Welcome to 5 Things to Know – a daily rundown of things you might want to be aware of if you live in, visit, or just like being aware about what’s going on in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. As always, thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.
1) The Fires
Dozens of fires continue to burn in California, Oregon, and Washington. Currently, 16,500 men and woman are taking on 28 major wildfires in the state of California:
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 14, 2020
Some important links:
- The LA Times is tracking each of the major fires on this online map.
- A flareup on the El Dorado Fire, which is now burned nearly 15,000 acres, is threatening the community of Angelus Oaks. The area has been under an evacuation order since last week, but officials urged anyone who chose to stay behind to leave on Monday morning:
— San Bernardino National Forest (@SanBernardinoNF) September 14, 2020
- The LA Times has the numbers on what’s currently happening in California:
- More than 3.2 million acres burned in the state this year.
- 4,100 structures burned
- 60,000 people forced from their homes
- At least 24 dead
- Smoke from the west coast fires has now reached as far as New York City.
And, as obvious as it is that something needs to change quickly…someone still doesn’t get it:
Trump on climate change:
“It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch.”
“I don’t think science knows, actually.” pic.twitter.com/jzeFJlujYK
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 14, 2020
2) The Coronavirus
Riverside County announced 693 new coronavirus cases and 15 more people dead of coronavirus since Friday. Here’s the latest in the Coachella Valley:
The county is now reporting the number of recoveries by locality, so I’m including those numbers for the Coachella Valley communities. (2/2)
— Kevin Duncliffe (@kevinduncliffe) September 14, 2020
Some important COVID-19 reads:
- As of Monday, the positivity rate for Riverside County (7.8%) and San Bernardino County (6.7%) was under the 8% rate required by the state of California to move into the next phase of reopening some business sectors – but, neither county will see additional businesses opening up this week, as the state requires the rate to be maintained under 8% for two weeks, which is a benchmark that has not yet been reached.
- The state of California had 2,869 patients hospitalized as of Saturday. That’s the lowest level since April 10. There were 932 patients in the ICU, the lowest it has been since April 2.
- A new study out of UCLA suggests that Los Angeles may have seen its first coronavirus cases before Christmas, without anyone realizing it.
3) Dangerous Levels of Arsenic Found at Coachella Valley Mobile Home Park
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued an emergency order for the drinking water system at the Oasis Mobile Home Park near Thermal.
The park’s main well was knocked out of commission on Aug. 22, forcing a backup well to be fired up. Officials found arsenic levels from the backup well at nearly 10 times the legal limit and has directed the mobile home park to reduce the level of arsenic in its water distribution system to federal standards and provide alternate drinking water to residents in the meantime.
The park is home to about 1,900 people.
4) Home Prices are Soaring in California
Despite 2020 being a dumpster fire, home listing prices in California have skyrocketed 34% since January. Zillow says the statewide median listing price for all types of existing residences was $735,000 as of Sept. 5, which is up 34% since the start of the year. A big reason for the increase in prices: a big decrease in inventory. Locally, Riverside and San Bernardino county has a $476,975 median listing price — up 14%, with listings down 46% and new escrows up 14%.
5) Palm Desert’s Revamped San Pablo Project Gets Brutal Review
The first phase of Palm Desert’s transformation of San Pablo between Highway 111 and Fred Waring Drive is complete and, well, a Palm Desert resident took to writing a review in the Desert Sun:
The Fred Waring Drive to Highway 111 remake cost about $11 million, and is now a 2-lane tortuous road covered with double (i.e., four) parallel lines and erratic double lines on the other side. All the lines and colors, with trees planted in the street, is dizzying. You park in the middle of the street, then either walk to a crosswalk or jaywalk. To leave the parking, you back into the street.
It’s been a tough year for Palm Desert’s roadway projects.
As Cactus Hugs continues to evolve and find its way during the pandemic, I just wanted to say thank you for your continued support. It means a ton.
Stay safe. Stay Smart. Wear a mask. 💚🌵