Daily Briefing: Well in the Desert chimes in, Sherman’s back on ‘Triple D,’ and more
Volunteers prepare meals for Well in the Desert clients last year at United Methodist Church.

Daily Briefing: Well in the Desert chimes in, Sherman’s back on ‘Triple D,’ and more

Kendall Balchan and Mark Talkington image

Kendall Balchan and Mark Talkington

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May 16, 2022

📅 It’s Monday, 5/16.

☀️ Today’s weather: Sunny skies and 103 degrees.

🎶 Setting the mood: Come Monday” by Jimmy Buffet.

😮 Situational awareness: Yes, that was an earthquake last night. A magnitude 3.7 located 13.5 miles north-northeast of Palm Springs was felt at 11:16 p.m. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it was 4.3 miles deep.


Leading off: Renewed relationship not likely

A year after the relationship between the city and nonprofit homeless services provider Well in the Desert began to go sour, the organization is asking why the city won’t consider renewing ties, especially as it works to build out a large project to address homelessness. Palm Springs officials say the answer has a lot to do with issues raised during the breakup.

Driving the news: Palm Springs is rushing to build a “homeless navigation center” in the city. Among other things, it would include temporary housing, healthcare, and meal services.

  • The city and Riverside County are partnering on the project. Indio-based Martha’s Village & Kitchen will run things.

Strong ties: Martha’s and the city have proven to be successful partners after the organization was tapped to run a cooling center near the airport last summer. The move came after years of complaints by neighbors who live near a similar center operated by Well in the Desert off South Calle Encilia.

  • After the city refused to renew The Well’s permit at South Calle Encilia, leadership at The Well took all the parties involved to task.
     
    • In a September 2021 Facebook post, Well Vice President Matt Naylor called Martha’s leadership and county representatives “major failures” and predicted, “When you see more homeless in downtown streets, you will see [their] failure.”

Yes, but: There are indeed more homeless on the streets of Palm Springs than there were last year. Police and city officials have explained many issues factor into that. Still, Naylor and Arlene Rosenthal, president of The Well, say the increased homeless population proves their point and that it’s vital the city once again collaborate with their organization.

  • “We believe we have the ability to help with the growing problems downtown, but this council will not meet with us, nor listen. Isn’t it time they take us seriously?” they asked in conversations with The Post and in a recent Desert Sun column. “After 25 years and all of our efforts, we are worth being included in this very serious conversation.”

No change: In an email last week, City Manager Justin Clifton said the city is sticking with its decision to partner solely with Martha’s at the navigation center and elsewhere. That decision was partially due to how the cooling center move went down.

  • “(O)ver the course of those conversations, things got increasingly contentious with representatives of Well in the Desert. …The more staff looked into Martha’s operation the more impressed we were. In the end these conversations resulted in Martha’s being the sole partner with the city to provide services.”

Still at work: Whether or not the city and The Well ever partner again, Naylor said it’s important for the community to know Well in the Desert is still working to care for those in need. “The Well serves hundreds and hundreds of nutritious daily meals five days a week, including outreach to those who are unable to make it to our lunch sites,” he wrote. “We show love and compassion towards those seeking our services.”


In brief: Rally for rights

Photo: Peter Brenner

Organizers of the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally Saturday at Frances Stevens Park in Palm Springs estimate hundreds of people attended. They are planning more action in the future.

Driving the news: Hundreds of similar events were held throughout the nation in response to a leak of an upcoming US Supreme Court decision that is expected to overturn the 1973 Roe. vs. Wade ruling. The ruling held that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

  • Saturday’s local event was organized in part by Courageous Resistance and Indivisible of the Desert. Speakers included local women’s rights advocates, politicians, and students.

What now: Joy Silver, vice president of Democratic Women of the Desert, said afterward that the effort to ensure access to abortion services for all American women is far from over, despite the pending SCOTUS ruling. She encouraged those interested in joining Courageous Resistance and getting on its email list to reach out to Carol Pollard.

Find the group’s Facebook page here.


🤠 AM Roundup: Grab a cup & catch up

🌻 Organizers of a recent Ukrainian film fest at the Palm Springs Cultural Center have received a grant. (The Desert Sun)

🏊 Lifeguards are needed in Palm Springs and elsewhere in the Valley. (KESQ)

👩‍🎨 A textile designer’s work takes on greater meaning during its run at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. (Palm Springs Life)


📅 On tap

Palm Springs-based CalComMen (California Community of Men) has been going strong since 2013, offering weekly, monthly, and one-time events for its 11,000 members. 

  • The organization touts itself as “a unique community of heart-centered, passionate and caring men, 18-90+ of all colors of the rainbow, faith traditions, sizes, shapes & abilities.”
     
  • Events include heart circles, meditations, weekend camps, and more.

On tap today: The group’s weekly coffee get-together is this evening at Gre Coffeehouse, 278 North Palm Canyon Dr., from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. 

Check out the CalComMen website here.

🗓️ Also today:

  • The Mizell Center is in full swing with classes, activities, and more.
     
  • The city’s Architectural Review Committee meets tonight at 5:30 p.m.
     

📌 Looking ahead:

  • The Coachella Valley Disaster Preparedness Network (CVDPN) is featured in a webinar Tuesday at 3 p.m. Learn all about its mission to train, educate and network the residents of Palm Springs and nearby cities on individual and community disaster preparedness.
     
  • An interfaith peace service is planned for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at United Methodist Church of Palm Springs.
     
  • The 3rd Wednesday Speaker Series, held at the Mizell Center, is Wednesday at 6 p.m. This month features a presentation titled “Everyone’s Right to Vote.” Registration is required.
     
  • A Ride of Silence in remembrance of bicycle riders who have been struck and killed by vehicles is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
     
  • The next REAF-PS House Party, benefitting the Cathedral City Senior Center, is planned for Saturday at 5 p.m.

See our complete community calendar or list your event.


And finally …

Everyone’s favorite deli — Sherman’s — will be back on Triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives), at some point in the future, staff announced last week.

Driving the news: A crew for the TV show, including host Guy Fieri, taped at the Palm Desert location on May 9. It isn’t known yet when the segment will air.

Local love: Sherman Harris opened his first establishment in 1963. The delis in Palm Springs and Palm Desert have not only become legendary among locals, but they are a destination for thousands who visit the desert each year. 

  • Sam Harris and Janet Harris, Sherman Harris’s children, have continued his legacy of not only offering great food, but service to the community, since his passing in 2008. 

🍰 Kendall will have the cheesecake.

🥪 Mark will have a hot pastrami on rye with swiss cheese. He will probably also steal your side of pickles.

📝 Miss a day?Read past newsletters here.

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