanup and homeless outreach on Saturday starting at 8 AM. To participate, meet at the downtown parking structure on Baristo Road and Indian Canyon Drive. Trash bags, disposable gloves and water will be provided. Organizers encourage participants to wear a hat and bring a claw if you have one.

SENIOR FITNESS: The Mizell Center will celebrate active older adults the last week of October with complimentary classes all week long, and an informative talk from race walker Darlene Backlund on Monday, October 25. To participate, sign up at the ticket window for all free events. Mizell Center is located at 480 S. Sunrise Way.

AIDS WALK: The community’s largest gathering of HIV advocates comes together on Saturday, October 30, to walk toward ending the HIV and AIDS epidemics in the Coachella Valley. Complete details, including registration information, is available 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.


DAP Health and Revivals Stores Need Volunteers More Than Ever Before

Do you believe in health care access for all? DAP Health and Revivals stores need people like you, who have the time and skills to give back to your community in the Coachella Valley. If you have a few hours a week to give back, visit DAPHealth.org/Volunteer to make a difference.

Find volunteer opportunities


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