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Quartzsite, Arizona

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quartzsite rumors not all they're cracked up to be

Okay, folks, I've had it with all the lies, untruths, and misconceptions! has a new article today with many riduculous errors. The very long and detailed article tries to explain how things got to be so crazy in Quartzsite. However, they are missing many important facts.

-The Desert Messenger was founded in 2004 by Walt Akin. I began publishing in October, 2008. At the time, Akin was on the town council and within a few months was appointed mayor. Since taking over in 2008 (beginning with a 16-page issue), the number of advertisers and community participation has grown to the point of printing 48 page-issues three times this past season. I have worked in the newspaper advertising industry for over 11 years in metropolitan centers and small towns alike. Since 2008, the Desert Messenger has published on time every time, even when I thought I'd be late once. The Yuma Sun prints the papers and does a great job of dealing with last minute breaking news. (The most recent issue was delivered to town during the long power outage, and could not be delivered to closed businesses until they opened up the next day) You can find the current rate card and dealines online at Next year's rate card will be available beginning August 1, 2011. All issues from the past year are available for viewing online at You can sign up to receive email notifications when the next edition is available.

- Mayor Ed Foster does NOT publish a newspaper. He has a website where he posts his opinions. There was a four-page newsletter that hit the streets during a campaign season, called the Mineshaft, but there was no information on who published or wrote the articles. Since then, he began his website.

- Jennifer "Jade" Harris Jones does publish a paper in town which began in December, 2010, however without a business license. I filed a complaint with town hall the next day, which was appropriate. Jones has another court date of July 27th, after many delays, to deal with that as well as nine + other charges. Jones contends she does not need a business license because she gives her paper away. No one has seen her July edition, either online or in town. Her rate card of December, 2010 states she would give advertisers a discount ONLY if they agree NOT to advertise in Desert Messenger for one year.

- The name of Jones' first edition was called "Desert Free Press" however, after the owner of contacted her about using his business name, she abruptly changed the name to "The Desert Freedom Press". In most of Jone's papers, she includes "rumors" about residents causing much dissention within the community. Many advertisers contacted me after her first issue, complaining Jones placed their ads in her paper without their consent. Some said they were concerned about damage to the reputation of their business because of the ads being in her paper. Jones, of course, called me a lier.

- I have no Injunction of Harassment orders against Jones, nor she on me! A Free-Lance Contributing photographer to the Desert Messenger, Starr BearCat, has a 10 ft. injunction against Jennifer Jones in Public Meetings only. Jennifer Jones initiated the claims with filing for an injunction against harassment against BearCat. She was given the minimum of 5 ft. in public meetings, as Judge Charlene Weiss stated she would normally even not grant it, but knew that if she didn't, Jones would be back in her "court next week"! Then her husband, John "Jack" Jones, filed for an injunction against BearCat. He was granted a 5 ft. in Public Meetings. However, BearCat was then granted an injunction against John Jones of 10 ft. anywhere, any place, any time. Jennifer Jones refused an offer of compromise by BearCat, in front of Judge Weiss, and chose to try to interfer with BearCat's spiritual gathering by asking for a court date during the planned vacation. The hearing is now scheduled for Aug. 1st at 1:30pm at La Paz County Court in Parker, AZ.

- Jones continues to claim she has filed criminal charges on me, however, I have not been contacted by any court or law enforcement agency regarding any perceived charges.

-Her own actions are what causes her to get in trouble with the law, no matter how anyone wants to spin it. I was actually asked why I would believe a police report over what Jones said and all I could do was laugh! The lies have been told so many times, people are now believing them. All I can say is she has multiple arrests, and I do not. Her husband John "Jack" Jones did call the police on me while I was photographing a construction site from across the street of their business location, yelling at me across the five-lane highway. He claimed he had an injunction against me from videotaping him. Well, needless to say, I am no party in any lawsuit or injunction orders, period!

- In the article, Foster states "There's a cabal running Quartzsite". According to Wikipedia, "A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views and/or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue." The article also states Foster is the one "who leads the anti-establishment group". This group is called The Coalition which now meets secretly. I actually attended some Coalition meetings in 2008-2009 believing their words of wanting to help Quartzsite. After a few months of witnessing their anger, attacks of anything and everything that went on at town hall, their "us vs. them" mentallity, I moved on to help found Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite (PNQ), an organization to promote Quartzsite by creating events unique to the area. Our initials ask everyone to "mind their P's N Q's"! PNQ was instrumental in naming Quartzsite as the Rock Capital of the World in 2009.

- Foster left out the fact that he filed multiple complaints against Chief Jeff Gilbert within days of being sworn in as mayor. The complete DPS report is available for viewing at the Quartzsite Library, showing Gilbert was exonerated.

- Jennifer "Jade" Harris Jones is now a candidate for the mayoral recall election on August 30th, along with Michale Roth, who reportedly withdrew his name after the town did not challenge his ability to run based on Roth owing the town funds. Along with Foster, former Council member Jose Lizarraga is also on the ballot for mayor.

- Jones also left out the fact that her federal compaints against the town were dismissed by the U.S. District Court in Phoneix.

- All current Council members suvived attempts at a recall vote just this past March.

- Also left out of the article was just how much Foster has cost the town in legal fees. Just in the past 6 months or so, the ever-growing amount is well over $40,000. The Town is beginning to recoup a small portion as Foster now owes for town attorney fees when he failed to show at two recent hearings, one of which he requested.

- Internal Police employee issues raised during the past couple of months are internal affairs. The investigation of complaints on Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, raised by 9 QPD officers & 1 clerk,  has been completed and the results should be forthcoming soon.

- Quartzsite is a thriving community with caring residents! Our small charter school of just over 100 students had winning football and ladie's softball teams this season. Scholars' Academy Stars are State Champions! Now how's that for a small town!!!

- Thousands of Snowbirds are in love with Quartzsite, filling the surrounding desert in their RVs during the winter season. Last year, Quartzsite gained international attention for the GOOD that happens here! The BLM maintains 11,000 acres of desert allowing folks to camp for $180 from mid-September thru Mid-April. Plus there are five 14-day free camping areas surrounding the town. ATV Trails in all directions lead to the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Swap meets still attract crowds looking for great deals. Vendor prices have not increased since 2003, remaining at $50 for the season. (The length was adjusted to meet P&Z Codes and now are good for 6 months instead of the previous year) There's a new 3-day Vendor Permit ($15)available for those who just want to come in for a weekend event.

- Quartzsite is located just 17 miles east the California border, on I-10 & State Route 95, in a small valley filled with people who love the rural living. During the winter season you'll find Gems & Minerals, Rock Shows, Fine Art, Bingo, Great Food, Delightful Arts & Crafts, Music, Swap Meets, Fantastic Deals, Cruise-In Car Shows, Classes for all ages, Parades, Chili Cook-off, Fun for the Whole Family, Rock Painting, Red Hatters, Gold Hunting, Metal Detecting, RV Shows and Sales, RV Gatherings and Rallies, Hi Jolly Cemetery, AZ Centennial Events, Quartzsite Museum, Entertainment, Auctions, Generous Churches, and MORE!  "Set your sights on Quartzsite!" is a favorite song by New Christy Minstrels who come to perform each January at the QIA. Don't miss out on all the fun!
We either grow or we stagnate. Let's grow in a good way for the next seven generations to come!


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