The character of a town

234 I attended the recent meeting at the Hospice of Morongo Basin Meeting Room, to prepare for the Thursday hearing about the possible new Dollar General Store in Joshua Tree. The people of Joshua Tree love this place like I love the way the snow falls on the volcanic rocks on the ground near my house. It happens as it should, in a flow that is congruent with the rest of nature. This town has an energy and aesthetic all its own; a combination of the wild west, robust individualism, an artistic flair, and a national park make this place unlike anywhere else. And people support the small businesses in town; we all go to the thrift stores to pick up sundries for the house, and this money goes to the non-profits that these thrift stores support. We have an economy that feeds back into itself and keeps the town afloat, and a town needs services for its residents. The Dollar General Store is being proposed by an outside development company called Dynamic Development. This new development goes against what is called for in the Joshua Tree Community Plan whose mission “is to guide the future use and development of land within the Joshua Tree Community Plan area in a manner that preserves the character and independent identity of the community... Support revitalization of the existing downtown commercial area by encouraging tourist services and recreation-oriented retail uses that retain the natural desert character.”235 Concerned residents will pile into cars on Thursday January 17th, and head to San Bernadino to the county seat to participate in a hearing about the possible future store. Jay Babcock, of Defend Joshua Tree, is organizing this and writes on his blog

Please consider attending this hearing as a community member opposed to this proposal. We have all the relevant testimony prepared. What we need most is to have people in the room on our side. You do not have to testify. You just have to be present.

There are 25 carpool seats so far being offered to interested parties. People will meet at the turtle sculpture at 6:15am!

I have been off the blogo-sphere for a bit due to a holiday lull, stay tuned for a back-log of desert stories!

Happy New!