PUBLIC MEETING HELD ON PROPOSED CHANGES IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

Hosted by the National Park Conservation Association, members of the desert community met with Joshua Tree National Park Service representatives in a public meeting last night at the Joshua Tree Community Center. Reporter Andrew Dieleman was there to gather the details…
Joshua Tree National Park representatives were ready to answer questions regarding mounting concerns about three newly-proposed programs for Joshua Tree national Park. Park Superintendent David Smith addressed the proposed $75 peak-season annual fee increase (and the proposed $70 per-vehicle one-week entrance fee during peak season), clarifying the need for funds to cover a $35 million maintenance backlog. He also brought attention to Black Rock, 49 Palms, and Indian Cove, park areas that can be visited for free.
Park Management Assistant Karin Messaros then addressed questions regarding the park’s proposed free shuttle service, including shuttle routes and how it will be used. According to Messaros, the peak-season shuttle service will alleviate park congestion in prominent parking and camping areas.
Smith then addressed the park’s proposed camping space reservation program. According to Smith, increasing the number of reservable spaces will create better camping experiences. Smith closed the meeting by first providing web links where comments and complaints could be addressed. He also reiterated that all programs were pilot proposals with the ultimate goal of improving the park one step at a time. For more information, visit the following links:
Fee increase: go.nps.gov/comment
Campgrounds: parkplanning.nps.gov/trialcampgroundreservationsystem
Shuttle Bus: parkplanning.nps.gov/RoadrunnerShuttleBus

YUCCA VALLEY TAKES UP DISTRICTED ELECTIONS IN SPECIAL CLOSED SESSION TODAY

The Yucca Valley Town Council will hold a special closed session meeting today. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains…
The Yucca Valley Town Council will hold a special closed session meeting at 2:15 p.m. today (Thursday, November 2). The sole item on the agenda is a discussion with the town’s attorney concerning a significant threat of litigation, based on a letter from a potential plaintiff. Last week, the Town of Yucca Valley received a letter from a lawyer threatening to sue the town unless it changed the way council members are elected, from an “at-large”-based system, to a district-based system. The lawyer contends that “at large” elections violate provisions of the California Voting Rights Act. The meeting will be held in the Town Hall conference room on Dumosa Avenue.

JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM TARGETS ILLEGAL DUMP SITES THIS SATURDAY

The Joshua Tree Clean Team is coordinating a clean-up of several illegal dump sites in the wash area just north of Hilltop Street in Joshua Tree. The clean-up will be Saturday, November 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, but even an hour of your time will be appreciated. Meet at the intersection of Hilltop Street and El Reposo Street in Joshua Tree. The Joshua Tree Clean Team will provide trash bags, grabber sticks, and water. For more information, call 760-366-0126.

THE REMARKABLY QUIRKY TRADITION OF THE TWENTYNINE PALMS WEED SHOW IS THIS WEEKEND

With roots going back to the 1940s, the Twentynine Palms Historical Society’s annual Weed Show at the Old Schoolhouse Museum is as much a part of fall as the cool temperatures. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more…

The Weed Show is one of Twentynine Palms’ oldest and most unique artistic traditions. This annual display, now in its seventh decade, features artistic arrangements of indigenous desert vegetation and found objects both natural and man-made. Think of it as local rendition of the traditional floral display. Each show follows a specific theme. The 2017 Weed Show theme is “No Business Like Old Business.” The event takes place Saturday, November 4, from noon to 4 p.m., and Sunday, November 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no fee to enter your creation in the judged show or to see it. Entries are judged on subject matter, use of desert vegetation, use of accessories, artistic composition and originality. Entries will be judged in 12 categories, plus a People’s Choice award to be decided by exhibition visitors. The Weed Show highlights the beauty of local flora and the skill of local artisans. For more information visit

https://www.29palmshistorical.com/weedshow-2017/

2017 Weed Show Categories

Category 1 – Sparkle Plenty – Purple Glass – Arrangement using Museum Quality (flawless—see rules) purple glass as an accessory. FRESH PLANT MATERIAL ONLY.

Category 2 – Sam’s Character Room – Broken Purple Glass – Composition using Broken Purple glass (broken or imperfect) as an accessory.

Category 3 – 29 Palms Gemcrafts – Miniature 3x3x3 overall composition.

Category 4 – Dixie Donuts – Miniature 6x6x6 overall composition.

Category 5 – Ma Penn’s – Composition using an item related to cooking as an accessory.

Category 6 – Pill Hill – Composition using an item related to medical or animals as an accessory.

Category 7 – Starlight Rollerink – Composition using an item related to desert entertainment as an accessory.

Category 8 – 29 Palms Lumber – Composition using weathered wood as an accessory.

Category 9 – The Desert Trail – Composition using things you find on a desert trail as an accessory.

Category 10 – Sabol’s Trading Post – This is the no-holds-barred category. Anything goes but basic rules still apply.

Category 11 – The Paint Pot – Kids up to 12 – Use your imagination. Legos welcomed.

Category 12 – Benton Bros (has it all) – Oversized composition to be staged outside. (Any entry which exceeds the length, width, height, or weight limitations set out in the rules are placed outside.)

RULES FOR ENTERING THE 2017 WEED SHOW:

Enter as many categories as you wish, but you can only have ONE entry per category.

All compositions MUST include dried desert plants; it is a weed show, after all.

Each entry MUST have an accessory to fit the category, as indicated in the category descriptions.

Only natural adhesives may be used to hold the entry together, i.e., clay, sand, sap, etc. (that means no hot glue, oasis foam, mortar, grout, etc.)

No artificial plants are allowed. No live critters are allowed.

Your entry must be solid and stable enough to permit handling by a committee member. Only a committee member will be allowed to reposition a display. Construction paper or mat board may be used to complement your entry.

Due to limited space in the museum, the maximum size for indoor entries is 20”x16” and no more than 24” high with a maximum weight limit of 10 lbs. Larger or heavier entries will automatically be staged outside and will be unattended. Each outside entry must be strong enough to withstand wind and weather.

Category 1 is an ARRANGEMENT which uses ONLY fresh plant material, not necessarily native plants. All other categories are COMPOSITIONS which may include fresh desert plant material together with a dried desert plant in its natural state, that is, not varnished or painted. A composition can also use dried desert plants exclusively.

Category 11 is ONLY for children 12 years of age and under. Entries must conform with general rules. Children may enter any other category but will be judged with the adults.

Entries must be brought to the museum between 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday, November 3 or Saturday, November 4 from 7 to 9 a.m. NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. Everything must be assembled and completed by 9:15 a.m. NO EXCEPTIONS. Judging is from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday.  Entries must be picked up between 4 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov 5. Please, no early pickups. The Twentynine Palms Historical Society is not responsible for loss, damage or unclaimed entries.

THEATRE 29 ANNOUNCES CASTING FOR “MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS”

Theatre 29 announces their casting for “Meet Me in St. Louis.” This lighthearted holiday musical is based on the 1944 heartwarming film of the same name. Theatre 29’s play is helmed by the multi-award-winning director Kathryn Ferguson. Here with the cast list is Rebecca Havely…
In the show’s center is the Smith family. Cast as the patriarch Alonzo Smith is Dennis “Easy” Boos. His wife, Anna, is played by Katie Fleischman. Cast as their son Lon is James Hodgson. Their four daughters are Rose, played by Kegan Longuevan; Esther is Drea Kelley; Agnes is Anna Pollnow; and the youngest, Tootie, will be played by Zoee Stoker. Kurt Schauppner will portray Grandpa Prophater and the Irish maid Katie by Kelly Ames. The “Boy Next Door” John Truitt is played by Randy Smith, and wealthy college boy Warren Sheffield is played by Robert Ames. Rounding out the ensemble are Aaliyah Broussard, Patricia Zuniga, Kevin Myers, Joseph Rego, Andrew Henry, Kimberly Beaty, Dennis Mohn, Anna Carnes, Barry Inscore, Ariel Montes and Jamie McClendon.
“Meet Me in St. Louis” will play Friday and Saturday evenings beginning November 24 at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 through December 17. For tickets visit theatre29.org or call the Theatre 29 box office at 760-361-4151. Tickets are $15 regular, $12 seniors and military, and $8 for students with ID or children under 12. “Meet Me in St. Louis” is appropriate for all audiences.

29 PALMS ART GALLERY OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY

The 29 Palms Art Gallery will hold its opening reception Saturday, November 4, for its new art show. Featured artists include Doug Dolde and Paula Izydorek, along with guild members. Come meet the artists from 5 to 7 p.m. and enjoy light refreshments. The show runs through November 26. Gallery hours are 11 to 3 Thursdays through Sundays.

MORONGO BASIN HEALTHCARE DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

There will be a regular meeting of the Morongo Basin Healthcare District today. Reporter Eric Knabe fill us in on the details…
The Morongo Basin Healthcare District meets in a regular session this evening at 5:30 p.m. Tom Baumgarten, superintendent of Morongo Unified School District, will have a presentation. Then, there will be a discussion of the district’s memorial of Mara Cantelo of Tender Loving Christmas. Also, the board will hear a report from CEO Jackie Combs. Tonight’s meeting takes place at 6530 La Contenta Road Suite 100 in Yucca Valley.

FOOD FOR LIFE NEEDS THANKSGIVING VOLUNTEERS

Food for Life needs volunteers to help with its Thanksgiving meal. The organization will provide a free dinner on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 23, at First Baptist Church in Twentynine Palms on Split Rock. The meal is served from 1 to 4 p.m. They will need many volunteers to help cook, serve, and clean up. If you are interested in being a volunteer, please call Teresa Brown at 562-324-9099 or Kelly Schumacher at 760-819-3054. There will be a meeting scheduled for volunteers beforehand.

A FOOD DRIVE AT YUCCA VALLEY ELEMENTARY

The Yucca Valley Elementary School chapter of the National Elementary Honor Society is hosting a canned food drive.  Advisor and sixth grade teacher Kojo McCallum said thus far, they have collected close to 2,000 items. “Never has a drive been as successful in our school,” she said.  The food drive will last one more week. They will distribute the food to 50 of their neediest families on November 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Yucca Valley Elementary School MPR.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER EFFORTS TO HOLD OFF RATE HIKES MAY NOT BE ENOUGH

In Joshua Tree last night, the Joshua Basin Water District board of directors took steps to lower operating expenses; be that as it may, no effort could be enough to stave off substantial rate hikes being considered beginning this March. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there…
At about $380,000 annually, electricity is the district’s single biggest operating expense; that reality comes in spite of extensive conservation measures. In an effort to address that sobering reality, the board last night authorized formation of an ad hoc committee to look at initiating feasibility and scoping studies on going solar. Grants and favorable financing make such studies very low-risk endeavors with the potential for high returns.
And on the topic of operating expenses, the board continued an ongoing rate study discussion with an outside consultant. According to the consultant, Joshua Tree’s water district, like water districts throughout the state, must grapple with the need to fund essential capital improvements, escalating costs of water, and a meter replacement program. Yet to be determined is how much; what is known, though, is that come March, rates are going up and will continue to go up for the coming five years and beyond.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

The Twentynine Palms High School Ladycat varsity tennis team hosted the Trojans of Hillcrest High School Tuesday for the first round of wildcard playoffs for CIF. Coach Bill Shay said the Wildcats lost 14 to 4. In singles action the Ladycats were led by Alicia Gilchrist, who swept all three of her sets, while Tamesha Jefferson won one of her sets. Shay said the Ladycats had an excellent season.