Water park to be built in ‘Palm Springs Resort City’ in Malaysia

It’s interesting to drive around the desert and see developments named after famous places. In Rancho Mirage, if you travel west on Gerald Ford Drive past Versailles — not the renowned royal palace outside of Paris, but a gated community — you will soon pass the entrance to La Toscana, named after the picturesque region in Italy known to Americans as Tuscany.

Has Palm Springs inspired any developments around the world?

Indeed.

I came across this headline this morning: “RM600mil Splash Park to be built on seafront land within Palm Springs.” RM is an abbreviation for the Malaysian ringgit, the Asian country’s official currency. The water park will be constructed in “Palm Springs Resort City,” which is located more than one hour south of capital Kuala Lumpur in the beachfront resort city of Port Dickson. I bet this might be the first time “Palm Springs” and “seafront land” have appeared in same headline together.

There’s more than just a water park coming to “Palm Springs,” according to the article: “Apart from Splash Park, other exciting development components will include an international destination-based spa retreat village, international hotels and serviced residences, a wellness zone, a marina and duty-free shops.”

A marina in Palm Springs? That’s a first, I’m sure.

Coachella Valley police use of force: How your department ranks

A SWAT team practiced at Palm Desert High School in July 2011 in this file photo (Richard Lui, The Desert Sun).

The Desert Sun ran a nearly four-page special investigation Sunday examining Coachella Valley police use of force:

Story: Coachella Valley use-of-force reports drop, but four deadly shootings ties record

Graphic: A closer look at use-of-force reports

Valley police shot seven people in confrontations in 2012, four of them deadly.

So far this year, valley police have shot two people. Palm Springs police shot a man Jan. 9 after they say he ran into three officers with a car. Three Indio police officers shot a man late Monday.

Nationwide, officers used force in 3.6 out of every 10,000 calls over a two-year period, according to the last-known comprehensive national study, published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2001.

Here’s how your police department ranks for use of force — batons, dog bites, pepper spray, physical force, shootings, Tasers — according to The Desert Sun’s analysis of their data:

2012

  • Palm Springs: 28 uses of force (4.36 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Indio: 21 uses of force (3.23 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Desert Hot Springs: 10 uses of force (2.87 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Cathedral City: 3 uses of force (0.68 times per 10,000 calls)

2011

  • Indio: 31 uses of force (4.39 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Palm Springs: 22 uses of force (3.44 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Cathedral City: 9 uses of force (1.95 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Desert Hot Springs: 6 uses of force (1.67 times per 10,000 calls)

2010

  • Indio: 35 uses of force (4.97 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Palm Springs: 28 uses of force (3.9 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Desert Hot Springs: 7 uses of force (1.72 times per 10,000 calls)
  • Cathedral City: 8 uses of force (1.57 times per 10,000 calls)

 

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department — which oversees police services in Coachella, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage — could not provide comparable data.

After repeated requests, it gave The Desert Sun its data on shootings and dog bites, as well as stun gun use for January through August 2012 only.

The sheriff’s department does not track its deputies’ other force, including baton usage, pepper spray or physical force.

California churches rake in lease money by hosting cell phone towers

In this November 2010 file photo, Palm Springs residents protested over a proposed tower at the Center for Spiritual Living.

Churches across California are raking in as much as $4,000 a month by hosting cell towers, according to a new report from California Watch, a nonprofit and nonpartisan investigative reporting group:

Across the state, wireless companies are installing an increasing number of cell sites inside church steeples and bell towers. With the growing use of tablets, smartphones and other wireless devices, the wireless industry has approached churches because of their height and residential locations, where putting new towers would be difficult.

Hiding cell phone towers has been done across the country as cell phone carriers “have a hard time finding places to build new towers,” NPR reported in July.

It’s been considered in the Coachella Valley.

In the fall of 2010, T-Mobile wanted to ink a deal with the Center for Spiritual Living in Palm Springs. The carrier would have paid $1,500 monthly for a tower on the property.

The Planning Commission, and eventually the City Council, rejected the plan to the celebration of more than a dozen residents who had protested against it.

In January 2010, Cathedral City residents successfully rallied against a T-Mobile proposal to build a cell tower encased in a 60-foot cross at Community Presbyterian Church.

Does your church have one? Let me know below or @TDSKateM.