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No New Hotel Yet, Desert Trail

By   /   April 21, 2014  /   5 Comments

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deweyIn the tradition of “Dewey Defeats Truman” the Desert Trail blew both the Headline and the story, “Fifth major hotel approved for construction here“.

Unlike the lovely writer on the Trail, I understand how the system works. All someone has to do is appeal. Anyone has 10 days to appeal a decision. That is what has happened. Now the City Council must approve the decision of the Planning Commission nothing is approved.

The Headline should read, “Councilman Appeals Hotel Construction.”

Dateline Twentynine Palms: Councilman Steve Spear  Appeals the decision of the Planning Commission to give the Go Ahead to the Hampton Inn & Suites, located directly across from the Stater Brothers Shopping Center.

The Commission according to Spear failed to consider the health and welfare of the community by once again giving a wink and a nod to the K-Partners Hospitality Group, owners of both the Fairfield Inn and the future Hampton Inn, not being required to place a stoplight at the intersection of State Route 62 and Encelia Ave.

The Trail Reported:
Community Development Director Charles LaClair said a crosswalk was not recommended because it “gives individuals a false sense of security for crossing in that area.”

City Engineer Richard Pedersen reinforced the argument against a crosswalk.

“There was a study in San Diego that says you are seven times more likely to get hit in a marked crosswalk than an unmarked crosswalk,” Pedersen said.

Chairman Chuck Caplinger also noted high traffic speeds along the highway as a potential danger.

“I think it would be disastrous to require it,” Caplinger of a crosswalk, noting that the 50 mph speed limit in the area is too high to warrant an abrupt slow down for pedestrians.

Easter and Commissioner Rebecca Rinkes both took issue with the absence of a crosswalk, as well as the modified turning lane they say is likely to confuse motorists.

So what we have here is a second time K-Partners Hospitality Group have been let off the hook putting in a needed traffic signal at 62 and Encelia. Not only are they not demanding a traffic signal but no pedestrian safety consideration at all.

Caplinger who has promoted a downtown pedestrian mall that would not only slow traffic down and was one of the lunatics that promoted the flashing cross walk in front of the old Benton Brothers, could give a good rats bottom if your wife or child is plowed into in front of Stater Brothers. The increase in cross traffic confusion by another hotel complex requires a bit more lateral thinking than I think the old sod is capable of these days. To much paint thinner, me thinks.

So the new hotel is not a done deal, no matter what the Lame Stream Media might tell you.

Stay Tuned.

Copy of Appeal

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About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. Gee whzz, the the Desert Trail made yet another sloppy journalistic boo boo, or are they playing kiss up to the developer and/or the good ‘ol boys over at the Planing Commission?

    You never know, these days, with the TRAIL. Remember the infamous crappy reporting on the news with the Chamber of Commerce’s No-Bid contract. Man, that was a fiasco.

    It was also a disservice to the community because the TRAIL failed to report the news about the back dealings of the four City Council Members. Instead, the TRAIL stabbed Councilman Spear in the back for simply doing his job, not going along to get along. The TRAIL failed to disclose how the Council arrested the bid of a local professional organization with exemplary qualifications.

    One of the most qualified organization in the State — a local Hi-Desert organization — never got a chance to put in a bid. Four members on the Council’s obstructed the organizations from even place a bid. I think it’s called obstruction of justice. That too went unreported by the TRAIL.

    Obfuscations in reporting and hiding the ball has become mainstream with the TRAIL. Business as usual as they say. However, the TRAIL must be held to the same journalistic standard as other competent newspapers are held to in the community.

    AT least get the facts right.

    And then we have the current boner of distortion of the news, not reporting he news, on their current “Yeas & Nays” stab in the back of Councilman Steve Spear.

    What’s going on over there in the Corporate Offices in Yucca Valley, Ms.Lady Publisher? Are you asleep at the wheel or just playing Richard Nixon dirty politics?

  2. Carey Alderson Theoldman says:

    The issue of a light and/or a cross-walk at that location is indeed a serious subject.

    If one were to be placed the city would have to fund most if not all the expense. CalTrans could not and would not help. And they might not approve it. (I believe that is right, I will have to double check that).

    For CalTrans to assist in the funding, a certain amount of traffic must pass thru the location. California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Branch makes these requirements. Part 4 I believe covers highway traffic signals.

    If the requirements are not met (as crazy as this sounds) they don’t feel that a need exists to warrant those types of safety measures.

    Now before I decide to cross most street, I look both ways, judge the distance of the street, and the distance of the oncoming traffic. Then choose when is the best time to cross the street.

    Just an observation.

  3. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    I personally am more concerned with being T-Boned as some inattentive person (not you or I of course) pulls out of the Stater Brothers parking lot and on to the hwy. I call the area right around the shopping center “the Gauntlet” and have been forced to slam on my brakes many a time to prevent my early demise.

    When the Stater Brothers center was built nothing was done about traffic control. Each time the city allowed a new motel to be built in the area nothing was done. Now we have a 4th hotel being built and something has to be done. It is time.

    Now the argument is what can be done…. Can it be made safer by a Traffic light? Could reducing the speed limit help? If crosswalks are unsafe as Pedersen says, what justification do we have for the other cross walks in town?

    A number of years ago the City came along and warning striped the center medium in front of Stater Brother to force cars to turn left at Encellia. The City has known that this area is a traffic hazard for decades. CalTrans came along and said no, but you still can see the striping. So if Mr. Pederen argues that this is not a traffic hazard area all one has to do is look at his reports back in the 1990s. The only thing that has changed is more traffic.

  4. Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

    Between the hotels and the housing development, the City should have made them pave Encelia all the way through to 2Mile Rd.

  5. fred fred says:


    Grade the roads, then complain everyone drives too fast on them.

    Pave the roads, then complain everyone drives too fast.

    Widen the hwy, put in emergency lanes, then complain everyone drives too fast.

    Move to the desert, and complain about dust on the roads.

    Quit paving over the desert.

    Quit grading the dirt roads so your car with two and half inches of ground clearance and rubber bands for tires feels like its on pavement, buy a vehicle suitable for the climate/terrain in which you have chosen live.

    Leave the desert the desert.

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