African Violet Show and Sale Held at Spring Valley Lake

Spring Valley Lake’s annual African Violet show and sale was held on Saturday, September 28, to the delight of those who love the beautifully-colored plants.

Adelia Barbee, of Spring Valley Lake, and Jeanne DuPuis, of Victorville found some good African Violet plants to take home.

Organizers of African Violet sale included Millie Reavis, Yoko Cox, Mary McCool, Pat Seymour and Victoria Flores.


Jettin' With Jazzie – Dec. 2013

Mild, Medium, Hot and Really Hot!

If you were driving into Silver Lakes on November 10th, you were probably wondering what was happening at Dempey’s on a Sunday afternoon besides football of course.

Did you stop? If you did, you joined the First Annual Charity Chili Cook Off, with all proceeds benefiting the Barstow Veterans Home.

Secret recipes of homestyle chili were entered by 20 people. Crock pots were lined up on a table with only numbers in front of them. The house was packed, but even so everyone could taste all varieties as many times as they liked, then vote on their favorite. As I squeezed my way around the bar inside and outside I overheard people commenting, “ number 15 was really creamy,” “number 4 had the heat,” “ number 10 had the most meat and flavor.” Now you can smell the amazing aroma of all the different chilis. I did not hear one complaint, but maybe a few reqeusts for Tums from those who overindulged.

Barbara Ormsby was in charge of music and calling out donated raffles all day. A silent auction featured donated items like LA Kings and Clippers tickets, a signed Angels jersey, famous prints, bar signs and more. I got side-tracked trying to win the LA Kings tickets. I did not win, but I contributed so the tickets did not go so cheap! All the money went to a good cause. (If there are Kings tickets next year, watch out, as I am starting my Kings fund now).

The event was a huge success, so Annie and Jack at Dempsey’s are making this an annual event. All you cooks out there? Get started on creating your special chili. $4,000 dollars was raised and delivered to the Veterans Home in Barstow.

Zombie Invasion

At ACE High School on November 3rd, people were seen running from… Zombies! The cross country team dressed up to chase about 70 willing participants in a 3.2 mile run to raise money for school athletics.

There was quite an enthusiastic crowd as they ran for the finish line evading zombies trying to grab their flag. Two hydration stations were provided to replenish the scared screaming runners and two vaccination stations to get a second chance for another flag in case you were infected by losing one of yours.

Donated prizes were given to the top three who made the finish line with both flags and all their body parts attached. First place was Israel Aguilar with William Brown coming in second and Abraham Aguilar in third. What a great creative fun fun-draiser!

Annual Silver Lakes Craft Fair

The annual Silver Lakes Craft Fair was not to miss. Crafters set up at the clubhouse to sell handmade, creative, one-of-a-kind crafts. Everything was there, for someone special or for yourself, for the holidays.

Booths were set up outside by the pool and throughout every inch of the clubhouse, with trinkets, candles, jewelry, pillows, and holiday décor. It is amazing how many crafty creative people we have out here who work hard making wonderful pieces of themselves to share with others.

I am happy to say I got a lot of my holiday shopping done. I couldn’t resist keeping one for myself, to hang on my door. It is so adorable, I’m thinking about keeping it up all year long. I wish we had this event twice a year (and next time with home made baked goods).

All Dressed Up at Halloween Dance

The Annual Costume Halloween Dance at The Inn was another huge success that had the bar at capacity. Some of the costume wearer planned their attire up tp a year in advanced to be the most unique, creative and surprising to share with friends, other patrons, and of course to win best costume. The DJ played his music as clowns, vampires, zombies and more danced and conversed in and out on the balcony on a wonderful evening under the stars. This is the one night all year that the grown ups have an excuse to play dress up and NOT act like an adult.

Go Away Big Green Monster

Nothing could be more adorable than toddlers all dressed up, listening to stories and having fun. What a hidden treasure we have in Silver Lakes with Story Time. Carol Agwain entertains local children Tues. thru Thurs. mornings with reading, snacks and activities. It is a great way for children to learn to interact with peers before starting kindergarten, and also to give mommies time to mingle with their peers as well. I for sure will be back.

Rep. Paul Cook Welcomes Deal to Save the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area

Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) welcomed the announcement on December of a deal on the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA). This language, which was made public last night, would preserve approximately 100,000 acres of Johnson Valley as the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area. The deal will allow the Marines to expand the Twentynine Palms Marine Base into a portion of Johnson Valley and would end the threat of military expansion to the remaining off-road area.

The new Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area is nearly as large as the Imperial Sand Dunes at Glamis and is explicitly designated for off-highway vehicle use under the new law. Included in this area is the entire “Hammers” area, both the front and back side. Spooners, Aftershock, Sunbonnet, the Riffle Monument, and the Cal200 Memorial (The Rockpile) are also located within the preserved off-road area. The majority of the Fry Mountains and full access to Soggy Dry Lake Bed are also guaranteed for off-highway vehicle use, as well as access to Emerson Dry Lake Bed.

This deal is the culmination of a years-long campaign to save the Hammers from base expansion. The famed “King of the Hammers” Race, which draws over 30,000 people to Johnson Valley every year, will continue under the new bill. The Bureau of Land Management estimates that Johnson Valley currently generates more than $71 million annually for local economies.

The Marines would be allowed to use a portion of the nearly 100,000 acre Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area for a maximum of 60 days per year. It would be open to the off-road community for recreational use during the remaining 305 days.

Cook said, “My biggest concern has always been public safety. This agreement ensures public safety, while also balancing the training needs of the Marine Corps with the rights of the off-road community. It preserves California’s most important off-road recreation area for future generations. After years in which off-roaders have lived in fear of the closure of Johnson Valley, this permanently ends the threat of base expansion into off-road areas.”

San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos stated, “This compromise reached on the Johnson Valley OHV recreational area is a well-designed plan that will protect our residents, local economy, and our recreation community while allowing the military to maintain essential training operations. I applaud Congressman Cook for his leadership in the House of Representatives, Senator Dianne Feinstein for her support, and my fellow Board colleagues for standing with them on this critical issue.”

San Bernardino County Supervisor Robert Lovingood said, “This is a victory for everyone. The Marine Corps gets land for training while preserving off-roading areas and the economic impact of the King of the Hammers event.”

Dave Cole, one of the founders of King of the Hammers, responded to the deal by saying, “While I am happy that we will be able to continue racing King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, I am truly thankful that we have preserved the ability of future generations to enjoy this amazing area.”

Robert Lombardo, the Mayor of Yucca Valley said, “Saving a large portion of Johnson Valley not only allows for recreation to continue, but it makes it safer for the residents who would have been located so close to the proposed USMC boundary. I am excited to have the positive economic impacts of the off-road community continue, while allowing the Marines to meet their training needs.”

Mayor Dan Mintz of Twentynine Palms commented, “I’m proud that the voices of our communities were heard by our representatives in Congress, and I’m thankful that the Marines listened. We look forward to continuing our positive relationship with the Marines, while still being able to recreate safely. Off-roading has been a huge economic benefit to our city, and I’m thrilled that this deal will allow it to continue.”

Fred Wiley, the President/CEO of the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), also weighed in on the deal, “The off-highway motorized recreation community considers this ground breaking legislation a ‘win’ for both the OHV community and the US Marines. A 5-year effort by the California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC) has demonstrated that it is possible to share land in order to accomplish military training goals and protect motorized recreation areas. If not for Congressman Cook’s leadership, this shared-use agreement would not have been possible. As a result, Johnson Valley will soon be designated by Congress as the ‘Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area’ managed by the Department of Interior.”

The Marine Corps released the following statement: “The expansion of 29 Palms is the best investment the Marine Corps has made to ensure combat success and the safe return home of our Marines, as it addresses the Marine Corps’ current training and readiness shortfalls. The Marine Corps will now be able to conduct fully integrated, live-fire exercises based on current training requirements, while still preserving safe public access for Off-Highway Vehicle recreation in Johnson Valley.”

A map of the compromise plan for the Johnson Valley can be found at:


A member of the House Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.