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  • The Johnson Valley Cinco de Mayo Fiesta happens on Saturday afternoon, May 7th, and you are invited!

    Admission is 10.00 per person. You get a free frozen margarita, the Taco Grill Dinner, and the Dessert Bar! If you go for another margarita, it’s 3.00.
    Doors open at 2:30, and the event lasts from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Enjoy chips and dips with your margaritas.

    Menu: The Taco Grill open from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

-Tacos: choose carne asada, chicken, or pork tacos,

-add your choice of zesty salsas,

-plus rice and beans,

-and lots of choices from the Dessert Bar!

Locations: Enjoy margaritas and dinner indoors, or

-under the shade pergola at the front entry, or
-outdoors on the back patio or
-in the Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden
next to the parking area (see below).

No weather forecasts yet, but we’re talking May after all. We could have heat or high winds chase us inside the hall, or we could expect a calm mild afternoon with one of those beautiful Johnson Valley skies!  Quien sabe?

• This Monday, April 18, there’s lots to hear about when the Homestead Valley Community Council meets in the Yucca Mesa Community Center.

One hot topic on the agenda: the unpopular “glamping” (glamorous camping) project proposed on a large parcel just south of Flamingo Heights.

Its entry would be from Hwy 247 just after it climbs out of Pipes Wash and makes that quick curve to head north. Developers plan for permanent facilities with amenities for up to 300 guests!

HVCC will present their comments, and provide information on how you can send your own comments, due April 21. Time is getting short.

Another topic of interest: if you are a property owner in an unincorporated area in this county, it’s in Fire Protection District 5; you probably pay your FP-5 parcel tax with a lot of grumbling. Of course, any parcel tax by its nature has to be deemed unfair. No matter the assessed value, the most valuable property is taxed the same as the least, even an undeveloped, unoccupied plot out in the boonies, with little or no likelihood of calling for any County Fire services.

The parcel tax pays for firefighting and emergency rescue services in Fire Protection Service Zone 5, which was expanded to most county areas in 2018. That includes everyone in the Morongo Basin except for Morongo Valley, which has its own fire department. It also covers the entire budget for county firefighting and rescue services in Twentynine Palms. Last year, the parcel tax brought in a reported $41.5 million countywide.

A speaker at Monday’s HVCC meeting, Tom Murphy from the Red Brennan Group, will do a presentation on the repeal of the FP-5 fire tax that their group promotes.
(In the May HVCC meeting, Fire Chief Dan Munsey will come to present on the financial state of the SB County Fire Dept.

Fair and balanced.)

This Monday’s meeting begins at 3:00 p.m. in the Yucca Mesa Community Center, 3133 Balsa Ave, just off Aberdeen Rd. about 2 miles from Hwy 247.

• The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division has posted more big numbers in their advisory on Operation Hammer Strike Weeks 31 and 32, as the battle continues against the illegal pot farms all over the Southern California High Desert.

53 search warrants garnered;

-54  suspects arrested
-82,116  cannabis plants seized
-7,496 pounds of processed marijuana
-4,421 grams of concentrated cannabis
-2,268 grams of Psilocybin Mushrooms
-16 grams of methamphetamine
-29 firearms seized
-$204,000.00 estimated cash seized

They logged:

-321 greenhouses eradicated
-1 electrical bypass mitigated (severe fire hazard!)
-3 THC extraction labs

Total (low ball estimate) wholesale product value of cannabis seized = $53,409,400.00. That averages $3,814,957.14 per day! No wonder we were overrun with this scourge of the desert.
Don’t remember noticing mushrooms or meth in the roundup lists before. Maybe they were for the suspects’ recreation after a hard day’s watching the grass grow.

I’m sure those suspects had the proper background checks when they purchased those firearms, too.


If you have any information regarding this investigation please send word to the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org.
Or report anonymously on the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave the information online at the We-Tip Hotline, www.wetip.com.

• Some brilliant folks working out the government takeover of open desert lands hit on large expanses of Johnson Valley to declare as Designated Focus Areas (DFA’s) in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP).
They had five years of planning and gave local residents little time to react, then ignored us when we did.

Industrial renewable energy projects have been a recurring nightmare ever since. We never figured out where the “conservation” part came in.

The Johnson Valley Improvement Association linked many other community organizations ranging from the Morongo Basin in the east to Apple Valley in the west, fending off many projects. This coalition grew after witnessing the many problems in the installation and operation of early solar projects and hearing reports of wind turbine failures from Tehachapi to Palm Springs.

Now, Johnson Valley sees the blinking red warning lights of four meteorological towers, set up without public notice, in full view of our community across Hwy 247, near the southern edge of the Johnson Valley OHV Area.

Jim Harvey, president of the Homestead Valley Community Council, sent a Freedom of Information Act request to get an explanation of these “met” towers.

The reply announced, “Need for the proposed project is to obtain meteorological information necessary for assessment and characterization of the wind energy resources at the proposed project area to determine feasibility of a future wind energy project.”

Remember the DRECP DFA’s? Spot on: BLM permitted right of way to the tower sites in DFA’s, planned to test the winds for three years.

The FOIA request also yielded this info: “The proposed project is located in a remote and rural area approximately 0.6 mile south of the unincorporated town of Johnson Valley, California, and therefore would not impact populated communities.”

First of all: the project area is directly NORTH of the community from a viewpoint between Pony and Bighorn Roads.

Secondly: they must assume that those of us living at the higher altitude anywhere SOUTH of 247 must suffer dim eyesight. A bunch of enormous wind turbines right in the middle of the valley would have plenty of impact, both on our appreciation of our million-dollar view and on our property values! Do the property owners close by in the neighborhood of those towers have any idea what’s going on?

Never mind the horrendous visual intrusion into the scenic corridor of Hwy 247 by monster wind turbines and the resulting power transmission pylons along the way.

Never mind the mindset of the Marine Corps in the Air Ground Combat Center just north and east of the Johnson Valley OHV Area. They have major concerns over any development along 247, their western access route. Marine pilots have also experienced dangerous radar blackouts caused by those gigantic blades on those wind turbines.


We won’t mention bird kill.

The FOIA response cunningly announces the met towers on BLM lands as

“80-meters in height, 10-inches in diameter at the base, and the outer guy wires would form a 164-foot radius around the central tower pole.”

80 meters equal 262.4672 feet, but of course 80 meters doesn’t sound nearly so tall to us non-metric hicks-in-the-sticks who still use only human measurements, inches, feet, and yards.

They were kind enough to note the radius of 164 feet of stabilizing cables around each tall skinny tower. Offroaders, be especially careful not to lose your sense of location out there at night. “Off road” could be dangerous. We need to check if any fencing has been erected. Send photos, please, if you go out there.



If you wish to unsubscribe from the JV NEWS, please write to Betty at ranchotaj@gmail.com


• To new readers of the JV NEWS who have not visited the Johnson Valley Community Center:

The mailing address is

50567A Quailbush Rd.
Johnson Valley CA 92285

Directions: From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea Road, and go 1-3/4 miles up to Quailbush Road.

The Community Center is on your left at the corner.

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden is next to the parking lot, open to all.

Watch your step on garden paths, keep a lookout for things like garden hoses and work sites. Overgrown branches could get in your way if the crew has not spotted them yet (please pass the word).
Community donations of relics from our homesteading days, plus many hours of dedication and hard work have produced a unique desert demonstration garden that’s a fun destination. The crew wants everyone to enjoy it and help be careful with it.


(For their own safety, please help keep kids and dogs out of the garden railway layout. It’s easily damaged, and the trains won’t run with dirt and obstacles on the tracks. Just like the big guys!)



Good news about your Saturday Breakfast in JV

…though you also get a choice of ham or sausage, too


Keep smilin’


Betty Munson

Betty Munson
c/o Ship-It-Shop
51720 Hacienda Rd.
Johnson Valley CA 92285

By Betty Munson

Betty Munson c/o Ship-It-Shop 51720 Hacienda Rd. Johnson Valley CA 92285

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