In addition to a change in its top staff position, the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education heard frequent reports on financial issues, and heard from several constituencies on hot-button issues.  Here are some of the highlights of 2013…

In 2013:

  • The Morongo Unified School District opened a replacement elementary school in Joshua Tree, and began using it for Board of Education meetings.
  • The District experienced a small budget surplus, looked forward to the arrival of Prop 30 funds, and worked to understand the impact of the new Local Control Funding Formula instituted by the state.
  • The District led San Bernardino County in improvements in standardized test results.
  • State financial support continues to be jeopardized by declining enrollments in the District.

Public appeals at well-attended Board meetings included:

  • Protests of the impending transfer of popular principal from Onaga Elementary School, which was subsequently cancelled;
  • Parent and teacher protests over staffing levels at Condor Elementary, which were later improved somewhat;
  • Repeated unhappiness with the perceived potential of a state law expanding the rights of students with unconventional gender preferences; and
  • protests against the strict application of athletic eligibility rules at Twentynine Palms High School, which led to the revision and relaxation of policy.


Celebrate the New Year with music, dancing and refreshments tonight Saturday, January 4th at the Yucca Valley Senior Center from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Join Z107.7’s voice of the night, radio personality Sam Smith as he hosts a magic evening of dancing the night away in celebration of the New Year. Sam has at his fingertips countless hit songs, playing upbeat favorites from great artists of the Sinatra era along with modern selections to produce a top quality dance and listening experience.  In keeping with the New Year theme, decorations will feature festive metallic silver and gold adornments and centerpieces along with fun activities such as a photo booth and door prizes. Complimentary refreshments are also included.   Admission the New Year’s Dance is $3.00 for seniors and $5.00 for adults under 55 years old. Refreshments and door prizes are included. The event is presented by the Senior Club and the Town of Yucca Valley.


The first show of the Theatre 29 2014 season will open this January 10th. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says the opening night will be a special gala…
Soroptimist International of Twentynine Palms will host the opening night of the first show of Theatre 29′s 2014 season, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” written by Oscar Wilde. Opening night is Friday, January 10, with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction starting at 6 p.m. The curtain rises at 7 p.m. Dessert will be served at intermission. The story centers on country gentleman Jack Worthing, who invents a younger brother, Ernest, whom he pretends to be when he visits the city. This, along with a city-based friend’s invention of a poor relative, leads to much confusion over identity as well as farce and hilarity. Tickets to the opening night gala only are $25 each and are available from any Soroptimist or at the Flower Garden in Twentynine Palms. For more information on the Opening Night Gala benefit, call Pat Zawojski, 760-367-4322. “The Importance of Being Earnest” will run January 10 through February 8. Friday and Saturday night shows open at 7:00 p.m. with 2:30 Sunday matinees January 19 and February 2.


Residents are reminded to recycle their live Christmas trees and ornamental greenery this holiday season and save these items from taking up valuable space in the local landfill.  A special collection program provided by the City of Twentynine Palms and Burrtec Waste & Recycling Services offers curbside recycling services within the city limits for all Christmas trees and holiday greenery through Friday, January 10.  To recycle holiday greenery, remove all ornaments, lights, tree stands, and nails, and place them at the curb by 6 a.m. on any regular trash day until January 10. Large trees should be cut in lengths not exceeding four (4) feet. Flocked trees or trees with tinsel and ornaments will not be recycled and will be collected as regular household trash.  For residents without curbside service, those living in the unincorporated areas of Twentynine Palms, and residents in apartments or units with commercial trash service, their trees and greenery can be brought to the drop-off dumpsters located in the parking lot behind City Hall, 6136 Adobe Road, until January 10.   Residents are also reminded that wrapping paper, cardboard, bulk mail, holiday cards, and phone books can all be recycled in their standard residential recycle carts.  For more information, call the City of Twentynine Palms at (760)367-6799 or Burrtec at (760)367-9168.


A bereavement support group meets twice a month to help those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. The free meetings provide a safe and comfortable setting to help heal and recover after a loved one’s death. Gloria Beatle, a hospice social worker with the Hi-Desert Home Care Services hospice program, leads the meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. at FaithLutheran Church, 6336 Hallee Road in Joshua Tree. For more information, call 760-366-6427.