Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bonefest 2017 - The Palms

"Bonefest 2017"
Desert Halloween Party!!!
At the Palms in Wonder Valley
83131 Amboy Road, 92277

Featuring live music with:
  • The Sibleys
  • Bellstarr
  • Easier
A costume contest: prizes for best costumes
Probably a dance party...because, well, dance party

Saturday, October 28, 7 p.m. - midnight. No cover.
More info: 760 - 361 - 2810 / 310 - 920 - 4804

Free camping available.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Crime Stats for September 2017

The figures for 2015 and 2016 were supplied by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The figures for 2017 were gleaned from media reports so these numbers have not been confirmed by the Sheriff's Department.

An increase in numbers does not mean there has been an increase in crime. An increase may be due to increased public awareness and willingness to report crime.

Remember, if you call the Sheriff's Department, always ask for an incident number.


In case of an emergency: dial 911
Sheriff’s Department non-emergency: 760-956-5001

Code Enforcement: (909) 884-4056 or (760) 995-8140

Animal Control:  (800) 472-5609


San Bernardino Sheriff's Department (always call first)
private land trespass - (760) 366-4175

BLM (Bureau of Land Management)
public land trespass - (888) 233-6518

San Bernardino Code Enforcement
(909) 884-4056 or (760) 995-8140

CRISIS WALK IN CENTER: Open 24/7 - (760) 365-6558
7293 Dumosa Avenue, Suite 2, YV 92284
No appointment necessary

SUICIDE HOTLINE: (800) 273-8255

VETERANS CRISIS LINE: 1-800-273-8255, press 1

Crisis counseling, information, referrals and access to the immediate safety of emergency domestic violence shelter.
(760) 366-9663 x1

Thursday, October 5, 2017

High Desert Test Sites | October 21 - 22, 2017

HDTS 2017

Saturday, October 21. 2017

3 - 5 p.m.
Edie Fake with the Glass Outhouse
Glass Outhouse Art Gallery
77575 Twentynine Palms Highway
Wonder Valley, CA 92277

5:45 p.m.
Chill Out: Oliver Payne
Iron Age Road
Wonder Valley, CA 92277

7 - 10 p.m.
The Palm Talks
Palms Restaurant
831831 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley, CA 92277

The Palm Talks
     Community has become a buzzword for everything from right-wing fraternities, ecological collectives, and Silicon Valley burners to gentrification activists. The very notion of the term brings people together as much as it divides them; it creates a sense of belonging and a case for segregation, shared sets of beliefs and prejudices. More than likely, we are all voluntary and involuntary members of different communities, with contradictory values and conflicting agendas. Therefore, it might be more relevant to think of a non-community, where each and every one of us can be left alone together. But is this possible in today’s political climate? Is there anything left of the social infrastructure that supports operations of the self?
     The Palm Talks wants to know what the future of our non-community looks like. How can we not belong to a group that would likely take us as a member? How can there be the acceptance of difference without otherness? These are some basic ideas. The Palm Talks affords an opportunity to think about the groups to which we belong. Particularly in the context of the High Desert and the convergent ideologies represented there, it becomes ever more important to address the notion of community—as well as non-community—through personal anecdotes and oral histories, as well as critical methodologies. There is perhaps no better place to ask these questions than Wonder Valley, where some come to create communities, others to escape them, some a combination of both, and where all rely on the land, water, trees, animals, and everything else that is seemingly common to all.
     The Palm Talks includes both local and non-local contemporary thinkers, historians, writers, and artists, whose contributions culminate in a momentary glimpse into our collective state. Set within the context of the legendary Palms Restaurant in Twentynine Palms and presented with live musical accompaniment by M. Cay Castagnetto and The
Renderers, there will be a negotiation between language and sound, noise and meaning, music and speech. Participants in The Palm Talks include Fiona Connor, Trinie Dalton, Gary Dauphin, Steve Kado, Alexander Keefe, Nancy Klein, Annelies Kuiper, Cailin O'Connor, Litia Perta, Linda Sibio, Laura Sibley, Bobby Jesus and Frances Stark, Sam Thorne, James Owen Weatherall, and others.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Press Release - First-ever Morongo Basin plan for culture and arts underway

[I'm proud to say that Wonder Valley is represented by two members: Cathy Allen and Kevin Bone!]

Press Release - First-ever Morongo Basin plan for culture and arts underway

​Land Use Services
Linda Mawby
Senior Planner
(909) 387-4002

First-ever Morongo Basin plan for culture and arts underway

The community, including residents, artists, educators, and culture-oriented organizations and businesses throughout the Morongo Basin will be asked to participate in developing a Strategic Plan for Culture and the Arts.

The County of San Bernardino will lead the effort along with The Cultural Planning Group, a Southern California consulting firm specializing in the field of arts and culture with experience working with communities across the country to create cultural plans.

“The Morongo Basin is known for its artistic and creative way of life which continues to attract residents, businesses and tourists to this region,” said San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “We hope the community will help us build this roadmap to continue to promote and celebrate the Morongo Basin as an artistic hub.”

The plan will assist Morongo Basin communities to articulate their vision for culture and the arts. This will lead to plans for activities that can fulfill that vision, such as art shows, arts education, musical performances, poetry readings, writing groups, festivals and seminars.

The Cultural Planning Group will work with a leadership group of community leaders, including artists and others, to guide the planning process grounded in the unique creative identity of the Morongo Basin, and to create a plan based on the priorities of the communities of Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley, Pioneertown, Landers, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and Twentynine Palms. The local communities will implement the plan with guidance from the leadership committee.

The Strategic Plan for Culture and the Arts is expected to be complete in mid-2018. The first public meetings will begin before the end of the year.  To receive future announcements on how to become involved, submit an email address to Linda.Mawby@lus.sbcounty.gov.  The San Bernardino County Land Use Services Planning Division will also be posting information on their website and social media links.  For additional information visit: http://cms.sbcounty.gov/lus/Planning/PlanningHome.aspx

Felisa Cardona
Deputy Public Information Officer
County of San Bernardino
Phone: 909-387-5429

Our job is to create a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being.

Kip's Desert Book Club

Gold Fame Citrus, By Claire Vaye Watkins

7 p.m., October 2, 2017 at
The Palms Restaurant
83131 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley, CA

Bring something for the potluck if you' like to take part.
For more information see:

Friday, September 22, 2017

Food in Wonder Valley

Our friends from Wonder Valley Olive Oil are having a dinner. I got the invitation - I think I signed up at their site - but was a day late and $120 short to get a place at the table.

If you don't know what a "paladar" is, come sit by me. I looked it up. It's a little restaurant run by "self-employers." It's a Spanish word related to the root for "palate."

The Olive Oilers describe the event thusly:

"Our seasonal paladars are leisurely multiple course communal suppers, cooked over an open fire, where strangers become friends, all set to the background of the beautiful high desert near Joshua Tree, California. The dishes will be prepared with the remainder of the 2016 harvest olive oil by chef Jay Wolman of Small Trades. Jay's background is working in landmark kitchens such as Diner, Marlow & Sons, and newcomer Hart's (of Bon Appetit's Top 10 best new restaurants 2017).

"Live music & cocktails at 5 pm followed by a five course menu and wine pairing by Oeno Wines."

See the menu.


Volunteers distributed 83 boxes of food on September 18 at the Wonder Valley Community Center, serving 108 people. All low income Wonder Valley residents may self-certify on site. The next distribution is Monday, October 16.  The doors open at 10:30 a.m There is a Salvation Army Food Distribution at the WVCC this coming Wednesday, September 27 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., first come first served. All you have to do is sign your name and you'll be given a box. No waiting.

I want to thank all of our volunteers: Mary Quamme, Star Javiar, Karen Meyers, Stand Up Bob Woods, Mighty Mike Gillespie, Steven Wilhelm, Ken Sitz, Sunny Downer, and Grey Hill. We couldn't do it without you, and we love your sunny faces and wonderful, generous attitudes. This is what Wonder Valley is all about. Remember, some people are so poor that all they have is money.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Highway 62 Open Studio Art Tours

Three artists represent Wonder Valley in this year's Highway 62 Open Studio Art Tours: Robert Arnett, Perry Hoffman, and Mark Heuston. The tour runs for two weekends: October 14 & 15, and October 21 & 22.

Mark Heuston specializes in metal work and his studio will be open the second weekend only. Perry Hoffman specializes in tile and mosaics, and Robert Arnett in painting, and their studios will be open both weekends.

Go to www.hwy62arttours.org for maps to the studios and more information.

Free Flu Shot Clinic

With the cooler fall weather approaching now is the time to get protected from the coming flu with your annual flu shot at the 

Twentynine Palms Senior Center
 6539 Adobe Road
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

From 1:30-3:30 p.m., on September 26th and 27th .

Hosted by Reach Out Morongo Basin and presented by Walgreens Pharmacy, a licensed Pharmacist will be on hand to provide flu shots to adults and children. No appointment is required and all walk-ins are welcome. 

For more information contact Reach Out Morongo Basin at 760-361-1410.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wonder Valley Community Meeting with Special Guest

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in
The Wonder Valley Community Meeting
Monday, October 2, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at
The Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley, California 92277

Our Special Guest for this meeting will be
Mark Lundquist, Aide to District Three Supervisor James Ramos

Please feel free to bring your questions.

The Agenda for this meeting will be posted at here and at 
the Wonder Valley Community Center by Monday, September 25, 2017.

Agenda posted 11 a.m., September 23, 2017.
Meeting Notes, posted October 9, 2017, 8:00 a.m.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Desert Trail Column, September 14, 2017

The Wonder Valley Community Meeting held last Saturday was very interesting, as usual. Teresa Sitz organized the meeting and Chief Scott Tuttle was there to discuss fire department issues and answer questions. A great suggestion was made by Ed Vallerand to request that the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meeting be held in Wonder Valley once a year. It was also suggested that the meetings be rotated on a regular basis, with each of the nine areas represented being the host every nine months. This would give the people who cannot drive to the meetings in Joshua Tree the chance to meet all the delegates and County representatives, and for those people to meet us and see what our community is like.

Thank you, Tim, for clearing our roads right away following the wash flowing with Twentynine Palms runoff from Saturday’s storm. We appreciate it!

Darlene’s Commentary:  I agree with Fran Becker, famous columnist for Desert Heights News! I had the same thoughts about how I would love to say, “B-r-r-r, it is actually cold outside” or “B-r-r-r, I’d better bring my sweater.” I thought I couldn’t take another day of triple digits and 150 per cent humidity. This morning’s Weather Channel forecast shows seven days at 99 degrees and lower! (Twilight Zone music, please!)

Karen’s Commentary:  I’m in awe of people who speak multiple languages. I took four years of Spanish, but still can’t come close to speaking it fluently. I can read and pronounce every word correctly; I just can’t understand most of them! In Mexico, I had to resort to saying “woo-woo” along with a hand gesture of pulling a train whistle to get my meaning of a train across! Pretty pathetic.

The non-profit 29 Soaring Club meets every Sunday, weather permitting, at the Twentynine Palms Airport on Highway 62 at Godwin Road, from 11am to sunset. The club owns two gliders and one tow plane which are kept at the airport. The public is welcome to come out to watch these gliders do their stuff. Glider rides are available at a cost of $20 to $50 (cash only) depending on the altitude desired. Gift certificates are also available. This is a great idea for a unique gift! Call Mike at 760-464-2835 for further information.

Handy Hint:  Use plastic bags for storing food only once, then toss them. The corners and ziplock closures are difficult to clean, they can’t take dishwasher heat and they don’t dry well – making them little germ factories.

Thought for Today:  What happened when the dairy cow tried to jump the barbed wire fence? Udder destruction!

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

Rain in Wonder Valley.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wonder Valley rainbow

Photo courtesy of Wonder Valley resident, Patty Micciche House, who wrote:

"The only time I've ever seen a full-on, Lucky Charms end-to-end rainbow is here in the desert. It's incredible!"

Highway 62 washed out before Ironage

Photo courtesy of Wonder Valley resident Ellie Greenwood, who write,

"I drove out to where the rain washed out Hwy 62. It was at the big dip past Star's Way Out but before Iron Age. This is what I saw..."

Highway 62 was closed yesterday east of Godwin due to heavy rains.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Stuck in the sand.

By Z107.7 News, on September 8th, 2017

A missing person’s report Wednesday led to the rescue of two men who had gotten their vehicle stuck in the sand in Wonder Valley. Deputies were called to the 80500 block of Amboy Road about 8:20 p.m. for a report of missing persons, where they learned that a father and his 20-year-old son were lost somewhere in the desert. The Sheriff’s Department called in its helicopter, but the pilots were unable to find them or their vehicle. The son finally walked out to a home and called his mother, and he was then able to tell deputies that he and his father had gotten their vehicle stuck in sand between Amboy Road and Highway 62. The helicopter then found the vehicle and picked up and returned the older man—described as “drunk” —to his family, who said they would retrieve their vehicle Thursday. Last week, on August 28, a Sheriff’s deputy rescued three tourists from Spain who got their rental car stuck in sand in the Quackenbush live fire area on the Marine Base.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Crime stats for July and August 2017

The source for the 2015 and 2016 numbers is the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which has provided us general numbers the past 2 years. The numbers for July and August 2017 were not released by the SBSD, but were compiled from media reports.

These numbers do not indicate an increase or a decrease in crime, only a change in the number of calls from the residents of Wonder Valley, the number of reports filed, and arrests made.

JULY 2017

JULY 2017
JULY 2016
JULY 2015



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Desert Trail, August 31, 2017

As you probably already know, our Wonder Valley Community Center, located at 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, has been closed for a few weeks and will probably be closed for a few more. However, it’ll be open for food distributions, meetings and special events. Hopefully, it will be open again soon on a regular basis, along with our Wonder Valley Book Program. Have patience.

Teresa Sitz has passed her training and will soon be a California State Certified HIV and Hepatitis-C Tester. She will be volunteering for the Desert AIDS Project and with the Morongo Basin Healthcare District. Congratulations, Teresa! It’s wonderful to know people so willing to give their time and energy to help others in need. Teresa is definitely that kind of person, and we thank her.

Godwin Christian Fellowship Church, located at 6389 Godwin Road near 29 Palms Highway, will add a Spanish Worship Service from 9 to 10:30 every Sunday morning, beginning September 3. Because of this new addition, the English service times will be changed slightly, now starting at 10:40 and ending at 12:10. The new Spanish service will be led by Assistant Pastor Alberto Aleman. You may contact him at 760-910-9603, or you may contact Pastor Max Rossi at 831-234-6848 or

email Mrossi121@yahoo.com. By the way, Pastor Max, the stained glass panel inside the church made by Charlotte Williams, the world globe on the east side of the church and the beautiful gate on the west side of the church are all wonderful additions.

Twentynine Palms Airport, located on 29 Palms Highway near Godwin Road, is owned and operated by San Bernardino County. It has two runways, and there are no user fees charged to land or take off from this airport. There is a small group of tenants who keep their planes parked at the airport, including a few inside the hangars on the property. This is a non-towered facility, meaning there is no control tower. There is a self-service 100-low lead fuel station onsite. The Twentynine Palms Soaring Club meets here regularly, military training operations take place occasionally and multiple planeloads of Toys for Tots are flown in and delivered to waiting military personnel every December. For further information, call 760-361-8548 or 760-247-2371, or go to airnav.com.

Handy Hint: Get every last dab out of your toothpaste tube by rolling the end up tightly and clamping it with a binder clip.

Thought for Today: Not sure if I should be more concerned about the son who locked me out of my bedroom today or the one who showed me how to pick the lock.

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Comedy at The Palms

Boneybone Productions and The Palms presents:
An evening of comedy and music featuring the hilarious female-driven sketch comedy group from Hollywood, "Whoa Man," and songs by 29 Palms' own Tim and Faith Chinnock of "The Adobe Collective."

8:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 30, 2017.
Admission: $7
The Palms Restaurant
83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Monday, August 28, 2017

Wonder Valley March Meeting | September 9, 2017

Wonder Valley March Meeting | September 9, 2017

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend 
our monthly community meeting from 
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday, September 9, 2017 
at the 
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277.

The agenda will be posted on the door of the Wonder Valley Community Center on Monday, September 4, 2017, and is also posted below.

AGENDA posted 10:00 a.m., September 4, 2017:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lightning over Wonder Valley

"Monsoon and training 'lighting' aboard the Combat Center August 2, 2017." Photograph by Wonder Valley artist Lisa Manifold

Monday, July 31, 2017

Palms will be close August 17 - 30

If the churches were savvy they'd set up a free breakfast for allus sinners with nowhere to go on August 20 and 27.

Anyway, y'all are on your own. Andreas and 29 Palms Inn in Twentynine Palms are both good for breakfast. Maybe we'll see you there.

Two arrested in Wonder Valley

By Z107.7 News, on July 28th, 2017
Two Wonder Valley men were arrested Wednesday morning, accused of burglarizing a storage container. According to a Sheriff’s report, witnesses interrupted two men, later identified as Randell Vessells, 48, and Justyn Holsclaw, 20, who had broken a lock on the storage container in the 4000 block of Steeg Road in Wonder Valley. The suspects then ran off. Deputies located Vessells north of the residence. Holsclaw ran from the deputies into the desert and was captured after a short foot pursuit. Holsclaw had a red duffle bag with him that contained a cutting saw and various tools. Deputies determined that Vessells was a parolee at large. Randell Vessells was arrested for investigation of burglary and on a parole violation, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000. Justyn Holsclaw was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000.

No August community meeting

I just passed an exam to qualify for a 4-day class to become an HIV test counselor. I've been volunteering with Desert AIDS Project and Morongo Basin Healthcare District. DAP is sponsoring my training. This is part of a longer range plan to advocate for harm reduction programs in our communities.

For this reason I will not have time to prepare for an August community meeting. Our next Wonder Valley Community Meeting will be Saturday, September 9, 2017.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Wonder Valley Dream Catcher

Joshua Tree artist Bruce Carlton snapped and titled this  picture in Wonder Valley recently, found outside an unoccupied cabin.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Crime Stats June 2017

The figures for 2015 and 2016 were supplied by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The figures for 2017 were gleaned from media reports so these numbers have not been confirmed by the Sheriff's Department.

An increase in numbers does not mean there has been an increase in crime. An increase may be due to increased public awareness and willingness to report crime.

Remember, if you call the Sheriff's Department, always ask for an incident number.


In case of an emergency: dial 911
Sheriff’s Department non-emergency: 760-956-5001

Code Enforcement: (909) 884-4056 or (760) 995-8140

Animal Control:  (800) 472-5609


San Bernardino Sheriff's Department (always call first)
private land trespass - (760) 366-4175

BLM (Bureau of Land Management)
public land trespass - (888) 233-6518

San Bernardino Code Enforcement
(909) 884-4056 or (760) 995-8140

CRISIS WALK IN CENTER: Open 24/7 - (760) 365-6558
7293 Dumosa Avenue, Suite 2, YV 92284
No appointment necessary

SUICIDE HOTLINE: (800) 273-8255

VETERANS CRISIS LINE: 1-800-273-8255, press 1

Crisis counseling, information, referrals and access to the immediate safety of emergency domestic violence shelter.
(760) 366-9663 x1

Friday, July 14, 2017

Food Distribution, Monday, July 17, 10:30 a.m., WVCC

The Community Action Project (CAP) 
U.S.D.A. Commodities Food Distribution will be:

Monday, July 17, 2017, 10:30 a.m.

Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road

Wonder Valley, CA 92277

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site.

PICKING UP FOR A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER?If you want to pick up food for a Wonder Valley resident living at a different address, download and print the form below, have that person fill it out and sign it, and bring it with you to the food distribution. If it's filled out correctly you'll be allowed to take a box of food to them.

The form above also contains the Emergency Food Assistance Program 2016 Guidelines for qualifying monthly and annual household income for household size. Low-income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Desert Trail, July 13, 2017

The USDA Food Distribution is scheduled to take place at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, on Monday, July 17 from 10:30 to noon. However, before coming down, please call  Community Center Coordinator Ric Figueroa at 760-367-9880 to make sure it is not being postponed.  There are some paperwork issues that should be ironed out by then.

Since the birthstone for July is the ruby and the flower is the larkspur, we send out Rainbows-of-Rubies-and-Larkspurs to Jan Peek who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Jan!

Karen’s Commentary:
First, coupons went out this week to Army, Navy and Air Force bases in Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Second, here is important information about Adult Protective Services. If you see or suspect elder or dependent adult abuse, don’t ignore it! Call the toll-free 24-hour hotline at 1-877-565-2020. Calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous. Calls that report an allegation of danger or presence of abuse will be promptly investigated. Services are provided at no cost and without regard to income. Types of abuse include physical, sexual, isolation, financial, neglect, abandonment and mental suffering. Help that’s available includes emergency response, counseling, care planning, bus or gasoline vouchers, emergency shelter, in-home protection and referral to other community services. Abuse should be everyone’s concern.

Darlene’s Commentary:
Bearded cryptantha, aka "sock lice"
Boy, howdy! Old Mother Nature must be kind of cranky these days. First she tries to drown us with that wonderful steady downpour earlier this year, but it did come with a promise of a spectacular wildflower blooms. Well, she kept to her word – amazing bunches of glorious wildflowers appeared! In fact, we also had a superior bloom of those small cactus-like plants appropriately known as “sock-lice,” and tiny, tiny fine-barbed sticker bushes that make you itch like crazy. Those things are not fun, Mother Nature! Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love Mother Nature, but why did she now decide to turn Wonder Valley into a giant oven with no controls?? I just hope that this coming winter will be somewhat normal. Right.

Godwin Christian Fellowship holds regular services at 10:30 every Sunday morning. On the third Sunday of each month, there is a luncheon following the service honoring everyone having a birthday that month. For further information, call Pastor Max Rossi at 831-234-6848.

Handy Hint:
Brown bags with holes punched in them are perfect storage places for alliums – a fancy name for onions, shallots and garlic – for up to three months.

Thought for Today:
Slightly more than 69 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers.

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

Wonder Valley sunrise, TSS.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

WV Community Center not closing, never was closing

Last night at the MAC meeting, a Wonder Valley resident told me he came to speak out against the closing of the Wonder Valley Community Center. I assured him that the WVCC was NOT closing. In fact, I told him, I couldn’t conceive of any way that it could be shut down.

The landowners of Wonder Valley pay an assessment every year with their property tax and that money goes to San Bernardino County Special Districts to maintain and manage the Wonder Valley Community Center and park.

The resident was worried because the Salvation Army Food Distribution had not happened during May and June.

Programs, like the Salvation Army and Community Action Project food distributions contract with the County of San Bernardino to have their programs at various community centers, both public and private. Contract changes and updates were required so there was a break in service as contracts were renegotiated. It’s unfortunate that this happened and it’s been difficult to fix blame as there are many players involved and many moving parts.

The upshot is that the state of these programs is unrelated to whether or not the WVCC remains open. More of a concern to me is whether or not the WVCC is USED. I would like to see more people there on a regular basis. I would like to see the WVCC humming. That is up to no one other else but us, as well.

The long time lead of the food programs, Star Javier, has played a pivotal role in making sure the food distribution programs continue with as little downtime as possible. Next time you see Star, give her a big high five and a big thank you for all her selfless work. She’s a true Wonder Valley (s)hero!

Third District San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos attended the MAC meeting last night in Joshua Tree. It was the first time he had done so since I have been on the MAC. I was happy to hear the words “Wonder Valley” come out of his mouth, not once, but TWICE during his presentation. He referred to the work he did getting our fire station funded ($1.5 million) and the work he and Mark Lundquist (his aide) have done in the last weeks to ensure that the food distribution programs go forward as regularly scheduled. Ramos seemed committed to not only seeing that they continue on time, but that structural issues - such as maintenance on trucks, and getting refrigerated trucks online - are addressed.

Ramos even came out to Fire Station 45 yesterday and went on a ride along, going on a medical call with our paramedics. He saw firsthand the value of our Fire Station 45 to our community.

When I was first seated on the MAC two and half years ago I was shocked at the negative things people said to me about Wonder Valley. I made a point of giving detailed reports of Wonder Valley at each meeting and there is evidence that people have come to value and appreciate our little community if for nothing other than the squeaking that I give that wheel every chance I get.

I’ve had a really nasty and love-lived flu and had to cancel the last two community meetings. There will be a WV Community Meeting on Saturday, August 12, even IF the creek does rise. See you then.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another party we weren't invited to.

The Wonder Valley Olive Oil people are making news with a party they threw:

"I saw Jay Carroll swig two things straight from the bottle: One was tequila; the other was olive oil. His capacity for tequila at an all-day party was impressive!"

I suppose one of those things is associated with Wonder Valley. (Hint: It's not the olive oil.)

This from the online journal Healthyish!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wonder Valley Food Distributions for the remainder of 2017

All at the
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

July 18, 2017, 10:30 a.m. - Noon
August 22, 2017, 10:30 a.m. - Noon
September 19, 2017, 10:30 a.m. - Noon
October 17, 2017, 10:30 a.m. - Noon
November 21, 2017, 10:30 a.m. - Noon
December 19, 2017, 10:30 a.m. - Noon

These events will now be on Tuesdays, instead of Mondays. The boxes will be ready to pick up when you arrive. No more waiting!

June 28, 2017, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Cancelled
July 26, 2017, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
August 23, 2017, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
September 27, 2017, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
November 22, 2017, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
December 27, 2017, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

PICKING UP FOR A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBERIf you want to pick up food for a Wonder Valley resident living at a different address, download and print the form below, have that person fill it out and sign it, and bring it with you to the next distribution. If it's filled out correctly you'll be allowed to take a box of food to them.
Alternate Pick-Up Request Form (Community Action Partnership)

or here if the link above does not work:

The form above also contains the Emergency Food Assistance Program 2016 Guidelines for qualifying monthly and annual household income for household size. Low-income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No documentation is required.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Please come and take a break from the heat.

The Wonder Valley Community Center will be open additional hours this week due to the heat:

Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Cold water will be available. Bring food if you'll need a snack, and a blanket if you want to lie down on the floor to rest. We have books and jigsaw puzzles available, and WIFI, too.

The regular hours for the WVCC are: M, T, W - 9 am - 2 pm.Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Monday, June 19, 2017

WV Community Meeting - July 8, 2017 - CANCELLED


Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the

Wonder Valley Community Meeting

11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday, July 8, 2017, at the
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

The agenda will be posted by Monday, July 3, 2017.

There will be pastries and French Roast coffee.

We didn't have a June meeting because I was had the flu, so there is a lot to catch up on. I hope you will attend.

Today's food distribution...

...is postponed until tomorrow - Tuesday, June 20 - at 10:30 a.m. The truck broke down.

If you volunteered to help with the food distribution, do not come today. Please come tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Desert Trail, June 15, 2017

Our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, is now open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will also of course be open for any scheduled meetings, presentations, etc. Call Ric at 760-367-9880 for further information.

The USDA Food Distribution will take place on Monday, June 19 at our community center from 10:30 to noon.

We send out Rainbows-of-Pearls-and-Roses to Josiah Bevins (8), Jerry Peek and Donny Pixley who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to all of you!

Darlene’s Commentary: I love to read, and when I find a great book full of very useful information that’s been written in clear, plain English, I’m happy to share it with others. This book is titled “The Thyroid Solution,” written by Ridha Arem, M.D. and published by Rodale. I personally have experienced a “thyroid storm,” hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and Grave’s Disease.  According to this book, as people get older, many changes occur in their bodies and organs. If you are experiencing excessive tiredness, weakness, memory problems, foggy thinking or depression, perhaps you have a thyroid problem. Even people who are already on thyroid medication might benefit from requesting blood work that includes TSH, T3 and T4 hormone levels.

Karen’s Commentary: First of all, coupons went out this week to U.S. Army and Marine bases in Germany, Belgium and Japan. Having said that, my next subject is the bright green bike lanes in Joshua Tree. I think they are absolutely fantastic! They immediately grab your attention, there’s no question as to where you should or shouldn’t drive, or where you are allowed to cross the bike lanes with a vehicle. I firmly believe that those green bike lanes should be everywhere. It should be the same all over the nation, just like yellow stripes dividing the roads in half and white stripes marking the lanes. Whoever thought this up should get some kind of award!

If you’d like to learn more about Wonder Valley’s happenings and history, go to www.WonderValley.org. Ken and Teresa Sitz do a great job of keeping this website up-to-date and interesting.

Handy Hint: Beware of installing replacement vehicle batteries in modern cars yourself because disconnecting the battery without providing an alternative power source can create havoc by erasing module memories. This may cause your vehicle to need diagnostic scanning and reprogramming.

Thought for Today: So you think you are having a bad day? Consider the man who went to a McDonald’s drive-through in just a shirt and underwear, thinking he wouldn’t be seeing anyone. He got into a car crash.

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

Hot, yes, and LOUD, too.

The Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center "will be conducting a 29-day integrated training exercise called ITX 4-17. The exercise will conduct battalion-size, live-fire maneuvers and will incorporate combat support, combat service support, and aviation units," according to Z107.7.

Expect it to be loud.


To make a comment on the exercise and sound levels, go to:


Call: (760) 830-9222

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Please review. When in doubt, call 911.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Excessive Heat Warning

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the Twentynine Palms, and other desert areas.

Please read the complete warning at the link below, take precautions, and check on your neighbors.


IMPACTSThe hot temperatures will create a dangerous
situation in which heat illnesses are possible; especially for
the elderly, children, homeless, and those unaccustomed to the

The Wonder Valley Community Center, at 80526½ Amboy Road, will be open from 9 a.m.  to 2 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Feel free to come hang out in the cool air.

The only official cooling center near Wonder Valley is the Twentynine Palms Senior Center, at 6539 Adobe Road, across from the Fire Station, in Twentynine Palms. It doesn’t become a cooling center until the weather hits 115 degrees or higher, or there’s a power outage and the City orders it to open. The best thing to do if you’re not certain it is open is to call: 760-367-5780.

If you’re just looking to get out of the heat for a spell, consider the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526½ Amboy Road. They’re open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you can make it to Twentynine Palms, the public area of the Post Office (not the counters where you buy stamps), at 73839 Gorgonio Drive, is open 24/7 and they have great air conditioning. Staters is also open 24/7 if you don’t mind pushing a cart around while you cool off.

Also, if you can, start making extra ice now. You may need it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gardening in Wonder Valley

Click on the link below for long-time resident and gardener Ellie Greenwood's planting times. You may live in an area that has a slightly different microclimate, so your mileage may vary:


WV Fire Station 45 funded for fiscal year 2017/2018

Good news, everyone.

This from Assistant Fire Chief Tom Marshall:
"Today the fire district budget was approved and Station 45 was part of that budget."
So we are guaranteed our fire service for another year.

Two felons going back to prison / jail

From Z107.7 News, June 13, 2017


Two Twentynine Palms men, who are convicted felons, were arrested Sunday after they were found with guns and ammunition. According to a Sheriff’s report, about 1 p.m., deputies were called to an area north of Pinto Mountain in Wonder Valley for reports of shots fired. Deputies saw a Nissan Frontier leaving the area, which tried to flee, but got stuck in the sand. Two men, later identified as Victor Guerra, 33, and Robert Prudholme, 28, then fled from the vehicle into the desert. They were detained after a short foot pursuit. A records check revealed Guerra was a convicted felon on parole and Prudholme was also a convicted felon on probation. Deputies searched the vehicle and located a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, a .38-caliber revolver and 400 rounds of ammunition.
Victor Guerra and Robert Prudholme were both arrested for investigation of being a felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and are being held without bail for violating the terms of their parole and probation.
- - - - -
Some of you express skepticism about calling the Sheriff's Department on these kinds of violations, but people kept calling on this and it paid off. These two will not be back any time soon.

When you call the Sheriff's Department, ALWAYS ask for an incident number.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Live music at The Palms, June 17, 2017

Desert Roots Music and The Alternate Root presents:
Calico the Band with Rick Shelley

Saturday, 6:00 p.m., June 17
The Palms
83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277
$10 at the door - Free Camping - All ages - Cookout starts at 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Crime Stats for MAY 2017

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department logged the following:

CALLS : 79

There was one fire logged. There were three complaints of shots heard or illegal shooting, and two calls for off road vehicle abuses.

Of the two arrests, one was for a traffic stop, the other for use of a controlled substance.

Of the reports, one was for a tow, one was for grand theft, and one was a follow up on an animal protective services call.

This is how May 2017 compares to the last two years:

Whenever you call the Sheriff's Department, always ask for, and record, an INCIDENT NUMBER.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The fate of Fire Station 45

Station 45 started out as an
agricultural inspection station.
The article in Friday's Desert Trail is titled "Fire station gets closer to closing," but the dye is not yet cast.

San Bernardino County Local 935 President Jim Grigoli seems to be going to bat for Wonder Valley, lobbying for its importance in serving communities to the north and east of its borders.

"WONDER VALLEY — In a new budget for the San Bernardino County Fire Department, the Wonder Valley Fire Station is not included. 
"The county does not plan on continuing service out of that station." 
During a series of meetings in 2015 and 2016, the Community of Wonder Valley balked at a proposed tax increase of $347 or $489 per property per year for a 2-person or 3-person staff respectively.

Of 57 fire calls in the month of April, 44 were outside the boundaries of Wonder Valley. The County has not proposed how these "unfunded liability areas in the county" might contribute to the costs of the Fire Station in Wonder Valley.

Each property in Wonder Valley pays an assessment ($33.80, about $152,000 annually) for FP-4 (Fire Protection District 4) which may only be spent within Wonder Valley. Each property is also taxed through the ad valorem tax for fire service (about $17,000 annually). This money goes into the general fire budget. There has continued to be a shortfall of about $1.3 million per year.

If you're concerned about this situation, please educate yourself on what has already been discussed. Visit the FIRE tab. All the meetings we had with County Fire, LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission), the California Department of Insurance, and others are listed there in order, with agendas and notes.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Because balloon

Thank you, Rich Good.

Desert Trail, May 25, 2017

You can sign up for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) on Friday, June 2 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 10 to noon or 1 to 3. There are several required documents that you must bring with you, depending on your situation, so contact Teresa Sitz for further information at 760-865-9550 or teresa.sitz@gmail.com. Financial assistance may be requested for electricity, propane or firewood.

Karen’s Commentary:
Thanks to our cousin Annie French for stamps and coupons! On a different note, my husband Ted has always been the gardener in our family, and he is now joined by our daughter-in-law Cheri and grandson Tony. These three carry on great conversations about potting soils, fertilizers, calcium, nitrogen, etc. But now the big topic is bees. Friend Rick Smith, another avid gardener, was the first to point out that there are hardly any bees this year. And now, this week, ants are the latest topic. Where are the usual millions of ants? Ted suggested that perhaps they know or sense something we don’t – like maybe “the big one” is coming. I firmly told him that my Worry Bucket is currently filled to capacity, so please don’t give me anything else to put in it!

Image result for ant illustration

Darlene’s Commentary:
How did Wonder Valley get its name? In the 1950’s, the little town of Amboy was a bustling, busy little stop along Route 66, and was owned and managed by Buster Burris. He ran Roy’s CafĂ©, the motel and the gas station, and the closest town for supplies was Twentynine Palms. One day, a friend accompanied Buster on a trip for supplies. As they came over Sheephole Pass, the friend kept making remarks like, “Look at all those little cabins. I wonder who they belonged to, why they were abandoned and who lived there. I just wonder about everything around here!” At that point, Buster stopped and said to his friend, “That’s it! I’ve got it! I’ve been trying to think of a name for this nice little valley – Wonder Valley!” And the name stuck.

Image result for i wonder

Reach Out Morongo Basin provides free rides to and from the Twentynine Palms Nutrition Site for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Pick ups at 10 a.m. and drop offs at 2 p.m. are at The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road. If you do not have transportation to The Palms, arrangements can be made to pick you up and drop you off at your own home. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.

Image result for reach out

Thought for Today:
“They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.” – Clint Eastwood

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Gourmet Roadhouse - May 27

The Palms Restaurant Presents:
"Gourmet Roadhouse"
featuring a 4-course* Indian Dinner
*salad, chicken curry, eggplant stew, and panna-cotta mango lassi
Dinner served with jasmine rice and naan bread,
plus a tasty beverage!
$30 per person
Saturday, May 27, 6 p.m.