Kate Castle, her husband Hal, and their lovely daughter, taken at the San Francisco Ferry.

Kate Castle works for the County of Riverside, and she served on Human Rights Campaign 2016 Steering Committee, the Palm Springs Woman’s Club Chair of the Scholarship Committee, is the former Vice Chair of the Palm Springs Sustainability Commission and recent past president of her HOA, and successfully established the newly recognized ONE PS neighborhood, Melody Ranch. Kate’s family came to California in the 1800s, and started Concannon Vineyards in Livermore, California.

Kate and colleagues share the message of sustainability.

YouTube video

I first met Kate when she, Ellen Lockert, and others championed this PSA which helped bring about the end of the use of non-recyclable plastic bags in Palm Springs.  Director Ellen Lockert cast me as the “Bag Monster.”

David Gray, Hal and Kate Castle, and Daniel Vaillancourt, at a September 2015 event for Desert Outlook Magazine at Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge.

Kate says, “PS I love you because…”

  1. of your people!  I feel there is a rare sense of community spirit that translates into a welcoming interaction from residents who have lived here for generations, the members of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and those like me who have chosen to make Palm Springs our home. Respect for our differences, and a celebration of what makes each person a unique individual. Frankly, it has not always been easy to be the straight ally in the room. Here it seems perfectly normal. My motto? How do you treat others? Answer? There are no others.
  2. of your artistry!  It is said that the promise of a society is seen in the artwork that is created by the community’s artists. Working with the seniors who attend the Palm Springs High School through the Arts Institute of Palm Springs High School, I interfaced with our mentors and the students. I was able to see hope displayed in the artistic expressions of these young people. Our local professionals who volunteer as mentors; the graphic artists, writers, actors, singers, painters, filmmakers, dancers, and photographers remind me just how precious their gifts are to Palm Springs. Their involvement gives many of these students a platform to express themselves safely – without the bullying of being “different” – and in so doing keeps them engaged in their school work, empowering them to graduate rather than drop out.
  3. of your wealth of nature! Before I moved here full time, I would gladly hike the many trails in the mountains surrounding Palm Springs. In my 20’s I took a backpack and traveled solo around the world. I have seen so many truly beautiful vistas that I had become somewhat jaded. Our mountain, and the trails that traverse it are ethereal in their allurement, for there almost seems to be a wisdom that can only be felt when spending time outside. I wasn’t really cognoscenti of the unique attributes of the flora and fauna. Now that I live here full time, I realize just how amazingly beautiful our trails are, and how they deserve to be protected. (Nicholas chiming in: I had to look up cognoscenti, so Kate taught me a new word! “Persons who have superior knowledge and understanding of a particular field, especially the fine arts, literature and world of fashion.” Dictionary.com)
  4. of your World Class recognition!  We have a chance to make a difference not only in our community, but around the world, by the decisions and projects we undertake. As many of you know I spearheaded the phasing out of single use plastic bags. It required research into what was working in other communities, and eliciting input from our local businesses, large corporations that choose to do business in Palm Springs and our residents. It is a lifestyle choice that proved to have a rippling effect. The Governor was able to see the issue was not just a coastal one, but one that affected cities and communities throughout California, and likely to have played a part in his signing of SB 270. I believe we can now drive the conversation in Solar Power and Zero Waste.
  5. of your progressive politics.  I admit, I have been a community activist involved with politics my whole life. Both my parents were involved in California politics, and my mother headed up the first Status of Women for the State of California. She was able to get the passage of the ERA in spite of then-Governor Reagan who publicly said he supported the measure while in the back rooms he tried to garner the votes for its failure. Our community seems to embrace and encourage its citizens to take an active role, regardless of our gender, sexual orientation, age or economic background. Although, I have to admit, I would like to see more women step into elected office. ~wink.

It takes a village, right?  Kate and neighbors (including Gay Desert Guide Publisher Brad Fuhr standing next to Kate in the pink shirt) on a hike atop the Palm Springs Tramway.

Kate strikes a pose with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

Kate, you are FABULOUS.  And I just want to say, to you and all the readers, that one reason I feel like I belong in Palm Springs is because of you're welcoming spirit.  You and your multi-talented husband (his photos regularly make the news) help make Palm Springs a joy to call home (and it was a pleasure to meet your daughter recently).


Nicholas Snow

Want to be featured in the “PS I love you because…” column?

To be considered, email me (Nicholas Snow, SnowbizNow@gmail.com) your top five answers (they can be short or long) to the statement, “PS I love you because…” and/or “PS I love you because I enjoy…”, along with two or three biographical paragraphs.  Also, send some photos of things you love about the area including, ideally, you doing something you love in the area. Your submission does not guarantee publication.  Thanks!