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 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 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 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 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 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

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 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 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

David Wert
Public Information Officer
(909) 387-4842

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
Hi-Desert Medical Center

Sunday, April 5, 2020

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 -

Crime Stats for March 2020.

The Sheriff’s Department stopped providing us data on their service in October of 2016. Our 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.

There was one arrest listed for March, but it was for 3 people.

Many of the calls (20) were for illegal OHV (off highway vehicle) traffic. Two of the reports were for burglary.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Cases of coronavirus climb; two positive tests in Yucca Valley.

Stacey Moore wrote in an article in today's Desert Star, that there were no cases of Covid-19 listed in Twentynine Palms, or on the Base. She added, though, that "Cases in unincorporated communities like Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley and Landers are not listed by the county."

Since as many as 1 in 6 people in California live in unincorporated communities, it will be essential that our positive results and our deaths are counted among all the others. We will need to know what is going on in our communities.

We must also continue to live as if the virus is already in our community, and it very well may be. So keep washing your hands and maintaining your distance. If you're the type of person who prays, keep it up.