Tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council will start with a recognition of Morongo Unified School District Superintendent Tom Baumgarten, followed by recognition of the town’s employees of the year. Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the rest of the agenda…
Following a routine consent agenda, the Yucca Valley Town Council will be asked to approve a resolution that will place tax liens on four properties whose owners have not reimbursed the town more than $31,000 for cleaning up their properties. The properties are located at 55601 29 Palms Highway; 7505 Cibola Trail; 57003 Antelope Trail; and 7775 Elk Trail. In other business, the council will authorize a grant request for street projects at Onaga and Yucca Valley Elementary Schools, and Yucca Valley High School. The council will also be asked to amend the general fund and special revenue budgets as well as approve an amendment to the contract for the Sheriff’s Department. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.


A Pioneertown couple was arrested Saturday, accused of stealing a car from the woman’s mother. According to a Sheriff’s report, Dean Kee and Rachel Kee, went to Rachel’s mother’s home in Morongo Valley Thursday to demand money from her. When the woman refused to give them any money, Dean Kee, took the car keys to the woman’s 2011 Ford Fusion and drove it to their home in the 51300 block of Chateau Road in Pioneertown, followed by Rachel Kee, in their own vehicle. Dean Kee then removed the valve stems from the Ford’s tires so it couldn’t be driven. A family member spotted the vehicle at the Kee’s residence and called deputies. After an investigation, Dean Kee, 49, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft auto, being in possession of stolen property, and conspiracy. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000. Rachel Kee, 47, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $25,000. They are both due in court today.


No specific actions are likely to come out of tonight’s Twentynine Palms Planning Commission meeting. There could, however, be plenty of discussion. Reporter David Haldane explains…
What if they held a planning commission meeting with nothing on the agenda? That’s pretty much the situation in Twentynine Palms where commissioners will meet tonight sans public hearings or action items.
What they do have scheduled are two study sessions; one on regulations addressing height and architectural compatibility in accessory structures, the other having to do with rescinding and replacing the Downtown Economic Revitalization Specific Plan.
Last month the City Council decided to do away with the plan, claiming that some of its provisions contradict the city’s goal of creating a “walkable, pedestrian friendly” downtown. No formal action has yet been taken.
Tonight’s meeting gets underway 5 p.m. at City Hall on Adobe Road.


The Santa Fe Social Clubhouse in Yucca Valley will distribute surplus food Wednesday, June 7, at 3 p.m. until the food is gone. The distribution will take place at the front of the building where there is sufficient parking.  Wear proper attire for the weather and remember there are no public restrooms. The Social Club is located at 56020 Santa Fe Trail, Suite M. For more information, call Susie or Phebe at 760-369-4057.


Just as learning doesn’t end when school lets out, neither does the need for good nutrition. Reporter Rebecca Havely says a free lunch and breakfast program is available for children during part of the summer…
Morongo Basin children up to age 18 can receive a free breakfast and lunch this summer, thanks to a program sponsored by the school district and the National School Lunch program. There’s no paperwork, just show up Monday through Thursday at the participating locations at the stated times and receive a free meal. Adults may purchase meals for $2.30 for breakfast, $3.80 for lunch. The distribution locations are Twentynine Palms High School, the Community Services Center, Knotts Sky Park, and Palm Vista Elementary School in Twentynine Palms; Hi-Desert Cultural Center in Joshua Tree; and in Yucca Valley, La Contenta Middle School, Yucca Mesa Elementary School, the Boys & Girls Club, Yucca Valley High School Yucca Valley Elementary School, and Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel. Distribution sites will be open beginning June 12, and are open for a very short time at each site—10 or 15 minutes—and at different times for every site. For more information, call MUSD Nutritional Services at 760-367-9191, extension 4263 or 4271.

Twentynine Palms High School: June 19 to July 27
Breakfast: 9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Lunch: 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Twentynine Palms Community Services Center: June 12 to August 10
Breakfast: 9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
Lunch: 12:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Knotts Sky Park: June 19 to July 27
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Palm Vista Elementary School: June 20 to August 1
Breakfast: 8:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:45 a.m. to noon

Hi-Desert Cultural Center: July 10 through August 10
Lunch: 12:45 p.m. to 1 p.m.

La Contenta Middle School: June 19 to July 13
Lunch: 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Yucca Mesa Elementary: June 19 to July 20
Breakfast: 9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Yucca Valley Boys & Girls Club: June 12 to August 11
Breakfast: 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Lunch: 11:45 a.m. to noon

Yucca Valley High School: June 19 to July 27
Breakfast: 9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
Lunch: 12:10 p.m. to 12:25 p.m.

Yucca Valley Elementary School: June 20 to August 1
Breakfast: 8:15 a.m. to 8:30
Lunch: 11:45 a.m. to noon

Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel: June 19 to August 11
Breakfast: 8:10 a.m. to 8:20 a.m.
Lunch: 11:10 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.


The Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert in Yucca Valley has released details about its summer program. The club offers recreational activities, sports, movies, arts and crafts, cooking classes, reading programs, and science experiments for children ages 5 to 17. In addition, the club will offer teen Community Emergency Response Training. The club will be open beginning June 12 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 56525 Little League Drive in Yucca Valley. Breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information, call 760-365-5437.


We continue our occasional series about the Joshua Tree Retreat Center today. Spread across 420 acres at the Joshua Tree/Yucca Valley border is the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. Begun in 1941, it was known as the Institute for Mentalphysics until just a few years ago. And while weekly breath and meditation gatherings replace a traditional Sunday sermon, the complex operates as Morongo Basin’s largest church. Come along with reporter Mike Lipsitz as we explore this unique and historic location…

On any given day at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center one might encounter yoga enthusiasts practicing relaxation techniques, or a women’s group studying the merits of Buddhism and Christianity, or a gathering of mystics on silent retreat. They arrive in groups from as few as 15 to more than 200 and may camp or stay in comfortable housing on site for days or weeks. Interim Executive Director Terry Taylor-Castillo has authored more than a dozen books on angels and related topics. She appears uniquely qualified for the job. Taylor-Castillo works from a desk in the bookstore. It is a hub of activity amid tomes on every religion and aspect of spirituality and meditation. Among them is the work of Edwin Dingle, the exalted founder credited with bringing the concept of Mentalphysics to the West. Dingle died here in 1972. His cornerstone books, including “My Life In Tibet,” offer relevant guidance for students even today, despite some dated concepts such as the white supremacist overtones found in the book’s forward. The Joshua Tree Retreat Center Bookstore is open to the public seven days a week.


The Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce will install its new officers and present awards at an Italian Laid-Back Luau. The dinner, featuring antipasto salad, pineapple chutney chicken or pork, roasted veggies, scalloped potatoes, and tiramisu, will be held at the Roost at Hawk’s Landing Golf Course June 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person. Dress is casual summer attire; mustaches are optional. To reserve your spot, call the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce at 760-365-6323.


A volleyball camp is being planned in Yucca Valley starting June 26. Managing editor Tami Roleff tells girls from sixth to 10th grade how to apply…
The Town of Yucca Valley and the Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojan Volleyball Team are holding a summer volleyball camp for girls entering sixth through 10th grades. The camp is designed to promote skill development and game knowledge in novice and intermediate players, and will help athletes prepare for school team tryouts. The camp will take place at the high school gym Monday through Thursday, June 26 through June 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The camp fee is $75 per player. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged either online at yucca-valley.org or in person at the Yucca Valley Community Center. For more information call 760-369-7211.


Basketball and volleyball camps will be offered in Twentynine Palms this summer. Girls and boys ages 8 through 14 can sharpen their basketball skills with a weeklong basketball camp offered in the Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat Gym the week of June 12-16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The camp will be instructed by Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat basketball coaches and players. The registration fee is $80.
The volleyball camp is for boys and girls entering fourth through ninth grades. The camp will follow the basketball camp and will be held June 19 through 23 in the Wildcat gym from 9 to noon. Registration is $50. Both camps include a T-shirt and a pizza party on the last day. Register for both camps online or in person at the Twentynine Palms Parks and Recreation office. For more information, call 760-367-7562.