After years of sitting abandoned in foreclosure, construction is finally set to start on the former Blue Skies Country Club. Rough grading of the new 12-hole golf course, named Hawk’s Landing at Blue Skies, is set for November 6. The owner of the golf course, Bill Brehm Sr., said the designer of the golf course, Landscapes Unlimited, believes shorter courses will bring people back to playing golf. Cindy Melland, a spokesperson for the Brehm family, explained that 12 hole courses give golfers more options. “Twelve-hole courses are a trend now for a few reasons. People don’t have as much time to play. A golfer can play just six holes if they have very little time, play two loops for 12 holes, or play three loops for a full 18.” The club house has been demolished and will be rebuilt. Because the golf course was heavily vandalized while it sat in foreclosure for years—trees were cut down, and the plumbing and electrical lines were stripped—the reconstruction of the course and club house are expected to take nine to 10 months, with a late 2014 or early 2015 opening


The San Bernardino County Court System is changing the way it puts on its calendar family law cases that involve custody and visitation disputes. The new system takes effect Monday, October 28. With details on the new system, here’s managing editor Tami Roleff…

A new calendar system at the county court will expedite hearings and mediation appointments for families in crisis. It used to be that families who didn’t have custody or visitation orders had to wait 75 to 100 days to get a court hearing. Under the new system, they will only have to wait 45 days. Those who did have custody orders and wanted to modify them also had to wait 75 to 100 days for a court hearing; now they’ll be able to get a hearing in 30 days. For more information, call the courthouse at 760-974-3047.


The Town of Yucca Valley is planning several activities for Halloween. Today is the free Halloween Flashlight Candy Scramble on the community center’s soccer field. Children in grades kindergarten through sixth are invited to bring a flashlight and a container for goodies, and hunt for candy in the dark. Costumes are encouraged. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The candy scramble begins at 7 p.m. sharp.

The Town has three events scheduled for tomorrow. The day begins with the Halloween Spooktacular at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum at 10 a.m. The free event includes a scavenger hunt, face painting and crafts, and trick-or-treat candy. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume. At 11 a.m. tomorrow is the Howl-oween costume pet parade in the community center court yard. Costumed pets and their owners will parade across the stage and compete for awards such as Funniest Costume, Most Original, Scariest, Best Last-Minute Costume, Best Animal/Owner Look-Alike and Best Do-it-Yourself Costume. Each pet participant will receive a Howl-oween goodie bag.

And finally, from 3 to 5 p.m. is the Kids’ Halloween dance party at the Yucca Valley Senior Center. The Z107.7 Mobile DJ will provide the music. Children in grades K through six are encouraged to attend in costume and dance to Halloween favorites like the Monster Mash and Thriller. The admission charge of $3 per person includes refreshments. The dance is supervised by Recreation Department staff.

This Saturday October 26, the Joshua Tree Recreation and Park District will be hosting a Halloween Haunt Festival from 4 to 9 p.m. Enjoy an evening filled with frightful fun. There will be activity booths such as bean bag toss, win a fish, face painting, cake walk, and more. Travel through the darkness that is lurking in the haunted house maze. Dress in costume and you might get an award from the sneaky costume critic. Tickets are available online at Buy early and save. If you would like more information please contact the Joshua Tree Community Center at 760-366-8415.


Although the big-splash item at the meeting of the Twentynine Palms Water District this week was the discussion of a recommended ballot measure for a tax increase to support the fire department, there were several items of note relating to water operations. Dan Stork highlights some of them…
Twentynine Palms Water District Operations Manager Ray Kolisz reported that he had spoken by invitation at an EPA water workshop in Cincinnati in September. The reason: The local water district is state-of-the-art in its handling of arsenic and fluoride in the water supply. In particular, said Kolisz, the method called “regeneration of media” that is used for arsenic processing is unique in the nation, and boasts cost savings in this area. General Manager Tamara Alaniz reported that a deadline is approaching for comments on a proposed new state standard for Chromium-6 in the water supply. She said that implementation of a maximum of 10 parts per billion of the toxin could result in water rate increases of 90 percent. Alaniz said that the District is not in favor of the new standard, and that water safety can be maintained without such stringency in this area. Finance Director Cindy Byerrum reported on an external auditor’s opinion of the District’s financial procedures. The opinion was that they are in accordance with accepted practice. Byerrum noted that some controls on which the District was dinged in the report had been corrected by her before receiving the report.


A mobile vet center is coming to the Morongo Basin Monday, October 28. From 10 to 2, representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs will be in the Home Depot parking lot to answer questions and provide information about veterans’ benefits. Female veterans are especially encouraged to stop by. The mobile VA van will be in the southwest corner of the parking lot.


The San Bernardino County Fire Station Number 41 in Yucca Valley will hold an open house Saturday, October 26, from 11 to 2. Visitors will be able to see the Jaws of Life, fire engines, and rescue equipment. Sparky the fire dog will also be at the station to meet visitors. Learn about fire safety from firefighters and paramedics. The fire station is located at 57201 29 Palms Highway, across from Food 4 Less in Yucca Valley.


The Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that this year’s Pioneer Days celebration was a huge success. Without their generous sponsors, devoted vendors, bighearted volunteers, and exuberant spectators, this multi-day event, commemorating the unique history of Twentynine Palms, would not have been possible. The Chamber would like to invite all community members to attend their after-action meeting to be held at City Hall on Wednesday, October 30, at 5:30 p.m. Please be ready to provide feedback on this year’s event and your ideas on how we can make next year’s Pioneer Days even better. For more information, please contact the Chamber at 760-367-3445.


As the weather gets cooler, we will start heating our homes for the crisp desert winter months. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the County Fire Department has some furnace safety tips…
San Bernardino County Fire offers the following tips before real cold weather arrives. Change furnace filters now to keep equipment running efficiently and safely. Furniture and drapes placed over heating vents can catch fire. Equip your home with working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. That includes installing, testing and maintaining these devices in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. An approved smoke detector with fresh batteries doubles your chances of surviving a home fire. Never use a charcoal-burning barbecue or heater indoors. When burned indoors, charcoal produces deadly amounts of carbon monoxide gas that is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. Charcoal-burning devices are for outdoor use only.


The Twentynine Palms Branch Library is continuing its YU GI OH tournaments on tomorrow. All ages are invited to bring their own cards to participate in the tournament. Top player will receive a prize. The tournament is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. in the library meeting room. For more information about the library’s monthly YU GI OH tournament, please call the Twentynine Palms Branch Library at 760-367-9519.


In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Great Clips salon in Yucca Valley is offering free haircuts all day Saturday, October 26, to cancer survivors. Survivors of any type of cancer are eligible for a free haircut. Great Clips is located in the Dollar Tree center in Yucca Valley. Call 760-365-8444 for more information.


The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post is holding a weekend double treat. It’s Oktoberfest tonight from 4:30 to 6:30. They’re serving up bratwurst, German potato salad, sauerkraut, rye bread, and apple crisp, all for $8. Sunday breakfast is all you can eat pancakes plus other delicious breakfast items, from 8 to 11. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday, from 11 to 1.


Next weekend, November 2-3, is the uniquely Twentynine Palms Weed show. Reporter Taylor Thacker reminds entrants that their masterpieces are due November 1…
The Weed Show is one of Twentynine Palms’ oldest and most unique artistic traditions, drawing participants from across the Morongo Basin and attendees from around the world. This year, the Twentynine Palms Historical Society will host its annual Weed Show at the Old Schoolhouse Museum located at 6760 National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms. This event will be open to the public on Saturday, November 2, from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday, November 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This display, now in its seventh decade, features artistic arrangements of desert plants and flowers both natural and man-made. Awards will be granted to the best in 12 categories, with a People’s Choice award to be decided by visitors to the exhibition. Entries must be brought to the museum on Friday, November 1, between 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. The theme of this year’s show is “29 Palms Gold.” For more information and for rules on submitting a masterpiece, go online to


The Twentynine Palms High School Ladycats volleyball team traveled to Shadow Hills of Indio and lost to the Knights in three tough sets yesterday. The Ladycats were led by seniors Tusia Brown with 11 kills and Cherokee turner with nine kills and one ace serve. Senior Hannah Sutherland had three kills, one ace serve and four assists, and sophomore Latasia Benevente had three kills for the night. The Ladycats are 5-2 in league and play Desert Mirage at home on Tuesday.

The Yucca Valley High School varsity volleyball team beat the Big Bear Bears in four sets. The win places the Lady Trojans in third place in the DeAnza League. Coach Matt Jennings said team leaders were: Chelsea Mondary: 30 for 30 serving with nine aces and 17 assists; Ashley Priest, nine kills, six blocks; Chelsea LeBoutillier: nine kills, three blocks; Daylin Anderson, 10 digs. The JV team fell in two sets.

The freshman volleyball team travelled down the hill to Xavier Prep High School Thursday. They lost in two sets. Strong net play led by Emily Vigrass led the team in blocks. Natalie Cressy added five digs to the team totals. This brings the freshman season to an end. Coach Rebecca Taylor is proud of her girls and thanks them for all their hard work this season.

The Twentynine Palms girls tennis team travelled to Indio Thursday and defeated Shadow Hills High School Knights by a score of 12 – 6. The Wildcats remain undefeated in the De Anza League with their final match of the season scheduled for Tuesday, October 29, at home, against Desert Mirage High School.
The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat football team will play its homecoming game against the Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles at home tonight.

And the Joshua Springs Christian School Lightning football team hosts Desert Christian Academy at home. All games start at 7 p.m.


Sam Davidson, a 30-year resident of Yucca Valley, died at home October 22. He was 86 years old. Sam Davidson is survived by two daughters, Caryn Davidson of Joshua Tree, and Dale Davidson of New York, NY; granddaughter Claire Davidson, of Hemet; and his former wife and life-long friend, Inge Davidson of Palm Springs.


Sam Davidson was born August 7, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to California in 1956 to take a job with Hughes Aircraft Co., where he worked as an electronics engineer in the aerospace industry. Sam was an avid bridge player and he was an integral member of the local Andromeda Society. Sam was known for his passion for astronomy, his natural talent as a teacher, and his Borscht Belt sense of humor. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Andromeda Society of the Morongo Basin, P.O. Box 8, Yucca Valley, CA 92286 or on their website:

His family said, “May he find peace among the stars he so dearly loved.”