Sunday, December 30, 2018

Friends of Wonder Valley

Dear Wonder Valley Neighbors,

Last July I founded a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) charity called the Friends of Wonder Valley. Its mission is to enhance the lives of those who live in Wonder Valley. 

I’ve been a volunteer in Wonder Valley for nearly 4 years, serving as your MAC delegate. I also started the NextDoor Wonder Valley website, and this site:, and write and publish the Wonder Valley Sand Paper along with my husband and board chairman Ken Sitz. A group of us have been putting on events over the past year and need funds to continue doing this. We also sponsored the Thanksgiving turkey give away and hope to sponsor more food programs in the future.

We just finished an online fundraiser. To date, 68 people helped us raise about half of what we need to fund our programs next year. If you have a tradition of year-end giving, might you consider adding the Friends of Wonder Valley to the groups you support?

We could really use your help. I’m sure you’re aware of how much need there is in Wonder Valley. We’re planning to put together another monthly food distribution, and were able to partner last month with Community Action Partnership to deliver 60 Thanksgiving turkeys to needy Wonder Valley families. And, when we reach our one year anniversary on July 5, 2019, we’ll be able to apply for a Bingo license.

Might you consider giving what you can to show support for the work we do? Even $5 or $10, so you can be counted among our supporters? Or, $5 a month, recurring on PayPal? Every little bit helps.

If you’d like to give online, please go to and click on the [DONATE]  button. If you’d like to send a check, please make it out to Friends of Wonder Valley, and mail it to PO Box 1704, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277. Friends of Wonder Valley is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We are listed on GuideStar at: All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Giving is confidential.  We will never say who gave or who did not, or how much they gave, if they did, without their permission.

Thank you for your support,

Teresa Sitz
Board Secretary
Friends of Wonder Valley

PS If you want to give, but not to us, please consider giving to the two organizations linked below. The both directly benefit many folks in Wonder Valley.
Reach Out Morongo Basin
Twentynine Palms Food for Life

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sign up for HEAP

CAPSBC Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Energy Education Workshop & Utility Bill Assistance
From 9:30am - 3:30 pm,
Monday, January 7, 2019

At :
United Methodist Community Church
6213 E. Parkway Road, Joshua Tree, CA

By appointment only - call: 909-723-1500

Dawn Rowe appointed as new Supervisor

On December 18, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors appointed Yucca Valley resident Dawn Rowe to be the new Third District Supervisor. She follows former Supervisor James Ramos who won a California Assembly seat in the November 2018 election. Rowe will leave her current position as a field representative for Congressman Paul Cook.

The selection process was delayed due to accusations of a Brown Act violation. The process of narrowing the 43 candidates was occulted from the public and took place through serial meetings, a violation of California State law.

Rowe has hired Mark Lundquist as a field aide. Lundquist was a former field aid to James Ramos and the Chair of the Ramos's Municipal Advisory Committee, or MAC. It is not known if Rowe will consitute a new MAC, but it is hoped by many that she will.

Third District voters will be able to elect a Supervisor in two years.

Constituent services are available at (909) 387-4855 or by email at

Yucca Valley's Dawn Rowe named San Bernardino County supervisor

Friday, December 28, 2018

California Property Tax Postponement Program

Do you or a loved one need help keeping up with residential property tax payments?
The Property Tax Postponement Program allows eligible homeowners to postpone payment of property taxes on a primary residence.

To be eligible for PTP, you must:
  • Be at least age 62, or blind, or have a disability;
  • Own and occupy the home as your primary place of residence;
  • Have a total household income of $35,500 or less;
  • Have at least 40 percent equity in the property; and
  • Other requirements.
The interest rate for taxes postponed under PTP is 7 percent per year. A lien will be placed on the property until the account is paid in full. Funding for the program is limited. Applications will be accepted from October 1 to February 10 each year, and will be processed in the order received. Only current-year property taxes are eligible for postponement.

Repayment under the PTP Program becomes due when the homeowner:
  • Moves or sells the property;
  • Transfers title;
  • Defaults on a senior lien;
  • Refinances;
  • Dies; or
  • Obtains a reverse mortgage.
More details are available on the State Controller’s website.

Download and print: 19%20PTP%20Application%20and%20Instructions.pdf

The filing period for the 2018-19 tax year is October 1, 2018 to February 10, 2019. Please call (800) 952-5661 or email if you prefer to have an application mailed to you.

Questions? Contact the Controller’s team at
(800) 952-5661 or

California State Controller Betty T. Yee

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Desert Trail Column - December 27, 2018

New Year’s Eve at the Palms will be held of course on New Year’s Eve from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Palms is located at 83131 Amboy Road at Thompson Road. Call 760-361-2810 for further information.
We send out Rainbows-of-Turquoise-and-Narcissus to Glenda Berndt who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Glenda!

Darlene’s Commentary:I’ve been reading an excellent book entitled “Emotional Intelligence” written by Daniel Goleman. This book and its contents are set out in clear understandable English. Today I was immersed in a chapter about stress and anxiety and learned that anxiety signals high levels of stress. Our immune system fights viruses and such, but the stress I’ve been feeling lately seems to be making me physically sick. Because I have some thyroid issues from long ago, my immune system is not up to par. Different doctors recommend different things, including herbs and medications, but none of them have proven to be too great. I was hoping I could find out more from a neurologist about how to improve my immune system, so I have made an appointment.

Karen’s Commentary: The little elves are gearing down tonight and so am I. As our mom used to say, “Ah’m tarred an’ wored out!” I love Christmas. Too bad it’s tarnished by shopping and wrapping! Of course I know there is an alternative – don’t buy gifts. Hey, that sounds like a great idea, although I’m not so sure how well it would go over with our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids! We have 13 stockings hanging over the fireplace this year – it’s getting pretty crowded up there. But I love looking at all those colorful stockings just waiting for Santa to arrive. By the time you read this, Christmas 2018 will be past. I hope you had a joyful day, and I hope we all have a great 2019.

Susan Doggett is a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator specializing in migratory birds. She is a graduate biologist and lives in Wonder Valley. To contact her, call 714-637-8355.
Handy Hint: Container shape is key when it comes to reheating food in the microwave. The corners of rectangular containers usually attract more energy than other areas, leaving the food in those spots overcooked. A round container, on the other hand, allows food to reheat more uniformly. And don’t add seasonings until you’re done. Microwave energy is drawn to salt, so a seasoned top will collect heat and leave the outer layer of your food dry. If you’d rather add salt first, stir it in thoroughly.
Today’s Thought: The University of Alaska spans four time zones.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Desert Trail Column - December 20, 2018

Please note that our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, will be closed for the holidays from December 20, 2018 to January 4, 2019. We’ll see you next year, Teresa!
We send out Rainbows-of-Turquoise-and-Narcissus to Teresa Sitz and Laurel Seidl who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to both of you!
 Also, Mary and Les Lindsley celebrate 37 years of marriage this week. Happy anniversary, Les and Mary!
Karen’s Commentary: Besides our weekly Handy Hints, there are a couple things I’ve done around our house for years that really work. One is to put a “collar” on drippy bottles like cooking oil and dish soap. Fold a paper towel lengthwise a few times until it’s a long strip about an inch-wide, then wrap it around the bottle, securing it with 2 or 3 rubber bands. This catches all the drips! Another is to leave the “almost empty” roll-on deodorant bottle standing upside down between uses. That same bottle that was “running out” now lasts for several more WEEKS!
Darlene’s Commentary: I would like to share a recipe called Wacky Cake from our beloved mother Louise Borquez who always enjoyed something creative and different. Here it is! Dry ingredients: 1 ½ cups sifted flour, 1 cup sugar, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 3 tablespoons cocoa and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir all dry ingredients into an UNGREASED 8”- or 9”-square cake pan. Make three holes. In the first hole, put 1 tablespoon vinegar. In the second hole, put 6 tablespoons cooking oil. In the third hole, put 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour 1 cup cold water over it all and mix with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
If you have complaints, compliments or comments about our road maintenance, leave a message for our grader operator Tim Candelaria at 760-367-9880. Our compliments go out to Tim about the great job he does on our roads.

Handy Hint: For an easy way to know which cord plugged into a power strip goes to which device, use bread closure tabs. They’re perfect for labeling cords because they’re sturdy plastic, big enough to write on and easily clip around the plug end of a cord.
 Today’s Thought: The following events took place in 1962: Glen Bell opened his first Taco Bell Restaurant; The Beverly Hillbillies debuted; Johnny Carson took over as host of The Tonight Show; Yo-Yo Ma, at the age of 7, performed for the president; West Side Story won Best Motion Picture; and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by Tony Bennett won Record of the Year.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wonder Valley in Vogue

Wonder Valley was included in an article titled 7 Hotels That Will Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions in Vogue Magazine's Living and Travel section.

The cabin above belongs to artist Andrea Zittel. The copy reads,

"If you want to learn to live with less—and be more comfortable alone:
The Wonder Valley Experimental Living Cabins - Wonder Valley, California
Taking away creature comforts might be the ticket to starting fresh in the year ahead. Andrea Zittel, an artist based in Joshua Tree, has two 400 square foot homestead cabins that challenge visitors to 'reevaluate assumptions about needs, values, and social norms.' They’re intended for people who want to spend time in extreme privacy, and the minimum stay is one week. The space provides only the bare essentials: there’s no running water or electricity. The luxury is a chance to live totally with yourself—and experience a few gorgeous desert sunsets along the way."

Friday, December 14, 2018

Emergency Food at 29 Palms Pantry

If you need food, there is emergency food available to the people in Wonder Valley at:

Twentynine Palms Community Food Pantry
Apostolic Lighthouse
6450 Star Dune Avenue, 29 Palms, CA

HOURS for emergency food:
Monday - Friday, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m,
1st Saturday from 9 -11 a.m.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Desert Trail Column - December 13, 2018

Please note that the USDA Food Distribution will be held on TUESDAY, December 18 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road. Sign ups will begin at 9:30 a.m., with distribution from 10 to noon. From now on, the USDA Food Distributions will be on Tuesdays instead of Mondays. Call WVCC Coordinator Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880 for further information.

We send out Rainbows-of-Turquoise-and-Narcissus to Diana Akins, Elsilynn Foster (12), Wyona Hipple-Sandoe and Ken Sitz who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to all of you!

Karen’s Commentary: Once again I want to thank Bob and Joey for manufacturer’s coupons. They have been sent to U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine bases in Germany, Italy, Japan and Guam. Our military families overseas use and appreciate these coupons. On a completely different subject, have you gone to the DMV lately? My last visit there was the best ever. It seems as though they’ve finally worked out the kinks. Of course, you MUST make an appointment in order to be kink-free. And don’t despair if you have no Internet access – phone calls work just fine, too.
Darlene’s Commentary: Here’s a dream for the book. I step outside and see a city in the distance with buildings that sparkle like a metropolis. I look in a different direction and my jaw drops because a massive airplane is flying toward me! It turns toward the city and there is no sound from the airplane or anything else. The plane banks and heads straight down. When the nose is centered over the tallest building, the wings and tail disappear and the fuselage instantly morphs into a gigantic dome that sparkles and gleams. Any dream analyzers out there?
If you would like to read more about Wonder Valley, go to Ken and Teresa Sitz do a great job keeping this website up-to-date and interesting.
Handy Hint: For just over $20 you can store open chip bags easily. Mount a magnetic strip (approximately $15) underneath a shelf in your food cabinet. Then use magnetic chip clips (approximately $7 for four) to close the bags and attach them to the magnetic strip.

Today’s Thought: In 1951, New York Yankee Mickey Mantle hits his first home run, Walt Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” premieres and is initially considered a flop, the first direct-dial long-distance telephone call is made, “I Love Lucy” premieres on CBS, “Too Young” by Nat King Cole wins Song of the Year, and best of all – Karen is still an only child! (Darlene would arrive the following year, and Donna two years later.)

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

Sunday, December 9, 2018

USDA Food Distribution

Please note the CHANGE OF DAY and DATE.

The USDA Food Distribution will take place TUESDAY, December 18, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277. The Community Center is next to the Fire Station. Sign up begins at 9:30 a.m. Food boxes will be given out between 10 a.m. and noon.

From now on the USDA Food DIstribution at the WVCC will be on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

There will be no Salvation Army Food Distribution in December.

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No ID or other documentation is required. You may pick up a box for one neighbor, or they may pick up a box for you, IF you present a signed pick up form. One pick up per person. Pick up forms are available online at The forms 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

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Desert Trail Column - December 6, 2018

Ted and Karen Meyers celebrate 58 years together this week. Happy anniversary, Karen and Ted!
Darlene’s Commentary:
Brrrr! Maybe Mother Nature heard me grumbling and complaining all summer. I’d better make a note to watch what I say about her! I should be thankful for our desert’s weather. Fall brought some beautiful warm days with gentle breezes, and cool, comfortable nights without the hum and rattle of the swamp coolers and air conditioners. Most nights you can look up into a sky that looks like black velvet sprinkled with diamonds of all sizes and shapes. We have amazing sunrises and sunsets that sometimes cover an entire section of sky with the brightest colors imaginable! And then we have the Sheephole Mountains that in winter can quickly change from beautiful purple to magenta to brilliant pink. We are so very lucky.
Karen’s Commentary:
I’ve purposely not mentioned the little Christmas elves, hoping they’d go away, or at least lower their personal volume controls! I already know that I’m way behind, that Christmas is less than three weeks away, that I have a ton of OTHER stuff to do besides getting ready for the holidays. So why do those cute little elves feel compelled to remind me daily? Or hourly?! I absolutely love Christmas, but it’s undoubtedly the most stressful of all the holidays for me. I thought when I got older, this love/hate relationship would end, especially since I don’t have young-uns living in the house anymore. But that apparently wasn’t the problem. I guess it’s just me. Anybody got some elf-sized pieces of duct tape?
If you would like to go to the Twentynine Palms Nutrition Site for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Reach Out Morongo Basin will provide free rides. Pick up is at 10 a.m. and drop off is at 2 pm., both at The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road at Thompson Road. If you have a problem getting to The Palms, ROMB may pick you up and drop you off at your residence. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.
Handy Hint:
If you’re thinking of tossing a lamp that flickers when it’s on, first check for frayed wires. If there are none, then it’s probably only the bulb, which is a common cause of flickering. And remember, even a new bulb can be a dud. If the bulb isn’t at fault, try plugging it into another outlet. If that isn’t the cause either, it needs to be rewired or replaced.

Today’s Thought:
Adult rattlesnakes only eat about once every two weeks, and it’s not unusual for a rattlesnake to live 30 years.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

TSS - Sunrise with the Moon and Venus

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Gayle Covery Interim Staff for 3rd District

The San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor’s office is being staffed by Field Representative Gayle Covey until a new supervisor is appointed to succeed James Ramos, who began service as a member of the State Assembly on Monday.

Covey, with support from the County Administrative Office and the Office of Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood, will be the Third District Office contact for constituents, county departments and agencies, and municipalities and other public entities in the Third District.

The Third District includes all or portions of the cities of San Bernardino, Grand Terrace, Colton, Loma Linda, Highland, Redlands, Yucaipa, Barstow, Big Bear Lake and Twentynine Palms, the Town of Yucca Valley, and surrounding unincorporated communities and areas, including Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley.

The Third District office can be contacted by email at, by phone at 909-387-4855, or through its website at

Property taxes are due

San Bernardino County property taxes are due on December 10, 2018.

It's possible to pay onine at:

Senior Services in Twentynine Palms

Bob Dougherty, from SBC Adult and Aging Services, will meet seniors, 60 year of age and older, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., on December 12, at the Twentynine Palms Senior Center, 6539 Adobe Road, in Twentynine Palms.

He will be answering questions and distributing bus pass es. HEAP still has funding for 2018 wood and propane if someone has not applied already this year. HEAP for 2019 funds will start probably in mid- to late-January 2019.

Call Bob for a HEAP appointment at (760) 228-5219