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Quartzsite, Arizona

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ADOT road work Hwy. 72, Bouse to Parker on Thursday

Work scheduled on westbound State Route 72 between Bouse and Parker Thursday
Motorists are advised to plan ahead and allow extra travel time

Work is scheduled along westbound State Route 72 between Bouse and Parker on Thursday (March 29) requiring a single lane closure from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Workers will intermittently be stopping traffic during work hours and directing alternating traffic through the work zone. Motorists are advised to plan ahead and allow extra travel time.

Signs will be in place to advise motorists of the lane restrictions and work zone.

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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quartzsite seniors form new group to keep trails open


Quartzsite, Arizona - A new grass roots group has been formed to oppose closing of OHV (Off Highway Vehicle - ATV) trails on BLM administered public land in the Quartzsite, Arizona area.


Randie Farish, owner of the Scenic Road RV Park in Quartzsite, is president of the new group.  He encourages everyone with an interest in Quartzsite, the desert and/or OHV’s to go to the SCAQTC webpage as soon as possible to find out what they can do to help.  The BLM comment period is scheduled to expire on April 5, 2012.

“I’m really concerned about this new BLM La Posa Travel Management Plan” states Farish.  “We’ve recently learned that the BLM has already closed a favorite destination in the desert, Dripping Springs.  They have also removed another route over Preacher Pass from their BLM maps.  Alternative D of the BLM La Posa Travel Management Plan would essentially close the desert”  states Farish.

Farish estimates that from one/third to one/half of his guests at Scenic Road RV Park use OHV’s to access the desert for rock hounding, geocaching and gold prospecting, but mainly just to explore the desert and enjoy it’s beauty.  “Almost all of our guests are senior citizens who could never get out into the desert without their OHV’s” states Farish.

“To close the OHV trails is to close the desert to almost all the seniors here for the winter.  Many of them have told me they have no reason to come back to Quartzsite if they can’t use their OHV’s.  That would be devastating for my business” states Farish.

SCAQTC encourages quick action.  The group is requesting that as many interested people as possible to download the BLM comment form and submit it before April 5th telling the BLM that they want none of the OHV trails in the Quartzsite area closed.  The form can be downloaded from the BLM webpage or from the webpage of the Arizona SunRiders ATV Club.  All this information can be found on the SCAQTC webpage

Prutch's lawyer urges Town of Quartzsite to reconsider its position on election

Prutch-Brannan3-26-12 -

This morning, John Prutch emailed Desert Messenger the above communication between his lawyer, Ellen M. Van Riper, and Quartzsite Town Attorney, Martin Brannan. 

John Prutch was a write-in candidate against incumbent council member Mike Jewitt in the March 13th election. Ms. Van Riper disagrees with the town's claim that the contest was a special election instead of a primary, and threatens filing an election contest. 

Jewitt was appointed when Jose Lizarraga, Quartzsite's current mayor, resigned to run in the 2011 recall election of then-mayor Ed Foster.

(Just to clarify the address listed above is not that of Quartzsite Town Hall, which is 465 N. Plymouth Ave., Quartzsite, AZ 85346. The address listed is that of former Town Attorney, Pamela Walsma of Shadle & Walsma, PLC.)

Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan responded with an email stating: 

Dear Ms. Van Riper:

I have considered the language of A.R.S. § 9-235 both as it stands alone and in context with A.R.S. § 38-295(B) and respectfully disagree with your conclusions. I suggest that you are mistaking “special election” in the context of dates of election and “special election” in the context of purpose. I further find your reference to A.R.S. § 38-295(B) unpersuasive. As I hope you are aware, statutes which are general in nature must yield to those which are specific in nature and the legislature is presumed to be aware of arguably contradictory statutes when it enacts new legislation. The legislature could have said that any vacant council seat vacated more than thirty days before the nomination deadline of the next regularly scheduled council election be filled in the same manner as expiring council seats. It did not. Rather, the legislature empowered town and city councils to fill a seat only “until the next regularly scheduled council election.” Thus, A.R.S. § 9-235 being both a specific statute having precedence over the general statute, i.e., A.R.S. § 38-295(B), and A.R.S. § 9-235 having been written by a legislature that was fully aware of A.R.S. § 38-295(B) and yet written in such a manner as to conflict with A.R.S. § 38-295(B), I conclude that the seat necessarily became vacant on the date of the next regularly scheduled election next following the vacancy, i.e., A.R.S. § 9-235 and that the legislature intended that it be filled following the canvass of and based on the results of the election held that day.

Martin Brannan
Town Attorney 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quartzsite denies firing prosecutor Thomas Jones

Press Release.Town of Quartzsite.3-21-12 -

Editorial comment by Shanana Rain Golden-Bear

Yesterday an anonymous letter/flier hit the streets of Quartzsite advocating a boycott of local businesses who carry or advertise in a competitor's paper. I do not advocate boycotting local businesses and have stated so in the past.

In my editorial of January 5, 2011, when this topic was first suggested by readers of Desert Messenger I stated: "Most of you know that I come from the advertising “side of the room”, as they say. The majority of my career in the newspaper industry has been helping businesses market their service or product. A community thrives and can only grow with strong business support."

At that time several business owners had contacted me complaining their ads were placed in Jennifer Jones' paper, The Desert Freedom Press, without their permission. My suggestion was to direct their complaint to the publisher of that paper. The publisher then proceeded to publicly call me a liar. This began a series of letters written by frustrated members of the community that continues to this day.

In the January 5th editorial I stated, "There have been calls for boycotting her [Jones'] advertisers, however I don’t believe that is a positive solution. Doing so just breeds more anger and discontent within the community, and it hurts our small business owners who are just trying to make a living."

The flier advocating boycotts was written by Hygeia Halfmoon. Her personal opinions do not represent those of the Desert Messenger. 

Boycotts have been around for centuries is an expression of protesting something people feel passionate about. Free speech is every one's right, not just those we agree with. 

Ms. Jones, herself, advocated boycotting a former councilman's business and anyone not supporting her viewpoint. Richard Abbey, of Demand Justice in Quartzsite, told his readers and listeners to pull all their advertising from Desert Messenger. Now, all of a sudden, when Ms. Halfmoon expresses her version of the same activity, people are outraged. Jones published her support for a boycott online and in her paper. Halfmoon distributed fliers advocating the very same actions. I don't agree with either, but the reaction is interesting to notice.

One business owner said people think "Town Hall" was behind the flier. This just shows the level of anger running rampant in our world today, not just in Quartzsite. It's the "Us versus Them" scenario. It's so easy to jump to conclusions, getting caught up in the adrenaline of anger, hate and discontent. Sometimes it's really hard to stop reacting; take a moment, breathe before REACTING, and look at a situation from all sides before RESPONDING. Adrenalin narrows your viewpoint on a situation, making you see fewer options; then folks tend to react using their ingrained habits.

It's easy to clear up rumors. Just go directly to the source and ask! One can say, "I've heard you said (such and such). Is this true? Do you have something to say to me directly?" A few business owners contacted me yesterday, and I commend them. You WILL get better results if asking calmly, rather than out of anger. To create healthy discussion about an issue you might have with a local business owner, or anyone for that matter, try using peaceful communications:

here are some Suggestions for Peaceful Resolutions: 
  1. Speak directly with the decision maker. Employees do not have the power to make changes.
  2. Always introduce yourself, and why you wish to speak.
  3. Notice your tight are your muscles? Can you relax your jaw? Breathe!
  4. Start with a positive statement, creating rapport
  5. Express your opinion in a respectful manner, explaining why you feel the way you do.
  6. Be prepared to state facts calmly to support your position.
  7. Ask open-ended questions to better understand their position. 
  8. Listen...really listen. 
  9. Seek a solution, rather than focus solely on the problem.
  10. Always thank them for their time when leaving.

When we get caught up in the moment, and adrenaline takes over our thoughts, and we just can't think straight. We have to stop in the moment- before we become part of the problem- and do or say something we may later regret. Pause, and breathe. 

There's always some good that comes from a perceived negative. The flier has brought about a lot of discussion in our town. Let's just discuss our differences in a respectful manner.

Shanana Rain Golden-Bear
Publisher, Desert Messenger
Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quartzsite Chevron passes inspection

Quartzsite, Arizona- A complaint was filed with the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures by Mr. David Bertrand of Quartzsite. Bertrand complained that the Chevron fuel contained "more than 20% of ethanol in pumps....[he] had to drain his car [and it was] happening to others as well." 

The AZ Dept. of Weights and Measures responded and took samples at the Chevron Station owned by Shay Oil Company, on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. 

The results published online shows the Ethanol percentages 
of the four samples taken are: 
9.7%, 8.2%, 9.8% and 9.1%, 
all below legal limits. 
There was also NO water found in any of the samples. 

Chevron's manager, Paul Norris, told Shanana Golden-Bear, of Desert Messenger, that customers  have been coming into the station with questions about the alleged inferior fuel they read about online. The initial story was reported Tuesday by Jennifer Jones, of The Desert Freedom Press, without contacting the station's manager for a statement. Desert Messenger attempted to contact Mr. Bertrand for a comment, but there has been no reply as of this afternoon.  Bradley Chevrolet General Sales Manager deferred all questions to Service Manager, Jim Burdette, who had left for the day.

Jones' article stated, "A local man whose vehicle may have been affected then purchased a gallon of gas and sealed it up, along with the receipt from Chevron." Bradley Chevrolet tested the fuel and it tested "around 18% Ethanol. Jones stated, "Independent stations are owned by individuals and can purchase some of their fuel from an outside source, and this fuel source can be the reason for high ethanol in the fuel." The results have been published online for many hours now, but there is no notice of the results on the original article posted online by Jones.

Chevron's station opened in Quartzsite in 1964. Norris has been with Shay Oil Company in Quartzsite for the past 19 years, which he said is the oldest continuous business in Quartzsite. Readers of Desert Messenger also voted Chevron their favorite gas station in "Best of Quartzsite 2011.

The Shay Oil Company is locally-owned and locally-operated. They started in South Dakota in 1930. The operation in Yuma and La Paz Counties began in 1961 with a Phillips 66 Station on East 32nd St /Old Highway 80 in Yuma. They have been carrying Chevron fuel since the 1990's.  All stores carry Chevron fuels. For more information on the company visit their website at:

If consumers have questions about any fueling station, they may visit the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures at click the "Consumer" Tab, then "Inspection Reports", then click "Inspection Search Page" in first paragraph. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Senator Wash fire south of Quartzsite 95% contained

Yuma, Ariz. – The Senator Wash Fire on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land is 95% contained this morning with a total of 48 acres burned. The Senator Wash Fire is located approximately 30 miles north of Yuma, Arizona.

“There will continue to be burning within the perimeter of the fire today,” stated Incident Commander Trainee Steve Klauck. “There are still some areas along the fireline that could burn if we get some weather today, so we will be watching it closely. If the fire stays within the fireline today, we will probably call it contained this evening.”

Several campers from the BLM Long-Term Visitor Area (LTVA) were evacuated as a precautionary measure when the fire started last night; however, the evacuation has been lifted and all evacuees can return to their camps.

The fire is human caused and under investigation. “This is a great time to remind the public that fire season has started and they need to be very careful when they are recreating on public lands,” said BLM Fire Management Officer Mike Trent. “Carelessness with fire can have major consequences and, sadly, most of the fires in this area are human caused. We are asking the public to make sure they monitor their campfires at all times and distinguish them completely before they leave camp.”

Smoke from the fire will be visible for the next several days as the interior pockets continue to smolder.

Photo courtesy of Hidden Shores Village. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quartzsite to hold runoff election for mayor in May

Quartzsite, Arizona - The Final un-official election results of March 13, 2012 were released by La Paz County this afternoon. 

After Tuesday's election it was reported Ed Foster was the winner, however according to Quartzsite Town Attorney, Martin Brannan, there will be a runoff for mayor in the May election. 

Foster originally held the lead with over 50% of the votes, but with the additional provisional votes, the percentage is now 49.84% to Lukkasson's 38.94%. Foster received 320 votes to Lukkasson's 250 votes. Jenny Mills received 61 votes (9.50%) and write-ins received 11 votes (1.71%). 642 votes were cast for the mayoral position. 

Candidates must win 50% of the votes plus one to win a seat outright in the primary. 

For the complete information visit: 

AWC Yuma presents World Music March 27


Yuma, AZ - Keyboardist, harmonica and tabla player Anton Mizerak and singer Laura Berryhill will present an evening of transformational healing music, Celtic songs and chants from around the world on Tuesday March  27, at 7PM at the Schoening South Wing, 3C (College Community Center) at Arizona Western College in Yuma. 

The concert is sponsored by the AWC Massage Therapy Club, and profits will help fund the Massage Therapy Program Scholarship. "It's an interactive concert, and audience participation is encouraged," says Kate Turpin, professor/program coordinator.  "It's fun for all ages."  Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 at the door. For more information about the concert, contact Turpin at 317-6056, or

Mizerak, who lives in Mount Shasta, writes his music in nature because he believes that the organic experience of sun, wind, water, snow and earth, transmitted through music, can be a valuable nurturing and healing experience.  He has been a featured performer at many of the Mount Shasta Wesak Celebrations, and has performed at events with Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukav, Jean Houston, Michael Beckwith and Neale Donald Walsh. His music has been featured on the nationally syndicated radio show "Echoes" and the digital New Age Music format "Soundscapes." His highly acclaimed CD series, "When Angels Dream," is a top seller with healers and massage therapists. 

Berryhill has a master's degree in music history from the University of Oregon, where she focused on early 17th-century Italian sacred music. As a vocalist, she works in a variety of musical styles, from early European music, to folk music of the Celtic cultures, to new age and jazz. She has appeared at the Festival of Harps in Oakland, the Yachats Celtic Music Festival, Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire, and Faerieworlds.

Mizerak and Berryhill have toured together extensively in the past year, performing to acclaim at over 200 venues throughout the 10 Western states. For more information and a complete tour schedule and free MP3 downloads, visit

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quartzsite unofficial results: Recalled Mayor Ed Foster wins over Jerry Lukkasson

Quartzsite, Arizona- Voters took to the polls today.  

626 votes were cast. The unofficial results show  

Ed Foster had 50.98% with 312 votes. 
Jerry Lukkasson had 38.40% with 235 votes.
Jenny Mills had 9.15% with 56 votes.
There were 9 Write-in votes cast.

9 candidates were seeking two Town Council positions:
Barbara Cowell had17.79% with 212 votes.
Pat Workman had 15.86% with 189 votes.
Joe Winslow had 14.43% with 165 votes.
Mark Orgeron had 13.84% with 165 votes.
It appears these top four will be in a run-off election in May.

Other candidates:
Jennifer Jones had 11.24% with 134 votes.
Starr BearCat had 8.72% with 104 votes.
Dean Taylor had 6.29% with 75 votes.
Sean Austin had 5.79% with 69 votes.
Bill Moore had 4.19% with 50 votes.
There were 22 write-in votes cast.

In the Vacancy Council Member race:
Mike Jewitt appears to reclaim his seat with 51.97% and 251 votes.
There were 232 write-in votes cast (John Prutch) with 48.03% of the votes. 

74.87% of the voters rejected a resolution to replace town ordinance asking to appoint the mayor, rather than by vote.
25.13% of the voters wanted the new town ordinance. 

The official results should be released later this week. 

2012 Texaco Country Showdown Musician Entry form Blythe, CA March 31st

Calling all Singers! Join the Texaco Country Showdown in 2012 
to be held March 31st at the Colorado River Fair. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Quartzsite Historical Society Field Trip Wed.

FIELD TRIP ~ Sponsored by Quartzsite Historical Society

The public is invited to join in a field trip to Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WHERE:    Sharlot Hall Museum, Prescott, AZ (137 miles) one-way
                    $5 dollars person, Guided Tour

MEET:       Skull Valley Cemetery (approx. 120 miles)
                    10:00 a.m.

Quartzsite to Skull Valley, Interstate 10 East to Highway 60 exit.
1.    Highway 60 to Aguila.  Continue 4 miles past Aguila to Highway 71.
2.    Turn left on 71. Continue to Congress to Highway 89.
3.    Turn left on 89 to Kirkland Junction to the road fork. Turn left on County Road 10, continue 7 more miles to Skull Valley.  Go under railroad underpass.  On left of Highway is the Skull Valley Cemetery.


Continue to on to Prescott and come in on Iron Springs Road
Turn right second light which is Miller Valley Road, turns into Grove Street. Continue to 415 W. Gurley Street, turn left and stay in outside lane.  Museum parking lot is by the Methodist Church. 

BRING:      Brown Bag lunch, water and camera.

PHONE:    (928) 927 – 5229 or Kay at (928) 927 – 6159


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Feds set aside land for possible solar project near Quartzsite, AZ

Quartzsite, Arizona - Stephanie Snyder of Cronkite News reported "Feds set aside 40,000 acres for possible wind- and solar-power projects" Friday. 2,000 acres are set aside for SolarReserve’s Quartzsite Solar Energy Project in La Paz County, Arizona.

For the full article visit

The Bureau of Land Management has set aside about 2,000 acres near Quartzsite while officials study the feasibility of a solar-power plant there. The area circled in red would be the site of the plant.

Photo by Bureau of Land Management

Thursday, March 1, 2012

ADEQ Free electronics waste recycling event March 10, in Parker

ADEQ Announces Free Regional
La Paz County Electronics
Waste Recycling Event for
Saturday, March 10 in Parker

PHOENIX– Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials announced March 1st that a free regional La Paz County electronics waste recycling event will be held Saturday, March 10 from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Parker at the old Dayton Superior building across from La Paz Regional Hospital in the 1200 block of West Mohave Road.

ADEQ and its partners – Colorado River Indian Tribes Environmental Protection Office, Town of Parker, La Paz County, University of Arizona Extension Office and E-Waste Harvesters of Phoenix-- anticipate collecting tons of unwanted televisions, computer equipment, monitors, batteries, chargers, cell phones, VCRs, CD and DVD players, printers, small appliances, fax machines, stereos, cables and cords during the event.

“This is the first event we have done in La Paz County and we welcome all residents of Parker, Quartzsite, Bouse and the surrounding areas to attend,” said ADEQ Director Henry Darwin. “This is a great opportunity for people to dispose of all the unwanted electronics they have collected over the years while at the same time ensuring that this potentially toxic stream of waste is disposed of responsibly and does not take up valuable landfill space.”

Companies and individuals donating e-waste will receive a certificate of disposal for their records from E-Waste Harvesters if they want the document. E-Waste Harvesters will erase all hard drives with state of the art software and recycles all materials in accordance with state and federal regulations.

ADEQ has sponsored 52 e-recycling events throughout the state since August 2009 and collected more than 1.3 million pounds of recyclable material from more than 10,000 vehicles attending.

For more information, call (928) 662-4336.


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