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Margo Sturges: “I’m Only One Person…..”

By   /   May 21, 2014  /   2 Comments

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Yucca Valley, Ca.,- Thank you to the loyal readers of Cactus Thorns and to my publisher, Dan O’Brien. A big Thanks to readers following my posts! I appreciate your readership and comments…all of them, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

News Tips: From time to time, I receive news and opinion suggestions for a “post,” from our readers…both “On” and “Off the Record.”

Please know this…I am only one person.

Having zipped past my 40th birthday some time ago, I have been pretty good at attending meetings and those that I have missed, I purchase the DVD to review in order to stay on top of the goings on in the Morongo Basin. Having said that, there are many meetings that take place on the same evening that I am unable to attend. What about the meetings that are NOT recorded on DVD? There are citizens in the audience that are recording the audio for me. Some of those meetings are covered by the local radio in a 30 second spot and newspaper…maybe.

Z107.7/Hi-Desert Star: Rarely is there any investigative reporting by these local news outlets and some articles are withheld so as not to reflect poorly on their advertisers or elected friends. On one occasion, the local radio station DENIED any wrong doing or State fines were imposed on HDWD Director, Bob Stadum, until Cactus Thorns posted ALL the legal documents and court rulings. There was no retraction or correction by Z107.7, nor did the Hi-Desert Star report on the $3,000 penalty imposed on Stadum for voting with a Conflict of Interest after receiving several warning letters. Let me add this, Rebecca Unger of the The Desert Trail reports the most detailed and accurate accounts on the many meetings she attends. She is a real asset to our community.

Citizen Reporters: I invite anyone who has an interest in the following agency meetings listed at the end of this story to attend and please submit a report on that meeting in a Word doc format and the JPG or URL for the image you wish to be attached. If you cannot use your name to be attached to the report, please state why or why not.  For anyone “Off the Record,” please submit any supporting documents, links or photographs because a starting point is required to request Public Records Information from any agency. Mark the subject matter “Confidential” and know that it will indeed remain confidential.

Pro-Video: Attending the meeting is more informative than watching it on a DVD.  Most of the time, the recording camera is turned on the person speaking and the body language of the officials sitting on the dais is left out as well as the activities taking place before and after the meetings.  Now is a good time to give a shout and plug to Bob Stephenson, owner of Pro Video who records many meetings: Yucca Valley/29 Palms Council meetings, Hi-Desert/Joshua Tree Water Boards, 29 Palms Planning Commission and SB County Municipal Advisory Council meetings. Bob is there to record many special meetings: Strategic Planning, candidate forums and Regional Water Board meetings, to name just a few. To purchase any DVD copy @ $5 each of past or future meetings, please call 760.228.0066.

Elected Officials/Candidates: Here is your platform to reach more readers than the local radio or local newspapers combined! While these reporting agencies will seek to charge you for any airtime or print space…your cost to post on Cactus Thorns is…Nada..zip..zero. Let’s hear from you about your take on the meetings I see you attending. Is it your “Opinion?” then let’s hear that too and the story will be placed in the “Opinion” section on Cactus Thorns. The more you post the more your name will show up on a Google Search thanks to the little electronic guys known as “web crawlers” on the internet automatically seeking and linking data. Cactus Thorns is a great place to advertise your business, non-profit, campaign or web page because of the wide readership which boosts your presence on the internet without costing an arm & a leg. Here is the link to advertise on Cactus Thorns>LINK

Rules and Guidelines: The Publisher and Owner of Cactus Thorns, Dan O’Brien, has some guidelines that must be followed ranging from inappropriate language or photos to excluding comments about family members and children.  Elected Officials/Appointees can be held up to public scrutiny but their family members are off limits on this blog. Please know that O’Brien has the final decision on these matters. Here is the link to the>Terms of Use.

300 Words or Less? Unlike the local newspaper limiting any submissions to 300 words or less, Cactus Thorns does not have any limitations.  As a rule, I try to submit my posts in the 300-350 word because those stories seem to garner the most reads on the short term basis. The longer posts, such as this one now hitting 840 words, will pick up more readership over a 7-21 day period, based on how current is the topic.

Link to my stories posted on Cactus Thorns> Author:Margo Sturges



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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. Agency meetings: Morongo Basin Unified School District, Hi-Desert Hospital, YV Planning Commission, YV Airport Authority, Basin Wide Foundation, BNI-Business Network meetings, Morongo Basin Homeless Coalition, Joshua Tree events…just to name a few. Seeking citizen reporters and Press Release too! Thanks!

    2. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      After thirteen years of pounding the keys here at Cactus Thorns, having half the town think I am nuts and the other half want my nuts on their mantle, it is good to see that others are poking at the system and I am basically on autopilot.

      I go in drop a few cut and paste stories that interest me, answer some email, comment once or twice and I am back out…. Pretty cool.

      We could use a fresh face writing an article once in a while but the crew is doing a magnificent job.

      Keep up the Great Work.

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