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Quartzsite, Arizona

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Quartzsite Town Council agenda for Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The agenda for Tuesday night's Quartzsite Town Council meeting is now online at


062811 – 1. Discussion and possible acceptance of Council Member Lizarraga’s resignation and discussion regarding filling the vacancy. (Not open for public discussion)
Alex Taft, Town Manager
062811 – 2. Discussion and possible approval of Resolution No. 11-10; declaring as public record that certain document filed with the Town Clerk and entitled “The 2010-11 Amendments to the Tax Code of the Town of Quartzsite”. (Not open for public discussion)
Karen Norris, Town Clerk

062811 – 3. Discussion and possible approval of Ordinance No. 11-07; adopting “The 2010-11 Amendments to the Tax Code of the Town of Quartzsite” by reference, establishing an effective date; providing for severability and providing penalties for violations. (Open for public discussion)
Karen Norris, Town Clerk

062811 – 4. Discussion and possible appointment of Public Defender for the Town of Quartzsite Magistrate Court. (Not open for public discussion)
Alex Taft, Town Manager

062811 – 5. Discussion and possible appointment of Prosecutor for the Town of Quartzsite Magistrate Court. (Not open for public discussion)
Alex Taft, Town Manager

062811 – 6. Discussion and possible approval to advertise a request for Statement of Qualifications for Professional Engineering and Related Services on a Task Order Basis on Town of Quartzsite Transportation and Public Works projects. (Not open for public discussion).
Al Johnson, Asst. Town Manager

062811 – 7. Discussion and possible censure of the Mayor regarding violation of the Quartzsite Council Procedure Manual by releasing for publication comments not shared by the majority of the Council, and without the knowledge or permission of the Town Manager. (Not open for public discussion).
Joe Winslow, Council Member

Quartzsite man arrested in fatal accident near Wilhoit, AZ

Wilhoit, AZ- Prescott Daily Courier reports William Swaggerty, 57, of Quartzsite was arrested after fleeing the scene of a fatal accident on Wed., June 22, 2011. An 8 year-old boy was killed when the vehicle driven by Swaggerty rolled down a steep embankment. The mother of the child was seriously injured. For the full Prescott Daily Courier story, see below.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quartzsite budget meeting Friday, June 24 10am

Quartzsite Town Council will hold a worksession to discuss the budget for the fiscal year 2011-2012. The discussion IS open for public comments.
The meeting will take place at Town Hall on Friday, June 24, at 10am.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ADOT Cancels Future Furlough Days

Operational efficiencies allow for
return of uninterrupted customer service

PHOENIX — Efforts within the Arizona Department of Transportation to reduce costs through increased efficiencies and an overall reduction in expenses has allowed the agency to cancel all future staff furlough days – assuming the financial picture remains stable.

Last week, ADOT Director John Halikowski announced to employees that the remainder of furlough days for the 2011-2012 calendar years have been canceled, acting on discretion granted by the legislature.

This is good news for ADOT customers.

Offices, including Motor Vehicle Division customer service centers, will return to offering uninterrupted service. Office locations and hours are available at

“The credit for this accomplishment goes to ADOT employees who have helped make the department more efficient and productive, reducing operational costs and contributing to our financial stability,” Halikowski said. “These have been challenging times – for our customers and our employees – but we have worked together to confront these challenges. Everyone at ADOT looks forward to supporting our communities through our customer service, public safety, maintenance and operational efforts.”

ADOT would only consider future furloughs if unforeseen circumstances occur, such as a significant reduction of tax revenue to the State Highway Fund, and if furloughs were absolutely necessary to maintain the fiscal integrity of the State Highway Fund.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quartzsite businessman offers $15 million to bail out La Paz Co

Charles Richard Oldham announced his group of businessmen is offering $15 million dollars to free La Paz County of it's debt to Yakima Compost Co. The new corporation, La Paz Disposal, LLC has it's proposal available online at

Friday, June 17, 2011

DPS investigation report on Police Chief Jeff Gilbert available

Quartzsite, AZ- The original Arizona DPS Report investigating Chief Gilbert is available for review at the Quartzsite Library for anyone to look at. The report dated June 2010, stemmed from complaints made by Mayor Ed Foster.
It is a reference report and you can only read it at the library. It is not available for check-out. Just ask at the front desk staff if you need any help.

UPDATED JULY 3rd: regarding comment made by vigilante vendor:

Just to clarify facts about the report in the library: it was compiled by DPS(AZ Dept. of Public Safety), NOT the town council as stated by "vigilante vendor" "with nothing omitted. It is an exact copy," said Quartzsite Town Manager, Alex Taft. According to Taft, Jennifer "Jade" Haris-Jones' (AKA "vigilante vendor")complaints went to U.S. District Court in Phoenix and the case was dismissed. Then she hired an attorney and has refiled in La Paz County Superior Court.

Mrs. Jones has multiple criminal charges against her as well as other court cases pending. She has been arrested four times since returning to Quartzsite in October. She is also a candidate for mayor, however many residents have been vocal questioning the validity of her residency qualifications.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BLM announces Fee Free Day

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. - In celebration of the first day of summer, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Colorado River District will be waiving entrance fees to local recreation sites.  The fee-free designation applies only to Tuesday, June 21, 2011.

“This is a great way to help some folks, who might otherwise not have the opportunity, to experience their public lands and develop a passion for them as others have,” stated District Manager Angie Lara.

Recreation areas in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Colorado River District that will be free include:

Yuma Field Office - Squaw Lake Campground and Boat Launch, Senator Wash Boat Ramp and Day-Use Area, Senator Wash North Shore Campground, Senator Wash South Shore Campground, Oxbow Recreation and Wildlife Area, and Ehrenberg Sandbowl Off-Highway Vehicle Area in the Yuma Field Office,
Kingman Field Office - Burro Creek, Wild Cow Springs, and Windy Point Recreation Sites in the Kingman Field Office,
Lake Havasu Field Office - Crossroads Campground and Bullfrog, Bass Point, and Quail Hollow Day-Use Areas  

Site standard amenity and individual day-use fees at BLM recreation sites and areas will be waived.  Other fees, such as overnight camping, concession fees, and group day-use will remain in effect.

National Public Lands Day, which is scheduled for September 24, and the Veterans Day holiday weekend, November 11-13, will also be fee-free days.

EnviroMission to update La Paz Co Supervisors

The La Paz County Board of Supervisors will hold a Worksession, open to the public, on
Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at 11:00 a.m.,
at the Board of Supervisors Meeting Room,
located at 1108 Joshua Avenue, Parker, Arizona.

Purpose of the Worksession:

Presentation and update by Christopher Davey, President, EnviroMission (USA), Inc., regarding the Solar Power Tower Project planned north of Quartzsite, Arizona

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quartzsite councilman seeks Mayor Ed Foster's 2nd censure

In an Addendum to Tuesday's Council Agenda, dated June 13, 2011 at 5:00pm (it is now just before 11am) Quartzsite Town Council Member Jerry Lukkasson is asking for Mayor Ed Foster to be censured on two seperate items. If passed, this would be the second censure of the mayor.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 ADDENDUM:

061411 – 4. Discussion and possible action to censure Mayor Ed Foster for abuse of office when Mayor Ed Foster called a special meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council on June 1, 2011 for “discussion and possible action regarding investigation by the Arizona Ombudsman’s Office.” (Not open for public comment)
Jerry Lukkasson, Council Member

061411 – 5. Discussion and possible action to censure Mayor Ed Foster for abuse of office when, on June 1, 2011 Mayor Ed Foster called a special meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council for “discussion and possible action regarding problems in the Quartzsite Police Department.” (Not open for public comment)
Jerry Lukkasson, Council Member

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Protest planned for June 18th.....

Desert Activists Rally at Blythe Solar Site and at
Solar Millennium Headquarters.
Alleged Destruction of Two Large Geoglyphs Sparks Protests.

BLYTHE, CA La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle and the Colorado River Environmental Warriors invite the public to join in a protest June 18 that tribal members hope will help stop destruction of sacred Native American sites by approved desert solar power projects in California. Native Americans have raised concerns about numerous desert solar farms planned in the state, including a project in Imperial County that would bring power to San Diego. The June 18 protest is slated for Blythe, however, where construction is underway and ancient geoglyphs are reportedly being destroyed.

Desert and Native American activists rallied Friday, June 3, at the site of the German firm Solar Millennium's Bythe Solar Project, where construction endangers several large Native American geoglyphs. The alleged destruction two large glyphs sparked the protests. Solar Millennium is a partner with Chevron Energy Solutions in the project. Activists with the group Desert Survivors held a simultaneous rally in front of Solar Millennium's Oakland headquarters. According to spokesperson Bob Ellis, "We support the La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle in their efforts to defend the Kokopilli intaglio and the many others on or near the project site. We favor investment and jobs for solar development in the urban areas where both the energy and the work is needed. Photovoltaics in the city are much more economical than remote, extra-expensive, obsolete, solar thermal mega-projects."

A video documentary of the June 3, 2011 Blythe events by Emmy Award® winning documentary film-maker Robert Lundahl may be viewed on-line here:"Massacre in the Rocks").Lundahl first visited the altered location on May 22, 2011 with La Cuna representatives, and filmed "No Shame, No Respect: Solar Millennium Builds a Road on Ancient Geoglyphs,", and

The geoglyphs in question are large drawings made on the surface of the ground. They were made by scraping away manganese stained pebbles, to reveal lighter toned caliche below. The geoglyphs represent human-like figures and geometric forms. Their location on major trails used by multlple indigenous groups attest to their widespread cultural importance. Although La Cuna De Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to work together to protect geoglyphs and other cultural resources in the area, the MOU was ignored by the BLM in the permitting process, says the group's founder, Alfredo Figueroa.

There are indications the geoglyphs may be very old. According to anthropologist Jay von Werlhof et. al, in a paper titled "AMS 14C Age Constraints on Geoglyphs in the Lower Colorado River Region, Arizona and California, in Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, 1995, a representative sample of geoglyphs along the Lower Colorado date from between AD 213 and AD 1408 with margins of error of between 57 and 392 years depending on the particular location.

The Blythe Geoglyphs are not the only cultural resources endangered by a planned "build-out" of large solar in the Mojave Desert. According to the testimony of Elizabeth A. Bagwell, Ph.D., RPA and Beverly E. Bastian before the California Energy Commission, "This analysis estimates that more than 800 sites (Cultural Resource Sites--Sacred Sites) within the I-10 corridor, and 17,000 sites within the Southern California Region will be potentially destroyed (by large solar development in application with the BLM). The BLM denies any geogyphs are endangered, but La Cuna technicians indicate several remain on the project lands. Lundahl's video "Messages in the Rocks," specifies which sites are vulnerable. La Cuna De Aztlan's GPS coordinates for these sites are available to the press.

According to La Cuna de Azlan's Chairman, Patricia Pinon, the pressure of the ARRA "fast track" process approved by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar resulted in inadequate Environmental Impact Statements and inadequate government to government consultation with the tribes and native groups. Bill Powers of San Diego based Powers Engineering, a solar energy consulting firm states, "So the Orwellian aspect of the government involvement in this process is that now instead of the analysis being focused on is this a cost effective project, is it a project that will minimalize or eliminate environmental damage, is it a good investment strategically for this state, all of that is secondary for the race to get the permit so that the project can get a 30 percent cash grant. In this case -- that's $600 million up front per project. So the money is so big that it's now like a bull rush to the finish line." In order to qualify for rebates, Solar Millennium needed to "break ground" at the site. So far, the company has graded a 100 ft. wide transmission corridor extending three miles along the path of a former gas line road.

According to La Cuna, the sacred sites destroyed include a cleared circle representing the Sun, and a second geo-glyph, known as "True North." "These images are part of our tradition of scientific inquiry predating Galileo, Copernicus, and early European astronomers," Pinon declares, "They correlate to astronomical observations." According to a study commissioned by La Cuna de Aztlan, and conducted by an MIT trained engineer, there are at least 19 geoglyphs and cultural resources in the immediate landscape surrounding the 9500 acre site. According to the most recent project boundaries available, at the time of the final EIS (FEIS, 08/02/10) least 5 were within project boundaries.

Regarding the sites in question, ”There is much to learn," Pinon adds. But generations to come may not have that opportunity unless a suit brought in federal court by La Cuna de Aztlan succeeds. On December 28, 2010, La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle filed complaints in United States District Court, Southern District of California, challenging the Bureau of Land Management permitting processes related to six large solar facilities planned for the Mohave, Sonoran and Colorado deserts of Southern California. The group was joined by CARE, Californians for Renewable Energy, and 6 individual Native American plaintiffs. Case numbers for complaints, now re-filed, are as follows: Blythe: 11-CV-04466, Ivanpah: 11-CV-00400, Chevron: 11-CV-00395, and Imperial: 10-CV-02664. Complaints referring to the Calico and Genesis projects have not yet been re-filed. Project applicants and the Department of Energy have since been named as defendants.

The suit follows the filing of the Quechan tribe's legal challenge to the imperial Valley Solar Project which was granted an injunction by Judge Larry Burns on December 15, Civil Action No. '10CV2241 LAB CAB, United State District Court for the Southern District of California. La Cuna de Aztlan's complaint adds another impediment for industrial development of the desert.

According to Figueroa, Solar Millennium's grading was an "irresponsible act" designed to "set the stage for the transfer of U.S. taxpayer rebate and loan guarantee monies." Figueroa, whose Native American lineage is both Yaqui and Chemehuevi, says he and his family are devastated by "this atrocity committed without morals, and without proper analysis." He says that La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle will do everything in its power to stop the ongoing "cultural genocide," which he likens to the Taliban's destruction of the 6th century Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan. The Buddhas were intentionally dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar after being declared "Idols."

Quartzsite Police Officers vote no confidence

The following notice was received today:

Quartzsite Police Officers Vote
No Confidence in Chief of Police

Quartzsite, Arizona – June 12, 2011 - Members of the Quartzsite Police Officers Association, representing 80% of the Quartzsite Police Department, would like to make the following announcement.

We have notified the Mayor, members of the Quartzsite Town Council and AZPOST of town policy and criminal violations by Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert. We have expressed a vote of “No Confidence” in his leadership, and have requested his resignation.

Quartzsite Town Manager, Alex Taft, instead of doing her duty to the citizens of Quartzsite to start an immediate investigation through AZPOST and the Department of Public Safety, has set up condition after condition to be met in an apparent effort to stall, delay or prevent an honest investigation from occurring.

The Quartzsite Town Council as a whole appears to be either powerless or unwilling to compel Taft or Gilbert to comply with town policy and requests by Town Council members to initiate an investigation.

Members of the Quartzsite Police Officers Association, in a show of unity and represented by AZCOPS, at the Town Meeting on June 14th, 2011, will give a public statement of “No Confidence” in Police Chief Jeff Gilbert and our reasons for the vote.

Will Ponce
Alex Ruvalcaba
James Kemp
Ruben Villafana
Heriberto Dominguez
Herlen Yeomans
Michelle Norris
Linda Conley
Stephen Frakes
Filipe Rodriguez

Will Ponce
(928) 210-6177

[Editor's note: Agenda for Tuesday's night Council meeting is available below or at]

Letter to Editor: Thank you to Chief Jeff Gilbert and Officer Fabiola Garcia

Editor’s note: the following incident took place on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at Hadlock’s RV Park in Quartzsite. This sad story is about the death of a woman living alone in an RV Park. As summer approaches it is very important for all RV Park Owners/Managers AND Neighbors to be aware of those living alone!

If you haven't seen your neighbor for a couple of days, and you know they're not on vaction, please feel free to call Quartzsite Police for a welfare check. Quartzsite Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Town of Quartzsite maintain a CareWatch Program. For more information contact Quartzsite Town Hall at 928-927-4333.

Also if you are going on vacation, you can contact Citizens On Patrol (COPs) and they will check on your home during their rounds. These caring volunteers will also check in on housebound folks once a week.

Quartzsite Police Department at 928-927-4644,
during 8-5 Mon-Fri..
After hours contact La Paz County Sheriff's Dispatch at
Call 911 in an emergency!

To the citizens of Quartzsite;

Stories are circulating about how the police handled a welfare
check call, being spread by someone that was not present. Only three members of this community truly know what went on at the trailer and only one knows how the other officers involved handled the situation. I am that person. I made the call and the police officers were both professional and courteous and I am the one who also put in a request to Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, receiving a call within 10-15 minutes, he fulfilled my request.

When Officer Fabiola Garcia, myself, and two other gentlemen arrived, we found the door locked. We looked around, but was able to slide open the window next to the door. Officer Garcia attempted to enter through the window, but her service belt and equipment prevented it. I climbed on a chair and was able to get half my body through the window, and was able to unlock the door. Officer Garcia entered the trailer.

My anger started to build; why did this woman have to lie dead for 6 days? Officer Garcia stepped out and had the woman’s cell phone in her hand. I asked Garcia if she had gone through anything for information on contacting relatives. She replied she had not because she felt that it wasn’t right and that hopefully the cell phone would have some information. At that point, my anger had reached a boiling point and my mind was made up of actions I would take. I yelled as loud as I could, expressing my hate and what I planned to do. As I looked again at Officer Garcia, my heart stopped. I saw a bit of sadness, complete compassion and respect for the deceased and her property. I took a deep breath and apologized to her for my outburst, telling her I was going home.

I wrote three letters that night to my sister, Chief Gilbert and one to myself. The image I will carry that is burned deep into my heart and mind is of Officer Garcia at the moment when if I had followed through with my plans, I would now be setting in jail, would never again enjoy a long daily walk in the peace and solitude in the desert. I would have caused my dog to be put down, because she wouldn’t allow anyone else to be near her. I know that when I reach that critical point again, that image will come up and I pray to God I let it work on me the way it did that night.

To Chief Gilbert and the officer who took my call;
I want to thank you for your professionalism and kindness to me.

To Officer Garcia; of all the things that have happened in my life, nothing has affected me and made such a profound impression on me as the image burned in my soul and mind.
You have accomplished what all the medical professionals have tried for years.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Nick Ryan, Quartzsite


Friday, June 10, 2011

Quartzsite Town Council meeting agenda for Tues. June 14

The agenda for the Tuesday, June 14th regular meeting of Quartzsite Town Council is as follows:


TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011 7:00 PM

Community report – Council Member Anderson.

1. Approval of accounts payable (Check Series 32089 - 32089/total = $669,739.74)
2. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting of May 24, 2011.
3. Approval of Minutes of Special Meeting of June 1, 2011.


061411 – 1. Discussion and possible appointment of Dorothy Mallette to the MUAC Committee to complete the term of Dave Larson, term to expire May 2012. (Not open for public discussion)
Alex Taft, Town Manager

061411 – 2. Discussion and possible approval to advertise for Request For Proposals to provide towing services for the Town of Quartzsite on a rotating basis. (Not open for public discussion)
Al Johnson, Asst. Town Manager

061411 – 3. Discussion only regarding report from AZCOP.
Ed Foster, Mayor


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)

Guidelines are as follows:
1) The Town cannot discuss or take legal action on any matter not on the agenda;
2) Remarks should be limited to statements about Town issues and not personal attacks;
3) Public comments are limited to 4 minutes. One person may not assign his/her time to another;
4) If there are several speakers on a particular matter, citizen groups may select a person to make the presentation on their behalf;
5) If you wish to make a public comment, approach the podium and wait until you are recognized by the Mayor. State your name for the record;
6) Citizens shall observe rules of propriety, decorum and good conduct. Profanity, threatening or personal attacks and slanderous remarks are not permitted. If such behavior does not cease at the request of the Mayor or Council Member, the individual may be barred from further audience before the Council for the remainder of the meeting & the following regular Town Council meeting, unless permission is granted by a majority vote of the Council;
7) Public officers may respond to criticism or request staff to review a matter or place an item on the agenda.

The full agendas for all public meetings are available online at:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wallow Fire Fraud Alert


PHOENIX (Thursday, June 9, 2011) -- Attorney General Tom Horne issued a warning today that Arizonans need to be wary of consumer scams and other fraudulent schemes that may appear as criminal predators take advantage of the disastrous Wallow Fire.

“Disasters such as the Wallow Fire often bring out the very best in people who work cooperatively to help each other. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true as scam artists and frauds use the tragedy to exploit vulnerable victims or con generous people into giving to fraudulent charities,” Horne said.

“My office is releasing a guide to protecting yourself from fraudulent schemes,” he added. “It is important that all Arizonans, whether they are personally affected by the Wallow Fire or the other fires that are currently burning in the state get this information so they are not further victimized in an already tragic situation.”

Among the tips that fire victims need to consider are:
•If you have insurance, contact your insurance company first and file your claim. Your insurance company’s adjuster will provide an estimate.
•Whether you are insured or not, obtain at least two estimates on work in writing before choosing a contractor to repair your home or remove debris.
•Never enter into or sign a contract while reviewing it quickly.
•Don’t pay for services you have yet to receive. Make progress payments as the terms of your agreement are being met.

The consumer guide also cautions people about potentially fraudulent charities:

•To help victims of the Wallow Fire or other Arizona fire disasters, consider donating to nationally known and legitimate charities, like the Red Cross, rather than charities that you may not recognize.
•Don’t judge a charity by its name. False charities may use names that closely resemble legitimate charities.
•Don’t let callers play on your sympathy by identifying their organization with the fire. This can be a tactic to get your money.
•Don’t be pressured. Give only when you are comfortable with the charity.
•Avoid cash donations and make checks payable to the organization, not to an individual.

The full Wildfire Consumer Protection Warning guide is available at:

Quartzsite monsoon driving tips...stay safe!

Don’t risk it!
ADOT offers safe driving tips for monsoon season

PHOENIX — The headlines are all too familiar. Dust storm causes fatal chain reaction crash. Flood waters claim driver crossing swollen wash. Heavy rain sends boulders onto highway. These are among the often tragic or frightening events that occur when monsoon storms strike in Arizona each summer.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is joining other public safety agencies, including the state Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service, in passing along advice to drivers during Arizona Monsoon Awareness Week.

ADOT urges drivers to be prepared for summer storms and potentially hazardous driving conditions by following these Monsoon safety driving tips:

•When it doubt, wait it out! If you see a dust storm ahead, it’s best to exit and wait for the dust to move through the area.
•When faced with low or zero visibility conditions, pull your vehicle off the road as far to the right as possible. Turn off your lights, set the parking brake and take your foot off the brake pedal. These steps reduce the chances that other drivers mistake your vehicle as the one to follow.
•Don’t risk crossing a flooded wash, even if it doesn’t look deep. Water is a powerful force that should not be underestimated.
•Do not drive around ‘Road Closed’ signs. You risk your life and face being cited under the state’s stupid motorist law.
•If traffic lights are out, treat an intersection just like a four-way stop.
•Expect the unexpected. Have extra supplies, including an emergency kit and drinking water, in case you experience an extended highway closure.
•Storm runoff can loosen boulders and rocks on slopes above highways. Stay alert in rockfall prone areas.

ADOT highway maintenance teams are prepared to respond to monsoon-related incidents. In the Phoenix area, maintenance teams work to clear drainage catch basins throughout the year to limit flooding. Crews also check on the condition of dozens of storm water pump stations along Valley freeways.

To stay up to date on highway conditions across Arizona visit ADOT’s Travel Information site or call 5-1-1 from within Arizona.

According to the National Weather Service,
monsoon season officially
begins June 15 and lasts until Sept. 30.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quartzsite to Parker lane closures Mon. & Tues.

Lane closures planned on State Route 95
next Monday and Tuesday

Drivers should expect 15 minute delays
between Quartzsite and Parker

The Arizona Department of Transportation will be applying a protective coat of oil to five miles of pavement along State Route 95 between Parker and Quartzsite on Monday (June 13) and Tuesday (June 14). Temporary lane closures are planned both days on northbound and southbound SR 95 between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Message boards will be placed in the construction area to inform commuters of the restrictions. Flaggers will be on-site to safely direct motorists through the work zone. The speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph. Law enforcement also will be on-site to control traffic and monitor speeds. Drivers should plan for delays of approximately 15 minutes.

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 Gabriella Kemp at 928.317.2165 or Local media should contact the ADOT Public Information Office at or 1.800.949.8057. Visit or for more information about ADOT.

Quartzsite Propane flames up at RV Pit Stop

Not to worry....the workers at RV Pit Stop were gassing off this morning, creating quite a panic when flames reached over 20 feet high and could be seen from miles away.

Quartzsite Police and Fire were called to the scene this morning when workers failed to notify authorities of the planned work, and a call to 911 reported the flames.

Photos taken by Shanana "Rain" Golden-Bear

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Quartzsite's own Paul Winer gives FREE concert Friday 7pm

Free Concert in Town Park
Friday, June 10 at 7pm
at the Pavillion

The Arizona Centennial of Quartzsite Committee is sponsoring a FREE concert in the Town Park on Friday, June 10 starting at 7 p.m. The concert will feature local bookstore owner, artist and musician Paul Winer, playing some stompin' boogie-woogie and blues music. He will be accompanied by local musician Ralph Martin on the washtub bass.

Paul held his first concert in Quartzsite this past January at the Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA). Over 900 people showed up, many of whom had to stand outside to see the show since the hall only holds 760. He now holds the record for the most people at one show in the history of the Q.I.A. His show was 2 1/2 hours of great music, comedy and lots of laughs, with special musical guests Jerry Mullins and Norm and Sonja (Skyhawk) along with Ralph Martin. The Q.I.A. has already booked him for two shows next January, and tickets will be sold in advance for both these shows.

This concert in the park is part of the Arizona Centennial of Quartzsite celebrations, and everyone is invited to come out and enjoy some great music. Paul's DVD of his QIA concert will be available if anyone didn't get to see it in person, or just wants a souvenir of a great evening. Be sure to bring a chair to sit on and come out and have a great time!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

So. Arizona: Seeking Veteran Advisory Council advocates

Grijalva Seeking Applications for
Veteran Advisory Council –
Group Will Advocate for Veterans
and Advise the Congressman on Issues

Tucson, Ariz. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva is seeking applications for a Veteran Advisory Council he intends to establish later this summer. The Council will advise the Congressman on veterans issues and serve as a liaison with the Southern Arizona veterans community.

“The veterans in Southern Arizona deserves the best representation and constituent service I can offer, and I look forward to working with the Council to make sure their needs are always being met,” Grijalva said. “This group will represent a diverse cross section of the district because the entire veteran community needs to be heard. I thank those who apply for their interest and their service, and I’m excited to get started as soon as possible.”

Eligible participants should live in the Seventh Congressional District and be a veteran or veteran spouse or a representative of a veterans organization. Interested candidates should submit a resumé, completed application form, and two letters of recommendation by June 24 to Jose Miranda in Rep. Grijalva’s office located at:
738 N 5th Ave. Suite 110
Tucson, Ariz. 85705

Jose’s e-mail address is,
or you can reach him at the Tucson office at (520) 622-6788.

The application form is available by clicking this link or visiting

Thursday, June 2, 2011

YPG public meetings planned for June 14 & 15

Yuma, Arizona - The United States Army Garrison Yuma Proving Ground intends to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), in accordance with Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to analyze the environmental impacts resulting from implementation of the Real Property Master Plan at the Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) northeast of Yuma, Arizona. The Notice of Intent (NOI) for the PEIS was published in the Federal Register on May 25, 2011.
The project will allow YPG to maintain a facility capable of state of the art testing of military ground and aerial vehicle systems, weapons, munitions, sensors, and guidance systems; to provide realistic training, and to allow flexibility to enter into legally permissible Army/private industry projects where such projects are compatible with the military mission of YPG. Renewable energy initiatives will be discussed in the PEIS, but project-specific NEPA analysis will be required prior to implementing specific renewable energy initiatives. YPG would undertake construction and demolition projects (primarily within cantonment areas), continue existing testing and training activities, and expand some testing and training areas and activities. No expansion of YPG would result from the proposed action. New construction would include a variety of facilities to meet the demand and space needed to meet mission requirements.
A public meeting will be held on YPG at Building 6,
the Desert Breeze Travel Camp Community Center, located on the main
administrative area off of Imperial Dam Road on
Tuesday June 14, 2011 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

A second public meeting will be held at the Yuma Public Library,
2951 South 21st Drive, Yuma AZ, 85364 on
Wednesday June 15, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Draft and final versions of the PEIS will be made available to the public for review and comment when completed. The scoping process officially begins with the publication of the NOI in the Federal Register. Public scoping comments will be solicited through June 30, 2011. YPG will also accept public input throughout the NEPA process.

All interested parties are invited to attend the public meetings and to submit comments or questions by mail to Sergio Obregon, National Environmental Policy Act Coordinator, U.S. Army Garrison Yuma Proving Ground, IMWE-YMA-PWE, 301 C Street, Yuma, Arizona 85365-9498, or e-mail By phone, contact Chuck Wullenjohn at (928) 328-6189 from 6:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.

Hwy. 72 & 95 construction extends into weekend

SR 95 and SR 72 shoulder paving schedule
extends into weekend

Paving is scheduled from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is currently in the process of paving the newly widened shoulders along State Route 95 & State Route 72. Crews are paving all day today and tomorrow as scheduled, however, an additional two days of paving will also take place this Saturday (June 3) and Sunday (June 4).

Paving hours will be from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. During those hours, one lane of the roadway will be closed while crews pave the shoulders in two-mile increments. Additional work will continue alongside the shoulders from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Drivers should allow extra travel time as they will be stopped temporarily while vehicles pass through the work zone in alternating directions.

Message boards will be displayed to inform drivers of the restrictions. Law enforcement will be on site to control traffic and monitor the reduced speed limit of 35 mph through the work zone.

When the project is complete, an eight-mile stretch of SR 95 and a one-mile stretch of SR 72 will have new eight-foot wide paved shoulders that will provide an extra margin of safety for motorists.

The project is scheduled for completion by July 2011.

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.

Quartzsite Council no show for short noticed special meeting

Only censured Mayor Ed Foster and one council member, Jose Lizarraga attended last night's special meeting called by Foster to discuss allegations of Quartzsite Chief of Police, Jeff Gilbert and Town Manager, Alex Taft. The only town staff present were Assistant Town Manager, Al Johnson and Town Clerk Karen Norris. Present in the standing room only crowd many QPD officers along with Chief Gilbert. Taft was reported to be on vacation.

Jennifer Jade Harris-Jones of The Desert Freedom Press, a local tabloid operating without a business license, issued a press release Tuesday. Reporters from Parker Pioneer and Arizona Republic were also present.

The press release details how nine QPD officers plus the clerk filed a complaint with the AZPOST and AZCOPS, announcing their vote of "no confidence" in Chief Gilbert. Allegations range from criminal accusations and ethical abuses.

After the roll call, Foster declared the meeting adjourned, due to a lack of a quorum. He then announced he will proceed with a Town Hall Meeting, allowing people to speak.

Gilbert spoke saying Foster is violating his rights to due process by allowing this meeting. Many people spoke on both sides of the issues, but no officers spoke. According to their press release, the officers plan on reading their complaint at the Tuesday, June 14th Town Council Meeting.

Foster called the council members cowards for not showing up to the meeting. Council member, Jerry Lukkasson had said, "I had to work at a special fundraising function at the restaurant. We were all advised not to discuss the investigation in any way." Council member Patricia Anderson stated she also had to work.

Past mayor Steve Bennett agreed that the council should not discuss the issues until the investigation is complete and that they should not have held this meeting. He stated the council should have shown up to the meeting anyway. Bennett also cautioned Foster about name calling and suggested listening to the advise of their attorney.

After 20 minutes of hearing people talk, Johnson announced he allowed enough time for the council to arrive. He said that since there is no council meeting and the town hall meeting was not publicized correctly, he declared the meeting over. Johnson said, " on the advise of our attorneys town hall is now closed", and that staff is going home. The crowd objected loudly, but began to leave the building. Foster said, "you heard it, no more public comments." Harris-Jones then took the microphone and announced, "I motion we continue this meeting outside on the steps of the town hall in the standard tradition."

The crowd mingled outside. People talked in small circles, while the reporter from Arizona Republic spoke with the officers and some of the crowd. People remained calm on the patio outside Town Hall.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mittry Lake reopened

For Release:        June 1, 2011
Contact:        Lori Cook, 928-317-3243 or cell 928-246-8560

Mittry Lake Road and Boat Ramp Re-Open Today

(Yuma, Ariz.) – Bureau of Land Management (BLM), along with Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), re-opened the Mittry Lake area this morning at 6 a.m., including the boat ramp and road.  The Betty’s Kitchen Watchable Wildlife Area will remain closed until further notice due to public safety issues.  The areas had been closed due to public and firefighter safety during the human-caused Laguna Fire that started on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.

“Since this area is prone to ash pits, we are asking the public to stay away from the burned area at this time,” said BLM Fire Management Officer Michael Trent.  “Ash pits are areas where trees have burned underneath the surface and have created a cavity underground that can stay hot for several weeks.  When walked on, the cavity can cave in and cause serious burns.”

The BLM, Quechan Indian Tribe, and BIA are working together to rehabilitate the acres destroyed by the Laguna Fire.  BLM will submit a plan that will cover Betty's Kitchen Watchable Wildlife Area, in addition to the 547 acres of wetland and marsh habitat lost in the fire, and a request for funding to the Department of the Interior Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation program.  Funding allocated to this rehabilitation effort must be completed within three years of the fire's containment date.  As funding becomes available, BLM will reach out for volunteers from the local community to help with the rehabilitation effort.

The public is reminded that fire restrictions continue to be in effect in for public lands administered within the BLM Yuma and Lake Havasu Field Office jurisdiction which include:
·        No fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices.
·        No open campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires.  Campfires and charcoal grills are permitted in developed recreation sites or improved sites where agency-built fire rings or grills are provided.  The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices is allowed, provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety.
·        No smoking.  Smoking is restricted to enclosed buildings, within a vehicle and on a paved or surface road, within a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least six feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
·        No welding or the use of any torch or metal cutting implement.

The restrictions will continue until conditions warrant rescinding.  Violations of these restrictions are punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than 12 months.  

For fire restriction information in Arizona and New Mexico:
Call Toll Free: 1-877-864-6985
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