Police in schools, rate hike, moving of bike event on Council agenda tonight

Police officers could soon return to some city schools if the Palm Springs City Council approves an agreement with the Palm Springs Unified School District.

The Palm Springs City Council will again take up the issue of law enforcement officers in city schools when it holds its regular meeting tonight.

The Council had earlier pulled approval of an agreement with the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) from its consent agenda to learn more about the School Resource Officer (SRO) program. While a deeper dive into the SRO program is still pending, city staff recommends the Council move forward with approving the agreement.

On Tuesday, the school district’s Board of Directors approved paying for officers in high schools in four cities, including Palm Springs. Officers will not return to the schools until elected officials who govern departments that employ the officers authorize agreements.

Under the SRO program, armed officers are assigned to each high school in the district during the school day. Both city police and Riverside County sheriffs deputies fill the roles, depending on the high school location. An additional 45 unarmed campus safety officers work on more than two dozen PSUSD campuses across 214 square miles.

review of data obtained by The Post in August shows students in the PSUSD are referred to law enforcement at levels far below the national average.

Also on the Council’s agenda tonight:

  • proposal to increase fees charged to Palm Springs Disposal Service customers will be reviewed and possibly approved. An annual rate increase should have been done in the spring but was delayed.

  • The Council will discuss moving the 2022 Tour de Palm Springs off Palm Canyon Drive to Indian Canyon Drive in response to a request from some downtown business owners.

To view or participate: The City Council meets in regular session at 5:30 PM. Residents who wish to speak at the Council meeting may submit their comments to the Office of the City Clerk prior to the meeting no later than 5 PM. The phone number is 760-323-8204. At the appropriate time, a staff member will call members of the public to provide testimony. Written comments may be emailed to cityclerk@palmspringsca.gov. Residents can watch the Council meeting live online at www.palmspringsca.gov, on the city’s YouTube channel, or Palm Springs Community Television Channel 17. To review the full Council agenda, go here.


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BRIEFLY

CITY CAN EVICT HOMEOWNER: A Riverside County Superior Court judge has granted the city’s request to evict the owner and occupants of a townhome off Ramon Road labeled a drug house in court documents. An attorney representing Palm Springs said Wednesday all but one occupant of the property, located at 470 Village Square East, has been served with a notice to vacate. He added that the city hopes to execute a lockout by Friday. The city asked for permission to evict the occupants and secure the residence while awaiting the outcome of legal cases involving the owner, a 70-year-old Palm Springs woman. For the complete story, click here.

SUSPICIOUS DEVICE: The Palm Springs City Hall lobby was briefly evacuated Wednesday due to a suspicious device discovered on the building’s front lawn. According to Sgt. Mike Casavan of the Palm Springs Police Department., the device was located at 9 AM by a landscaping crew, and a county hazardous materials team was called to the scene to investigate. The area was deemed safe by 11:45 AM, and the building and nearby roads were reopened. According to city officials, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has since declared the item to be not dangerous, although no further details were provided.

SUNLINE CUTBACKS: SunLine Transit will be scaling back its weekday service schedule to mitigate staffing shortages starting Sunday, the company announced Wednesday. According to a statement from the transit company, weekday bus operations will be scaled back to weekend scheduling on Sunday, October 17, due to the shortage of bus operators that has affected SunLine and other travel agencies across the country. The company referred to the stage of operation as “level 2” and hopes the move will limit interruptions and ensure more reliable service during the new operating hours. According to officials, the only routes not affected by the change in schedule will be Route 5 and the 10 Commuter Link.

TRAFFIC FATALITY: A 67-year-old Palm Springs man died following a traffic collision Tuesday night, Palm Springs police reported. According to a police report, at about 10:20 PM, officers responded to North Sunrise Way and East Tacheva Drive regarding a traffic collision involving two vehicles. Upon arrival, officers discovered one of the drivers was ejected from their vehicle. That driver, William Merinko, was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries. The driver of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries and was also transported to the hospital. The cause of the collision is still under investigation, although police said alcohol and/or drugs do not appear to be a contributing factor.

NEW RESTAURANT: The V Palm Springs, at 333 E. Palm Canyon Dr., will host the grand opening for GiGi’s Restaurant & Lounge on Saturday, October 16. According to a news release, GiGi’s “reflects desert culture with its earth tones, pops of color, and a welcoming atmosphere.” Indoor and outdoor seating is accompanied by a bar and firepit cocktail lounge. Dinner reservations will be open starting Thursday, October 28. V Palms Springs is also relaunching in tandem with its new partner, Sonder, through Geragos Global Hospitality (GGH).


TODAY’S COMMUNITY CALENDAR

WATER AGENCY: The Desert Water Agency Executive Committee meets at 8 AM. The public is invited to attend virtually. Details about how to do that, as well as an agenda, should be made available here prior to the meeting.

MIZELL EVENTS: The movie of the week today at the Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, is The Grizzlies. It starts at 10 AM in the Noia Auditorium. Many more programs are offered today, beginning at 8 AM. Today’s complete schedule can be found here.

BOOK CLUB: The Cover to Cover Book Club meets on Zoom at 10:30 AM. This month the book club is discussing The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. To attend the book club, email Sharon Ballard in advance of the meeting at sharon.ballard@palmspringsca.gov.

STORY TIME: The Palm Springs Public Library offers story time for preschoolers starting at 10:30 AM via YouTube. Librarian Nancy Valdivia reads stories, sings songs, and shows early learning concepts (Wednesdays in Spanish and Thursdays in English). You can find more information here and watch the YouTube videos here.

WOMEN’S CHAT: The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert offers a chat group for all women — no matter how you identify — to discuss topics of interest and find connections every Thursday at 10:30 AM. You can find information about the event here.

NOT TEEN TALK: The Palm Springs Public Library’s teen librarian hosts an Instagram Live session each Thursday at 3:30 PM. To follow along, follow @psplteenzone on Instagram here.

FOOD AVAILABLE: FIND Food Bank distributes food in the city today at a community food bank, 610 S. Belardo Rd., between 5 PM and 7 PM, and at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 W. Tram View Rd., from 5 PM until 6:30 PM. A complete calendar of food distribution in the community this month is available here.

FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission from 5 PM to 7 PM this evening. Tickets are required and can be obtained here.

CITY COUNCIL: The Palm Springs City Council holds a regular meeting at 5:30 PM. A complete agenda and instructions on how to participate or view the meetings can be found here. Prior to the regular meeting, the Council meets in a closed session. An agenda for that session can be found here.

SUNSHINE SISTERS: The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters will be attending a private cooking class at 6 PM. You can sign up to be part of the group on Meetup here.

VILLAGEFEST: The city’s weekly outdoor street fair takes place at 6 PM on Palm Canyon Drive downtown. The event includes vendor booths on both sides of the street — a portion of which is closed to vehicular traffic. At this time, face coverings are required for all who attend, regardless of vaccination status.


ONGOING & UPCOMING

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Kittyland Cat & Kitten Rescue is in dire need of new volunteers to help in Palm Springs. They are specifically looking for anyone who can volunteer at least two hours at the Palm Springs PetSmart location on Thursday or Friday mornings. If you are interested, or know anyone who is, you can find more information here.

FILM FESTIVAL: The 8th Annual Reel Women’s Film Festival runs through October 23, benefiting Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. While traditionally held at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, this year, the event is entirely virtual. Instructions will be sent after registration, which can be done hereThe Post is proud to help sponsor this event.

MODERNISM: The Modernism Week Fall Preview takes place Thursday through Sunday. The event offers visitors and locals a taste of modernism through talks and seminars, in-person home tours, and parties in unique locations not regularly open to the public. Tickets for dozens of events can be found here. In addition to the Fall Preview, you can find furniture, art, décor, and design elements at the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale Fall Edition that runs Friday through Sunday at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros. The weekend kicks off with an opening night party (tickets are available here) on Friday, October 15 at 6 PM. The main event continues all weekend, starting at 10 AM (registration is available here).

VOTING UNDERWAY: Our partners at The Coachella Valley Independent have started the next step in the process of determining the best of the best in the Coachella Valley for 2021-2022. The top vote-getters in each category have been selected, and now you can vote for the winners. To vote for your favorite in any one of multiple categories, start here.

SINATRA CELEBRATION: The first Martinis and Moxie — celebrating the life of Frank Sinatra —  is scheduled for the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E. Baristo Rd., at 6 PM on Friday, October 15. Tickets for that event are available here.

TAHQUITZ CREEK CLEANING: The Tahquitz Creek Yacht Club meets to clean up a portion of Tahquitz Creek Channel at 8 AM on Saturday, October 16. Volunteers gather at the south end of the footbridge at South Camino Real and South Riverside Drive. You can find the club’s Facebook page here, and contact the club via email at tahquitzcreekyachtclub@gmail.com.

PARK OPENING: Palm Springs will hold a grand opening next week for its new Downtown Park. The event will be held on Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m. prior to VillageFest at the new park, located at the intersection of Museum Way and Belardo Road, adjacent to the Forever Marilyn sculpture. Opening remarks will be made by City Council members, park designer Mark Rios, and others. The event will also feature a mini-Taste of Palm Springs, a Halloween dog costume contest, youth games and activities, and an ABBA tribute concert, officials said. The new park is 1.5 acres and features palm trees, benches, a water feature, a downtown substation for the Palm Springs Police Department and an event stage with seating.


COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Want to know what’s happening in your city and at agencies that make decisions affecting your neighborhood? See below for calendars, meeting agendas, and links to all city services, police reports, code enforcement reports, and more:

City of Palm Springs calendar of events | Official city contacts

Palm Springs Public Library calendar of events

Palm Springs Unified School District calendar | Board meetings

Desert Healthcare District Board of Directors meeting agendas

Transgender Health and Wellness Center calendar

LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert programs

Mizell Center calendar of events

Desert Water Agency calendar

ONE-PS calendar of events

Police reports | Submit a police report

Code compliance reports | Report a code violation

Current road projects and closures

Street sweeping schedule

Palm Springs Disposal pickup schedule | Holiday schedules

Sunline Transit bus schedule

Currently active development projects

FIND Food Bank mobile market schedule

Well in the Desert daily meals | Food distribution