Friday, July 29, 2016

'Unbroken Brain' Explains Why 'Tough' Treatment Doesn't Help Drug Addicts

Journalist Maia Szalavitz writes, "We have this idea that if we are just cruel enough and mean enough and tough enough to people with addiction, that they will suddenly wake up and stop, and that is not the case."

"Szalavitz is a proponent of 'harm reduction' programs that take a nonpunitive approach to helping addicts and 'treat people with addiction like human beings.' In her own case, she says that getting 'some kind of hope that I could change' enabled her to get the help she needed.

Read more: 'Unbroken Brain' Explains Why 'Tough' Treatment Doesn't Help Drug Addicts

I'd like to hear what the community thinks about this. Do you think our current approach is effective, or should we try 'harm reduction'?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Desert Trail, July 28, 2016

Some of the information we provided about Wonder Valley Community Church was incorrect, so the following is the correct information. There is a Bible Study from 9:15 to 10:15 every Sunday, followed by the regular church service at 10:30 am. On Mondays there is another Bible Study from 8:30 to 10:30 am. And a potluck is held following the second regular Sunday service each month. Call Pastor Garry Brooks for further information at 760-367-0279.

The Wonder Valley Community meeting was well-attended and very informative. San Bernardino County Fire Battalion Chief Scott Tuttle introduced the firefighters currently on duty at our station, then gave a presentation about starting a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Wonder Valley. The eight-week training course is free. For further information, contact our Municipal Advisory Council representative Teresa Sitz at 760-865-9550 or

We send out Rainbows-of-Rubies-and-Larkspurs to Lilah Margaret Fairweather who turns five this week. Happy birthday, Lilah!

Darlene’s Commentary: What would you like to see, do or hear at the Wonder Valley Community Center? Would you enjoy crafting, playing games, practicing music, learning to knit, learning to sew, painting, sketching, writing, reading, socializing? I would like to learn to use a computer. I can teach you how to make compost. How about forming a group to learn about raising chickens? Or teaching teens to become A-1 Certified Babysitters? Etc, etc, etc. Let us know – it’s your community center, too. Don’t be shy – call us with your ideas, drop us a note, send an email or come in on Monday, Wednesday or Saturday from 11 to 4.

Karen’s commentary: First, thanks to cousin Annie French for sending stamps and coupons. Secondly, I’ve noticed that Tortoise Rock Casino and I both want the same thing – my money! Keeping track from when they opened, I’m now $275 in the red, but that’s actually pretty cheap entertainment.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a good bargain, how does FREE sound? We start out every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 11 am with several free items displayed inside the Wonder Valley Community Center. Each person can take one item per day, so sometimes it’s hard to choose your free treasure, but come in and give it a try – it’s cool inside!

If you’d like to read about all things Wonder Valley, go to the Wonder Valley website You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the amount and diversity of information.

Handy Hint: Use an egg slicer to quickly cut strawberries for salads and desserts, avocados for sandwiches or mozzarella for salads and pizza.

Thought for Today: There are 35 toilets in the White House.

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

Just another beautiful Wonder Valley sunrise. - TSS

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Meeting Notes for June and July 2016

Our team of impartial note takers.
I apologize for the lateness of the June meeting notes. I try to get them posted within the week. I was in summer school at Copper Mountain Mesa and it kicked my butt.

Here they are.

June 11, 2016

July 23, 2016

The next meeting is Saturday, September 10, 2016.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Can you support a Wonder Valley student?

Hi Everyone,

There are 4 or 5 WV residents in the process of registering for the EMR and FIRE 001 classes at Copper Mountain College. These are the classes required for people to become Paid Call Firefighters. In addition to the cost of classes and books, the students are required to have the following tools in their Emergency Medical Response kit:
TOTAL $34.46

If you would like to help one or more of the students with the cost of these tools I’m sure it would be most appreciated. I have included the Amazon links and the prices. Please let me know if you want to help and I’ll let the students know that a kit is being donated to them by the community.

I am SO proud of these resident/students and am looking forward to a graduation party in December. There’s still time if you want to sign up for the Fall session - every other Monday from 3 - 6 p.m. for the semester. Fire 001 is online.

Contact me with any questions - phone (760) 865-9550, or by email at

Johnson Valley closure information

The Base has released two documents regarding the closure of the Johnson Valley shared use area August 14-21, 2016.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Desert Trail, July 21, 2016

The Wonder Valley Community Meeting will take place on Saturday, July 23 at our community center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 10 to noon. Included on the agenda is
  • welcoming our permanent firefighters, 
  • how to start a Community Emergency Response Team in Wonder Valley and 
  • several other interesting and informative items.
The Salvation Army Food Distribution will be held at our community center on Wednesday, July 27 from 11 am to 1 pm. This is for Wonder Valley residents only. Bring a picture ID or proof that you live in Wonder Valley.

We send out Rainbows-of-Rubies-and-Larkspurs to Jayden Root (12), Ronald Rush, Isabel Austin, Star Javier and Mary Anderson, who all celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to all of you!

Karen’s Commentary: I recently read a little article in The Desert Trail about recycling electronics. In case you didn’t know (I didn’t), the Twentynine Palms Rotary Club takes electronic waste at Cardinal Van and Storage, 73873 Calle Todd Lane, between 9am and 4pm Monday through Friday. Items accepted include televisions, monitors, computers, computer components and fax machines. Call Randy Councell at 760-367-7562 Ext 105 for information.

Darlene’s Commentary: I always enjoy reading all of the local columns found in the Basinwide Weekend Hi-Desert Star and in The Desert Trail. Between the two papers are nine columns and eleven columnists who diligently gather information about the goings-on in their desert communities. There are upcoming meetings, events, get-togethers, issues to be addressed and ways to keep our desert clean. Each writer builds their column in their own style and has their own opinions and ideas. I just finished reading Betty Salvini’s Desert Heights Column in the July 14 issue of The Desert Trail. Then I read it again, and once again! What a beautiful and fine piece of writing, Mrs. Salvini! You have painted a picture without a brush, but with knowing ways and gentleness. Thank you, Betty, for sharing your beloved critters with us.

Even though the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, 77575 29 Palms Highway at Thunder Road, is closed for the summer, you can still stop by to see the darling little Wayside Chapel out front. It’s open 24/7 and is very much worth the stop. Bring your camera!

Handy Hint: To help a bar of soap last longer, leave it on a sponge next to the sink or in the shower. The sponge will prevent slime and drips by helping the soap dry faster.

Thought for Today: “Socialism only works in two places:  Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.” – Ronald Reagan

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

Just another Wonder Valley sunrise.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Live music at The Palms

Wonder Valley Daze
Seven Bands | One DJ | One Night
Saturday, July 30, 8:00 to Late
  • Byrd Dogs
  • The Aliens
  • King Ropes
  • The Sibleys
  • Spiel
  • Eddie Burmuda
  • Ivory Deville
  • Ian Page

The Palms Restaurant
83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA

MAC volunteer finishes fire courses

Teresa Sitz directs an 80 gpm fog nozzle on a 2-1/2" line
I started summer school in June, taking the Emergency Medical Responder training and Fire Hydraulics. Five weeks later and after a whole lot of work, I finished the two courses with A's.

I apologize for not being able to post as much, but now that classes are over I can get back to a regular schedule.

Three or four other Wonder Valley residents are taking the Fall Emergency Medical Responder course starting the week of August 15. The EMR course includes CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) and the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).

Godwin Christian Fellowship

Six year journey nears its end

Monday, July 11, 2016

Bill Murray's moving to Twentynine Palms?

He says some awful nice things about the people here.

UPDATE: An anonymous reader suggests this story is not true.
 and that the source is not credible. Caveat emptor.

Possible uptick in burglaries

Yesterday someone at community breakfast told me they'd been burglarized and the thieves had stolen a bunch of stuff the owner had to pay to replace.

As far as the Sheriff's Department is concerned - because the robbery was not reported - it did not happen. As far as the Sheriff's Department is concerned everything is hunky dory in Wonder Valley and there is no need for additional patrols or more attention of any kind. We're good.

Some of you don't like to wait around for the deputies to come make a report. You can report a crime over the phone, and although it will not be an official report, you can get an INCIDENT NUMBER. This is better than nothing. When EVER you talk to the Sheriff's Department you should ALWAYS GET AN INCIDENT NUMBER.

Until we get as serious about protecting our stuff as the thieves out here are about their thieving, this will continue. There are all kinds of amazing new alarms that will notify you by phone when a door or window is breached, cameras that cannot be found that upload to the cloud. There are tracking devices so you can give the Sheriff's Department the address of where to find your stuff. Many of these are very reasonably priced - certainly less than having to go buy new stuff.

Thieving has been going on out here since the first homesteader framed her cabin. The only way it will stop is when the risk of getting caught exceeds the reward. Increasing that risk is something we all need to do.

In the meantime - thieves are afoot. Keep a watch out for yourselves and your neighbors and report anything suspicious.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Frontier representative to hear residents' complaints

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Robert Lovingood has asked a Frontier Communications executive to explain the ongoing service problems and is inviting the public to offer comments in preparation for a hearing on July 12.

At Lovingood’s request, Frontier representatives will be available during the July 12 Board of Supervisors meeting. A Frontier representative was also requested to be present at Supervisor Ramos’ district office in Joshua Tree to address the concerns of local residents. The meeting will begin at 10:00am and will be live streamed via the video conferencing center. The Joshua Tree District Office is located at 63665 Twentynine Palms Highway.

You are invited to attend and to participate in this event.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

SCE will be at MAC Meeting July 11, 2016

The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council will meet Monday, July 11, 2016 starting at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is held at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6176 Sunburst Avenue, Joshua Tree.

Jennifer Cusack of Southern California Edison will present a Southern California Edison Service Reliability Update.

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate.

Download the agenda:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Wonder Valley Community Meeting: July 23, 2016

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the July Community Meeting, Saturday, July 23rd, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the

Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 90026

The main topic on the agenda will be: 
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training
Southern California Edison had scheduled a day-long outage during 110+ weather. The community rallied with many individuals and organizations working together to provide communication, shelter, food, and assistance to residents affected by the outage. I want to thank Supervisor Ramos' office, SBC Special Districts, County Fire, the Sheriff's Department, SBC Aging and Adult Services, Reach Out Morongo Basin, and Karen Meyers, coordinator at the Wonder Valley Community Center for all the work they did. In the end, SCE canceled the outage.

It did make many of us realize that Wonder Valley could benefit from Community Emergency Response Team training so SB County Fire Battalion Chief Scott Tuttle will speak about scheduling classes at the WVCC.

The agenda will be posted Monday, July 18 at the Wonder Valley Community Center, and online.

And yes, there will be pastries from Porto's Cuban Bakery in Glendale.