DAILY BRIEFING: October 22, 2021
Good morning. It’s Friday, October 22. Expect partly cloudy skies again today and a high of 89 degrees. First, some news you need to know...-
Ceremony marks opening of city’s newest park
Palm Springs officially cut the ribbon on its newest park Thursday evening, inviting the community to enjoy the 1.5-acre facility two years after breaking ground near Belardo Road and Museum Way.
“This park represents our Palm Springs community and our desert lifestyle perfectly,” said Mayor Christy Holstege during remarks she made before the ribbon-cutting. “That’s because it’s been designed just for us and just for our community.”
While children splashed in the park’s water feature, other visitors enjoyed a mini-Taste of Palm Springs, watched a Halloween dog costume contest, and listened to an ABBA tribute band during the celebration. Opening remarks were also made by Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce CEO Nona Watson and park designer Mark Rios of Los Angeles.
Officials from Fast Track Construction, which built the park, and the Measure J and Parks and Recreation commissions chairs were also on hand, as were members of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tribal Council. The park sits on land stewarded by the tribe since time immemorial, as does all of Palm Springs.
The new park was built at the cost of $7.6 million and was paid for in part with Measure J funds. Those funds come from a 1 percent sales tax approved by city voters in 2011. It features palm trees, benches, a water feature designed to mimic the Tahquitz Canyon waterfall, a downtown substation for the Palm Springs Police Department, restrooms, and an event stage with seating.
Its location near the Palm Springs Art Museum is one of several projects helping to revitalize downtown Palm Springs. It’s also notable that the park was built on the site of what was The Desert Inn. The inn began as a sanitorium in the early 1900s and later expanded to become a world-famous getaway for Hollywood celebrities.
A plaque noting that the park sits on the spot of the inn was installed earlier this week. It was paid for by the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, which hopes the city will name the park after the inn’s owner, Nellie Coffman. Coffman is considered the “mother” of Palm Springs and a driving force behind the original tourism industry in the city and its initial growth.
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WELL EXPANDS OUTREACH: Palm Springs-based Well in the Desert has started distributing food in neighboring Desert Hot Springs and to those who are in Hospice care in the community, representatives of the organization said this week. “This expansion of Well in the Desert is just the beginning of services that we will bring to our growing clientele,” said Michael Weiner, a member of the Well’s Board of Directors. “Our food distribution continues to grow as we continue to identify clients that are in need of our services.” The Well currently serves food at several churches in Palm Springs. A complete schedule of those services can be found here. In Desert Hot Springs, Weiner said, Well volunteers bringing hot meals directly to individuals experiencing homelessness. “These people have no way to get to us,” he said, “so we bring food to them.”
MOUNTAIN LION UPDATE: Members of Palm Springs Wildlife Advocates reported Thursday that a mountain lion captured in Palm Springs earlier this week is doing well at a San Diego facility. “[T]he mountain lion captured in Palm Springs is getting good care with the San Diego Humane Society,” the organization wrote on its Facebook page. “We will provide updates when we can so please don’t call them. They are super busy.” The mountain lion was discovered, malnourished, in the Sunrise Palms condominium community around 7:30 AM. Palm Springs police and members of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife worked together to corral the animal and it was later transported to the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Campus.
AIRPORT RECORD: The Palm Springs International Airport continues to soar past previously established records, breaking its fourth passenger record this year, airport officials announced Thursday. PSP’s Total Passenger Count for September was 136,666, more than 28 percent higher than the previous September record, set in 2019, when 106,211 total passengers flew through Palm Springs. PSP officials attribute the continued breaking of records to more year- round flights, more airlines at the airport and decreasing fares. Airport officials cited data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which showed the average one-way fare during the second quarter of 2021 decreased from $210 in 2018 to $149. Despite breaking a total of four passenger records this year, PSP officials do not expect 2021 to surpass 2019’s full-year passenger numbers, with 2021’s year-to-date numbers trailing 2019’s by nearly 31 percent.
DISTRICT 1 MEETING: Palm Springs City Councilmember Grace Garner plans to host a virtual meeting of her District 1 constituents Monday, October 25, at 6 PM. The meeting will be an opportunity for Garner to listen to the thoughts of residents and answer questions, and for the public to hear from the councilmember about issues of importance in the district and the city. Garner welcomes questions in advance, and can be reached via email at [email protected]. A link to the Zoom meeting is available here (Meeting ID: 822 0345 0675; Passcode: 704417)
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.
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.
SHREK OPENS: Palm Canyon Theatre’s production of Shrek The Musical opens this evening and runs through November 7. Showtimes are 7 PM on Thursdays, 8 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 PM on Sundays. Children under 12 get in free with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the performance. For tickets or other information, call the box office at 760-323-5123 or order online by visiting PalmCanyonTheatre.org. The theater is located at 538 N. Palm Canyon Dr., at the corner of Alejo Road. Box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM until 4 PM.
DANCE FESTIVAL: Nickerson-Rossi Dance is holding the Palm Springs International Dance Festival Fall Series 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 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.
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.
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. Find more details about all three Coachella Valley certified farmers’ markets here.
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.
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.
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.
CENTER CELEBRATION: On Sunday at 11 AM, The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert 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.
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.