Editor's Letter

A Silver Lining

Steven Biller

You have to give Ellen Paris credit — at least an A+ for effort — for tackling an issue that many of us would rather not discuss: the state of the real estate market.

In January, when we began planning this annual real estate issue, I put calls out and met personally with several top-performing real estate agents, who — although conceding much to tough times — exuded a measure of optimism, even confidence, in the bullish nature of our local market. Their never-say-die attitude and well-reasoned answers to my unsettling questions triggered the idea to publish a story that examines the bright side of real estate in the desert.

The result was a phone call to Paris, a regular contributor to Palm Springs Life. I ran the idea by her and said that if she took on this story, we should not hide from the palpable difficulties in the market, but we should accentuate the positive. Bravo to Paris for her article, “Look at the Bright Sides” in which she demonstrates how buyers and sellers can claim successful house transactions in the Coachella Valley.

Our annual real estate issue also takes you to the amazing Crocker estate and inside houses selected for a new book about modern design in the desert. And our annual Home section, edited by Lisa Marie Rovito, serves up home improvement ideas for every room (and outside) your house.

We are deeply saddened by the death of longtime Palm Springs Life Valley Observer columnist Hank Stokes. His razor-sharp wit and trenchant knowledge of the desert and its myriad issues added a meaningful dimension to the magazine — a voice impossible to replace. “He wrote about virtually everything and everybody who mattered in this desert,” says friend and colleague Kay Hazen. “His keen observations, love of language, and generosity of spirit will be greatly missed.” Mr. Stokes was also a major contributor to the successful City of Palm Desert retail marketing strategy and an owner of El Paseo’s Sandpiper Shoes in the early days. “He always remained a champion of Palm Desert,” Mayor Jean Benson says. A scholarship will be awarded in his name to a Palm Desert High School essayist focusing on the role local government plays in the Coachella Valley.

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