Thursday, November 26, 2015

Desert Trail column, November 26, 2015

Darlene’s Commentary: No matter how much I save during the year for Christmas gifts, I find myself having to stretch my budget so far that you can almost see right through it! Many of us live on fixed incomes (including me) so instead of fretting about lack of money, I have hatched up some great ideas to celebrate the holidays without going bankrupt. WARNING:  Most of these ideas require a compliant and agreeable family with a sense of adventure and the will to stick with the program.

Idea #1: “Treasure Hunt.”
Everyone must shop for gifts at thrift stores and garage sales – no gifts to be purchased at a retail store. This includes the kids, too. And, to be really thrifty, set an amount to spend on the adults, double that amount for the kids.

Idea #2: “Christmas in January.”
No one shops for gifts until December 26. The family must promise to enjoy the holidays, honor the real meaning of the season, but no shopping until December 26. You’ll find that your budget will buy twice as much. Presents are opened on January 25.

Idea #3:  “Drawing Names.”
Slips of paper containing the names of all the family members are put into a container, then each family member draws a name and buys a gift for that person only. Monetary limits can be set.

And, there's always coal.
Karen’s Commentary: My husband Ted and I went to The Palms for dinner last week, and were pleasantly surprised. The inside has been “spiffied” up with new decorative touches and organization, not to mention a cozy heating stove and a lot more light coming in. We met the new (to us) bartender Matt who is a very personable and friendly guy, and Laura served up a delicious meal, as usual! Teresa, our local Basinwide MAC representative, can be found here almost every Sunday from 9 to noon, enjoying breakfast and talking to anyone with concerns or questions about Wonder Valley. Call 760-361-2810 for hours or information.

Palms Restaurant, 83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277
The new Godwin Christian Fellowship Church building on Godwin Road is finally going up! After so many delays and setbacks, there is now noticeable progress being made each day. For information about Godwin Christian Fellowship Church or about the Home Group meetings every Sunday, call Pastor Max Rossi at 831-234-6848.

Handy Hint: Before using harsh chemicals to unclog a drain, try dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of white vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

Thought for Today: What do you get when you cross a rabbit with the Internet? A harenet.

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

Bullion Mountain, Wonder Valley, Photo: TSS

Monday, November 23, 2015

The circus is back in town

Ramos Brothers Circus winters in Wonder Valley, usually showing up sometime in November. They park on land behind the new Godwin Fellowship Church, on Godwin, near Highway 62. They are a small animal circus, featuring acts with trained poodles. They also have horses, camels, zebras, and llamas - all rescues. That said, if you'd like to collect horse manure for your garden they have plenty for the taking. Just stop on by and bring a shovel!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Glass Outhouse Student Art Show December 5

The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery once again hosts the student art exhibits for middle and high school students (including home school students). Art work will be accepted at the gallery from December 1 - 5 from 1-5 p.m., or call 760-367-3807. The opening reception is December 5 from 1 - 5 p.m. and most, if not all, the art is for sale. Miri Hunter will provide live music at the reception.

The Glass Outhouse Gallery is located at 77575 Highway 62, Wonder Valley.

We picked up a couple of nice pieces last year at very reasonable prices. (The show is not as competitive as I've made it out to be - just had too much fun making this graphic.)

Afterwards, toodle over to Copper Mountain College for their $49 Buck Art Sale to fund raise for student scholarships. Every artwork sells for $49 and you won't know which artist created it until after you've paid for it. It's at the Bell Center on the campus - first building on the left. The sale takes place the same day, December 5 starting at 4 p.m. Wonder Valley's own Cathy Allen, an art instructor at CMC, is directing the show.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Desert Trail Column, November 19, 2015

We send out Rainbows-of-Topaz-and-Chrysanthemums to Sharon Fangmeyer who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Sharon!

We also send out best wishes to Bill and Sherry Hague who celebrate their anniversary this week. We hope your special day is the greatest!

Karen’s Commentary: I am doomed for an entire year. My husband Ted put together eight entries for the Weed Show and came home with two first places, one second place and one honorable mention! And, to top that off, his picture then appeared on the front page of The Desert Trail! Aside from putting up with his puffed-up chest (and head), I have to endure the I-told-you-so attitude because of my pooh-poohing one of his entries that ended up earning a blue ribbon! Oh, my. Actually, I’m very proud of him. He begins each October sleeping, eating, breathing and living WEED SHOW – and this is one of the years that it paid off.

Darlene’s Commentary: Here come the holidays! Just when you start thinking all will be calm and well-organized this time, WHOOSH! With no warning, your clocks seem to pick up speed, whirring around in a blur. Somewhere along the line there are hasty trips to town, the faint sound of caroling and jingle bells, colorful lights blinking as I whiz by like a honeybee, searching store to store for affordable nectar. Then WHOOSH! Dreams of cash register receipts floating in the air like a winter snowstorm – “expect intermittent wrapping paper and ribbon flurries throughout the day, ending with a nice carpet of presents underneath the trees!” Then WHOOSH! The smells of roasting turkey and pumpkin pie, the sounds of happy children and exhausted adults, and another wonderful Christmas season is over, with the clocks ticking normally once again.

We would like to tell our firefighters at Wonder Valley Fire Station #45 how much we appreciate them being here for us. While we parcel owners are in the midst of trying to figure out how to pay for the future operation of our fire service, it’s easy to forget that these men and women are still here day in and day out, responding to medical aids, traffic collisions and fires. Thank you.

Handy Hint: Drying laundry on a clothesline is good for the environment, much cheaper than running a dryer and easier on the fabrics, making your clothes last longer and look better. As a bonus, sunlight kills many odor-causing bacteria so clothes will smell fabulous without having to buy expensive products that promise “air-dried freshness.”

Thought for Today: There are approximately 1,750 O’s floating around in each 15-ounce can of Spaghetti-Os.

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2nd Round of BLM WEMO Proposals

Poleline Road, Wonder Valley, with illegal incursions into Cleghorn Lake Wilderness Area
Saturday, December 5, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Community United Methodist Church,
6213 East Parkway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

[My note: Yep, we need to go through this for a 2nd round. Please don't give up now. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend.]

will be hosting an informational workshop to discuss the proposal by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to dramatically increase access for off-road vehicles in our rural communities, allowing ORVs to ride on our public roads, private property and public lands. Law enforcement is unable to deal with existing problems with ORV trespass, and the BLM wants to double the mileage of ORV routes in our communities.

The meeting will feature a detailed explanation of the BLM’s Western Mohave (WEMO) Route Management Plan, maps of the network of proposed ORV routes in the Morongo Basin, and an opportunity for the public submit comments on the plan.

WHEN: Saturday, December 5th, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm
WHERE: Community United Methodist Church, 6213 East Parkway in Joshua Tree (4 blocks north on Park Blvd. from Highway 62.)

For more information, please visit to
Sponsored by The Alliance for Responsible Recreation, Community ORV Watch, Morongo Basin Conservation Association, Friends of Juniper Flats, Western San Bernardino Homeowners Association, Sierra Club (partial list).

BLM West Mojave (WEMO) Route Network Project, Pat Flanagan, May 23, 2015, Wonder Valley

BLM's West Mojave (WEMO) Route Network Project and Plan Amendment

Photo: Pole Line Road to the north of Shadow Mountain Road in Wonder Valley, one of many ad hoc entrances to the Cleghorn Lakes Wilderness Area. 34.209078, -115.835102
Though the photo is from Wonder Valley, the BLM's WEMO plan will affect everyone in the entire Morongo Basin.

Facebook event:

Still up at the Glass Outhouse Gallery

If you missed the opening reception on November 7 you still have another week or two to catch the spectacular art at the Glass Outhouse Gallery.

Lorelie and David Greene of Wonder Valley shared their stutter stop photography.

Perry Hoffman, the owner of Tile House in Wonder Valley shared paintings
of the Buddha and a mail art show.

Tom Carvelles of Yucca Valley shared paintings of fantasy landscapes,
many with a desert theme. 

New church is coming right along

The new church near the corner of Godwin Road and Highway 62 is coming right along. The new building will house the Godwin Christian Fellowship and is across the road from the Wonder Valley Thrift Store which partly funds these efforts.

Visit the WV Thrift Store on Facebook at:

WV Citizens Fire Committee

Wonder Valley Volunteer Fire Department, some time back.
You are invited to attend a

Citizens Fire Committee Meeting
Sunday, November 22, from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Wonder Valley Community Center
80256½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277

Please submit agenda items to me by Thursday evening at At this meeting we'll review the budget submitted by John Chamberlin and formulate questions to send to him for the December 12 meeting.

This is a working meeting to prepare for the December 12 Community Meeting.
Membership on the committee is open to all residents of Wonder Valley. Current members include:
  • Jim Brakebill, Master Fire Instructor, Copper Mountain College
  • Ramon Lomeli, General Manager, Morongo Basin Ambulance
  • Jim Copeland, former Assistant fire chief of Wonder Valley Fire Department
  • Bob Tellefson, Wonder Valley
  • Ed Vallerand, Wonder Valley
  • Karen Meyers, Columnist, Desert Trail
Proposed budgets for a 2 and 3 person fire station are now online at:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

WV Community Meeting Notes - Monday, November 9, 2015

Second Monday of the month, November 9, 2015, 9:00 a.m.
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277
Wonder Valley MAC Delegate and Meeting Chair: Teresa Sitz
Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate.
  1. Call to order and Flag Salute, 9:15 a.m.
    Present: Eric Robles and W.L. Green, CHP, Jerry, Almut, Jill, Stewart, Ed, Mary, Glenda, Willis, Bob Adams, Debbie, Joan, Jim B., Bob T., Karen and Ted M., Teresa Sitz

    The community agreed to allow the CHP to present before Community Comment (see below).
  2. Community comment on items not on the agendaThe community is also invited to comment after the reports and during the discussions below.
    Teresa: a fellow almost burned down his cabin trying to stay warm. Is there any way we can address this as a community?
    Jill: commented on the sheriffs
    Bob: What’s going on with the road folks? Added to agenda planning
    Jerry: Thanked the MAC delegate for her work
    Almut: Asked for heating centers to be identified in 29 Palms
  3. Reports and Presentations
    A. Stewart West, Veterans Benefits Advisor
    Veterans – Bob, Jim, Robert, Willis, Jerry, Ed, Stewart
    Stewart is one of two VA advisers at the marine base. Reach Stewart at work at the base at: 760-830-6976, Office Building 1427, or will meet you off base.
    Joan: Had questions as her veteran husband recently died. Served in three wars. Still shops at the base.
    Stewart: There’s a Veterans Benefits timetable pdf online. Some benefits don’t run out. Chronic medical issues can apply for benefits at any time if the medical issue started during service. Join e-benefits online for medical benefits – fairly easy to use. If you have any problems with the system, call Stewart.
    VA Home loan available throughout your lifetime.  Can eliminate a down payment.  Can be used more than once.
    Burial benefits. State or national cemetery when available, marker, medallion, etc.
    Jill: Do wounded vets have to drive down the hill?
    Stewart: If you have to drive more than 40 miles you can use the Choice Act to visit a civilian doctor.
    Ed: Reach Out Morongo takes people down the hill once a week,
    Karen: The number for Reach Out Morongo is 760-361-1410 ROM, Robin Schlosser
    Stewart: There are two crisis lines: Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255, text 838255
    General Info Number: 800-827-1000
    Ed: Who do you call about complaints
    Stewart: You can call me.
    B. Eric Robles, W.L. Green, CHPMary: Could you post a camera on Amboy and 62 to catch speeders?
    Robles: Since Jan there have been 6 collisions on 62, 3 on Amboy, 4 resulted in minor injuries. The last fatality was more than a year ago. The Marine Corps ball is coming up, and the holidays, be cautious.
    Jim B: Traffic has been very heavy on weekend. Cars hauling boats are passing me and I’m going 70mph. Target Amboy and 62 on Friday and Sunday.
    Jill: Do you patrol state and county roads?
    Green: Yes. And all adopted roads, those maintained by special districts, and enforcement issues on those roads as well.
    Ed: Do you carry emergency medical supplies?
    Green: Yes – EMT kit, and O2 – we’re trained in CRP, EMR.
    Bob: Why is there a difference in the speed limit on 62 and Amboy.
    Robles : That’s a Caltrans determination. The #1 accident in the Morongo Basin is the single car rollover in sand.
    Karen:  Amboy should be widened and we should have a bike path.
    C. Discussion and possible action:Shall the community endorse the delegate’s MAC Report to be read at the MAC meeting tonight? No corrections. No objections
  4. Ongoing Business"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van GoghA. Neighborhood Watch and NextDoor (66 members)There is a new dump started at Two Mile and Shelton – anyone interested in helping clear it tomorrow? A couple of people expressed interest.

    i. I did a demonstration of a window alarm – 2 for about $9, and a $15 taser from Amazon. I mentioned that my neighbor has a driveway alarm turned out to the street so he always knows when someone drives into our neighborhood and he checks them out.
    ii. I suggested that everyone in the community make sure they have lighted street numbers visible from the street for emergency services.

    B. Fire Tax UpdateThe community agreed to bump the Fire Tax Update to the end of the meeting.
    The second fire tax meeting will be Saturday, December 12 at the Community Center. We’ll have additional speakers including:
    Jim Brakebill – head of the Fire Program at CMC, owns property in WV
    Ramon Lomeli, General Manager of Morongo Basin Ambulance
    Jim Copeland
    Someone from ISO (Insurance Services Office)
    The Needles City Council just voted 5 to 4 to accept County’s proposal. The same issue is coming up before Pioneer Town.
    Ed: Passed out handouts that showed the labor rates listed for the Twentynine Palms Proposal, and the rates were discussed.
    The Community voted unanimously to start a Citizens Fire Committee to research alternatives to the proposal by County Fire. Bob Tellefson, Ed Vallerad, and Jim Brakebill volunteered to be on the committee and Teresa Sitz agreed to announce the creation of the committee and to call for new members.

    C. Illegal Dumping – Code EnforcementTeresa reported on several submissions to the county and updates from our current code enforcement office Shari Rotruk.
  5. Agenda planningThe community is invited to suggest items to place on the next meeting agenda.
    - There was a request to widen Amboy and add a bike lane. (Meyers)
    - There was a request to have a reserve deputy assigned to WV. (Bill)
    - There was a request for the latest road report from Special Districts. (Bob)
  6. Announcements
    The agendas and notes from these meetings are posted online at Wonder Valley
    - Time of this meeting? The Community agreed that the meeting will continue to start at 9 a.m.
    - MAC meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m., but also a County El NiƱo meeting in Yucca Valley Community Center, 57090 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley
    - HEAP Workshop of Friday
    - 2nd Fire Meeting, Saturday, December 12
  7. AdjournmentThe meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

Proposed Fire Tax Budget Released

Fire Chief John Chamberlin, Division 5, sent the proposed fire tax budgets for both a 2-person and a 3-person station.


Salaries Total $1,226,905
Station Expenses Total $380,153
Total $1,607,058
Divided by 4,636 parcels = $347 per parcel

Salaries Total $1,885,728
Station Expenses Total $380,153
Total $2,265,881
Divided by 4,636 parcels = $489 per parcel

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sheriff's Calls Wonder Valley

I am very happy to see that Wonder Valley community members seem to be reporting more crimes to the Sheriff's Department. I went on a Ride-Along yesterday and learned that Landers is currently receiving a lot of attention from the Sheriff's Department because they have been reporting a lot of burglaries. I don't know that it's because they're having more burglaries but reporting more burglaries is making a difference for them.

One interesting thing I learned yesterday is this: you can call 911 and ask for a deputy to call you back. When they do you can report your incident and the deputy will document it and provide you with an incident number. Be sure to ask for one if one is not offered. These calls will not be counted in the monthly crime stats but they are noted in Sheriff's Department briefings. Reporting INCIDENTS may be something that those of you who do NOT want a Sheriff's car seen at your house, for whatever reason, CAN do.

I'd also encourage as many people as possible to sign up for Ride-Alongs. That way you will be fully informed regarding the services of the Sheriff's Department and MORE Wonder Valley residents will have personal relationships with Deputies, which can only help our community.

Sheriff's Calls: Desert Trail
Thursday, November 12, 2015

WEDNESDAY, November 4
Illegal Entry and Vandalism, 64700 block of Sullivan Road, 3:35 p.m.
Someone broke into a vacation home between April and today. Nothing was stolen but damages will cost about $100 to repair.

SATURDAY, November 7
Death Investigation, 3300 block of Sunlight Road, 10:07 a.m.
Subject was discovered by his roommate. Morongo Basin paramedics pronounced the subject dead at the scene. A deputy did not discover any obvious signs of foul play.

Burglary, 6300 block of Godwin Road, 3:40 p.m.
The reporting party said an unknown subject removed a battery from a loader and attempted to steal diesel fuel from another heavy equipment vehicle. The subject may have been spooked by the presence of another employee and fled with the battery.

Miscellaneous Law Enforcement Call, 82800 block of Indian Trail, 3:45 p.m.
The reporting party went to the residence to check on the property and saw broken glass near a trailer. The deputy thought the damage may have been caused by an animal.

SUNDAY, November 8
Warrant Arrest, 3300 block of Wilson Road, 7:33 p.m.
A subject contracted at the residence was found to be the subject of a $50,000 warrant out of Los Angeles County.

Desert Trail Column, November 12, 2015

A HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) Outreach and Workshop will be held on Friday, November 13 at our community center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. HEAP provides financial assistance to pay for heating fuels, including electricity, oil, propane or wood. You must fall beneath certain income levels to qualify.

The USDA Food Distribution will be held on Monday, November 16 at the community center from 11 to noon. The He Provides Ministry will also be there with free clothing and household items for anyone who needs them.

We send out Rainbows-of-Topaz-and-Chrysanthemums to Carol Rogers and Karen Meyers who both celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to both of you!

Darlene’s Commentary: I want to tell you about an extraordinary encounter with a stranger in the Old Schoolhouse Museum parking lot. My six-year-old grandson Hunter had worked on his Weed Show project diligently, and I was to take him and his project for entry before 9 am on Saturday. But because of a malfunctioning alarm clock (or setter) and the accidental dropping of the project, we were running very late, arriving at 9:05. We hopefully hurried toward the door, but it shut right in front of us. I was stunned, but before I could utter a word, Hunter said, “Don’t worry, Grandma, there’s another Weed Show next year.” What a kid! When we got to the car, a lady walked up to us and told Hunter that she’d seen his wonderful display from a distance and asked to see it close up. She discussed the project in detail and told him he could take it to school for Show-and-Tell, and went on with other comments and questions that delighted Hunter. His expression went from sad to happy because of a caring lady named Carolyn Robinson.

Karen’s Commentary:  I just read that water usage in the average US household is 255 gallons per day. Obviously, the average household is not in Wonder Valley! And at the Well Owners meeting, I was very happy to hear from Clarence Chambers that the water table underneath us is no lower today than it was many years ago.

Animal Action League is a wonderful organization that does spay and neutering, plus vaccinations and microchips, all at reduced prices to Wonder Valley residents. They are located just west of the dinosaurs on Highway 62 in Joshua Tree. Call them at 760-366-1100. Be part of the solution!

Handy Hint: For spot cleaning clothing or fabrics, use baby wipes. They are very effective and dry quickly.

Thought for Today: Cats regard people as warm-blooded furniture.

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

Wonder Valley sunrise. Photo: Teresa Sitz

Friday, November 6, 2015

Great starter drone more than 1/2 off next 2 days

Striker Spy HD-Camera Drone $69.99 for the next 2 days.


This looks like a great little drone, and it's for sale at the BoingBoing store - where all the hardest-core geeks shop.

I've always wanted to see Wonder Valley from above. I'm thinking, too, that these could be handy in emergencies - for checking road conditions, and checking in on neighbors. You could also use them to tour your or neighbor's property (with their permission) if unsavory individuals were about.

If anyone gets one, or has another kind of drone, let me know what you use it for in the comments.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How not to freeze to death

How Not to Freeze: Living Without Heat, by Sharon Astyk on January 12, 2010

After reading about the fellow in Wonder Valley who accidentally set his house on fire trying to stay warm, I searched for information on different ways to heat cabins. While it would be ideal to get electricity or propane or a wood stove to every cabin, barring that, these hints may be useful in saving a life. The whole article is worth reading, but these are the broad strokes.

1. Have shelter
2. Feed yourself and your family well.
3. Heat yourself, you should be wearing warm clothing – and lots of them.
4. Have a way to warm food and water.
5. Have a warm place to sleep.
6. Have someone check in on you.

If you have ideas on how to help people stay warm, or you would like to donate blankets, hats, gloves, socks, small stoves, etc., please leave me a message in the comments below.

If you, or someone you know, is having trouble staying warm, please contact me in the comments below, or at

Desert Trail Column, November 5, 2015

The Wonder Valley Community Center will be closed for the months of November and December, with the exceptions of the community meetings on November 9 and December 14, and the USDA Food Distributions on November 16 and December 21. The community center will again be open every Monday from 9 to noon beginning in January, 2016. The Wonder Valley Book Program will also be closed until January, with the above exceptions.

The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery invites everyone to an Artists Reception on Saturday, November 7 from 5 to 9 pm. Featured artists are Perry Hoffman, David Greene and Michael Carballes, and music will be provided by Leslie Mariah Andrews. The gallery is located at 77575 29 Palms Highway at Thunder Road. For more information, call 760-367-3807.

A community meeting will take place at our community center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road, on November 9 at 9 am. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate. Veterans Administration Benefits Advisor Stewart West from the Marine Base will be present to talk to veterans one-on-one about their benefits and eligibility issues following the meeting. Service-connected disabilities can be applied for at any time in life. For further information, call our Basinwide Municipal Advisory Council Representative Teresa Sitz at 760-865-9550.

The Basinwide MAC meeting will be held on Monday, November 9 at the community center at Sunburst Park in Joshua Tree from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. All are welcome to attend.

On a sad note,  Wonder Valley resident Joseph Henry Evans, 72, has passed away. We send our condolences to his wife Lisa K. Evans; son Robert Evans; daughters Teresa Evans and Tammy Caroll; sister Sara Evans; brother Edward Evans; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A memorial service is being planned.

Karen’s Commentary: Oh, my! Those little annoying Christmas elves that whisper in my ears this time of year have upped their volume considerably as of November 1. They’re saying if I’d listened to them in October, I’d already be done with my Christmas shopping.

Darlene’s Commentary: Here comes the Weed Show! Grab your friends, bring the kids and come to the Old Schoolhouse Museum on November 6 and 7. Hours – Saturday noon to 4, Sunday 10 to 4. Check it out! Admission is free. I love the Weed Show!

Handy Hint: Revive stale bread or rolls by sprinkling them lightly with water, putting them in aluminum foil and warming them in a 375-degree oven for about 5 minutes for rolls or 10-15 minutes for bread.

Thought for Today: When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, and others build windmills. – Chinese Proverb

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

MAC Meeting AGENDA - Monday, November 9, 2015

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate.

Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council
To Third District Supervisor James C. Ramos
Regular Open Session Meeting – 6:30 P.M. Monday November 9, 2015
Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Ave., Joshua Tree, CA  92252
  1. Call to Order
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Roll  Call:  Seat  1:  Pioneertown:  Vacant;  Seat  2:  Yucca  Mesa,  Tom  Ziegert;  Seat  3:  Landers:  Richard Lutringer;  Seat  4:  Joshua  Tree,  Mark  Lundquist;  Seat  5:  Flamingo  Heights, Lib  Koenig;  Seat  6:  Desert Heights: Pat Flanagan; Seat 7: Wonder Valley, Teresa Sitz; Seat 8: Morongo Valley, Gayle Swarat; Seat 9: Copper Mountain Mesa, Mary Helen Tuttle
  4. Adoption of Agenda
  5. Approval of minutes from October 12, 2015.
  6. The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council will seat Michelle Myers representing Pioneertown (Seat 1).
  7. Annual ElectionChairperson
    Vice Chairperson
  8. Call for Public Comment
    At this time, anyone may comment on items not on the agenda that are of interest to the  public and within the jurisdiction of the MAC. The MAC is prohibited by law from taking action on matters not on the agenda. Comment may be offered on items on the agenda when those items come up for discussion or action. A limit of 3 comments per item and 3 minutes per comment may be imposed. In all cases, if you wish to speak, please submit a REGISTRATION CARD to the SECRETARY and proceed to the podium when recognized by the Chair. Speakers should address the MAC as a whole; comments to individual delegates and/or staff are not appropriate for this venue.
  9. Public Safety Reports
    A. CHP
    B. Sheriff’s Department
    C. County Fire
  10. Discussion and possible action:
    Adoption of 2015-2016 Meeting Calendar
  11. Reports by Council Members 
  12. AdjournmentSan Bernardino County is committed to ensuring persons with disabilities are provided the resources to participate fully in public meetings. If you require  disability-related modifications or accommodations, including auxiliary aid or services, contact the BOS office at least three business days prior to the meeting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

People suffering from cold in Wonder Valley

This just breaks my heart.
WARMING FIRE IGNITES WONDER VALLEY CABINBy Z107.7 News, on November 3rd, 2015Firefighters were called to what was thought to be a structure fire in Wonder Valley early Saturday morning. According to a Sheriff’s report, about 6 a.m., a man who lived in a homestead cabin in the 7500 block of Pinto Mountain Road made a fire near the door, inside his one-room cabin in order to keep warm, and then went back to sleep. The report states the makeshift door did not allow the smoke to escape from the cabin, and when the cabin filled with smoke, the resident panicked and attempted to put out the fire. A neighbor saw the smoke and called for help. The man, who was not identified, received a superficial burn to his right shoulder, but refused medical treatment.
There will be a HEAP Outreach and Education Workshop in Wonder Valley on November the 13th. If you need financial assistance with electricity, propane, or firewood, please follow the link below and come to this workshop.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Artist Cathy Allen's NURP

Cathy Allen, an art professor at Copper Mountain College, and a Wonder Valley resident of 22 years, has been working on a development project, of sorts. Allen calls it Non-Urban Renewal Project or NURP. Her dwellings are popping up all over the landscape, though I have yet to see one in person.

Here's a picture of one of my favorites, a sort of gothic hut. The dwellings are made of whatever materials Allen finds at a site. They are held together with only intention and gravity and strong winds may return them to their native state.

Non-Urban Renewal Project (NURP), Dwelling #13. Photo: Cathy Allen
Allen was at the Palms community breakfast on Sunday and passed around a prototype of an artist's book that included an artist's statement and a map!

Most people were excited about Allen's project, but not everyone. One long time resident complained that people come out to the desert thinking they can do whatever they like and that this project might encourage that attitude, as well as providing temporary shelter for people up to no good. The ephemeral nature and remote sitings of these shelters make that unlikely.

Allen remembers the little people in NURP dwelling, miniature series # 9. Photo: Cathy Allen
Some art professors coast on their laurels and feel that they do enough just teaching. I admire Allen for continuing to work prodigiously, in the landscape in which she lives, addressing timely issues of land use, shelter, people in place, and gentrification.

Agenda for November 9 Community Meeting

The agenda and MAC report is posted online at:

Second Monday of the month, November 9, 2015, 9:00 a.m.
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277
Wonder Valley MAC Delegate and Meeting Chair: Teresa Sitz
Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate.

  1. Call to order and Flag Salute
  2. Community comment on items not on the agenda
    The community is also invited to comment after the reports and during the discussions below.
  3. Reports and Presentations
    a. Stewart West, Veterans Benefits Advisor
    b. Discussion and possible action: Shall the community endorse the delegate’s MAC Report to be read at the MAC meeting tonight?
  4. Ongoing Business
    "Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh
    a. Neighborhood Watch and NextDoor
    i. Demo of a stand alone window alarm
    ii. House numbers
    b. Fire Tax Update
    c. Illegal Dumping – Code Enforcement
  5. Agenda planning
    The community is invited to suggest items to place on the next meeting agenda.
  6. Announcements
  7. Adjournment 

 November 9, 2015, MAC Report: Wonder Valley
by Teresa Sitz, Wonder Valley Delegate

We had a Community Meeting this morning with ___ in attendance. Stewart West, a Wonder Valley resident and VA Benefits Advisor from the Marine Base presented.

There will be a HEAP workshop this Friday the 13th at the Wonder Valley Community Center from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend.

Our biannual Dale Basin Well Owners Association meeting was on November 1 with about 20 people in attendance. Five people joined bringing the total membership to 80. President Clarence Chambers updated us on the state of our wells.

At our December 14 Community Meeting the BLM is going to bring maps and we’ll look at what’s going on with the roads and OHV access in Wonder Valley.

The second Fire Tax Meeting on Saturday, December 12 will allow those who work during the week, weekenders, and snow birds to attend and ask questions about the proposed fire tax.

Our NextDoor network has 65 members now and we continue to keep an eye out for each other.

Thank you.