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Quartzsite, Arizona

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quartzsite Solar Energy seeks BLM Land Use Amendment

BLM Yuma Resource Management Plan

Notice of Intent to for a proposed Land Use Plan Amendment

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Yuma Field Office is considering amending a land use plan to allow the use of public land for the proposed Quartzsite Solar Energy Project in La Paz County, Arizona.

A Notice of Intent announcing the proposed amendment was published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2011. The land use plan amendment would be in conjunction with the proposed project.

The Notice of Intent, initiates the public participation and scoping processes for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. A public scoping period of at least 30 days ends on April 29, 2011. At least two public meetings will be announced through the local news media, newspapers, and BLM’s Web site ( at least 15 days prior to the meetings.

Quartzsite Solar Energy LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Solar Reserve LLC, has submitted an application to the BLM requesting a right-of-way to construct, maintain and operate an electrical generating facility with a capacity of up to 100 megawatts, using concentrated solar thermal tower technology. An array of mirrors would focus light on receivers at the top of a 653-foot tower. The focused energy would be used to heat salt to a molten state, which would in turn heat steam to power a turbine. The project would require approximately 1,450 acres of BLM-managed land. The proposed site is about 10 miles north of Quartzsite and about 1 mile east of State Route 95.

Western Area Power Administration, a Federal agency, is also requesting a right-of-way for their connected action to the project for a 230-kilovolt collector transmission line, substation, and other related facilities.

The proposed project may require an amendment to the Yuma Resource Management Plan (RMP) because the area is designated as a Visual Resource Management Class III area. The objective of Class III designation is to partially retain the existing character of the landscape. The level of change to the characteristic landscape should be moderate, under that classification.

A visual contrast rating analysis determined a potential strong contrast to the landscape because of the proposed size of the project, the receivers’ glow, and the proximity to State Route 95. Under those conditions, the project would not be in compliance with the Yuma RMP. Thus an amended RMP may be required before right-of-way approval could be given for the project.

The Notice of Intent, initiates the public participation and scoping processes for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. A public scoping period of at least 30 days and at least two public meetings will be announced through the local news media, newspapers, and BLM’s Web site ( at least 15 days prior to the meeting.

During the public scoping period, the BLM is soliciting public comment on issues, concerns, and opportunities that should be considered in the analysis. Comments about the proposed action should focus on the potential environmental impacts, visual resource management, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. In order to be included in the Draft NEPA document, all comments must be received prior to the close of the scoping period. Additional opportunities for public participation and formal comment will occur when the Draft NEPA document is issued. Comments may be submitted by either of the following methods:

Mail: Use first-class postage and include your name, any organization you represent, and a return address to: Quartzsite Solar Energy Project, ATTN: Eddie Arreola, Supervisory Project Manager, BLM State Office, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Electronic Mail: Include your name, any organization you represent, and return address in the email message to:

The public should be aware that addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or other personal identifying information may be made public. While withholding personal identifying information can be requested, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For further information, contact Eddie Arreola, Supervisory Project Manager for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project. Contact information: 602-417-9505 or

The BLM manages more land - over 245 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Arizona Medical Marijuana Final rules released by AZDHS

Medical Marijuana begins in TWO WEEKS!

Want to know the rules for
Medical Marijuana Dispensories in Arizona?

Arizona Dept. of Health Services published their final Rules for managing the upcoming Medical Marijuana Program in Arizona. AZDHS released the final rules and a series of fact sheets on their website first-thing this morning. The fact sheets are designed to help prospective qualified patients, designated caregivers, dispensary applicants and physicians understand the final set of rules (including dispensary application procedures). AZDHS will be updating their website on April 14th, including the electronic application so qualified patients can begin applying for medical marijuana cards.

Rules, fact sheets, applications and more can be found at:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lane closures Hwy. 95, north of Quartzsite begins Wed.

Pavement maintenance and lane closures on
SR 95 north of Quartzsite begins Wednesday

Travelers should expect brief delays

YUMA - Arizona Department of Transportation crews will be sealing cracks in the pavement on a 10-mile segment of State Route 95 north of Quartzsite beginning Wednesday (March 23). Flaggers will be on-site to direct both north and southbound traffic through the work zone while crews work on the road surface.

Work is scheduled to take place weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is scheduled for completion by April 1.

Signs will be displayed to inform drivers of the work zone and traffic restrictions. The speed limit will be reduced and drivers should be prepared to stop as workers alternate traffic through the work zone. Barricades will be removed at the end of each work day.

This project is part of an on-going effort to seal pavement cracks in and around the Yuma area.

ADOT advises drivers to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 5-1-1.

For more information about this project, please visit or contact Yuma District Senior Community Relations Officer Gaby Gonzalez at 928.699.8983 or Local media should contact the ADOT Public Information Office at or 1.800.949.8057. Visit or for more information about ADOT.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quartzsite Chili Cook-off and Rock Auction photos

Saturday, March 5, 2011 was a delightful day in
Quartzsite, Arizona!
The Quartzsite Chili Cook-off joined with
the 2nd Annual Rock Auction
for a unique new successful event for our community!

Quartzsite is the Rock Capital of the World! Local artists volunteered their time and talent painting Rock Slabs donated by Inland Lumber, Ace Hardware in Blythe, Calif. The 2nd Annual Rock Auction raised $2665 for local charities. Thank you Quartzsite for your generosity!
Quartzsite Quilters created this one-of-a-kind beauty! Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the year until the Arizona Centennial Finale in February, 2012. Tickets are only $1 or 6/$5! You've got to see it to believe it!Way to go ladies!


Local Senior Artists painted small rocks all year for the silent auction! Thank you everyone for your participation! We thought we had around 30, but ended up with 60! Many folks got to take home these treasures and raised funds for Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite!

Hundreds of folks lined up to taste the best chili in town! What a great turnout! Thanks Quartzsite
Auctioneer Richard McBride (left) and his helper Jerry Livingston (right) entertained the crowd while auctioning off the beautiful Rock Art Pieces.

Special Meeting of Quartzsite Town Council- Tues. March 15, 2011 @ 9am




TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2011 9:00 AM

031511 – SP1. Discussion and possible action to reevaluate the park model rate to be reduced to be charged as an RV instead of as a mobile home as recommended by the Municipal Utilities Action Committee. (not open for public discussion)
Alex Taft, Town Manager


Items may be taken in any order: The time for public input may be designated at any time. Members of the public should be advised, however, that the Council may be prevented by law from discussing the subject matter presented unless it is listed among the agenda items. (“Members of the public body shall not discuss or take legal action on matters raised during an open call to the public unless the matters are properly noticed for discussion and legal action.” A.R.S. § 38-431.01)





Thursday, March 10, 2011

2010 Census Data for Quartzsite, Arizona

Quartzsite Population Data now available from the US Census 2010.

Quartzsite, Arizona has a population of 3,677
which is a 9.63% increase over Census 2000. (3,354 in 2000)

3,423 are over the age of 18.
92.5% of the population is white.

Total housing units are: 3,378
Occupied housing units: 2,027
Vacant housing units 1,351

more information can be found soon at:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quartzsite, Arizona: America's largest parking lot NEW VIDEO!

Suli Yi, a photojournalist from Voice of America, Chinese branch in Washington, DC visited Quartzsite during the peak of tourism in mid January, 2011. I spent a couple of hours with him, as I prepared for the Feb. 2nd issue. What a wonderful gentle man. There are some great scenes of the desert RVers, the Hams, entertainment at the QIA, Paul Winer, and me. The announcer speaks in Chinese, so I really don't know what she all is saying. It is funny to hear my name spoken in Chinese, tho. I believe this is just the first installment. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quartzsite Town Council beats challengers, unofficial results of today's election

The unofficial results are in and all five recalled council members retain their seats. The information below is provided by La Paz County Elections:

The final results will be posted here when made available.

Town of Quartzsite-Recall of Patricia Anderson

1 of 1 Precincts Reporting

                                                  Percent Votes

ANDERSON, PATRICIA (NP)    53.04% 305

WORKMAN, PATRICIA (NP)    46.43% 267

Write-in (NP)                                   0.52% 3


Town of Quartzsite-Recall of Barbara Cowell
1 of 1 Precincts Reporting

                                              Percent Votes

COWELL, BARBARA (NP)    56.15% 324

JONES, JENNIFER (NP)         43.33% 250

Write-in (NP)                               0.52%   3


Town of Quartzsite-Recall of Jose Lizarraga
1 of 1 Precincts Reporting

                                         Percent Votes

LIZARRAGA, JOSE (NP)       63.69% 335

Write-in (NP)                         36.31% 191


Town of Quartzsite-Recall of Jerry Lukkasson
1 of 1 Precincts Reporting

                                             Percent Votes

LUKKASSON, JERRY (NP)    60.64% 322

Write-in (NP)                             39.36% 209


Town of Quartzsite-Recall of Joe Winslow 
1 of 1 Precincts Reporting

                                           Percent Votes

GJERDAHL, DAVID (NP)    44.87% 258

WINSLOW, JOE (NP)          53.22% 306

Write-in (NP)                            1.91% 11


Construction at Hwy. 95 & Hwy. 72 north of Quartzsite, begins Monday

Project to add shoulders to SR 95 and SR 72 begins Monday

Drivers should expect lane closures

YUMA - The Arizona Department of Transportation will begin work on March 14 on a shoulder widening project immediately north, south and east of the intersection of State Route 95 and State Route 72. Construction on SR 95 will be on the north side of the intersection from MP 132 to MP 140 and construction on SR 72 will be on the east side of the intersection from MP 13 to MP 14. The project includes widening the roadway with the addition of new eight-foot paved shoulders on both sides of an eight -mile stretch of State Route 95 and an 1-mile stretch of State Route 72 south of Parker.

Beginning Monday (March 14), segments of the highways will be closed through the completion of the project.

What to expect during construction:

· Lane closures will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday.
· One lane of the highway will be closed and construction crews will direct traffic in alternating directions through the work zone.
· Delays are expected. Motorists are advised to provide additional time to reach their destinations.
· This project will be completed in phases.
· Work will start on the north end of the SR 95 segment beginning at MP 140. Once that segment is completed, work will continue south along State Route 95 in 2-mile increments.
· Once construction of the shoulders is completed, crews will begin paving the widened shoulders throughout the project area.

This project is scheduled to be completed by early summer 2011.

As always, drivers are reminded to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down, and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

The construction project schedule is subject to change due to a variety of reasons, including weather, material availability and mechanical difficulties.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 511.

For more information about this project, please visit or contact Gaby Gonzalez, Yuma District Public Information Officer, at 928.699.8983 or Local media should contact the ADOT Public Information Office at or 1.800.949.8057. Visit or for more information about ADOT.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Quartzsite Chili Cook-off and Rock Auction huge success!

Quartzsite- The Quartzsite Chili Cook-off, sponsored by the Arizona Centennial Committee of Quartzsite was originally planned for Feb. 26th, but was postponed due to weather. On Saturday, March 5th the Chili Cook-off joined forces with Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite's 2nd Annual Rock Auction for a new successful event for the community!

Every cook entering was a winner! With the change of date and the new venue, organizers were surprised with the wonderful turnout. Hungry folks arrived all afternoon to taste the delicious entries. "It's another beautiful event for Quartzsite!" said Jerry Lukkasson, the event coordinator. "Looks like everyone had a fun afternoon!"

This year, the organizers held a beer garden,  using the almost completed "Snack Shack" being built with donated funds from local businesses, residents, and snowbirds. The cooks and vendors set up on the football field, with lots room for all the other activities.

Quartzsite Rotary held a raffle, AZ Centennial souvenior hats and bags were available for sale. There were vendors, a Penny Auction, and the debut of the AZ Centennial Quilt made by local quilters was on display. The beautifully detailed quilt will be on display throught the year at each of the AZ Centennial events. Raffle tickets can be purchased for only $1 or 6 tickets for $5! The drawing for the Quilt will be held at the AZ Centennial Finale Event in February, 2012. You've got to see this quilt! Buy a ticket and it can be all yours! Proceeds will support the Centennial Lasting Legacy Project.

PNQ's Rock Auction raised over $2600 this year, a 25% increase over last year's event. Dean Taylor won the bidding for the first Rock Art Piece, painted by J. Foster Stoltz. His winning bid of $300 will be donated to the Children's Playground at the park. The sale of the two Rock Art Pieces painted by local Elementary School children raised $375 for a Children's Art Fund. Those two pieces were purchased by Susan Cushman and Patricia Anderson, and both buyers donated the rock art to be in locations where the children will continue to see their beautiful work on display: One will be located at Quartzsite Elementary School and the other will be on display at the Children's Library. The other fourteen Rock Art Pieces were delivered on Sunday to their new loving homes!

A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make this such a wonderful event! Next year will only get better!

Thank you Quartzsite for making the Chili Cook-off and Rock Auction a huge success!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Low turnout for Quartzsite "Meet the Challengers" Reception

Last night the five candidates challenging the incumbent Town Council Members held a "reception" at Crawford's Trailer Park at 7pm. The five challengers, David Gjerdahl, Pat Workman, Victor Lee (write-in), Jennifer Jones, and Sean Austin (write-in) talked to a small audience of EIGHT--2 members of the press, 1 musician (who performed two beautiful songs), 2 challenger supporters, the event sponsor, and only 2 members from the community).
It was publicized as a "casual meet and greet", where candidates would be answering "your questions one on one". The candidates were seated behind a table and spoke about their history, why they are upset with the town, and changes they wish to make. It wasn't until asked a question that Workman spoke saying, "they've about said it all, and there's not much more to say."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Public comments wanted regarding Grand Canyon preservation- meetings next week!

Grijalva Urges Public Participation in Grand Canyon Meetings Next Week –
Scope of Land Preservation Depends on Comments Received

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, who recently introduced HR 855 to set aside approximately 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon from mining claims, is urging members of the public to attend a series of upcoming meetings around Arizona to discuss the Canyon’s fate with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials. Grijalva has led the fight in Congress to preserve the Grand Canyon from potential uranium mining.

“This is our chance to make sure conservation doesn’t just become a fond memory or a word without a meaning,” Grijalva said. “Preserving the beauty of the American West is a full-time job and can’t be taken for granted. Opening land around the Grand Canyon to uranium mining would set a horrible precedent that we could never undo, and I hope to see the public speak its mind over this next month about how important conservation still is to all of us and to our future generations.”

The land is in three parcels: two are north of the Grand Canyon National Park on BLM Arizona Strip and Kaibab National Forest lands, and one is south of the Grand Canyon in the Kaibab National Forest. The Department of the Interior is accepting public comments until April 4 on which of four proposed policies it should implement in the affected locations. Those options include:

· Allowing hardrock mineral exploration and mining to continue throughout the Grand Canyon area.
· Withdrawing about 1 million acres from hardrock mineral exploration and mining for 20 years.
· Withdrawing a reduced area of about 650,000 acres from hardrock mineral exploration and mining for 20 years.
· Withdrawing a further reduced area of about 300,000 acres from hardrock mineral exploration and mining for 20 years.

Public meetings to discuss these options will take place next week in Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Fredonia, Ariz. Each meeting listed below will last from 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

· March 7, 2011 National Training Center, 9828 North 31st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85051. The site requires non-government personnel to show a driver’s license, state identification or passport before entering.
· March 8, 2011 High Country Conference Center, Agassiz & Fremont Rooms, 201 West Bulter Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
· March 9, 2011 Fredonia High School, Media Center, 221 East Hortt Street, Fredonia, AZ 86022

For those who cannot attend, comments must be in writing and should be mailed to Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Strip District, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, UT 84790, or e-mailed to More information is available at or (435) 688-3200.


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