Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Write the BLM | June 14, 2018 deadline

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 14, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Salvation Army Food Distribution | May 23, 2018


[ Please let your friends and neighbors know. ]

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

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

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Kate Lee Short at The Palms

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


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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Desert Trail column for May 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Two arrests

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

Check out the new sign!


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

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

I love this sign!

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

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


MAC meeting presentation on WEMO 3

The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meets next Monday, May 14 at its NEW TIME: 5:30 p.m., at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Street, in Joshua Tree.

Pat Flanagan, the representative from Desert Heights will be talking about WEMO, the West Mojave Route Network Project, which has great implications for Wonder Valley. If you've been thinking of attending a MAC meeting, this is the one you should attend.

Personally, I love taking my 4x4 out on the established trails to explore the mines, the salt flats, the hills, and the Dales, and the ability for residents of Wonder Valley to do that in the area in which they live should be maintained.

What I don't love about WEMO is the BLM opening EVERY one of our roads to ORVs and then working with private companies to advertise Wonder Valley as an off road dreamland open 24/7, 365 days a year for off-roading. The BLM has 1 (one) ranger for the whole of the Mojave and NO plan for enforcing laws in their plan. Remember, WE pay for the maintenance of our roads every year. The BLM's new use will not reimburse us for additional wear and tear.

Now, I'm just saying this as someone who lives here. You may have a different opinion about this. YMMV. (Your mileage may vary.) If you like the sound of this plan, this is your opportunity to write to the BLM and tell them. Likewise, if you don't.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Party at The Palms


Sand and Stars party
8 p.m., May 12, 2018

Bands:
Mini-O
Burnt Shirt / Jimmy Bongo
Desert Burrs
Personal Pronouns

All at The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277
Free camping. Everyone is welcome.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Free Health Fair in Yucca Valley

MORONGO BASIN HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ANNOUNCES HEALTH AND RESOURCE FAIR

Teresa Sitz, the Coordinator of the Wonder Valley Community Center, will be volunteering at the Desert AIDS Project table at the Yucca Valley Health Fair this Saturday. Stop by and say "Hi!" Ken Sitz, a registered volunteer, will open and staff the Wonder Valley Community Center in her place.

"The Morongo Basin Healthcare District, in partnership with the Town of Yucca Valley, is hosting a FREE Health & Community Resource Fair, Saturday, May 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center,  57090 Twentynine Palms Highway.

"The community is invited to enjoy fun and informative health activities, including: free health screenings; more than 40 community vendors providing resources and information; drop-in lectures on such topics as healthy eating on a budget, treating depression, and CPR; a new and improved Kids’ Zone; drawings and giveaways; the opportunity to donate blood; and static displays. A free healthy lunch will be provided.

"Morongo Basin Healthcare District seeks to improve the health and wellness of residents who live within its designated boundaries. Services of the healthcare district include the Morongo Basin Community Health Center with offices in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley; and LIFT Transportation Services, providing free, non-emergency transportation to medical appointments.

"Business offices of the Morongo Basin Healthcare District are located at 6530 La
Contenta Road, Suite 100 Yucca Valley | 760.820.9229 | www.MBHDistrict.org"

Help wanted at the Salt Mine

From the Hi-Desert Star Weekender, May 5, 2018

CA Supreme Salt looking for hardworking, dependable, skilled Operator w/ min. 5 yrs exp. w/CAT. 613 & 623 self-loading scraper. 40 hrs/wk start at $18/hr w/ Mon. Bonuses. Call or e-mail Cody @ 760-995-5033, kingofsalt88@yahoo.com (or kingo-salt88@yahoo.com - there was a line break in the ad).

Dance Party at The Palms

DANCE PARTY - an LGBTQIAA+ inclusive DANCE opportunity featuring the vistas and flavor of the deep desert! Bring your friends and get ready to boogie.

Spring is here. The heat of summer will soon be upon us. Let's dance! The Palms is an awesome bar / community / entertainment space - they host an open mic 7 - 9pm - sign up!
Bring a potluck item and eat together at The Palms 6 pm!
We'll dance from 9 pm onward.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Wonder Valley Community Meeting | May 16, 2018

Old rock foundation, New Dale, Dale Mining District

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the 
Wonder Valley Community Meeting
from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at

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

The AGENDA is posted at:
https://tinyurl.com/05162018-meeting
The NOTES are posted at:
https://tinyurl.com/05162018-notes
Posted May 16, 2018 at 1:40 p.m.

Highlights include a report and presentation from the 
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department,
a review of the WonderValley.org website, and
plans for a Wonder Valley Fire Committee.

Friday, May 4, 2018

WVCC Artist of the Month : Chris Carraher

Wonder Valley artist Chris Carraher, the Wonder Valley Community Center artist of the month has three pieces on display from her cabin series.

From Chris' biography:
"Chris Carraher has been in the Mojave Desert for over 20 years and lives and works in a vintage homestead in Wonder Valley. The homestead cabins and the desert as both physical and metaphysical landscape have figured prominently in her artwork and in her community and environmental activism. She co-directed the Wonder Valley Homestead Cabin Festival in 2008, a pivotal event in bringing the homesteads into community social, political, and aesthetic consciousness. Her artwork concerning the homesteads has appeared throughout the high desert as well as in venues as diverse as Femina Potens Gallery in San Francisco and the Vargas Museum in Manila. In conjunction with Kim Stringfellow (Jackrabbit Homestead, The Mojave Project) she has presented on the topic at Farmlab in Los Angeles, Culver Center of the Arts at UC Riverside, and the 29 Palms Historical Museum and been featured in KQED ArtBound and the Jackrabbit Homestead Audio Tour. Find more of her work at www.magicgroove.net."

From Chris' artist's statement:

"What are all those shacks out there? Homesteading on government land is a tradition in the United States, but typical 160-acre farming parcels made little sense in the desert. However, recognizing the health and recreation benefits of the high desert, in 1938 Congress passed the Small-Tract Homestead Act. Five-acre parcels were made available not so much to farmers as to weekenders seeking relief from crowded urban conditions. The boom really got going after World War II when thousands of claims were filed in the Morongo Basin, sometimes sight-unseen in unbuildable washes or rock piles. Local companies such as Homestead Supplies grew by serving the 'Five Acre People', developing the quick-rising 'jackrabbit' cabin models that could be put up almost overnight to help meet the requirements for proving up a claim. The boom petered out and homesteading came to an end by 1976.
The wisdom of the Small-Tract Homestead Act is debatable, as neglected cabins became nuisances and providing infrastructure and services proved a challenge. The proliferation of small residential structures altered a wild desert unsuited to most human uses, but the desert, in turn, has continued to act on both the cabins and the residents, resulting in a dynamic 'tidal zone' of wilderness and human endeavor. Today, the 5-acre homesteads have become the basis of a special edge-culture built upon a combination of resourcefulness, creativity, determination, and diversity that is increasingly rare in the monotonous suburban landscapes of California."

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Desert Trail, May 3, 2018

Wonder Valley’s Glass Outhouse Art Gallery will host an Artists’ Reception from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 for featured artists Amanda Staples and Clayton Sipiona. Come and meet the artists, browse through the new artwork and enjoy the refreshments, with music provided by Hunter and the Wik’d. This show will run until May 27. The art gallery is located at 77575 Highway 62 at Thunder Road. For further information, call Laurel at 760-367-3807.

The Dale Basin Well Owners Association meeting will take place at Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road near Highway 62, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 6. An election for a new Secretary/Treasurer will be held because of Mary Quamme’s impending retirement. Dues are $5 per year, and all Wonder Valley well owners are encouraged to attend. Contact Max Rossi for further information at mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848.

Since the birthstone for May is the emerald, and the flower is the lily-of-the-valley, we send out Rainbows-of-Emeralds-and-Lilies-of-the-Valley to Marlene Roberts who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Marlene!

Karen’s Commentary: This week I send thanks to Mary Quamme, Jan Peek and Bob for LOADS of coupons! My cutting hand is in permanent cramp mode, but the U.S. military families overseas will sure appreciate these coupons. I just sent a bunch to Air Force, Army and Navy bases in Germany, Italy and Japan. Also, I want to thank Olympia Rossi for LOTS of used postage stamps that will be going to Boys Town to help with funding.

Darlene’s Commentary: The saguaro in my yard is already sprouting buds a month early on the ends of its huge arms. These will soon burst into large white flowers, making the cactus look like two ladies wearing white bonnets and carrying babies in their arms while on their way to church! Each flower will be open for a day, then fall to the ground. Anticipating this will be the cottontails and jackrabbits who love to eat these shriveled-up flowers.

Animal Action League provides low-cost spay and neuter, plus vaccinations and microchips, for pets from unincorporated areas such as Wonder Valley. They are located at 62762 Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree, just west of the dinosaurs. Call 760-366-1100 for further information.

Handy Hint: Turn a low shelving unit into a footboard that provides a spot to sit in your bedroom. Line up matching baskets on the lower shelf to keep items neatly tucked away.

Today’s Thought: “If you have a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle:  Take two aspirin and keep away from children.” – Roseanne Barr

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Special Community Meeting with County Fire


Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the Special Community Meeting, from 10 a.m. to noon, on Wednesday, May 2, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, in Wonder Valley.

The meeting will be an update on “plans for Wonder Valley Fire,” according to Mark Lundquist.

The meeting was arranged in response to a request by Municipal Advisory Council delegate Teresa Sitz. Mark Lundquist, the Field Representative for 3rd District Supervisor James Ramos; Molly Wiltshire, Chief Of Staff for Supervisor James Ramos; and John Chamberlin, Deputy Fire Chief Fire Administration, San Bernardino County Fire, will present.

If you've been wondering when our firefighters will return to Wonder Valley, this is your chance to ask questions and get answers.

AGENDA: posted Sunday, April 29, 2018, 12:43
https://tinyurl.com/05022018-meeting
NOTES: posted Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 5 p.m.
https://tinyurl.com/05022018-notes

NOTE: If you'd like to get yourself up to date on the recent past history of Fire and Emergency Services in Wonder Valley, please click on the FIRE tab in the main menu. At least leaf through Chamberlin's October 15 Power Point Presentation.