Palm Desert celebrates its 20th anniversary with sister city, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico

A rendering shows a new mural that will depict Coachella's connection to Mexicali as its sister city.
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In a July 3 story, “New Coachella Mural will celebrate ‘sister city’ Mexicali,” The Desert Sun wrote that Coachella and Cathedral City have sister cities in Mexico and Palm Desert has a sister city relationship with Gisborne New Zealand. We recently celebrated our 40th anniversary with Gisborne.

This year we will celebrate our 20th anniversary with our sister city of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico. During that time, we have donated fire trucks and equipment, ambulances, hospital equipment and medical supplies to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo in collaboration with Palm Desert/Riverside County Fire Department some 1,500 Mexican firefighters have been trained. Similar training programs for lifeguards in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo resulted in significant reductions in drownings. Our other initiatives focus on youth, art, culture and education in partnership with various organizations in Palm Desert and Coachella Valley.

Information about our award winning Sister Cities program can be found on our website:

Thomas D. Mortensen, Palm Desert

There goes impartiality

History will judge Supreme Court judges like Clarence Thomas harshly. And for good reason. It’s impossible to treat a person with a case before your court impartially while you are living like a sultan on his nickel.

Nick LaTerza, Palm Desert

Meritocracy is what counts

The Supreme Court got it right! First: Roe v. Wade – back to the states where it belongs. It's a states’ rights issue, not federal. And Affirmative Action – you get into college based on grades and participation and school activities. Race should not have anything to do with it. Even athletic scholarships must have a good grade equivalent and if they don't maintain it, they're out. It's called meritocracy and our country has lost it. Now that SCOTUS made its decision, show me a university that states it must have a certain percentage of white, Black, Asian and Hispanic students. You don't make it in this world because we feel sorry for you. You earn it, period.

Tony Ward, Palm Desert

Yet another Supreme Court blunder

In my opinion, the Supreme Court has blundered again – see Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College.

Race is a stigma. To counter a powerful social label that negatively affects one’s identity, states ratified the 14th Amendment guaranteeing equal protection of law and due process. However, race is not stigmatizing for white folks, because whiteness is normal – the default setting in American social relationships.

Even if the Constitution is viewed to be colorblind (highly debatable), there is no bar to rectifying the stigmatization attached to the historical condition of slavery and the corruption of blood which some minorities continue to struggle against. Race-conscious decision-making processes in college admissions is a means to achieve ethnic diversity. The logical consequence of greater ethnic diversity is increased equal protection of the law.

It is no more unjust to practice affirmative action than it is to impose handicaps on golfers and racehorses. The net effect is fairness.

Ronald Chapman, Lucerne Valley

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: We're celebrating the 20th anniversary of Palm Desert and sister city, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico