5 Things to Know: Wednesday, September 9

Welcome to 5 Things to Know, which may or may not become a recurring daily post on this here website. Who knows! For now, this replaces the daily coronavirus updates that have been running on this site since March.  Since the pandemic affects all of us, that will remain a big part of these updates – but, as it also, sadly, becomes part of our regular daily lives,  this format allows us to share information on some other things going on in and around the Coachella Valley that you may want to be aware of as the situation becomes our new normal.

As always, thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.

1) The Fires

Dozens of fires are burning in California, Oregon, and Washington.  The images from around the state of California are just surreal:

Some important links:

  • An evacuation order has been issued for the residents in Angelus Oaks and Seven Oaks due to the El Dorado Fire.
  • The LA Times is tracking each of the major fires on this online map.
  • More than 2.5 million acres of land have burned in California this year — which is nearly twenty times what had burned at this time last year.  The New York Times reports on how these fires are spreading at an astonishing rate.
  • Every National Forest in California will be closed as of Wednesday evening due to the fires.
  • Reuters has some great reporting and graphics on how California is fighting the fires from the air.
  •  A bioclimatologist at Columbia University says there is no doubt that these fires are larger now and more destructive because of global warming.  “This climate change connection is straightforward: Warmer temperatures dry out fuels,” he told the New York Times. “In areas with abundant and very dry fuels, all you need is a spark.

2) The Coronavirus

The big news of the day was audio from a series of interviews with journalist Bob Woodward in February in which President Donald Trump clearly knew how bad the coronavirus was and that it was transmitting through the air, but instead of relaying that information to the American people and possibly saving many lives, Trump downplayed the virus to the American people, continued to call it a hoax, and continued to hold crowded indoor rallies.

Riverside County announced 163 new coronavirus cases and 10 more people dead of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.  Here’s the latest in the Coachella Valley:

3) A Palm Springs Restaurant Served Diners Indoors, Was Fined $5,000

A Palm Springs restaurant served diners indoors on Wednesday and has been fined $5,000 for doing it.  The owner of La Bonita told the Desert Sun it was a “peaceful protest” and that the restaurant “can’t survive with the current mandates” regarding restaurants in the state.

Facebook posts for the restaurant encouraged diners to eat indoors saying that “Walmart and other big corps can have 100’s of ppl inside but restaurants can’t? Enough is enough!!!”

The Palm Springs City Manager told the Desert Sun that Palm Springs Code Enforcement asked the restaurant to comply with the ongoing order and that the $5,000 fine was only issued because of the restaurant’s “willful disregard” for safety measures.

Studies have shown that reopening indoor dining has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in states that have done so.

4) Parents Arrested After 5-Month Old Tests Positive for Meth

The parents of a five-month-old were arrested after their child tested positive for methamphetamine at Hi-Desert Medical Center in Twentynine Palms.

The infant was brought to the hospital for unknown reasons and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department was called to investigate.  Police say the infant not only tested positive for the drug, but also had wounds to both of his heels, which is consistent with child neglect.

The infant was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment. There is no word on his condition at this time.

The child’s parents were arrested for felony child abuse.

5) Home Once Owned by Ginger Rogers and Gerald Ford Can be Yours for Just $4.2 Million


A 5,852-square-foot Rancho Mirage home that was once owned by Ginger Rogers and Gerald Ford has hit the market.  The place has six en suite bedrooms, a saltwater pool, an outdoor shower, 3-car garage, and some killer views.

As the Press Enterprise reports, the Thunderbird Country Club estate underwent an extensive renovation in 2016.

Oscar-winning actress Ginger Rogers once owned the home and sold it to former President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty in the late 70s, though the pair didn’t live in the home themselves, instead it served as a command post for the Secret Service.

You can check out the Redfin listing here.

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. 💚🌵