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Yucca Valley’s only medical marijuana dispensary was forced to shut down last December by a town ordinance that prohibited its operation in the town limits. Since then, residents have been trying to convince the Town Council to repeal its ban on dispensaries. Yesterday, representatives from the Alliance 4 Safe Access of Yucca Valley and the California Cannabis Coalition presented a petition to the Town Clerk that would require the Town to hold a special election for Town residents to vote on an ordinance that would allow one medical marijuana dispensary per 10,000 residents. Managing editor Tami Roleff was there when the 2,014 signatures were presented, and files this report…
More than 2,000 signatures on petitions to permit medical marijuana dispensaries in Yucca Valley were presented to the Town yesterday. According to state law, the Alliance 4 Safe Access of Yucca Valley, which organized the petition drive, needed between 961 and 1,442 registered voters in Yucca Valley to sign the petition to force an election on the issue. Jason Elsasser, who owns the Yucca Valley Medical Marijuana Resource Group, said he hoped there wouldn’t be an election. “A special election is going to cost the town money…. I really would like to see somehow the petition and ordinance be adopted by the town to avoid the special election.” He added that allowing up to two legal dispensaries would be good for the town, as the taxes from the sale of medical marijuana would generate revenue for public services and infrastructure in Yucca Valley. “There are several ways to implement a financial component to the ordinance, and I know the Town would like to see that, and I would like to see that. I’m prepared to work together and I hope the Town would do the same.” Elsasser said the 2,000 signatures were collected in about six weeks. The petition and signatures will be delivered to the County Registrar of Voters today, which has 30 days to certify them. Assuming enough signatures were collected, the Town then has to schedule an election for the residents to vote on the ordinance.
The owner of the Yucca Valley Medical Marijuana Resource Group, Jason Elsasser, will be on the Up Close show today (November 21). Elsasser is also the sponsor of the ordinance petition that would require the Town of Yucca Valley to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Town limits. This is your opportunity to call in with questions and comments about medical marijuana dispensaries and medical marijuana. Jason Elsasser and medical marijuana on the Up Close show today, starting at 10 a.m.



Yucca Valley fire fighters were busy yesterday. About 1:45 p.m., fire fighters were called to a vehicle fire on the highway between Palm and Grand Avenues. An eastbound VW had caught on fire for unknown reasons, and the station’s newly assigned probationary fire fighters put the fire out in a few minutes. The mother and her son escaped from the fire safely.

Then a half hour later, rescue personnel were called to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Onaga Trail and Joshua Lane involving an F150 Ford truck and a Honda. The F150 blocked both lanes of Onaga Trail for about 45 minutes. One person from the Honda was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center with a complaint of pain. Jeffrey Mosley, 53, was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence of drugs, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and released about 8 p.m.


The town of Yucca Valley’s High Desert Nature Museum is seeking submission for Yucca Valley’s Got Talent. Entertainment reporter Rebecca Havely explains how to apply for an opportunity to be featured in this one-night only event…
Do you sing, dance, play an instrument, do stand-up comedy, dramatic or comedic skits, or have a great novelty act? Then Yucca Valley’s Got Talent needs you. Performers of all ages may apply and there’s no entrance fee to participate. To be considered all you need to do is pick up an application at the High Desert Nature Museum or the Community Services office in Yucca Valley. You can even apply on line at, no later than Saturday, November 29. Participants will be selected during the month of December and the one night only performance will take place the evening of Saturday, January 31. For more information call Stefanie Ritter at 760-369-7212.


Tonight’s opening night gala for Theatre 29’s final production of 2014, “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” is sponsored by Tender Loving Cause, the celebrated non-profit organization that has put on the Tender Loving Christmas event for the past 30 years.
In this hilarious comedy-farce, its 1934, and Shakespeare’s most famous fairies, Oberon and Puck, have magically appeared on the Hollywood set for the filming of a big-budget feature film based on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and hilarity ensues. The TLC-sponsored opening night starts at 6 p.m. with a Shakespeare-themed dinner and silent auction. The curtain rises at 7. Desserts will be served at intermission. Tickets for the opening gala are only $25. For more information about TLC or to purchase tickets for opening night only, call Mara Cantelo at 760-333-2413. Tickets are also available at the Z107.7 Studios in Joshua Tree. “Shakespeare In Hollywood” will run five consecutive weekends through December 20. The curtain will rise Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday matinees will be at 2:30 p.m. on November 30 and December 14. After the opening gala, tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military, and $8 for students with ID. Because of Mature themes the show is not recommended for children under 13. To purchase tickets and make reservations call the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-361-4151 or purchase tickets online at


The Animal Action League, who brings low cost pet vaccination, micro chipping, and spay-neuter services to the Morongo basin, will be celebrating their grand opening tomorrow. Managing editor Tami Roleff invites you to join them…
Show off your pet in a best-dressed pet contest at the grand opening celebration of the Animal Action League in Joshua Tree Saturday. The celebration is from 10 to 3, with the large pet contest at 11, and the small pet contest at 1 p.m. The celebration will also include pony rides, bounce house, and other children’s activities; a food and a bake sale for humans and pets; raffles; vendors of all types; and pet adoptions. All proceeds will go toward spaying and neutering dogs and cats of local low-income pet owners. For more information call Animal Action League at 760-366-1100 or visit


Support our local college while enjoying some great company, a rowdy auction, plus fine wine and cheese. The Fifth Annual Festival of Wreaths is this Sunday, November 23, at 2 p.m. in the Bell Center at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree. There will be a wine and cheese reception followed by a live auction. Tickets are $5 per person and are available at Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley Chambers, KCDZ Studios, the CMC Foundation Office, or at the door the day of the event. This year’s festivities will also include a silent auction with a variety of wreaths and a raffle for a beautiful centerpiece.


Coldwell Banker Roadrunner Realty owners Jeff and Mike Poland have announced they have acquired Willow Tree Realty of Twentynine Palms, at 73395 Sullivan Road. The acquisition was announced in joint statements that went to existing Willow Tree clients. According to the Polands, “We are humbled yet excited to have been chosen to continue the Willow Tree legacy and we make a solemn commitment to all Willow Tree clients to represent their interests in the best and most professional way possible.” Coldwell Banker Roadrunner Realty buys and sell homes, and also offers help to those in the rental market. They specialize in helping military families throughout the area find temporary rental spaces that meet their unique needs. Tenants can pay their rent online or at any 7/11 store. Landlords can get their rent money via direct deposit. To learn more visit the Coldwell Banker Roadrunner Realty website at or call 760-365-8880 to speak with an agent.


Yucca Valley Recreation is planning an adult excursion to the beautiful Mission Inn. Reporter Caitlin Logan tells you how to sign up for the trip…
Join the Town of Yucca Valley’s adult excursion on December 11 to the Riverside Mission Inn, which is filled with rich culture and beautiful gardens that will be decorated for the holidays. Registration for the day trip is $85 per person and includes deluxe motor coach transportation, guided tour and meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Departure for the trip is at 12:15 p.m., returning at 8:00 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, register online at or in person at the Yucca Valley Community Center by November 25. For more information contact Community Services at 760-369-7211.


The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will hold a Thanksgiving turkey dinner tonight, Friday, November 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. The cost is $8, with to-go orders being an extra dollar. The VFW Post volunteers will be taking Thanksgiving week off; there will be no Sunday breakfast or Taco Wednesday next week, and the post will be closed on Thanksgiving.


Food For life of Twentynine Palms will be serving two free meals to those in need in the next week. The United Methodist Church of Twentynine Palms will serve tomorrow from 3 to 5 at the Little Church of the Desert Community Hall in Twentynine Palms. Then on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, The Betty Garret Memorial Thanksgiving meal will be served from 1 to 4, also at the Little Church of the Desert Community Hall. Volunteers are still needed for cooking, setting up, serving, and cleaning up for the Thanksgiving meal. If you are interested in helping, contact Teresa Brown at 562-324-9099. Drivers are also needed for delivering meals to shut-ins. All volunteers are asked to wear white shirts and black pants.


Rate increases at the Twentynine Palms Water District were the topic of discussion at last night’s meeting of the Board of Directors. Water rates have not increased since 2011, and the water district does not charge ratepayers enough to fully cover the cost of its retiree health benefits and California Public Employee Retirement benefits. Board members discussed three options for rate increases for five years: a 3 percent increase with no funding of retirement benefits, which would result in the district being out of cash in 10 years; a 3 percent rate increase that would go toward satisfying the district’s retirement fund, which would result in the district being out of cash in less than seven years; and a 5 3/4 percent increase and funding retirement benefits, which would also result in the district being out of cash in less than seven years. The directors continued the discussion to its January meeting. The Board of Directors also decided to terminate a 23-year agreement it had with the City of Twentynine Palms that gave the city free water in exchange for encroachment permits.


Another setback for the Yucca Valley sewer system. The Hi-Desert Water District Board heard about another delay last night, before it went into closed session for a performance evaluation for General Manager Ed Muzik, where it gave him a unanimous vote of confidence. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains why the sewer project is delayed yet again…
It seems the Hi-Desert Water District just can’t catch a break for its wastewater reclamation project, as it faces another delay in the project’s timeline. When the Board of Directors changed in September how the future sewer plant would treat wastewater, the change required an updated tortoise survey at the plant site. The results of the tortoise survey should have been received two weeks ago, but the water district is still waiting. That delay has forced a minimum two-week delay for the district’s application to be approved by the State Water Resources Control Board, which is the agency that will determine the interest rate for the loan for the water district. So instead of assigning the water district’s interest rate for its loan for the sewer project on February 3, the water district’s application may not be on the state water board’s agenda until February 17, or possibly not even until March. The Board of Directors voted last night to wait until the state has assigned an interest rate before mailing out assessment ballots to Yucca Valley residents, which is not tentatively set for the end of February, providing there’s not another delay.


The owner of the Yucca Valley Medical Marijuana Resource Group, Jason Elsasser, will be on the Z107.7 Up Close show tomorrow (November 21). Elsasser is also the sponsor of the ordinance petition that would require the Town of Yucca Valley to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Town limits. This is your opportunity to call in with questions and comments about medical marijuana dispensaries and medical marijuana and the ordinance itself. Jason Elsasser and medical marijuana on the Up Close show tomorrow, starting at 10 a.m.


The Hi-Desert Medical Center came awfully close to choosing an affiliation partner at last night’s special board of directors meeting. A vote between Strategic Global Management and Tenet Healthcare Group was on the meeting’s agenda, but due to a lack of unanswered questions, the motion was made to table the vote to a future date. Rebecca Havely attended the meeting and offers this report…
The Helen Grey Center on the hospital campus was packed last night with community members and employees as a special board of directors meeting began. The two affiliation partners being considered were given time to make presentations and answer questions from the standing-room-only crowd. Newly appointed board members Paul Hoffman and Marge Doyle were among those asking some important questions. Since they do not have a vote on board issues until January, Doyle said, “I appreciated the Board’s inclusion of both of us.” Many questions were answered immediately while others needed some research before they could be answered. Consultant Jonathon Spees presented a side-by-side comparison of both organizations, stating that the financial proposals should be viewed as essentially equivalent. Therefore, the decision should be based on which organization the board believes is most likely to close the transaction in a timely manner and which has the highest likelihood of success over the next 30 years. The board faces a long-term legacy decision. The motion was made to table the board vote until all questions could be answered. Another special meeting was set for December 3 at 6 p.m.


Two Twentynine Palms men were arrested Tuesday in separate incidents for felony spouse abuse. About 8 a.m., a woman in the 7400 block of Saladin called police to report her boyfriend, Michael Bylund, 50, had beat her up. According to the Sheriff’s report, Bylund hit her, kicked her, and dragged her by her hair. The deputy found Bylund hiding under a staircase with a bottle of rum. After an investigation, Michael Bylund was arrested for felony spouse abuse, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail and released later Tuesday evening on $50,000 bail.

In the second spouse abuse case, a woman in the 71600 block of 29 Palms Highway called just after noon to say her husband hit her. According to the Sheriff’s report, Robert Vocker, 60, hit his wife several times in the head, causing her head to start bleeding. When the woman called police to report the crime, Vocker tried to flee in his van, but couldn’t leave because he was blocked in. Deputies located Vocker near the scene and arrested him for investigation of felony spouse abuse. Vocker was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.


The Rotary Club of Yucca Valley has set Saturday, December 13, for this year’s Festival of Lights Parade. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to sign-up to be in it…
The annual Festival of Lights parade is set to “Light Up the World.” The Rotary Club of Yucca Valley has set the date of their annual Christmas Light Parade for Saturday, December 13, at 5:30 p.m. The route will be the same as last year with the parade taking place on Sante Fe Trail, beginning at Bannock Trail, heading west and ending at Inca Trail. Floats will be displayed at the Hi-Desert Water District’s parking lot for viewing, and the kids are all invited to come in to the district offices to see Santa and enjoy a puppet show. This year’s parade main sponsor and grand marshal is Southern California Edison. To sign up to be in the parade, pick up an application at the Yucca Valley Chamber office or go online to the Rotary website at or call 760-365-1988. Entries will be accepted until December 11.


To encourage area businesses to get into the spirit and to encourage shopping locally, Hi-Desert Publishing Company and Z107.7 Radio have teamed up to co-sponsor a free holiday decorating contest for all businesses located in the Morongo Basin. Winners get hundreds of dollars in local advertising, very cool plaques, and holiday bragging rights. Entries will be judged on five criteria: Overall Appeal; Use of Available Space; Use of Lights and Color; Inventiveness and Overall Theme; and the Wow Factor. Painted windows do not qualify. Awards will be given for first and second places in four categories: best interior and best exterior for large businesses (over 1,500 square feet), and for small businesses (up to 1,500 square feet). First place winners get $300 in advertising from Z107.7 and Hi-Desert Publishing. Second Place winners get $150 in advertising from Z107.7 and from Hi-Desert Publishing. New for 2014, entrants can submit a photo of their decorated business, inside or outside, for a bonus People’s Choice award which will run on our websites. Submit your photo at To enter, just call Z107.7 Radio at 760-366-8471. Deadline to enter is 5:00 p.m. December 10 and winners will be announced December 17.

Twentynine Palms Cemetery District Cancels Meeting for Tonight

The Twentynine Palms Cemetery District’s board of directors’ special meeting for tonight has been cancelled due to a lack of a quorum. The Board has not set a date yet for a rescheduled meeting.


Kids from 5 to 12 years old will have some fun with arts and crafts at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum Saturday. Reporter Caitlin Logan has your invitation…
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is giving kids an opportunity to express their creativity through arts and crafts. On Saturday, November 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., kids ages 5 to 12 are welcome to join museum staff to make arts and crafts inspired by nature and the fall season. Twigs, buttons, fabric, seeds, leaves, burlap, paint and glue will be used to create fall-themed masterpieces for some creative fun. The $5 registration fee covers all materials; pre-registration is required. For more information, contact the museum at 760-369-7212.


The Mane Street Stampede Wild West Show needs spirited volunteer actors and actresses to perform in their comedy western, family shows Saturday afternoons in Pioneertown. Shows run from April to October. Proceeds benefit local organizations. They will professionally train you. Call Phil for more details at 760-366-3333. The next membership meeting is this Saturday, November 22, at high noon at the old Roadhouse Cafe, which is now La Palapa, at 57173 Sunnyslope in Yucca Valley.

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