Sunday, July 5, 2020

New bumpersticker in town.


Local / artist / desert rat Ken Sitz designed and printed a passel of these lovely bumperstickers in time for the 4th of July. If you know someone who knows someone you can get one.

"Don't miss the abyss!" Love that.

Bars are closed.

San Bernardino County Wire Update for July 1, 2020
https://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/

"In addition to mandating the closure of all bars in the 19 counties, the state has ordered the closing of indoor operations for restaurants; movie theaters; family entertainment centers; wineries, breweries and tasting rooms; card rooms; and zoos and museums."

"Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We simply have to do better in the fight against this virus. It is still not the time to get together with friends and extended families. And wearing masks while in public really has to become second nature.”

Friday, July 3, 2020

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Desert Trail Column - July 1, 2020

Somehow we omitted a very important date in last week’s column – the wedding anniversary of Ken and Teresa Sitz. They have been together for 20 years and we wish them a belated but sincere happy anniversary!
And this week we are sending out best wishes to Penny and Ron Root who are celebrating 27 years together. Happy anniversary, Ron and Penny!
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the Walnut Creek Police Department are asking for Wonder Valley’s help in locating a missing woman. She is 37-year-old Erika Lloyd. She is 5’ 4”, weighs 125 pounds and has dark brown hair and blue eyes. She has a small tattoo on the inside of her left wrist and a larger tattoo on her back. Her car was found abandoned and vandalized near Highway 62 and Shelton Road. If you have seen her or have heard anything about her whereabouts, please call 760-366-4175 or simply dial 911. Her family is totally devastated and extremely worried about her so please help if you can.

Karen's Commentary: Twice in the past week I’ve walked into a public establishment without a mask. I can hardly believe it. I’m so gung-ho on keeping the masks on in order to bring this pandemic to an end, and I’ve just walked right in without one! This just shows how easy it is to get distracted and forget about following guidelines, no matter how important they are. We’ll all be happy when this is over, but we have to work at it in order for it to actually be over.
Darlene’s Commentary: How do you clean clutter off your desk? First, make sure you have a clear walkway and a good chair! Box up everything that doesn’t even belong in that room, let alone on your desk, to be taken to where they belong. Try out every pen to make sure it writes before giving it space in your desk drawer. Plastic zipper bags are great for containing small items. You can also use those small gift boxes that you don’t have the heart to throw away, but never use!
Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Kuhns Road, is again holding regular church services every Sunday at 9 a.m. Please call Pastor Lonnie Casper at 760-401-6128 or 760-391-0480 for further information.
Handy Hint: Have your computer search for savings! Honey is a free extension you add to your web browser. When you shop online, click on the icon and it searches for coupons. Go to joinhoney.com for information.
Today’s Thought: Never miss an opportunity to sleep on a screened-in porch.

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

Monday, June 29, 2020

All fireworks are illegal in Wonder Valley and adjacent.

Do not do this at home or away.
San Bernardino County Fireworks Facts
Fireworks are NOT permitted in
unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County.

Firework Safety from the San Bernardino County Fire Department

If you choose to disobey the law and use fireworks anyway remember that the nearest hospital is more than 30 miles away. If you are out at the mines it may take the fire department more than an hour to find you or your children, pick you up, and get you out.

I'm only saying this because of couple of young boys had to be airlifted out a couple of years ago.

Two boys sustain serious injuries with fireworks east of Twentynine Palms

COUNTY FIRE MAKES IT EASY TO REPORT ILLEGAL FIREWORKS
To make an anonymous report, residents may visit https://bit.ly/SBCoReportFireworks. Be sure to include the date, time, and specific location of the alleged activity. Any photos and videos of incidents will aid in the investigation of alleged violations. Photos and videos may be included in the submission of each report.

Off road vehicles are illegal in incorporated areas, and shooting is illegal, too. The locals WILL call the Sheriff's Department. They have patrols out on the holidays. This is not a wasteland. People live here.

Okay, SBC. Don't mess it up.



The state hasn't set the bar very high, so don't get sloppy. Wear masks. Don't crowd the bars. Keep some social distance, and wash your hands for two rounds of "Happy Birthday to you," or it's back to drinking at home!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Desert Trail Column - June 24, 2020

The drive-thru food distribution went very smoothly, as usual. Some participants are hoping that it will continue in this manner even after the pandemic is over. It is run very efficiently and seems to save a lot of time. Of course this is only one side of the coin. Perhaps the volunteers see it in a different light. For one thing, at this time of year it is hot out there in the sun. The people taking down information really need a pop-up to stand underneath. And perhaps two or three pop-ups would help the people loading boxes into the vehicles, too. It also may be that the “getting ready” phase takes a lot longer – or perhaps it is easier and/or faster. All these things and more should be taken into consideration. It seems that some good will certainly come out of this pandemic because it has forced people to accomplish things in a completely different manner. Surely many new ways of doing things will prove to be surprisingly better than before.
Potholes abound on Amboy and Godwin – Wonder Valleyites, unite! Phone calls need to be made to the County Roads Department on a DAILY basis until ALL the potholes are repaired with something that lasts longer than a week! The number to call is 760-366-3572. Tell them which road (Amboy or Godwin), which lane of travel (southbound, eastbound, etc.) and the nearest cross street (just east of Meriwether, 1/4-mile south of Becker, etc). Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

We send out Rainbows-of-Pearls-and-Roses to Josiah Bevins who turns 11 this week. Happy birthday, Josiah!
Karen’s Commentary: I sent out hundreds of coupons this week to U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine and Army bases in Japan, Guam, Germany, Spain, Sicily and Italy.
Darlene’s Commentary: I’m pretty sure a small cluster of tiny fine cacti got stuck in my sock because my ankle was raw. I ended up just throwing the sock away. I gently washed the whole area with soap and water, but when I started to pat it dry I discovered that I was just pounding the little needles deeper into my ankle! It was really painful. You will find that when a big foot steps into a little wonderland of these tiny sharp spines they bend to just the right degree and leave you with a souvenir you can’t get rid of! So if you love to clomp around in bare feet, sandals or socks, get yourself a back scratcher and keep it handy so you won’t need to bend down constantly to scratch your ankles! Now where’s my scratcher?
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Desert Trail Column - June 17, 2020

According to our good friend Judy Taylor, Animal Action League is not doing nail trimming at this time, but they are still doing shots. They do not know when they will resume their regular services. Call 760-366-1100 for current information.
Our Wonder Valley Community Center was in a flood zone the other evening! Apparently a pipe broke, flooding the grounds with well water. Jim Copeland discovered it and contacted Ted Meyers who TRIED to contact someone for assistance. MAC representative Steve Reyes was out of town, WVCC coordinator Teresa Sitz didn’t answer, the Special Districts’ emergency operator said she had no way of handling this, a recording was reached at the Twentynine Palms Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department dispatch number was busy! In the meantime, Jim Copeland managed to find a shutoff valve, so the flooding was finally stopped. What a fiasco!
[Note: Teresa Sitz contacted SDD and the break was repaired on the next business day. Thank you to Jim Copeland who figured out where to turn the pipe off and did so. Mighty neighborly of you.]

The Drive-thru USDA Food Distribution will take place on Tuesday, June 16 outside our community center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road, at 10 a.m. Everyone needs to wear a face covering and remain in their vehicle. The community center is currently closed.

We send out Rainbows-of-Pearls-and-Roses to Bill Hague who celebrates his special day this week. Happy birthday, Bill!


Karen’s Commentary: This is a story called "The Owl and the Jackrabbit." Just about every evening, five jackrabbits show up in our front yard and play and chase each other around our trees. I usually sit on the porch swing awhile and watch them. Currently we have a great-horned owl living here, so some evenings the jacks don’t show up at all, we assume because the owl is too close. The other night Ted noticed the owl perched on a low branch in one of the trees right where the jacks play. Three jacks had arrived and were chasing each other around, sometimes right underneath the tree where the owl was perched! I held my breath every time this happened. Then two of the jacks ran out into the desert, leaving the largest one alone, directly under the owl! Suddenly the owl jumped to the ground about six feet from the jack. They both just stood there, thoroughly looking each other over! They weren’t the least bit aggressive, just curious. This went on for about five full minutes, then the owl just flew away. An up-close-and-personal "National Geographic Moment!"
Helpful Hint: If you rant and rave when the brown sugar is hard as a rock, store it in the freezer. Unlike other frozen foods, it won’t harden.
Today’s Thought: Volunteer. Sometimes the jobs no one wants conceal big opportunities.

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

Thursday, June 11, 2020

May 2020 Crime Stats.


     These stats are gathered from the SBC Sheriff’s Department Media Reports. There may be a small margin of error.
     Crime seems to be down from previous years, though there has been a rash of suspicious fires. Please keep your eyes open and report anything suspicious. Always ask for an incident number. Three thefts were reported, and there was some illegal shooting.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

USDA Food Distribution -- Drive Through


PLEASE read below carefully.

The USDA Food Distribution will begin at 10:00 a.m. on TUESDAY, June 16, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277. The Community Center is next to the Fire Station. The event continues until noon, or until the food runs out, which has been happening lately, about 11:00 a.m.

All the boxes are the same, so there is no incentive to arrive before 10 a.m.

This food distribution is for Wonder Valley residents only. Please wear a mask and stay in your car.

We will be taking PRECAUTIONS to protect YOUR and OUR health.

Please enter the access road at the WVCC sign and continue driving around the building until you stop behind the car in front of you. Stay to the inside of the curve (left) in case someone has to leave. Do NOT get out of your car. We will come around, take your name, give you a ticket(s), and then bring your box(es) to your car. Please be patient and follow all instructions from the volunteers. This is to insure your safety and the safety of our volunteers and staff. Thank you.

The WVCC is CLOSED. The park is closed. There are no bathrooms available.

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No ID or other documentation is required. You may pick up ONE (1) box for a neighbor, or they may pick up ONE (1) box for you, IF a signed pick up form is presented. One pick up per person. Pick up forms are available online at http://tinyurl.com/wv-pickup-form. They are also available at the WVCC on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., and at the kiosk outside 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: 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

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Desert Trail Column - June 3, 2020

Our two churches are back in business! Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Thompson Road, will hold services every Sunday at 9 a.m. Godwin Christian Fellowship will hold services every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. At this point, face coverings are still required and social distancing will apply. For further information about Godwin Christian Fellowship contact Pastor Max Rossi at mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848. For further information about Wonder Valley Community Church, call Pastor Lonnie Casper at 760-401-6128 or 760-391-0480.
Since the birthstone for June is the pearl and the flower is the rose, we send out Rainbows-of-Pearls-and-Roses to Pappy Parsons who celebrates his special day this week. Happy birthday, Pappy!
Karen’s Commentary: Thanks to son Joe for saving coupons for me to send to the U.S. military bases overseas. And I’d also like to thank Mary Lee Twomblay and her husband for the huge amount of used postage stamps they gave me for Boys Town! They also threw in two greeting card fronts which will be sent to St Jude’s Ranch for Children for their recycled cards program. All good causes.

Darlene’s Commentary: I just had a week where I felt like I was walking in quicksand with items bobbing just out of reach! Every day it seems I need to call some business, but never get someone who speaks “human.” So I end up hearing a lot of information that might be useful, but by the time I get something scribbled on my paper, I go to push 4 and accidentally push 5 and the recorder says, “Welcome to . . . Your wait time will be approximately 45 to 58 minutes, but you can press 7 and give your name, address, place of birth, number of children and shoe size!”
We are hoping Animal Action League will be able to resume their wonderful work for the animals soon. Spaying, neutering, microchips, vaccinations and even nail trimming are all offered at very reduced rates. They are located at 62762 29 Palms Highway, just west of the dinosaurs in Joshua Tree. Please call 760-366-1100 for further information.
Handy Hint: Credit cards charge interest daily. If you normally pay $200 per month, instead pay $100 every two weeks which will save you a lot of interest, but add up to the same amount paid per month.
Today’s Thought: A poem for your enjoyment. The gum-chewing student, / The cud-chewing cow, / Are somewhat alike, / Yet different somehow. / Just what is the difference / I think I know
now -- / It’s the thoughtful look / On the face of the cow.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Desert Trail Column - May 27, 2020


The guidelines are not set in stone yet about when churches will be allowed to reopen, but both of our local churches are tentatively planning to reopen this coming Sunday, May 31. Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Thompson Road, will begin regular services at 9 a.m. At  Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, services will begin at 10:30 a.m. For further information on Godwin Christian Fellowship, contact Pastor Max Rossi at Mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848. For further information on Wonder Valley Community Church, contact Pastor Lonnie Casper at 760-401-6128 or 760-391-0480. If churches are not allowed to open on May 31, Godwin Christian Fellowship will still be holding services in their drive-in church format at 10 a.m.
 
Karen’s Commentary:  Well, today’s subject is MASKS. I would never have dreamed a few months ago that this would even be something to think about, let alone write about! I started out with a large handkerchief, but I had trouble with it slipping down all the time, although it’s great for a back-up that’s easy to carry in the glove compartment or console of your vehicle. I reluctantly graduated to the plain old Styrofoam (or whatever they’re made of) dust masks. These were confiscated from husband Ted’s garage where they’d accumulated a pretty good layer of dust over the years! But they worked, although the elastic band kept getting caught in my hair. Next, Ted discovered some more masks in the garage, but with elastics that go over your ears – much better! In the meantime, I had ordered some pleated masks online, but they weren’t due to be delivered until some time in June. Well, lo and behold, they arrived early, so I now have a few choices, including my latest purchase of one made of a real pretty flowered knit material! (Thank you, Bill Jones.) So I’ve gone from plain white handkerchief to pretty – I think I’m set.

 Hopefully the 29 Soaring Club will be meeting again soon at the Twentynine Palms Airport on Sundays. Normally they are there from 11 a.m. to sunset. The Soaring Club is a non-profit organization that offers gift certificates from $20 to $50 cash, depending on the altitude desired. Call Mike at 760-464-2835 for further information.

 Handy Hint:  Dead or dying phone batteries can be replaced for about $50 online. This is a lot cheaper than shelling out the big bucks for a new phone.

 
Today’s Thought:  “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my little apple tree and pay my debts.”  -- Martin Luther

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Desert Trail Column - May 20, 2020


If you would like to attend church, but feel you can’t because of the coronavirus guidelines, Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, has the answer! They are holding Drive-in Church services every Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. All people attending remain in their own vehicles throughout the service, which will last no longer than one hour. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at Mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848 or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683.

 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 Curtis Johnson and Barbara Finnegan who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday, Barbara and Curtis!

 Besides our local birthdays, some celebrities celebrating this week are actor Bronson Pinchot (61); former U.S. Senator, comedian, actor and writer Al Franken (69); former baseball player Tommy John (77); and actress Joan Collins (86).

 Karen’s Commentary:  My allergy symptoms this year are the worst I can ever remember. But I think I say that same thing every year. I normally take one over-the-counter oral medication pretty much year-around, and a second nasal-spray medication whenever the first one doesn’t do the job. And when things get REALLY bad, with no relief from either medication, I take a trip to my doctor’s office for an injection that finally does the trick. But this year, it’s a bit different because injections can’t be given over the phone! So I called the office and spoke to a very knowledgeable P.A. who works in the same office as my P.A. and she prescribed some eye drops. I had very little faith that they would work, but lo and behold, they really are helping! To sum things up, I may be griping, but I am very, very grateful that I do not live in the last century when these and other medications weren’t even available. I can’t even imagine just having to suffer through all kinds of medical problems with no chance of any relief at all. Guess I’m really spoiled, as we all are nowadays.

 Don’t forget to check our Wonder Valley website www.wondervalley.org every now and then to find out of any happenings in our area. Granted, there is not much going on right now anywhere, but you never know what you’ll see on the website. Ken and Teresa Sitz do a great job of keeping people informed!

 Handy Hint:  To prevent eggshells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

 Today’s Thought:  I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Desert Trail Column - May 13, 2020


Drive-in Church services will be featured at Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, on Sunday, May 17 at 10 a.m. Sing along and worship in the comfort of your own vehicle! The service will last no longer than one hour. This is a wonderful opportunity to attend church while still following the coronavirus guidelines. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at Mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848 or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683. 
The USDA Food Distribution will be in a drive-thru format beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road. Please wear a face covering and stay in your vehicle. Enter the access road at the east end of the community center and continue driving around the community center in a counterclockwise direction. Someone will come to your vehicle, keeping a safe distance, and ask for your information. Another volunteer will place your box of food into your vehicle at whatever location you indicate. Please be aware that the community center itself is closed and the park is closed, so there are no public restrooms available.
 Karen’s Commentary:  Well, I’m now pretty used to wearing a face mask and keeping my distance from every living soul at the grocery store and doctor’s office. My big concern is that many people are going to hear and read about things beginning to open up and assume we’re suddenly back to normal! I sure hope this doesn’t happen because it could mean a very big setback that would actually prolong all the undesirable rules and regulations of what is right now our everyday lives. I think from now on most of us will be pretty reluctant to get close to strangers or shake hands with everyone or cough or sneeze in public. That is probably a good thing! Since the public guidelines have made such an impression on us, I hope it has also made a big impression in other ways such as pulling together with our fellow humans, no matter where their home is, to make things better for all people everywhere. This whole situation is something none of us has ever been through before and we certainly should contemplate on what each of us has learned from it. I personally am so grateful to still be on this Earth along with my entire family.
 Handy Hint:  To prevent thread from tangling, run the threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.
Today’s Thought:  When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
 Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

USDA Food DIstribution -- May 19, 2020


PLEASE read below carefully.

The USDA Food Distribution will begin at 10:00 a.m. on TUESDAY, May 19, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277. The Community Center is next to the Fire Station. The event continues until the food runs out, which has been happening lately, about 11:00 a.m.

All the boxes are the same, so there is no need to arrive before 10 a.m.

This food distribution is for Wonder Valley residents only. Please wear a mask and stay in your car.
We will be taking PRECAUTIONS to protect YOUR and OUR health.

Please enter the access road at the WVCC sign and continue driving around the building until you stop behind the car in front of you. Stay to the inside of the curve (left) in case someone has to leave. Do NOT get out of your car. We will come around, take your name, give you a ticket(s), and then bring your box(es) to your car. Please be patient and follow all instructions from the volunteers. This is to insure your safety and the safety of our volunteers and staff. Thank you.

The WVCC is CLOSED. The park is closed.

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No ID or other documentation is required. You may pick up ONE (1) box for a neighbor, or they may pick up ONE (1) box for you, IF a signed pick up form is presented. One pick up per person. Pick up forms are available online at http://tinyurl.com/wv-pickup-form. They are also available at the WVCC on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., and at the kiosk outside 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: 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

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Desert Trail Column - May 6, 2020


Godwin Christian Fellowship’s Drive-in Church has a slightly different format due to the summer-like heat that is suddenly upon us. Church services will now begin at 10 a.m. and will last no longer than one hour. Pastor Max says to be sure to bring at least one bottle of water per person. Godwin Christian Fellowship is located at 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at Mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848 or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683.

 Karen’s Commentary:  I am a definite string cheese-a-holic, and consider myself pretty much of a connoisseur since I’ve purchased and taste-tested every brand in Stater Brothers Market and Walmart. I am a fan of the “dry” kind with less moisture, rather than the “wet” more-moisture kind. Because it would be good for me to lose a little weight (okay, a lot), I always buy the “light” string cheese. For most people it probably wouldn’t be a factor because they would eat string cheese only once in a great while. But for me, it’s a major factor because my almost-every-single-morning-of-the-year breakfast consists of string cheese and a banana. Yes, you read that right – cheese and a banana – Breakfast of Champions! So now for my expert opinion on the very best brand. For many years, it was Weight Watchers brand at Stator Brothers, but they have now stopped carrying that brand, and their own Stater Brothers brand is a very distant second choice. As for Walmart, they carry the absolutely best string cheese on the planet – Sargento. It comes out way ahead of all the other brands and is totally consistent in quality. And one more thing about Sargento, even their packaging is superior. If you’ve ever tried to open a single piece of string cheese, you know how difficult it can be, trying to get ahold of those two little pieces of plastic  so you can pull apart the covering – only to then have it tear crooked most of the time, causing even more frustration. Well, Sargento has that under control by simply crimping the edge of one of the two plastic “opener” pieces, making it so easy to pull them apart. And Sargento’s plastic packaging never tears crooked – I’m assuming that’s because it’s better quality. So now you know everything you ever wanted to know about string cheese but were afraid to ask!

 Handy Hint:  Become a pizza chef and a money saver at the same time! Buy pre-made pizza dough at the store, add tomato sauce from a jar, cheese, herbs and toppings for a total of about $4 per pizza.
 

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

Monday, May 4, 2020

Congratulations, Miri Hunter!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2020
Acquisition International Announce the Winners of the 2020 Business Excellence Awards
United Kingdom, 2020 – Acquisition International Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Business Excellence Awards.

Whilst it is certainly a challenging time for businesses of all shapes and sizes, there are still causes for celebration to be found in every industry and sector. Indeed, even now, we endeavour to recognise those that are, and have been doing, incredible things. After all, success can be found anywhere – whether a large international conglomerate or single-person firm. That was really the goal of the Business Excellence Awards when they were launched over half a decade ago: to shine a spotlight on some of the quiet achievements of entrepreneurs, managers, owners and founders around the world.

Awards Coordinator Steve Simpson took a moment to discuss the success of the winners: “Now in its sixth year, the Business Excellence Awards are the cornerstone of Acquisition International’s annual celebratory programmes. Once again, it has ben an absolute pleasure to speak to you all and find out how you continue to innovate and create in your respective industries.”

Acquisition International prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work.To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the Acquisition International website.

https://www.acq-intl.com/the-2020-business-excellence-awards-press-release/

Project Sheba
Most Innovative Performance Arts & Education
NPO - USA
2020

PROJECT SHEBA was started in 2002 in Los Angeles California by Miri Hunter,Ph.D. It began its non profit work in 2007.

She moved to the Hi-Desert in the Spring of 2013. The desert gave her time and energy to focus on her main work of developing programming for Project Sheba. Since then she has produced concerts, spoken word events and theatre events. Most notably, she is the Artistic and Producing Director of Thought Theatre and Co-Producer of The Hi-Desert Fringe Festival. In addition, she is also part of the musical group Hunter and Wick’d. She also teaches theatre arts at Copper Mountain College and is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga CA. You can find out more about Project a Sheba and its innovative work by going to the website: www.projectsheba.com

Photo by Hilary Sloane

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Wonder Valley Sand Paper.

The Wonder Valley Sand Paper is a hard-copy paper usually distributed at The Palms Bar and Restaurant. The WVSP is designed to get people out of their cabins at least once a month to come pick up a paper, and for the last 5 years that has worked really well.

Now that we have the COVID19 we've had to go online, just like everyone else.

Pick up your May 3, 2020 copy.

This week's copy covers:

  • last weeks County Fire / Adult and Aging Services Food Distribution last week
  • how to get your stimulus check
  • how to fill out your census form
  • how to get your road repaired
  • continued limitations on evictions
  • Covid19 cases and deaths to date in San Bernardino County
  • April 2020 Crime Stats
  • and how to sign up to vote by mail. 


Saturday, May 2, 2020

Crime Stats -- April 2020


The Sheriff’s Department stopped providing us data on their service in October of 2016. Our former MAC Delegate, Teresa SItz, combs through the media reports each month and sifts out the crime stats for Wonder Valley. These are unofficial statistics, subject to a small margin of error. We have no data for 2017 or 2019.

The 2020 statistics include 10 calls for burglary -- an uptick; 6 calls for various kinds of theft; 4 calls for trespassing; 8 calls for illegal off-highway vehicle activity, among others. One of the burglary victims noted OHV tracks on their property.

Please keep an eye out on your property. Report crimes to the Sheriff’s Department, and always ask for an incident number.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Desert Trail Column - April 29, 2020

Drive-in Church is being held at Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. It’s a really great idea that allows people to attend church services while complying with all current safety measures. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at Mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848 or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683.
The Dale Basin Well Owners meeting that was scheduled to be held on May 3 has been cancelled.
Since we have no local birthdays to report, here are some celebrities’ birthdays for this week: Comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld (66); writer and actor Burt Young (80); country singer Tim McGraw (53); soccer executive and former player David Beckham (45); singer Englebert Humperdinck (born Gerry Dorsey, 84); country musician Randy Travis (61); actor and comedian Michael Palin (77); singer Adele (born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, 32); actress, singer and dancer Pia Zadora 64); singer Frankie Valli (83); actress and political activist Bianca Jagger (75); singer Judy Collins (81); actress Kirsten Dunst (38); conductor Zubin Mehta (84); actor Daniel Day-Lewis (63); actress Cloris Leachman (90); singer Rita Coolidge (75); actress Pat Carroll (93); actress Michelle Pfeiffer (62); actress Uma Thurman (50); former tennis player Andre Agassi (50); and actress Kate Mulgrew (65). We wish them all a happy birthday and many more to come!
Karen’s Commentary: I received a package in the mail from former Wonder Valleyite Jan Peek who now resides with husband Jerry in Arizona. It was a shoebox stuffed full of cancelled postage stamps, greeting card fronts and manufacturers’ coupons! Thank you, Jan.
The “Palms Sunday Morning Group” is waiting patiently (or impatiently?) for their meeting place to reopen so all can enjoy those scrumptious breakfasts! The Palms should probably plan on having LOTS of food on hand for the first Sunday they’re open again. Just so you don’t forget, The Palms is located at 83131 Amboy Road at Thompson Road, and their phone number is 760-361-2810.
Handy Hint: Lots of criminals want to trick you into revealing confidential information through emails or phone calls. But you also should be wary of attempts made to fool you by texting. If you get a text from an “acquaintance” you’ve never met, from your bank asking you to confirm your account, or from a contest you didn’t enter informing you that you’ve won a prize, delete it immediately. And never click on links sent by text from people you don’t know. They could infect your phone with malware.
Today’s Thought: I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Desert Trail Column - April 22, 2020

Godwin Christian Fellowship’s Drive-in Church begins at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday in their parking lot at 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848,or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683.
Special wishes go out to Donna and Pappy Parsons as they celebrate their many years together this week. Happy anniversary, Pappy and Donna!
Karen’s Commentary: So how are you handling wearing face coverings anytime you go anywhere? The first time I wore one to go shopping was awful! I have a “thing” about something covering my face, but thought it would be okay since it would just be my nose and mouth covered. WRONG! I felt like I couldn’t breathe and had to keep holding the mask out from my face every few minutes to get some “real air,” as opposed to “mask air!” I couldn’t wait to yank that thing off my face! After that, I started practicing wearing a mask for longer and longer times. Now I’m doing just fine with it, but I’ll be happy when it’s over.
It is our understanding that the MBTA Ready Ride is still operating in Wonder Valley, but on a modified schedule. Call them at 760-366-2395 and ask about their current schedule and prices for rides to town and back.
Handy Hint: Here are three good alternatives that really work and are really cheap. Use a squirt bottle filled with half vinegar and half water to clean countertops; use baking soda in place of scouring powder; and use dental floss to slice any soft or delicate food, such as cheese or cake. (Dental floss is safe for food because it’s designed for use in your mouth.)
Today’s Thought: This untitled poem was found in the book “Cream of Wit” by Vern McLellan. “The horse and mule live thirty years, / and nothing know of wines and beers. / The goats and sheep at twenty die, / and never taste of Scotch and Rye. / The cow drinks water by the ton, / And at eighteen is mostly done. / The dog at fifteen cashes in / Without the aid of rum and gin. / The cat in milk and water soaks / And then in twelve short years it croaks. / The modest, sober, bone-dry hen / Lays eggs for nogs, then dies at ten. / All animals are strictly dry, / They sinless live and swiftly die. / But sinful, ginful rum-soaked men / Survive for threescore years and ten. / And some of them, a very few, / Stay pickled ‘til they’re ninety-two.”

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Desert Trail Column - April 15, 2020

Godwin Christian Fellowship’s Drive-in Church will begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday in their parking lot at 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at mrossi121@yahoo.com or 831-234-6848, or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683
The Drive-thru USDA Food Distribution will take place on Tuesday, April 21 at our Wonder Valley Community Center (currently closed), 80526½ Amboy Road at Blower Road, at 10 a.m. Be sure to wear a face covering even though you will remain in your vehicle.

Most events at our community center are sponsored by our non-profit organization Friends of Wonder Valley. For additional information on any local event, contact WVCC Coordinator Teresa sitz at teresa.sitz@sdd.sbcounty.gov or 760-367-9880.
We send out Rainbows-of-Diamonds-and-Sweetpeas to Penny Root who turns 54 this week. Happy birthday, Penny!
Our column’s anniversary is this week! We have been writing it for eight years now, and we hope you still enjoy reading it. In case you’re a new reader, we will reintroduce ourselves. We are sisters who have both lived in Wonder Valley for many years. Karen is the older (and wiser) one who is very realistic. Darlene is the younger “Pollyanna” one who is ever-optimistic! Our mother, Louise Borquez, wrote this column for 18 years so we have some big shoes to fill. We appreciate receiving any local news, including birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions and get-togethers, vacations and trips, visitors and any activity you’d like to share with our readers. Of course at the moment the get-togethers and trips don’t apply, but we’ll all get through this scary time and hopefully have a new and better perspective on what is truly important in our lives, besides toilet paper! Thank you for reading our column.
Karen’s Commentary: First I would like to thank Mary Quamme for the nice card she sent me. I really appreciate it, Mary. We had a mini-Easter celebration at our house this year even though the original plan was for a big Easter dinner and two egg hunts! Instead, we had a much smaller dinner with our two sons and a friend. (We’ve been in constant contact with all of them since this whole thing started, so we weren’t violating any rules.) Ted fixed a delicious turkey and stuffing, and my most notable contribution was dumping the entire bowl of cranberries on the kitchen floor! We sat around visiting afterwards while trying to digest enough to be able to move again! With all the chaos in our lives recently, this was a nice relaxing break for all of us. We hope you had a nice Easter, too.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Friday, April 10, 2020

County, partners provide more locations for drive-up COVID-19 testing

The County released the testing information below on April 10, 2020. There will be testing in our area:

Copper Mountain College
6162 Rotary Way, Joshua Tree
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 22, 2020

Read below or click through to the press release for more details.

____________________________________________________

For Immediate Release | News Release | COVID-19 RESPONSE

County, partners provide more locations for drive-up COVID-19 testing

San Bernardino County residents who display symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough and shortness of breath can get tested at five upcoming specimen-collection events through the end of April.

“We understand the high demand for COVID-19 testing in our county and we are making every effort to organize drive-through events throughout the county,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We are working closely with state and federal partners and exploring all avenues to increase testing capacity despite nationwide challenge with shortage of supplies.”

The following drive-through testing events are currently scheduled, weather permitting:

Copper Mountain College
6162 Rotary Way, Joshua Tree
April 22
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

[ For other locations (Montclair, Yucapia, Big Bear Lake, and Rancho Cucamonga), please check the linked pdf. ]

San Bernardino County residents who have had COVID-19 symptoms over the last two weeks can make an appointment on the COVID-19 website sbcovid19.com when the appointment window for each event opens.

Details specific to each event and information on how to make an appointment will be publicized in advance on CountyWire at http://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/.

Appointments are not required at the Yucaipa event, which is being organized by the City of Yucaipa, and testing will be conducted until supplies last. Please visit www.yucaipa.org for more information.

Testing is free and does not require health insurance. Future testing events are being planned in Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino and Victorville. Details will be announced soon.

COVID-19 testing events for San Bernardino County residents have already been held at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. More than 6,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in San Bernardino County. As of today, there are 729 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county and 24 deaths have been attributed to the disease.

The County is actively pursuing testing resources for COVID-19 both domestically and internationally in order to increase capacity for community testing. The process has required research and evaluation that has resulted in several pending orders for thousands of serology (antibody) and extraction test kits for use throughout the County. Meanwhile the County continues to receive testing supplies from commercial laboratories to support drive thru test sites. New test kit products are evaluated on a daily basis and the County is confident that even more testing solutions will be available in the near future.

For information about the coronavirus crisis, visit the County’s coronavirus website at sbcovid19.com. New information and resources are updated daily. The public can also contact the coronavirus public information line from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. Monday through Friday at (909) 387-3911, or email the County at coronavirus@dph.sbcounty.gov.

Contact:
David Wert
Public Information Officer
(909) 387-4842
dwert@sbcounty.gov

Monday, April 6, 2020

A Letter from HDMC CEO Karen Faulis to the MB Communities.


A Letter from Hi-Desert Medical Center CEO Karen Faulis to the Morongo Basin Communities.

Hi-Desert Medical Center stands united in serving the community and in facing new challenges due to COVID-19. Like you, every one of our physicians and staff members has been impacted by this pandemic, and we have made swift changes to ensure we’re meeting all public health safety measures. I am proud to be the CEO of such a caring and dedicated team.

We want you to know that we are here for you, ready to provide care in every way. We are working closely with the Morongo Basin Healthcare District, San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, and the California Department of Public Health, following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to respond to any potential COVID-19 cases that may present at our hospital. We routinely treat infectious diseases and we have strong infection control policies, procedures, and systems in place to screen and treat patients.  We have taken the appropriate steps, and we have trained professionals and the necessary equipment to react accordingly.  We can safely and appropriately care for our patients with the necessary supplies and equipment.

Even as some aspects of care may temporarily change, you can count on Hi-Desert Medical Center to be here for you and your loved ones.  Although there might be some modifications, our emergency room and staff are here 24/7 for medical care, all urgent and emergency care needs, and for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related issues.  You’ll receive uninterrupted care for chronic medical conditions, urgent surgical needs, maternal care, and other medical issues that require inpatient care.

The patient care environment has changed with increased safety precautions, which is why we have temporarily suspended patient visits (with limited exceptions) to the hospital and Continuing Care Center.  We realize that family and friends are imperative to the recovery process and we encourage continuous connection with patients via virtual visits on FaceTime, Skype and other applications.  Know that our staff is providing care and comfort to our patients as they would for their own families.  

We have strategies in place to add significant capacity to our hospital should the need arise.  Our surge plans including adding beds in our recovery room and pre-op areas, converting space in our front lobby and Helen Gray Education Center, and erecting an outdoor tent to accommodate increased inpatient and ED volume.  

The health of our physicians and staff on the front lines is also crucial to our success in fighting the surge of patients we anticipate.  We have dedicated staff screening patients who are entering our facility and have taken measures to ensure all physicians and employees are screened.

As we navigate the effects of COVID-19, we expect more changes and challenges ahead. The support and generosity of the communities we serve has been heartwarming and uplifting to our staff.  We appreciate the donations of medical supplies and other offers of support.

We encourage our communities to stay safe at home and heed the direction of public health officials.  We are here for our patients and are ready to serve those who need our help in the coming weeks and months.

Karen Faulis
CEO
Hi-Desert Medical Center

Sunday, April 5, 2020

San Bernardino County now has 372 coronavirus cases

CASES BY COMMUNITY
https://www.sbsun.com/2020/04/04/san-bernardino-county-now-has-372-coronavirus-cases/

Here’s a list of coronavirus cases in San Bernardino County by city and unincorporated community. If an unincorporated community is not listed, no cases have been reported there.

[Really glad to see that they're counting the unincorporated communities. Stay home, Wonder Valley!]

Adelanto: 3
Alta Loma: 4
Apple Valley: 4
Barstow: 6
Big Bear City: 2
Big Bear Lake: 3
Bloomington: 3
Blue Jay: 2
Chino: 13
Chino Hills: 14
Colton: 8
Crestline: 1
Fontana: 35
Grand Terrace: 1
Hesperia: 6
Highland: 14
Joshua Tree: 1
Loma Linda: 9
Mentone: 2
Montclair: 4
Oak Hills: 1
Ontario: 18
Phelan: 1
Rancho Cucamonga: 26
Redlands: 26
Rialto: 13
Rimforest: 1
Running Springs: 2
San Bernardino: 20
Upland: 14
Victorville: 9
Wrightwood: 1
Yucaipa: 69
Yucca Valley: 2
Undetermined: 15

Friday, April 3, 2020

Sense of community in tough times

This column will be a little different from my previous columns because our world has changed a bit over the last weeks.  As you know I mostly write about music and entertainment and I've written a bit on my experiences here in our little neck of the woods.

Today I want to share why I love this community.

Wonder Valley has a vibe, it's how we as a community work together and prop each other up. Much of that vibe is felt the moment one walks into the Palms. It's the felling of camaraderie and oneness that hits me right away. I've only really felt that one other time in my life and it was at my little honkytonk in Austin called Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon. I'm not a religious person but Ginny's was as close to a church as this old atheist has ever experienced. The Palms is just like that. It just feels spiritual.

Since our shelter in place order I've attended one of the virtual brunches set up by our friend Kevin Bone and setting aside everyone figuring out the conferencing software it went swimmingly. The same spiritual vibe was present on the interwebs as sitting at the bar with friends and a Bloody Mary. Although I hope our need to have them goes away I will surely attend each one as long as I am able.

I want to ask you all to stay positive and support your neighbors and friends as we try to get to the other side of this pandemic.  I hope to be writing about our adventures in sound and stage here in Wonder Valley again soon. But no matter how many months that takes keep the music playing not only on your record or CD player but in your heads. Music is the life of the party and keeps us moving and grooving on.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Drinking water available at Station 44 in Twentynine Palms.

I used to go to the Oasis Visitor's Center on Utah Trail to fill up our water jugs. They have a tap there for the tourists and campers and a handfull of locals. I'd always run into a few of our neighbors there.

Joshua Tree National Park recently closed to visitors, and since I'm stuck at home I've been unable to verify if the tap is still open for use. So I called Mark Lundquist at Supervisor Rowe's office to ask if County Fire could leave a water tap open for us.

Mark called around and was able to get County Fire to agree to leave a hose for people to fill up with drinking water. They asked that you take no more than 10 gallons per visit. The hose is on the south side of the building near the gate. The hose has a nozzle on it. All normal precautions should be taken: clean the nozzle before you fill your containers.

Station 44 is at 6560 Adobe Rd, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277. Water will be available between daylight hours. Please close the water when you're done.

PS If ayone hears that the spigot at the Oasis Center is still open, please let me know.
Teresa - teresa.sitz@gmail.com