Did your favorite story make the Top Ten?

PALM SPRINGS –It is customary at the end of the year to compile lists, lists of those who left us, list of top songs, top movies, top influencers, and more. As we at Uken Report look back at 2020, we, too, compiled a list. In 2020, COVID-19 and politics dominated much of the news coverage. Our Top Ten Stories of the year reflect some of that coverage.

We strive to tell stories that might not be told — and tell them first.

Our Top Ten stories of 2020 are:

No.1: Are Outdoor Patio Misters Safe Amid COVID-19?

As Gov. Gavin Newson ordered 19 counties experiencing increased spread of coronavirus to stop outings to indoor restaurants, patrons moved to outdoor patios where they could dine and stay cool in triple-digit temperatures with the help of misters and fans.

Depending on the time of day, there are hundreds of misters operating in downtown Palm Springs. Thy are a staple in sizzling summers to help businesses remain open.

COVID-19 spreads when an infected person produces respiratory droplets by speaking, coughing or sneezing. Infected droplets contain coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

At least one study shows infected coronavirus droplets can remain in the air for several hours and up to two to three days on certain surfaces.

No. 2: Mary Hart Under Fire for Sign at Trump Rally

Mary Hart, a television icon, local resident and long-time Mistress of Ceremonies of the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Awards Gala, is receiving backlash after some believed she flashed a ‘white power’ sign at President Trump’s Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore.

Hart, 69, a former Miss South Dakota winner, made an appearance in her home state on Friday to host the Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration as Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived on Air Force One.

But Hart’s speculated use of a white power hand gesture left some audience members shocked and social media users outraged.  Some are referring to the former Entertainment Tonight host as “Mary Heartless.”

At issue was Hart’s alleged use of a white power hand gesture.

No. 3: Open Letter to Kroger (Ralph’s and Food 4 Less)

After several conversations, emails and conference calls with Kroger (Ralphs & Food 4 Less) it would appear that the concerns of our members’ health, safety and their hard work have fallen on deaf ears.

Though Kroger has done some things, they have not gone far enough and they refuse to PUT IT IN WRITING.

The $300 and $150 one time bonus for full-time and part-time workers is shameful and it shows the shear greed of this corporation. This is obviously an attempt to make as much money as you can during this crisis. This is not the time to worry about your rich investors’ returns, but it is time to take care of the communities that you claim to serve and the employees that you put on the front lines in harm’s way every day to enrich yourselves!

No. 4: John Schwab Seeks Vacant 28th District Senate Seat

John Schwab, 43, of Temecula is one of two Republicans seeking the open seat in the 28th State Senate District formerly held by Jeff Stone. Schwab is one of five total candidates seeking the seat in the special election on March 3.

Schwab is a small business owner. He and his wife, Traci, who is the director of an adult day care program, have three children ages, 23, 15, and 13.

Others seeking the seat are Anna Nevenic, 72, , a D-Palm Springs; Joy Silver, 64, a D-Palm Springs; Melissa Melendez, 51, R-Lake Elisnore; and Elizabeth Romero, 36, D-Indio.

No. 5: CCW Permits Available Online in Riverside County (This also made the Top 10 in 2019)

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has partnered with Permitium to develop a paperless CCW application process. This new CCW program will allow applicants to apply for a CCW online, upload the required documents, and pay by debit or credit card for a nominal convenience fee. This program also allows applicants to schedule an appointment with the CCW Unit and receive text and/or email reminders. The link for the CCW application can be found by clicking here, then clicking on the “Concealed Weapon Permit” tab at the bottom of the home page.

No. 6: Be Wary of Fake Notice About National Guard [Opinion]

Late last week many Americans received email and text messages regarding the federal call-up and deployment of the National Guard.

The “fake notice” sent out and then was forwarded to many elected officials, military leaders, current and former members of the Guard, and private citizens across our nation leaving many to wonder what was going on. Some members of the media also bought into the “fake notice.”

First, the Guard remains, for the most part, under the management and control of the governors of the 50 states and four territories. The Guard consists of Army & Air National Guard officers, warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, and enlisted personnel.

Many of our states also have a State Guard that is pressed into state active duty service in a time of emergency.

No. 7: Palm Springs City Hall Adjusts to COVID

Palm Springs has been and will continue to implement guidance from the state of California and the County of Riverside — and in many cases is taking additional proactive measures to protect the health and well-being of our residents, workforce and visitors from the impacts of Coronavirus, the city announced.

With that in mind,  the city announced an update of current proactive measures which are immediately being taken by the City of Palm Springs until further notice.

No. 8: Protesters to Welcome Trump to Coachella Valley

Hundreds of protesters are expected to greet President Donald Trump when he arrives in the Coachella Valley on Wednesday, Feb. 19 for a private campaign fundraising event at Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison’s California estate.

The protest is set from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m  on Highway 111 and Bob Hope Drive to coincide with Trump’s arrival and motorcade to the fundraiser.

A coalition of activists being organized by the Coachella Valley Grassroots Progressives under the name Coachchella Valley United are spearheading the protest.

No. 9: Romero Talks Goals, Qualifications for Senate Seat

Elizabeth Romero, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Governmental & Community Relations at UC Riverside, is one of two Democrats vying to fill the vacant seat in the 28th state Senate District.

The seat was vacated on Nov. 1 when Jeff Stone resigned to take a seat in the Trump Administration.

No. 10: Did Sheriff Bianco Really Say That?

Pleas to immediately release those incarcerated in Riverside County jails and detention centers to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 are falling on deaf ears – at least when it comes to Sheriff Chad Bianco.

“Activist groups,” according to the Sheriff, are trying to convince him to let criminals out of jail, and he’s not about to budge.


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