COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT | NOVEMBER 2016
VOL. 4 | NO. 11
Dezart Performs' Casa Valentina
Desert Winds Freedom Band
THE ART OF PRIDE
The Coachella Valley's LGBT community gathers after a difficult year to celebrate with music, theater and activism.
Palm Springs Dyke March
N O ove ffi m ci b a e In l Pr r 1 si o 1de gr 19 am
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A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Mailing address: 31855 Date Palm Drive, No. 3-263 Cathedral City, CA 92234 (760) 904-4208 www.cvindependent.com
Editor/Publisher Jimmy Boegle Assistant Editor Brian Blueskye cover/Cover Story design Mark Duebner Design Contributors Gustavo Arellano, Nicole Borgenicht, Max Cannon, Kevin Carlow, Cory Courtney, Kevin Fitzgerald, Bill Frost, Bonnie Gilgallon, Bob Grimm, ValerieJean (VJ) Hume, Brane Jevric, Steve Kelly, Keith Knight, Erin Peters, Dan Perkins, Sean Planck, Guillermo Prieto, Anita Rufus, Jen Sorenson, Christine Soto, Robert Victor The Coachella Valley Independent print edition is published every month. All content is ©2016 and may not be published or reprinted in any form without the written permission of the publisher. The Independent is available free of charge throughout the Coachella Valley, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies may be purchased for $1 by calling (760) 904-4208. The Independent may be distributed only by the Independent’s authorized distributors.
The Independent is a proud member and/or supporter of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, Get Tested Coachella Valley, the Local Independent Online News Publishers, the Desert Business Association, the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, and the Desert Ad Fed.
One of my favorite idioms, often attributed to President John F. Kennedy, is: “A rising tide lifts all boats.” This phrase came to mind one recent morning when I woke up to an email from a manager at a local business. He had agreed to participate in an event with the Independent on the day before, but then changed his mind when he realized the event has an advertising element. “We have never paid for advertising, and we never will,” he manager wrote. That phrase, frankly, pissed me off. After all, advertising is what keeps the lights on here at the Independent, and it funds all of the journalism that we do here. My response to him: “I’m a bit befuddled when you say (your business) ‘never will’ advertise. Seeing as I’ve put every dime (and then some) I have into creating a local business that tries to cover our valley in an ethical, honest, meaningful and substantial way, I’m confused as to why (your business) would categorically rule out supporting my business, when I’ve supported (your business) with my dollars plenty over the years.” Of course, not all businesses can or should advertise with the Independent (or any other media source, for that matter), and a simple “no thanks” wouldn’t have bothered me in the least. What did bother me is the blanket statement; I read it as saying, more or less: We will never support your business under any circumstances. On a personal level, I’ll most likely take my dollars elsewhere in the future—to businesses that believe in and support what we do here at the Independent. Because, well, a rising tide lifts all boats. • In other news, we’re launching two brand-new columns this week. In the Opinion section, veteran local writer and broadcaster Steve Kelly is now writing a sports column for us. You can read his inaugural piece, on College of the Desert’s athletic director, Gary Plunkett, on Page 6. As for the Food and Drink section, give a hearty welcome to Kevin Carlow and his new cocktails column. For this one issue only, we’ve shifted his column—on the yumminess of mescal—into our Palm Springs Craft Cocktails Week special section, which takes up the middle 12 pages of this issue. Welcome to the November 2016 print edition of the Coachella Valley Independent. Happy Pride; enjoy Craft Cocktail Week; and as always, thanks for reading. —Jimmy Boegle, email@example.com CVIndependent.com
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COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 5
KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS T
The Dementia-Friendly Café is entering its third year of offering a safe, welcoming space for anybody affected by the diagnosis
BY ANITA RUFUS
he concept of “dementia cafés”—places where people, who all too often feel isolated and socially separated from their communities, can come together to relax and enjoy good company—has evolved and spread from Australia to England to Holland to Japan to San Francisco to Seattle to Santa Fe. It’s estimated that there are currently about 200 such cafés throughout the United States, designed to address the social implications of a dementia diagnosis on individuals, families, friends and caregivers. Starting anything new is always a gamble, so as one of the founders of the Coachella Valley’s first Dementia-Friendly Café, I am proud to announce that the café just began its third year of operation. At the first café, we thought we’d be lucky to have 15 to 20 people; 52 showed up. Clearly, there was a need. Dementia cafés are not support groups or with suitable space—far from busy on a seminars or daycare. There are no presentations Wednesday afternoon—said our “clientele” or literature, and no commercial promotions wouldn’t be appropriate for their establishment. are allowed. It’s simply a place where people That kind of attitude was exactly why we can meet others with similar experiences decided to call it the Dementia-Friendly Café and concerns, and a place where everyone instead of using a euphemistic name. We were understands the need to just relax and committed to finding ways to destigmatize the enjoy being out in public without fear or word “dementia,” since we all remembered how embarrassment. The café is for spouses who recently people would only whisper the word need a break from their daily routine, or people “cancer.” who have been diagnosed but are still vibrant Many of those who attend are dealing with and independent, or friends who want to Parkinson’s disease. One is Karen Kramer, a support other friends who are concerned about resident of Sun City Palm Desert. “We love going out alone. coming to the dementia café,” she says. “We Too often, those with dementia (and meet our Parkinson’s group there as a social their closest loved ones) tend to sever social event, and it is truly a lift.” connections at a time when they are needed All too often, caregivers get into a routine most. There are lots of online sources for that becomes self-perpetuating. One founder information as well as local organizations that is Rupert Macnee of Rancho Mirage: “My role offer support groups or counseling, but the café with the café was to greet folks and to circulate, offers a chance to leave the disease at the door bringing people together. The experience went a and just enjoy an afternoon with others who are long way in helping me, along with my sister, to happy to be able to do the same. effectively manage our father’s care. According to Palm Desert resident Lynne “I became much more understanding of his Bailey, “Socialization opportunities diminish flights of fancy. I learned to accommodate his with the disease—for the one with the disease dreams and perceptions, without blocking them, and the caretaker, also. The café is a welcoming or trying to make him ‘normal.’ My expectations place and gives our loved one with Alzheimer’s of how I expected him to behave changed.” an opportunity to socialize without explaining, Dementia in its many forms is an everwithout judgment.” increasing reality for many families. With that One of the first challenges of the founding in mind, Dr. Soo Borson, another member of group was figuring out where to hold the our original group, recently began a Memory café. Palm Desert resident Dee Wieringa, Café in Palm Springs in conjunction with administrator at Caleo Bay Alzheimer’s Special Temple Isaiah. Snacks, beverages and music Care Center, worked with management at P.F. will be offered at these cafés, and everyone is Chang’s China Bistro at The River in Rancho welcome at no charge. Mirage to establish a safe, social atmosphere, Meanwhile, the original Dementia-Friendly where people can come together in a relaxed Café, held on the third Wednesday of each environment. “So many people feel isolated,” month from 3 to 5 p.m., has just started its says Wieringa. “There’s so much satisfaction in third year at P.F. Chang’s. There is no cost to seeing them come out and socialize.” attend. Participants can order drinks or food We were amazed that some local restaurants from the happy-hour menu with separate
The Dementia-Friendly Cafe has found at home at P.F. Chang’s in Rancho Mirage.
checks, but no purchase is necessary. I don’t really believe in horoscopes, although I read them every day. As I began this column, I read mine, which said: “Relationships are not simply about getting your needs met; they are about the profound impact that you have on others and how you are, in turn, affected by their stories.” That has been true for me these past two years as I have greeted everyone who
has come to the Dementia-Friendly Café. Please feel free to join us as we move into our third year. Anita Rufus is also known as “The Lovable Liberal,” and her radio show airs Sundays at noon on KNews Radio 94.3 FM. Email her at Anita@ LovableLiberal.com. Know Your Neighbors appears every other Wednesday.
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STEVE KELLY ON SPORTS
Meet the man tasked with bringing glory to COD sports
BY STEVE KELLY
eing in charge of a college athletic department can be quite a challenge. Not only must your teams be competitive on the field; you must also make sure your athletes are doing well in the classroom. Those tasks are even more arduous when your program has been rocked by scandal— and that’s the task Gary Plunkett faced when he became College of the Desert’s athletic director early last year. In early 2012, one COD football player was shot to death by police in Palm Desert while in the process of committing a burglary. Several others were subsequently arrested for criminal activity. Later in 2012, then-new COD President Joel Kinnamon vowed to clean up not only the football program, but a culture that allowed such miscreant behavior to occur. The 45-year-old Plunkett is the man charged with continuing to change that culture. The South Bay native previously spent nine years as the head women’s basketball coach at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga. At COD, he oversees 14 sports—seven each for men and women. “I was coaching basketball against COD in the same conference when the issues with the football program arose,” says Plunkett. “While Dr. Kinnamon did not specifically address the past in the interview process, I was fully aware all that had transpired. I knew the challenges we faced. I took the job with the goal of meeting high standards and making sure we were in compliance both on and off the field.” Plunkett is aware that community colleges have had a lousy reputation for “parking athletes”—in other words, bringing on athletes who are only looking to earn a scholarship to play at a four-year school, and who don’t care about academics. He said that COD is working to emphasize the academic component. “At this level, we have academic requirements,” he says. “We have a full time academic coordinator who meets with athletes weekly. Also, faculty members alert us to students having problems, and we try to help.” The yearly athletic department budget at COD totals a little more than $300,000, not counting coaches’ salaries. A large chunk of that goes toward travel expenses. Plunkett says coaching is one of his biggest challenges. “Our coaching staff is excellent, but with the exception of the men’s golf coach, CVIndependent.com
who also a professor here, the coaches are parttime and have other jobs,” Plunkett says. “They are extremely dedicated, but they have time constraints as well. It also makes it difficult to retain coaches who have been offered full-time opportunities.” One of the unusual things about the Coachella Valley is the large amount of retirees—including retired coaches from major sports who live here at least part-time. Therefore, Plunkett says, his coaches sometimes get some good unsolicited advice. As the college continues to expand, COD wants its athletic program to better reach out to the community. About a year ago, it hired a sports-information specialist to work with local media to publicize events. “We absolutely want to ramp up our local outreach. When we see young kids at our events, we know that these are potential COD students or athletes,” he says. “I hear from many local people who say after attending a local event, ‘I never knew you had such a beautiful campus or facility. I am definitely coming back.’” Plans are in the works to reach out more to local high school coaches as well. According to Plunkett, good things are ahead for the Roadrunners. “The future is very bright. We are in a new league with a great staff,” he says. “Not only are we poised to win championships; we want to see more and more of our student athletes leave COD and compete successfully on the four-year level.” For more information on COD Athletics, visit codathletics.com. Steve Kelly is freelance writer/ broadcaster who can be reached at svericker12@ gmail.com.
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 7
ASK A MEXICAN!
Why is it in a Mexican’s nature to steal? BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO DEAR MEXICAN: As a kid, I grew up with Mexicans who stole things just to steal. As an adult, I see much of the same behavior from adult Mexicans and their children—and I don’t mean just the poor Mexicans. Why is it in their nature for Mexicans to steal? Larcenous Lester DEAR GABACHO: The Chicano answer? Mexicans rob as payback for the United States swiping half of Mexico during the MexicanAmerican War. The sociological view? Poor people tend to commit more burglaries than those who are rich or middle-class, and many Mexicans in los Estados Unidos are a missed paycheck away from the welfare cheese. Or I can sidestep your question and claim that, even if your assertion is true, gabacho embezzlement is ultimately the bigger crime, and refer to the convictions of many top executives as proof. All of these explanations are intellectually dishonest responses—but that’s what your pregunta deserves. Theft is no more of an innate trait among Mexicans than it is among other ethnic groups—gabachos only think it is due to centuries of stereotypes perpetuated by American-made caricatures ranging from the Frito Bandito to Carlos Mencia. I will admit to one thing that Mexicans are prone to steal, though: low-paying jobs from Americans. And that couldn’t happen without the help of the free market’s invisible hand— and the lazy asses of gabachos. DEAR MEXICAN: I’m a pocha from SanTana now living in Portland, Ore., a town crawling with gabachos. Why? Because I married one. I love that silly gabacho’s pelón, and as a Mexican, I show him my affections the only way I know how—by teasing him. He doesn’t understand how humor at his expense is a sign of love, and I’ve tried explaining that there’s nothing that Mexicans cannot laugh at—love included. When a Mexican teases, it’s a sign of esteem. I’ve had a similar conversation with some Italian friends, and they get it, but the gabachos take themselves so seriously! I love my tías and primas no less for calling me gorda panzona growing up. How do I explain to my husband, and gabacho friends in general, that when I tease them and their mothers about how much they look like a Guatemalan when they act like tontos, I do it out of love—and not to be a babosa?
Cabrona Chistosa DEAR FUNNY BAD-ASS WABETTE: Gracias for nothing. I just spent a couple hundred words arguing that thievery isn’t Mexico’s second national pastime after soccer—and then you try to take my job! Tell those Portland gabachos what you told me—that teasing is a sign of amor for Mexicans, and that nothing is so holy that you can’t chop it down a couple of pegs with choice invectives like gorda panzona (big-bellied fatty) or pelón (baldy). If you really want to impress them, reference Mexican philosopher Jorge Portilla’s 1966 tome Fenomenología del Relajo, y Otros Ensayos (Phenomenology of Relajo and Other Essays), in which he examines the uniquely Mexican concept known as echando relajo (roughly translated as “bullshitting”) and its relationship to the Mexican propensity to make light of everything. The philosopher’s take: “The moral subject is transformed into a humorist when she begins to understand suffering as necessarily derived from finitude, as something essential to the human condition.” Translation: Faced with the terrifying reality of being Mexican, Mexicans must laugh or get drunk trying. Muchos tamales go to Carlos Alberto Sanchez, professor of philosophy at San Jose State University, for his help on this question. Read the good profe’s essay, “The Phenomenology of Jorge Portilla: Relajo, Gelassenheit, and Liberation,” in this spring’s issue of The American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues. See, Larcenous Lester? Mexicans don’t steal—they cite.
By Shonda Chase, RN Co-owner and aesthetic director of Revive Wellness Centers Palm Springs and the South Bay area of Los Angeles
Revive’s Secrets are dedicated to sharing how we can make improvements and protect our “age appearance.” Future topics will include hands, necks and tear troughs. But this month, it’s all about lips! Luscious, so� lips are the rage these days—and why not? Great lips improve our a�rac�veness. Our ﬁrst goal at Revive is to help restore deﬁni�on and fullness to lips so they look younger and natural. We o�en use Juvederm to restore disappearing lips and reverse the dreaded “granny mouth,” as well as smokers’ lines. Our second “lip” goal is to restore so�ness. The brand new Volbella gives us the tools to so�en the barcode lines on lips and reduce smokers’ lines. Volbella is FDA-approved to last up to a year—twice as long as other ﬁne-line ﬁllers. These photos show Volbella’s magic on a 46-yearold Revive pa�ent. She already has natural Before volume, so we didn’t need to add more. First, I improved the ﬁne lines around her mouth. Then I so�ened the barcode lines on her lips. Finally, I enhanced her vermillion border around her lips for a so�, natural result. I think you’ll agree A�er that smoother lips are be�er than lips with lines! Next month, we’re going to share some secrets about how we can “youngify” our hands. Un�l then, keep the secret. Read the en�re ar�cle at www.revivecenter.com/blog. Email your individual appearance and aging ques�ons to Ms. Chase at Shonda@revivecenter.com.
Catch the Mexican every Wednesday at CVIndependent.com. Ask the Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano! CVIndependent.com
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AFTER OCT. 8
We need to fight to make sure Palm Springs does not become a gangland BY BRANE JEVRIC
he “breaking news” TV flash disrupted a peaceful Saturday afternoon at my home in Palm Springs. Three cops had been shot while responding to a domestic disturbance just a couple of miles away. I started feeling uneasy and tense—like I used to feel in my hometown of Sarajevo. I turned the TV off. Within minutes, my editor called and left me a message, asking me if I was available to cover the shootings. I didn’t respond. I’ve done my share of violent breaking-news stories all around the globe. No more. Later, my editor texted me, saying that two of the three officers—Jose “Gil” Vega, 63, and Lesley Zerebny, 27—had died. I’ve seen many senseless killings, as a war reporter in Romania and what was once Yugoslavia. When I lived and worked in Rio de Janeiro, every morning would start with the gruesome front-page murder-scene photos of butchered bodies. Rio is a beautiful place, but there’s too much violence. I chose to start a new life here in the desert after I was granted political asylum in the United States. I chose to live in Palm Springs because there were rarely shootouts, or gunfire, or police sirens, or dead bodies at night on the local evening news. For more than 20 years, I’ve been covering events in this peaceful oasis—until that serenity was shattered midday on Saturday, Oct. 8. A homegrown idiot gang member allegedly decided to wipe out the cops who came to his door, just doing their jobs. (I’m not going to mention him by name.) The police officers— one a veteran officer within months of retirement; another a young woman who had just returned to work after having a child—had no chance the moment they walked up to the door. The Palm Springs Police Department should consider using this tragic event to change its 911 procedures when dealing with gang members. The red flags must go up before the dispatch. Always. Remember the nonfiction book (and subsequent movie) The Onion Field? Its author, a former cop, Joe Wambaugh, actually lived here in the desert. After the infamous case— two police officers were kidnapped by criminals during a traffic stop, with one of the cops later killed—the LAPD changed its police tactics. Little information has been released about CVIndependent.com
The memorial outside of the Palm Springs Police Department. BRANE JEVRIC
the third police officer who was shot in Palm Springs. He is a material witness in this murder case, and is understandably being protected at this time. Sooner or later, he may testify and/or face media inquiries. I spoke to a cop who survived a shootout with a gang member in Cabazon a few years back. He retired and became a plumber. I’ve been shot at during the wars I covered, and you never forget it. I’ll always remember the hornet-like sound of the bullets that missed me by a mere chance. The sound of bullets hitting or piercing hard surfaces inches away stays with you—coming back to mind after hearing a sound with the slightest resemblance. However, I’m not going to dwell on the fact that two cops were shot and killed in my neighborhood. Instead, I’m going to do just as those slain cops did on that fateful day: I’m going to do my job. I’m going to write about and expose the gangs of Palm Springs. I hope that other media outlets will do the same. And I have a message for the members of the Varrio Las Palmas gang, to which the alleged cop killer reportedly belongs: This is Palm Springs, not a gangland.
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 9
General Patton Memorial Museum
• • • • •
An Air Salute Fly-Over by World War II Aircraft Music by Chuck Miller Special booths and exhibits Famous chili cook-off contest Special USPS Pictorial Postmark Museum opens at 9:00 am, program begins at 11:00 am Free Admission for this day only The museum is located 30 miles east of Indio on Interstate 10, Exit 173 62-510 Chiriaco Rd, Chiriaco Summit | (760) 227-3483
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CENSORED STORIES BY PAUL ROSENBERG AND TERELLE JERRICKS
hroughout its 40-year history, Project Censored has covered a lot of ground that the corporate mainstream media has missed. Begun by Carl Jensen, a sociology professor at California’s Sonoma State University shortly after Watergate in 1976, it’s become an institution involving dozens of faculty members and institutions working together to come up with an annual list of the Top 25 Censored Stories of the Year. The Watergate burglary in June 1972 “sparked one of the biggest political cover-ups in modern history,” Jensen later recalled. “And the press was an unwitting, if willing participant in the cover-up.” “Watergate taught us two important lessons about the press: First, the news media sometimes do fail to cover some important issues, and second, the news media sometimes indulge in self-censorship,” he said. As with the Watergate story, these Project Censored stories aren’t censored in the overt, heavy-handed manner of an authoritarian dictatorship, but “out-of-the-way outpost” transformed into “a key in the often more effective manner reflecting hub for its secret war … in Africa and the Middle our society―an oligarchy with highly centralized East.” economic power pretending to be a “free marketIn The Nation, Turse tackled the question of place of ideas.” mission success. Project Censored noted: “Turse This year, 221 students and 33 faculty mem(had) reported skepticism from a number of bers from 18 college and university campuses experts in response to this question, pointing out across the United States and Canada were that ‘impacts are not the same as successes.’” involved. A panel of 28 judges including of media In Vietnam, body counts were mistaken for studies professors, professional journalists and signs of success. even a former commissioner of the Federal “Today, tallying up the number of countries Communications Commission also participated. in which Special Operations forces are present Project Censored has always dealt with specific repeats this error,” Vietnam veteran and author stories, but on anniversaries like this one, the Andrew Bacevich told Turse. larger patterns those stories fit within are impossible to ignore. Economic inequality, global warm- 2. Crisis in Evidence-Based Medicine ing, petro-politics, the suppression of health sciThe role of science in improving human health ence, government spying, the corporate influence has been one of humanity’s greatest achieveon government—these are all familiar themes ments, but the profit-oriented influence of the that appear again on this year’s list. pharmaceutical industry has created a crisis situaVisit CVIndependent.com to see all of the citation: Research simply cannot be trusted. tions and links to the stories discussed here. Burying truth for profit is a recurrent theme for Project Censored. The top 1981 story con1. U.S. Military Forces Deployed in 70 cerned fraudulent testing from a single lab Percent of World’s Nations responsible for one-third of the toxicity and The covert exercise of U.S. military power is a cancer testing of chemicals in America. But this recurrent subject of Project Censored stories. This problem is much more profound. year’s top censored story joins that long tradi“Something has gone fundamentally wrong,” tion. It deals with the massive expansion in the said Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, comnumber of countries where the War on Terror menting on a UK symposium on the reproducibilis now being waged by U.S. Special Operations ity and reliability of biomedical research: Forces—147 of the world’s 195 recognized Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, nations, an 80 percent increase since 2010. This may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with includes a dramatic expansion in Africa. small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory The majority of the activity is in “training analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together missions,” meaning that this expansion is prowith an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of moting a coordinated worldwide intensification dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards of conflict, unseen at home, but felt all around darkness. … The apparent endemicity of bad research the globe. Writing for TomDispatch, The Nation behaviour is alarming. and The Intercept, Nick Turse exposed different Horton’s conclusion echoed Marcia Angell, aspects of this story and its implications. a former editor of the New England Journal of Turse’s story for The Intercept focused on the Medicine, who went public in 2009. development of a single base, Chabelley Airfield, A classic case was Study 329 in 2001, which in the East African nation of Djibouti. It’s an reported that paroxetine (Paxil in the United CVIndependent.com
The 10 big stories the media has largely missed or ignored over the last year
States, Seroxat in the United Kingdom) was safe and effective for treating depressed children and adolescents, leading doctors to prescribe Paxil to more than 2 million U.S. children and adolescents by the end of 2002—before the pill’s effects were called into question. The company responsible (now GlaxoSmithKline) agreed to pay $3 billion in 2012, the “largest health-care fraud settlement in U.S. history,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Nonetheless, the study has not been retracted or corrected, and “none of the authors have been disciplined,” Project Censored points out. This, despite a major reanalysis which “‘starkly’ contradicted the original report’s claims.” The reanalysis was seen as the first major success of a new open data initiative known as Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials. While Project Censored noted one Washington Post story on the reanalysis, there was only passing mention of the open data movement. “Otherwise, the corporate press ignored the reassessment of the paroxetine study,” and beyond that, “Richard Horton’s Lancet editorial received no coverage in the U.S. corporate press.” 3. Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Threaten to Permanently Disrupt Vital Ocean Bacteria Global warming is a recurrent Project Censored subject. Systemic changes associated with global warming threaten human welfare and all life on Earth through a multitude of different pathways. These remain largely hidden from public view. One potential pathway —directly dependent on carbon, not temperature—is through the catastrophic overproduction of Trichodesmium bacteria, which could devastate the entire marine food chain in some regions. It lives in nutrient-poor parts of the ocean, where it fixes atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium, an essential nutrient for other organisms—from algae to whales. A five-year study by researchers at the University of Southern California and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that subjecting hundreds of generations of the bacteria to predicted CO2 levels in the year 2100 caused them to evolve into “reproductive overdrive,” growing faster and producing 50 percent more nitrogen. As a result, they could consume significant quantities of scarce nutrients, such as iron and phosphorus, depriving the ability of other organisms to survive. Or the Trichodesmium bacteria could drive themselves into extinction, depriving other organisms of the ammonium they need to survive. “Most significantly, the researchers found
that even when the bacteria were returned to lower, present-day levels of carbon dioxide. Trichodesmium remained ‘stuck in the fast lane,’” Project Censored noted, a finding that one researcher described as “unprecedented in evolutionary biology.” 4. Search Engine Algorithms and Electronic Voting Machines Could Swing 2016 Election Social media has played an important role in recent social movements, from the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter—but technology can potentially undermine democracy as well as empower it. In particular, search engine algorithms and electronic voting machines provide opportunities for the manipulation of voters and votes, which could profoundly affect the 2016 election. Mark Frary, in Index on Censorship, describes the latest research by Robert Epstein and Ronald E. Robertson of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology on what they call the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, or SEME. Their study of more than 4,500 undecided voters in the United States and India showed that biased search rankings “could shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more” and “could be masked so that people show no awareness of the manipulation.” In an earlier article for Politico, Epstein wrote that the Search Engine Manipulation Effect “turns out to be one of the largest behavioral effects ever discovered. … We believe SEME is a serious threat to the democratic system of government.” Because courts have ruled that source code is proprietary, private companies that own electronic voting machines are essentially immune to transparent public oversight, as Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis documented. In 2016, about 80 percent of the U.S. electorate will vote using outdated electronic voting machines that rely on proprietary software from private corporations, according to a September 2015 study by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. The study identified “increased failures and crashes, which can lead to long lines and lost votes” as the “biggest risk” of outdated voting equipment, while noting that older machines also have “serious security and reliability flaws that are unacceptable today.” “From a security perspective, old software is riskier, because new methods of attack are constantly being developed, and older software is likely to be vulnerable,” Jeremy Epstein of the National Science Foundation noted.
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 11
5. Corporate Exploitation of Global Refugee Crisis Masked as Humanitarianism The world is experiencing a global refugee crisis (60 million worldwide, according to a June 2015 report—11.5 million of them Syrian). This has been covered in the corporate media—though not nearly enough to generate an appropriate response. What hasn’t been covered is the increasingly well-organized exploitation of refugees, particularly those displaced in Syria. An Alternet article by Sarah Lazare warned of the World Bank’s private enterprise solution to the Syrian displacement crisis. “Under the guise of humanitarian aid, the World Bank is enticing Western companies to launch ‘new investments’ in Jordan in order to profit from the labor of stranded Syrian refugees,” Lazare wrote. “In a country where migrant workers have faced forced servitude, torture and wage theft, there is reason to be concerned that this capital-intensive ‘solution’ to the mounting crisis of displacement will establish sweatshops that specifically target war refugees for hyper-exploitation.” A World Bank press release touted “the creation of special economic zones or SEZs,” but Project Censored noted: “Myriam Francois, a journalist and research associate at SOAS, The School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, told Lazare that the development of SEZs in Jordan ‘will change refugee camps from emergency and temporary responses to a crisis, to much more permanent settlements.’” Another story, by Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report, described a related agreement between Turkey and the European Union to keep millions of refugees from entering Europe as “a deal between devils,” adding that Turkey has “cashed in on the people it has helped make homeless.” In addition to the $3.3 billion in EU money, Project Censored noted, Turkey has also sought admission to the European Union, and, with this, the right for 75 million Turks to enter Europe without visa restrictions as a condition for controlling its refugee population. Thus, according to Ford, Turkey has engaged in a “vast protections racket trap,” effectively agreeing to protect Europe from further incursions by “the formerly colonized peoples whose labor and lands have fattened Europe and its white settler states for half a millennium.” “Europeans will never accept Turkey into the fold, because it is Muslim and not-quite-white,” Ford concluded. 6. More than 1.5 Million American Families Live on $2 Per Person, Per Day Even the working poor receive scant attention, but those living in deep poverty—less than $2 per day—are almost entirely absent from media coverage. Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, sociologists and authors of the book $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, state that in 2011,
CVINDEPENDENT.COM/NEWS more than 1.5 million U.S. families—including 3 million children—lived in deep poverty in any given month. Their depiction of what poverty looks like reads “like a Dickens novel,” Marcus Harrison Green wrote in YES! Magazine, Project Censored noted, while in The Atlantic, economist Jared Bernstein noted that the research highlights the problematic long-term consequences of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform initiative. Project Censored notes that Edin and Shaefer proposed three policy changes to address extreme poverty in the United States: First, policy must start by “expanding work opportunities” for those at the very bottom of society. Second, policy must address housing instability, which Shaefer described as both a cause and a consequence of extreme poverty: “Parents should be able to raise their children in a place of their own.” Third, families must be insured against extreme poverty, even when parents are not able to work. William Julius Wilson, a leading sociologist in the study of poverty, described their book as “an essential call to action,” in a New York Times book review—but this was a rare bit of recognition. 7. No End in Sight for Fukushima Disaster More than five years after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, the nuclear disaster continues to unfold, with the ongoing release of large quantities of radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean, which is in turn affecting ocean life through “biological magnification.” Meanwhile, the Japanese government has relaxed radiation limits in support of its efforts to return the refugee population—a move that younger people, prime working-age taxpayers, are resisting. Project Censored cites a media analysis by sociologist Celine-Marie Pascale of American University. Pascale, covering more than 2,100 articles, editorials and letters to the editor in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico and the Huffington Post between March 11, 2011 and March 11, 2013, focused on two basic questions: “Risk for whom?” and “from what? She found that just 6 percent of articles reported on risk to the public, and most of those “significantly discounted those risks.” She concluded: “The largest and longest lasting nuclear disaster of our time was routinely and consistently reported as being of little consequence to people, food supplies or environments. … In short, the media coverage was premised on misinformation, the minimization of public health risks, and the exacerbation of uncertainties.” In contrast, Dahr Jamail’s reporting for Truthout pointed out that the cooling process—ongoing after five years—has produced “hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tons” of highly radioactive water, much of which has been released into the Pacific Ocean. Such nuclear
disasters “never end,” said Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president. Project Censored also cited Linda Pentz Gunter, writing for the Ecologist about the Japanese government’s ongoing coverup. 8. Syria’s War Spurred by Contest for Gas Delivery to Europe, Not Muslim Sectarianism The Syrian war and its resulting refugee crisis have repeatedly gained headlines over the past five years, but the origin of the conflict—the control of oil—is rarely considered. The hidden influence of oil—from climate change to campaign finance and corporate lobbying to foreign policy—has been a recurrent subject of Project Censored stories. Project Censored cites a single September 2015 story by Mnar Muhawesh for MintPress News, but that story cites others as well, notably an August 2013 story in The Guardian by Nafeez Ahmed. “The 2011 uprisings, it would seem―triggered by a confluence of domestic energy shortages and climate-induced droughts which led to massive food price hikes―came at an opportune moment that was quickly exploited,” Ahmed wrote, as part of a broader strategy to undermine governments in the region, as well as manipulate social movements and armed factions for the purpose of maintaining control of oil and gas. Muhawesh and Ahmed both point, in particular, to President Bashar al-Assad’s choice between competing pipeline proposals. He refused to sign a proposed agreement for a pipeline from Qatar’s North field through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey in 2009, because it would have hurt his ally, Russia. “The proposed pipeline would have bypassed Russia to reach European markets currently dominated by Russian gas giant Gazprom,” Project Censored notes. Instead, Assad pursued negotiations—finalized in 2012—for a pipeline through Iraq from Iran’s South Pars field, which is contiguous with Qatar’s North Field. Muhawesh cites U.S. cables revealed by WikiLeaks as evidence that “foreign meddling in Syria began several years before the Syrian revolt erupted.” 9. Big Pharma Political Lobbying Not Limited to Presidential Campaigns The pharmaceutical industry (aka “Big Pharma”) already appeared in story No. 2, due to the destructive influence of its financing on the practice of basic science in testing and developing new drugs. But that’s not the only destructive impact of Big Pharma’s spending. Although the industry spent $51 million in campaign donations in the 2012 presidential election, and nearly $32 million in the 2014 midterms, Mike Ludwig of Truthout reported that the industry spent $7 lobbying for every dollar spent on the midterms.
“The $229 million spent by drug companies and their lobbying groups that year was down from a peak of $273 million in 2009, the year that Congress debated the Affordable Care Act,” Project Censored noted. Legislation influenced involved all the industry’s top concerns, “including policy on patents and trademarks, management of Medicare and Medicaid, and international trade.” The last item includes pressuring other countries to suppress the manufacture of life-saving generic AIDS drugs in India, to cite just one example. “Pharmaceutical lobbyists also consistently lobby to prevent Medicare from negotiating drug prices,” Project Censored also noted. 10. CISA: The Internet Surveillance Act No One Is Discussing In July 2015, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to attach the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, as an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act. However, the Senate blocked this by a vote of 56-40, in part, because the act— unlike an earlier version—essentially enabled intelligence and law enforcement officials to engage in surveillance without warrants. Yet on Dec. 18, 2015, President Barack Obama signed CISA into law as part of a 2,000-page omnibus spending bill, amid media silence—with notable exceptions at Wired and The Guardian. The act authorized the creation of a system for corporate informants to provide customers’ data to the Department of Homeland Security, which, in turn, would share this information with other federal agencies—the National Security Agency, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and others—without privacy-protecting safeguards. As The Guardian reported, civil liberties experts had been “dismayed” when Congress used the omnibus spending bill to advance some of the legislation’s “most invasive” components, making a mockery of the democratic process. But this effort was different, in a way, since censored stories usually do not stifle powerful voices, as Project Censored observed. Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul opposed CISA— but it never became the subject of any broader media discussion. Paul Rosenberg is the senior editor at Random Lengths News at the Port of Los Angeles and is a contributing columnist for Salon.com. Terelle Jerricks is the managing editor at Random Lengths News. CVIndependent.com
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LA QUINTA WORRIES
The candidates for mayor and City Council are divided on a proposed sales-tax increase
BY KEVIN FITZGERALD
s Election Day 2016 approaches, a heated debate among City Council candidates is disrupting the tranquility of La Quinta, the self-anointed “Gem of the Desert.” One issue fueling the controversy is the proposed 1 percent sales tax increase known as Measure G, placed on this year’s ballot by unanimous vote of the City Council. Another issue: the proposed CV Link project. The two mayoral candidates—incumbent Linda Evans and challenger Paula Maietta, a retail-marketing business specialist and 30-year La Quinta resident—have opposing views on just about all of the important issues. Regarding Measure G, Evans told the Independent in a recent interview”: “I supported putting Measure G on the ballot, and I am in support of the need for that 1 percent increase. That’s largely due to the combination of how the expenses for things like police, fire, flood control, insurance and maintenance on capital improvements are Sanchez told us he supports the measure rising versus the timing of when revenues will because the state and county won’t be able to come in from development. … This additional get their hands on that money: “That 1 persales tax is something that will be protected cent, no one can take that. I’m going to vote locally, and should yield about an additional for it because I want to maintain that quality of $6 million per year, because that’s what our life that we’re used to.” current 1 percent sales tax share is yielding Sanchez did have one misgiving, though: “I right now.” do wish that there was a sunset date on it so Maietta told the Independent she does not that maybe eight to 10 years from now, the think the perceived budget challenges have residents would vote again on it.” been diagnosed correctly. Llort pointed out that only 1 percent of the “First of all, we need a better picture of what current 8 percent sales tax stays in La Quinta. really is happening (with our city revenues),” “This (1 percent increase) would give the city Maietta said. “These financial issues are not 2 percent. Now, it is unappropriated, so it is new issues. a general tax. When and if the voters approve “I just don’t think that this is a wellit, I would like to see a citizen oversight comthought-out-measure. I think that the proper mittee really monitor the money that goes fiduciary role for the city is to make do with into the general fund and make sure that it’s what they have. … They want this sales-tax spent appropriately and that the rising expensincrease to build up the reserve to $40 or $50 es for police and fire and infrastructure are million, which was the amount before the addressed.” (Redevelopment Agency) was dissolved. Well, Fitzpatrick offered a dire view of the consewe’re not a savings and loan. We’re a city.” quences of a vote against Measure G. “I hope Not surprisingly, this divide carries into the that it passes, and I’ll tell you from being out group of five candidates vying for two open there walking in the precincts that I think seats on the City Council. Candidates Kristy it’s at about 50-50 right now,” she said. “If it Franklin (the only incumbent City Council doesn’t pass, we’re really going to have to look member running for re-election), Kathleen at full cost recovery on fees and making some Fitzpatrick (a member of the La Quinta changes in the programs and services that we Planning Commission), Steve Sanchez (a offer. We have a lot of fees that we subsidize Marine Corps veteran and businessman) and for some of our programs in the Wellness Victoria Llort (a business woman and vice pres- Center, for instance. … We’ll look at our sports ident of the local nonprofit American Outreach programs as well.” Foundation) all support Measure G. Only Joseph Johnson, a retired investigator “The city is just like any other business: for the city of Los Angeles, sides with Maietta money in, and money out,” Franklin said in a in questioning whether there is a pressing need recent interview. “You can’t spend what you to increase the sales tax. don’t have—or you shouldn’t, let’s put it that “I don’t believe that right now, this (Measure way. So Measure G is something that (the G) is the thing to do,” Johnson told us. “If we current City Council) wasn’t casual about at increase the sales tax on our local businesses, all. We did our homework, and then we put we’re going to have more people not buying together an advisory committee by asking for here, and that’s going to hurt our businesses volunteers from the community, and 14 people even more.” said yes.” Johnson took issue with the 14-person adviCVIndependent.com
sory committee that suggested the Measure G strategy: “If you read this 14-person advisory report, it says right there that they are not taking into consideration any increase in sales tax at all. That means the money we’re going to get from Costco—there’s a (revenue) share split that we’ve been giving them for years on sales tax that expires in April, and that’s going to be about half a million dollars in extra revenue for the city, and that was not considered in this report. Also, we have a deal with Hobby Lobby’s landlord … for a few years … but after that, it will bring another $200,000 to $300,000 a year in extra revenue, which is not considered in that report. We’re getting a TJ Maxx and Ulta, and that’s not considered in that report. Plus there’s normal inflation.” Regarding the valley-wide debate on the CV Link project, most of the candidates are taking a “wait and see” stance in anticipation of the environmental impact report’s impending release, sometime before the end of the year. Here’s a quick rundown of each candidate’s perspective: Evans: “When we created the Adams Street bridge overpass, we already engineered an underneath ramp that goes below the street so that you can continue on that levee without having to cross the road. We are in the planning stages to do a bridge at Dune Palms as well. So we’re a little bit ahead of the game, in my opinion. We’ll see if it’s completely cost-prohibitive to even consider. … But the concept of what it can represent for our valley, I definitely support.” Maietta: “I’m not against the CV Link. Certainly, I’m in support of things that get people out of the house and doing healthy things—but this is a boondoggle. Nobody even has any idea of how much it’s going to cost yet. They don’t know who’s going to maintain it, and they don’t know what the maintenance costs are. Who’s going to police it? … It’s not done yet, but as it stands right now, I can’t support it.” Franklin: “CV Link is not a priority for me, and that’s because we don’t know how much it’s going to cost to maintain it. We’re asking for a sales-tax increase, so to ask the citizens
to pay for something from now into perpetuity when we haven’t a clue what the cost is going to be, I can’t buy that. My gut reaction to this is that it’s being pushed down our throats, and I don’t like that.” Sanchez: “In theory, I think it’s a great project. But when it first came up, I was 100 percent against it for many reasons. The costs were uncertain. Without knowing things like what the ongoing maintenance is … I need to find out what all of that is before I can make a final decision on it. The information that is out right now has changed my mind from 100 percent against to being on the fence.” Llort: “We don’t know what the CV Link is going to cost. That being said, I am in support of the 2-3 mile portion that would go through La Quinta. It is placed very conveniently along the wash right behind one of the business strips along 111, but also right behind the high school. The portion of CV Link that goes through La Quinta is to be built on land not owned by the city, but by the CVWD. … I reserve the right to analyze and study everything diligently to make sure that it’s still in the best interests of La Quinta.” Fitzpatrick: “I’m conditionally supportive of the CV Link, but we need to see the EIR. That being said, I think that it’s a project that would generate tourism. We built several bikepath kind of facilities when I worked with … Los Angeles. Those kinds of projects always bring tourists and always bring users and always prove a tremendous benefit, especially in La Quinta, where our brand is health and wellness.” Johnson: “In general, a bike path running all the way from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea is not a bad idea. But … it’s the most ugly path you’ll ever see. They show pictures of people walking their dogs along this thing, but do you think walking dogs on concrete when it’s 120 degrees out is practical? No, it’s not. … As for funding, they say that tourism is going to increase so much that one proposal is to take any increases in (each city’s) hotel tax and use that to fund this project. That’s problematic, because when the cities need money, that’s one of the few sources of revenue that they have.”
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 13
NEWS LEADING THE
‘CITY OF FESTIVALS’ BY BRIAN BLUESKYE
ndio is the Coachella Valley’s largest city—and faces complex challenges due to the fact that it’s the home of Coachella, Stagecoach and Desert Trip. In this year’s city election, seven people are running for two seats on the Indio City Council. Three candidates did not respond to multiple requests for interviews: Incumbents Glenn Miller and Lupe Ramos Watson, and challenger Jackie Lopez. Joan Dzuro, a retired human resources consultant, cited a lack of both redevelopment funds and a concise plan for redevelopment as problems in Indio, due in large part to the state of California dissolving all redevelopment agencies back in 2012. “One of the challenges that we have is the loss of the redevelopment funds,” Dzuro said. “… When those funds were removed by Sacramento, it became harder to find funding for that. I’m very encouraged by the hiring of (the city’s new director of economic development), Carl Morgan, because he’s able to come up with plans to problems. talk to investors and businesses, and to try “We’re starting to see some signs of (recovto work on options for some of that funding. ery in) the last few years, but we haven’t seen You always need more funds when you have a the robust economy we thought we were going fast-growing city. Public safety needs to be able to have,” he said. “I think that there’s another to keep up with that, and it costs money.” issue, and that’s the fact we’re starting to see Dzuro said that her 35 years in corporate two Indios. One is the north side and the far human resources give her much-needed expesouth side along the polo fields. The south side rience. gets a lot of attention and is a new and dynam“I’ve dealt with corporations from the busiic community. But we’ve been leaving out the ness side and the employee side,” she said. “I communities that have always been here. The think that’s the strength I can bring to the residents in these communities are the ones council, and bring in jobs and create businesses who were building this economy. If you look for the city, and have those businesses contribin those neighborhoods, you can see the decay.” ute new marketable skills to our unemployed Why should Indio voters put Torres back and to the younger people graduating from on the City Council, two years after he lost a college.” re-election bid? Gina Chapa, a community organizer who “I know the job. Now I really know this city,” worked for Congressman Raul Ruiz, said the he said. “I tell the truth and tell it like it is: lack of diverse commerce is a big issue. ‘This is the problem, and this is what it takes to “We’re struggling a lot with bringing in new fix it.’ I do not bow to special interests, because businesses, supporting businesses, and actuthe city residents elect me, and I don’t have a ally having a thriving commercial area,” she scheme to make money off this city.” said. “Also, I see that there’s a huge disparity Noe Gutierrez—a behavioral health specialist, between different populations in Indio. In writer for CV Weekly and musician—said the order to feel like a complete city, we need to city has not focused enough on small business. find a way to build bridges between the differ“Downtown Indio hasn’t flourished like it ent communities in Indio. I feel that there’s should have,” he said. “I think smart growth a lack of ownership or participation. There’s is what we need—focusing on small-business a large population of disaffected or apathetic owners and helping people get set up and residents who feel disconnected to their local started, as well as following them through. We government.” all know the numbers of small businesses and Chapa said her roots are in Indio. “I’m a when they open. Generally, they close within longtime community organizer and commuthree years. We need to develop a plan we can nity resident. I was born in Indio and went to follow.” school in Indio. I’m raising my son in Indio, Gutierrez said his experience in understandand I’m connected to various communities in ing people will serve him on the City Council. Indio.” “I grew up in Indio, and went to school in Sam Torres, a former city councilman, said Indio, and I understand the backstreets, the Indio’s slow economic recovery has caused different neighborhoods, the different types
Seven candidates compete for two seats on the Indio City Council
of people who live in those neighborhoods, and I understand their perception of things,” he said. “I have a huge amount of empathy given my background working as a social worker. My job is to put myself in other people’s shoes, so I feel I do a pretty good job doing that. … One thing I’m known for is gathering people together, getting them connected and establishing long-term relationships that are beneficial.” We asked each of the candidates: What is the real identity of Indio? “I believe Indio’s biggest attraction is that we’re a family-oriented city,” Dzuro said. “We emphasize our parks, the teen center and the Boys and Girls Club of America. We work together as a community with our festivals. The Tamale Festival and the Date Festival are family events. We really try to bring in the families to our community, and I think that’s what we emphasize more than anything.” Chapa said that she feels the city government is not properly engaging with the older parts of the city. “We know what it’s all called: ‘The City of Festivals,’” Chapa said. “That’s what it’s marketed as. It … doesn’t have just one identity. We know people understand Indio from the outside because of Coachella and the large snowbird community. As for the identity that it once had, there are many 40-plus-year residents living here who aren’t being included in
the new face of Indio and the ‘City of Festivals.’ The identity is something we need to work on as a city, and (we need to) reach out to the community to build an identity so the people can feel like they’re part of the city, and that we can build our city together.” Torres said Indio is not reaping the economic benefits it should be. “The city of Indio is the ‘City of Festivals,’ but we used to be the second seat of the county, and we’re now in the backseat to Palm Springs,” Torres said. “Any of the big events they have here, even at the casinos, they call it ‘Greater Palm Springs.’ We provide the neighbors and facilities, but the cash registers are ringing in the west valley. The local leaders have allowed that to happen and don’t have a plan to bring that identity back to Indio, and that’s where we made a huge mistake. It’s called the ‘’City of Festivals,’ but we’re really the ‘Greater Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce Backseaters.’” Gutierrez also said the city does not capitalize enough on the ‘City of Festivals’ label. “There are some blinders on us,” he said. “We’re known for Coachella, but we don’t really expand on that. We’re just the site for Coachella. … We can’t rely on one-time events where people come, hang out and then leave, and probably never come back. We need a continuous inclusion of all age groups, ethnicities and everything.” CVIndependent.com
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This month’s ‘Supermoon’
Planets and Bright Stars be in Evening won’t matchedMid-Twilight until the year 2034 For November, 2016 This sky chart is drawn for latitude 34 degrees north, but may be used in southern U.S. and northern Mexico.
By Robert Victor
rilliant Venus (magnitude -4.0) and fainter Saturn ( +0.5) are 4.5 degrees apart in the southwest at dusk on Nov. 1, but Venus speeds away while Saturn sinks into the solar glare, widening the gap between them to nearly 15 degrees by Nov. 11, and to 22 degrees by Nov. 18. Use binoculars to watch Venus pass background stars in Ophiuchus and Sagittarius on Nov. 4, 16, 17, and 22. Venus sets farthest south Nov. 14. By month’s end, Venus brightens to magnitude -4.2 and is noticeably higher than it was at the start of November. A telescope shows Venus in gibbous phase, 70 percent full at month’s end. Wonderful changes will happen in coming months, before Venus departs from the evening sky in late March. Mercury (magnitude -0.5) passes 3.5 degrees south (to the lower left) of Saturn on Nov. 23, but they’ll both be low in the twilight glow, with Mercury brighter. Using binoculars, look 27 degrees to the lower right of Venus. Replacing Saturn, Mercury is 25 degrees to the lower right of Venus on Nov. 30. Look for dim Mars (magnitude +0. 4 to +0.6) in the south to south-southwest, to the upper left of Venus, by 37 degrees on Nov. 1; 30 degrees on Nov. 16; and 24 degrees on Nov. 30. Watch Mars pass third- and fourth-magnitude stars in Capricornus, the sea-goat, on
Nov. 14 and 27, and on Dec. 10. In the morning sky in the east-southeast to southeast, find bright Jupiter, magnitude -1.7 to -1.8. As the sun withdraws east of Jupiter this month because of Earth’s faster revolution around the sun, the giant planet ascends higher in predawn. Note the first-magnitude star Spica in Virgo, 13 degrees to 8 degrees below bright Jupiter. The moon, as a waxing crescent in evening sky, can be seen in a pretty gathering with
Aldebaran Arcturus Deneb Vega
29 Mars 15 1
Evening mid-twilight Venus and Saturn on Nov. 2;occurs near Mars on Nov. when Sun is 9° below horizon. 5 and 6; near Mercury on Nov. 30; near Venus Nov. 1: 41 minutes after sunset. on Dec. 2 and 3; 15:and 42 near " "Mars " on Dec. 4 and 30: 42 follow " "the "waning moon, 5. In the mornings, near Aldebaran, eye of Taurus, on Nov. 15; near Pollux, brighter of the Gemini twins, on Nov. 18; near Regulus, heart of Leo, on Nov. 21; near Jupiter on Nov. 24; and near Spica and Jupiter on Nov. 25. The full moon, on Monday, Nov. 14, at 5:52 a.m., follows the moon’s perigee (closest approach to Earth) by only 2.5 hours. The resulting “Supermoon” is the closest until Nov. 25, 2034. (Get ready for the inevitable hype in the news media!) The next “Supermoon” closer than that one will occur on Dec. 6, 2052—the best of the 21st century. The moon this month will be closest for observers in the Coachella Valley on the night of Sunday, Nov. 13, just a few minutes after the moon reaches its highest point in the
November's evening sky chart. ROBERT D. MILLER
Venus 29 15 8 1 22
Saturn 8 15
Mercury 29 Antares
Projection south, at 11:20 p.m., Stereographic and, contrary to appearMap by Robert D. Miller ances, not when the moon is rising on Sunday around 4:33 p.m. or setting Monday morning around 6:11 a.m. (The moon just seems larger at rising or setting than when it is high in the sky. It’s called the “moon illusion.”) Also, this is not the brightest full moon of this year. That’s because this month’s full moon passes widely south of Earth’s shadow, and does not reflect as much light toward us as it would if the moon narrowly missed the shadow. The sharp brightening of the moon or an asteroid when it appears almost exactly 180 degrees from the sun is sometimes called “the opposition effect,” or “opposition surge.”
Robert C. Victor was a staff astronomer at Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs.
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 15
Tango Estampas Porteñas Deseos Stories of longing and desire told through Argentine Tango and music
Olivia Newton-John Fri, November 18, 8pm
Wed, November 16, 8pm
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s An Evening with
George Takei Mr. Sulu spills all. Oh myyy! Sat, November 19, 8pm
The Sound of Music Tue & Wed, November 22 & 23 Fri-Sun, November 25-27
Presented through the generosity of Harold Matzner
Tue, November 29, 8pm
Fri, December 2, 8pm Sat, December 3, 2pm & 8pm Sun, December 4, 2pm & 7pm
Presented through the generosity of Frank and Mary Ann Xavier
Asleep At The Wheel Merry Texas Christmas Y’all! Sun, December 18, 7pm
Presented through the generosity of R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard and BIGHORN Golf Club Charities
Order tickets by phone
Jay Leno Sat, January 21, 3pm & 8pm
Presented through the generosity of Ron and Shelly Tamkin Ronald and Sylvia Gregoire
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THE ART OF PRIDE 16 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT
When residents of the Coachella Valley joined many, many thousands of visitors from around the globe last year to celebrate Greater Palm Springs Pride, the mood was decidedly mixed. On one hand, the year 2015 had brought us arguably the greatest LGBT-rights legal victory ever: full marriage equality in all 50 states. On the other hand, we were reeling from the news that just days before Pride—mere feet from the site of the Pride enclosure on Arenas Road— George Zander, a prominent LGBT-rights activist that so many of us knew and loved, had been gay-bashed along with his husband, Chris, after leaving Hunters Nightclub. Fortunately, George’s prognosis was good, although he faced a lengthy and grueling rehabilitation process after injuries including a broken hip. As 2016’s Greater Palm Springs Pride approaches, the mood of locals and visitors alike is decidedly less joyous than it was a year ago. In the months since last year’s Pride, the LGBT community has found itself under attack. Horrifying new laws in some states are targeting the rights of transgender men and women to simply be able to go to the bathroom safely. The Republican presidential ticket has come out staunchly against the nationwide marriage equality we all celebrated so joyously when we gained the right a year and a half ago. And most horrifically of all, a shooter—perhaps conflicted by his own sexuality —killed 49 revelers, and injured dozens of more, late one June night at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. As for George Zander: We’ll gather on Tuesday, Nov. 1, in downtown Palm Springs for a candlelight vigil to mourn his passing last December. That good prognosis we all clung to with hope during last year’s Pride turned out to be woefully incorrect. As we get together for Greater Palm Springs Pride 2016, we’ll deal with all of the emotions of the last year—sadness, mourning, anger and, yes, joy, too—with the help of art, just as our fellow humans have done for millennia. We’ll march. We’ll play and listen to music. We’ll dance. We’ll act and become engrossed in story at the theater. And we’ll hope that by the time Greater Palm Springs Pride 2017 rolls around, we’ll have a lot less to mourn—and a lot more to celebrate. – Jimmy Boegle
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PioneerS Pansy Division comes to Palm Springs Pride with a new album in tow
By Brian Blueskye They call it “Queercore”—punk-rock music that takes on the issues of the LGBT community. One of the best-known Queercore bands is Pansy Division—and on Sunday, Nov. 6, the band will play in downtown Palm Springs as part of Greater Palm Springs Pride. After Pansy Division formed in San Francisco in 1991, the band was incorrectly billed as the first gay punk band. In reality, Queercore has been around since the early ’80s and included bands such as The Dicks, Fifth Column, Big Man, and The Apostles. During a recent phone interview, frontman Chris Freeman mentioned an encounter with another Queercore band that would eventually become an Alternative Tentacles labelmate. “I was working at Wells Fargo when we had just started playing our first shows,” Freeman said. “I’d get packages from this girl who would come in; I thought this chick just rocked. I didn’t know who she was, but she just rocked. … One night, she came in and said, ‘Hey, what are you up to tonight?’ I didn’t know what to tell her, because we were playing a show. She said, ‘Oh, well, I have this band, and maybe you could come and see the show.’ I showed up to the club, and she walks in with her band, and I was like, ‘… What’s your band?’ She said ‘Tribe 8.’ What the fuck? … They were terrorizing. We became best buddies immediately.” Freeman said he and his bandmates just wanted to have fun after starting Pansy Division. “We thought, ‘Let’s just focus on San Francisco and the ACT UP community,’ which Jon (Ginoli) and I were pretty active in,” Freeman said, referring to the AIDS/HIV activist group. “We thought that we would try playing a style of music that had not gotten anywhere in our community—power pop and that sort of fun style of punk rock. “Punk rock was really fun when it first started. Later, there were different factions and cities putting their take on it, and Southern California added to the violent side of punk rock. But when it first started, it was about, ‘Let’s go back to this fun part of rock ’n’ roll,’ which had been lost. … We thought if we’re going to promote being out and gay with punk rock, let’s do it as humor. That’s the best vehicle to get people to understand or accept something.” Freeman and Ginoli soon realized they were taking part in what amounted to a social experiment. “Jon and I were both over 30. We were told if we were over 30, we were never going to have a career in music,” Freeman said. “ … Here we are 25 years later, still doing it. During our first couple of shows in San Francisco, we were shaking in our boots, because we didn’t know how people would react to us.” Pansy Division gained a fan with status in the punk community soon after the band began performing. “Jello (Biafra) of Dead Kennedys was an early supporter. He would come to our shows, and he would go, ‘You guys, this is genius!’ He was always a big supporter of the gay community,” Freeman said. “He had told us that he was going to sign us and cleared the way for us to do Smells Like Queer Spirit, because he was at this protest in Portland, and Nirvana was on the bill. He talked to them, saying, ‘I have this band called Pansy Division out of San Francisco, and I want to put out this 7-inch and do this twist on Smells Like Teen Spirit. They said, ‘Yeah, go for it!’ But as it turned out,
he didn’t have the money to put out the first single. Larry Livermore from Lookout Records was also watching us and had been a supporter. … We thought, ‘If Jello can’t do it, let’s go with Larry.’ Jello often regrets it, but he was still a champion for us and came to shows. “When things went sour with Lookout and we got out of the contract around 2000, we went to (Biafra’s) Alternative Tentacles. It’s easy to do business with Jello and easy to work with him.” Pansy Division found itself on tour with Green Day in 1994, right as Green Day’s album Dookie was taking off. It went on to sell 20 million copies. “As we signed to Lookout, (Green Day) released Kerplunk,” Freeman said. “We thought, ‘That’s a statement! That’s a great record!’ It went on to sell 50,000 copies on Lookout, which was amazing for an underground band. They could see themselves going to a major label. They had seen our show, and we got the call from Tré (Cool) the drummer, asking, ‘Do you have a van? Can you tour?’ We were ready to go.” Soon, Green Day’s audience swelled—and Pansy Division found itself playing in arenas, which led to a more mainstream audience. “That was insane. Never once did Jon and I get used to it,” Freeman said. “We played these huge crowds. Also, we didn’t know what was going to happen to Green Day’s audience. All of a sudden, we’re playing to these 8-year-old kids coming to the shows, and we were up there signing about sucking cock. … None of it made any sense, and it just got weirder and weirder.” Pansy Division has continued on, albeit with a more limited schedule since 2000 (although the band has been on the road a little bit more recently, due to the band’s brand-new release, Quite Contrary). These days, the members have full-time jobs and spouses—and the music industry has changed as well. “In 2000, I was homeless. I was kicked out of my apartment because my landlord was gentrifying it,” Freeman said. “I didn’t have a job, because I did temp work in between tours, and the dot-com bust happened, and there were no temp jobs available. I ended up moving to Los Angeles, and we sort of had to regroup and figure out what we were going to do. Napster’s lawsuits coming from Metallica happened, and we had many discussions about, ‘Well, what is the future of music, then?’ At that point, we came to the conclusion that labels are going to go boutique in the future. Once something is on the Internet, no one is going to want to pay for it.” Freeman performed at Palm Springs Pride with his other band, GayC/DC, last year. “I didn’t know how open and receptive Palm Springs Pride would be to rock acts such as us,” Freeman said. “The roll of the dice with GayC/DC paid off last year. That was an amazing show. We got off the stage and were like, ‘That was great! We got such a great reception.’ We told the promoters, ‘Have us back! I have this other band called Pansy Division,’ and they were like, ‘PANSY DIVISION? CAN WE HAVE YOU NEXT YEAR?’ It worked out.” Pansy Division will perform at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 6, at the U.S. Bank Stage on Arenas Road during Greater Palm Springs Pride. Admission is free. For more information, visit pspride.org. CVIndependent.com
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Please Join Us The Center Board of Directors and CEO, Mike Thompson cordially invite you to this free community celebration of our Grand Opening & Building Dedication.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH 11:30AM â€“ 2:00PM Program to begin promptly at Noon. Valet Parking will be available.
The McDonald/Wright Building 1301 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 3rd floor
Please RSVP by Monday, November 7th to: email@example.com
THE ART OF PRIDE
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"Go, Dykes, Go!" The Second Annual Palm Springs Dyke March Celebrates the Local Lesbian Community
BY Jimmy Boegle
alm Springs has long been the home of an active, visible, engaged and fairly organized gay male community. As for lesbians … not so much. Enter the Dyke March. Now in its second year, the Palm Springs Dyke March will begin with speakers and entertainment at 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, at Frances Stevens Park, located at 555 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in downtown Palm Springs. Around 5:30, the crowd will be led by a drum line down Palm Canyon Drive, through the Pride Festival and to the Arenas Road stage, where Kate Kendell, the leader of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, will speak. She’ll be followed onstage by amazing lesbian rocker Jennifer Corday. Shann Carr, a local comedian and newish real-estate agent, is a member of the Dyke March’s steering community. “The dyke march has a long, big, fat fucking history. It was started originally as a protest of invisibility,” Carr said. “It remains more of a protest movement than a pride march. I think no dyke march has ever gotten a permit before.” While dyke marches have taken place in cities across the world for many decades, the Palm Springs Dyke March is a new thing. Carr said the fact that there is now a dyke march here shows that the local lesbian community is, thankfully, finally beginning to come together. “Palm Springs’ lesbian community has never really escalated into a highly active social community,” Carr said. “But in the last couple of years, little pods of people are starting to gain momentum.” As another example of this momentum, Carr pointed to the new and growing nonprofit The L-Fund, which offers financial assistance to local lesbians in need. President and founding member Barbara Carpenter will be one of the pre-march speakers at Francis Stevens Park, along with Gail Christian, one of the producers of the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival; and Janet Malachowsky, an associate vice president with The Relationship Group at Morgan Stanley, who not long ago
Photos provided by Alexis Ortega. served as the president of the board of the Desert Business Association, the valley’s LGBT business group. (Full disclosure: The author of this article is the current president of the DBA.) Beyond the great speakers, what can Dyke March attendees expect? “I suspect that at the rally site, it’ll be mostly lesbian,” Carr said. “That is who the march is named after—dykes, people who are proud dykes or lesbians who are not hung up on that word. That’s who will be there.” That’s not to say that others won’t be welcome, Carr said. In fact, she said that she hopes men and straight women will show up in support. (Carr’s suggested chant for march supporters: “Go, dykes, go!”) As the march heads through the Pride Festival and to the Arenas Road stage, the crowd will become much more diverse, and Carr said this is a very good thing. “On Arenas, I hope everybody’s there, because Kate Kendell is such an amazing speaker,” Carr said. After Kendell speaks and Jennifer Corday rocks, attendees can walk a couple hundred feet to the Hard Rock Hotel for the L-Fund Women’s Pride Dance, which will take place from 7 p.m. to midnight. DJ T-LA STORM will spin; tickets are $20 in advance at www.l-fund.org, or $30 at the door. Carr—who said she’s always identified with the word “dyke”—said it’s fantastic that the local lesbian community is starting to make legitimate, tangible efforts to organize. “In any community that is under-seen and, in our case, under-organized … it’s important to focus on what you want and how to get it,” she said. For more information on the Palm Springs Dyke March, visit PSPride.org or www.facebook.com/psdykemarch. CVIndependent.com
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THE ART OF PRIDE
On WORLD AIDS DAY 2016 we salute the Coachella Valley’s
(REALLY) BIG BAND The Desert Winds Freedom Band hosts LGBT musicians from around the world during Pride By Brian Blueskye
for their dedication in helping to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic
DECEMBER 1, 2016 Camelot Theatres
5:30 pm – Champagne Reception 6:30 pm – Awards Show & Entertainment featuring Jason Graae 8-10 pm – Cocktail & Hors d’oeuvres Reception $40 (general seating), $75 (preferred seating) & $150 (VIP)
PHOTOS: John Paschal
Event Co-Chairs – Terri Ketover, Ann Sheffer & Tom Truhe
Larry Edwards joann morford aka Pinkie Meringue Shimmer D.A.P. Volunteer and Fundraiser
Volunteer Desert AIDS Project
Community Relations Manager Desert Regional Medical Center
CEO LGBT Community Center
Ann Sheffer & Bill Scheffler
The profile of the Desert Winds Freedom Band, Palm Springs’ gay and gay-friendly concert band, has grown in recent years—and over Greater Palm Springs Pride, the 16-year-old group will be hosting musicians from around the world. Hear the Desert Winds Freedom Band and friends—a whopping two 150-member concert bands, with an honors jazz band to boot—on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Palm Springs High School Auditorium. Dean McDowell, the director of the Desert Winds Freedom Band, explained the group’s history during a recent phone interview. “The Desert Winds Freedom Band was founded by Gary Moline, who is still on our board, back in 2001,” McDowell said. “He came from San Francisco, where the first gay and lesbian band was founded, and he was involved in that back with Harvey Milk and the gay-rights movement. “When he came here … he decided it was time that Palm Springs had (an LGBT band), so he started one, and started out with 10 to 15 people. They kind of slowly grew and had to go through several different directors. They did share a lot of members from the Los Angeles band for a while.” McDowell moved to the Coachella Valley from Ohio. “As soon as I moved here, they heard I was a conductor—and they were looking for a conductor. This is my 10th season,” he said. “Since then, we’ve grown from 24 members to about 80 members.” McDowell touted the band’s diversity. “Even though it’s an LGBT band and was founded that way, we are the only concert-band volunteer group in the desert,” McDowell said. “We have a lot of straight people who are LGBT allies who want to be part of it and support the group; I would say about 12 percent is straight. We have men, women, straight, gay and the whole gamut. When I started, the average age was about 65 or 70, and now we have 25-year-olds all the way up to 86 years old. It’s a very wide and diverse organization.” The Pride concert on Nov. 5 will feature more musicians than just the Desert Winds members. Make that a lot more musicians. “The Desert Winds Freedom Band is hosting the national Lesbian and Gay Band Association conference—so this concert is a little different than our regular concerts,” he said. “There are over 400 musicians coming in from all over the world, with members from LGBT bands all across the United States.” The program, however, will be California-themed.
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“We play typical band music—everything from fun Broadway music to Mancini pieces—and it’s very diverse,” he said. “The theme of the conference is California Gold, so (the music) is all about California and by California composers. There will be a symphony piece all about the San Francisco earthquake, and another piece called the Gold Rush Rag about the Gold Rush in California.” The Pride concert kicks off Desert Winds’ 2016-2017 season. There will also be a holiday concert in December, a jazz-band Valentine’s Day concert and dance, and a spring concert in March. McDowell said the band has also been in demand for community events. “We started some smaller ensembles we can pull together,” he said. “We’re playing for the LGBT Community Center of the Desert’s grand opening; we always play at the AIDS Walk. We’ll also be playing for the Tour of Palm Springs. “We have our concerts a little earlier, around 2 or 4 p.m., so people can go to other events. For the concerts in February and March, we didn’t want to take away from people going to events at the McCallum or someplace else.” McDowell admitted that he’s annoyed at how relatively unknown the Desert Winds Freedom Band is in the Coachella Valley. “We do a lot of outreach,” he said. “A lot of people in this desert still haven’t heard of us, even though we’ve been around for years, and people still don’t know about us. It’s very frustrating. We’re not just a tiny community band playing for ourselves. We actually have, in the community-band realm, straight or gay, some of the largest supporting audiences. … A lot of them struggle to get 150 people to concerts, when we have between 300 and 450 at our concerts. We’re trying to grow. We’ve certainly grown from the days of 50 to 60 people showing up.” The Desert Winds Freedom Band’s scholarship fund is just one example of how the band gives back to the community. “We want to do more outreach to the schools, do more workshops and be able to give more scholarship money,” McDowell said. “… Two years ago, we only had enough money to give two scholarships. Now thanks to some giving sponsors, we’ve been able to up it to $3,000 worth of scholarships this year. We hate to see students apply and not get scholarships. Kids going on to music education are future music teachers and band directors, and it’s really important to us. “I used to be a music teacher in Ohio. Keeping the lifeblood in our schools and producing music teachers is very important to me.” At the Pride concert, Hollywood film composer and arranger Rossano Galante will conduct “San Andreas Landscapes,”a piece commissioned by the Desert Winds Freedom Band. Photos by Mark Duebner.
The Desert Winds Freedom Band’s LGBA Conference Pride Concert takes place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Palm Springs High School Auditorium, 2401 E. Baristo Road, in Palm Springs. Tickets are $20. For more tickets or more information, visit www.desertwindsfb.org.
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THE ART OF PRIDE
NOT A DRAG AT ALL 一伀嘀䔀䴀䈀䔀刀 吀䠀 吀䠀 㤀 ☀ ㈀
吀䤀䌀䬀䔀吀匀 伀一 匀䄀䰀䔀 一伀圀 吀䠀刀伀唀䜀䠀 䠀愀瀀瀀攀渀椀渀最 䄀琀㨀
㔀 匀 䤀渀搀椀愀渀 䌀愀渀礀漀渀 䐀爀 倀愀氀洀 匀瀀爀椀渀最猀Ⰰ 䌀䄀 㤀㈀㈀㘀㈀
䘀伀䰀䰀伀圀 唀匀 䀀倀匀䌀漀洀椀挀䌀漀渀
Dezart Performs’ shines a light on the straight, cross-dressing community
By Bonnie Gilgallon
ezart Performs has developed a reputation for presenting bold and avant-garde theatrical productions—so it means something when artistic director Michael Shaw says that the 2016-2017 season is Dezart’s boldest yet. Shaw says he has a fondness socially relevant yet “wacky” plays. Casa Valentina, Dezart’s seasonopener, certainly fits that bill. Written by Harvey Fierstein, Casa Valentina received four 2014 Tony Award nominations, including a nomination for Best Play. Set in the Catskills in 1962, the play offers a peek into the lives of heterosexual men who enjoy dressing up and behaving like women. During the week, they pursue respectable careers as ad execs, lawyers and sales reps—but when the weekend rolls around, they cut loose and take on their female personas. Casa Valentina is owned and operated by George—whose alter ego is Valentina—as well as George’s wife, Rita. The play is based on a real-life haven for heterosexual transvestites that was originally called Chevalier d’Eon, named after an 18th century cross-dresser and spy. The story of the place, later named Casa Susanna, came to light when antiques dealer Robert Swope bought a box of 100 photographs at a Manhattan flea market; the pictures all depict men dressed as women watering the lawn, playing bridge, etc. In 2005, Swope published the pictures in a book, Café Susanna. Shaw says the play intrigues him, because he learned a lot from it—especially about transvestites. “It’s a community that I am totally naïve about,” Shaw says. “I think there’s a perception that transvestites usually relate as gay. That’s not the truth.” continued on Page 23
伀甀爀 䄀眀攀猀漀洀攀 倀愀爀琀渀攀爀猀℀
䘀伀刀 䴀伀刀䔀 䤀一䘀伀刀䴀䄀吀䤀伀一 嘀䤀匀䤀吀 Hair and makeup artist James Geier demonstrates makeup techniques on actor Dale Morris (Charlotte) to the company of Casa Valentina. Photo by Clark Dugger. CVIndependent.com
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PALMSPRINGS SPRINGSCRAFT CRAFTCOCKTAIL COCKTAILWEEK WEEK2016 2016 PALM
November 11-19 A production of the Coachella Valley Independent CVIndependent.com CVIndependent.com
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PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
Happy hour spoken here
If you’re planning a party or just stocking up on 21+ beverages for the weekend, remember that Gelson’s gives you superb selection and excellent value.
Of course, you won’t want to toast on an empty stomach, so be sure to check out our savory snacks, cheese & crackers, olives, and other appetizers.
Browse our beer for beloved brands and new brews, full of local character and unique flavor. Or make mixed drinks, starting with a bottle of outstanding liquor — we have much that will delight you.
We also offer FREE educational tasting events. Visit gelsons.com for details.
In the mood for wine? That’s fine. You’ll find classic favorites and promising newbies. If you need help deciding, Gelson’s has dedicated specialists who are happy to assist you.
Come to Gelson’s in Rancho Mirage — and get set to say Cheers!
Rancho Mirage 36-101 Bob Hope Drive (Corner of Gerald Ford & Bob Hope) Open Daily 7am–10pm (760) 770-0010
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PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
Why Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week?
became a fan of craft cocktails about five years ago thanks to a little speakeasy-style bar in Tucson, Ariz., called Scott and Co. Before I visited Scott and Co., I didn’t really know—or, frankly, think—much about cocktails beyond whether I wanted my martini dirty or not, and what type of whiskey tasted best when mixed with Coke. But Scott and Co. opened my eyes to the fact that drinks can have just as much flavor and nuance as any well-prepared entrée. I learned that ice matters—both in shape and size. I learned that ingredients don’t have to be rote: One can create amazing syrups, bitters and spice mixtures to pair with good liquors. I learned that things like smoke and herbs and gratings and oils can do wondrous things when mixed in the right portions. I learned that truly talented bartenders don’t even need liquor to concoct delicious drinks; after all, non-drinkers deserve good cocktails, too. In short, I fell head over heels in love with craft cocktails. That’s why we here at the Independent decided to create Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week: We want to spread the word about our area’s amazing craft cocktails, being created and tweaked and honed by bartenders and mixologists at bars and restaurants large and small, in every part of the Coachella Valley. However, we also think that with good cocktails come big responsibility: All Craft Cocktail Week participants were required
to agree that they would “promote safe and responsible alcohol consumption throughout the week by offering special non-alcoholic drinks, encouraging designated drivers and the use of taxis/ ride-share services, and doing all (they) can to make sure customers are enjoying Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week responsibly.” We also think it’s important to give back to the community. That’s why at least $2 from every special cocktail offered during Craft Cocktail Ceek at participating bars and restaurants will be split between two amazing local nonprofits that make sure ALL of our valley’s residents never go hungry: The LGBT Community of the Desert’s Community Food Bank, and the Desert AIDS Project Food Pantry. In these pages, you’ll find information on what this year’s Craft Cocktail Week participants are offering—and what they’re giving back. You’ll also find details on the week’s two big cocktail competitions, and you can enjoy the debut of the Independent’s new monthly craft-cocktail column, written by Kevin Carlow. However, I also recommend checking out our website for updates, late-joining participants and information as it develops: PSCraftCocktails.com. Join us from Nov. 11-19 at these amazing bars and restaurants to celebrate the art of the craft cocktail. Enjoy. —Jimmy Boegle, firstname.lastname@example.org
FREsh gRound handcRaFtEd FREE SPICES
Come in and ask your spice merchant for this week’s free sample.
73-399 El Paseo, #103 . Palm Desert, CA 92260 Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm, Sun: 11am-5pm . (760) 346-4372
TRIO KNOWS CRAFTED COCKTAILS Award-Winning Mixologists • Finest Ingredients The Valley’s Only Instant Glass Chiller!
707 North Palm Canyon www.TrioPalmSprings.com CVIndependent.com
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PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
Our Sponsors Liquor Sponsors
Book Early. Get Rewards. Celebrate the holiday season at Fleming's, and let us take care of all the details. Book through the Private Dining Director and earn a $25 dining card for each attending guest! Flemingâ€™s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar 71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage 760-776-6685 www.flemingssteakhouse.com/private-dining/
Enjoy our Luscious Blueberry Lemon Drop for $7 from Nov. 11-19!
PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
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Participating Bars and Restaurants
Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club Offering an amazing cocktail to be announced! 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900 Appetito Offering the Blueberry Rum Cake. It has Desert AIDS Projectâ€™s blue and yellow colors served in a layered drink and is made with silver rum, blueberry infused liqueur, Galliano and lemon juice, for $9! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 1700 S. Camino Real, Palm Springs; 760-327-1929 Ayili Bar at the Augustine Casino Offering the Pumpkin Pie Martini, a fall sensation featuring Tuaca and Fireball with a graham cracker crust, for $7! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 84100 Avenue 54 (at Van Buren), Coachella; 760-391-9500 Bar Offering an amazing cocktail to be announced! 340 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-537-7337 Chill Bar and Scorpion Room Offering the Cherry Crush with Three Olives Cherry Vodka, simple syrup, muddled lemon and cherries, for $8! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 217 E. Arenas Road, Palm Springs; 760-327-1079 Cuistot Restaurant Offering the classic Aviation cocktail with Plymouth Gin, Lazzaroni Maraschino, fresh lemon juice and Creme de Violette, for $9! $3 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. Cuistot will also be hosting Scotch whisky and cocktail master-classes during Cocktail Week! 72595 El Paseo, Palm Desert; 760-340-1000 Dish Creative Cuisine Offering the Desertâ€™s Kiss with vodka, Aperol, orange, grapefruit, lime, agave and grapefruit bitters for $9! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 1107 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-7171. Continued on page C6
dish Creative Cuisine, a modern contemporary restaurant and bar serving hand crafted cocktails using fresh ingredients, house made infusions, syrups, cordials and shrubs. More than dinner. It's an experience!
1107 N. Palm Canyon Drive Reservations: 760.322.7171 www.dishcreativecuisine.com CVIndependent.com
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PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
Participating Bars and Restaurants
Continued from page C5
Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge Offering The Eight4Nine, with Crater Lake vodka, chilled Mionetto prosecco, limoncello and Mandarin Napoleon, muddled with fresh strawberry, for $9! $3 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 849 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-8490 FIX a Dessert House Offering the Harvest Moon with Jameson, grilled apple, hard apple cider, cinnamon and mint, for $9! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 73580 El Paseo, Palm Desert; 760-340-3040 Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar Offering the Luscious Blueberry Lemon Drop, a spin on a favorite using Pinnacle Blueberry Vodka and muddled blueberries, along with other ingredients, for $7! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage; 760-776-6685
EAST PALM CANYON DRIVE CAMINO REAL
SOUTH PALM CANYON DRIVE
Appetito takes a modern approach to the classic Italian eatery with plates made for sharing in a stylish setting.
760.327.1929 1700 S. Camino Real, Ste. 2 Palm Springs, CA 92264 www. AppetitoDeli . com
The Hood Bar and Pizza Offering The Alexis, a blend of elderflower liqueur, sprite, soda, lime and a secret ingredient, for $8! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220 Lulu California Bistro Offering the Key Lime Pie Martini with a graham-cracker rim, made with Cure 43, cream, Rose’s lime juice and whipped cream, for $9! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 200 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-327-5858 Michael Holmes’ Purple Room Supper Club Offering the Lavender Muff Puff, with Templeton Rye, blackberry-lavender-star anise syrup, St. Elizabeth Allspice, lemon/orange rind oil and a lavender bud garnish, for $9! All $9 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422
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PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
The New York Company Restaurant Offering the Melon Mint Central Park, with infused rum, cantaloupe, fresh lime and mint! Also offering the New York Apple Julep with cinnamon- and apple-infused bourbon, rock-candy syrup, fresh sweet-andsour mix, mint and sliced red apple; Autumn Thyme in New York with infused vodka, lime, simple syrup, raspberries, thyme and Fee Brothers peach bitters; the Southampton Pineapple Sunset with rum, coconut cream, fresh pineapple and chamoy sauce; and the Spanish Harlem Sarape with ingredients TBD. Each drink is $9; available in non-alcoholic versions for $7. $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 1260 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-778-7789 Purple Palm Restaurant at the Colony Palms Offering the Bangkok Sling, with Tru Organic Gin, hops liqueur, pink guava juice, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, Thai basil and pink peppercorns, for $9! $3 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 572 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-969-1818 Rio Azul Mexican Bar and Grill Offering the Sangria Rojo Craft Margarita for $9! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 350 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-992-5641 Shabu Shabu Zen and Sake Bar Offering the Sakura Cherry Blossom with sake mixed with blood orange soda and topped with a mint leaf, for $8! Also offering the Samurai Rock featuring sake on the rocks with lime juice for $7, and the Shochu Lemon Drop with Shochu (a Japanese distilled spirit similar to vodka; this is a lower-alcohol Shochu made from barley) with lemon and triple sec, for $9. $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 71680 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage; 760-779-5000 TRIO Restaurant Offering the El Corazon de Pera, with Mezcal El Silencio, Corralejo Tequila Reposado, El Corazon Puree, lime juice, pear liqueur and a basil-leaf, for $9! $2 per drink donated to our beneficiaries. 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-864-TRIO
71680 Highway 111 #F Rancho Mirage 760-779-5000 shabu-shabu-zen.com Offering the Sakura Cherry Blossom with sake mixed with blood orange soda and topped with a mint leaf, for $8! Also offering the Samurai Rock featuring sake on the rocks with lime juice for $7, and the Shochu Lemon Drop with Shochu (a Japanese distilled spirit similar to vodka; this is a loweralcohol Shochu made from barley) with lemon and triple sec, for $9.
V isit PSCraftCocktails.com for changes, updated information and newly added participants! CVIndependent.com
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PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
FOOD & DRINK
ON COCKTAILS By kevin carlow
ezcal … we’ve had a complicated relationship haven’t we? Remember our first time? I was 20, and you were so cruel. In those days, you needed a gimmick—you were the “poor man’s tequila” to us clueless gringos, its crazy backwoods cousin. We had heard the myth that eating the worm would make one hallucinate, just in case taking copious shots weren’t enough. We drank you in college when we couldn’t afford a more-polished spirit. I know that many people still think of you that way. They don’t know you as you really are … a liquor whose time to shine has finally arrived. Readers, if you haven’t been enjoying of the renaissance of this misunderstood spirit, it’s probably not your fault. Despite nearly a decade of surging popularity, mescal still won’t show up on your radar if you haven’t been to a bar that specializes in Mexican spirits or craft cocktails. However, if you feel like it’s time to get swept up by the charms of mezcal, and they are many, now is the perfect time to do so. For one thing, it’s more available than ever (although the market has been somewhat flooded by non-descript brands looking to capitalize on the trendiness). For another,
the tasting notes can range from vanilla and banana to truffles and leather. Aside from Scotch whisky, few spirits can boast such a dramatic variation in flavor. Like Scotch, mezcal is known for being smoky, but the level of smoke varies from product to product. Unlike Scotch, you can use it easily in a margarita variation during atypically hot Coachella Valley fall days. To celebrate mezcal and its many amazing aspects, I decided to visit some local cocktail bars to see how they explore the versatility of
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Get to know mescal with the help of some fine local bartenders
the spirit. I was not disappointed. My first stop was Arrive in Palm Springs, where Paul made me a Smoke and Berries. It’s on the drink menu, and is a nice way to explore the light and breezy side of mezcal. He muddled raspberries and blackberries directly into the liquor, and added some lime and simple syrup, as well as a dash of peach bitters, and voila! It was a perfect poolside sipper. It was light and breezy, with a hint of smoke, black pepper, vanilla and pineapple from the Primario mescal. Next, he made me a Sweet Surrender. You won’t find it on the menu, but it’s worth asking about. He bravely mixes Primario with white rum and mint, and then adds some creme de mure, lemon juice and Peychaud’s bitters. It’s a beguiling beverage. If I’d sipped it without knowing the ingredients, I would have been hard-pressed to guess them. My first impression was Fernet-Branca—the drink leads you almost there, with a strong medicinal hit—but the creme de mure brings you back before it becomes too much. There are also notes of cola, menthol and black pepper. As I left, I wondered about the rum: Would a funky Jamaican overproof make the cocktail better or worse? I think he played it smart with a quieter dance partner for the mescal—but I might play around with the specs at some point, out of curiosity. Next I went to see the tiki wizards at Bootlegger, right down the road—rather fortuitously. Chad had posted a picture of his new Aztec Warrior mezcal drink online, and although it’s not on the menu yet, Aisha was happy to make one for me. It starts with Ilegal Mezcal, and then my favorite ingredient of the last few years, Ancho Reyes, joins the party. (If you haven’t picked up a bottle of that yet, do yourself a favor.) The drink is finished with lime juice, coconut cream and NOLA coffee liqueur from St. George, with a grating of cinnamon. Tasting the drink, I got the impression of candy chased with a little New Orleans café au lait with chicory. I confess I have a bit of a sweet tooth with my coffee, so when I make it at home, I might add a touch of simple syrup or turbinado sugar. I called it a night with a drink on the menu, For Luck’s Sake. La Niña mezcal, Cabeza tequila, yellow Chartreuse, honey and lime are mixed together and served on a big ice cube, with a basil leaf garnish. A bit of fire is added with a serrano pepper tincture, and the vegetal notes of the ingredients are accentuated by cel-
ery bitters. Yellow (not green!) Chartreuse is incredible with tequila, so I was not surprised that the drink came together so nicely. It’s a little spicy and a little sweet, with a good measure of herbs de Provence to boot. Four drinks, four totally different looks. Mezcal is a powerhouse of a spirit, no matter how you use it. Whether you’re by the pool when it’s 95 degrees, or staying warm on a cool desert evening, mezcal just might be the spirit you need to add to your liquor cabinet. Even better, have your local bartender do the work for you. If you need some more inspiration, here is one of my recipes. La Rubia 1 1/2 ounces of mezcal of your choice (Vida works nicely with its baking spice notes) 3/4 ounce Ancho Reyes 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice (no cheating with the bottled stuff!) 1/2 ounce pineapple syrup (leave fresh, not canned, pineapple chunks in simple syrup for a couple of days; add gum arabic for extra credit) Shake, serve up or on the rocks, and garnish with one of those pineapple chunks or a leaf from the pineapple. Waste not, want not. Cheers! Kevin Carlow is a bartender at Seymour’s and can be reached via email at email@example.com.
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // C9
PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
Our Beneficiaries LGBT Community Center of the Desert's Community Food Bank
COCKTAILS Fashions change Style is forever
The Community Food Bank @ The Center is a flagship initiative that provides nutritional assistance for those in need. The Community Food Bank @ The Center provides food assistance to all qualified individuals without discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, religion, political persuasion, national origin, disability and/or covered veteran status. Every Thursday evening, the Center hosts a clean, safe and accessible Food Bank that provides FREE groceries for up to 275 households each week. Since 2008, The Community Food Bank @ the Center has been providing fresh produce, baked goods, meat, canned goods, dairy and more to low-income Riverside County residents in need of food assistance. The distribution of food happens at 610 S. Belardo Road.
Classic Cocktails at Cuistot Cuistot Restaurant 72595 El Paseo Palm Desert
www.cuistotrestaurant.com (760) 340 1000
Desert AIDS Project Food Depot
The Desert AIDS Project believes “food is medicine,” because a healthy diet, along with medication and doctor visits, is an important part of staying healthy while living with HIV. That’s why DAP operates its onsite Morris and Lila Linsky food depot, which provides both bags of groceries as well as food vouchers to fill the gap between what clients need and what clients can afford. CVIndependent.com
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PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Championship
Our Craft Cocktail Week Selections: • New York Apple Julep • Autumn Thyme in New York • Southampton Puneapple Sunset • Spanish Harlem Sarape • Melon Mint Central Park (All Drinks Also Available Alcohol Free) 1260 S. Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA 92264 760-778-7789 • 4 p.m. to close Thenycps.com • Find us on Open Table! CVIndependent.com
The valley's top bartenders and mixologists battle for the Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Championship! Hosted by Shann Carr. Tickets are $45 in advance at PSCraftCocktails.com; includes tastes of the drinks. Tickets $55 at the door if any remain; event is limited to 100 people and will likely sell out. 18 and older event. 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, poolside at the Purple Palm Restaurant at the Colony Palms Hotel, 572 N. Indian Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs.
PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // C11
Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktail Competition The valley's top bartenders and mixologists show how people who don't drink alcohol can still enjoy delicious drinks, as the talented mixologists battle for the Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktail Championship! Attendees will get to try the drinks, too! Admission is a suggested $5-$20 donation to our Cocktail Week beneficiaries, the Desert AIDS Project Food Pantry and the LGBT Community Center of the Desert's Community Food Bank. 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19, at Gelson's Market, 36101 Bob Hope Drive, in Rancho Mirage.
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Sunday: Beer Pong at 10 p.m. Monday: Mortal Kombat competition at 10 p.m. Tuesday: All day and night happy hour, open to close Wednesday: Beer Pong at 10 p.m. Thursday: Karaoke 9 at p.m. Friday and Saturday: Live performances 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert â€¢ (760) 636-5220 www.facebook.com/thehoodbar CVIndependent.com
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PALM SPRINGS CRAFT COCKTAIL WEEK 2016
PALM SPRINGS’ ORIGINAL SPEAKEASY
A HIDDEN OASIS WITH CRAFT COCKTAILS THAT PAY HOMAGE TO THE REBEL SPIRIT OF THE RESTAURANT’S BEGINNINGS.
The Purple Palm at the Colony Palms Hotel 572 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 760-969-1818 www.purplepalmrestaurant.com CVIndependent.com
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 23
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Multiple appointments allowed. Actors in the Dezart Performs’ production of Casa Valentina pose for a photo in a rehearsal scene that includes Garnett Smith, Kevin Coubal, Dale Morris, Scott Smith, Jeffrey Norman and Tammy Hubler. Photo by Clark Dugger. continued from Page 22 Shaw says authentic, realistic hair, makeup and costumes are crucial to the play. He cites a quote from the character of Bessie, talking to newbie Jonathon/Miranda: “… Our goal is to assimilate. The more you look as if you just stepped away from a bridge table, the higher we grade you. Passing undetected is our zenith.” There’s no dress or makeup in the play that’s over the top. Wig and costume fittings were done early in the rehearsal process, and the actors have been working in high heels and skirts since the rehearsals began. The male cast members got lessons in how to apply makeup with a softer touch— the way real women do. Dezart Performs received a huge assist from the Pasadena Playhouse, which produced Casa Valentina earlier this year: The renowned company is lending Dezart all of the costumes and jewelry used in the play. Shaw says that due to the show’s rich dialogue and well-written characters, Casa Valentina is one of the strongest season openers Dezart has ever produced. “It teaches us that it’s very important to learn about those around you,” he says. “The transvestite group saw themselves as normal while viewing the gay community as deviants. They saw what they were doing as simply creative expression; they were fulfilling a desire to show their feminine sides. The crux of the play is the conflict between two factions of the transvestite society—one sympathetic to the gay community, and one most definitely not. “One of (character) Charlotte’s lines is quite telling: ‘Fifty years from now, when homosexuals are still scuttling about as the back-alley vermin of society, cross-dressing will be as every-day as cigarette-smoking.’” Casa Valentina also marks another first for Dezart: The nine cast members make up the largest cast the company has ever had. Shaw also says the cast is one of the best. The second he saw San Diego resident Dale Morris, Shaw says, he knew Morris would be perfect as Charlotte; Shaw even applauded after Morris’ audition, he said. Morris says that being cast in the play is a blessing—although he added that playing an unlikable character can be challenging. A theater veteran, Morris lists performing in His Girl Friday at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and playing George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as two of his career highlights. Though Morris claims there has been no competition among the male cast members as to who is the best-looking “woman” onstage, he admits he wanted to look pretty when he first got the gig. For what it’s worth, he apparently pulled it off: Shaw says that when Morris first walked across the stage in high heels, he was impressed with the actor’s calves, and notes that Morris is “stunning” in his gold lame blouse. Shaw says there are two good reasons Palm Springs theater-goers should see Dezart’s production of Casa Valentina. One is the superb cast. The other? “If you think you’ve seen cross dressing before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” he said. Casa Valentina, a production of Dezart Performs, will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday, from Friday, Nov. 4, through Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Pearl McManus Theater at the Palm Springs Woman’s Club, 314 S. Cahuilla Road, in Palm Springs. Tickets are $25 to $30. For tickets or more information, call 760-322-0179, or visit www.dezartperforms.org.
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CVI SPOTLIGHT: NOVEMBER 2016 A
Nerds of the Coachella Valley, Unite!
large and, by all accounts, successful comic con came to Palm Springs over the summer. One problem: That comic con was improperly billed as the first and only Coachella Valley comic con. Turns out a group called the Palm Springs Comic Con has been around since 2014— and this scrappy group of locals is putting on the Palm Springs Comic Con on Saturday, Nov. 19, and Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs. (Full disclosure: The Independent is a sponsor of the event.) Locally, there is no one more passionate about comic and nerd-culture than Alex Callego. “My love for it started 20 years ago,” Callego said during a recent interview. “My love for conventions began before that. I’d always heard about San Diego Comic-Con, even before it was this huge and gigantic thing. I always wanted to go to it because I had friends who were artists in high school, and I wanted to be a comic book writer. I joined forces with them and tried to be a comic writer, but it was never a serious thing; it was just out of love for my comic-book fandom.” Callego said he went to his first San Diego Comic-Con by accident, more or less. “I was on vacation with some family members. We stayed in San Diego at the same time as San Diego Comic-Con,” he said. “We walked over there, and this was back before you had to buy tickets. We just went in, and from that moment forward, it changed my life: I had to go every single year.” Callego said he always thought it would be amazing to have a comic con in his hometown, but he was hesitant to produce one of his own.
“I was into music … and I wanted to be in a band and tour. After a while, the whole music thing went away for me for a few years,” he said. “But I was still going to San Diego Comic-Con … 10 years in a row, and then 15 years in a row. That idea of putting on my own convention was something I decided I wanted to do: It sunk in that I needed to create something of my own. Music wasn’t doing it for me anymore. “The first event we did was in May 2014, and that’s when we launched our (Kickstarter) initiative.” That initiative raised more than $14,000. Callego said he was bothered at first when the other group came in and started billing the summer comic con as the valley’s first and only. “Very quickly, I let it go,” he said. “The way I saw it, and the more geek stuff out here in the desert, the better. It strengthens the culture that much more as long as it’s done right. The thing is, being first doesn’t mean anything. Being the best at something is a matter of opinion. What matters the most is being good and connecting with people. As long as I’m connecting to people, that’s what matters. I’m sure it matters to businesses that are involved and things like that. “Our convention started off with a Kickstarter; the fans wanted it. They saw the desire to have a comic-book convention in their town and wanted it so badly that they put their own money behind it. It’s my duty as a person in the community to create something as best as possible with the resources that I have.” What can attendees expect from the Palm Springs Comic Con? Callego said the weekend is all about offering a unique experience, as well as some really fun exhibits.
Alex Callego celebrates during Free Comic Book Day.
“We want the experience to be more interactive; we bring in the younger talents who are trying to do their artwork and art form,” Callego said. “This is a platform for us to be able to help them. What I want to give is an experience that is unique. … We have Titmouse Studios coming in, and they’re going to be doing a panel. They’re going to be talking about their latest show and their newest movie. We also have this thing called the Memory Box; it’s sort of like playing
telephone, only through video.” The Palm Springs Comic Con takes place Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19 and 20, at the Hard Rock Hotel, 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Tickets are $15 to $50. For tickets and more information, visit www. pscomiccon.com. For VIP passes ($50 value for $35), go to the Independent Market at CVIndependent.com. —Brian Blueskye
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 25
ARTS & CULTURE
THE FLAVOR OF PEOPLE Ted Casablanca organizes a Pride show of neverbefore-displayed Michael Childers photographs
By nicole borgenicht
ust in time for Greater Palm Springs Pride, downtown Palm Springs’ Ted Casablanca Gallery is presenting a show of never-before-displayed photographs by Michael Childers—taken in 1974 at a drag ball in a Los Angeles, and at a White Party in Palm Springs in 2002. Childers is best known for his photographs capturing the personalities of celebrities, including Greta Garbo, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Warhol, Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, Joan Crawford and Grace Jones, to name just a few. His work has been featured in numerous galleries and museums throughout the world. However, this upcoming show reveals a different side of Childers’ personality. Mentioning two of his favorite photographers, Nan Goldin and Diane Arbus, Childers said he thinks this Flaming Creatures series resonates with their work. Childers described working with famous people as more like a dream, while in the Flaming Creatures photographs, “the flavor of people—they’re not acting,” Childers said. “These photographs are edgy and different. They’re of people who are gay, straight, lesbian, uni-gender; it’s the fun, outrageous things I like about it,” Childers said. The 1974 drag ball photos were initially taken for a four-page spread in the Italian Vogue magazine, L’Uomo Vogue. However, the pictures have never been presented in a gallery or museum until now; the same goes for the photos from the 2002 White Party. It’s unlikely that this display at Ted Casablanca will be the photos’ last, however: Childers plans within the next couple of years to create a show titled Gay Life in America for the Palm Springs Art Museum’s The Galen in Palm Desert. Childers compared the two time periods. “1974 was sweet and charming,” he said, noting the poses and expressions in the photographs. “I love the originality of costumes in both periods, but the ’70s (costumes) were more unique.” Many of the 1974 subjects were Hollywood people, including costume designers, models, makeup artists, photographers and art directors—in other words, people with a lot of fabulous theatrical flair. “Some were very stylish, and had great makeup, and they would parade out!” Childers said At the 2002 White Party in the park, Childers had spotters bring people over to the background he’d set up. Some smiled and
An image from Michael Childers’ Flaming Creatures (cropped).
laughed, even though he asked them not to; perhaps the whole scene was too much fun. Still, Childers seized many natural poses within the context of the event. Childers describes the scene as being about “street art, and how people from the street express themselves. Where there’s more individuality and uniqueness, I feel like I’m a voyeur. As all photographers are, I’m a voyeur with a long lens.” Childers said he’s been a friend of Ted Casablanca for 20 years, and Childers is thrilled about the show. “Ted has enthusiasm as a Palm Springs booster,” Childers said. “He has a bold and refreshing choice of artists. It’s a terrific gallery.” Casablanca—aka Bruce Bibby—said he’s had a desire to show Childers’ work for years. “I’ve wanted to show his Warhol pieces for a while,” he says. “I actually have one. The drag ball pieces are also a favorite of mine. It was a Halloween drag ball, and he did what he usually doesn’t do: He let people have free rein—rebel photographer meets rebel guests with their moment to shine. “It was Michael’s idea was to show it for Gay Pride with the 2002 White Party (photos). I loved the idea!” The Flaming Creatures exhibit will open with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, at Ted Casablanca Gallery, located at 388 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. For more information, call 760-883-1625, or visit tedcasablanca.com.
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Nov. 11-20, 2016
CWBW is a 10-day valley-wide celebration that attracts beer tourism, focusing on local and Southern California breweries and their craft beers. Established in 2015, Coachella Valley Beer Week is a craft-beer celebration, featuring festivals, dinners, tours, pub crawls, tastings and meet-the-brewer nights in and around Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indio and La Quinta.
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 27
FOOD & DRINK
WELL RED E
An interview with Evan Enderle and Marissa Ross, the duo behind the Ace Hotel’s ‘Wine Not?’
By christine soto
van Enderle and Marissa Ross call themselves “Partners in Wine”—a playful turn of phrase. Not surprisingly, that’s exactly what the two of them bring to wine: playfulness. That’s not to say they don’t know their stuff. During day two of a recent Wine Not? event—their regular weekend wine parties at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club—Evan was waxing poetic about the vibrant acidity of one of his favorite California rieslings while shirtless, in swim trunks. That is the beauty Wine Not?—it’s fun, but you learn. You’re drinking obscure varietals made by serious winemakers … but there is a DJ. Take note: The next and final Wine Not? of the year takes place Nov. 5 and 6 from 1 to 7 p.m. and will feature all female winemakers! When they’re not sipping wine and swimming at the Ace, Evan and Marissa keep busy with other wine-related activities. Evan, formerly the bar manager at the rooftop bar at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, does freelance event production and is a hospitality consultant and occasional DJ. Marissa drinks wines and writes for her popular blog www. wine-allthetime.com and is the wine editor at Bon Appetit. She’s also writing a book, due out next year. The three of us hung out poolside, drinking one of Marissa’s and my favorites, Vini Rabasco Vino Rosso “Cancelli,” out of delightful enamel wine tumblers designed by Marissa. When did you first start getting into wine? Evan: I’m from Missouri, where the first (American Viticultural Area) designation was given, and there is a surprisingly long history of winemaking. I’m not saying it’s all highcaliber stuff these days, but I was around it a lot as a kid. My mom drinks an inordinate amount of juice from a local winery, Les Bourgeois, particularly a bottle called Riverboat Red. Spoiler alert: It’s a sweet wine. I call her back home now, and she loves to say she’s “sailing on the riverboat.” I can’t touch the stuff now, but it was always more the culture of wine—the ritual of these folks gathering around a bottle in the backwoods—that intrigued me. Marissa: I grew up in Southern California in the ’90s, and wine has always been the epitome of being a successful adult to me. I started drinking wine in college, and when I moved to Los Angeles, cheap wine was the only thing I could afford to drink—or eat, if we’re being honest! I was so broke. But I loved drinking it, and that eventually led me to be curious about other wines. Now six years later, wine is my entire life.
What was your first wine love? Evan: I will always think fondly of the 2012 Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat. Marissa: According to Internet history, it would be cabernet sauvignon, but cabernet is more like my first boyfriend I had when I was too young to understand what true love really is. I still love a good cab, but my first true love of wine, and forever love, is gamay. Nothing, to this day, gives me more butterflies than gamay. What’s exciting about wine right now? Evan: It’s not just the cabs and chards from California our parents drank in the ’90s anymore. There’s an influx of young winemakers coming in and sourcing vines that have been all but ripped up completely, planting grapes that have never been planted here, bringing pét-nat back to the masses. To quote Drake, “What a time to be alive.” Marissa: To echo Evan’s sentiment, I think California is very exciting right now. I love all the wacky varietals and fermentations that the Golden State is playing with these days. I also love the natural wine movement, or as I confusingly like to call it, “low-intervention” movement. As someone who loves sour and salt, low-intervention wines are like my dream juice, and it’s crazy how these practices can change wines you think you know. For example, I fucking hate moscato—or I thought I did. I recently had one called Emma, a low-intervention wine, that was unlike any moscato ever. It wasn’t the sugary-sweet sorority-girl wine—it was bright and acidic, with a little meat on it. Incredible. What inspired you guys to start Wine Not? Why in Palm Springs? Evan: Wine Not? was started to give smallproduction winemakers a platform. I think one of the more interesting byproducts has been to give the uninitiated a safe space to drink and learn. I see lots of people act sheepish around wine, because they don’t want to sound like
they don’t know what they’re talking about. You don’t have to know everything about wine to enjoy it. No one can “know everything.” I’ve seen master sommeliers get stumped by a grape. We want to set folks free with good wine they’re not going to find just anywhere. Marissa: Wine Not? started sort of as an accident. I went to one of Evan’s events at the Ace in downtown Los Angeles, and we met and thought it’d be fun to host an event together. I really thought it was going to be a one-off thing. It turned out Evan and I were both passionate about small producers, low-intervention winemaking practices, and drinking outside of the dining room. Neither one of us was like, “All right, let’s start doing events monthly.” It was more like, “Hey, I love these wines—let’s share it with people!” Then suddenly, a year later, Wine Not? is a full-fledged monthly event, and Evan is one of my best friends. I’m so grateful for him, and for the Ace Palm Springs for giving us this amazing opportunity. Your desert island wine? Evan: The Tintero Bianco Secco covers a lot of ground. It’s mostly dry, a little frothy, affordable, drinks with food, drinks with me. I support that. Marissa: The Brendan Tracey “Wah-Wah” red blend. Surprisingly, it’s not a gamay, but damn, is it close, with 75 percent grolleau (a rarer Loire Valley native grape used mostly for blends) and 25 percent côt (French malbec, but it’s much lighter than Argentinian malbec). It smells like barnyard lemonade, and tastes like poppy sour blackberries and ripe black cherries with hints of sea salt. I legitimately drink it like water, and I never cease to be delighted and thrilled by it. Favorite Food Pairing? Evan: Sparkling and any street food.
Marissa: Sangiovese and homemade pasta, or gamay and anything. I wanted to mix it up, but I cannot deny who I am—and gamay does go with everything! It’s the riesling of reds! Favorite wine book? Evan: Rajat Parr’s book (Secrets of the Sommeliers) was very generous. He’s a smart guy, but he doesn’t talk down to you in it. Also, did I mention Marissa’s book comes out next year? Marissa: The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert. This sounds like a joke, and while, yes, it is a scratch-andsniff picture book, so much of tasting wine is smelling it. It’s honestly the most useful wine book if you’re someone who wants to know more about wine, but isn’t interested in reading a novel on Mosel or some shit. … Oh, and my book—Wine. All the Time—of course! Favorite places to go in the desert? Evan: The Ace Hotel was the place I stayed when I first visited here. We owe them a great deal for giving us the platform to do our party out here and letting us run with it. We haven’t burned the place down yet, so that’s a relief. Obviously, we love Dead or Alive, and I’m not just saying that. And Revivals … I got what can only be described as a kimono made from rice sacks on my last trip, and let’s just say it’s turning heads. Marissa: Las Casuelas Terraza has always been and will always be my favorite. I also love Mr. Lyons, and taking the boats around in the Palm Desert Marriott, although I wish they hadn’t ever remodeled it from its ’70s splendor). And most recently, Dead or Alive. Palm Springs native Christine Soto is a co-owner of Dead or Alive wine bar in Palm Springs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marissa Ross and Evan Enderle.
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FOOD & DRINK
By Erin Peters
elebrate all things beer in November with both Coachella Valley Beer Week and the sixth annual International Stout Day! Each year, beer weeks celebrate the culture and community of craft brewers across the United States—and Coachella Valley Beer Week, which I am organizing, will commence for the second time, on Nov. 11. Before I get into the details of what will be happening here in the desert, let’s get into the history of beer weeks, why they exist—and why they’re important. Back in 2008 (the same year when I started The Beer Goddess website), Joe Gold, of Victory Brewing (who would become the founder of Baltimore Beer Week), traveled to Philadelphia to talk with some beer loving friends: Tom Peters, of Philly’s Monk’s Café, and Don Russell, the “Joe Sixpack” columnist. They discussed the possibility of a week-long celebration of beer. Thus, Philly Beer Week was born. It started the “beer week” tradition in 2008 and today is the country’s largest, boasting more than 1,000 events. The area boasts more than 400 beer bars that feature craft beer and food. In 2011, I spoke with Greg Koch, of Escondido, Calif.-based Stone Brewing, about beer weeks and how they help a community. (Side note: Stone just went through a massive layoff, perhaps because the brewing company grew too quickly—but that’s a topic for a whole other column.) “I like it, because I think that the most important thing about beer weeks is that it
moves the needle … among people in a region,” he said. “When you have all these events going on, and then it gets in the papers, and they’re even maybe mentioning on the evening news or something, and all the bars are promoting it, that causes not just beer fans, but just the more average beer consumer, to perk up and go, ‘Huh? I wonder what this is all about.’” Since 2008, beer weeks across the nation have been popping up to celebrate the craft and the people behind the craft. It should be repeated why these beer weeks exist: At its best, the craft brewer embodies not only an entrepreneurial spirit, but also a basic human kindness toward his or her fellow brewer, as well as an infatuation with the art of brewing, and a respect for its American consumers.
November brings both International Stout Day and the second Coachella Valley Beer Week
Beer weeks also show off the vitality of today’s American brewing community, which is using ridiculous amounts decadent ingredients and embracing radical beer styles. Breweries that celebrate beer weeks believe in collaboration and, generally, are incredibly welcoming and egalitarian. This brings us to Coachella Valley Beer Week, a 10-day area celebration of local and original beer. This year, we are celebrating with festivals in Indio and Palm Springs, a brewmaster beer dinner at the Purple Room, an art-and-beer painting event at Coachella Valley Art Scene, a BBQ and Beer event at Stuft Pizza, an event at the Date Shed, and much more. See the complete and updated schedule at www. coachellavalleybeerweek.com. Let’s talk a little more about the “Beer Craft” event at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Coachella Valley Art Scene in the Westfield shopping center in Palm Desert. CVAS is dedicated to advocating local art and culture at their Westfield pop-up art space, MAKE. Come
check out the scene while listening to tunes and trying some tasty brews. Guests will get to decorate beer bottles and help make an interactive sculpture using them. It will be a night of fun with crafts, music and craft beer! However, Coachella Valley Beer Week is not the only beer event worth celebrating in November: On Thursday, Nov. 3, pubs, breweries and restaurants around the world will once again celebrate that iconic beer style—the stout, with International Stout Day. Guinness itself will be hoisting a pint with a special celebration of their own at their new Open Gate Brewery in Dublin on Nov. 4. Since 2011, Stout Day (which I helped create) has grown by leaps and bounds, with events held around the world, in Australia, Spain, Ontario, Nova Scotia, England, South Africa, Ireland, Croatia, Sweden and nearly every state across the United States. Celebrate Stout Day by collect the Untappd 2016 Stout Day badge, and be a part of a revolution that’s being embraced internationally.
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Supporters of the Independent Program Newspapers today are charging more and more for their content. However, the work done by the award-winning Coachella Valley Independent has been—and always will be—available to all, free of charge. We will never put up a paywall. We will never charge for a subscription. However, we are now offering readers an opportunity to support us voluntarily in doing what we do, via the Supporters of the Independent Program. Readers can make one-time, monthly or annual contributions to the Independent—and receive some great perks while doing so. Title supporter: $5,000 (or $417 per month) • Get listed prominently on every page of CVIndependent.com as the website’s sponsor for an entire year. • Receive three quarter-page print ads over one year to donate to the charity of your choice. • Have lunch with the publisher. • Get invited to regular supporter-only parties and events. Major supporter: $2,500 (or $208 per month) • Receive three quarter-page print ads over one year to donate to the charity of your choice. • Have lunch with the publisher. • Get invited to regular supporter-only parties and events. Reporter supporter: $1,000 (or $83 per month) • Receive one quarter-page print ad to donate to the charity of your choice. • Have lunch with the publisher. • Get invited to regular supporter-only parties and events. Correspondent supporter: $500 (or $41 per month) • Get invited to regular supporter-only parties and events. • Receive $10 in Independent Market credit every month! Dear Reader supporter: $250 (or $20 per month) • Get invited to regular supporter-only parties and events. • Receive $5 in Independent Market credit every month! Story supporter: $100 (or $8 per month) • Get invited to regular supporter-only parties and events. Freelance supporter $50 • Receive an Independent bumper sticker and refrigerator magnet.
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333 N Palm Canyon Dr, Suite 112-A, Palm Springs, CA 92262
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 31
FOOD & DRINK INDY ENDORSEMENT This month, we’re craving breakfast—no matter the time of day By Jimmy Boegle
WHAT The “Benedict” Sopes WHERE Reservoir at the Arrive Hotel, 1551 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs HOW MUCH $13 CONTACT 760-507-1640; reservoirpalmsprings.com WHY It’s a fresh take on an old classic. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day— when it’s done right. However, as I have noted in this space before, breakfast is often not done right: Far too many restaurant breakfasts are boring and uninspired. Well, at Reservoir at the Arrive Hotel, they do breakfast right. Witness this fresh take offered on that breakfast classic, eggs Benedict: For the “Benedict” sopes, they swap out English muffins for sopes—you know, the masa-based cakes that are kinda, sorta like a thick tortilla—and exchange the Canadian bacon for chorizo. The resulting dish is still fairly basic—it’s still just sauce, meat, egg and “bread”—but man, it is delicious. While I enjoyed the heck out of the chorizo, it was the sope that really made the food sing. A hint of corn adds just a bit of sweetness and freshness to the dish, while the sopes’ texture creates a more pleasing mouth feel than a soggy ol’ English muffin. The dish, as delivered, was not perfect—the valentine hollandaise sauce had started to congeal ever so slightly, meaning the plate sat around a bit too long before being brought to my table, a fact that also led to the food’s temperature heading down toward lukewarm. However, the “Benedict” sopes were still delicious despite these flaws, and that says a lot. Trust me: There are few better ways to spend a Palm Springs fall morning or afternoon than eating an egg dish while overlooking Arrive’s pool, with the San Jacinto Mountains as the backdrop. Go and see for yourself.
WHAT The Breakfast Sandwich WHERE Tipper’s Gourmet Marketplace, 276 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs HOW MUCH $7.95 CONTACT 760-322-6666; tippersgourmetmarketplace.com WHY It’s a terrific meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I was running errands around 5 p.m. one recent late afternoon/early evening when my stomach started telling me it was hungry. More specifically, it was hungry for breakfast. (My stomach clearly does not care what time of day it is when it comes to what it craves.) I was in downtown Palm Springs, so I knew right where to go to make my tummy happy. Tipper’s Gourmet Marketplace, tucked into the rear of the Henry Frank Arcade across the street from the Hyatt, specializes in breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes that can be enjoyed either onsite or to-go. While the breakfast sandwich is obviously on the breakfast menu, Felix Tipper and his crew have the good sense to offer it all day long. And what a sandwich it is: A fried egg is placed atop toasted sourdough bread along with Gruyere cheese, bacon, tomato and a special aioli. The sandwich doesn’t look especially pretty, but it tastes freaking fantastic. And at $7.95, it’s a pretty great deal, to boot. While the breakfast sandwich holds my heart, Tipper’s menu includes all sorts of yummy things. Breakfast offerings include quiche, pancakes (cinnamon banana sour cream!) and traditional fare, while lunchtime brings all sorts of sandwiches and salads, and dinner keeps it simple: You can get chicken, or Italian turkey meatloaf. I must admit that I’ve never actually tried the chicken or the meatloaf. Every time I’ve been at Tipper’s late in the day, I’ve been unable to resist that breakfast sandwich, and as fantastic as it is, I’m not sure I’ll ever try the chicken or meatloaf—unless perhaps I bring a friend and talk him or her into ordering one of those dinner entrées, and I steal a bite.
JASON DAVID HAIR STUDIO
LOVE YOUR HAIR Country Club and Cook Street Palm De sert
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Welcome to Johannes Restaurant.
Willkommen im Johannes Restaurant.
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196 S. INDIAN CANYON DRIVE, PALM SPRINGS, CA 92262
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 33
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By Jimmy Boegle BALISAGE BISTRO CLOSING ON NOV. 5; AN IMPENDING MOVE IS PROMISED When restaurant owners announce that they’re closing for a move—but don’t actually announce any details about the move—it usually does not bode well for the existence of said restaurant. Take the fate of the Twin Palms Bistro and the Chop House Palm Springs as cautionary tales: Both announced they were moving to a space TBD; then they closed, and have (as of yet) not been heard from again This brings us to Balisage Bistro, the popular Mediterranean place that has spent 2 1/2 years at 145 N. Gene Autry Trail—right next door to Atlantic Aviation: The restaurant announced via Facebook in October that it was closing on Saturday, Nov. 5—and said to “stay tuned for news of our exciting new location.” Uh oh. However, this closure may actually be followed by a move: After a fan asked where Balisage was moving, whomever responds to such queries on the Balisage Facebook page responded with a single word: “Downtown.” Hmm. Watch www.facebook.com/balisagebistro for updates, or call 760-406-4565.
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NEW (KINDA): THE KITCHEN AT THE HARD ROCK When the Hard Rock Palm Springs announced a while back that Kerry Simon would lend his name to its main restaurant, it made sense; after all, Simon was often referred to as the “Rock ’n’ Roll Chef,” so the Simon Kitchen + Bar seemed like a good fit for the music-themed property. Sadly, the fit would not last: Simon, who had been suffering from multiple-system atrophy, died on Sept. 11, 2015. Now, a little more than year later, the Hard Rock Palm Springs restaurant is simply known as The Kitchen. The menu is now a little smaller and less fancy than it was during the Simon Kitchen days. Gone, for example, are the rabbit ragu and the truffled mac and cheese. However, The Kitchen still serves all three meals, with burgers, sandwiches and entrées like pasta primavera and braised beef short ribs leading the way. Check out the menu for yourself at www.hrhpalmsprings.com/restaurant.htm, or call 760325-9676. IN BRIEF Head on down to PIRCH, located at 71905 Highway 111, in Rancho Mirage, from 5 to 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 14, for “Bites and Sips for Scholarships,” a fundraiser by the Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), Palm Springs chapter. What’s LDEI? It’s an “international organization of executive women in the culinary, hospitality and fine beverage industry with 39 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, the UK and Mexico,” says the news release. The Palm Springs chapter is celebrating its 20th year and has given nearly $75,000 in scholarships! Restaurants participating in the fundraiser include Sherman’s Deli, Zin American Bistro, Go Deli Market, Bernie’s Supper Club, Rio Azul Mexican Bar and Grill, and Cello’s Pantry; all of these places feature Les Dames d’Escoffier members. Alcohol sips and a prize drawing are also on offer; tickets are $50 at www.ldeips.org, or $60 at the door. … Those of you reading this column a little early, take note: The AIDS Assistance Program—Food Samaritans is bringing back its Hollywood Dine and Dish fundraiser. It’ll take place at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 29, at a private estate in Palm Springs. (The address will be provided when tickets are purchased.) Photographer to the stars Michael Childers is presenting the event, while lifestyle and real estate correspondent Michael Corbett will be the master of ceremonies. Entertainers for the evening will include Tony Award nominee Sharon McNight, and funnymen Alec Mapa and Bruce Vilanch. Open your wallets: $500, or $750 per couple, will also get you a great dinner and “premium cocktails.” For more information or to purchase tickets, call 760-325-8481, or visit aidsassistance.org. … The Broken Yolk Café is now open in downtown Palm Springs, in the former Chop House space at 262 S. Palm Canyon Drive; it’s the second Coachella Valley location for the chain, joining the La Quinta location at 78430 Highway 111. Get more info at thebrokenyolkcafe.com, or call 760-318-9655.
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73-399 El Paseo, #103 . Palm Desert, CA 92260 . (760) 346-4372 . Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm, Sun: 11am-5pm
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nick hernandez is back and creating buzz again with kayves the annual concert for autism is back for two nights at the tack room tavern The Blueskye report: george takei, culture club, foreigner—and tons more! the lucky 13: meet drop mob's bassist and the man behind black water gospel
LET' S GET POLITICAL! ’
Ozomatli heads to The Date Shed for a postelection show
PHOTO BY SANDRA DAHDAH
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 35
AFTER CIVX W
Nick Hernandez is back and creating buzz again with Kayves
By Brian Blueskye
hen CIVX and frontman/bassist Nick Hernandez parted ways, Hernandez seemingly disappeared from the local music scene. Well, Hernandez has resurfaced—and with the help of some members of local group Alchemy, he has a new band in tow: Kayves has recently played a handful of shows and just released a new song, “Distant Lights,” on Bandcamp. During a recent interview, both Hernandez (guitar/lead vocals) and guitarist Danny Gonzalez discussed how Kayves grew out of a jam session. “It started probably a year and a half ago,” Hernandez said. “Me and (Kayves guitarist) Oscar Rico, who is from Los Angeles—he went to one of my old band’s shows. We talked, and we decided to jam; we hadn’t seen each other in a while. We’d get together and record stuff on the computer. “I’d go to Alchemy shows every once in a while, and I told Danny we should jam and just see what came of it. That was the foundation of Lights.” everything. We’ve just been adding the pieces.” “That song is actually interesting because it’s Gonzalez said that Alchemy is alive and well. the first time we had the whole band togeth“We have our separate bands now,” Gonzalez er—and we just jammed out,” he said. “I played said, “but we’re still playing shows and have drums; Danny was on guitar; Oscar was on guisome stuff coming up. Gonzo (Roger Chavez) is tar; and we had Eric (Lopez) playing bass. It was in Dreamers; Eric (Lopez) is starting a new band a song we wrote on the spot.” with one of our former keyboardists. We’re all Gonzalez has told me in the past that he still doing Alchemy and keeping busy throughdoesn’t like to use a lot of guitar distortion. out the whole music scene.” However, with Kayves, it was inevitable, he Hernandez said that most of the members said. of Kayves live out of town, which has slowed “For the most part, I keep it clean,” Gonzalez things down as far as writing material and persaid. “Nick writes some of the parts on guiforming live. tar with distortion like he did on our song “Our bass player is from Long Beach; our ‘Episodes,’ so I have to use distortion. I’m slowly other guitar-player is from Hollywood; and our weaving my way around it and trying not to use drummer is from Los Angeles. That’s the way too much distortion. I still have my clean reverb we’ve been working,” he says. “We’ll start jamecho sound.” ming; it’ll be me, Danny and Oscar. Someone Hernandez said the band is making progress else in the band will eventually hear it and in building a song catalog. put their part on it. It’s really cool to see how “Right now, ready to go, we have about six everything comes out. The long-distance thing songs,” Hernandez said. “We have a lot of songs is something we’re not entirely used to, but it’s we haven’t gotten back to. It’s always scattered working out.” around. We’ll get together, and we’ll write Hernandez discussed the song “Distant something, but we have to go back to these
songs before we get too ahead of ourselves.” Hernandez explained what makes Kayves different than his previous bands. “I think we all write our mix—whatever sounds good in the moment,” he said. “I never really have to say, ‘I don’t like that part.’ Danny has his parts, and I fall in love with them, and Oscar has his parts, and I let them take over and put my part in it. I don’t think too much about it.” Gonzalez said that being in Kayves has forced him to make adjustments, considering the band has three guitarists. “With Alchemy, it’s only one guitar. I get to do whatever I want,” he said. “Usually, when we have our practices in Kayves, they’ll have a new song already made and have a foundation for the song. I’ll go in and ask what key they’re in, and start jamming along.” With Hernandez, CIVX quickly gained the attention of the Coachella Valley music scene.
The band’s quick rise was due, in part, to the Tachevah Block Party. The band had only played a few shows before getting enough votes on a submitted video to make the Tachevah bill—which, in turn, led to the band being selected to play Coachella. “That was another time. Right now, it’s just building the foundation (of Kayves),” Hernandez said. “We’re trying to see where it goes. If it goes that way again, we’d love that. But we’re just starting from the beginning and building the foundation, and we’ll see what happens.” Hernandez said the members of Kayves hope to have a recording to release soon. “We’re working pretty hard, and we’re going to try and keep busy,” he said. “We’re working on an EP, which is pretty much recorded instrumental-wise, and I just need to lay down my vocals. But at the same time, we’re already making little steps toward making a full-length.”
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COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 37
THE HEALING POWERS OF MUSIC
The Blueskye REPORT november 2016 By Brian Blueskye
The Annual Concert for Autism is back for two nights at the Tack Room Tavern By Brian Blueskye
ight years ago, Josh Heinz and his wife, Linda Lemke Heinz, started the Concert for Autism. In the years since, the concert has grown to become one of the most anticipated charity music events of the year. The Ninth Annual Concert for Autism will take place on Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Tack Room Tavern in Indio. The Hellions, The Flusters, Machin’, House of Broken Promises and many, many others are scheduled to perform during the two-night event. The couple is well-known in the local music scene thanks to their work in Blasting Echo and 5th Town. They’re also the parents of autistic children; in fact, that common thread in their lives led to them meeting each other. During a recent interview, Heinz discussed the many challenges that he and his wife face on a daily basis. “The tough thing is that Linda’s son, Christopher, who is 14, he can have severe meltdowns,” Heinz said. “If you try to redirect him if he’s doing something he shouldn’t be doing … he can literally melt down, and sometimes break things, sometimes get violent—and the struggle for us is to prevent that from happening. Currently, it’s way down from that, probably around 12. he’s on a medical regimen, and he’s actually There’s that loss of income.” doing better over the past couple of months, Having children with autism also leads to but it’s never a guarantee. Every day, you wake financial challenges beyond that loss of work up and hope he’s in a good mood. Last year, he income. didn’t finish the last three weeks (of school), “Christopher is still under his dad’s and we were afraid he wouldn’t even go to high insurance, but we still have to pay for the school this year, given it was his first year of medications,” Josh said. “He is also a teenage high school. So far, he’s been good, but there boy; he eats a lot. The other day, he literally ate was a day he had a big meltdown, and we had six bananas in 30 minutes. He doesn’t like to to go get him out of school. eat most fruits and vegetables; he wants sugar “When he’s had meltdowns, he has thrown and carbs. We’ve started to hide food and only chairs, and you worry he’ll throw the TV put out a little bit at a time, because he’ll go from off the wall. It’s fear, and it’s sadness— through it.” particularly for Linda, because that’s her son. Josh and Linda need to plan their My son, who doesn’t live with us, is two years performance schedules accordingly, too. older. He used to be violent, but nowhere near “You can’t just hire a regular baby sitter to what Christopher is.” baby-sit with an autistic kid,” Josh explained. Josh works full-time. However, Linda needs “Christopher typically goes to bed around 8 or to be on call with the school on a daily basis. 9. He gets his nighttime medications, calms “In Linda’s case, she can’t hold a real job,” down and goes to sleep. Our son Jack can’t be Josh said. “She teaches piano and voice lessons alone with Christopher, because Christopher from home and has done that for a long time. used to pick on his sisters when they were She’s had to cancel lessons. She used to have smaller. The autism heightens that, and he’ll 20 students she’d teach through the week; now try to pick on Jack. Our older daughters can Blasting Echo. CORY COURTNEY
watch Jack when we play, but Christopher is 14 and a big kid, and Jack is little, and picking on Jack could be dangerous. If we play a show when Christopher is going to be awake, at something like 7:30 p.m., we have to have an adult there who knows him, or knows about autism. Say 5th Town has a show, and our set is at 9. We need to be there at 8:30, and that’s (Christopher’s bedtime) window, and the meds don’t always make him go to sleep. So we have a respite worker. We have respite hours from the state, and (the worker) will come in around 7:30.” The musical careers of Blasting Echo and 5th Town have had a positive effect on the family, especially when one of the bands practices at their home. “We love making music, and our outlet is our way to deal with how we feel,” Josh said. “Jack loves it and will sing along in his room. Sometimes, Christopher will come out and wander around. Sometimes he’ll bounce around in excitement, and it’s a good thing. Overall, the music is a calming thing.” Earlier this year, Lumpy’s local golf stores closed their doors for good—but the Lumpy’s Foundation for Autism is still going strong. “Before I worked with Lumpy’s, I donated money to the Coachella Valley Autism Society. When my son was diagnosed, my now-ex-wife and I didn’t know what to do,” Josh said. “I found out about the society a couple of years later, and that’s where I met Linda. Josh explained why the funds from the annual Concert for Autism go to Lumpy’s Foundation. “Linda had a grant from Lumpy’s, and while Lumpy’s is closed, the foundation is still going to stay open. The owner has a son with autism, and (the son) plays piano; Linda taught him. … The National Autism Society (with which the Coachella Valley Autism Society is affiliated) came back to us and said, ‘All fundraising events have to be sanctioned by the National Autism Society.’ They gave me the money back, and I said, ‘I’ll just give it to Lumpy’s.’” The Ninth Annual Concert for Autism will take place at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Tack Room Tavern, 81900 Avenue 51, in Indio. A $5 donation at the door is suggested. For more information, visit concertforautism.com.
The holiday season is approaching, as are cooler temperatures—and hotter events, now that season is back in swing. The McCallum Theatre has a busy schedule in November, with a number of great events to consider. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, you’ll be singing “Urgent,” because Foreigner will be performing. Foreigner is one of the world’s best well-known rock bands, with 16 Top 30 hits, 75 million records sold and great songs such as “Dirty White Boy,” “Feels Like the First Time” and many others to its credit. Tickets, if there are any left by the time you read this, are $47 to $97. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, bossa nova and jazz great Herb Alpert will take the stage alongside his wife, Lani Hall. Herb Alpert has made some great records in his long career, and many of them are now Latin and American music staples; Alpert is credited with bringing the Latin side to American jazz in a truly innovative way. Tickets are $37 to $77. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19, be ready to say, “Oh myyyyy,” because George Takei will be appearing. Of course, Takei is known for his iconic role as Sulu on Star Trek, but he’s also a hilarious Internet celebrity, and on a serious note, he’s known for speaking emotionally about his family’s imprisonment in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Tickets are $37 to $97. But wait, there’s more: At 3 and 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20, The Beach Boys will be performing. I admit that I’m not a fan of the current inception, which does not include creative genius Brian Wilson and Al Jardine. The current lineup is fronted by the Wilson brothers’ cousin, Mike Love, who has been scorned by many original Beach Boys fans. But if you’re feeling nostalgic, go ahead and check it out. Tickets are $67 to $97. Be sure to check out the McCallum’s online schedule for more events. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www. mccallumtheatre.com.
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The Blueskye REPORT continued from Page 37
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is rocking into November. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, white-boy soul-singer Robin Thicke will be stopping by. Remember him? He had that song called “Blurred Lines” that was all over the place a few years ago that so resembled Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” that Thicke wound up in court. Thicke bottomed out pretty hard in 2014 when his follow-up to the Blurred Lines album, Paula, only sold about 30,000 copies. Watch as Thicke tries to get a comeback going. Tickets are $59 to $99. At 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11, Culture Club will finally be coming to the desert. The band announced a tour in 2014 that was slated to kick off at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa—but it was canceled before it began, because Boy George required surgery. You won’t want to miss this one. Tickets are $59 to $89. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 800-827-2946; www. fantasyspringsresort.com. The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa will host an evening with Sheena Easton at 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10. Did you know the Scotland native has sold more than 20 million records during her career? Tickets are $75 to $85. At 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11, former Three Dog Night member Chuck Negron will take the stage. The former college basketball
player has been performing for more than five decades now! Tickets are $40 to $75. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-9991995; www.hotwatercasino.com. Morongo Casino Resort Spa is offering some laughs in November. At 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4, the star of BuzzFeed’s web series Whine About It, Matt Bellassai, will be stopping by. Bellassai had been getting 3.5 million weekly views, but in early 2016, he put his show on hiatus. If you’re looking for a funny Pride related-event, this is the one to pick. Bellassai is infamous for his comedic dialogue about being a single gay man living in the Big Apple. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18, Mr. Fluffy himself, Gabriel Iglesias, will return to the Coachella Valley with his new show, #FluffyBreaksEven. After several appearances in movies, he’s still a stand-up comedy genius and continues to amuse sold-out audiences. Tickets are $65 to $85. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace will most likely see a boost in attention from locals and tourists alike thanks to Paul McCartney’s performance there in between Desert Trip weekends. At 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11, there will be a great lineup of desert
rockers: Fatso Jetson, Mondo Generator, The Freeks and Glitter Wizard. Fatso Jetson performed at a show at Pappy’s back in April, and I can tell you that the band kicked ass. Tickets are $10. At 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 26, it’ll get weird when the Meat Puppets and Mike Watt and the Secondmen perform. The Meat Puppets are coming back to Pappy’s after a performance there in 2013; it’s a great band from punk-label SST’s glory days. Mike Watt performed in the Minutemen, who were also on SST in the early ’80s; he’s a phenomenal bass player. I’ve seen Watt play with the Secondmen, and they’re mind blowing. Tickets are $20. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www. pappyandharriets.com. The Hood Bar and Pizza has a show in November you won’t want to miss. At 9 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 23, there will be a special Thanksgiving Eve bash with Mighty Jack, The Sweat Act and 5th Town. This should be a fantastic show. I’ve become a big fan of 5th Town, which includes Long Duk Dong vocalist Chelsea Sugarbritches, and Blasting Echo keyboardist Linda Lemke Heinz. One of my favorites is 5th Town’s song, “Pretty.” Admission is
free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar. The Date Shed has some nice events taking place this month. At 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4, Metalachi will be coming back. Metalachi is on to something … performing metal songs in mariachi form? Brilliant! Opening the show will be Gutter Candy and Wyte Gye. Tickets are $10 to $15. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe Street, Indio; 760-775-6699; www. dateshedmusic.com. The Purple Room is ramping up its schedule for the season. At 6:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11, there will be a performance by Kal David and Lori Bono and the Real Deal. Kal David is a legend we’re lucky to have in our local scene. His blues credentials run deep: He’s performed with B.B. King and opened for Stevie Wonder. Tickets are $25. At 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19, Branden and James will be performing. Consisting of a cello (James) and a tenor voice (Branden), the duo will be perform everything from Bach to Justin Bieber. Tickets are $25 to $35. The Purple Room Supper Club, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www. purpleroompalmsprings.com.
Branden and James
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MUSIC LET’S GET
Ozomatli heads to The Date Shed for a post-election show
By Brian Blueskye
hen Ozomatli formed in 1995, the band’s melding of Latin, hip hop and rock music blew some people’s minds. The same thing can be said about the band’s political activism. Ozomatli will be appearing at The Date Shed on Saturday, Nov. 12. Ozomatli has seen a lot of prominent members come and go over the years. Original members Chali 2na and Cut Chemist left and joined hip-hop group Jurassic 5, for starters. Still, Ozomatli has continued on and diversified its sound to include various forms of world music. As a result, Ozomatli remains one of the best bands in America to go see live. During a recent interview, saxophonist Ulises Bella discussed the band’s transformation. “I think it’s obvious that … our personal lives and our musical influences started to change to 14 or 15 people. We had a pretty steady through our travels, and just keep expanding,” 10 or 12 for a time,” Bella said. “It’s really fun Bella said. “Of course, the Latin and the to have that many people and to have that hip hop is our foundation. It’s a sound power onstage, especially for me, being a that will never go away from us. But we’ve saxophonist. Having a four-piece horn section experimented with so many different sounds.” means so many more covers and things you In the late 1990s and early 2000s, can do. What I remember most about those Ozomatli toured with punk bands such as days is it was a tsunami of music. When we Offspring, political rockers like Rage Against played, we would blow other bands out of the the Machine, and Latin-rock giants such as water. It’d be crazy. All of us came from publicSantana. music-school programs, so there was this “The band at its most was sometimes up
unifying love of music that was going on.” Ozomatli has always fought for socialjustice causes, which—no surprise—has led to a fair amount of controversy. When Ozomatli played a protest concert outside of the Democratic National Convention in 2000 with Rage Against the Machine, police and protesters began fighting just minutes into the band’s performance. The band was placed on a Fraternal Order of Police boycott list for its support of a new trial for convicted Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. “There have been things that have come up due to our ethnicity and our political leanings,” Bella said. “… It’s all right, though. There’s no reason for me to be bitter about it, either. The one thing that we have to say— with a big, ‘Fuck you!’ to that—is we’re still supporting all our families with our music.” Bella added that the band has dealt with some uncomfortable moments due to poor
Ozomatli. sandra dahdah
reactions to the band’s multicultural approach and primarily Latin ethnicity. “I think all of us at one point or another were blinded from the usual political climate. Los Angeles is so multicultural, and we grew up with all kinds of people,” Bella said. “Of course, Los Angeles has its own funky and fucked-up racist history. But I think for the most part, I didn’t get a taste (of racism) until I left here. During the Offspring tour … I remember being called a wetback, (with) people telling me to go back to fucking Mexico and shit like that. When we played Philadelphia, and we dedicated to Mumia Abu-Jamal, we almost got fucking killed in that venue. We had to leave the venue early, because it was that fucking ugly.” Bella said he finds the current political climate both sad and entertaining. “Once Obama became president, there was a spike in a lot of white-supremacist groups and what they call alt-right groups,” Bella said. “Now in particular, some of the rhetoric that Donald Trump has thrown around is really coming up to the top. In many ways, it’s fucking disheartening in the current climate. “Part of me loves it because of its entertainment value. How many fucking people are watching the elections? It’s terrifying that one of these people is going to get the power of the empire, Caligula-style. It’s nuts, man! But I watch news all day, and I’m always reading different media outlets and how events are being interpreted.” Ozomatli has played at Coachella and The Date Shed in the past, and Bella said the band always enjoys coming to the Coachella Valley. “Every time we go out there, we realize we have this little pocket of fans,” Bella said. “(The Date Shed) is a cool little venue, too and we love to play there. People come up to us after the shows there, and you can tell the appreciation is at a high level. Plus we have friends out there, so it’s great.” Ozomatli will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio. Tickets are $25 to $35. For tickets or more information, call 760-775-6699, or visit www. dateshedmusic.com. CVIndependent.com
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What’s your favorite music venue? The Date Shed. What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head? “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots.
By Brian Blueskye serves as the band’s driving force. For more information on Drop Mob, find the band on Facebook. Steve Zepeda was kind enough to recently answer the Lucky 13. What was the first concert you attended? Drowning Pool. NAME Steve Zepeda GROUP Drop Mob MORE INFO If you have not seen local band Drop Mob before, you’re really missing out. The group’s metal and hip-hop sound is unlike anything you’ve ever heard. Simply put, they kick ass, thanks to a talented M.C., Gabe Perez; amazing guitar-playing from guitarists Dave Burk and Curtis Hendrix, drums by John Camacho; and bassist Steve Zepeda, who
What was the first album you owned? Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill. What bands are you listening to right now? System of a Down.
What band or artist changed your life? How? There are so many bands and artists who changed my life as I was learning how to play bass. Learning to play bass and then joining bands has kept me busy and out of trouble. You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking? Victor Wooten: “How do you slap the bass?” What song would you like played at your funeral? “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get? The new rap style. You just can’t understand the lyrics. Ha ha!
DEAD or ALIVE
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time? Pearl Jam, Ten. What song should everyone listen to right now? “Imagine,” John Lennon.
NAME Lance Riebsomer GROUPS Black Water Gospel, Foxy Cleopatra MORE INFO Foxy Cleopatra is an oddity in the local music scene—in a very good way. The band’s sound is indescribable, but one can hear the influence of rock, funk and R&B—especially when it comes to the frontman and guitarist, Lance Riebsomer. Riebsomer recently released an album under the name of his new music project, Black Water Gospel, and has also played some solo shows; he’s been doing some stuff with Jack Kohler of War Drum, too. Hear some of his solo recordings at www.soundcloud.com/ lanceriebsomer.
What was the first concert you attended? My first live concert was the Aquabats at the Glass House in Pomona back in 2000; it was post Travis Barker. The Blue Meanies opened up for them. At that point in my life, ska was life.
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What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure? The musical Grease, and the band Extreme.
Meet Drop Mob’s bassist and the man behind Black Water Gospel
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live? Led Zeppelin.
What was the first album you owned? Blues Traveler, Four. I bought it at a garage sale when I was 10. What bands are you listening to right now? I’m odd with my music-listening choices. I’ve been digging on the new Bon Iver album, but I’ve also been revisiting a lot of Black Rebel
Motorcycle Club records, Baby 81 specifically. Also, (I’ve been enjoying) the new Young and the Giant record. It’s a well-written album. What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get? For the most part, I’m very much open to most music genres. The one that I really could quite do without is the whole rap/rock culture. Specifically, Linkin Park. It rings very generic in my ears. What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live? Electric Light Orchestra and Led Zeppelin. What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure? 1990s R&B, especially K-Ci and JoJo. What’s your favorite music venue? The Santa Barbara Bowl. It’s vintage and endearing. What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head? “Now I’m four five seconds from wildin’ it,” from Rihanna, Paul McCartney and Kanye West, “FourFiveSeconds.” It’s grammatically flawed, but so good. I love Rihanna and Sir Paul, but for the record, I hate Kanye West. What band or artist changed your life? How? I discovered Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds’ self-titled album when I was going through a horrible divorce in 2013. I found myself singing songs off that record at the top of my lungs as I was commuting between Orange County and the desert. That record is perfect and absolutely amazing. You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking? To Robert Plant: “Would you and Jimmy please headline Desert Trip next year and play ‘Black Dog’ at least three times, please?” What song would you like played at your funeral? “Across the Universe,” by The Beatles. Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time? The Beatles’ “White Album,” and that is all. What song should everyone listen to right now? “River” by Bishop Briggs.
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 41
OPINION COMICS & JONESIN’ CROSSWORD
Across 1 Language in which many websites are written 5 Favreau’s Swingers co-star 11 Internet connection problem 14 “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, e.g. 15 Where tigers may be housed 16 Notre Dame coach Parseghian 17 Vessel even smaller than the one for shots? 19 Airline based in Stockholm 20 Marching band event 21 Capulet murdered by Romeo (spoiler alert!) 23 Prepare lettuce, perhaps 24 Community org. with merit badges 26 “Let It Go” singer 27 Gallagher of Oasis 28 Badtz-___ (penguin friend of Hello Kitty) 30 She voices Dory 31 Bow (out) 32 Component of a restaurant’s meat-
eating challenge? 34 Reveal accidentally 35 “I like 5 p.m. better than 11 p.m. for news”? 39 CSI theme song band, with “The” 42 National who lives overseas, informally 43 Dye holders 44 Word said by Grover when close to the camera 45 Canning needs 46 Marker, e.g. 47 Hawk’s high hangout 48 Big baking potatoes 50 It may be printed upside-down 52 Nyan ___ 53 What the other three theme entries do? 57 Scarfed down 58 Accessed, with “into” 59 Pomade, e.g. 60 Primus frontman Claypool 61 Tony and Edgar, for two 62 Website specializing in the vintage and handmade
Down 1 “Black Forest” meat 2 Portishead genre 3 Mosque adjunct 4 Winner’s wreath 5 Competed (for) 6 Heavenly creature, in Paris 7 Contract ender? 8 Wu-Tang member known as “The Genius” 9 Ground-cover plant 10 Inquisitive 11 French explorer who named Louisiana 12 Body of water between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan 13 It’s filled at the pump 18 Just a ___ (slightly) 22 Sing like Ethel Merman 23 Nestle ___-Caps 24 Bond, before Craig 25 Naturally bright 28 Sole syllable spoken by the geek on American Horror Story: Freak Show (and Beaker on The Muppets) 29 Working 30 Cable channel launched in 1979
32 Arcade machine opening 33 “Vaya con ___” 35 Spiral-shaped 36 Get rusty 37 Some newsbreaks 38 Certain allergic reaction 39 Never existed 40 Coiffures 41 Rock worth unearthing 44 Windham Hill Records genre 46 “Rubbish!” 47 Pokemon protagonist Ketchum 49 Bi- times four 50 Like Scotch 51 Flanders and his name-diddly-amesakes 54 Org. for analysts 55 Home of Ask Me Another 56 Double agent, e.g. ©2016 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@ jonesincrosswords.com) Find the answers in the “About” section at CVIndependent.com!
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CANNABIS IN THE CV
POT AND POLITICS
he public-opinion news just keeps getting better for the legalization movement. A recent Pew Research Center poll revealed that 57 percent of Americans favor the legalization of the use of marijuana, while only 37 percent still think it should be illegal. This is fairly amazing, considering that a mere 10 years ago, those numbers were pretty much reversed, with 32 percent in favor of legalization, and 60 percent opposed. Weed, you’ve come a long way, baby! Not surprisingly, the youth vote is where the strongest support for legalization is. A whopping 76 percent of millennials (ages 18-35 in 2016) are in favor. That’s up from 34 percent just a decade ago. Baby Boomers and GenXers are showing increasing support as well: Boomers are 56 percent in favor of legalization, up from just 17 percent in 1990, while Generation X sits at 57
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percent in favor, up from 21 percent in 1990. How does this break down across party lines? Predictably: 66 percent of Democrats are in favor of legalization, with just 30 percent opposed, while most Republicans (55 percent) oppose legalization. Here in California, the numbers tell a similar tale. A recent poll showed that 58 percent of Golden State voters favor Proposition 64, which, if approved in November, would legalize marijuana for some recreational use. The poll (conducted by USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times) also showed that support for legalization was strong across “most lines of age, race, income and gender,” the Los Angeles Times reported. This shift in public opinion all but guarantees passage of Prop 64, which is backed by former Facebook president Sean Parker and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, despite blowback from pro-marijuana skeptics who think the law doesn’t do enough to protect smaller growers and the rights of medical patients. Cannabis-industry trade groups like the California Growers Association are deeply divided on the issue. Only 31 percent of the 750 member growers of the CGA are in favor of the bill, while 31 percent are opposed, and 38 percent are undecided. The resistance stems from potentially costly environmental regulations (said to cost around $20,000 to $100,000 per farm), and a lack of long-term protections from an industry takeover by outof-state interests. Allowing Big Agriculture into the game is the biggest concern of growers. Some of these growers have been waiting decades for legalization, and now they fear being cut out of the industry they helped create. Prop 64 gives growers five years to establish market dominance in the state before corporate mega-grows can be approved, but many in the industry say this is not enough time, will
take industry accessibility away from smaller operations, and will result in a lower-quality product. The possibility of a lower-quality product is one of the many arguments coming from the medical-marijuana camp. One such voice of dissent is Dennis Peron, a co-author of Proposition 215, which opened the door for medical marijuana in the state back in 1996. He believes cannabis patients will be victimized by law enforcement and the tax code as they are lumped in with recreational users. “I want the voters to be aware of the situation at hand,” Peron told The Cannabist. “Prop 64 is not legalization. If it were legalizing, that would imply that marijuana is illegal, and it’s not. This law would mean the displacement of cannabis farms in Humboldt. It essentially empowers profit instead of people.” While these concerns are indeed valid, Prop 64 will most likely become law in our fair state. Even if Prop 64 fails, not much would change; most of the regulations it puts into effect were passed in last year’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which is now law. Only time will determine how things shake out. In a strange little twist, the Drug Enforcement Administration may actually help smaller California growers stay in business by refusing to reclassify marijuana from Schedule 1: Until the federal prohibition is lifted, large investors will want to place their money where it can be federally insured, like Canada. ‘High Times’ Launches MarijuanaThemed Clothing Line Back in 1974, a group of pothead pranksters headed by a publisher named Thomas King Forcade thought a one-off spoof of Playboy Magazine that featured buds instead of babes
COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 43
American support for cannabis legalization is stronger than ever—but is Prop 64 right for California?
would be a pretty funny thing to do. That first issue sold more than anyone expected, and the public demanded more. High Times magazine was born. Since then, the magazine has become the voice of the industry, movement and subculture that is marijuana. The roller-coaster ride to legalization is finally coming to fruition, and weed subculture has been thrust into the limelight. Stoners across the land are more and more open about their love of cannabis, and cannabis culture is booming. Therefore, High Times has introduced a line of clothing that pays tribute to these connoisseurs, patients, activists and advocates—as well as to their maverick founder. “The fashion trend in general is about retro
and vintage. … You can see it at any show you go to. At the same time, what you’re seeing is this recognition of the legalization of cannabis,” says Larry Linietsky, chief operating officer of High Times. “It’s a way to support the movement by wearing the clothing. We think it’s well-timed. (It’s) vintage, counterculture and authentic.” With the line’s launch, “High Times recognizes the need to celebrate these street soldiers worldwide by giving them banners to fly.” This would be pretty haughty talk for anyone other than High Times … but would you question Rolling Stone magazine’s place in rock ’n’ roll history? Playboy’s place in pinup culture? No, you would not. The line is available now at shop. hightimes.com. CVIndependent.com
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The November 2016 issue of the Coachella Valley's alternative news source. Includes the Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week program!
Published on Oct 24, 2016
The November 2016 issue of the Coachella Valley's alternative news source. Includes the Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week program!