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What’s your opinion? Poll question will get a do-over

August 26th, 2013 | by James Folmer | Comments

What’s your opinion?Raul Ruiz
Poll question mistake: Our unscientific survey at mydesert.com asking readers what they think of the job Rep. Raul Ruiz is doing so far was posted incorrectly Sunday night. The choices listed in the newspaper were: A) Excellent. B) Good. C) Ho-hum. D) Crummy. E) Too soon to tell. However, the “good” option was left out online.
We’ll re-run the question tomorrow.
Summer storms are serious business in the desert: The impact of Tropical Storm Ivo, now rated a tropical depressidon't drownon, is still being assessed but it could have been worse without hundreds of millions of dollars invested in flood-control channels over the past several decades.
Sunday’s downpour was significant – 2.14 inches fell on Sunday, setting the record for rain on Aug. 25 in all the 119 years rain has been measured in Indio. To put that in perspective, the average annual rainfall in the Coachella Valley is 4.6 inches.
In Rancho Mirage, 1.34 inches fell in 35 minutes, according to the National Weather Service. The Century Theatre at The River had to be evacuated. In La Quinta, water was knee-high in the Costco parking lot.
The hairpin turns on Highway 74 were riddled with rock slides, and as of Monday morning, 16 local roads were closed.
CalFire reports that on Saturday a thunderstorm sheared off 40 high-tension power polls at the First Solar facility in the Lake Tamarisk area. It may take days to restore power.
Flooding is nothing new in the desert. In 1916, two storms dropped 9 inches of rain, destroying 11 miles of railroad track. Nine passenger trains were marooned for a week. In July 1979, a summer storm caused more than $30 million of damage, destroying 40 homes and damaging 4,000.
In that context, the inconvenience for motorists is a minor concern. If you come across a barrier, heed CalFire’s advice: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.
Tomorrow’s Valley Voice: Hank Plante, one of our regular contributors, weighs in on the Bradley Manning and Hank PlanteEdward Snowden controversy:
“Did Snowden do America any good by leaking state secrets and stating the obvious — that the National Security Agency is engaged in spying? What exactly do people think the NSA does, anyway? Do people think those satellite dishes on its roof are just there to collect rainwater?
“But that’s not the point. As The New Yorker’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote this week, ‘This is all because a 30-year-old self-appointed arbiter of propriety decided to break the law and disclose what he had sworn to protect. That judgment — in my view — was not Snowden’s to make.’
“The fact is the world has changed since 9/11. There are radicals who are trying to kill us. That’s why reluctant supporters of the government’s surveillance program have come to the same conclusion as liberal Bill Maher, who said on his HBO show in June, ‘We live in a world of nuclear weapons. And there are religious fanatics who would love to get one and set it off here.’ ”

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