HAND COUNTING OF RECALL BALLOTS COST TOWN $8,000.00 MORE

The Town of Yucca Valley will have to foot the bill for the recent recount of recall petitions against council members George Huntington and Robert Lombardo. Managing Editor Tami Roleff explains that the $20,000 bill includes nearly $8,000 for a hand recount, and the final bill will likely be much more…
The $20,120.12 bill from the County Elections office for counting, verifying and validating the signatures on the recall petitions for Yucca Valley Town Council members George Huntington and Robert Lombardo is not the final cost for the petition recall. According to the bill sent to the Town by the Registrar of Voters, it cost $12,269.73 for the initial count and examination of the signatures on the two recall petitions, which determined that the recall for Huntington and Lombardo failed by about 200 signatures. Yucca Valley Town Clerk Lesley Copeland said that at the request of the recall proponents, the Elections Office performed a recount of the signatures; two members of the elections office staff verified and validated the more than 2,700 signatures on the two petitions—at a cost of $7,850.39—and determined that only 30 or so signatures on each petition had not been counted properly, still far below what was needed to send the recall to the ballot. Copeland added that the $20,000 bill does not include the fees by the Town’s attorney, or time spent by Town staff on the recall petition. When the attorney’s fees are submitted, the Town Council will be asked to approve a budget request for the fees.

SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS FROM THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

With the holiday shopping season upon us, the Sheriff’s Department would like to remind you to make safety a priority. By taking a few extra precautions you can help ensure your holiday is a happy and safe one:
Lock your vehicle and home.
Ladies should carry their purses close to their body, making it more difficult for someone to grab.
Situate your packages and locate your keys before you exit the store and make your way to your vehicle.
Don’t allow yourself any unnecessary distractions such as talking on cell phones. This will aid you in being aware of your surroundings.
Don’t leave packages in your vehicle in plain view. Place them in the trunk or cover them if possible.
Remember to wear your seatbelt and lock your vehicle. A locked vehicle while driving may hinder a would-be carjacker from entering your vehicle.
Close curtains that might otherwise display presents sitting under your Christmas tree when you leave home.
When returning from shopping, try not to display to everyone all the items you’re bringing home. When possible, park in the garage and close the garage door before unloading your items.
Teach family members to answer the door verbally, not by opening the door. Sometimes a criminal is just checking to see if a residence is unoccupied.

MORONGO BASIN MAC LAYS OUT PRIORITIES AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS

The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council met with the intent of establishing priorities among the issues it will address. Dan Stork tells how they went about doing this…

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Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council members look to County Field Representative Donna Munoz. From left to right: Munoz, Jack Dugan, Elizabeth Karman, Mark Lundquist, MAC Chair Mike Lipsitz, Gayle Swarat, David Peach. Larry Parrott. (Absent: Max Rossi, Mary Helen Tuttle)

In its Monday night meeting at the Joshua Tree Community Center, the Big MAC used a two-part approach to addressing its priority issues: MAC Chairman Mike Lipsitz assigned specific MAC members to chair and serve as information focal points for subcommittees devoted to specific topics. Then, acting on a suggestion by Donna Munoz, the field representative for Third District County Supervisor James Ramos, the MAC scheduled each of the next several meetings for an informational presentation on a specific subject. Here’s how things got parceled out:

Solar energy projects chair: Elizabeth Karmann, meeting December 9. (This topic was scheduled first, because the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider the new ordinance on the subject at its December 3 and December 17 meetings, so the timeline for community input is short.); Large-scale housing developments and related land use issues chair, Mark Lundquist, meeting January; Roads chair, Max Rossi (who was absent from this meeting), meeting February; Code enforcement chair, David Peach, meeting March;
Homelessness and poverty, no chair designated, meeting in April.

Other topics that were identified as being of interest, but have not been scheduled for presentation, include: flashing blue emergency lights; and firearms discharge rules. Donna Munoz said that she would arrange for speakers from the County on specific topics, as well as arranging for regular participation by the Sheriff’s Department and perhaps the CHP. She also promised to look into funding for audio or video recording of meetings. Lipsitz took responsibility for looking into a web site and/or Facebook presence.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL AND BIGHORN-DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY MEETINGS FOR TONIGHT CANCELLED

The regular meetings for the Twentynine Palms City Council and Bighorn Desert View Water Agency, set for tonight, have been cancelled. The next city council meeting is December 10 at 6 p.m.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CHAMBER WANTS YOU IN THE 19TH ANNUAL LIGHT PARADE

The Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce to invites you to participate in the 19th Annual Winter Light Parade, to be held in conjunction with the City’s tree lighting ceremony on Tuesday, December 3, beginning at 5:15 p.m. The parade staging area is on Crestview Drive between Adobe Road and Ocotillo Drive. The route begins at Crestview Drive and Adobe, heading south on Adobe to Joshua Drive. Those wishing to be present at the tree lighting ceremony are asked to exit to the right on Joshua Drive and return to City Hall via Cholla Avenue and Buena Vista Drive. If you can push it, pull it, ride it, drive it, or tow it, throw some lights on it and be a part of this fun and festive community event. The Twentynine Palms Chamber asks that you notify them immediately at 760-367-3445 if you are interested in participating in this year’s light parade.

A REMINDER ABOUT THE “ADOPT-A-CHILD” PROGRAM

There is still time to sign up for a special holiday program by “Adopting a Child” in foster or temporary homes. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to take part…..
There is still time for you to make a child very happy this Christmas! Dreams for Kids “Adopt a Child Program” is for kids who are found in foster home or temporary care during the holidays. If you sign up, you will be assigned your “adopted” child, given their first name, age, and any special requests they might have. You will be asked to spend between $35 and $40 on a gift per child that you adopt. Gifts need to be dropped off by December 13 to the Basin Wide Foundation at 56711 29 Palms Hwy., located inside the California Welcome Center. For more information call 760-365-7219.

CHURCHES OFFER FREE THANKSGIVING MEALS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY

Faith Lutheran Church in Joshua Tree will serve a free Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday, November 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. The church is located at 6336 Hallee Road. For more information, call 760-366-8146.

Thursday, November 28, the Food For Life Staff will host the Thanksgiving Meal, The Betty Garrett Memorial Meal, at Little Church of the Desert Community Hall in Twentynine Palms from 1 to 4 p.m. Turkey, dressing, and all the fixings will be served. Volunteer help is needed to cook, set up the hall, and serve from 1-4 on Thanksgiving and 3-5 on Christmas, and to clean up. Volunteers will need to wear black pants and white shirts. Please call Teresa Brown to schedule a time to work at 562-324-9099.

A JOHN’S PLACE TRADITION: FREE THANKSGIVING DAY MEALS

It is the season of giving, and one local restaurant is doing just that. Managing editor Tami Roleff tells us about a John’s Place tradition…
If you are alone, or just don’t want to cook for Thanksgiving, John’s Place will serve you a meal for free. For about a quarter of a century, John’s Place in Yucca Valley has offered free meals as a way of giving back to the community. From 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, John’s Place will be serving ham and eggs for breakfast, and from 11 to 3, you can get a turkey dinner with all the traditional fixings. John’s Place is located on the highway in Yucca Valley. For more information, call 760-365-0144.

TAY CENTER OFFERS SERVICES FOR THE YOUNG HOMELESS

Pacific Clinic’s TAY Center offers young adults a safe and comfortable place to define and accomplish their life goals. Clients can come to the TAY Center to meet their basic needs such as a meal, shower and a place to do laundry. Once they become drop-in clients they can utilize additional services, such as counseling, job training, housing referrals, enrichment groups, medication support services, and a place to meet new people. For more information contact the TAY Center at 760-228-9657 or visit them at 58945 Business Center Drive, Suite D in Yucca Valley.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE STUDENT SHOW OPENS AT GLASS OUTHOUSE SATURDAY

Copper Mountain College student artists will be featured next month at the Glass Outhouse Gallery east of Twentynine Palms. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says a reception will be held this Sunday…
Called “dazzling” and “eclectic” visual art of the Copper Mountain College student art show will be on exhibit at the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery from November 30 through December 6. This exciting display of CMC’s emerging visual art talent includes drawings, paintings, prints, digital photos, ceramics, and sculpture. The public is invited to the artists’ reception Saturday, November 30, from 1 to 5 p.m. Snacks will be provided, along with live musical performances by Daytime Moon and guests. All artworks will be for sale. The Glass Outhouse Gallery is at 77575 Highway 62 in Twentynine Palms, open 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information call 760-367-3807 or 760-366-3791.