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... 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 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 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.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Citizen Science for Everyone

Join the FREE presentation:
Citizen Science In Action: Making a difference locally and globally

with Jane Rodgers, Chief, Science and Resource Stewardship
Joshua Tree National Park

1:30 - 3:30 p.m., Saturday, June 10
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526 1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley

Citizen Science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur scientists -- a newish concept that has recently gotten a lot of press and becoming an important part of understanding the landscape around us locally and globally. Citizens interested in contributing to efforts such as monitoring environmental change or tracking butterfly migrations or recording archeological site information make a difference in large-scale study efforts. This presentation will describe the basics of Citizen Science, how to get involved, and how this can benefit local communities. The presentation will be fairly informal, with lots of time for questions.

Everyone is welcome and invited to attend and participate.

There will be refreshments.

Wonder Valley Community Meeting, June 10, 2017

This meeting is POSTPONED.

Teresa Sitz, has a bad case of the flu with laryngitis
and will not be able to chair the meeting.

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the

Wonder Valley Community Meeting

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. (Please note the new time!)
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 9277

The Citizen Science presentation with Joshua Tree National Park
will follow the meeting at 1:30 p.m.
There will be refreshments for both events.

The agenda will be posted in early June.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Desert Trail, May 18, 2017

The date for the Citizen Science presentation at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, has been changed to June 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. This presentation was organized by Teresa Sitz in conjunction with Joshua Tree National Park staff.

The Salvation Army Food Distribution will take place Wednesday, May 24 at our community center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please be aware that the wonderful people from the Salvation Army can only bring a limited number of boxes.

We send out Rainbows-of-Emeralds-and-Lilies-of-the-Valley to Curtis Johnson and Barbara Finnegan who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to you both!

Darlene’s Commentary: I love my coffee, and I make a fresh pot every morning. But, alas, what to do with the coffee grounds? First off, start emptying your fresh coffee grounds into a container with a lid (an empty coffee can will do!) and never, never throw coffee grounds away again! Add one tablespoon to marinades and rubs to tenderize meat and to impart a mild smoky flavor. Instead of burying nails under certain flowering plants (especially hydrangeas), mix coffee grounds with the soil at the base of the plant and you will have beautiful flowers. And did you know that scientists in the United Kingdom have developed a way to turn used coffee grounds into biofuel to power cars? Who’da thunk it!

Karen’s Commentary: Many moons ago, when I worked as Assistant Manager at a drive-in theater, I received a gift from the employees. It was a gold-plated Cross ballpoint pen with my name engraved on it. Since this was in the seventies, gold wasn’t worth what it is now, but it was still a really nice gift. So when husband Ted asked to borrow my pen at the community center, I handed it to him reluctantly. Well, wouldn’t you know, somehow it ended up missing. I figured I’d lost it for good, but found out a week later that Teresa Sitz had found it on a table and placed it in the Book Program desk. And there it was, safe and sound. Thank you, Teresa!

Food for Life Ministry prepares and serves delicious hot meals every Saturday at Church of the Nazarene, 72603 Juanita Drive, from 3 to 5 p.m. If you are unable to attend, Reach Out Morongo Basin will deliver these free hot meals to your home at no charge. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.

Thought for Today: The iconic whistle in “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” was improvised when Otis Redding forgot what he was supposed to sing.

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Glass Outhouse Art Gallery 8th anniversary show.

at the 
Glass Outhouse Art Gallery (8th Anniversary!)
77575 Highway 62 at Thunder Road
Wonder Valley CA 92277

from 5 - 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Luminators will perform.


We've been branded.

Dang, I missed the opening. I'm sure my invitation is in that stack of mail on the piano.

The fine folks at Wonder Valley Olive Oil had the opening of their flagship store last Saturday, May 6, from 11 a.m. until sunset.

For more information, see:

I can't give you the exact address but it was in the Beverly Hills section of Wonder Valley, over in Soam and Wego - South of Amboy and West of Godwin.

What was for sale? Olive oil for $33 a bottle; Olio Nuevo (new olive oil) for $38 a bottle; Face Oil for $65; a leather sage brush for $95; a wood fired water jug for $475...

And that's in real U.S. dollars, not Wonder Valley dollars.

If they offered coffee, cream, butter, sugar, matches, etc., I'm sure they'd make a killing here. Just not sure I could afford it.

Desert Trail, May 11, 2017

The monthly community meeting was interesting and informative, as always. Battalion Chief Mike Snow gave an update on our fire department and provided us with April’s statistics. Unbelievably, we had more than 60 calls in April, 44 of which were outside Wonder Valley! Among other items discussed, the new charges required for use of our community center is a concern for many.

Following the community meeting, Dr Tim DeLorey gave a very interesting presentation on Permaculture. The easiest way to describe permaculture is that it’s practicing Earth Day every day! It’s a combination of reusing, recycling and not wasting anything, especially water. Most interesting were ways to keep “monsoon water” on your property so it trickles down into the aquifer underneath instead of running across your property and ending up in a distant aquifer. Some very clever ideas were presented.

The USDA Food Distribution will take place on Monday, May 15 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 10:30 to noon.

On a very sad note, longtime Wonder Valley resident and business owner Bill Yoakum has passed away. Bill was well-known by just about everybody in this valley. He owned Barnett’s Trading Post at the east end of Amboy Road, just before the curve. It was a very popular gathering place, cocktail lounge, restaurant, petting zoo and store, and church services were even held there for a long period of time until a church was built in Wonder Valley. As a matter of fact, our sister Donna, who now lives in Yucca Valley, was married at Barnett’s! Bill, along with his significant other Edna Adams, were always on hand to greet you, say a kind word, tell a joke or funny story or just chew the fat about all things Wonder Valley. Bill made Barnett’s into a Wonder Valley Landmark. After Bill sold Barnett’s, it unfortunately burned to the ground – what a loss for our community. Bill will always be remembered as a fun-loving person who enjoyed life. Our condolences go out to his family.

The Wonder Valley Book Program is like a little library where you can check out books of all kinds, movies and audio books for a month at a time at no charge. Come into our community center and check it out. Book Program cards are free.

Handy Hint: You can use baking soda to deodorize your refrigerator and carpet, brush your teeth and clean crayon marks from walls.

Thought for Today: “I’m just an obnoxious guy who can make it appear charming, that’s what they pay me to do.” – Bill Murray

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

May rainfall over the Bullion Mountains.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Poetry Pop Up

Pop-up Poets starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, at The Palms Bar and Restuarant, 83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277.
Organizer Suzanne Ross sez: 11 am brunch, 12 noon poetry. All poets welcome to vent. Sign up at The Palms when you get there.

Free HEAP Workshop

Do you need financial assistance to pay 
for your cooling or heating costs?

Come to the FREE
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
Energy Education Outreach/Workshop 
At the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road
June 2, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
(with a lunch break from noon - 1 p.m.)

Please click through for the required documentation.

Checklist of mandatory documentation for LIPHEAP.
All required documents must be included.
[  ] Current (most recent) gas bill/propane bill
Entire bill (all pages). Showing 22+ days of usage

[  ] Current (most recent) electric bill
Entire bill (all pages). Showing 22+ days of usage

[  ] Any disconnection and /or urgent notice (if applicable)

[  ] Rental agreement or mortgage statement

[  ] Also include the following if you rent and you receive (Low income housing)
  • Section 8
  • Hud
  • Affordable Housing
[  ] Household Income:
Must be current (last 4-weeks) – Needed for all members of the household
  • Paycheck/unemployment stubs
  • Disability income (State – EDD or Workers Compensation)
  • Child Support/Alimony (Spousal Support)
  • Social Security (SSA) (SSI) – Current bank statement showing direct deposit, award letter for current year, copy of check
  • Pension or Retirement benefits - current award Letter
  • TANF (cash aid) current Notice of Action or Passport to Services
If you are interested in Weatherization services you must complete the attached forms from State Community Services

[  ] Department (CSD)
[  ] Form-515 Energy Service Agreement.
[  ] Form-515A For Owners of the property
[  ] Form 515-B For Renters, this form is to be completed by the owner of the property
[  ] Form Prop 65.

Drop ins are welcome. Service if first come, first served.
You do not need to be a Wonder Valley resident to apply.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

McConaha Memorial

Of all the photos that I snapped at yesterday's memorial event for Jack McConaha this one is my favorite. Karen Meyers, one of our local Desert Trail columnists, is regaling the crowd with stories about Jack. 

Karen and her sister Darlene, the other columnist, mean so much to this community and we are grateful for their loving participation. Look at all those smiles.

Jack's daughters are recording Karen's stories.

Wonder Valley Community Meeting, May 6, 2017

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the
Wonder Valley Community Meeting

Saturday, May 6, 2017, from Noon - 2 p.m.

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

On the agenda:
- Assistant Fire Chief Tom Marshall will present on a recent structure fire and the status of our Fire Department
- MAC Delegate Teresa Sitz will report on a recent meeting with Land Use Services regarding illegal landfills in Wonder Valley
- A discussion on the differences between a Community Service Area (CSA) and a Community Service District (CSD)
- A discussion on creating committees, such as Recycling, Illegal Dumping, Fire, Historical Landmark

AGENDA (posted 04302017, 7:08 a.m.)
NOTES (posted 05112017, 5:36 p.m.)

Coffee and refreshments will be available.

The Permaculture Presentation with Tim DeLorey starts at 3:00 p.m. for those of you who would like to stay for that.

For more information, visit

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Desert Trail, April 27, 2017

After a very long haul including fund-raising, paperwork, permits, construction work and miles and miles of red tape, Godwin Christian Fellowship was able to hold their first services in their new building at 6389 Godwin Road on Easter Sunday! Pastor Max Rossi and wife Olympia must be very proud. All the work, patience and gray hairs finally paid off! This is such a wonderful asset to our community, and we thank everyone who was involved in any way.

A combination potluck dinner and Jack McConaha remembrance, organized by Teresa Sitz, will be held on Saturday, April 29 from noon to 3. Everyone is asked to bring a dish for the potluck. During the meal, Wonder Valley’s own Bill and Bob will perform, and later a short film entitled “Riding Shotgun with Jack McConaha” by local filmmaker Nick Higgins will be shown. All are welcome to attend.

Anniversary wishes go out to Pappy and Donna Parsons this week. Have a wonderful day!

Karen’s Commentary: Thanks to Jan Peek for stamps and LOTS of coupons, and to Mary Quamme for LOTS MORE coupons! I’m going to be clipping for the next year! Well, at least that’ll keep me away from the casino. I’m a pretty stingy gambler, and maybe that’s the problem because it’s not paying off. I always go in there with a small amount, either lose or double it, then leave. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the time anymore, I lose it! So maybe what I’ve always heard about having to be a big spender to win is true. If so, I’m doomed.

Darlene’s Commentary: Wonder Valley’s gone through sandstorms, lightning, flash floods, freezing winters and baking summers. Sooner or later (much, much later) our desert will be changed by Father Time and global warming. Perhaps someday Wonder Valley will be home to a beautiful icy lake that will provide freshwater fish for the new groups or communities that inhabit the changing world. But through it all, the one thing that will continue to live is the history that will be handed down. This coming Saturday there will be an opportunity to hand down and/or learn some Wonder Valley history while honoring Jack McConaha.

Our Wonder Valley Fire Station #45 is manned 24/7 by dedicated men and women. If you see the bay doors open, stop in and say hello to our friendly crews.

Handy Hint:  Want to shine those shoes, but can’t find the shoe polish? Try ChapStick!

Thought for Today:  “Why does a woman work ten years to change a man, then complain he’s not the man she married?” – Barbra Streisand

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