Now that all the happy hoopla of yesterday’s Independence Day are stilled, the fireworks are only echoes, the colors red-white and blue are not just delegated in a perfectly poetic row, the stirring national anthem has disappeared on the wind—next to be heard full force (and full voice, hopefully sans wardrobe malfunction) as a rallying cry at critical sports competitions, and the delicious smells of well-planned picnics, fragrant with new odors straight from our country’s melting pot (cilantro, curry and cumin) are lost to remembrance and the taking down of recipes, we are back to the rest of summer and our question: “ What’s on your must-have list for the season?” Our personal pick: A big hat with a brim on steroids. Janet Spiegel, media-guru, emailed that she was stumped, but added “AC” for herself and her triple-coated Icelandic Sheepdog. Janet Newcomb, PR whiz, emails of her addiction to “cold nonfat Fage Greek yogurt with cold fresh berries and a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal.” And Katherine Hough, chief curator of PSAM, writes her must-have is “My summer tram pass to the top of Mt. San Jacinto for a few hours hiking the trails followed by a cold beer before heading back to the desert that is 50 degrees hotter.” Summer! Have a cool one!

WE’RE WILD JULY AND AUGUST! We know, summer is a zoo for parents. All its inhabitants—though loved and cute— are wild! Here’s the best way to “Bless the Beasts and Children!” The Living Desert Summer Zoo Camp is dedicated to letting kids be kids while offering a selection of experiences themed to the appropriate age from 6 to 14 years. Marketing and P.R. Manager Nyla Patzner says, “Our Summer Zoon Camp is popular with children of all ages and interests. Kids have so much fun they lose track of the fact that they are actually learning about the animals and desert environment. It is also popular with parents who are looking for a safe and unique way to get their children out of the house for a few hours in the morning.” Now there’s an honest woman. We like the way she thinks. Here’s the scoop: Weekly, half-day sessions for ages 4-12 are offered July 16th – July 27th, July 30th – August 3rd include animal encounters, special behind-the-scenes visits, games and more.
Special 2-day ZooCampers, ages 6 to 14, includes Jr. Rangers Program at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: Session A, July 9th – 10th, 9am-2pm; Session B, July 11th – 12th, 9am to 2pm. Desert Explorers Programs, ages 10 to 14: Session A, August 6th – 7th, 8am to 12noon; Session B, August 8th – 9th, 8am to 12noon. For more information, including ZooCamp Sleepover, call 760-5694, or visit

Friday, July 6 – July 22. The play’s the thing. We think. If you’ve ever lusted for your name in lights, your pic (sans makeup) exiting a grocery store on the cover of a tabloid—y’know, Fame—with a capital “F”—learn all about it, all its horrors and humor, and all its pitfalls and pratfalls first. Fame—The Musical is the story of the last years of New York City’s renowned High School for the Performing Arts and its students who reach for the brass ring—sometimes losing their grip— through four years of arduous artistic and academic classes, while grappling and coming to terms if not full desperate negotiation with adolescence: Identity, self-esteem, sexuality, substance abuse, prejudice, zits—you know the drill. Music by Stephen Margoshes with lyrics by Jacques Levy. Book/Libretto by David De Silva and José Fernandez. Tickets, $25 to$250. The Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs, 538 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. For ticket information, call 760-323-5123. Or visit
Now till July 7. That artwork: Is it by Matisse or is it by Mildred Snodgrass who lives down the street with her 35 (and counting) Felis catus? Or perhaps it’s by that designer whose name you can’t pronounce but is getting recognition in all the décor mags? At the 99 Bucks encore (after a stunning success in April, 2012), you may love the art, but won’t find out who dunnit until after you buy it for a paltry $99 dollars. The 250 collection of 5×7-inch canvases were created by Artists Council Members of the Palm Springs Art Museum, by artists near and far including those from most local art festivals, the Laguna Art Festival, and individuals from five other countries. Also, you’ll be able to select from celebrities, actors and actresses, musicians—Pat Boone, Frankie Randall, Linda Ellerbee—and others, who are donating their original works for this museum fundraiser. The exhibit at Heath Gallery, 2600 S. Cherokee Way, Palm Springs, benefits the Education Department of the Palm Springs Art Museum. Gallery hours are Wednesday thru Sunday, 1pm-4pm. For more information call 760-770-2779, or visit

Tuesday, July 10, 6pm – 10pm. We don’t care how high the temperature climbs on the thermometer. There’s nothing like a sizzling hot, deliciously done-to-your-specifications burger, dripping with catsup, mustard and dressed with crisp lettuce, to work the salivary glands overtime! We’re just Loving All Animals for lavishing this on our taste buds because the $10 admittance to Woody’s Burgers in Palm Springs gets you a plateful of satisfaction. Beyond that, you’ll enjoy ears-full of master-guitarist Joe Baldino’s music, plus the good feeling of helping the nonprofit organization support homeless animals of the Coachella Valley. Reservations a must, call 760-230-0188. For more information, call Loving All Animals at 760-776-9397, or email to For more information on future events and adoptable dogs, go to Interested in volunteering or joining our Pet Pals list? Send an email to

Now through July 31. What a Brighton Idea! The Americana Jewelry Campaign by Brighton Collectibles features its limited edition bracelet in a fund raising campaign to benefit children’s art programs at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert. For each star-dazzled red-white-blue bedecked bracelet sold until July 31, 2012, the privately owned Brighton Collectibles store on El Paseo in Palm Desert will contribute $24 to the museum. “We are honored to be selected,” says the museum’s General Manager Arlene Amick. “Thanks to Brighton’s generosity, children across the valley will benefit from the funds raised, as they will be used to enhance our art education programs.” Hey we’re not alone—more than 160 Brighton Collectibles stores nationwide are participating to strengthen the arts in their communities. Brighton Collectibles, 73-199 El Paseo. For more info, call Brighton Collectibles at 760-341-4900, or the museum at 760-346-5600.

Now through August 4. En Garde! If the words “foil,” “saber” and “épée” seem taken from a gourmet recipe, or an edgy new fragrance, hie thee to the Summer Fencing Program at the Desert Fencing Academy. (Spoiler: The three words are the 3 weapons in modern competitive fencing.) DFA founder and Head coach Leslie Taft, has 25 years in teaching students who want to channel their inner Zorro and Zorro-ette in the beautiful sport known for its ability to improve posture, flexibility, balance, and is rigorously replete with many other physical benefits. “It’s never too late to take up fencing,” says Taft, fencing coach .at the College of the Desert, who is a national fencing champion, has competed in three World Cup competitions and has worked with fencers on the U.S. Pentathlon team. “It’s fun, it improves coordination, and it’s also great exercise,” Taft adds. There’s a chic-factor in the fencing gear, too, and everything is provided. Beginning fencing lessons are 30 minutes, $20. For information on one-on-one and group lessons, and to register, call Coach Taft, 760-218-1343, or visit Desert Fencing Academy is located at 73-760 Dinah Shore Dr., Suite 103, Palm Desert in the My Gym Children’s Fitness building.

Now through July 29. Judy, Judy, Judy! That call could mean only one thing, Cary. The Judy Show is in town. Precisely the greatest show in town starring internationally acclaimed impersonator Michael Holmes as the escapee from Somewhere-Over-the-Rainbow herself, Judy Garland. It’s an evening at Azul’s of outrageous comedy, tuneful pop standards and just for a surprise (we never know who will show up), Judy’s pals are portrayed as well, including Carol Channing, Tallulah Bankhead, and so on. Holmes is accompanied by renowned Palm Springs musical director and pianist Joel Baker. Azul is offering a pre fixe three course menu and The Judy Show all for $35 per person. Full menu options and cocktails are also available with a $10 entertainment charge. Reserved seating is available in advance by calling Azul, 760-325-5533. Azul Tapas Lounge, 369 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs.

Sunday, July 15, 11am – 2:30pm. Happily going to the Dogs—and cats and horses and critters with love! The 14th Annual Pets on Parade Awards Luncheon benefits veterinary care for the Humane Society of the Desert and Pegasus Riding Academy takes place at the Doral Desert Princess in the Grand Ballroom. Action packed from start to finish, the event includes a live auction filled with items such as tickets to La Cage Aux Folles in San Diego, golf packages at only the finest courses, an Aloha trip to Hawaii, and tickets to see a show from the pop star of the ages Madonna! A silent auction has more than 175 items for bidding from DVDs and fine wines, to spas and special surprises for your BFF four-legged friend. Tickets available at the door, or call 760-770-0424, or 760-322-3465 for information and to RSVP. Location: Doral Desert Princess Hotel, 67967 Vista Chino, Cathedral City.


Don’t Let Your Pet Become Prey! Take Precautions To Keep Predators at Bay! Animal Samaritans SPCA, a non-profit organization founded in 1978, is committed to improving the lives animals and people. Here are some cautions for summer in the desert, a paradise than can often turn deadly for the animals we love that are part of our families.
1. Never feed a coyote.
2. Don’t leave pet food in the yard. Feed your dogs and cats inside.
3. Keep your pets indoors from dusk to dawn and leash them when you take them outside.
4. Enclose your back yard with a 6 ft. wall or fence.
5. Keep pet on leash for night walks, especially walking along golf courses or desert chaparral.
6. Guard a small pet with a larger dog (German Shepherd, Rottweiler, or mastiff). A naked plea for adoption, but a good solution to protect a smaller Fifi, or Fido!

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