Theatre 29’s latest offering, “Farndale… Christmas Carol” opened last weekend. The laugh-out-loud comedy had audiences in stitches. Reporter Rebecca Havely attended and offers this review of the production…
Directed by Theatre 29 veteran Marty Neider, this show is a fast-paced comedy of errors that’s sure to please all ages. An English acting troupe of all women perform their version of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with the help of their reluctant stage hand Gordon, played by Edward Pierce. You may remember him from his recent role as Lurch in “The Adams Family.” The stalwart leader of the troupe, Phoebe Reece is played by Donette Swain, who deftly plays many roles in the production, all with different dialects. Her Tiny Tim portrayal was my favorite. Her arch rival Thelma is the diva of the group; sternly played by Kathryn Ferguson, who portrays Scrooge in the play-within-a-play. Mercedes, played by Mandi Pushkar, stumbles about on crutches desperately trying to do her best. The young ingénue of the group is innocently played by Lisa Goldberg. From collapsing scenery to line mix-ups and in-fighting, plus some audience participation, this engagingly goofy comedy will get the whole family into the holiday spirit.
“Farndale Christmas Carol” runs Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. with 2:30 Sunday matinees on November 29 and December 13. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, military and students with I.D., and $8 for children. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Theater 29 box office at 760-361-4151. Or purchase tickets on line at theatre29.org.
Food For Life will be putting on the Betty Garrett Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, Thursday, November 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Little Church of the Desert Community Hall in Twentynine Palms. A traditional dinner of turkey, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, etc. will be served. If you would like to volunteer to help during this day, please call Teresa Brown at 562-324-9099.
Tortoise Rock Casino teamed up with local food banks and charities to help give area families a heart-felt Thanksgiving. To help meet the demand of food banks and local organizations that cater to the under-served families this holiday season, they split a donation of about 25 turkeys between Food for Life/Breaking Bread Ministries and Little Church of the Desert, both located in Twentynine Palms. The organizations will now be able to provide even more hot meals for local families in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday this year.
Many volunteers are working today to make this Thanksgiving a special one for those in need, but the volunteers are getting a special feeling too. ROP broadcast student Danielle Candelaria asked a local volunteer, Brooklyn Jarrett, why she does it…
Volunteering helps out the community immensely. Brooklyn Jarrett, a regular volunteer in Twentynine Palms, says, “To volunteer, it’s indispensable to be vocal, have great listening skills, and be prepared to do any task someone gives you.” When asked how she started to volunteer, she said, “I began volunteering and serving around my church, and still do, but now on Saturdays I help out the Little Church of the Desert, for Food for life. Every now and then, I also help other places in the community.’’ Lastly, when asked why she continues to volunteer, she said, “Volunteering is great for college and job applications, but the best part about volunteering is having a chance to give back to the community and it helps you build certain skills for when you’re on your own.”
The Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce’s third annual bazaar at Coyote Corner opens at 10 a.m. Black Friday, and continues Saturday and Sunday. Shop for gifts and goodies, enjoy family fun, and hot food. This year offers free pony rides for kids each day, courtesy of White Rock Ranch Horse Rescue. On Saturday, Santa rides in at noon on his shiny red fire engine, manned by the Fire Technology class from Copper Mountain College. Also on Saturday, enjoy live local music from 1 to 7 p.m. The holiday market, at 6535 Park Boulevard, is open until 6 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday until 3 p.m. For more information, call the chamber at 760-366-3723.
The majority of emergency room visits for pets during the Thanksgiving holiday revolve around the turkey. Don’t feed your dog or cat any food from your Thanksgiving meal. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more about how even a small piece of turkey skin or butter-coated vegetable can cause a life-threatening illness in certain pets…
When you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving meal, resist the temptation to give your dog or cat a piece of turkey. Your roast turkey can trigger pancreatitis in your pet, resulting in an expensive trip to the vet. Signs of pancreatitis include severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. Pancreatitis may occur as a single episode or a recurring event. Pets can quickly develop potentially fatal side effects such as dehydration and liver or kidney damage. Overweight dogs are even more at risk. If you suspect your pet has pancreatitis, take them to the vet immediately. Don’t risk the harm to your dog or cat or your wallet and just say no to those begging eyes.
The Morongo Basin Transit Authority will NOT operate service on Thursday, November 26, in observance of Thanksgiving Day. The MBTA will resume its regularly scheduled service on Friday, November 27.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Yucca Valley, will conduct a Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, thanksgiving eve. The public is welcome to attend.
Joshua Tree National Park is on track to have nearly two million visitors this year. Managing editor Tami Roleff says Park Superintendent David Smith told about 200 people at the State of the Morongo Basin October 29 that those visitors spend money in our Morongo Basin…
“The park is a big economic engine that helps the communities around the park.” At the state of the Morongo Basin event October 29, Park Superintendent David Smith said that two years ago, 1.3 million visitors spent $70 million dollars in the Morongo Basin, and this year, the park is on track to have two million visitors.” And remember, one in five of our visitors to Joshua Tree – and that’s 400,000 people this year – come to Joshua Tree to climb on that really groovy granite rock. So Joshua Tree is a vibrant part of what keeps our economy going.” During the sequester two years ago that shut down the park, several local businesses nearly had to close their doors due to the lack of park visitors. Smith said the park is available for those who can’t afford the entrance fee. “But there’s a lot of folks that can’t afford the $20 to go into the park, they can’t afford the $30 annual pass. So we don’t charge on the northern boundary of the park, at the Black Rock Canyon, Indian Cove, 49 Palms, Covington Flats. And that’s a decision that we made because we realized that this park belongs to the people who live around this area.” The National Park Service has made efforts to make the park accessible to everyone. It instituted the “Every Kid in a Park” program that allows fourth graders and their families to use national parks for free. Active duty military can also get in for free, and seniors can get a $10 pass. Smith summed up the state of the national park. “The state of the park is good, it’s good because we have good partners in the Morongo Basin.”
The Twentynine Palms Water District board of directors meet in a hastily arranged special meeting set for 4 p.m. this afternoon. Appearances are that the district is scrambling to address a long list of follow ups any one of which threaten to derail the planned takeover of Twentynine Palms Fire by County Fire. The shortfalls were detailed in a letter LAFCO sent to the District on November 4 with the caveat that every item be addressed by a December 2 deadline. Among the issues is the problem of the Fire Department’s unfunded pension liability; that alone requires a $3 million solution. LAFCO has a well-deserved reputation for demanding careful, logical, and thorough management, for being a stickler for detail, and for requiring the same in the districts they oversee. If Twentynine Palms Fire Department is going to successfully be taken over by County Fire in the next 12 months, then addressing the LAFCO issues with more sloppy submissions is a recipe for failure. This afternoon’s special meeting is at the District Office on the south side of Hatch Road in Twentynine Palms.
Residents have been asking why the Yucca Valley Branch of the bank of America is closed. Town officials told Z107.7 News that the regional Vice-President for B of A said the planned power outage last week had affected their computer system, rendering it inoperable. Simon McNeil said they are waiting for parts and software to bring the Bank Branch’s systems back on-line and would be open as soon as possible.
The regular fourth Tuesday meeting of the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency will not take place tonight due to Thanksgiving holiday conflicts. Regular business will, instead, be taken up at a special meeting on Tuesday, December 8th.
As Southern California braces for the extra rain expected from the El Nino effect, so is Joshua Tree national Park. Reporter Sara Snyder says…
Joshua Tree National Park rangers are taking a pro-active approach to what scientists say could be the strongest El Nino on record. Staff preparations include a variety of planning scenarios ranging from dam safety, extreme weather rescues, to road and transportation issues. Superintendent David Smith will also consider preemptive closures if a forecast seems to warrant it in order to ensure visitor safety. Hikers should avoid washes and arroyos when rain is forecast. Motorists are reminded to never drive through moving water on flooded roads. “Turn around, don’t drown.” It can take only 6 inches of swiftly moving water to knock over an adult, 12 inches to carry off a small car, and 2 feet to carry away most other passenger vehicles.
At least six more burglaries were reported in Joshua Tree over the weekend. According to Sheriff’s reports, residents in the 6600 block of Sierra, 2400 block of Rice Avenue, 62600 block of Broadway, 62400 block of Campanula Street, 62000 block of Desertair Road, and 6600 block of Park Boulevard reported break-ins, and attempted break-ins Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Residents reported rocks thrown through windows, locks broken, and fences torn down. Some of the items stolen include weapons, tools, and motorcycle helmets. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.
A 14-year-old Joshua Tree boy suffered second degree burns to his face following an explosion of gunpowder Sunday morning. According to a Sheriff’s report, the teen didn’t realize what he was doing when he was “playing with gun powder” in the 64800 block of Chollita Road shortly after 8 a.m. and lit it on fire. The powder then “blew up” in the boys face. The boy was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
Twentynine Palms firefighters have been called to at least three fires in the same area in the last two weeks, started by transients trying to keep warm. Just before 3 a.m. Monday morning, a transient started a fire in a dumpster in the 4700 block of Adobe Road. Firefighters were called 3:15 Sunday afternoon to a stand of trees west of the intersection of Adobe Road and Amboy Road where a campfire, started by the same transient, had started smoldering in the trees’ fallen needles. Firefighters said the only damage was to portions of the tree. Late on the night of November 10, firefighters responded to a fire near Adobe Road and Calle Todd where tamarisk trees and fallen needles were burning. That fire is also believed to have been started by transients.
Check your calendar; Christmas is coming up fast and the volunteers at Tender Loving Christmas, TLC, are on the look-out for special sponsors. Reporter David Knutson says the main dish is the first priority…
Tender Loving Christmas (TLC) is seeking meat sponsors for the TLC Christmas Day event at the Yucca Valley Community Center. Each year, 1,200 pounds of turkeys and hams must be purchased for this event, which typically costs around $3,000 each. TLC is seeking individuals who can donate $25, $50, and $100 or more toward the meat fund and buffet. TLC organizer Mara Cantelo says their turkeys and hams comprise roughly one-third of the cost. They must buy their meat in quantity to be delivered just before the event. She adds that, due to health regulations, individual meats cannot be accepted. TLC provides a full Christmas Day banquet for all those in need, or who find themselves alone on the holiday. For more information, contact Cantelo at 760-333-2413.
TLC Address: PO Box 895, Yucca Valley, CA 92284
A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Friday morning, accused of elder abuse. According to a Sheriff’s report, an elderly resident in the 6500 block of Juniper Avenue in Twentynine Palms told deputies that Thomas Snover, 45, was high on drugs and attacked him about 7:30 Friday morning. The resident said Snover tried to climb up the living room curtains, kicked objects inside the home, and then kicked the resident. After an investigation, Thomas Snover was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse and taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center where he tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana, and was treated for his drug usage. Thomas Snover was later booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.
A Yucca Valley man wanted on warrants was arrested Saturday morning. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies went to a home in the 56500 block of Mountain View Trail Friday looking for Anthony Sacco, 27, but he wasn’t there. Deputies returned to the home about 8:30 Saturday morning and found Sacco sleeping on the couch. During a search of Sacco, deputies found drugs and numerous stolen items. Anthony Sacco was arrested on numerous drug and traffic warrants with his bail set at $225,000.
The Hi-Desert Division 62 of the California retired Teachers Association is accepting applications for a $1,000.00 scholarship. The aim of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to a student who has made a firm commitment to a career as a public school teacher. Applicants must be residents of Morongo Basin or graduates of a Morongo Basin high school. They must be full time students at a four year college or university and must either have completed their junior year with a minimum of 90 semester units by June, 2016, or must be college graduates currently enrolled in a Teacher Preparation Program. If you are a student who meets the above requirements, please contact Joanne Gordon, Division 62 Cal RTA Scholarship Chair, at P. O. Box 651, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, for an application. Completed applications and supporting documents are due on or before April 5, 2016.