Monday, October 31, 2016

Learn the local mountains

Can't tell your Bullions from your Sheepholes? You Cleghorns from your Calumets? Your Pintos from your Valleys?

Use this cool interactive local mountain finding tool. Just roll your cursor over the points and see what comes up.

Glass Outhouse Art Gallery Opening

Please join Laurel and Frank on
Saturday, November 5 from 1 - 5 p.m. for the
Copper Mountain College Student Show
curated by CMC Instructor Cathy Allen, at

The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery [Always FREE.]
77575 Twentynine Palms Highway at Thunder Road
Wonder Valley CA 92277.

There will be refreshments and
Hunter and the Wick'd!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wonder Valley Community Meeting | November 12, 2016

Recent storm in Wonder Valley, cominf from the west
Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the
Wonder Valley Community Meeting
Saturday, November 12 from 10:00 a.m. until noon.

The meeting will be held at the:
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

French roast coffee and Cuban pastries from Porto's will be served.

Agendized items suggested for discussion by the community at the last meeting include: formation of a fire committee (Copeland, Sheffield, Meyers), and illegal burning (Headrick).

Ramona Arechiga, Community Health Care Worker, and Manuel Rincon, Program Coordinator, from Pacific Clinics will give a presentation titled, “Let’s Talk About Mental Health,” which will cover the following topics:

- Stigma
- Depression
- Anxiety
- Alcohol and Drugs Identification and Prevention
- Bipolar Disorder
- Schizophrenia
- Suicide Prevention

The presenters will be available after the presentation to provide additional information to those interested. Respondents receive FREE SERVICES at the PACIFIC CLINICS FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER/MILITARY AND FAMILY SUPPORT in Yucca Valley by our staff or be referred out as needed.

If you know someone dealing with any of these issues, or are dealing with these issues yourself, please attend this meeting.

Agenda posted online October 27, 12:15 p.m.:
[Revised October 29, 2:30 p.m. to include ORV complaints.]
Meeting Notes posted online January 11, 2017, 6:52 a.m.

Desert Trail Column, October 27, 2016

Happy Anniversary wishes go out to Sharon and Orville Fangmeyer this week as they celebrate 54 years together!

Karen’s Commentary: Thank you, Jan Peek, for lots of coupons, cards and stamps! The military families overseas, kids at St Jude’s and eagles in Big Bear are all grateful. On a different note, I must relay that those pesky little Christmas elves have been whispering in my ears all this month. I keep telling them to shut up because Christmas is still two months away – ONLY TWO MONTHS? Oh, my. I guess I’d better start paying more attention to them. And on still another note, I’m trying to find two people. I have a high school annual that belonged to William “Bill” DeJarnette who lived on Lear Avenue in the 1970’s. The annual is from Lincoln Community High School in Lincoln, IL, and is from the year 1922. I also have a book titled “My School-Day Autobiography” which is similar to an autograph book, and belonged to Mary Louise Crozier. Twin High School is mentioned, plus several places in Ohio, and it is dated 1941. I’d love to return these to the owners or their families.

Darlene’s Commentary: I was stunned to hear that the Sav-a-Lot grocery store is closing its doors on Saturday, October 29. This store has just about everything that a larger grocery store has, and I’ve found the fresh produce and meat of excellent quality, and many of the brands of canned goods, boxed goods, spices, bread, deli items, cleaning supplies, pet foods, beverages, ice cream and pastries are excellent and are not available elsewhere. I’ve saved nearly half on my grocery bill by shopping at Sav-a-Lot. Everyone that I know loves shopping there. Every single person that works at Sav-a-Lot has been exceptionally helpful to their customers, including myself. If you had a question or complaint of any kind, someone would attend to it immediately. Unfortunately, these employees were given very short notice of the store closing. I will miss each and every one of them, and would gladly give an excellent recommendation to any prospective employer.

Animal Action League is located on 29 Palms Highway in Joshua Tree, just west of the dinosaurs. They will spay or neuter your pet at a very low price, plus they offer vaccinations and microchips at discounted prices. Call them at 760-366-1100.

Handy Hint: To make peeling hard squashes and root veggies easier, place them in the microwave for two to three minutes on low power to make the skin more pliable for peeling and cutting.

Thought for Today: Poverty of purpose is far worse than poverty of purse.

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

Desert rain storm during the golden hour, October 25, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sensing Yoga, at the Wonder Valley Community Center

Neighbor Lorelei Greene of Sensing Yoga, teaches at the Wonder Valley Community Center

  • Slow Hatha Vinyasa Flow, Mondays from 6 - 7:15pm
  • Gentle yoga, Thursdays 8 - 9:15am

Beginners are welcome to either class. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early. $12 - cash only. Bring a yoga mat. You must be 18-years-old or older.

Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2  Amboy Road (next to fire station)

Congratulations and gratitude to Lorelei Greene for jumping through the many hoops to host a class at the WVCC. Thanks for all the work, Lorelei, and for being such a sweet neighbor!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Desert Trail Column, October 20, 2016

The Salvation Army Food Distribution will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 26 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road. This distribution is for Wonder Valley residents only. For further information, call WV Coordinator Ric Figueroa at 760-367-9880, or the Salvation Army office at 760-228-0114.

Darlene’s Commentary: Well, I almost made it to see Paul McCartney – along with about 1700 others! Around 1 p.m. on Thursday, my daughter called and told me to get ready because she was picking me up in 15 minutes to go see Paul McCartney! When she arrived, she hustled me into her truck, even though my hair was wet and I had my shoes in my hand. We took off for Pioneertown at a good clip, and on the way, I told her once again about how I’d seen The Beatles at Dodger Stadium in 1966 when I was 14. I never thought I’d ever have the opportunity to see any of The Beatles again, but here I was, on my way to see Paul! Of course the tickets were completely sold out before we got there, but I will forever be grateful to my daughter Julie for thinking of her mom.

Karen’s Commentary: Thanks go out this week to Mary Lee for giving me a box full of donations for two of my favorite causes. Inside this large box were a couple dozen used greeting cards that St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Boulder City, NV will be happy to get. And then there were THE STAMPS – approximately one zillion of them! There were probably 50 or so individual stamps that had been cut off envelopes; many, many, many regular-size envelopes with anywhere from one to a dozen stamps on EACH envelope; and dozens and dozens of large and extra-large envelopes with up to 86 (yes, that number is EIGHTY-SIX) stamps on EACH ONE! Mary, I believe the eagles are going to fly down here from Big Bear to personally thank you!

The Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Kuhns Road, holds regular services at 10:30 every Sunday morning. They also have morning Bible Studies every Sunday from 9:15 to 10:15 and every Monday from 8:30 to 10:30. And there is a potluck following the service on the second Sunday of each month. Call Pastor Garry Brooks at 760-367-0279 for information.

Handy Hint: Best apparel buys in November will be on men’s and boys’ suits and coats, lingerie, shoes and winter clothing. Election Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving specials will provide good prices, too.

Thought for Today: What do you call a noodle in disguise? An im-pasta-nator.

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

Turkey vultures settling in for the night.

Monday, October 17, 2016

WV Death Investigation

SBSD - Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department
Monday October 17th, 2016 :: 11:16 a.m. PDT

A death investigation is being conducted in Wonder Valley

DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 15, 2016/8:20 a.m.
INCIDENT: Death Investigation
LOCATION: 80500 block of Norman Road, Wonder Valley
#1 Adult female, pending positive identification and notification of next of kin
#2 Adult male, pending positive identification and notification of next of kin
SUMMARY: On Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 8:20 a.m., deputies from the Morongo Basin Station responded to a residence in the 80500 block of Norman Road in Wonder Valley following the request to conduct a welfare check on the residents. Upon arrival, deputies located a deceased male adult on the front porch and a deceased adult female inside the residence.

Sheriff’s Homicide Investigators were requested and responded to the location to conduct the investigation. Due to the state of decomposition of the victims, investigators believe they have been deceased for several weeks. Autopsies will be conducted to determine the cause and manner of death.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time. Updates will be issued as new information becomes available.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Detective John Woods (909) 387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline

Refer: Sergeant Dave Johnson or Detective John Woods
Station: Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail
Phone No. (909)387-3589
Case No. 091601546 H#2016-087

John McMahon, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department
SBSD - Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department
63665 29 Palms Hwy
Joshua Tree, CA

Eden Solas, firestarter

Some of you might remember Eden Solas, who spent some time in Wonder Valley a year or two ago. Well, now she's up in the Pacific Northwest working with forestry (I'm a little hazy on the details). Here's her latest missive. They've got her starting forest fires!

"My season at the Madison Ranger District is coming to a close so they finally let me set some of the forest on fire. This is a prescribed burn to help the biologists isolate and propagate the white bark pine that they have found to be immune to the rust fungus. This fungus has been decimating the white bark pine whose pine cones are a major food source for grizzly bears. So to protect the forest, sometimes you gotta light it up. They let me use a Drip Torch!"

Go, Eden! Miss you, friend!

SCE - Southern California Edison Planned Outage

Residents of Wonder Valley have been receiving notices from SCE - Southern California Edison - of an outage scheduled for Wednesday, October 26th, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is Outage #790181

The notice reads,

“Please note that the power may be off for the whole period or may be turned off more than once. The times noted are our best estimates and some conditions may cause the outage to not start exactly on time or be postponed.”

For more information on outages visit the Outage Center:

Please also visit Be Prepared for a Power Outage:

The Wonder Valley Community Center will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. for those who need a place to stay during the outage. The Center is located at 80526-½ Amboy Road next to the fire station.

I want to thank everyone who, last summer, helped convince SCE to reschedule the outage to this much more convenient time, when the weather is mild, instead of the middle of triple-digit heat in the summer. Special thanks to all the community members who called SCE to ask them to reschedule, and to Mark Lundquist and Supervisor Ramos, Reach Out Morongo Basin, and the SBC Department of Aging and Adult Services, and all those who helped prepare for the outage should it have continued as planned.

Crime stats for 2016

I've received the crime stats for Wonder Valley for 2016, to date.

and here they are graphed.

The graph below shows the percentage of calls that resulted in a report.

The numbers are:
JAN - 8.6
FEB - 6.7
MAR - 10.3
APR - 6.4
MAY - 6
JUN - 13.3
JUL - 10.8
AUG - 16
SEP - 6.5

You can compare these statistics to our 2015 crime statistics.

This graph represents an increase in calls, not necessarily an increase in crime. Throughout last year we continued to encourage residents to report crime so the increase could represent the willingness to report.

Thank you to Specialist Robert Anderson for providing these to us.

Turkey vultures pass through

I was studying in the house last Friday about 4 p.m. when a large shadow passed slowly across the curtain. I went outside to see what it was and found a kettle of turkey vultures convening on my house. There were hundreds of vultures circling over my yard, from 10 feet over my head to hundreds of feet up in the air - to the point where they looked like pinpricks and then disappeared.

They dotted the treetops and vied for a couple of spots on the old TV antenna. They studded the old well rigging, and the tops of the power poles and fence posts, and lined up on the wire that brings power to the house. Dozens of vultures sat on the ground in the acreage that surrounds my house, and they landed in the trees of my three neighbors to the north, east, and south.

The only sounds were the whoosh of their wings as they descended from the thermals, the crackling negotiations of long wings and brittle branches as they landed awkwardly in the treetops, and an occasional hiss as one displaced another for a favored spot.

I quickly counted 32 vultures in my neighbor’s tree and multiplied that by the number of trees between the four of us and quickly exceeded 200 vultures, not counting those still incoming.

They sallied through the yard for the next hours, winding down as the sun began to set. An almost full moon rose over the Sheephole Mountains. The vultures settled into their spots, ringing my house as the trees do. I stood under the carport, half shielded not wishing to worry them with my presence.

My husband was returning around midnight and I called to ask him to come in without lights, and slowly. At midnight he rolled in on little cat feet, the gravel barely crunching under his tires. He got out of the car and we surveyed the yard. The moon shone off the sand like snow. The vultures sentineled the tree tops. Only one briefly took to wing and settled in again.

We woke early to watch them warm their wings in the rising sun, and then over the next hours, group by group, rise and fly east over the Pinto Mountains.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Weed Show, November 5 & 6

The 2016 Twentynine Palms
will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5 & 6. 

This years theme is


Desert Bone Fest, October 28, 29, 30

Desert Bonefest '16
From 11 a.m. on October 28 to nooon on October 30
Palms Restaurant
83131 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley CA 92277

Recipe for Bonefest 2016:

  • Start with one Halloween party. Depending on your appetite, 1-3 days-worth.
  • Add 7 or 8 cups of tasty live bands.
  • Stir in one DJ for a little extra flavor.
  • A pinch of a costume contest.
  • For full flavor, blend in a Sunday Bloody Mary brunch.
  • Mix together in the coolest roadhouse you can find, and do this under a sky full of stars while quenching your thirst with some witches' brew.


The Palms is open until 8 p.m. for food and drink after your long drive. Then join us for a large group campfire (location TBA). Bring your singing voice, your guitar, your beverage, but most importantly yourself. Check out those stars...!!!

During the day on Saturday, prior to the event, enjoy the beauty of Joshua Tree Natl Park, check out the Integratron, or just relax and get ready for the big night..but make sure to leave time to put on your costume!

Then starting at 6 p.m. the party gets cookin'!!!!

Live performances by:
Jay Souza! The Ryman Rails! Amilia K Spicer! The Sibleys! Dan Janisch! Nocona! The Ben Vaughn Ensemble!
..followed by DJ Sarah Delush, spinning tunes to get you rattlin' your bones!!!

Special Halloween cocktails, food, drink, and..
... COSTUMES ENCOURAGED! Encouraged by WHAT you ask? Encouraged by a CONTEST with PRIZES! Yep. Prizes. So dress up.

SUNDAY:Bloody Mary recovery brunch with Rosa Pullman!
The Palms will be open for breakfast starting at 9 AM, Rosa plays at 1 p.m.

Suggested donation (all of which goes straight to the performers!): $10 cash, at the door.
(No ATM avail anywhere near the area)

Limited shared housing still available at one of the Sibley houses.
Unlimited camping outside the venue or one of the houses.
Local Air BnB's in 29 Palms or Wonder Valley or hotels/motels in Twentynine Palms.

For more info about a Sibley house, camping, or AirBnB suggestions, or anything, really, e-mail Kevin Bone at

Pop up Poets Brunch

Pop up Poets Brunch
hosted by Wonder Valley artist Suzanne Ross
November 20 at 11:30 a.m.
The Palms Bar and Restaurant
83131 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley CA 92277

Everyone is welcome to sign up for three minutes at the mic.

Psychedelic Space Camping, November 5

Psychedelic Space Camping
From 5 p.m. on November 5 to 4 a.m. on November 6
The Palms Wonder Valley
83131 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley, California 92284

It's that time of year again! Movies, music, and whatever you want in the desert. Movies and musical acts TBD, but I think you know the vibe... and it's FREEE (though I will be collecting voluntary donations to cover cost$)

The Palms is having us back again, so they will be offering cheap food and drink, and you can camp on their property!

For all you non-first-timers it will be cold this time of year, so bring clothes for layering.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Yoga at the Palms

From Lorelei Greene:

"Bet you never thought you'd come to The Palms in WV for yoga! Class is Sunday, Oct 16th- 7:30-9am ..AND Then, stay for a delicious homemade brunch at 9am !!!

**Please join me for a 'Take it Easy' yoga class lead by myself. This Gentle Yoga class is open to beginners and experienced too.
$10 cash only for yoga class. Class is outside. I will have tarp and sheets for ground covering. Please bring a yoga mat."

Lorelei is working with the WVCC to have yoga classes there. Stay tuned for more information.