DAILY BRIEFING: March 3, 2022

Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 3. Expect partly cloudy skies and a high near 84 degrees today. First, some news you need to know …

Some city voters now in new districts following map adoption

After four public meetings and an equal number of workshops produced a dozen different maps, very little is changing for most voters in the city’s five districts. 

The Palm Springs City Council voted to adopt “Map L” at its Feb. 24 meeting. The new map varies slightly from the one adopted in 2018 when the city switched to by-district elections. However, it was necessary because it uses data from the 2020 US Census, as required by law. The 2018 map used data from the 2010 Census.

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While the 2020 Census data shows the city’s population barely changed in the past decade — growing from 44,552 residents to 44,782— it also indicates that the population shifted. That shift has altered the balance in the five districts. Where courts have allowed for, at most, a 10% deviation between the most populated and least populated districts, the city’s deviation between those districts would have been 12% without changes. 

With new lines now drawn, none of the city’s districts contain a perfectly-balanced 8,956 residents. But the deviation between the largest district (District 3) and smallest (District 2) is below the 10% threshold.

Getting there did require a few tweaks by consultants and city staff, who used public input to draw the final lines. Among the moves:

  • Residents of the Sunmor neighborhood will go from District 3 to District 1
  • Residents along Arnico Street in the Gene Autry neighborhood will move from District 1 to District 2
  • Sections of the Lawrence Crossley neighborhood previously placed in District 4 will move to District 1

As adopted, the new district boundaries allow city leaders to maintain and enhance two key goals they set out to achieve in 2018: Assure a minority-majority district (District 1), and keep neighborhoods as intact as possible. A section of what is traditionally considered the Old Las Palmas neighborhood, for example, was brought back into District 3 from District 5 with the adoption of the new boundaries.

More information: For a look at all the city’s voting districts, as well as the map options — including Map L — go to this Google map.


Come On Up: Live Music at the VIP Lounge

Starting this Sunday, March 6th Keisha D takes the mic weekly for Soulful Sundays, while Mojave gypsy jazz maestro Jeremiah Levi debuts his weekly Mon Petit Salon on Monday, March 7th. And Leanna Rodgers and the Jazz Collective continue to pack the house Tuesday nights for Jazz on Second Floor

? Briefly

Three members of the Palm Springs Fire Department recently received promotions.

FIRE PROMOTIONS: The Palm Springs Fire Department recently announced a trio of promotions. Ali Harandi was promoted to the rank of battalion chief and Dustin Avner was promoted to captain, it was announced last week. Battalion Chief Harandi has been assigned to the department’s training division and Captain Avner has been assigned to A shift at Station 2. On Monday,  it was announced that Jeff Vanlierop has been promoted to the rank of deputy chief. Deputy Chief Vanlierop is a 20-year veteran of the department who was most recently the B shift battalion chief.

HOMELESS CENTER MEETING, SURVEY: Neighbors of a planned homeless services center off McCarthy Road and city officials plan to meet this evening to discuss the project, but if you can’t make it there’s another way to register your thoughts. The city is asking residents to complete a survey about the project and any concerns they may have. It is available by going to this page on the city’s website. This evening’s meeting will start at 6 p.m. and is being held at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 West Tramview Road. 

ARREST IN STABBING DEATH: Police say a man detained Tuesday evening in the stabbing death of an unidentified woman in Palm Springs has been arrested on suspicion of murder. The 64-year-old man, who has not been charged, was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center on suspicion of murder. He remains held without bail and is tentatively scheduled to make his initial appearance at the Larson Justice Center on Friday, according to jail records. The Palm Springs Police Department received a report at 9:52 p.m. Tuesday that a woman had been stabbed in the 1700 block of Arenas Road. When police arrived on the scene, they found a woman with stab wounds who died from her injuries. The incident is the city’s fourth apparent homicide of the year.

? Today’s events

Highlights of what’s happening today in Palm Springs. Find complete listings on our community calendar.

  • The Mizell Center offers multiple programs and classes today, starting at 8 a.m.
  • The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters are having pickleball practice and an afternoon tea/coffee event.
  • The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert offers a chat group for all women — no matter how you identify — at 10:30 a.m. 
  • Preschool story time is being held in person at the Palm Springs Library at 10:30 a.m.
  • Planning Ahead For LGBTQ Seniors (PALS) holds its monthly “Death Cafe” today at 2 p.m.
  • VillageFest is happening Downtown, starting at 6 p.m.
  • Palm Canyon Theatre performs Palm Springs Getaway this evening at 7 p.m.. The musical runs all this weekend and next.

? What to watch for

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