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Quartzsite, Arizona

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year Quartzsite!

As we enter the new year, and the old year fades behind us, I encourage everyone to embrace the peace of the season. This past year has brought many shades of sadness and challenges, but together we can move forward in the hopes of a better future for our community and beyond.

It's natural for us to look back upon the previous year, along with all our successes and learning experiences. When I reflect upon our community, I see that our volunteers are the heart of Quartzsite. Without Volunteers, our community would not be the beautiful place I call home. For a small town, the incredible amount of participation from volunteers is totally amazing! No where else can you see the level of volunteerism as in Quartzsite, Arizona!

Some of the places you'll find Volunteers in Quartzsite are:
The Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA), Senior Center, Food Bank, Quartzsite Business Chamber of Commerce, Quartzsite Community Thrift Store, the Salvation Army, Citizens on Patrol (COP), Quartzsite Historical Society and Museum, La Paz County Search & Rescue, VFW Post 769, Operation Hero Comfort, Quartzsite Rotary, GFWC Women's Club, Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite (PNQ) Quartzsite Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and Youth Coalition, Isaiah 58 Project, Friends of the Library, Quartzsite Art Guild,  Adults Sharing with Kids (ASK), Quilters Club, "Heart"ists, Boy Scout Troop,  Metal Detector Club, Roadrunner Gem and Mineral Club, Ham Radio Club, RC Flyers, PTA, Cactus Dodgers Dancers, Volunteer Parents at the Rec Program, our incredible BLM Camp Hosts and Volunteers, Musicians at all the Jams and Events, the countless Volunteers at RV Park events, RV Rally Organizers, Event Coordinators, and all our Church Volunteers who lovingly serve their congregations. There are other folks who generously give, supporting quietly behind the scenes, such as our local business owners and vendors.

Then there are the Quartzsite Residents serving on the municipal boards year-round: Hi Jolly Cemetery Board, Vendor Board, Parks Board, Health & Development Board, Library Board, Personnel Board, Municipal Utilities Board, Planning and Zoning Board, Municipal Property Board, Public Safety Retirement Board, and the Board of Adjustments. The Arizona Centennial Board recently completed their commission and provided the town with many events over the two years they were active. Funds raised provided metal camel silhouettes which will be placed in key locations around town... watch for three to be placed shortly at the new Community Center!

Volunteers do their work quietly, because they love serving their community. Of course, in every community there are those who love to complain, but do not participate in the joy of giving. Volunteers experience incredible gifts when they share freely of themselves.

I've heard it said, "there's just something special about Quartzsite..." Well, it's obviously the people. That's what makes Quartzsite so special. Our hundreds of volunteers who share their wisdom, strengths, and knowledge with others, encouraging each other along the way.

So as we welcome in a new year, let us remember to be kind to each other and thank the volunteers for their service to Quartzsite. Those of us who live full time in Quartzsite experience the blessings of our volunteers. Those visiting Quartzsite may marvel at how the heck can this little town handle the influx of millions of visitors. It's the volunteers... our amazing people!

I am so grateful to be living in a community where people smile at one another walking down the street, and strangers wave as I'm driving by. It's the simple things that make a difference!

I am so grateful for all of you!

Wishing you a wonderful New Year full of gratitude!

Shanana "Rain" Golden-Bear
Publisher/Editor Desert Messenger

Friday, December 28, 2012

QPD increasing patrols on New Year's Eve

Quartzsite Police Department Chief Jeff Gilbert
encourages citizens to
Please Be Safe this New Year's Eve

During this holiday season, law enforcement officers will be out in full force looking for drunk and impaired drivers. Please enjoy the Holiday season, but to do so responsibly by getting a designated driver, not a DUI!

And please remember that in 1999, 14-year-old Shannon Smith was killed by a stray bullet from random gunfire while in her own backyard. It's now illegal to shoot a gun into the air, under Shannon's Law, and breaking this law is a felony in Arizona.

The Quartzsite Police Department wishes everyone a safe and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

VIDEO: Christmas in Quartzsite 2012

Greetings from sunny Quartzsite! 

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 was Community Unity Day in Quartzsite! Organizers Gene and Maggie Ross gathered local folks from all walks of life to be Bell Ringers for our Salvation Army. Gene had already been busy for weeks, as Santa's helper, ringing that bell day in and day out, raising funds.

Also included in this video are Christmas light decorations from around town. (670 Olinger will be a dedicated separate video.)The beautiful flute music is from Quartzsite's own Mark Church. "Merry Christmas from Redfeather Rose Entertainment".

When questioned about the importance of loose change donated, Gene said, "It all adds up. Just last week, there was about $400 of loose change donated! That will help a lot of people in Quartzsite!"

Funds raised stay in Quartzsite to help folks with vouchers for food, propane, & fuel at local businesses, rent, clothing and other emergency help to get folks back on their feet.

Maggie and Gene are very active members of the Covenant Lutheran Church, donating both money and lots of time for the community. This was a wonderful project and lots of folks volunteered to help.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Quartzsite Solar Energy Project moves forward

The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA or Western) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project and a related amendment of the BLM's Yuma Resource Management Plan.

Quartzsite Solar Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of SolarReserve, LLC, is the proponent for the project. It plans to use solar tower technology to produce up to 100 megawatts of solar-powered electricity in La Paz County, Arizona. The project is proposed on 1,675 acres of BLM-administered land 10 miles north of Quartzsite and adjacent to Arizona State Route 95.

The company plans to construct a 653-foot tower surrounded by an array of mirrors. The mirrors would focus the sun’s rays on a point at the top of the tower. The concentrated heat would be used to create steam, which would be used to power traditional steam turbine generators.
Western, a Department of Energy agency, took the lead in preparing the EIS. The project would require tie-in to Western’s power transmission lines.

Major projects that involve Federal land or resources are required by Federal law to be evaluated in an EIS. The EIS, which has been in development for more than two years, evaluates the effects of the proposed project on all resources, including wildlife, groundwater, cultural, and vegetation. The issues were considered, avoided, minimized or mitigated appropriately. 

In addition to evaluating whether to allow use of the land, the BLM is evaluating a proposal to amend the Yuma Resource Management Plan, which was adopted in January 2010. The amendment would change the visual resource management class for the proposed site to a category that would allow construction of a tower.

The EIS identifies BLM’s preferred alternative, which generally coincides with Quartzsite Solar Energy’s proposal.

Information on the project and a link to the draft EIS is available on the BLM Arizona web site at

The Final EIS is available for review at:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Gratitude Book Project 2013 hits #1 on Amazon!


I'm excited to announce that yesterday, 
December 19, 2012 the book reached 

#1 in "Hot New Releases" and 
#6 in the "Happiness" Category!

Thank you to Editor Donna Kozik, 
the 300 contributing authors and 
everyone who purchased the book yesterday! 

I'm grateful to be a co-author and Gratitude Ambassador!

A wave of gratitude is making its way around the world, 
and I'm so very honored to be a part of this project. 

Proceeds from national book sales will be split among three charitable organizations:
Feeding America, the ASPCA, and Women for Women International.

Besides supporting charitable organizations, this book is a great addition 
to your daily reading with a new message of 
gratitude for each day of the year.

What are you grateful for?

To get your copy, order online at

Shanana "Rain" Golden-Bear,
Editor/Publisher, Desert Messenger,
Quartzsite, Arizona

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gratitude Book Project and Quartzsite

Have you heard of the 
Gratitude Book Project? 
It's finally here 

International Book Project 
Has More Than 300 People Sharing 
Their Stories of Gratitude, 
with National Book Sale Proceeds
Benefiting Three Charitable Organizations

I am so honored to be a co-author in The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude, a collaborative book sold on and featuring over 300 authors answering the question “What are you grateful for?” in 200 words or less. 

As publisher of Desert Messenger, Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper, I am so very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project. Having an Attitude of Gratitude opens our hearts to possibilities unseen. 

The book features pieces of true stories of appreciation such as:

·       The soldier who skipped his nightly run—and saved his life
·        The nervous excitement of entering a classroom for the first time…as the teacher
·        The magic number tally of cars, kids and cats that make a marriage
·        The everyday front porch where everlasting love was found
·        The great vision and personal insights gained despite being blind
·        The treasured handwritten letters from grandparents to a frightened 18-year-old college freshman
·        The dad who laughs so hard when telling a joke he can’t get the punch line out

And 358 more stories of stopping to take say “thank you” to the good in life—and the “not so good” that makes us stronger.


Shanana Rain Golden-Bear’s contribution to the book centers around how gratitude  helps when fear takes over.  “I wanted to participate in this project because our community has suffered so much recently. Gratitude can shift how we perceive the world around us and I wanted to share the joys of finding gratitude in simple ways,” said Golden-Bear.

In keeping with the spirit of the project, proceeds from national book sales will be split among three charitable organizations: FeedingAmerica, the ASPCA and Women for Women International.
For more information about “The Gratitude Book Project,” contact the co-author Shanana Rain Golden-Bear at or Donna Kozik, coordinator of the project, at or

Friday, December 14, 2012

Keep the flame of hope alive

This morning, I was in the middle of writing an article for Wednesday's Desert Messenger when I heard of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. The article is about local Quartzsite Elementary School District Board members extending Superintendent Jacque Price's contract. Some were happy about the decision and others are furious.

I was researching the history of our two local schools, at the same time Arizona School Board Members were ending their annual Conference today. The impact of the news of the deaths of so many innocent children stopped me in my tracks. An overwhelming wave of grief came upon me, and I reached out to family and friends for comfort.

My emotions were already raw from hearing about two friends' experience at the Clackamas shopping mall shooting just a few days ago. One friend, in a wheelchair, faced the shooter while his wife hit the floor as the glass shattered around her. The pain of their experience was felt "in our bones", as they said. With support of our extended family, the couple was just beginning the long healing process; and then came today's tragedy.

Such events as the recent shootings offer the opportunity to open up our hearts to each other...or... these events can turn our hearts cold as ice. We make our choices. In these changing times, we can heal from our wounds by recognizing another's pain. Allowing ourselves to grieve as a nation, and a community, for those who lost loved ones today and whose lives will never be the same again, will open us up to just how connected we are as human beings living on this earth together.

When we can sit at a table together with those we disagree with, the pain of our wounds begin to heal. When we light a candle and say prayers for the families who are suffering today, our own wounds will begin to heal. When we share a smile with a stranger, we offer a part of ourselves.

Today's tragedy shows us how connected we really all are. When our President sheds tears, the whole press corp was silent and moved. No politics, just human to human connection. We all feel the pain of today's events. When we send loving thoughts and prayers for the families involved, we help in our own healing process. When we begin our healing as a community, it reverberates around the whole world, just as a pebble in the pond.

In closing, I wish to share how grateful I am for all of you in my life, those I know very well, and those who only read my words here on this blog. I have learned from each and every one of you, even those who....(fill in the blanks)....

Reach out to loved ones and be grateful for each moment we share together. Don't allow the fear of the future stop you from joyfully living your dreams.

I wish all of you a joyful tomorrow and beyond...

Shanana Rain Golden-Bear
Publisher/Editor Desert Messenger

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quartzsite gears up for wonderful season!

Here are some helpful links for 
getting around Quartzsite this year:

If you're planning a trip to Quartzsite this year, 
be sure to check out the 
2012-2013 Show and Swap Meet Schedule 
and Calendar of Events:

There's a map of all the shows and swap meets around Quartzsite 

For a list of restaurants open for the season check out:

For camping in and around Quartzsite:

The current list of Music Jams in and around Quartzsite:

Vendor permits are still only $50/season (no increase for the last 9 years)
Vending forms; applications, requirements, etc.

Photo | Ken Hardies

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nov. 6th election results; Quartzsite Constable

Quartzsite, Arizona - The results of the tied write-in race for Quartzsite Constable JP#4 from the November 6th election are finally in.

After Tuesday's recount of the write-in candidates for Quartzsite Constable JP#4,
Starr BearCat won the position by one vote. 
BearCat received 62 votes. Bill Moore received 61 votes.

Yesterday (BearCat's birthday) Judge Michael Burke signed the official results of the recount held Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

According to Donna Hale the La Paz County Board of Supervisors will then adopt an amended canvass at their next meeting on December 17th, to declare Starr BearCat elected. Once approved, the Certificate of Election and Oath of Office documents will be issued.

Quartzsite Constable results

Monday, December 3, 2012

Quartzsite Police Chief to hold Coffee with Cops Wed.

Join Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert 
for his monthly Coffee with Cops meeting 
on Wed. Dec. 5th. 

Coffee and donuts will be available during the 
8am meeting 
at Quartzsite Town Hall, 
465 N. Plymouth, Quartzsite, Arizona.

Town Hall Tues. Dec. 4th at 4pm, Quartzsite Improvement Assoc

The Town of Quartzsite will hold a Town Hall meeting Tuesday, Dec. 4th at 4pm in the Quartzsite Improvement Assoc.(QIA) hall. The town posted a possible quorum notice that council members may appear. This will be the first Town Hall meeting for Quartzsite's Interim Town Manager, Laura Bruno.

Bring your questions and ideas for the meeting.


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