Thursday, September 27, 2018

Desert Trail Column - September 27, 2018

If you missed the Weed Show presentation with Ted Meyers and are still procrastinating about starting your Weed Show creations, you have one more chance to learn some tricks and tips from Weed Show veterans. There will be a hands-on workshop on Saturday, October 13 at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, just north of the entrance to the 29 Palms Inn, from 9 to 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome.
Karen’s Commentary: Thanks go to Bob, Joey and Annie for donating coupons. I sent them out this week to U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force bases located in Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Darlene’s Commentary: Fall has finally arrived and I’m looking forward to nice days and gently blowing breezes. I don’t think I could’ve survived much more baking, and I’m not talking about pies either!
The Food for Life Ministry does a wonderful job of preparing and serving delicious hot meals every Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, 72603 Juanita Drive in Twentynine Palms. If you do not have transportation to town, Reach Out Morongo Basin may deliver these meals to your home. There is no charge for the meals or for the delivery. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.
Handy Hint: Here are some clever hiding places around your home for cash, important papers, jewelry, hard drives, keys or other valuables. 1. Put items in an envelope and tape it to the back or underside of a drawer. 2. Tape items to the back or inside any open cavities of a wall or mantle clock. (Just make sure the clock isn’t worth stealing!) 3. Store a container of items inside a larger bin full of unappealing stuff, such as winter clothing, making sure there is an easily-read label on the large bin. 4.  Empty out a new tub of cat litter, put small containers of items in the bottom, then replace the cat litter. 5. Hot glue a magnet to a spare house key & place it up out of sight inside a metal dryer vent. 6. Many wooden dining chairs have space under the seat for an easily-made drop-down hinged panel in which to stash items.

Today’s Thought: Seahorses are the slowest fish in the ocean, traveling only five feet in an hour. But they are able to watch their surroundings from all angles because their eyes move separately. In a reversal of traditional roles, the female lays eggs in the belly pouch of the male, then the male rocks back and forth by grasping a piece of seaweed with his tail until the eggs hatch!
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Desert Trail Column - September 20, 2018

The trees in our little park are once again being watered! Thanks go out to the San Bernardino County maintenance workers for getting the watering system back in working order. And special thanks to several anonymous people who watered trees with buckets while the system was down.

The show-and-tell meeting with representatives from Morongo Basin Ambulance and Mercy Air was very informative.  This was a great opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with an advanced life support ambulance and an emergency medical transport helicopter without being ill or injured. Everyone was also able to talk with the crews of both units, and to ask many questions. We thank both organizations for their participation.
A presentation on “Living with Snakes” will be given on Saturday, September 22 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Retired Park Ranger Jane Fawke will bring live non-venomous snakes that are securely contained. She will speak on how to safely co-exist with snakes and will answer all your questions.
On Wednesday, September 26 the Salvation Army Food Distribution will take place at our community center from 11 a.m. until the food is gone. Food is from Trader Joe’s and bags will be provided. During this event, you may also fill out paperwork for obtaining a credit of up to $100 off your electric bill, but you must have an appointment and you must bring specific documents, although there are no income requirements.

“Stop the Bleed,” a workshop for teaching hemorrhage control by use of direct pressure, wound packing and tourniquet application, will be held at our community center on Saturday, October 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Class size is limited, but there will be a waiting list with subsequent classes if needed.

For information, appointments or sign-ups for any of the above events, please contact our WVCC Coordinator Teresa Sitz at or 760-367-9880.

We send out Rainbows-of-Sapphires-and-Asters to Bernice Barcott, Eddie Kim, Les Lindsley and Orville Fangmeyer who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to all of you! 
Animal Action League provides low-cost spaying, neutering, vaccinations, microchipping and more at their location in Joshua Tree, 62762 Highway 62, just west of the dinosaurs. Call 760-366-1100 for further information.

Handy Hint: If you’re lucky enough to own an air compressor, you know how heavy and cumbersome they are to carry or move around. Try attaching it to an old mechanic’s creeper so you can easily roll it wherever you need to.

Today’s Thought: You don’t really know someone until you’ve been to a casino together.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Wonder Valley turns out!

I received a note from Suzanne at Land Use Services regarding Wonder Valley's Fundamental Plan.

80 (EIGHTY!) people took the survey online, or mailed in their form!!!

You all are amazing!!!

Here's the Wonder Valley page at Land Use Services:


HEADLINE (satire):
Marines Are Training For War In Syria Because Twentynine Palms Doesn’t Suck Enough

"The Marines recently completed a live-fire exercise in Syria – the one place more hostile to human life than Twentynine-Palms – during which they trained with Syrian rebels backed by the U.S. government, according to U.S. Central Command."

I dunno, I kinda like the sushi.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Protest Form now online

The protest form for the Expansion of FP 5 can be accessed at the link below:

USDA Food Distribution - September 17, 2018

The USDA Food Distribution will begin sometime after 10:30 a.m. on Monday, September 17th at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277. The Community Center is next to the Fire Station.

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No ID or other documentation is required. You may pick up a box for a neighbor, or they may pick up a box for you, IF you present a signed pick up form. Pick up forms are available online at They are also available at the WVCC on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., and on the door of the WVCC the week before the event.

For more information, call Teresa Sitz at (760) 367-9880.

The text below is required.

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:, 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 - September 2018

The Salvation Army Food Distribution takes place starting at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 26, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277. The Community Center is located between the Fire Station and the palm tree cell tower.

The distribution is first come first served, and ends when there is no more food. The distribution is open to Wonder Valley residents, who self-certify on site. No documentation is required, though you will need to fill out a form the first time you attend.

The distribution will be “shopping style.” You will take what you like from a selection of food from Trader Joe’s. Please be mindful that people behind you need food, as well, and only take what you need. There may also be a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.

A Salvation Army worker will be present to help people apply for Energy Assistance Funds (EAF) in partnership with Southern California Edison and the United Way. This program provides up to $100 towards a SoCal Edison bill for those who qualify. This program is open to anyone in the Morongo Basin, not just Wonder Valley residents. 

To qualify you will need three things:
  • An appointment. There are 10 appointments available this month. Call Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880 for an appointment. 
  • Your most recent Southern California Edison bill.
  • Your most recent proof of income.

Appointments will be scheduled starting at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 26, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Crime Stats for August 2018

The numbers for August 2015 and 2016 were provided by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. They stopped providing us these numbers in October of 2016. Teresa Sitz, the MAC Delegate for Wonder Valley, has been teasing our stats out of media reports since May of 2017. This is tedious work. The stats are unofficial, and there is a small margin of error.

A change in numbers does not reflect a change in service. A change in numbers can reflect a change in the willingness to call the Sheriff's Department, with reports and arrests adjusting in response.

If you call the Sheriff's Department, ALWAYS ask for an INCIDENT NUMBER. Please write it down.

There is a correlation, perhaps anecdotal, that crime will rise with a change in the seasons. Please use this opportunity to make your property less attractive to criminals. Consider an alarm system with an exterior siren. Simplisafe, as well as other companies, make good alarm systems that you can access and control from your smart phone (for about $25 a month). There are of particular use to weekenders and those who are unable to depend on neighbors for keeping an eye on their property.

Desert Trail Column - September 13, 2018

A Wonder Valley Community Meeting will be held on Saturday, September 15 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Morongo Basin Ambulance will have an ambulance onsite for inspection by the public, and will talk about services they provide and challenges they face. Mercy Air will land a medical transport helicopter onsite for inspection as well. Procedures to protest the expansion of FP-5 will also be discussed. This should prove to be a memorable event.

On Monday, September 17, the USDA Food Distribution will take place at our community center sometime after 10:30 when the truck arrives.
For information on either of the above events, please contact our WVCC Coordinator Teresa Sitz at or 760-367-9880. 
Karen’s Commentary:  I know I’m probably grasping at straws, but I’m not convinced our fire station will remain closed. We now have a new Water Tender 45 at the Twentynine Palms station with our firefighters; I’m not sure the comment on the LAFCO website about our station closing was accurate; and Chief Hartwig said they would not re-open any closed stations, but does that include TEMPORARILY-closed stations? I can hope.
 Darlene’s Commentary:  I had a great time at the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery last Saturday! Walking into the gallery, I was immediately magnetized by the beautiful works of Tom Carvellas. Each painting had vivid colors and expressiveness with something to say! I also enjoyed Dana Bowden’s tile works, each piece different and some that made me smile. Then, Hunter and the Wick’d blew the crowd away with their music! 
The Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Kuhns Road, holds services every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. In addition, Bible Studies are held every Sunday from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. and every Monday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Following the service on the second Sunday of each month, a potluck lunch is served. For further information, contact Pastor Garry Brooks at or 760-600-0687. 
Handy Hint: You can call 911 on any cellphone, even if it has no cellular plan. Those who want a cellphone just for emergencies can use a phone that is out of service. Just keep it charged.
Today’s Thought: In 1957, Earl S. Tupper receives a patent for his Tupperware bowl and “burping lid,” John Lennon meets Paul McCartney by chance, U.S. Surgeon General Leroy Burney links smoking to lung cancer, Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel. “Perry Mason “and “Leave It to Beaver” both debut on CBS and Russia launches Sputnik 1. (And Karen turns 15 and Darlene turns 5!) 
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Wonder Valley Music Festival

We are super excited to be returning to the Wonder Valley Music Festival this Fall. The festival is created by singer songwriter, musician and producer, Ben Vaughn and takes place in the legendary home of Indie Rock band, The Sibleys.

7 - 11 p.m., October 13, 2018

Hosted by The Blue Dolphins and Palms Restaurant

Palms Restaurant
83131 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley, California 92277

More, later.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Shawn Williams, and Curtain's Up! at The Palms

Shawn Williams, and Curtain's Up! at The Palms Wonder Valley
6 - 8 p.m., Thursday, September 27, 2018.
83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Stop the Bleed Class

STOP THE BLEED | no one should die from bleeding

A person can bleed to death in just a few minutes. If you know how to stop bleeding, you can save a life, and that life may be your own, or that of a loved one. Living in a rural area, knowing how to stop bleeding is an indispensable skill. Get yours! FREE!

Gael Whetstone BSN RN, from Desert Care Network, Desert Regional Medical Center, Level II Trauma Center will teach the nationally recognized Stop the Bleed course from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, October 6, 2018, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277.

This is a national program to teach the lay person hemorrhage control by using direct pressure, wound packing and tourniquet application. It was created in response to mass casualty incidents, however, it can be used for earthquakes, car crashes, etc.

The same basic principles also apply to animals so some of what you learn can also be applied to pets and livestock.

Those who attend and complete the class will receive a certificate of completion.

An RSVP is highly recommended for this event. Class size is limited to 10. There will be a wait list, and the class will be held again if needed. For more information and to sign up for the class, please  call Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880, or visit

Living with Snakes

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the event:
LIVING WITH SNAKES, with retired park ranger Jane Fawke,
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, September 22, 2018
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Retired Park Ranger Jane Fawke will present on Living with Snakes. She will talk about identifying local venomous and non-venomous snakes, creating habitat, and will leave lots of time for Q&A. You will leave this event with a better ability to identify local snakes, and knowledge of how to safely co-exist with them.

Ms. Fawke will be bringing live, non-venomous snakes for you to see, and to help you learn to better identify them. She will be bringing a:

  • California Kingsnake
  • California Mountain kingsnake (which often gets confused with a Coral snake which are in AZ, not CA)
  • Rosy boa
  • Gopher snake
  • Long nosed snake
  • Glossy snake

All snakes will be displayed in secured, heavy-duty, plastic containers. There will be no handling of snakes by anyone. Snakes will not be removed from their containers, which will remain closed throughout the visit.

Jane Fawke volunteers as a hike leader for the Wildlands Conservancy, and gives outreach presentations for the Mojave Desert Land Trust. She is very familiar with CA fish & game laws which she will also discuss.

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate.

Desert Trail Column - September 6, 2018

After a long, hot summer, the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, 77575 Highway 62 at Thunder Road, will reopen for an artists’ reception on Saturday, September 8 from 5 to 9 p.m. Featured artists will be Tom Carvellas and Dana Bowden. This show runs until September 30. Come meet the artists, enjoy the free refreshments and hear great music by Hunter and the Wick’d. In addition, the south gallery is now ready to take in new artists and their work! For more information, call Laurel at 760-367-3807.
The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meeting will be held on Monday, September 10 at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst, at 5:30 p.m. This meeting will be dedicated to Land Use Services and the Community Plan. Everyone is invited and urged to attend. Teresa Sitz is our Wonder Valley representative.

 Don’t miss “Living with Snakes” with Jane Falk on Saturday, September 22 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
We send out Rainbows-of-Sapphires-and-Asters to Cheryl Davies and Sherry Hague who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday, Sherry and Cheryl!

Darlene’s Commentary:  In our park we have playground equipment, picnic tables, barbecues, a gazebo, a baseball diamond, palms and big shade trees. Many people have worked to make our park useful by maintaining our welcome shade trees. Now these trees are going downhill fast because of issues with the watering system and the well. Athol trees are hardy, but they can’t go forever without proper watering. Please, San Bernardino County, don’t let our beautiful shade trees die!

Karen’s Commentary:  Morongo Basin Healthcare District is holding a 12-week series of classes for individuals diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes. These classes start in Twentynine Palms on September 10 and run through November 26, meeting every Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. Additional follow-up support is provided in meetings held on December 10, January 14 and February 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Registration is required by calling coach Kathy Alkire at 760-820-9223, and seating is limited.

The non-profit 29 Soaring Club meets every Sunday, weather permitting, at the 29 Palms Airport on Highway 62 at Godwin Road, from 11 a.m. to sunset. Glider rides are available for $20 to $50 (cash only) depending on altitude desired. Gift certificates are also available and do not expire. Call Mike at 760-464-2835 for further information.

Handy Hint:  
Glue a large tray onto an adjustable-height stool to create the handiest side table ever.

Today’s Thought:  
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” – Mark Twain

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