A paradox of living in the desert is that our hottest season has the greatest potential for torrential rain.  Ranger Pam Tripp marvels at the wonder of water in the desert…

The word “monsoon” refers to a weather system that often brings storms with moisture to the dry, hot, summer desert.  Visitors to Joshua Tree NP may experience thunderstorms that are typically harsh with lightning, thunder and lots of rain washing across the land, sometimes causing flash floods.  The excitement of summer rain reminds us that water is precious. Storm runoff is a critical resource for desert life, and recharges underground aquifers. Remember, however, that even with this moisture, there is still the chance of dehydration during these hot, summer monsoon months.  Always have plenty of water with you when enjoying the desert.  It is recommended that a person have at least one gallon of water to drink each day when driving or camping.   And when hiking or climbing, it is recommended a person drink two gallons a day for proper hydration.  For more information about weather and water in the desert, call us at 760-367-5500.  For        Z107.7, this is Park Ranger Pam Tripp, reminding you to enjoy the solace and wonder of your national park.


Morongo Basin students up to age 18 can receive a free lunch in Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms. One free lunch program began Monday, June 23, and runs through Friday, August 1. Lunches will include a sandwich or pita, fresh fruit, vegetable, and milk. The free lunches will be available at the Family Health Clinics in Yucca Valley (58375 29 Palms Hwy.) and Twentynine Palms (72724 29 Palms Hwy.) between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, youth activities and entertainment will also be provided. The program is a partnership between the Hi-Desert Medical Center, the Morongo Unified School District, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. For more information, call Donna Stice at 760-365-9305.

Other sites at which lunch and/or breakfast is offered, in very brief windows of time are Twentynine Palms High School, the Community Services Center, and Knotts Sky Park in Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Mesa Elementary School, the Boys & Girls Club, and Yucca Valley High School in the west end of the Morongo Basin.  For more information, call MUSD Nutritional Services at (760) 367-9191 extension 4261 or 4271.


The Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees will hold a continuation of its special closed session at 8 a.m. Monday, July 7. The sole item on the agenda is the appointment of a superintendent/president. The meeting will be held in the President’s office at the college.


First it was an earthquake that rattled the desert. A magnitude 4.6 quake, about 5 miles west of Big Bear, was felt as far away as Palm Desert at 9:59 a.m. Saturday morning. Then shortly after 11 a.m., it started raining in Twentynine Palms. Hard. For about 45 minutes. Some residents even reported hail. The rain and subsequent flash flooding resulted in multiple swift-water rescues by the Twentynine Palms Fire Department. Fire Engineer Lee Martin said several drivers had to be rescued after they drove into water flowing across the road on Adobe and Bagley. Winds and flash flooding also toppled at least 14 power poles in Twentynine Palms, leaving an estimated 2000 homes and businesses without power for hours in the city.  Some areas of 29 Palms reported receiving 1.28 inches of rain.  A portion of Larrea Road, north of the highway, was washed out from the flooding, and Martin said numerous streets turned into little rivers, including Highway 62 east of Copper Mountain College, and at Mesquite Springs Road, leaving behind mud and debris. Lee reminds residents not to try and cross roads that have water flowing across them because you never know how deep the water is. Even a couple of inches of water is enough to carry off some vehicles. “Turn around, don’t drown.”


There will be road maintenance next week on some streets in Yucca Valley. A maintenance slurry seal will be applied in stages on Joshua Lane from San Marino north to Onaga Trail, and on Joshua Drive from Joshua Lane west to Church Street. Work is expected to be finished on both projects by Wednesday, July 9. Residents that are likely to be affected by the work should receive a notice from the contractor.Working with the Town, as a public service, Z107.7 Radio will announce where the work will be the day of each morning, and where it will be the next day each afternoon. A full schedule of locations of the road work can be found in this story at www.Z1077fm.com.


Monday, July 7

Joshua Lane – Juarez to Warren Vista

Joshua Lane – Onaga to Yucca Trail


Tuesday, July 8

Joshua Lane – Warren Vista to Hardesty

1/2 Joshua Lane – Hardesty to Golden Bee (westbound/northbound travel lane)

Joshua Lane – Golden Bee to Joshua Drive

1/2 Joshua Lane – Joshua Drive to Golden Bee (southbound travel lane)


Wednesday, July 9

Joshua Lane – Onaga to Joshua Drive

½ Joshua Drive – Tamarisk to Church (westbound travel lane)


Desert Hills Presbyterian Church members David and Kim Clements are July Artists of the Month.  Professional photographers, they have been highly acclaimed as equine photographers, with their photos being sold around the U.S. and internationally. They focus on desert habitat, plants, flowers and wildlife. David has delved into macro photography of flowers and insects, while Kim enjoys photographing animals of all types.  They have received awards at juried shows in the Morongo Basin, with Kim winning first place in the recent Chaparral Artists Juried Photography Show. They are members of Chaparral Artists and the 29 Palms Artists’ Guild. Their work will be on display at Desert Hills from July 5 until August 7 during office hours.  The church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail in Yucca Valley.


Tortoise Rock Casino has added two additional concerts to its summer concert series. Spankshaft, a local Joshua Tree band, has been booked for a second concert on Friday, August 15, in addition to its concert on Saturday, July 12. The Just Dave Band has also been booked to play a second show on Friday, August 22, in addition to its concert on Saturday, July 26. The free concerts are outside at the casino and begin at 8:30 p.m.