Coachella, California

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Coachella
City of Coachella
Coachella City Hall.jpg
Coachella City Hall
Nicknames: 
Coachello, La Coachelita and Cochela
Riverside County California Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Coachella Highlighted 0614260.svg
Location of Coachella in Riverside County, California
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Coachella
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°40′46″N116°10′28″W / 33.67944°N 116.17444°W / 33.67944; -116.17444 Coordinates: 33°40′46″N116°10′28″W / 33.67944°N 116.17444°W / 33.67944; -116.17444
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of California.svg  California
County Riverside
Incorporated December 13, 1946 [1]
Government
   Mayor Steven Hernandez [2]
Area
[3]
  Total30.08 sq mi (77.90 km2)
  Land30.08 sq mi (77.90 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation
[4]
-69 ft (-21 m)
Population
  Total40,704
  Estimate 
(2016) [5]
44,953
  Density1,494.65/sq mi (577.09/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
92236
Area codes 442/760
FIPS code 06-14260
GNIS feature IDs 1652686, 2409493
Website www.coachella.org
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coachella, California

Coachella ( /k(ə)ˈɛlə/ koh-(ə-)CHEL-ə) [6] is a city in Riverside County, California; it is the easternmost city in the region known as the Coachella Valley (or the Palm Springs area). It is 28 miles (45 km) east of Palm Springs, 80 miles (130 km) east of Riverside, and 130 miles (210 km) east of Los Angeles.

Riverside County, California County in California, United States

Riverside County is one of fifty-eight counties in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,189,641, making it the 4th-most populous county in California and the 11th-most populous in the United States. The name was derived from the city of Riverside, which is the county seat.

Coachella Valley valley in southern California

The Coachella Valley is a desert valley in Southern California that extends approximately 45 mi (72 km) in Riverside County southeast from the San Bernardino Mountains to the northern shore of the Salton Sea. It is the northernmost extent of the vast trough that includes the Salton Sea, the Imperial Valley and the Gulf of California. It is approximately 15 mi (24 km) wide along most of its length, bounded on the west by the San Jacinto Mountains and the Santa Rosa Mountains and on the north and east by the Little San Bernardino Mountains. The San Andreas Fault crosses the valley from the Chocolate Mountains in the southeast corner and along the centerline of the Little San Bernardinos. The fault is easily visible along its northern length as a strip of greenery against an otherwise bare mountain.

Contents

Known as the "City of Eternal Sunshine", Coachella is largely a rural and agricultural community in the desert and one of the state's fastest-growing cities in the late 20th century. When it incorporated in 1946, it had 1,000 residents, but the population was 40,704 at the 2010 census.

A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. The term can also be used to describe municipally owned corporations.

2010 United States Census 23rd national census of the United States, taken in 2010

The 2010 United States Census is the twenty-third and most recent United States national census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2010. The census was taken via mail-in citizen self-reporting, with enumerators serving to spot-check randomly selected neighborhoods and communities. As part of a drive to increase the count's accuracy, 635,000 temporary enumerators were hired. The population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538, a 9.7% increase from the 2000 Census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over half a million, as well as the first in which all 100 largest cities recorded populations of over 200,000.

The eastern half of the Coachella valley is below sea level, and the area's average elevation is 68 feet (35 m) below sea level. The Salton Sea, a saltwater lake about 10 miles (16 km) south of Coachella, lies 227 feet (69 m) below sea level.

Salton Sea Lake in California

The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in the U.S. state of California's Imperial and Coachella valleys.

The city also lends its name to the Coachella grapefruit; the town's stretch of State Route 111 is named Grapefruit Boulevard in its honor. Cesar Chavez/Harrison (outside of city) Streets are declared historic U.S. Route 99, the major thoroughfare that connects with Interstate 10 a few miles north of town.

Grapefruit citrus fruit

The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its relatively large sour to semi-sweet, somewhat bitter fruit. Grapefruit is a citrus hybrid originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between two introduced species – sweet orange, and pomelo – both of which were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century. When found, it was nicknamed the "forbidden fruit". Frequently, it is misidentified as the very similar parent species, pomelo.

California State Route 111 highway in California

State Route 111 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California. It is the main north/south state highway and retail corridor through the Coachella Valley, a part of the Colorado Desert in the southeastern corner of the state and a famous resort destination. It runs from the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Calexico to Interstate 10 at White Water.

Geography

Coachella is located at 33°40′46″N116°10′28″W / 33.679522°N 116.174488°W / 33.679522; -116.174488 . [7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.95 square miles (75.0 km2), all of it land.

United States Census Bureau Bureau of the United States responsible for the census and related statistics

The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States.

The elevation is 68 feet (21 m) below sea level, as the eastern half of the Coachella valley is below sea level. The saltwater lake, Salton Sea, 10 miles (16 km) south of Coachella, is 228 feet (69 m) below sea level.

Climate

This climate is dominated in all months by the subtropical anticyclone, or subtropical high, with its descending air, elevated inversions, and clear skies. Although only a short distance from Banning, California which has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, it also lies in a rainshadow that allows Coachella only about one fourth the precipitation of Banning. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Bwh". (Tropical and Subtropical Desert Climate). [8]

Climate data for Coachella, California (1981–2010 normals)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)95
(35)
99
(37)
104
(40)
112
(44)
116
(47)
121
(49)
123
(51)
123
(51)
121
(49)
116
(47)
102
(39)
93
(34)
123
(51)
Average high °F (°C)70.7
(21.5)
73.9
(23.3)
80.5
(26.9)
87.5
(30.8)
95.6
(35.3)
103.6
(39.8)
108.1
(42.3)
107.3
(41.8)
101.7
(38.7)
91.1
(32.8)
78.4
(25.8)
69.3
(20.7)
89.0
(31.7)
Average low °F (°C)45.5
(7.5)
48.0
(8.9)
52.2
(11.2)
57.4
(14.1)
64.4
(18.0)
71.0
(21.7)
77.6
(25.3)
77.6
(25.3)
71.7
(22.1)
62.5
(16.9)
51.8
(11.0)
44.2
(6.8)
60.3
(15.7)
Record low °F (°C)19
(−7)
24
(−4)
29
(−2)
34
(1)
36
(2)
44
(7)
54
(12)
52
(11)
46
(8)
30
(−1)
23
(−5)
23
(−5)
19
(−7)
Average precipitation inches (mm)1.15
(29)
1.11
(28)
0.53
(13)
0.06
(1.5)
0.02
(0.51)
0.02
(0.51)
0.13
(3.3)
0.29
(7.4)
0.23
(5.8)
0.24
(6.1)
0.32
(8.1)
0.87
(22)
4.97
(126)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)3.13.21.60.60.200.60.90.80.70.81.914.4
Source: NOAA [9]

History

The city was founded as Woodspur in 1876, when the Southern Pacific Railroad built a rail siding on the site. In the 1880s the indigenous Cahuilla tribe sold their land plots to the railroads for new lands east of the current town site, and in the 1890s, a few hundred traqueros took up settlement along the tracks. In 1901 the citizens of Woodspur voted on a new name for their community and at a town hall meeting, the homeowners settled on "Coachella".

The origin of the name Coachella is unclear. Some locals believe it was a misspelling of Conchilla, a Spanish word for the small white snail shells found in the valley's sandy soil, vestiges of a lake which dried up over 3,000 years ago.

Coachella began as a 2.5-square-mile (6.5 km2) territory gridded out on the mesquite-covered desert floor. Not until the 1950s did Coachella begin to expand into its present range, about 32 square miles (83 km2), an area which contained large year-round agricultural corporate farms and fruit groves, particularly of citrus (lemons, oranges, grapefruit) and date palms.

Coachella became a city in 1946. During the incorporation voting process, the first city council was tentatively elected: Lester C. Cox, T. E. Reyes, John W. Westerfield, Lester True, and Paul S. Atkinson. Also elected on November 26, 1946, were City Clerk Marie L. Johnson and City Treasurer John C. Skene. John Westerfield was appointed mayor at the first meeting.

By the 1980 census, Coachella's population had reached at least 10,000 due to relative slow population growth. Due to a high percentage of Hispanics in the city, Coachella was a scene of Chicano political activism including protests and visits by United Farm Workers leader César Chávez in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2018, Harrison Street (the main street in town) was renamed for him. [10]

Education

Coachella is served by the Coachella Valley Unified School District, [11] based in Thermal, California. Its main high school is Coachella Valley High School (with 2900 students) followed by a new high school Desert Mirage High School about 5 miles to the south; its three middle schools are Cahuilla Desert Academy, Toro Canyon, and Bobby Duke. Elementary schools include Cesar Chavez, Coral Mountain Academy, Palm View, Peter Pendleton, Valle Del Sol, Valley View, Westside and in nearby Thermal, John Kelley.

The Coachella Valley Adult School, in operation since 1952, is the third largest adult school in Riverside County. It offers seven levels of English as a Second Language (ESL), and has offered citizenship classes for over 20 years. In the last ten years, over 1,500 people completed citizenship classes at the school and submitted N-400 forms.

The California Desert Trial Academy School of Law was approved by the California State Bar as an unaccredited fixed facility law school in Indio and is expected to open for classes in September 2012. [12]

Culture

The film director Frank Capra is interred in the Coachella Valley Cemetery. The agricultural area surrounding Coachella was where the United Farm Workers union staged strikes and protests, including visits by UFW leader César Chávez.

Downtown Coachella is under renovation as the area experiences an economic boom which has brought increasing numbers of people in the city – Pueblo Viejo (the old neighborhood) as locals of Hispanic origin sometimes call it. [ citation needed ] Despite its image for Mexican immigration, a large percentage are US citizens, born and raised in Coachella. A multi-generational Mexican American subculture has taken root in the town.

Much of its population consists of younger Latino families (an estimated 90 percent of Hispanic origin) and, in the outlying areas, migrant farm workers. The city is officially bilingual in the English and Spanish languages, although city council meetings are nominally spoken and performed in English. Historically, Coachella was predominantly Mexican/Latino (including Central America) and/or Native American, but had other ethnic groups like Arabs, Armenians, Filipinos, Italians, Japanese and recent immigrants from Southeast Asia and the former Yugoslavia.

Three popular fiestas are celebrated each year in town: Cinco de Mayo (May 5), the 16 de Septiembre Fiestas Patrias (Mexico's Independence from Spain) and the 12 de Diciembre (the patron saint of Mexico, Santa Maria de Guadalupe) to celebrate the Virgin Mary.

Near the city limits of Coachella are three casinos on Indian reservations: Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino, [13] Spotlight 29 Casino, [14] and Augustine Casino, [15] which are owned and operated by Native American tribes – the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians, and Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, respectively. These small but highly profitable tribes have representative councils to ensure self-reliance as a community. Coachella is also home to a significant Southwest Indian (Apache, Hopi, Navajo and Zuni) population, though not indigenous to the California desert region.

In the 1953 Warner Brothers cartoon Bully For Bugs, Bugs Bunny misses his "left toin at Albuquerque" and pops up in a Mexican bull ring, where he asks for directions to "...the shortest route to the Coachella Valley and the big carrot festival therein?"

In 2001 Huell Howser Productions, in association with KCET/Los Angeles, featured Coachella in California's Gold ; the program is available as a VHS videorecording. [16]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1950 2,755
1960 4,85476.2%
1970 8,35372.1%
1980 9,1299.3%
1990 16,89685.1%
2000 22,72434.5%
2010 40,70479.1%
Est. 201644,953 [5] 10.4%
U.S. Decennial Census [17]

2010

The 2010 United States Census [18] reported that Coachella had a population of 40,704. The population density was 1,406.0 people per square mile (542.9/km²). The racial makeup of Coachella was 19,576 (48.1%) White (2.3% Non-Hispanic White), [19] 320 (0.8%) African American, 290 (0.7%) Native American, 266 (0.7%) Asian, 34 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 19,154 (47.1%) from other races, and 1,064 (2.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 39,254 persons (96.4%).

The Census reported that 40,646 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 58 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 8,998 households, out of which 6,625 (73.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,583 (62.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,927 (21.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 820 (9.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 795 (8.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 76 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 464 households (5.2%) were made up of individuals and 151 (1.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.52. There were 8,330 families (92.6% of all households); the average family size was 4.57.

The population was spread out with 15,786 people (38.8%) under the age of 18, 4,889 people (12.0%) aged 18 to 24, 11,896 people (29.2%) aged 25 to 44, 6,306 people (15.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,827 people (4.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.

There were 9,903 housing units at an average density of 342.1 per square mile (132.1/km²), of which 5,586 (62.1%) were owner-occupied, and 3,412 (37.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 6.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.4%. 25,519 people (62.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 15,127 people (37.2%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Coachella had a median household income of $41,611, with 27.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line. [20]

2000

As of the census [21] of 2000, there were 22,724 people, 4,807 households, and 4,480 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,091.4 people per square mile (421.4/km²). There were 5,024 housing units at an average density of 241.3 per square mile (93.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 38.8% White, 0.5% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.3% Asian, < 0.1% Pacific Islander, 56.6% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. 97.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,807 households,and many more of which 65.9% had children under the age of 18, 66.5% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 6.8% were non-families. 5.3% of all households were individuals living alone, and 2.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.72 and the average family size was 4.80.

In the city, the population was spread out with 40.8% under the age of 18, 12.7% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 12.8% from 45 to 64, and 5.0% 65 years or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,590, and the median income for a family was $28,320. Males had a median income of $23,044, compared to $15,550 for females. The per capita income for the city was $7,416. About 29.1% of families and 28.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.3% of those under age 18 and 25.7% of those 65 or over.

Politics

The majority of registered voters are in the Democratic Party, a stronghold of Democrats in a largely Republican voting bloc (the Inland Empire).[ citation needed ]

In the California State Legislature, Coachella is in the 28th Senate District , represented by Republican Jeff Stone, and in the 56th Assembly District , represented by Democrat Eduardo Garcia. [22]

In the United States House of Representatives, Coachella is in California's 36th congressional district , represented by Democrat Raul Ruiz. [23]

Local issues

Coachella City Council is beefing up revenues by empowering a private law firm to prosecute citizens for minor crimes, then allowing the law firm to charge the resident for his prosecution. In one case, a homeowner was billed $31,000 in fees for an unpermitted addition to his house. The law firm Silver & Wright has repeatedly filed criminal charges against residents and businesses for public nuisance crimes – like overgrown weeds, a junk-filled yard or selling small items without a business license – then billed them thousands of dollars to recoup expenses. [24]

According to a 2006 state-funded economic survey, Coachella ranks third lowest in average personal income of any California city, and one of ten poorest cities (percentage of people in poverty) in the state. This is likely due to extremely low wages in the farm-working industry and it's distance from urban centers like Los Angeles (130 miles) and Riverside (70 miles away). [ citation needed ]

Coachella has dealt with socioeconomic issues which produced a history of above-average crime rates. Coachella received negative local media attention as a city riddled by youth gangs, drug trade activity, massive movement of undocumented immigration and Chicano separatism. Much of the non-Hispanic population moved away in reaction. However, the 2006 FBI crime statistical release placed Coachella at the lowest crime rates in all of the Coachella Valley and Riverside County. [ citation needed ]

In 1995, state and federal officials designated Coachella as part of the Coachella Valley Enterprise Zone to boost economic activity and entice businesses to relocate to this rural city which was once home to several fruit shipping plants.

Near Coachella, a new four-lane expressway State Route 86 was built for international trucking from Mexicali, Mexico to Los Angeles or Arizona. Referred to as the "NAFTA highway" (in reference to the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994), it replaces an older and less safe two-lane road known as the "killer highway, deadly highway, and death highway" where over 400 auto accident fatalities took place since 1980.

In 2006 mayoral elections, 29-year-old Eduardo Garcia became the city's youngest mayor ever. Garcia was a lifelong Coachella resident and a 1995 graduate of Coachella Valley High School. He attended the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California.

Also in 2006, the city council passed a resolution (No. 2006-34) opposing the Clear Air Act and Sensenbrenner Bill (H.R. 4437), then pending in the U.S. Senate.

Today, retail and commercial properties appear on Coachella's two main streets: Harrison Street (formerly U.S. Route 99) and Grapefruit Boulevard (State Route 111), along with a new retail development on Avenue 48 and Jackson Street.

In 2010, a Coca-Cola bottling facility (a LEED certified building) was added to the city's new light industry facilities, a boon in the rapid-growth community which has a currently troubled economy. [25]

Coachella expanded recreational and social activities for which residents once had to drive ten or twenty miles (32 km) west. The city has a recreation center, a Boys and Girls Club center, and a boxing club in Bagdouma Park. There are two dance clubs and the Corona Yacht Club located near Spotlight 29 casino; two new golf courses (Desert Lakes and the Vineyards) attract many retirees, RV owners, and local business people.

Housing

Since 2000, thousands of single-family homes and multi-unit apartment complexes have been built at a fast pace, as the city's population soared, having more than doubled in just a decade. [26]

In 2015, the number of unpermitted trailer parks, often housing farmworkers, was estimated at "dozens if not more than 100." [27] Many of these parks are in poor condition. Some have dirt roads and frequent power outages, or drinking water supplies contaminated with arsenic or hexavalent chromium. It is uncertain whether it would be more practical to bring in city water and sewer lines, or to simply start over with new developments. Given that a recent 181-unit development, Mountain View Estates, required over 28 million dollars in funding, the nonprofit Pueblo Unido Community Development Corp. is pushing for code upgrades of existing facilities. A court case which alleged that the county had made an intentional effort to close trailer parks with Latino populations was settled in 2000. The US$21 million from the settlement was used to build three farmworker housing projects. As of 2015, dirt roads in 35 trailer parks are being paved as part of a US$3.4 million county project. [27]

Economy

Top employers

According to the city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employers are: [28]

#EmployerEmployees
1 Spotlight 29 Casino 575
2 Coachella Valley Unified School District 555
3 Augustine Casino 400
4 Ernie Ball 330
5Valley Pride247
6 Esterline 242
7 Coachella Valley Water District 758
8Teserra218
9Cardenas Market160
10 Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling 115

Events and points of interest

Public safety

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department now serves the city from the nearby Thermal Regional Station. (The original Coachella Police Department was disbanded in 1998).

The city of Coachella contracts for fire and paramedic services with the Riverside County Fire Department through a cooperative agreement with CAL FIRE. [30]

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Mesquite, Nevada City in Nevada, United States

Mesquite is a U.S. city in Clark County, Nevada, adjacent to the Arizona state line and 80 miles (130 km) northeast of Las Vegas on Interstate 15. As of July 1, 2017, the United States Census estimates that the city had a population of 18,541. The city is located in the Virgin River valley adjacent to the Virgin Mountains in the northeastern part of the Mojave Desert. It is home to a growing retirement community, as well as several casino resorts and golf courses.

Thermal, California census-designated place in California, United States

Thermal is an unincorporated community within the Coachella Valley in Riverside County, California located approximately 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Palm Springs and about 9.5 miles (15.3 km) north of the Salton Sea. The community's elevation is 138 feet (42 m) below mean sea level. It is served by area codes 760 and 442 and is in ZIP Code 92274. The population was 2,865 at the 2010 census. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Thermal a census-designated place (CDP), which does not precisely correspond to the historical community.

Desert Palms, California census-designated place in California, United States

Desert Palms is a census-designated place in the Coachella Valley of eastern Riverside County, southern California.

References

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