By John Paul Valdez

This column is written on Sunday. This week the following Tuesday will have been Election Day, and the papers will be filled with election news by Wednesday when this paper hits the newsstands. I won’t engage in the Monday morning quarterbacking. That’s just too easy. My recommendations and endorsements are a matter of record at this point. We are all in this together as we all move forward, and forward is where we are moving.

The economy is in a rebound as most people can now feel and see. This summer, travelers promise to visit in droves as the economy picks up and consumer confidence rises. The price of an average hotel room will be $115 a night, up about 5 percent. Remember that numerous on line applications allow for bargain shopping on hotel rooms, and for those more adventurous there are services like AirBnB that offer owner occupied stays at a bargain.

Not only do we have those who choose the desert as a bedroom community, but also we have ourselves that use LA and SD as a getaway in reverse as well. This summer promises to be a bit busier and likely a bit hotter than others on record. I’m a scientist these days on that, not a politician. The desert is meant to be hot, and it makes jumping in the pool at night one of those amazing pleasures that has lured the movie stars into our backyard since the 1950’s. That’s good news.


The high desert offers slightly cooler temperatures for those who don’t know, and being near Joshua Tree is every bit as important or more so than being near the party venues. Some of the highlights to recommend to friends and relatives are a booming music circle around town of bands and appearances. For daytime, a series of nature walks at the Tram or at the Living Desert which offers one of the greatest combinations of garden and zoo I have ever seen successfully put together. A small train inside of the park makes that particular venue especially friendly to handicapped or others who are more challenged than young hikers and those willing to take on the elements so bravely.

Restaurants and new hotels are popping up on North Palm Canyon and beyond, and there will be competitive pricing which will only serve to attract even more guests. Please remember that being hospitable is so terribly important to the economy here that honking and screaming at visitors is not necessarily the best approach. Help them get to where they need to go safely, and cut out all the noise. You are correct, they aren’t from here. Show them how civilized those of us who are lucky enough to call this our home are by always reflecting that in your behavior to others.

The New York Times just did a write up on how popular the desert valley is, and truly important people NEVER demand that others “know who they are.” In fact, they want very much to go about their business unnoticed, just like the movie stars that came out here in the 50’s. Remember that. Less is more. Keep your movie star behavior to the silver screen, not the streets. THAT’s impressive.

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