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Tuesday, Nov. 29 | ☀️ 69°/47°

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It's not just any Tuesday, though, it's Giving Tuesday. While we're partial to helping support local independent journalism, we know you may have other ideas. There really is no way to go wrong today, whether you support local, national, or international causes. At a loss for how to help? Turn here to the official Giving Tuesday website for guidance.
 
🎶 Setting the mood: "Peur des filles (Montmartre remix)" by L'Impératrice

Leading off: City looks to modernize rules on nudity, adult businesses

Times have changed in Palm Springs and elsewhere since the city last adopted rules that apply to what can be worn in public and where sexually oriented businesses can be located.

A lot has changed in Palm Springs since 1995, but one thing that hasn’t is headed for revision.

Driving the news: During its regular meeting Monday evening, a majority of the current Palm Springs City Council agreed changes are needed to regulations that govern sexually oriented businesses and public nudity. The topic has been under discussion for months, but only recently made its way into a staff report with proposed changes.

At issue: Looking to curb the city’s reputation as a spring break hotspot, Palm Springs officials nearly 30 years ago put strict rules on the books that made it a punishable offense to wear many pieces of clothing in public that today are commonplace. They also used terminology that is outdated by today’s standards — and potentially discriminatory — when describing what clothing is allowed both in public spaces and within private clubs.

  • On Monday, councilmembers discussed modernizing language in the rules, as well as changes that would allow a handful of additional land parcels in the city to house sexually oriented businesses.
Most of the elected officials expressed support for proposed changes that would allow slight expansion of the area where sexually oriented businesses could open as well as modifications to the language contained in the current ordinance. Mayor Lisa Middleton, however, said she had “grave concerns” about allowing any expansion.
  • “I do not want to mislead anyone,” Middleton said. “It is very unlikely I will vote in favor of this ordinance when it comes back. We are going too far, too fast.”
What they’re saying: Owners of businesses that sell adult materials and establishments that host events of a sexual nature expressed support for the changes both Monday evening and at a meeting earlier this month where the proposed changes were initially on the agenda.
  • “The gay community has fought hard for rights historically, and I worry that the rights will be taken away as a result of not having the municipal code changed,” said Robert Cole, owner of Tool Shed off east Sunny Dunes Road during a Nov. 10 Council meeting.
Bottom line: Palm Springs Police Chief Andy Mills told councilmembers Monday that Cole and others shouldn’t be worried. Still, city staff was asked to work with Mills to modernize language in the city ordinance to assure the concerns were addressed. Staff will present revisions at a future Council meeting.
  • “The police aren’t arresting people, but it shouldn’t still be on the books,” said Councilmember Geoff Kors. “We shouldn’t have laws on the books saying it’s illegal when it really isn’t.”
Dive deeper with our complete story.

In brief: Council wants clarity on who is behind rise in street vendors

Further regulation of street vendors in Palm Springs is in the works. But first, city officials want to know how many are truly local.

City officials agreed Monday that regulations are needed to ensure food from street vendors is safe, that they allow room for safe passage on sidewalks, and that odors and smoke from their mobile kitchens are kept to a minimum. But a larger question surfaced during discussion of the issue.

Driving the news: The Palm Springs City Council took no action after reviewing a staff report recommending regulations aimed at an increasing number of street vendors offering tacos, fruit, and other items at pop-up food stands and carts throughout the city. They did, however, express concern about who might own the businesses behind the vendors.

What they’re saying: “I am very concerned that the explosion we have seen of food vending is not coming from locals who are trying to get a foothold into entrepreneurship, but are individuals working for someone else. Given how quickly this industry has exploded in our city, I find myself struggling to believe that it was suddenly organically grown from individuals.” — Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton

At issue: Middleton and others on the council said the city needs to know whether corporations are employing the vendors, sending them into the city, and paying them sub-par wages before any talk of regulating their operations can continue.

  • “I don’t know what the facts are yet, and I want to understand the facts before we proceed,” Middleton said. “We need more time to know exactly who it is we are interacting with.”

Yes, but: Mayor Pro Tem Grace Garner agreed that discussions with the vendors are overdue but added that the increase in their numbers might be attributable to organizing efforts by activists looking to help local men and women enter the ranks of small business owners.

  • “I don’t want to get rid of these businesses,” Garner said, “and I want to make sure we are actually supporting local people, and we are not just shutting it down.”

Next steps: While the Council took no action Monday, councilmembers agreed that regulations to address health and safety issues identified by the community were in order. Also on the table could be a requirement that street vendors acquire and display business licenses so the public will know who owns their equipment and benefits most from their labor.

Dive deeper

A MESSAGE FROM PALM SPRINGS ANIMAL SHELTER

Happy Giving Tuesday!

Undoubtedly, you will receive numerous solicitations today for donations, and we invite you to consider donating to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. Each year, we help thousands of animals throughout the Coachella Valley who enter our doors. Animals who are homeless and need a new home. Animals who are sick and need medical attention. Animals who need updated vaccinations. Your donation today will help every single one of these animals.

To make a donation and help an animal in need, simply click here. On behalf of our furry friends, we THANK YOU!

The Roundup

🐆 The Cheetah Hotel is on the market for $2.95 million — a lot less than its initial asking price from earlier this year. It's one of a trio of hotels for sale by designer Tracy Turco. You can have all three for a cool $7 million. (Realtor.com)

😋 Need a gift for the foodie in your life? Check out these suggestions, including a handful of locations in Palm Springs. (Palm Springs Life)

🎄 If this week's tree lighting and Festival of Lights Parade in Palm Springs isn't enough to satisfy your itch for festive holiday happenings, check out this list of events in other Coachella Valley cities. (CV Reporter)

Today's calendar

Mizell Center programs
Today and every weekday | The Mizell Center
The Mizell Center offers many no-cost or low-cost programs every weekday for members of the community age 55 and older. Check the center's calendar for the latest events, including walking aerobics, Wii bowling, "laughter clinic" improv and much more. 

Jose Sarria Exhibit
All day | Welwood Murray Memorial Library
A special exhibit honoring the legendary drag queen and activist continues during regular operating hours at the library in Downtown Palm Springs.

🎁 Your guide to holiday events
 

The 2022 holidays are in full swing in the city of Palm Springs, and we’re here to try and help you sort through all the events.
Submit Your Event

Looking ahead

Annual Wreath Auction
Wednesday | 5:30 p.m. | Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge
The Palm Springs Animal Shelter and the LGBT Community Center of the Desert are partnering to host their annual wreath auction. Take home a festive holiday wreath, or two. 

PS Rewinds: Tim Burton – Batman Returns
Wednesday | 8 p.m. | Palm Springs Cultural Center
Palm Springs Rewinds, an ongoing film series featuring movies from acclaimed contemporary directors, will have a showing of "Batman Returns" at the cultural center. 

Official City Holiday Tree Lighting
Friday | 5 p.m. | Frances Stevens Park
The Palm Springs tree lighting event will include holiday caroling, free cookies, hot cocoa and activities for children. 

Palm Springs Country Dance Association Dance
Friday | 7:30 | Step by Step Dance Studio
Join the dance association for country western dancing, including two-step, country waltz, shadow, East and West Coast swing and line dances. ($5)

Desert Ensemble Theatre – Do Not Remove Label
Friday and beyond | Times vary | Palm Springs Cultural Center
Desert Ensemble Theatre will present "Do Not Remove Label," a comic suspense thriller set during Hanukkah 1966. The show has many dates, so check for more details and ticket information here

Sounds of the Holidays at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Friday and beyond | Times vary | Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Holiday choir season kicks off Friday at the tramway. On more select dates through Dec. 11, visitors can listen to holiday favorites performed by different high school choirs.

And finally...

Anyone passing by the Palm Springs Visitor Center at the entrance/exit to the city may have noticed a new structure jutting into the air. Yesterday, more familiarity was added just underneath it.

What we know: Cement was poured Monday for the CV Link access point adjacent to the parking lot of the Visitor's Center. If you're familiar with the project, or have traveled on any of the completed sections, you'll recognize the familiar orange and blue colors that were used.

  • The visitor's center project will serve as a station of sorts, allowing cyclists and others a starting or ending point on the 40-mile CV Link pathway.
     
  • Future plans call for enhanced signals allowing for safe passage across Highway 111 on the way to and from the path just north of the Mountain Gate development.
     
  • Another section of the project in Palm Springs broke ground in March and connects Demuth Park with Downtown.
Looking ahead: The entire 40-mile stretch from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea is far from complete. But as we reported in September, there should be nothing stopping its progress. Buildout of all currently funded and planned portions should happen in the next three to five years.

Details: View complete project details, a map, and more at the CV Link website.

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