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Quartzsite, Arizona

Friday, September 30, 2011

Jose Lizarraga still Quartzsite Mayor

Quartzsite, AZ-  PRESS RELEASE from Town of Quartzsite, Sept. 30, 2011

  "The La Paz County Superior Court affirmed yesterday that Jose Lizarraga is the mayor of Quartzsite.  The ruling came after failed mayoral candidate Jennifer Harris Jones filed a contest of the election challenging Lizarraga’s qualifications to be mayor.
   "The Court found that none of Jones’ allegations were founded and denied every request Jones made for relief.  Lizarraga, who had refrained from presiding over the Common Council during the pendency of Jones’ failed suit, has resumed his rightful role and the popularly elected Mayor of the Town of Quartzsite having ousted Ed Foster as a result of the August 30, 2011 recall election.
 "The Town anticipates that Jones, who had publicly been declaring victory in spite of having failed to prove any of her allegations or obtain any of the relief that she was seeking and who had falsely claimed that the Town’s Application to Intervene had been denied, will not accept the ruling of the Superior Court and will either appeal the Superior Court’s order or bring a new suit in light of yesterday’s ruling.  The Town also anticipates that Jones will meet with the same lack of success in any future challenge to Lizarraga’s election."

case no. CV201100117

Jennifer Jones, former mayoral and council candidate, challenged the eligibility of Jose Lizarraga who won the mayoral recall election of Aug. 30th.

A hearing was held Sept. 22, 2011 in La Paz Superior Court. Lizarraga did not file an answer. Town of Quartzsite Attorney Martin Brannan filed an Application to Intervene on the issue of whether the relief requested by Jones could be granted. The relief requested by Jones was to reinstate Ed Foster as Mayor if Lizarraga did not qualify.

Jones first asked that a default be enetered against Lizarraga because he did not file an answer. The court denied the request, citing A.R.S. 16-675 (A) which requires that if the answer is not timely filed, the court shall proceed with the hearing of contest ex parte.
The court found that the Town as an interested party, but only on the issue of whether Foster could be reinstated as Mayor, and allowed the application to intervene on that issue only.

In her Statement of Contest, Jones challenged Lizarraga violated open meeting laws; that Lizarraga thwarted Mayor Fosters' investigation into wrong-doing by him and the council; that the town council, including Lizarraga, unlawfully changed the law to thwart Foster's investigation into conduct by the town council and Lizarraga; that the town council and Lizarraga engaged in various acts in violation of the law intended to impede investigation into Lizarraga's misconduct; that town council and Lizarraga participated in unlawful revocation of town businesses and vending permits; that Lizarraga was unlawfully sworn in as mayor at a special meeting on Sept. 6, 2011; that Lizarraga did not post the required bond prior to him assuming office.

In his ruling, Judge Burke explained Section 2-1-7 of the Town Code covering the posting of a bond by council members appears to all the town to "proceed under A.R.S. 9-302 (B) which allows an incorporated city or town to obtain and deliver to the city or town clerk a blanket bond conditioned on faithful performance of all such city's or town's officers."
Jones argued that if Lizarraga is not qualified to be mayor, then Foster should be reinstated as he received the second largest number of votes. The Court found that A.R.S 19-216 could not allow Foster to be reinstated as mayor, because is is not possible for an incumbent to be recalled and at the same time be retained in the office.

Quartzsite town Attorney, Marin Brannan, filed a memorandum on September 28th, citing various statutes and sections from the Quartzsite Town Code and Arizona Revised Statutes, presenting arguments on the issue of Mr. Lizarraga's qualifications as well as to the relief requested by Jennifer Jones. "The court finds that the pleading is improper given that the Town Attorney did not appear at the hearing to argue the Town's position, and waited until the day before this Court had to file its finding and judgment before filing it, thus not giving Ms. Jones the opportunity for rebuttal argument. Accordingly, this Court will not consider any of arguments presented in the memorandum and will not consider the proposed form of decision order."

In the case of Jennifer Jones vs. Jose Lizarraga, Judge Michael J. Burke ruled Sept. 29, 2011,
"... it is the judgment of the Court that Contestee Jose Lizarraga is qualified to hold the office of Mayor of the Town of Quartzsite if either he posted the required bond or if the town has a blanket bond that covers all its officers. If the required bond is not posted, then he is not qualified to hold the office of Mayor of the town of Quartzsite and the vacancy should be filled pursuant to A.R.S. 9-235 and 9-236" According to Town Manager, Alex Taft, "the blanket bond covers all elected officials, including Jose Lizarraga. "

"... it is the judgment of the Court that Contestee Jose Lizarraga is qualified to hold the office of Mayor of the Town of Quartzsite if either he posted the required bond or if the town has a blanket bond that covers all its officers.
If the required bond is not posted, then he is not qualified to hold the office of Mayor of the town of Quartzsite and the vacancy should be filled pursuant to A.R.S. 9-235 and 9-236"

According to Town Manager, Alex Taft, "we have a blanket bond that covers all elected officials, including Jose Lizarraga."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CRIT Native American Days and Pow Wow Sept. 26 - Oct. 2

Parker, Arizona; The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) is sponsoring the Native American Days Fair Expo, September 26th through October 2nd
 with the theme, “Community, United by Choice.”

A Pow Wow is part of the event, held
September 30th to October 2nd.

Hand Drum Contest Sponsored by Jones/Humeumptewa Families
Host Northern Drum: Midnight Express
Host Southern Drum: Cozad
MC: Terry Fiddler
Arena Director: Darrell Goodwill
Host Gourd Dance Society: Comanche Little Ponies

Sept. 29
Jr. Miss CRIT and Miss CRIT pageants, 8 p.m., Manataba Park stage.

Sept. 30

Livestock entries, at livestock arena.

Fun Run/Walk, 7 a.m., Four Corners

Opening Ceremonies, 12 noon, $3 admission

Native Visions Film Festival, Blue Water Cinemas, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Makaav Band, 2 p.m.

Community Barbecue, Irataba Hall, 4 p.m.

Traditional Baby/Tot/Pee-Wee contest, Irataba Hall stage, 4 p.m.

Tribal Dance Groups & Open Bird Dancing, powwow arena, 4 to 6:45 p.m.

Powwow Grand Entry, 7 p.m., Tiny Tots & Drum Contests at 11 p.m.

5th annual Cecelia Mariscal Softball Tourney, call Tim 928-916-1725

Oct. 1
Admission $3

10-Mile Run, 6 a.m., Mohave Village

Parade, 10 a.m., California Avenue

Shinny Tourney, 1 p.m., Little League field

5th annual Cecelia Mariscal Softball Tourney

Miss Outstanding Teen, 12 noon, stage

Horseshoe Tourney, 12 noon Memorial Park

Miss Jr. Western Pageant, 2:30 p.m., Manataba Park stage

Little Miss Dudette & Little Mr. Dude Contest, 2:30 p.m., Manataba Park stage

Miss Parker Pageants (4 categories) 3:30 p.m., Manataba Park stage

Gourd Dancing, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., powwow arena

Bird Dance Contest 4 to 7 p.m., powwow arena

Powwow Grand Entry, 7 p.m.

Peon Handgames, 9 p.m., at shed

Oct. 2
Pow Wow Grand Entry, 12 noon to 5:30 p.m.

There are four age categories and the top four winners will receive cash prizes:
Juniors, ages 6 to 12; Teens, ages 13 to 17; Adult, 18 to 54; and Golden Age, 55 and older.

Host Northern Drum is Midnight Express; and Host Southern Drum is Cozad. Arena Director is Darrell Goodman; and Host Gourd Dance Society is Comanche Little Ponies.


2 arrested for Chalking/tagging/criminal damage at Quartzsite Town Hall

Quartzsite Police Department issued a press release today about the "tagging" or "chalking" incident at Town Hall. The following is information from QPD:

"On Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at approximately 7:30 a.m., employees of the Town of Quarzsite discovered that the Town Hall building had been “tagged” with hate-filled messages sometime during the night.

The tagging was discovered on the steps leading onto the surface of the courtyard entry into Town Hall, on seating benches outside Town Hall and the door to the Town library. Tagging was also discovered along the roadways in other areas of the Town of Quartzsite.

Tagging included messages such as “Death to the Council”, “Hang Gilbert”, “Hang Them All”, and featured the attempted drawing of a “Swastika,” a symbol of Nazi Germany embraced by white supremacy and other hate groups.

Video surveillance recordings at Town Hall showed two persons, Michael A. Roth, age 46, and Dana J. Stadler, age 58, both of Quartzsite, engaged in the tagging. Both individuals were later arrested the same day and each faces twelve counts of criminal damage, one count of criminal trespass, and one count of conspiracy. Both were booked into the La Paz County jail. Both men are reputed to be anti-Quartzsite government “activists” and have been outspoken about their ant-government views in the past.

The Quartzsite Police Department reminds residents that “tagging,” even done with chalk, violates Arizona’s criminal damage statute whether the tagging occurs on public or private property."

This appears to be an early "Chalk the Police" protest in Quartzsite. Ademo Freeman, of is planning a nationwide "Chalk the Police" this Saturday, Oct. 1st.

According to the website, "Chalk the Police is a nation wide campaign to raise public awareness about policing issues. Folks from all over the country will be heading out to their local police station(s) or parks (anywhere that’s public property) to advocate, in solidarity, police accountability. Activists are encouraged to carry signs, pass out informational fliers and write sidewalk messages to voice their messages of protest. Local and independent Media is encouraged to cover these peaceful events."

The Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1602 Section A 5) states:
"Drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol that is made on any public or private building, structure or surface, except the ground, and that is made without permission of the owner."

Depending on the amount of damage to property, Criminal damage is punishable as Misdemeanor Class 1, or 2 or as a Felony Class 4, 5 or 6.

There are thirteen photos from QPD on this incident. I'm just showing some here.
The photo below (the only one out of the 13 not at Town Hall) is on W. Main St., 
directly in front of La Casa del Sol RV Park, where Jennifer Jones works as a dog groomer.

Ruth Castillo, of KSWT in Yuma wrote a story on the incident at:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quartzsite Town Council agenda for Tues. Sept. 27

Town of Quartzsite will hold a regular council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 27th at 9am at Town Hall.

The agenda for Tuesday's council meeting is online at:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Parker Live Online is back online!

Parker Live Online is back online and working great! Their hosting provider says that it affected thousands of websites at the same time! Go enjoy surfing and make sure your Anti-Virus Software is up to date!

Parker Live Online has been hacked! Do not visit site!

Parker, AZ - A local news website, has been hacked this morning. The site is run by John Wright, of KLPZ radio in Parker. The well maintained website keeps locals informed of current events.

Local videographer, Doug Gilford, reports on his blog, that he received two dangerous files and his anti-virus program removed them. Please do not visit the website until notified. Watch for tweets and Facebook notifications.

Recently, Quartzsite politics have dominated the news on the site and Parker residents have complained about lack of coverage on Parker. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quartzsite Town Council meetingS Friday, Sept. 23

There is a special meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council tomorrow at 9am. The agenda is online at:

At 10am is a Worksession of the Town Council regarding handling of stray animals and Chapter 6 of town code relating to Animals. Agenda is online at:

None of the items on either agendas are open for discussion, even for the worksession.

Jones vs. lizarraga hearing challenging Quartzsite's mayoral recall election

Jennifer Jones challenged the qualifications of the newly elected Mayor Jose Lizarraga today in La Paz County Superior Court. Judge Burke began by explaining the town had filed an application to intervene.
Jones read a prepared "legal response" saying she didn't have time to file it. In her statement, she objected to the town's right to intervene, saying certain rules do not apply. As there were no recording devices allowed, we all had to rely on our notes. Jones' statement was read so fast and had so many points listed, it was beyond my ability to write it all down, so here are some of the highlights.

In a hearing of under 40 minutes, Judge Michael Burke agreed with Town of Quartzsite's attorney, Martin Brannan regarding if Lizarraga is considered ineligible to hold office, the seat is vacant. Jones argued ARS statute 16-672-C does not permit intervention. Burke explained state statute ARS 19-216 is relevant, not 16-672-D, which regulates recall elections. In a recall election, if the incumbent does not receive the most votes, he loses. "He is actually being ousted from office by the voters," Burke said. He also said, "no matter what happens, Foster could not be reinstated as mayor."

Jones asked the court to default, as Lizarraga was not present. Jones asked that Brannan, who was not present, "should have recused himself; he is ineligible to be the town attorney."  Burke asked Jones to continue.

Jones read another statement listing many allegations against Lizarraga. Allegations included: violations of open meeting laws, not placing Police Chief Gilbert on administrative leave, that there was no bond posted according to 2-1-7 of the town code, that he participated in an illegal vote appointing town attorney Martin Brannan, not officially terminating previous town attorney Pam Walsma, participating in restrictions of freedom of speech, he openly admitted to violating open meeting laws, and other allegations.

Burke said, "All we have at this point is accusations." He asked Jones if there had been any proof presented that Lizarraga has been found guilty in a court of law. She replied no. Burke explained, "until he has been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, these are all just allegations."

Jones focused on the bond issue. Burke asked if she had a copy of the town code. Jones stated she included it in her complaint, but Burke said it was paraphrased. He wanted to research the issue.

He said, "If there is no bond, the office of mayor is vacant. If he has filed a bond, he is still mayor.
Burke also stated he would need to research the matter more. So it's not over, yet.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Letter to Editor: Hard to endure the hatred

[Editor's note: Due to length, this letter was edited for publication in Sept. 21st issue of Desert Messenger. The typed letter arrived via snail mail. The author went to the time and effort of sending this 1,052 word letter, I felt important for the whole letter to be heard and published here: ]

Dear Editor,
I found your Sept. 7th editorial as well as the “NICE” ad to be relevant. I am not a Quartzsite resident, but live in a smaller town nearby. Hopefully, not for much longer. What I have endured here is especially puzzling because I am essentially a nice person, and have given anyone here little reason to hate me. Ever since I arrived here, I have gone out of my way to try to be nice to people here and get along with them.

They, in turn, for no seemingly valid reason, have gone out of their way to hate me. I have endured an enormous, unwarranted amount of hate and fear, which is why your editorial resonated with me. As far as the criteria for a healthy community is concerned, this town seems to be incredibly unhealthy, toxic.

Perhaps this is because, according to a longtime resident, this town is a mecca for alcoholics. She said that five out of six people here are alcoholics. From what I have witnessed, most of them spend their lives doing nothing but drinking all day in the local bars, while gossiping and spreading slander.

They rarely smile, never have anything nice to say about each other, and seem to be constantly angry. And I seem to be a convenient scapegoat for the receiving end of their anger.

For the past year, I have been enduring endless hate, as well as grappling with fear. You have said that every negative experience contains the seed of transformation, but I am having a hard time, at this point, understanding how any of this has benefited me. I am so exhausted from dealing with these people that I can barely function. You may say that going through this type of situation without succumbing one’s self, by sinking into the same hatred is positive. However, to live with this degree of negativity, no matter how much one may try to maintain a positive attitude can become exhausting.

I have been speaking in generalities. Now I will relate specifics. The day I arrived here, it began. In the first RV Park where I stayed, a man began to say things like, “I watch you, even when you don’t think I’m watching you.” And, “I can find out anything I want to about you, and you can’t stop me,” this sort of thing. At one point, he happened to show up at the same place where I was having breakfast. Afterwards, he said to me, “Cant’ you see how much everybody here hates you? Everybody in that room was throwing hate at you!”

At this point, I’d been here three weeks. Finally, I moved to another park. An acquaintance of his came by to say, “He knows where you are. He knows exactly where you are. You can’t hide from him.”

Meanwhile, I’d bought another trailer. The man who was supposed to tow it to my site towed it to his home instead, and removed all the tires. It took me a month to get it back. At the new park, I lasted one month. This is because the woman next door would step outside and scream at me every time I set foot outside. My van was blocking her view. Why didn’t I get the hxxx out of town, etc? At this point, numerous folks have told me to “Get the hxxx out of town because I don’t fit in.” Most of them are virtually strangers.

After I’d been here a few months, it became obvious that my mail was being tampered with. Packages vanished, or arrived a month too late. Or were torn open. On one occasion, the form I had to send to Social Security in order to keep my payment vanished. It was a registered letter and it never arrived, nor was the tracking number ever located in the computer. I had to travel 28 miles to another post office and post it again, just to make sure it got there. Meanwhile, local people were quoting things to me, repeating statements I’d made in the letter. This happens all the time.

In fact, ever since I got here, they’ve been quoting and repeating things from my personal journal, letters, and other things stored on the hard drive of my computer. One person told me that my tires might be slashed, and sugar put in my gas tank. A few weeks ago, I went out to discover that inexplicably, one of the brand new tires on my trailer was flat. Naturally, no one would help me repair it.

And that’s the thing; if I’m living in a place where no one will help me, how can I survive? This all seems to be an attempt to drive me out of town. Or personally destroy me. What I fail to understand is why.

But the worst of all is the sexual assaults. In the year I’ve been here, I’ve had my breasts grabbed countless times, been pinned down while the man tried to pull my pants down, etc. I could go on and on, but, I hope I’ve made my point.

How can a person find a middle ground or compromise or get along with people who quite obviously have absolutely no interest in getting along? At this point, it seems I have no choice other than to leave, because this is never going to stop. It only keeps getting worse. And while some may say this means I’m letting them win, why would I want to continue to live in this situation?

It’s a shame, because I’m actually a good person who would probably never think of doing any other things they’ve done to me. It’s a marvelous example of duality, but I’m at a loss to find the “gray”. Or to understand what constitutes the seed of transformation, because none of these people seem to be interested in healing the situation. I’ve tried for a year.

Yes, people make up the government. They should be heard. A diversity of opinions should be allowed. But if what I’ve experienced in this little town is really about what I think it’s about, it’s now a crime to disagree with the government. And you can be stalked and destroyed for doing it.

Name withheld to protect identity

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quartzsite dismisses 5 Police Officers today!

Five Quartzsite Police Officers were dismissed from their employment today. Yesterday, they were presented Intent to Terminate papers. This afternoon, the officers had the opportunity to present themselves at a pre-termination hearing.

As of 5:00 pm today, all five officers were dismissed from employment with the Town of Quartzsite by Asst. Town Manager, Al Johnson. The officers dismissed today are some of the "Quartzsite 10" who filed complaints agains QPD Chief Jeff Gilbert in May of this year. One officer and the clerk were dismissed last month, while three officers have returned to work for QPD.

Officers dismissed today are:
James Kemp
Stephan Frakes
Michelle Norris
Hariberto Dominguez
Herlan Yeomans

Dismissed last month were
Linda Conley, Property/Evidence Tech
Sgt. William Ponce

An investigation was conducted by Jackson Lewis and can be found online:

Chief Gilbert is being investigated by the DPS on allegations he misused the National Crime Information Center database.


Jones vs. Quartzsite Mayor Lizarraga hearing set

Parker, AZ
Judge Michael Burke has set a date for a hearing on Thursday, Sept. 22nd at 10am in La Paz County Superior Court. Case No. CV201100117: Jennifer Jones vs. Jose Lizarraga. (See earlier post)

Jones is challenging the qualifications of Lizarraga as mayor. No answer was received from Lizarraga. Town of Quartzsite filed an Application to Intervene. Burke granted the town's application to intervene. The court has allotted one hour for the hearing.

More road construction north of Quartzsite!

Lane closures on SR 95 in Parker begin Monday
Motorists should expect minor delays

The Arizona Department of Transportation has scheduled pavement repair on State Route 95 in Parker from Monday (Sept. 19) through Thursday (Sept. 22). The work will consist of removing and replacing pavement on three segments of the highway. Work is scheduled to take place between 3 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day. Drivers should plan ahead for minor delays as traffic will be restricted to one lane in the project area during work hours.

Message boards will advise drivers of lane restrictions. Law enforcement will be on-site to help monitor speeds and control traffic.

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.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Flu Vaccine for Parker, Bouse, Salome, Ehrenberg dates


La Paz County, AZ- The dates are set for the first La Paz County adult flu clinics and the La Paz County Health Department has plenty of vaccine. The influenza vaccine will be provided at

Parker High School on September 21st from 4-6pm; Bouse Booster Club on September 27th from 11:30-12:30pm; and at McMullen Fire Department in Salome on October 3rd from 2-3pm; Ehrenburg Fire Department October 5th from 9:30-11:30am. Clinics for Quartzsite will be scheduled at a later date. Children’s flu clinics will be conducted in conjunction with the area schools.

A ten dollar donation for the influenza vaccine is appreciated for the adult vaccine. There is very little wait time with the Health Department influenza vaccine clinics. The Health Department does not bill Medicare for the vaccine so the lines move quickly.

Each flu season is unique, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, on average, approximately 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu. Even though influenza is a common illness, it can have serious complications. Some of the complications caused by flu include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections as complications from the flu. Those aged 65 years and older and persons of any age with chronic medical conditions are at highest risk for serious complications of flu. More than 200,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications each year. About 36,000 Americans die on average per year from the complications of flu.

Oxbow Bridge (Cibola Bridge) construction begins Monday

Rehabilitation of Oxbow Bridge in
rural La Paz County begins Monday

The Arizona Department of Transportation, in cooperation with La Paz County, will begin rehabilitation work on Oxbow Bridge, formerly known as Cibola Bridge, beginning Monday (Sept. 19). The bridge, which spans the Colorado River, approximately 15 miles south of Ehrenberg will be closed to the public during construction.

The project consists of replacing and strengthening the wooden decks, replacing the barrier rails and paving the bridge. Construction is scheduled to take place Monday through Thursday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The $980,000 project is expected to be completed by January 2012.

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.

Visit or for more information about ADOT. For more information about ADOT projects and programs across Arizona see the agency's latest blog posts at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jennifer Jones challenges Quartzsite mayoral recall election

On Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 Jennifer Jones filed a legal challenge to the mayoral recall election. Papers were filed in the La Paz County Superior Court in Parker, Ariz. In the recall election held Aug. 30, Jose Lizarraga received 302 votes,  Ed Foster garnered 245 votes, and Jennifer Jones received 23.

In a press release issued on Sept. 8th, Jones claims Lizarraga is not qualified to be mayor under Section 2-1-10 of the Town Code (Ordinance 9-15).

Jones asserts that Lizarraga violated the state of Arizona’s open meeting laws in his position as a councilperson and that he thwarted Mayor Ed Foster’s investigation into wrongdoing by the council, among other accusations. She is asking the court to find Lizarraga ineligible for office, and designate Ed Foster as the winner of the election.

According to the press release, “Lizarraga has until 5pm Wednesday, September 14th, to file a response with the court. The civil case is between private parties Jones and Lizarraga, so town attorney(s) may not represent the newly elected mayor. Jones filed "in pro per", and will represent herself.”

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thank you to all the participants of last night's
Night of Hope-A Community Remembers 9/11.

It was truly a group effort of many caring individuals. Thank you to Michelle Lukkasson for her MC work. Thanks to the men and women of VFW Post 769 for the great showing of strength of our warriors and Honor Guard. Thank you to Pastor Bruce Swart and Pastor Mike Hobby for their opening and closing prayers; Linda Hobby and her guitar player, Danny, shared some beautifully performed songs. Thank  you to those who shared their wisdom: Speeches were made by VFW State Commander Dennis Dole, newly elected Mayor Jose Lizarraga, QPD Chief Jeff Gilbert. QFD Chief Kevin Hess showed a beautiful tribute video. Joanne Winer announced the new focus in Celia's Rainbow Gardens this year will be the memorial area. Individuals shared their stories of that day and then candles were lit. Thank you to Council Members, Jerry Lukkasson and Joe Winslow for helping with the lighting of the candles. Thank you Monica Timberlake for your music choices.

A huge thank you to Joanne Winer who baked hundreds of cookies and provided drinks. A heartfelt thanks to Anita Carlson of Operation Hero Comfort, who provided all the flags to be handed out. The volunteers of Operation Hero Comfort also provided cards for messages to our troops. These cards will be sent in their next "Care Package" to our troops serving in harms way. You are all awesome!

Quartzsite is a beautiful community of loving, caring people. So many shared their gratitude for living in Quartzsite. The night proved to be a night of healing, as the community came together to honor those who lost their lives in the tragedy of September 11th. We will never forget!

Thank you to all the folks who helped with the decorating and the cleanup. This event was sponsored by the Arizona Centennial of Quartzsite Committee.  Members Audrey Burger, Monica Timberlake, Michelle Lukkasson, Mary Huntley, and myself thank the community for such a wonderful turnout!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today, September 11, 2011 is a good time to watch this video
by Cherokee Storyteller, Willy Whitefeather.

There are no words.

It's all about choices.

Remembering 9/11

The effect of September 11th, 2001 is forever etched into our memories. We all have our own story of how 9/11 changed our lives. I held the moment of silence this morning along with millions of others to honor those who lost their lives on that fateful day. Quartzsite is holding a Night of Hope Candlelight Ceremony this evening at Town Park at 7pm to allow locals the opportunity to come together in honor of this day. Emotions are raw and for many, run deep, as memories of that day flood our consciousness. This is a time to treat one another with respect and dignity. A National Day of Service.

Ten years ago today, the world was in chaos and confusion.  I was working in a small town where the owners/managers of motels became afraid for their family's safety, just because of their nationality. I realized just how prejudice we all can be. Humans tend to place blame on someone outside of themselves. It's just easier that way.

From the Dalai Lama's essay for On Faith;
"We need to learn from our painful memories of
September 11th and become more aware of the
destructive consequences that arise when we give in to
 feelings of hatred."

Today, emails are still being forwarded that are full of hatred for Muslims, as if ALL Muslims were responsible for the terror of that day. If I were to take this one step further, I could blame former mayor Ed Foster for ALL the comments made on his "Supporters" Facebook page. That could be the easiest thing to do, but not the healthiest. I have seen comments attacking people rather than addressing the principles of issues involved. Once again, it's just easier to attack someone we may not even know than to look inside and seek a way of understanding.

Today is a day to set aside our anger. A day for people to realize our similarities. A day to get out from behind our computer and go help someone. I hope to see those who disagree with each other come out to the park this evening and join TOGETHER with the community of Quartzsite as we move forward in our own healing process. I hope that we, as a community, will determine our future, not those who sit in judgement of who is at fault. I hope that our hearts remain open to each other, speaking words of support, encouraging one another, and sharing words of strength and hope.

We have all experienced the loss of a loved one.
Let us support the healing process for those who are suffering today
as the memories of 9/11 are shared around the world.

The following is from "How to Build a Community" poster seen at Quartzsite Town Hall.

Turn off your TV. Leave your house. Know your neighbors, Look up when you are walking; Greet people; Sit on your stoop; Plant flowers; Use your library; Play together; Buy from local merchants; Share what you have; Help a lost dog; Take children to the park; Garden together; Support neighborhood schools; Fix it even if you didn't break it; Have pot lucks; Honor elders; Pick up litter; Read stories aloud; Dance in the street; Talk to the mail carrier; Listen to the birds; Put up a swing; Help carry something heavy; Barter for your goods; Start a tradition; Ask a question; Hire young people for odd jobs; Organize a block party; Bake extra and share; Ask for help when you need it; Open your shades; Sing together; Share your skills; Take back the night; Turn up the music; Turn down the music; Listen before you react to anger; Mediate a conflict; Seek to understand; Learn from new and uncomfortable angles; Know that no one is silent athough many are not heard. Work to change this.

May we all learn from these words and grow together in a healthy community!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Road work between Quartzsite and Yuma

Temporary Lane closures on Hwy. 95
between Yuma and Quartzsite begins Tuesday!

The Arizona Department of Transportation will be applying a protective layer of oil to approximately seven miles of pavement along State Route 95 on
Tuesday (Sept. 13) and Wednesday (Sept. 14). What to expect during work hours:

•Work is scheduled to be take place between 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. each day. •One lane will be intermittently closed while crews work on a segment of the project area.•Construction crews will be directing northbound and southbound motorists through the single open lane. •Motorists should plan ahead and expect delays. •The speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph through the work zone.•Message boards will advise drivers of lane restrictions and reduced speed limits. 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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Upcoming events in Quartzsite, Arizona

Arizona Centennial Committee of Quartzsite has been busy with plans for the upcoming season!  Check out the events listing on AZ Centennial's blog site below. Some are new events in celebration of the AZ Centennial.

Mark your calendars
and don't miss the fun in Quartzsite this year!

Night of Hope - A Community Remembers 9/11

Quartzsite, AZ-  Please join the community of Quartzsite
on the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001.

Quartzsite Coffee with Cops today was lively!

I just watched the video of today's Coffee with Cops at Town Hall. I sure did miss a very lively exchange between folks! I just haven't figured out how to be in two places at once, yet...tee hee... While out delivering papers today, many people told me all about it, though! Starr will be uploading the video to her site in the next day or so.

Here's a note from Hygeia Halfmoon, who participated in this morning's meeting. (she is referring to Jennifer Harris-Jones, of course)

More voices are rising in response to Jennifer's antagonism
More elders are feeling the stir of their own souls...

Jennifer's request for a fast train to hell may be
Approaching the depot, fueled by a sharp increase
In victims speaking out...we cannot tolerate
Domestic violence because it affects us all.

Today's Coffee with Cops was an opportunity
For victims of Jennifer's psychic violence
To finally deliver group conscience with
A solid "Amen" from our police chief

The coffee was good, the donuts were great
And our elders are reaching warrior status!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September begins our 8th year of news in Quartzsite!

Tomorrow, Sept. 7th will begin a new season for the Desert Messenger.

The papers will be delivered throughout the area tomorrow morning. The online e-book edition will be online in the morning as well.

It's a great start of the season in Quartzsite! Quartzsite is THE place to be this winter! Keep up with all the news, events and entertainment this year with "Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper" available on stands tomorrow!

Desert Messenger publishes the first and third WEDNESDAY of each month September thru May, with special Summer Issues in June, July and August.

Thank  you to all the advertisers who keep the paper alive! Shop local and say thank you to our local businesses!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quartzsite mayoral recall election gets worldwide exposure

Today's New York Times journalist Jennifer Medina, has another popular article on Quartzsite, titled
Voters Remove an Embattled Mayor.

Associated Press also released an article that has been picked up by many newspapers around the country titled:
Mayor of embattled Quartzsite , Ariz., removed in recall election, replaced by ex-councilman.

Media outlets carrying the story include, but are not limited to:
Washington Post, Bellingham Herald (in Washington state), The Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), Pittsburg Post Gazette, KTUU NBC in Anchorage, Alaska, Tri-City Herald (Washington state), San Francisco Examiner, News Tribune (Tacoma, WA), San Luis Obispo Tribune (CA), and many others.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lizarraga to be sworn in at Special Town council meeting, Tuesday

In a very unusual move, the Town of Quartzsite posted the agenda for a Special Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. The agenda includes what appears to be two meetings in one.

The first meeting will be accepting the canvassing of the votes and the swearing in of Jose Lizarraga. According to the agenda, the council will adjourn, reconvene with Lizarraga as mayor for two new business items:
Approve a Cenpatico Behavioral Health Services grant and approve an Intergovernmental Agreement between AWC and the Library.

For the full packet visit:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fire Restrictions Continue Through Labor Day Weekend

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Colorado River District wants to remind the public that fire restrictions continue to be in effect throughout the District which includes the Yuma, Lake Havasu City, and Kingman areas. Due to continued high fire danger and low amounts of rainfall, the restrictions will remain through the Labor Day weekend.

“Our first priority is public safety,” said BLM Fire Management Officer Michael Trent. “At this time, we do not feel comfortable lifting the restrictions due to the current environmental conditions.”

“BLM will continue to monitor the weather and fire situation throughout the holiday weekend and will lift the restrictions as soon as the fire danger decreases,” Trent continued.

Fire Restrictions prohibit the following acts:

1. Open campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires. Campfires and charcoal grills are only 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 on public lands provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety.
2. 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.
3. Use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices.
4. Welding or the use of any torch or metal cutting implement.

Trent added that with the Labor Day holiday weekend coming up, many people are making their last camping or exploring trip of the season on public lands in western Arizona. The public should always think about outdoor safety while recreating. Always carry plenty of water and make sure someone knows your itinerary. Off-highway vehicles need to stay on existing roads and trails. Cross country travel is not allowed and could be very dangerous.


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