5 Things to Know: Tuesday, September 29

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 Coronavirus

Riverside County reported 241 new cases and 19 new reported deaths since Friday.  There are 125 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county, with 33 in the ICU.

Here is the latest on what’s going on in the desert:


  • During a meeting with the county’s supervisors on Tuesday, Riverside County Public Health Director said the highest number of outbreaks (3 or more cases from one business) from July through September were reported to stem from grocery stores, with 48 reported outbreaks. That was followed by 31 outbreaks reported in retail, 20 in warehouses, 11 in restaurant or food services, and eight reported outbreaks in a health care setting.
  • It seems like forever since playgrounds at parks were open in the Coachella Valley, but the caution tape and closed signs are coming down, as they are now reopening – with some new requirements.
  • A couple of NFL teams have shut down their facilities after players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus.  The league is not sure if the Titans or Vikings will be playing again anytime soon.
  • Elon Musk on Monday confirmed, once again, that he’s an idiot.  This time by proclaiming he and his family won’t be taking a coronavirus vaccine if / when it comes available.

2) The Fires

Dozens of fires continue to burn in California, Oregon, and Washington.   Currently, over 18,700 men and woman are taking on 27 major wildfires in the state of California.  Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 8,100 wildfires that have burned well over 3.8 million acres in California.

Some important links:

  • The LA Times is tracking each of the major fires on this online map. The San Francisco Chronicle also has a similar map to track the blazes.
  • The Times reports from California’s wine country – which has been hit exceptionally hard by wildfires over the last four years – with dozens of people killed and over 9,000 structures burned.

3) Riverside County Home Prices Are Going Crazy

Once sector that has not been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic is the real estate market.  Home prices in the county have now topped 2006’s price peak.  The $441,000 countywide median selling price is up 13.1% over 12 months. That breaks the all-time record in the county of $432,000 set in December 2006, just bit before the Great Recession.

4) Pieology has Opened in La Quinta

La Quinta has a new option for fast-casual dining, as Pieology has opened its second Coachella Valley location (Rancho Mirage) in the Sprout’s shopping center along Highway 111.  The eatery offers up quick-fired pizzas, salads, wings, and more. You can order online here (and be sure to pick up a Fiery Buffalo Chicken Pizza for me while you’re there).


5) The Ballots Are Coming!


If you have signed up for Ballottrax, you probably received notice on Monday night that your mail-in ballot is on its way.  And while some obnoxious blowhards have been screaming that voting by mail is full of fraud, it’s actually not at all and those obnoxious blowhards are saying these things because they are losing and, well, just they tend to just lie about everything, so why not this too?

Anyhoo, if you have questions about your mail-in ballot, you can learn more here.  And, yes, if you are not registered to vote or have moved recently, you can register to vote in 2020 here.

This year especially, it would probably be best for you to fill out that ballot and return it as quickly as possible as for some weird reason, Trump’s pick to run the post office has been hellbent on slowing down the mail just ahead of the election…weird, huh?

In addition to voting for president, there are a lot of other positions to vote on too, so maybe take these next couple of days to research who is running for city council and other positions in your community, as the people elected to these positions end up making decisions that will affect you and your community for years to come.

Your voice matters, but only if you choose to let it do so.

Stay safe.  Stay smart.  Wear a mask. Seriously though, wear a mask.  💚🌵