We live in a foggy age of misleading information and outright shakedowns. The latest racket features scammers pretending to be government employees using fear tactics. Reporter Heather Clisby has details on how to protect yourself…

If you receive a call from someone representing Social Security with a warning about problems with your account, hang up. Chances are, the voice belongs to a scammer trying to scare you enough to extract personal information and money. They may even threaten you or your family, demand immediate funds or threaten you with arrest or legal action; this is extortion.

While the Social Security Department may occasionally contact citizens via phone, they would never make threats, suspend your personal number, demand payment, or ask for personal information. If this should happen to you, hang up, and file a report to the Office of the Inspector General at  


Even with the threat of the spread of coronavirus, services, events and activities scheduled in the City of Twentynine Palms in March will go on as planned. At an emergency meeting of the City Council Thursday afternoon, the council took up new guidelines from the CDC, the state and the county and made their determinations. The guidelines say, until the end of March, gatherings of more than 250 are prohibited and a “social space” of six feet between individuals was needed to prevent the spread of the virulent virus. The council voted 4-1 to allow the Hilltoppers Motorcycle Event to go on at the end of March, noting participants and spectators were not placed close together. Representative Rodney Smith told the council the non-profit stood to take a major financial loss if the annual event was cancelled. The council voted 3-2 to continue the farmer’s market. With a 4-1 vote, Theatre 29 was encouraged to continue its planned production schedule emphasizing precautionary measures. Shortly after the council voted to continue the Rotary carnival, County Fire pulled the permits and the carnival is now cancelled. The senior lunch program will be altered, with frozen meals delivered to homes instead of participants gathering at the Senior Center. The council also voted unanimously to keep all city buildings, City Hall, Park and Recreation, the Downtown Visitor’s Center and the animal shelter open as usual. The consistent “No” vote was from Councilmember Karmolette O’Gilvie, a lifetime health professional, who said, “We should be proactive; this is flu on steroids and not to be taken lightly.” O’Gilvie and Mayor Joel Klink attended the meeting via a telephone link. A victim of the virus will be the annual Youth Basketball Tournament which will be canceled not by the council, but because the school and college district are restricting use of their gymnasiums in the interest of public safety. The council agreed to revisit the subject when one case of coronavirus is confirmed in the Morongo Basin.


The Public Arts Advisory Committee of Twentynine Palms is now accepting applications for its youth and the arts program grants. Reporter Heather Clisby has the details…

Any organization, individual, group, club or business that hosts an art program benefitting the youth of Twentynine Palms, might consider submitting an application a Youth and the Arts program grant. Ranging from $100 to $1,100, the grant applications will be accepted and reviewed by The Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) of the City of Twentynine Palms.

The PAAC organization hopes to encourage the community, and particularly cultural groups, to engage youth in visual arts, literary arts, music, theatre and dance.

The application requires a brief written proposal describing the proposed arts program and the deadline is Monday, April 6.  Guidelines and mailing info for the applications can be found on the Art in Public Places page of the city’s website, Applications should be sent by email to the PAAC’s Outreach Liaison, Vickie Waite,

Grant awards will be announced the first week of May.


David Bottoms is one of two artists featured at JTAG in March. Courtesy photo.

The Joshua Tree Art Gallery, or JTAG, will feature a collection of paintings by David Bottoms and Jason Graves during its show in March. Bottoms said he is more interested in the space around the squares of colors in his paintings.

Jason Graves is one of the featured artists at JTAG in March. Courtesy photo.

Graves said he disassembles figures into shapes, and then reassembles them into forms. An artists’ reception will be held Saturday, March 14, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at JTAG, on the highway in downtown Joshua Tree. Gallery hours are Saturday 10 to 3 and Sunday noon to 3, and by appointment.

Gallery 62’s show in March, “Hammer + Brush,” features the artwork of 16 artists. Courtesy photo.

“Hammer and Brush” is the theme of this month’s exhibition at Gallery 62 in Joshua Tree.

Mardi de Veuve Alexis is one of the featured artists at Gallery 62 in March. Courtesy photo.

The show features the artwork of 16 artists, from abstract and figurative painting, ceramics, photography, metalwork, collage, assemblage jewelry, and more.

Marcia Geiger is one of the featured artists at Gallery 62 in March. Courtesy photo.

Some of the artists featured include Marcia Geiger, John Henson, Karan Muphy, Mardi de Veuve Alexis, Doug Dolde, Ed Keesling, and Laurie Schafer.

Lorry Stone is one of the featured artists at Gallery 62 in March. Courtesy photo.

Gallery 62 will have an artists’ reception Saturday, March 14, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. during the Second Saturday Art Crawl in Joshua Tree.

Karan Murphy is one of the featured artists at Gallery 62 in March. Courtesy photo.

Gallery hours are Friday noon to 3; Saturday 9 to 3; and Sunday, noon to 3. Gallery 62 is located at 61607 Highway 62, behind JTAG.

John Henson is one of the featured artists at Gallery 62 in March. Courtesy photo.
Gubby Beck is one of the featured artists at Gallery 62 in March. Courtesy photo


The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7264 will serve up its famous Auxiliary loaded baked potato bar for dinner tonight (Friday, March 13) from 4 to 6 p.m. There will be taco meet, taco chicken, cheese sauce, chili, and all the other expected toppings for your potato. Sunday breakfast is corned beef hash and the regular breakfast menu. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1. The VFW Post is located at 6402 Veterans Way in downtown Joshua Tree.