Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Write the BLM | June 14, 2018 deadline

I know many of you have and enjoy your quads, and this is NOT about you riding your quad to your neighbor's house, to pick up your mail, or about taking established trails exploring in the area. This is about whether or not the BLM will open all of our roads to unrestrained and unregulated ORV traffic from outside of our area -- 24/7, 365 days a year.

We here seem to have reached a sort of local peace regarding ORVs. People seem to be riding respectfully and other people don't seem to be reporting them. If this is your experience, this is a good thing. The BLM WEMO preferred plan would end that.

I have a feeling that even the most die hard ORV riders still like it quiet out here, still like the clean air, and enjoy our well-maintained roads, and untrammeled wilderness. All of this will be threatened if we don't speak up to protect it.

Instructions for writing a letter to the BLM before the June 14 deadline are below.

Thank you.

WEMO (the BLM's West Mojave Plan) is back, and YOU need to weigh in!
Comment Deadline June 14, 2018

In March 2018 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a NEW draft West Mojave (WEMO) plan for allowing off-road vehicles to operate on the roads in our communities. And the plan has both GOOD news and BAD news for our rural residential neighborhoods:

The BAD news: The BLM’s “Preferred Alternative” (#4) designates most of the roads bordering their lands in our neighborhoods as “Motorized”, meaning off-road vehicles could legally use them as well as street vehicles.

The GOOD news: In response to the many comments we all sent in in 2016, the BLM is now offering an additional Alternative (#2), which instead designates most of those roads as “Street-Legal Only”.  This means use of the routes would be open to street-legal vehicles only as defined by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (excluding most ORVs!).

OUR TASK: Convince the BLM to use Alternative 2 (“Street-Legal Only”) rather than their current preference, Alternative 4 (“Motorized”)!  What will that take?  LOTS of comments, including from YOU!

Use our Sample Comment letter:  Word Document formatPDF Format. Feel free to customize it, and be sure to include the date and your name and address!  Deadline is June 14, 2018.  You can copy-and-paste the letter into an email addressed to, or print it out and mail to:
Bureau of Land ManagementCalifornia Desert District
Attn: WMRNP Plan Amendment
22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos
Moreno Valley, CA 92553.
You can make your comment stronger by personalizing it and adding specific, substantive information on items of particular interest to you.  See what works best here.

IF YOU KNOW OF A ROUTE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE DESIGNATED AS SOMETHING OTHER THAN “STREET-LEGAL ONLY” — e.g., “Motorized” (open to all vehicles), “Non-Motorized” (such as bicycles), “Non-Mechanized” (such as hiking or equestrian trails) or Closed —you should submit a route-specific comment specifically to that effect.  Learn how here.

IF YOU SUBMITTED COMMENTS IN 2015-16 you need to resubmit them to make sure they count in the final plan. Learn the best way to resubmit here.

NOTE:  We do not advise you to use or comment via the BLM’s ARCGIS (“Interactive On-Line”) map as it is not accurate and does not display the “Street-Legal-Only” designation.  Instead, use the Georeferenced PDF maps we link to and the comment methods we’ve recommended to be sure your comments are accurate and counted.

You can access links to all WEMO maps and all of documents associated with the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) in the sidebar of our WEMO page.

NOTICE: The BLM includes the following notice on their comment site:
“Before  including your address,  telephone number, e-mail  address, or other personal identifying information in  your  comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information,  may be made publicly available at any time.   While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your  personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.  All submissions from individuals identifying themselves as  representatives or officials  of organizations or  businesses will be made available for public inspection in their entirety.”

Monday, May 14, 2018

There will be a USDA Food Distribution on Monday, May 21, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277.
Wonder Valley residents may sign in beginning at 10:30 a.m. Distribution will happen after the food truck arrives and we have had time to start putting boxes together.

There will be a USDA Food Distribution on Monday, May 21, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277.

Wonder Valley residents may sign in beginning at 10:30 a.m. Distribution will happen after the food truck arrives and we have had time to start putting boxes together.

Low-income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No ID or documentation is required.

Pickup forms are available at the Wonder Valley Community Center, or online at: If you want to pick up a box for someone else, or have someone else pick up a box for you, you must submit a *signed* pickup form.

If you have any questions, please stop by the WVCC, or call (760) 367-9880.

Required text:
Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. 

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Salvation Army Food Distribution | May 23, 2018

[ Please let your friends and neighbors know. ]

There will be a
Salvation Army Food Distribution 
from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on
Wednesday, May 23, at the
Wonder Valley Community Center, 
80526-1/2 Amboy Road,
Wonder Valley, CA 92277.

You may be asked to fill out a form (one time) but no ID or other documentation is required.

Each recipient must pick up their own box. You may not pick up for another person, or have another person pick up for you. There are a limited number of boxes.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Kate Lee Short at The Palms

Wonder Valley sound artist Kate Lee Short stole the stage at last night's Open Mic at The Palms.

There had been a stellar line up of musicians coming from as far away as Yucca Valley. Of particular note was 2/3 of the punk rock group The Sticky Dolls. They sang great original pieces and also covered X and Iggy Pop.

But Kate, the last act of the night, stole the stage with her haunting and mesmerizing accordion performance. The accompanying light show and background sound were a perfect backdrop to Short's breathy performance.

The work was so good that Harmonica Bob stood and doffed his hat to her.

And please forgive me. I can't write about music. She deserves better. Her act was really good.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Desert Trail column for May 10, 2018

The Dale Basin Well Owners Association meeting was well-attended and informative. Former Vice President Max Rossi is now President due to former President Jerry Peek’s relocation to Arizona. Ted Meyers was elected Vice President and Olympia Rossi was elected Secretary/Treasurer. Olympia will replace Mary Quamme who is retiring after this meeting, having served in this position for the past 18 years. We thank Mary for all her work and years of dedication to the association. Topics discussed included possible water contamination from fire-fighting foam used in training at the Marine Corps Base, well water issues at our fire station and community center, and letters received by well owners from the State Water Resources Control Board regarding water usage reports. One interesting fact brought up at this meeting is that Olympia Rossi has been drinking their filtered well water for the past 10 years with no ill effects. Her Kaiser health insurance has paid for ongoing blood tests to verify that drinking the well water is not harmful to her. This is very interesting.

The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meeting will take place on Monday, May 14 at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

On Wednesday, May 16, the Wonder Valley Community Meeting will be held at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Included on the agenda is a presentation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, a review of the website and the feasibility of forming a Wonder Valley Fire Committee.

For information on the above upcoming events, contact our Wonder Valley Community Center Coordinator and MAC Councilmember Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880 or

Food for Life Ministry prepares and serves delicious free hot meals at the Church of the Nazarene in town every Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. If you are unable to travel to the church, Reach Out Morongo Basin will deliver these hot meals directly to your home at no charge. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.

Handy Hint: To clean up oily messes on the garage floor (or anywhere else), sprinkle kitty litter on the spills and they’ll be gone in no time.

Today’s Thought: The non-sibling with whom you share a grandparent is your first cousin. If you share only a great-grandparent, it’s your second cousin. The child of your first cousin is your first cousin “once removed,” indicating the number of generations separating you from each other. Therefore, “first cousin once removed” and “second cousin” are not the same thing.

Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Two arrests

By Z107.7 News, on May 8th, 2018
Two Wonder Valley men were arrested Friday morning following a Sheriff’s search warrant. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies traveled to the 5000 block of Gopher Grove Lane in the unincorporated area of Wonder Valley to serve an arrest warrant. Deputies located Mark Mroz, 65, of Wonder Valley as well as Mark Vogt, 45 of Twentynine Palms at the location. During the contact, deputies saw a handgun in plain sight within the residence. Mroz and Vogt are both previously convicted felons. A search warrant was obtained for the property and deputies recovered the handgun, a shotgun, ammunition and several ounces of methamphetamine. Mroz was arrested for several outstanding arrest warrants, investigation of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and investigation of narcotics possession. Mark Vogt was arrested for investigation of being a felon in possession of Firearm. Both suspects were booked into the West Valley Detention Center with their bail set at $50,000 each.

Check out the new sign!

Didn't David Stone do an amazing job making a new sign welcoming people into Wonder Valley?

Someone stole the old sign. I believe David Greene made that one way back when -- please correct me if I'm wrong.

I love this sign!

If you don't, don't worry! It probably won't be there for long!

(Don't anybody steal the sign, please.)