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The Silk Purse Closes After 14 Years in 29Palms

By   /   May 8, 2014  /   15 Comments

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Sue Kelly_Silk Purse

Twentynine Palms, Ca.,- The announcements have been posted on Facebook and by the 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce that Sue Kelly has decided to close her shop, The Silk Purse.  Kelly, also know for her fine acting was dedicated to her shop often hosting tea parties for the ladies as a “Thank You.” One could find everything from delicate lace to whimsey in her shop which she staged to feast the eye!

Fourteen years is a long time for any retail establishment especially to have weathered through the storm of the Great Recession. Best wishes to you Sue in your new chapter and thank you for the Silk Purse!

For what ever reasons you have for calling it a day, please know you have brought joy to Twentynine Palms!

One opinion out there is the following Editorial by Cynthia Truitt: The 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce newsletter stated the shop was closing because there were no vacation home rentals available, therefore, this retail business was closing shop after 14 year in the business.

Well…that seems to be a bit of a stretch to promote a certain agenda.  Here is the newsletter…you decide.I


Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce
www.29Chamber.org | 760-367-3445
Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce Newsletter
May 06, 2014
Board of Directors
Kalin Tobin

Melanie Robbins


Kurt Schauppner
Meredith Plummer
Chuck Caplinger
Past President
Carey Alderson
  Nikki Jones
In This Issue
Attention All Business Owners!
Only in 29 Palms…
Pumps and Pipes News
How to do Business with the Base
Patriotic Lap Quilt
Strings Conservatory Recital
Give Big to Your Nonprofits
Desert Institute Classes
Community Clean Up Day
Teen Crafting
Soroptimist International “Fun-Bus” Run
“An Evening at the Ruin”
Summer Day Camp
Stampin’ Up! News
The Silk Purse
Graduation Leis
Cover Art Contest
Rep. Paul Cook
“America’s Mother Road”

Becoming A Tourist Destination…

I was saddened to learn that one of our small business owners will be closing their doors at the end of this month.  After 14 years in business, it’s time for her to “walk in the park, have lunch with friends, and indulge in hobbies”.  This is great news for her, but sad news for our community, another empty storefront in our downtown corridor.  If Twentynine Palms is going to become a true tourist destination, we need to start walking the walk.  Last week’s Vacation Home Rental Workshop was very well attended as passionate citizens, on both sides of the fence, pleaded their arguments.  Whether you love them or hate them, they are a fact of life and a viable lodging option when people (potential visitors) search for places to spend their hard earned dollars.  Tourists want a choice.  These choices include where to go, where to stay, and what to see and do.  Now that we’re addressing the where to stay category, it’s time to move on to what to do.  In addition to our world renowned outdoor activities, our neighboring towns have great little shopping areas, attracting locals and visitors alike.  I don’t know about you but my vacations usually include a leisurely stroll through our destination community while stopping for a bite to eat, a refreshing beverage, browsing local shops, chatting with neighboring folks, and picking up some souvenirs.  These things require my family to spend money, which we are happy to do.  Money that helps the small business person and their communities prosper.  Tourism is a necessary and integral part of our city’s ability to thrive.  If we don’t offer visitors what they’re looking for once they get here, they’re just going to go somewhere else.  Let’s not be the community they drive thru, let’s be the community they come to!

Cynthia Truitt

Executive Director

“The Desert Rocks!”

“The Desert Rocks” is the newest exhibition at the Twentynine Palms Visitor’s Center Gallery and Chamber of Commerce office at 73484 Twentynine Palms Highway in the downtown business district of 29 Palms!

Jumping Jack Flash, Faster Than Faultlines, Quicker Than Quakes
Rik Verlin Livingston

“The Desert Rocks”  will call this gallery home until June 27th, 2014.  Thank you to all the artists that made this show possible!



Sign up for low-cost workshops for both new and existing business entrepreneurs. Localbusiness experts conduct training across a variety of relevant subjects including digital marketing, customer acquisition and management, social media, intellectual property, patents and trademarks, starting and financing a business, business plans, marketing, human resources and much more. Join the Breakfast Club and learn the “how’s”.


For workshop schedule CLICK HERE. 

Only in 29 Palms…

We welcome and encourage readers to send us their stories and/or pictures of things that only happen in 29 Palms! This is your opportunity to share the love you have of our wonderful city!!   

People Helping People For The Benefit Of All! 

Last week the Rotary Club of Twentynine Palms presented donation checks to the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce and the San Bernardino County Sheriff Citizen’s Patrol for their assistance in this year’s Rotary Carnival.

Pumps and Pipes News

Were you aware that American water systems were first developed to provide fire protection and not as a water supply for consumption?

While Twentynine Palms is the only city in San Bernardino County that provides fire service through the water district, it is not as unusual as you might think. The historical “bucket brigades” full of volunteer fire fighters were not enough to fight fires in the growing cities of the 1800s. The first piped, hydrant systems was established in the early 1800s with a system of hollowed out logs or trunks that carried water from the Schuykill River through the streets of Philadelphia. Fireplugs were placed at strategic spots to help firefighters access water more easily. The first post hydrant was created for the Philadelphia Water Works around 1801 by the company’s chief engineer, Fredrick Graff.

Patriotic Lap Quilt Raffle          

Stop by the Chamber today to pick up your raffle tickets for this beautiful Patriotic Lap Quilt sewn and donated by Giggles…Kidswear and More!. Ticket prices are $1.00 for 1, $5.00 for 6, and $10.00 for 15.
The winning ticket will be drawn at the 4th of July Celebration in Luckie Park. You do not need to be present to win! Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce seven days a week, 10am-4pm. For more information, call 760-367-3445.

The Desert Institute at JTNP Spring Classes 

The Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park, in partnership with the Old Schoolhouse Museum, will be presenting the lecture “Turkey Vultures and Bird Migrations Through the Desert” with Kurt Leuschner, professor of Natural Sciences at College of the Desert.

Sponsored by the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society, this lecture is held at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, on Friday, May 9th at 7 pm.  This lecture is open to the public and costs $5 per person at the door. Optional dinner with speaker at 5 pm at the 29 Palms Inn, room is limited and attendees are responsible for their own meal.  If interested in dinner please RSVP to Marion Gartner 760-361-1202 or desert29palms@yahoo.com.

Community Clean Up Day

A Community Cleanup Day will be held in Twentynine Palms on Saturday, May 10th, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. 

The City of Twentynine Palms and Burrtec Waste and Recycling Services are partnering in the cleanup effort, which will have a trash drop-off site and large bins located in the Community Services Center parking lot across from Luckie Park, at 74325 Joe Davis Drive, Twentynine Palms.

For more information or directions to the cleanup day drop-off site, contact City Hall at (760) 367-6799 or the Community Services office at (760) 367-7562.

Teen Craft at the Twentynine Palms Libary

Join us on Saturday, May 10th from 1 – 4 pm for teen crafts. This month’s craft is a duck tape rose pen. Enjoy refreshments as you create your one-of-a-kind craft. All supplies are provided by the Friends of the Library. The event is open to teens in grades 7-12.

For more information and to sign up for the teen craft, please call the Twentynine Palms Branch Library at 760-367-9519.

Soroptimist International “Fun-Bus” Run

Soroptimist International of 29 Palms will be having their annual Laughlin “Fun-Bus” Run this Saturday, May 10th, 2014. Our destination will be the Colorado Belle.

Cost is $30.00 per person which includes a Laughlin fun book, free buffet lunch at the Colorado Belle or the Edgewater and snacks on the bus. We will leave 29 Palms promptly at 8:00 AM from the Stater Bros parking lot and will be leaving  Laughlin at 7:00 PM arriving home around 10:00 PM.

There will be raffles, prizes and a 50/50 drawing plus other games on the was down. A movie will be shown on the return trip for your enjoyment. There will also be beverages for sale on the bus.

Tickets are available from any Soroptimist or at the Flower Garden – 760 367-1409. Any questions, contact Dee at 760 219-5416.

“An Evening at the Ruin” from Reach Out Morongo Basin

A dinner fundraiser to benefit Reach Out Morongo Basin “An Evening at The Ruin” will be held Saturday May 10th, 2014 from 4pm – 8pm. The Ruin owned by Paul Goff and Tony Angliotti in beautiful Pipes Canyon near Pioneertown, Ca. is a beautiful and magical place that features a majestic stone fireplace, a “bottle bar” built from empty wine bottles stacked with concrete inside recycled window frames from an old gas station and 75 year old olive trees brought in by the owner and planted in the court yard. Dinner features BBQ catering by Hero’s Catering, a no host bar with beer, margaritas and refreshments and live music by Machin’ and The Luminators.

Purchase your tickets today at the Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley Chambers of Commerce for $35 per person or $60 per couple. You can also purchase tickets at Reach Out offices in the Yucca Valley and 29 Palms Senior Center, ArtFx and Furnishings in Yucca Valley, and Reach Out Board Members. Contact Reach Out at 760-361-1410 for more information.

The Silk Purse

We will be closing the door of The Silk Purse at the end of this month. After 4 years in our location between Boardwalk and The Bistro – great neighbors and great landlords -and a total of 14 years in various locations, it is time for me to walk in the Park, have lunch with friends and indulge in hobbies.  Thanks to those of you who have been our support and our friends. I will still be doing Estate Sales and, with Terri Haskell , keep my hand in the business in other ways.  Mizz Whimzy, with her sweet gifts, will move on to another venue. We will have our blowout sale the last weekend in May. Stay tuned. 

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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell


  1. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Margo, your interpretation of Cynthia Truitt’s article is really a streeeeetch to promote your certain agenda.

  2. Hi Larry!

    The Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce lost their way by becoming involved in local politics. “They” supported a very bad tax that was the brainchild of the ex-town manager to cover his deficit spending. We now know the Chamber and the Manager were in bed together, literally and figuratively speaking, for over a year. I guess he was going to “show her the ropes” and much more.

    Our Chamber lost membership and credibility going into politics using their website, newsletter and email blasts to support political agendas…they lost sight of helping their business members survive in this Great Recession. And there was a failed attempt to use the Chamber to launch a political career…losing in every precinct.

    If the TOT, bed tax, is paying for the salaries and to keep the door open at any Chamber, wouldn’t it seem best that they do not weigh in on anything that may cut into those revenues? How much 29Palms TOT is being spent to support the Chamber? None of the previous Executive Directors wrote Editorials using your Chamber as his or her soapbox…what changed?

    Chambers of Commerce should not be involved in politics keeping a neutral stance. Our Chamber recently changed their motto, “We’re About Business!’

    My “agenda” is to bring balanced reporting to this situation from a business point of view without all the emotion. With 595 rooms, your city benefits greatly from this revenue and I believe that has been taken for granted. Presently, the base is planning to build 80 more hotel rooms which will cut into 29Palms TOT income and dispel the myth that military families visiting need Vacation Home Rentals.

    Vacation Home Rentals will not be the “magic bullet” to stir the economy UNLESS there are viable events-festivals-concerts-motocross events that draw from out of town and bring in large crowds.

    Project Phoenix will not be the “magic bullet” either. From a business point of view, and also the observation of Jim Ricker, there is nothing to generate income for the city. However, there are additional expenses, maintenance and now the city is on the hook to repay their bond.

    Oh yes…and your Casino? I like the original elevation of the first proposal. It reminded me of a 5-Star luxury resort in Sedona that was nestled into the backdrop of the surrounding mountains. Sorry Larry, but this one looks like a prison compound from a distance. They have been laying off personnel due to slow attendance.

    Bottom line: 29Palms needs to hire professionals to create a tourist market to bring in tourist dollars. Good intentions and best efforts by anyone else is a waste of time, energy and money.

    I only have best wishes for 29Palms and hope that I can be an advocate for the financial well-being for the city.

    I am always pleased that you take the time to comment or even point out typos on CT.

    Thanks Larry!

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      Have been told the base is not planning on building that 80 room motel. It was to be a replacement for the existing temporary lodging facility on the base. Vacation home rentals are not “magic Bullets”. They are another type of lodging that the public wants. There are ways to ensure TOT taxes and permit fees are paid for by the owners. The casino? The tribe wanted to build it in Joshua Tree but the JT “Inn” crowd said NO. P.S. Did you read in today’s Trail how one 29 hotel owner was given several stop-work orders for unpermitted expansion of his facility. I shows that he has faith in the future of his business in 29 but just doesn’t want more competition.

      • Larry..Larry..Larry, I have never known you to “with-hold” information.

        Bottom line: The hotel owner that you hold up in “faith” was trying to bootleg in a kitchen and bar into his hotel without pulling any permits.

        Not only is he in violation by not allowing inspections, he does not have enough parking for his two adjoining hotels and will not be able to meet the required additional parking for the new restaurant or bar.

        He owns two hotels, one has 72 rooms and the other has 38 rooms…that comes to 110 rooms. If he is required to have 110 spaces PLUS an additional 1.1%, he is failing on that requirement. Now add additional parking for his bar? And don’t forget the additional parking required for his sit-down restaurant too? That’s why he needs that parking lot waiver…(wink-wink!)

        Nor is he is compliance with the required septic capacity for adding a sit-down restaurant and special handling of the grease traps. He MAY even be required to add a sewer package treatment plant to protect the aquifer.

        Not to worry…the Planning Commission slapped his wrist and will give their OK for his liquor license and waive requirements for any additional parking.(Wink-wink!)

        Oh! That’s right…he was the only hotelier that submitted a letter in support of Vacation Home Rentals using his letterhead from his Yucca Valley Hotel…I believe. What a coincidence you say? He had a back-up strategy if he got caught boot-legging in the kitchen.

        This gentleman owns several hotels and you can Google his name to find out more. He can dance circles around our little towns and does exactly that. Oh, be sure to check the lawsuits he may be involved in Riverside Co and SB County.

        A slap on the wrist and he walks away with a liquor license and waivers on parking requirements. Not too bad of a start.

        His “faith” is in the sales of Saint Jack Daniels with a great cash flow, eh?

        (PS. I’m still waiting to confirm which Yucca Valley Hotel is approximately $200,000 in arrears on the TOT while someone used this locale for his “Love Nest.” Those pesky details…I can’t say anything without those Public Records Requests!)

      • Steve Whitten Steve Whitten says:

        That’s Interesting news Larry since I am the Planner for MCCS and the new TLF and as of Tuesday it was still a go. That is why we are Repaving Agate and Calcite roads. BTW the current TLF will stay a TLF.

        • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

          I’ll defer to you on that Steve.

        • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

          Hi Steve,

          Will this new TLF be used to house construction workers or is it only for active duty, retired, and DOD, as is the case nation wide?

          This is the first I have heard of the Base building a 80 room “hotel”.

          • Steve Whitten Steve Whitten says:

            Only “authorized MCCS patrons” will be allowed to reserve rooms.

            It will support the same mission of all TLF’s around the country. Primarily people TAD Tand Families in transition (Inbound/Outbound).

            Construction type contracted workers will still need to rely on the local accommodations for their housing needs.

            • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

              How much is this going to cost? Is it appropriated or non-appropriated funds being used> What happens to the old TLF?

            • Steve Whitten Steve Whitten says:

              @ Larry, Cannot tell you the projected cost due to the bidding rules. NAF and the old one will continue to be used as a TLF.

  3. idavidgraficks idavidgraficks says:

    The hotel building in 29 Palms was of the “boom and bust” variety. There was the military contractor demand that the “chains” saw and pursued. Those two or three “three and four story hotels” were built on that temporary speculation. Now the military contracts are winding down and the visitor demand is dwindling and we have empty rooms. Empty rooms that shouldn’t have been built (who in their right mind builds a four story hotel in 29 Palms). The squashing of the vacation home rentals in 29 Palms was led by some right wing bloggers who were trying to harass some of those people who had vacation home rentals and were on the left side of politiks in 29 Palms.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      You had me agreeing with you right up until the last couple of lines.

      If we have too many hotel rooms, how the hell is adding to the mix, vacation home rentals going to improve the plight?

      • michaelv michaelv says:

        You can have as many vacation rentals, hotels, motels, B&B’s, yurts, tents whatever you want to build, until there is a reason, for people to come, nothing and I feel nothing is going to change. The casino didn’t bring record crowds, PP is not going to do it either. There needs to be a draw, the dirt bike race was a great example. Hiring a consultant to help with creating a tourist market, in 29? how? with what money? I and others have said this several times, the City is at the end of the road. The blue sign on the East end pretty much says that: Next service 100 miles. Unless there is a really big draw and I mean really big, the City is going to remain a quaint little City. There are those who will argue with me, however if we look at the past ten years, we see a steady decline in businesses. Several opened and closed just as fast. Others struggled and finally couldn’t do it anymore. Reason? how about the Marines come off the base, make a right onto Indian Trail, a left on Lear and a right on 62. A clean shot to yucca valley and beyond.
        Please bring the Fire Department up to full compliment, repair the streets, clean up the downtown buildings, bank any extras that come in and be the nice place it was when I first moved to 29. Maybe one day in the future, growth may once again trickle out of Yucca and make its way East, until then, don’t keep trying to make something that is almost impossible to do.

        • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

          You mean Marine convoys. Convoys were creating traffic jams downtown back in the late 80′s and tearing up the pavements. Tourists are coming to 29 and staying in the 50 or more vacation rentals in Wonder Valley. Many of them would like to stay in homes in town while they visit the National Park. What would you recommend as a draw?

          • michaelv michaelv says:

            not talking about convoys, I am talking about Marines on liberty with wife and family or fellow marines heading west avoiding the City unless of course they need gas, cigarettes, auto parts, a haircut, and the occasional massage.
            There are 50 vacation rentals in Wonder Vally? good for them. I would say a majority of those renters are staying out there because they don’t want to be in the City. They are taking a vacation to get away, they want the seclusion. I am sure there are some that want to stay in the City to be closer to the Park. That is why JT does well with their V rentals as well. I am not saying it is a bad idea, just trying to figure out what other than the National Park do people come for, and what can the City do to entice more people to come. I don’t have the answer, that’s for sure. What happened to the drag strip? It is definitely something everyone has struggled with for years and in this economy, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

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