Beautiful Dinner Ware on The Hot Sheet

Here for all the details
Ladies' Locker Room

9:30 AM

Everyone is invited to participate
What a great way to meet new ladies

Jewelry Making and Repair
Holiday Decorations
And much more...

Contact: Donna Nelson

Bermuda Dunes
Community Council
Meets the 2nd Thursday
every other month

Supervisor PEREZ office
Esmeralda Perez
760 863 8211

Sheriff's Department
Lt. Michael Bianco
760 836 1600

California Highway Patrol
Officer Hector Gutierrez
760 772 5300

Cal Fire
Div Chief Ty Davis
760 393 3450

Code Enforcement
Brenda Hannah

Bermuda Dunes Community
Center/Desert Rec
Nicole Fisher
760 564 9921
760-347-3484 ext. 134

Bermuda Dunes Airport

79880 Avenue 42, Bermuda
Dunes, CA 92203 ·
PH: (760) 345-2558

Myoma Water Co
Mark Meeler
General Manager
79050 Avenue 42
Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203
760-772-1967  Office
760-345-9761  FAX


All other areas of the County

Riverside County Waste

Waste Management has a
roadside cleanup program
in the Riverside County they
can be reached at

Union Pacific RR
Critical Need Phone #
888 877 7267

1 393 3344 NOT
Today is Wednesday, December 11, 2019
“The principal purpose of this website is to provide useful information for residents of Bermuda Dunes.  It is not possible, however, for The Blog Folks independently to verify information submitted to us.  
Accordingly, our listing of goods and services is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, an endorsement.  The purchasers of goods and services listed on our website are encouraged to perform
their own due diligence.”
This website is owned, operated and paid for exclusively by The Blogfolks. We are not affiliated with Riverside County or any other entity.

Card Games, Mexican Train, Samba and
Bridge and Bocce Ball

Are also offered at the Club

Gin Gals

Mexican Train Gals

Bridge Gals

My Tuesday Morning group plays ACBL bridge. We play 9:00
to approximately noon, the cost is $3.00 . This group is for
women with a basic knowledge of conventions.

On Thursday afternoons, we have a more relaxed group
playing from 2:00 to approximately 4:30. Discussion of play is
permitted to help players of all abilities to improve their
knowledge of conventions.

We welcome new players!

Nancy Coates

Samba Gals

We have sign up on boards for Monday and Friday 11:00
in the Ladies' Lounge


Season Opens in January

Everyone member is invited to play
Contact: Zeke and Terri Wheeler
for information
Board Members
Bermuda Dunes Security

Robert Nagels, President
Donald Keprta, Vice President
Chris Hogan, Treasurer
Robert Anderson, Secretary
Donald G. Clarke
Joseph R. “Jack” Fox
Jerry Lugo
Martin C. (Duke) Frey
Sylvia Chernick Baran

BDSA Meeting
4th Thurs. of every



Bermuda Dunes Security
Association (BDSA) is
responsible for streets
(potholes, cracks, street
drainage and dry wells),
Security entry/exit, patrol
vehicles, cable TV
agreement, fee collection
& payment, gates & gate
lights, medians, walls,
guardhouses and all
street/gate signage.

BDSA is managed by
Desert Resort Mgmt
John Walters-Clark
760 346 1161


The Admin Office is open
Monday thru Friday for
questions and concerns.

Resident Login System
is handled by DRM

Admin hours are as follows:

Monday 9 -5
Tuesday 9 - 5
Wednesday 9 - 5
Friday 9 - 5
Saturday Closed         
Sunday Closed

If this is urgent, please
contact Security at:

Telephone Numbers:

Main Gate: 760-360-1322
Main Gate #1
Glass Gate #2
Administration #3

Bermuda Dunes
Home Owner's
Third Tuesday at
6:00 p.m. each month

Adm Bldg
4:30 PM

Charlie Bishop, President
Kristy Hilton, Vice President
Janet McMurtrey, Secretary
Barbara Black, Treasurer
Robert Nagels, Director

BDCA is managed by
Desert Resort Mgmt
John Walters-Clark
760 346 1161

CC&Rs for BDSA

Here is what
responsible for:

Bermuda Dunes
Community Association
(BDCA) is responsible for
most problems relating to
property owner's home
and lot, dogs,
landscaping, pool
draining, trash cans,
fountains and landscaping
at the main gate.

The Architectural
Committee reports to the
Community Board

Dues are $100 per year
and are payable in
January in lump sum

Architectural Committee

representatives of each
Homeowner, members of the
Architectural Control Committee
(ACC), are volunteer community
members.  The ACC, as
established in the CC&R’s, has
been charged with the mission to
oversee that each lot and dwelling
within the Community is developed
and maintained in a manner
compatible with its standard
aesthetics and quality.

ACC has the responsibility to
approve or to reject all plans for
real property improvements on all
lots within any subdivision of the
Community, and all properties
owned by the Bermuda Dunes
Community Association and
Bermuda Dunes Security
Association, prior to
commencement of construction of
that improvement.

goal is to foster careful design in
furtherance of its responsibility to
represent each Homeowner in the
preservation of the architectural
and landscaping aesthetics and
character of the homes within the
Community and to monitor,
according to its authority for
interpretation, enforcement of
BDCA’s governing documents.  
Utilizing and interpreting the
Guidelines, the ACC will consider
the aesthetic and functional
aspects of each design, including
placement of buildings,
landscaping, exterior finishes and
materials, height and bulk,
orientation of site lines, etc.  In
addition, the ACC will consider the
effect of the proposed
improvement on neighboring
properties and the Community as a

responsible for reviewing nor shall
its approval of any plan or design
be deemed approval of any
structural safety or conformance
with building or other codes. The
ACC assumes no responsibility for
the structural or mechanical
soundness of approved designs.

E.  RECORDS:  Records of ACC
approvals or actions will be kept on
file, by Tract or Unit and by Lot
number, at the office of the BDCA.

F.  AUTHORITY:  Submissions are
required directly from homeowners,
regardless that they may reside in
sub-communities that may have
their own architectural review
boards, guidelines and
committees.  The BDCA-ACC has
final authority for approval of
projects as outlined herein. No
submittals will be accepted from
sub-community boards or
committees, unless submission is
for common area projects within
the sub-community.


To see lots and lots of fun activities


Email us: dhateasystreet@msn.com





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The Blogfolks

Donna and Bob Nelson

This Blog and Website was
created 16 years ago to help
the community of Bermuda
Dunes keep informed of
important issues in our
We don't profess to know
everything, but we try to get you
accurate information for your
concerns and comments!

We also offer FREE
advertising and For Sale Items

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let us know.

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Have a lovely day!
Gingerbread Lane

Old Town Artisan Studios will be converting their 3-acre art
campus into Gingerbread Lane – a winter wonderland with
multiple trees, trimmed garland, twinkling lights, holiday train, a
marquee 17-foot tree next to Santa’s workshop all wrapped in
the music of the holidays! The moment you walk through the
gates you’ll enter a winter wonderland of Gingerbread delights!
We will be offering gingerbread cookies and hot cider in the
culinary area, cookie decorating, clay ornament painting, and

Santa Claus is coming! Each Saturday Santa will be here in
person and available for area children to visit. All day activities
are scheduled to keep you entertained and in the holiday spirit.
Scheduled events include seasonal music, delightful dance and
performances by our local youth organizations in the Coachella

Gingerbread Lane has been the dream of Founder Victory
Grund. “The mission for this new family event is to bring back
the joy of giving through the holidays through creating hand
made gifts for family and friends. When a person of any age
creates a gift by hand for loved ones it becomes a treasure that
grows more valuable with each passing year”. Grund went on
to say, “The personal expression gives meaning to each piece
of art. Creating gifts with a group of family or friends can
become a tradition and, though not expensive, these gifts are

Festivities will be held from noon to 6 p.m on Nov 30, Dec 7,
14, and 21. The event is free to the public.

Sponsored by H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation

Old Town Artisan Studios
78046 Calle Barcelona
La Quinta, CA 92253

We SUPPORT the purchase of this property...and
hope you will too!
Donna, I meant to ask earlier so you could post it in your next blog: do
you remember there was a recommendation for a very nice gentleman
who cleaned out garages at a reasonable price? Mine has very little
clutter, but it needs a good cleaning. There isn’t a listing in the vendor

Kathie Allen
From: kathieoallen@gmail.com

Hi Kathie

Hopefully, somone will have a recommendation for you.
Stacey McGrew
Wed 11/20/2019 5:09 PM
Hello: I’m new to the community and wondering if the craft class
is open to everyone.  I am not a golf member.  I live in the
Bermuda Colonies.
Thank you

Hi Stacey:

Welcome to our Community. Everyone who is a member at
the Bermuda Dunes Golf Course is welcome to join us.s

This would be an excellent opportunity to get a
community club house.

I hope you will vote YES on the purchase of Lot #1

HERE for all the
things to do!

In closing out 2019, the desert welcomes The Beach
Boys, the Indio International Tamale Festival, A Charlie
Brown Christmas, and a New Year's Eve celebration with
some party animals at The Living Desert.
Steve Greig
Steve Greig is an accountant whose passion for animals has led
to him becoming a sought-after advocate for pet adoption. He
has appeared on television and been covered by many
publications, including NBC Nightly News, ABC News, Fox 5,
Animal Planet, Bravo, Rachel Ray, Today.com, Huffington Post,
Country Living, PetInsider, Susie’s Senior Dogs, The Dodo, and

About the Book
From Instagram sensation Steve Greig and New York Times
bestselling author Mary Rand Hess comes this humorous,
heartwarming story about Greig’s real-life menagerie of senior
rescue animals affirms that, in a family, everyone belongs.

What makes a family? Is it sharing favorite foods, cuddling up
for snuggle time, loving each other no matter what you look like
in the morning?

For Steve Greig’s oddly wonderful, real-life family of senior
dogs, chickens, rabbits, and a pig named Bikini, family is all
those things and then some! And this lovable bunch is now
starring in their very first children’s book that showcases the
importance of family.

Meet the Wolfgang, a loveable bunch of animals belonging to
Steve and each other. Greig looked for the most “unadoptable”
animals and gave them a home … his home! Strange and
unique, The One and Only Wolfgang will remind readers that no
matter how old or how odd, everyone has a place where they


You can still speak to speak
to him DIRECTLY through
Santa’s Hotline along with
Mrs. Claus, and his elves on
the phone!

Tuesday, December 10 -
Wednesday, December 12,
Dial 1-855-726-8245
Call between
5:00 – 9:00 pm
We adopted an 8 week kitten who was in a cage with his brother. The
rescue Facebook group comments are hurtful by saying we separated
bonded brothers. We can’t take two and are rethinking the entire
adoption. Are they really bonded?

As humans, we really cannot appreciate how animals actually feel
emotions. In fact, do they? How can we tell whether they feel
separation anxiety when taken from their siblings and mother? I don’t
think we actually can, but we can observe behaviors and see how
individual animals are affected.

When we adopted our two fur babies, we had not really intended to get
TWO kittens, but as it turned out, we really had no say in the matter.
Our boys are not brothers. They are a week apart in age. Toffee was
11 weeks old and Tango was 10 weeks old, but they came from the
same rescue home, and had been together all their lives.

I was attracted to Toffee as he presented himself with a VERY open
and friendly manner. He was a real talker and went right into telling me,
very vivaciously, how I should choose him and take him home with me.
He had a beautiful orange coat, with four pure white “socks”, a lovely
white chest and tummy, and cute white spots on his muzzle. His head,
however, strongly resembled the shape of an ant’s head and was
really funny looking! But it was love at first sight.

My hubby decided that he, too, perhaps should find a kitten for himself.
This was quite a change for us as we had never had more than one
cat at a time before. He brought several kittens into the meet and greet
room to see if they got along with my chosen kitty. Toffee paid no
attention to any of them. He just went about exploring the room and
playing by himself. C was really drawn to Toffee, but I patiently
explained to him that this was MY kitten, and he could get his own.
Hands off!!! Hubby was quite well known for stealing the affections of
MY kitties. Then I remembered that when we had first come in, there
had been another little orange kitten in the same cage as Toffee and I
suggested that C go and look for that one.

He brought Tango into the room, and that was that. Toffee ran over to
his little bro, and if they had been human, they would have been
hugging!!! Then Toffee proceeded to lead Tango around the room and
show him all the areas he had already explored. There was absolutely
NO question that these two were meant to be together.

They are now almost 8 years old and are STILL as close to each other
as they ever were. You cannot doubt that these two love each other
totally when you see them together. When you see the way they look
after each other and comfort each other when one or the other is sick,
you cannot doubt their compassion for each other. I am so glad we
took both of them. They define the meaning of “bonded”.

However, had we only taken one, I am pretty sure they would have
survived as an only kitten. In time, I think even these two would have
adjusted to just having the love of their adopted Mommy and Daddy. If
we had decided that it was to be only one, I would NOT have
appreciated anyone giving us any guff about it. Like others have said,
find yourself another group. You are giving a kitty a loving home, and
that kitty will love you for that.

BUT, if you find it in your heart to keep a bonded pair together, you will
be rewarded in ways you can never imagine. Our Boyz:
Coachella Valley Family Favorite – Candy Cane Lane in
Cathedral City!!
        Candy Cane Lane

This is a very popular, unique event that we highly recommend.
Take your family and friends, park your car nearby and walk this
area for all kinds of fun and suprises and it is Free.

Minerva Lane in Cathedral City, a.k.a Candy Cane Lane.

50 Homes in a residential neigborhood Decorated on Minerva
Rd in Cathedral City Last Week of November Through Jan 1,
2020. Very Popular for the holidays.

How to Get There
Minerva Road is located between Tachevah Drive and Avenida
La Vista in Cathedral City.

When Should I Go?
There are no opening or closing times for Candy Cane Lane.
Lights come on at dark. This is a residential area so common
sense prevails as too how late you should go.

Great blog Donna; lots of good info; thank again for all of your hard
work keeping us informed.  You ROCK!!!!!!��

Thanks so much. It is our PLEASURE!
Why do dogs lick faces?

Some might find this answer a bit ‘icky’, but it is fascinating all the
same. A wild or feral dog, and some house dogs as well, when
weaning their pups from milk to solid food, begin by regurgitating
chewed up food for them. Hungry puppies will lick their mom’s face to
stimulate them to regurgitate. That’s where the face licking instinct
begins. Obviously, your dog is not licking your face for the same
reason, but that early instinct gets tied up in a love bond and knowing
that humans have taken on the mom’s role of loving and caring and
providing for them. That lick is their way of expressing that they know
that, and love you for it. (One of my dogs always gives a quick lick of
my wrist whenever I pour fresh water in his bowl. It’s his adorable little
“thank you”.)
How do I keep bananas from spoiling?
Keep Bananas Fresh Longer (slices, Too!)

For many people, purchasing a bunch of bananas is the
ultimate act of hope in the face of experience.

I'm no different. My thinking generally goes, "If I buy these now,
I'm set on breakfast for a week." Then Thursday comes around,
my 'nanners have turned brown, and suddenly Friday's looking
like a toaster waffle sort of day. Sometimes I consider baking
banana bread and pretending I meant to let them get overripe,
but mostly I throw them away and feel bad.

There is another way. A better way. A way that requires nothing
more than what is already likely to be in your kitchen.


Optional science!

We're looking specifically at enzymatic browning and the effect
of ethylene production here. If you want to dig much deeper,
there's a ton of academic research on bananas available online.

"Relationship between browning and the activities of
polyphenol oxidase and phenylalanine ammonia lyase in
banana peel during low temperature storage" anyone?

When fruits or vegetables are peeled or cut, enzymes
contained in the plant cells are released. In the presence of
oxygen from the air, the enzyme phenolase catalyses one step
in the biochemical conversion of plant phenolic compounds to
form brown pigments known as melanins. This reaction, called
enzymatic browning, occurs readily at warm temperatures when
the pH is between 5.0 and 7.0.

Ethylene promotes maturation and abscission of fruits. This has
been known since early last century. Since 1934, it is known
that plants themselves can produce ethylene. Many climacteric
fruits such as apple, banana and tomato show a strong
increase in ethylene levels at the late green or breaker stage.
As a consequence of high ethylene chlorophyll is degraded and
other pigments are being produced. This results in the typical
color of the mature fruit peel. Activity of many
maturation-related enzymes increases. Starch, organic acids
and in some cases, such as avocado lipids, are mobilized and
converted to sugars. Pectins, the main component of the middle
lamella are degraded. The fruit softens. These metabolic
activities are accompanied by a high respiration rate and
consequently by high oxygen consumption. Ethylene levels are
especially high in the separating tissues resulting in abscission
of the fruit.

Step 1: Preserve the Bunch: Wrap Stems With Plastic Wrap

To keep a bunch of bananas fresh for longer, wrap the stems in
some plastic wrap. Re-cover the bananas with the wrap after
removing one.

This method prevents ethylene gas, produced naturally in the
ripening process, from reaching other parts of the fruit and
prematurely ripening it. This technique is hit or miss, as the
coverage from the plastic wrap is unlikely to fully prevent
contact with the ethylene gas. It's certainly better than nothing,

This explains a few common tricks about using bananas to
ripen other fruits like avocados. Or quick-ripening bananas by
storing them all in a bag together. Ethylene is actually used in
the banana production facilities to induce ripening at just the
right time to ensure that you buy a bunch of yellow (or greenish
yellow) from your local grocer.

(The next step is my preferred method, and the one that the
science appears to back up with the most evidence.)

Step 2: Separate, Then Wrap the Stems

Sure, wrapping the whole stem section works, but why keep
the bananas together? Since most bananas on a bunch ripen
at slightly different rates, your prematurely ripe bananas are
going to put off more ethylene gas which will only serve to
make ALL the bananas ripen that much faster.

Divide and conquer! Separate the ripe fruit from the
slightly-less-ripe, wrap their stems in plastic, then enjoy when
you're ready.

This should do a couple of things:

prevent ethylene gas from initiating the ripening process on
under-ripe bananas fully cover the stem to really forestall the
off-gassing make your bananas more convenient to grab and
enjoy on the go.

And if you're bothered by the stem wrapper, try opening your
bananas from the opposite end like a monkey. You'll get fewer
stringy bits and have a convenient handle to hold onto while
you eat. Also, no awkwardness for that final bite.

Step 3: Keep Banana Slices Fresh

To prevent your banana slices from browning, you can use the
same trick you've seen for apples: acid!

Just toss your banana slices in some lemon juice to inhibit
enzymatic browning. Full coverage, particularly on the cut
sides, will help prevent the slices from turning brown. In
addition to lemon juice, vinegar will also work. So would sulfuric
acid, for that matter, but you probably don't want to eat it
Good Morning Bermuda Dunes:

We have just survived one of the most
stressful weeks ever!
Our oldest son, Bart, had a heart attack. He is only 56
years old.

Thank goodness he got through it, but it sure is a
reminder that you never know when a loved one or friend
will encounter a life threatening event.

Be sure to tell everyone close that you 'love them'
Perez Post
Welcome to the November issue of The Perez Post. My team
and I have been hard
at work for you and the phenomenal 4th District!

Below are highlights of policies and information on what’s
happening in the
4th District, Riverside County and upcoming events.

2019 Agriculture Summit


On November 20, the Riverside County Ag Summit was held at
UCR Palm Desert.

There's no better time to get into agriculture! California is
unique because, as a state, we experience all variations of the
weather - rain, snow, heat, we get it all. This allows us to grow
anything and much of our produce is rated number one, such
as almonds, leaf berries and grapes.

In the Coachella Valley, agriculture is the main source of
income and revenue for the rural East Valley. In fact,
agricultural land is one of the most predominant land uses
within the Valley. You can find produce grown in the Valley
throughout the United States.

This event was well attended and the speakers transmitted
hope and faith in the agriculture business for the future.

I want to thank Secretary of the State of California Food &
Agriculture Department, Karen Ross, for coming to the
Coachella Valley and being the keynote speaker. I would also
like to thank all those involved: speakers, sponsors, exhibitors
and attendees for making this a success!
Energy Efficiency Upgrade Program


Homeowners in parts of Indio, Coachella and the
unincorporated communities of Carver Tract, Mecca and North
Shore can qualify for free energy efficiency retrofits aimed at
reducing their energy costs and improving air quality.

The program is funded with a nearly $1 million funding award
from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD),
which I helped secure early this year. This one-time program
will help retrofit approximately 350 homes.

Applications for the Coachella Valley Residential Energy
Efficiency Retrofit Program are being accepted. To apply, call
the South Coast AQMD Air Resources Hotline at 909-396-2390.

Illegal Dumping and Fire Prevention

I want to thank crews from the Riverside County Fire
Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Fire
Department who worked on extinguishing the mulch fire at the
Sun Valley Recycling Center on the Torres-Martinez Desert
Cahuilla Indians reservation in Thermal.

Our county fire fighters assisted in providing an immediate
response before BIA firefighters took over the incident.

I have met with Congressman Raul Ruiz and Assemblymember
Eduardo Garcia to work on a long term strategy to deal with
illegal dumping and resulting fires.

Illegal dumping doesn't only occur on tribal land, it also occurs
on county land and we are actively working with Riverside
County's Transportation & Land Management Agency (TLMA)
to clean up county areas as well. During our budget review, I
was supported by my colleagues to augment the budget for our
Code Department and Fire Department to tackle the issue of
increased fires in the East Valley. The Riverside County
Combustible Materials Task Force has identified 33 county
properties that are areas of concern. To read about the results
of the task force, click here.

With limited jurisdiction, we are committed to working together
with sovereign tribal nations and provide support wherever
needed. As far as county land is concerned, our staff is doing
everything they can to speed up the clean-up of green waste in
our unincorporated communities.

I want thank TLMA Assistant CEO, Juan Perez and county staff
for all their good work as well as the South Coast AQMD, EPA,
the Coachella Valley Unified School District, and other entities
that are making sure our residents are safe.

Thank you for taking the time to read this past month’s
highlights. Should you have any comments, concerns or need
assistance with any county issue, please contact my office.
We are here to serve and advocate for you!

Yours very truly,

V. Manuel Perez
4th District Supervisor, Riverside County
Donna and I very much appreciate that you would put in your blog that
we are looking for a home in Bermuda Dunes Country Club.  We hope
to find our getaway there.  The following are some of the things we are
hoping for in a home.

Thank you,


Hi Dave:

We are only too happy to help.  Good Luck on finding your
forever home.


We are searching for a home or Condominium with the following

Minimum of:

2200 SQ Feet

3 Bedrooms

3 full Bathrooms

No step downs in home or to outside recreational area

It would be great to have:

Views of Mountains and or on golf course

Pool and Hot Tub

Recreational area to face the north or east

We are willing to pay market price based on condition.

Please contact Donna at 920-819-2349 or email
We always love to get a picture of Phred dressed in his
Holiday finest.

Phred is the leader of our Paw Patrol and we love his
wonderful spirit!

HERE to see Paw Patrol Dogs and get instructions
on how to keep our community safe while walking your


It's not to late to get your ballot back to BDCA concerning
the potential purchase of Lot 1 Bermuda Dunes Drive.  
This purchase requires your vote.  The acquisition of this
property would become a valuable asset to the community
and long range planning for future development of our own
Community Center.

If you have misplaced your ballot a new one can be
obtained by contacting Erin Grossman at Associa

JANUARY 30. 2020
How to Prevent Freezer Burn Once and for All

What Is Freezer Burn?

We associate freezer burn with the layer of ice on the surface of the
food, but the ice is only a symptom of the problem. The ice crystals
come from the food itself; if there’s warmer air next to the food,
moisture escapes and then freezes at the surface. Unfortunately, this
also dries out the food itself. Though food with freezer burn may be
safe to eat, your frozen chicken dinner may not turn out too tasty.

How to Prevent It
The key to preventing freezer burn is to prevent the moisture from
escaping in the first place. For this to happen, you'll want to keep two
things in mind: keep temperatures consistently cold and keep the air
out. This helps freeze the food fast and keep that icky freezer burn
from forming. Keep the following tips handy the next time you plan on
tossing together one of our easy freezer meals.

1. Set your freezer to the right temperature
Use a thermometer to ensure that your freezer is at or below freezing.
Depending on your make of freezer, this could be “Cold,” “Low,” or an
actual temperature—0°F.

2. Chill your food before freezing it.
Putting hot food directly in the freezer brings the temperature of the
freezer up almost as fast as it brings the temperature of the food down.
Not only that, it will affect any food close to the hot food, making a
warm place on the surface for freezer burn to strike. Put your food in
the fridge for 1 to 2 hours before putting it in the freezer for long-term

3. Freeze your food in small batches.
Filling the freezer with food all at once will bring up the temperature,
and it will take much longer to get down below freezing point. Instead,
put in just a few items at a time.

4. Don’t overfill—or underfill—your freezer.
Already frozen food acts like ice in a cooler, and helps chill other food.
But an overstuffed freezer prevents the even circulation of cold air,
creating warmer pockets. Ideally, your freezer should be about three-
quarters full. If you have the room, use freezer shelves to give your
food a couple inches of air beneath it, too.

5. Clean out and organize your freezer regularly.
Know what’s in it and how to find it quickly, without a lot of open-door
time. Follow these tips to keep your freezer organized.

6. Use freezer-safe containers to store your food.
Plastic containers, glass containers or jars, or freezer bags all work
great. Be sure you have freezer bags instead of “storage bags”;
storage bags use a thinner plastic, and aren't designed for the freezer.
These are the food storage containers you need in your kitchen.

7. Give your food an extra layer of protection.
You can do this by wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before
putting it in your container or freezer bag. Only use plastic wrap, waxed
paper and aluminum foil if you are also using a container or freezer
bag. None of these, on their own, will keep enough air out to prevent
freezer burn. If you’re storing a liquid, like freezing soup, for example—
pour it into the container, leaving about ½ in. of headroom (the liquid
will expand when it freezes). Cover the surface of the liquid with plastic
wrap, smooth the plastic so that it makes contact over the surface of
the food, then put the lid on the container.

8. Squeeze out the air.
When using freezer bags, press out as much air as possible from the
bag before freezing the food. If you have a vacuum storage system,
this is the best possible solution. If not, check out our favorite trick for
removing air from a freezer bag.

9. Know when to toss it.
Finally, it may go without saying, but don’t keep food for too long. No
matter how well wrapped and protected, food will hit its expiry date
after about 9 months in the freezer. So make sure you record the date
on the food you freeze, and that you use or discard it after 9 months.
Here's a handy guide for how long frozen food lasts.

Now that you know how to protect your food from the dreaded freezer
burn, you can fill your freezer (but remember, no more than three-
quarters full!) with delicious appetizers, main meals and desserts for a
rainy day!

CVWD and Riverside County team up to provide safe drinking
water to Oasis Mobile Home Park

Starting December 11, the Coachella Valley Water District
(CVWD), in partnership with the County of Riverside, will
deliver clean water on site at Oasis Mobile Home Park to
provide a temporary supplemental water source for the
residents of the park.

The CVWD Board of Directors today approved an agreement
with Riverside County to bring water on site for the residents
over the next 60 days. Riverside County will pay CVWD for its
costs in providing this service, estimated at $2,500 per week.

“I am proud of Riverside County’s ongoing support to ensure
the residents of Oasis Mobile Home Park have access to clean
drinking water,” said Riverside County Fourth District
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “This teamwork reflects our
mission and values in coming together to assist residents in
need. Bringing in clean drinking water on site is a positive and
major improvement, and I once again commend Riverside
County staff, the Coachella Valley Water District and the
Galilee Center for their resolve in meeting an immediate need
and making this a better situation.”

The service will include one operator that will bring a water
trailer with a 1,000-gallon tank that will be stationed in front of
the park. Residents will be able to draw water from the tank
from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 2 p.m. to
5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. These hours augment the Park’s
bottled water distribution hours of 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on the
weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on weekends.

The hours of operation might change after the first week, but
the total daily hours will not change.

“Since August, when the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) found the system to be out of compliance, we’ve been
collaborating with federal and local public agencies including
the State of California and Assembly member Eduardo Garcia’s
office, the County of Riverside and Supervisor Perez’s Office to
supplement the efforts of EPA who has jurisdiction over the
system. We are pleased to have partnered with the County to
provide this immediate water supply to these residents. We
recognize the importance of safe drinking water and look
forward to continuing to work with all of the interested parties
on finding a long term solution,” said Castulo Estrada, CVWD
board vice president.

The Park is on tribal land in Oasis and has a public water
system not connected to CVWD. The EPA, who has jurisdiction
over the system, issued a Safe Drinking Water Act Emergency
Administrative Order in August 2019 to Oasis Mobile Home
Park for exceeding the federal arsenic drinking water standard
by almost 10 times the allowable limit. Under EPA’s Emergency
Order, Park owners have been mandated to provide free
bottled water to the 1,900 residents until the EPA finds the
water system is safe, specifically one gallon per person daily.
However, many families have had difficulties accessing
sufficient bottled water to meet their daily needs. The
availability of CVWD’s supplemental water does not relieve the
owners of Oasis Mobile Home Park from providing water
required under EPA’s Emergency Order.

Water is also available to residents of the Oasis Mobile Home
Park at the Galilee Center in Mecca, 66-101 Hammond Rd.,
every day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For after-hours assistance, call
the Galilee Center at (760) 396-9100.

“The residents of Oasis Mobile Home Park have the right to
safe and clean drinking water,” said EPA Pacific Southwest
Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “While we continue to
monitor the water treatment system’s compliance with safety
standards, EPA appreciates the support of Coachella Valley
Water District and Riverside County in helping the residents
with temporary emergency access to supplemental drinking

The County and CVWD have a history of collaborative work to
address Disadvantaged Community water needs in the Eastern
Coachella Valley. CVWD formed the Disadvantaged
Communities Infrastructure Task Force in 2016 to address safe
drinking water needs in the Coachella Valley long-term. The
County of Riverside and Supervisor Perez’s office are members
of that Task Force. The group recently completed the Eastern
Coachella Valley Water Supply Master Plan, which identified
and mapped all small, private water systems (mobile home
parks), developed a prioritization process that considered
things like proximity to existing pipelines, cost, and number of
people affected and water quality, and conducted preliminary
engineering for the top two highest ranked projects. These
efforts, combined with the State’s Safe and Affordable Drinking
Water legislation, will be critical to continuing to address the
disadvantaged community water-related needs, such as those
experienced by the Oasis Mobile Home Park residents.


The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency
governed by a five-member board of directors. The district
provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage,
wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm
water protection, groundwater management and water
conservation. It serves approximately 108,000 residential and
business customers across 1,000 square miles, located
primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial
and San Diego counties.

Supervisor V. Manuel Perez represents the eastern two-thirds
of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of
Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot
Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the
Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical
district in the county. Supervisor Perez’s office hours are 8 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
White Sands National Monument
Things to Do

Auto Tours
An eight-mile scenic drive leads from the Visitor Center into the
heart of the dunes. Wayside exhibits at pullouts along the drive
provide information about the natural history of the park.

Numerous parking areas along the drive allow visitors to stop
and walk in the white sands. Allow 30 minutes driving time for
the 16-mile round trip, plus additional time for walking,
photography or stopping at pullouts. The Interdune Boardwalk
has interpretive exhibits.

Hiking & Trails
Each of the trails in White Sands National Monument is
different. You can explore the various areas and features of the
dune field, so have an adventure and enjoy one or all of the
park's four trails. You are welcome to walk anywhere within the
park as long as you use an established pullout or parking area.
It is recommended, though, that you start with the 6.2 miles of
marked trails. Before hiking anywhere, orient yourself to natural
and human-made landmarks, such as the different mountain
ranges and water towers.

Playa Trail
Distance from Visitor Center: 2.5 miles - Length of trail: 330
yards, round trip

This is a short, level trail that leads to a small playa. A playa is
a shallow depression or low-lying area that fills temporarily with
rainwater from storms. Most of the year, it is a dry lakebed.
Playas are common features in desert environments. Lake
Lucero, considered the modern source of the sand here, is a
much larger playa that covers approximately 10 square miles
(16 km). (Lake Lucero is located 15.5 miles (25 km) southwest
of here and the only access is across White Sands Missile
Range, making it inaccessible to the public except on monthly
ranger-led tours. You can get a tour schedule at the Visitor

Big Dune Nature Trail
Distance from Visitor Center: 2.75 miles - Length of trail:
One-mile loop

Description of trail: This is your first opportunity to walk on the
sand. The trail is marked by brown posts buried in the sand.
This trail is located along the edge of the dune field and is more
heavily vegetated than other sections of the dune field. There
is a trail guide that is available for 50 cents in the Visitor Center
or you may borrow a copy from the box at the beginning of the
trail. The trail and guide will introduce you to plants and
animals common to the dune field and surrounding desert. The
trail starts down in the plains and is level for the first 1/4 mile
before going up a steep slope onto the sand dunes. This is
NOT a play area. The trail is for nature study. You may play out
in the Heart of the Sands near the picnic areas, away from
plants and away from the road.

Interdune Boardwalk
Distance from Visitor Center: 4.5 miles - Length of trail: 650
yards loop

This trail is fully accessible for people using wheelchairs and
strollers. The trail is an elevated boardwalk. This trail leads you
through a fragile interdune area covered by cryptobiotic crust
(see below). Interdune areas are where all plant life in the dune
field starts. This is the best place to get a close look at many of
the wildflowers that grow here while protecting the park's
resources. There is also a short side trail (150 yards/135 km)
that leads up to an overlook where you can see several plant
pedestals. There are informational signs and benches located
at various points along the boardwalk.

Alkali Flat Trail
Distance from visitor center: 7 miles - Length of trail: 4.6 miles

If you want to see unvegetated dunes stretching for miles into a
beautiful vista and have a wilderness-type experience, the
Alkali Flat Trail is for you. This trail takes you through the Heart
of the Sands, up and over dunes, and ends at the edge of the
Alkali Flat

ALL HIKERS MUST REGISTER at the trailhead and return to
trailhead by sunset. Please indicate "time out" so that park
rangers know that you have returned safely. This is the only
trail where horses are allowed.

The Alkali Flat is the dry lakebed of Lake Otero, a lake that
filled the bottom of the Tularosa Basin during the last ice age
and covered 1,600 square miles. Please note that you do not
have to hike the entire trail to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
The trail is marked by white posts with orange reflective tape at
the top, so look carefully for the next trail marker before
continuing. If you cannot see the next post because of blowing
sand or dust -- do not proceed. Turn back. The strong winds,
especially in the spring, can reduce visibility to a few feet,
making it easy to get lost.

Cryptobiotic Crusts
Cryptobiotic crusts are the darker, crunchy, bumpy surface
found in the low-lying interdune areas. It is the presence of
these crusts that enable plants to grow in the nutrient-poor
sand by building a soil layer and stabilizing the ever-shifting
sand. These crusts are communities of microscopic organisms
that include cyanobacteria, other bacteria, algae, fungi, lichens,
and mosses.

Some of these organisms acquire nitrogen from the atmosphere
and convert it to a form plants can use and start the soil-
building process. They also enhance the plants' ability to
absorb and hold other important plant nutrients. These crusts
are found in other environments, but they play an especially
critical role in nutrient-poor desert soils. Please try to avoid,
whenever possible, walking on these fragile crusts. Try to walk
around the edge of interdune areas where the crust is less
prevalent. Walking on them damages the crust and stops the
soil-building process.

Precautions & Regulations
Be sure to take plenty of water and snacks and wear walking
shoes, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses when going hiking in
the desert. A minimum of one gallon of water per person per
day is recommended. There is no water in the park, so be sure
to fill up at the Visitor Center before you go. Don't wait until
you're thirsty to drink -- you're already dehydrated by then.

It is easy to become disoriented and lost in the dune field,
especially when strong winds erase your footprints and
obscure landmarks. A compass is strongly recommended for
cross-country or off-trail hiking. And remember to avoid,
whenever possible, walking across the fragile cryptobiotic
crusts in the interdune areas! (For information on cryptobiotic
crusts, see last section of this handout).

If you take your pet hiking, please remember to keep it on a
leash at all times for its safety and out of consideration for other
The holiday mad dash has begun! With just a few weeks left to
the season, don't stress over those gift ideas!

Our friends at Random House have a huge selection of books
that make magical gifts which will become bedtime faves like:

By Dr. Suess

Nothing grumbles “classic holiday story” like the beloved tale of
a grumpy green Grinch whose heart grows three sizes. How the
Grinch Stole Christmas is a timeless story that connects with
kids of all ages.


Elbow Grease vs Motozilla
By John Cena

The unstoppable John Cena’s second picture book, Elbow
Grease vs Motorzilla, is all about never giving up and about the
importance of believing in yourself. This book just may get them
cheering so, read at your own risk!

The Serious Goose
By Jimmy Kimmel

The Serious Goose is a Jimmy Kimmel original (yup, the late
night funny man) and we dare you not to laugh as you read this
seriously silly book. We triple dog dare you!


Hey Grandude!
By Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney’s action-packed picture book celebrates the fun
that grandparents and their grandkids can get into. Hey
Grandude! is a colorful bedtime pick for a little one.