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Quartzsite, Arizona

Friday, December 30, 2011

Comments on this blog are turned off thru January

Comments on this blog are turned off through the busy month of January in Quartzsite. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

You are invited to "Follow" Desert Messenger on Twitter and "LIKE" Desert Messenger on Facebook. 

News updates will continue to be published on this page throughout the month.

Thank you, Shanana "Rain" Golden-Bear
Desert Messenger, Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper
The Most Read Paper in Town!

Desert Messenger is online at

Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan assigns cases to special prosecutor

Quartzsite, Arizona - In a press release issued this afternoon, Quartzsite Town Attorney, Martin Brannan announced cases involving five Quartzsite residents have been assigned to a special prosecutor.

The Press Release states:

"Despite reports to the contrary, the so-called Quartzsite Bagger is not the Quartzsite Town Attorney or any other elected or appointed officer of the Town of Quartzsite. The opinions expressed on do not represent the views of any elected or appointed officer of the Town of Quartzsite. No elected or appointed officer of the Town of Quartzsite profits in any way from the sale of merchandise by Cafe Press related to the “Quartzsite Bagger” blog.

"Notwithstanding this reality, in order for the Town Attorney and other town officers to concentrate on the business of the town without the distraction this “controversy” appears to have been designed to create, the cases involving self-styled activists Ed Foster, Jennifer Jones, Michael Roth, Dana Stadler and Doug Gilford are being assigned to a special prosecutor."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Quartzsite Town Attorney answers Jennifer Jones' accusations

Just released this afternoon, Quartzsite Town Attorney
Martin Brannan gets up close and personal.

Press Release

Dec. 22, 2011

Martin Brannan
Quartzsite Town Attorney
PO Box 2812
Quartzsite, AZ 85346-2812

I was just notified by a reporter from KSWT television in Yuma that Jennifer Jones has issued a “press”
release making generally silly accusations about her request that I be investigated by the FBI and the
Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) for threatening her and others. Assuming that the FBI and
DPS even find grounds to believe that there is criminal conduct requiring and investigation, which I
highly doubt, I know that I have engaged in no illegal conduct. There is one accusation that Ms. Jones
made which I do want to address, however, because I believe it is of great importance.

Ms. Jones alleged to the KSWT reporter that I am mentally unbalanced. I want to address this accusation
in the hopes that it will help others who are stigmatized by such outrageous allegations.

I am a veteran of the first gulf war (1990-1991). I received an Air Medal for my role in piloting medium
lift helicopters during combat operations in support of the 18th Airborne Corps. Shortly after returning
from the conflict, I began having migraine headaches and experiencing difficulties which fall under the
diagnostic heading of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I receive services from the Veteran’s
administration and have a service-connected disability for, along with several physical ailments, PTSD. I
continue to suffer from occasional depression, anxiety and troubled sleep. I take medication for my
condition which makes dealing with this disorder easier, but I do have symptoms and suffer from a
condition designated by mental health professionals as a mental illness.

I admit this freely and without reservation because, like thousands of other Americans who have served
this country against an armed enemy, I am not ashamed of the scars I earned ensuring that people like
Jennifer Jones have the freedoms that Americans enjoy. While Ms. Jones uses her freedom of speech to
ridicule people who bear the mental scars of combat like myself and Council Member Joe Winslow, she
rails against anyone who dares to exercise their free-speech rights to ridicule her and her “service” to her
fellow human beings.

The last US Combat troops have finally left Iraq and many more are still serving in Afghanistan. Some
of them will soon be returning to the United States and to civilian life. Some of them may return to this
community. All of them will have been impacted by their combat service. Some of them, like me, will
have a service-connected disability as a result of their service. All of them, like me, will nevertheless be
capable of really serving their communities both in spite of and, more importantly, because of the
personal price they paid to secure your freedoms.

How you treat these brave men and women who suffer scars that you cannot see will be up to you. You
can honor their service and their sacrifice and help them to adjust to civilian life.

You can also ridicule them and make scurrilous claims that they are mentally unstable like Ms. Jones
does. Like Ms. Jones you can even claim that you are a “patriot” in doing so. That, too is your right; a
right that these brave men and women and Joe Winslow and I all sacrificed a part of their own wellbeing
to ensure.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

AG finds Quartzsite Town Council Violated Open Meeting Law

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne finds Quartzsite
Open Meeting Law Violations

PHOENIX (Tuesday, December 13, 2011) -- Attorney General Tom Horne has found evidence that the Quartzsite Town Council has violated Arizona’s Open Meeting Laws (A.R.S. §§ 38-431 et. seq.) in connection with the conduct of Town Council meetings and dealings with a member of the public.

In a letter to the Quartzsite Town Attorney, Horne notes that on June 28, 2011, while addressing the Council, Quartzsite resident Jennifer Jones was removed from the meeting by a vote of the council. She had turned her back on the council and was addressing the audience, which the council reasonably could object to. Public bodies can eject members of the public for disruptive conduct, but they must first give a warning, which the council failed to do.

The second violation occurred on July 10, 2011 in which the Council convened an emergency meeting on at the Town Hall to discuss disruptions during previous meetings. The Council locked the doors to the meeting room and did not allow any member of the public to attend its meeting. Excluding the public from this meeting violated the Open Meeting Law.

In the third and related violation, the Attorney General notes that the Council did not fully comply with the posting requirements for emergency meetings. As of December 9, 2011, the minutes of the emergency meeting were not posted on the Town website.

The final violation involves the failure to comply with posting requirements for Notices and Minutes.

The Council did not post minutes for the July 10, 2011 emergency meeting. In addition, the Council failed to post minutes for a number of its meetings labeled as “work sessions.”

As a remedy, Horne is recommending that:

1. The Council will discuss the concerns listed in this letter with its legal counsel in open session during a properly noticed public meeting.

2. Each member of the Council and staff will participate in a training session with counsel from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns regarding the requirements of the Open Meeting Laws.

3. The Council will be subject to oversight by the Attorney General’s Office for a period of twelve months.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quartzsite Police Dept. to conduct holiday details

Traffic Enforcement and
DUI Saturation Detail

The Quartzsite Police Department (QPD) in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will be conducting traffic enforcement details over the Christmas Holidays. They will be enforcing speed, seat belt, aggressive driving and DUI laws.

QPD will also be conducting a DUI saturation detail on New Year’s Eve. They will be conducting high visibility details to keep impaired drivers off the road to keep the roads safe for the public.

The penalties for DUI can include loss of your drivers license, expensive fines, jail time, increased insurance rates, possible loss of life or injury and having your name published in the local paper.

QPD asks that if you drink, please be responsible. Don’t drink and drive, make sure to have a designated driver and wear your seatbelt at all times.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Best of Quartzsite winners 2011

Okay folks, here are the winners in the first ever Best of Quartzsite! The ballots were published in the Desert Messenger both issues in November, 2011.

When all the negative publicity of Quartzsite dominated the media during the summer, I felt it was time to celebrate what we do right in Quartzsite! I’ve taken alot of heat from folks not understanding the power of celebrating the good in our lives. I really don’t believe good old fashioned competition is bad for the economy or our community. As I sat with the piles of ballots and the huge list of categories I created, I wondered how crazy I was to attempt this! But, your responses were so overwhelming, I had to get ‘er done! Winners get bragging rights, and everyone who received just one vote is listed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write in your favorites. Congratulations to everyone! Quartzsite Rocks!!!

Best Alternative Energy: Solar & Sun won overwhelmingly with Solar Panels, Coal, and Discount Solar coming in close behind.

Best BBQ: Jerky Store & More on Hwy. 95 was the only one to receive votes, other than “slim pickin’s”!

Best Biscuits and Gravy: This was a very popular contest for who had the best in town. Main St. Eatery came out on top, followed by Mostly Wood Gift Shop & Restaurant, Sweet Darlene’s, La Casa del Rancho and the QIA.

Best Breakfasts: Once again the Eatery beat out the pack. Sweet Darlene’s came in a close second, followed by the following ties: Bad Boy’s Café, La Casa del Rancho, Mt. Quail Café.

Best Burgers: this was surprising, as Burger King barely beat out the Eatery, with Carl’s Jr. and McDonald’s.

Best Cell Phone Coverage: Verizon was the huge winner in Quartzsite! No other service was mentioned.

Best Coffee: The Eatery came out piping hot, with Scenic Road’s Kona Coffee in 2nd place. Followed by La Casa del Rancho, Sweet Darlene’s, Love’s and McDonald’s.

Best Dinner: The Eatery barely beat out La Casa del Rancho with Sweet Darlene’s, Grub Stake Grill, followed by Sizzler in Blythe.

Best Food Vendor: The General Store got the most votes, followed by Pig N a Poke at the Main Event, Jack’s Indian Taco at Main Event, Bad Boys, The Eatery, and Rockin’ Robins.

Best Friday Night Fish: There were a lot of votes in this category. It seems folks in Quartzsite love their Friday Night Fish Fry. Sweet Darlene’s was the huge favorite with The Eatery coming in close behind. The Grub Stake and Yacht Club fared well, also, as well as the VFW.

Best Desert Golf Course: Quartzsite Golf Course scored a hole in one with the most votes, with Greasewood coming in not far behind. District Club also was mentioned.

Best Ice Cream, Pies, Dessert: Dorothy & Toto’s Ice Cream & Kettle Corn was the favorite (they just opened in their new building next to D&B Leather!) Grandma’s Pies, Sweet Darlene’s & Quartzsite Bakery tied close behind. Vendors at Rice Ranch, DQ, and McDonald’s were also mentioned.

Best Indian Taco: Joan’s Fry Bread edged out Pig in a Poke and Jacks at Main Event. There’s evidently a good Indian Taco at the Potpourri held in Parker.

Best Jerky: The Jerky Store & More on Hwy. 95 received the most votes, followed by Daniel’s Jerky on W. Main.

Best Antiques: Burt & Billie’s edged out Vendors at QIA, Vendors at Sell-a-Rama, Vendors at Hi Alley & Jim Shiew.

Best Place for New/Used Books: Readers Oasis overwhelmingly received the most votes. Other entries included the Quartzsite Library, Main St. Laundromat, and

Best Place to Buy Rocks: T-Rocks rocked this category, followed by QIA Pow Wow, GFWC annual yard sale, Hi Alley Swap Meet, Rocks in my Head at Rice Ranch, PNQ’s Rock Auction, Hardie’s Beads & Jewelry, and Gem Shop.

Best Place to Buy RV Batteries: RV Lifestyles got the most votes! Discount Solar and Solar Bill’s came in close behind.

Best Place to buy something cool you don’t really need: Addicted to Deals came in first among the long list: GFWC annual yard sale, Gambler’s, yard sales, K&K Kitchen, Hardies, Costco, & Family Dollar.

Best Prime Rib: The Eatery beat out Mt. Quail and VFW.

Best RV Repair Service: RV Lifestyles and their friendly staff received the most votes, followed by Running Lizard, Mark Fuller, Coat’s RV and “my retired husband”!

Best Sandwiches: Jerky Store & More beat out The Eatery by just a few votes! Following them were Silly Al’s, Subway, and Patty’s.

Best Spaghetti garnished lots of votes. The winner is The Eatery, with Celia’s Rainbow Garden’s Spaghetti feed coming in close behind! Sweet Darlene’s, La Casa del Rancho, Yacht Club also received votes with one for “my wife’s”!

Best Storage: Paradise RV Storage came in first over Rose RV and Betty Hunter Storage.

Best time to visit Qtz. PO: “Summer” was the overwhelmingly popular answer, which included votes for July and August. Then there were the times of 2:30-4pm, 3-3:30pm and the one that made me smile was “after 4pm”!

Best use of Rock Yard Art: Celia’s Rainbow Gardens received the most votes here! Coyote Pass RV Park’s new water feature was also mentioned, along with Swanson’s old place on Desert Ave., and La Posa South.

Favorite area at Celia’s Gardens: The Veterans Area/Soldier Village received the most votes. The trails, the kid’s handprints brick wall, Rock Club area, and the center were also mentioned as beautiful places to visit.

Favorite ATV Trail: Dripping Springs, followed by Old Yuma Rd., Communication Hill, Railroad Pass-Bouse, and Stone Cabin trails were also mentioned.

Favorite Auto Repair: Best Auto barely came out ahead of Everett’s Towing, closely followed by American Tire, Taylor’s in Blythe, and “my retired husband”!

Favorite Bartender: Dianne of Yacht Club brought in the most votes, followed by Carol of Beer Belly’s, Diane at Silly Al’s Pizza, Terry at Yacht Club, Grubstake, and “myself” actually received two votes!

Favorite BLM Volunteer: Alice at La Posa South edged out Ellen at Tyson Wash, the folks at Plamosa Rd., and Lyle.

Favorite Charity event: Celia’s Rainbow Gardens’ Spaghetti Feed dominated the category followed by PNQ’s Rock Auction and GFWC Fashion Show.

Favorite Cook: Bud at the Eatery beat his co-workers, Janet & LaMont, but Abel at Times Three, came in a close second to Bud. Bob Nickerson was also mentioned for his cinnamon rolls.

Favorite Dog Groomer: Hollywood Pets edged out Cindy’s Pet Service. Marie(before she died) and Jade were also mentioned.

Favorite Electrician: Running Lizard edged out Dennis McGuiness, Denny Davey of Tews RV, Jim, John Prutch, Countrywide Bob Amos, J&S Electric of Parker.

Favorite Gas Station brought in the most votes of any category! Who would have guessed? Chevron took the most votes, followed closely by Pilot, Loves, Shell, ARCO & Mobil.

Favorite Honey Wagon: The Honeysuckles received the most votes, with Old Blue and La Posa South Petunia following closely behind…tee hee…

Favorite Desert Landmark: Halsey Williams Mill on Q Mountain came if first, with mentions of Aviation Tower (n of town), Dripping Springs, Scotty Dog (s of town), Dome Rock, Jack Cruikshandk cabin, Main St. landmark near Tyson Wash Bridge, Q Mountain, Palm Canyon, Sleeping Indian and Saguaro Cactus.

Favorite Live Performance: Paul Winer’s QIA performance received the most votes. The New Christy Minstrels at QIA, The Eatery’s Dinner Club Event, and Rock Club Variety Show at QIA also garnished votes.

Favorite Music Jam: La Posa South’s Tuesday Jam was the favorite, with Scenic Road RV singing a close second, followed by Arizona Sun RV , Holiday Palms RV, and QIA Desert Music.

Favorite Karaoke: Silly Al’s Pizza received the most votes! The Yacht Club and Taco Mio were right behind along with QIA.

Favorite Plumber: Long time resident, Dennis Dole received the most votes! Denny Davy and Running Lizard followed close behind.

Favorite QES staff member: Debbie Peterson edged out Linda Ward for the wonderful work with our elementary school children!

Favorite RV Park: This category had the most nominees. Tews RV Park beat the pack, just edging out Sunsetters RV. Scenic Road and JR’s closely followed, with other mentions of Mt. View, Cactus Patch, Quail Run, Cloud’s Trailer Park, Mt. Quail I & II, Al’s RV Park, Winter Haven, Tyson RV Park, La Posa North, and La Posa South.

Favorite Scholars’ staff member: Principle Steve McClenning brought in the most votes, followed by Julie Anderson.

Favorite Street Name: No Name Street clearly was the most favorite! Other names receiving votes were Hummingbird, Riggles, Quail Trail, Lollipop Lane, Cowell, and Moon Mountain Rd.

Favorite Waitperson: Michelle Lukkasson of The Eatery received top honors. Karen Day of Mt. Quail/Q-Town tied with Sandy of Sweet Darlene’s, followed by Diane of Yacht Club, Joanie Qualls of Times Three, Carol of Beer Belly’s, Callie of Palo Verde, Cindy of La Casa del Rancho, and Dianne of Sweet Darlene’s.

Favorite Youth Activity: Movies at First Assembly of God edged out the Boy Scouts, 4-H, Summer crafts at AWC and Football.

Friendliest Propane Service: goes to RV Pit Stop edged out the Jerky Store & More/Desert Propane. Patty’s RV, Suburban Propane, and A&B Propane also received votes.

Hardest working Medical Professional: Frances of La Paz Medical Clinic edged out Doctors O & P, Dr. Sumar, the nurse, and Dr. Hadlock, (veterinarian).

Hardest working Town employee: Town Manager, Alex Taft dominated the category. QPD Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert came in a close second, followed by Mayor Jose Lizarraga (not an actual employee), Debbie Dupree of Public Works, Julie Pieper at Town Hall, QPD Officer Rick Patterson, and Rick Smith “the tree waterer”.

Most community minded business person: Michelle and Jerry Lukkasson received the most votes. Also receiving votes were Sherri & Rick Garlow of Quartzsite General Store, Shanana Rain Golden-Bear, and Steven Bennett.

Most Dedicated Community Volunteer: Carol Kelley edged out Marilyn McFate, closely followed by Joanne Winer, Sandee Wall, Michelle Lukkasson, Shanana Rain Golden-Bear, Mary Huntley, and Monica Timberlake.

 Marilyn McFate deserves a big shout out for being the only one to fill out every category on the ballot! Whoo hooo! You rock, Marilyn!

Congratulations to all the Best of Quartzsite Winners and everyone mentioned.
Everyone is a winner!
Celebrate with gratitude the wonderful people who make Quartzsite what it is today!
Quartzsite Rocks!

Cold weather snap means campers in Quartzsite need blankets

Quartzsite, AZ- With night temperatures dipping below freezing the past few nights, people camping out in the desert are in dire need of blankets. This morning, Carol Kelley, director of the Food Bank and Salvation Army asked for a call to go out for blankets, comforters, and old sleeping bags.

Please drop off any extra blankets you may have ASAP to the Food Bank which is open until noon, or at Salvation Army, open until 1pm.

Or call Carol at 928-785-7187 and she'll find someone to help pick or deliver. Thank you in advance!


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