JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK TO PARTNER WITH NATUREBRIDGE

Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent Mark Butler  has announced that the park will partner with NatureBridge.  NatureBridge, a nonprofit organization founded in 1971, and currently serving more than 30,000 students per year , creates youth-oriented residential educational programs in national parks.  Hereabouts, it will focus on teaching youth about the wonder and science of the California desert and specifically about Joshua Tree National Park.  They are currently partnered with Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park, and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California, as well as Olympic National Park in Washington and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia.   For more information or to get involved in the initiative please contact Joshua Tree National Park, Chief of Interpretation and Education, Jennie Kish Albrinck at Jennie_Albrinck@nps.gov.

VEHICLE LAWS FOR 2014: AMBER ALERTS, BICYCLES, AND ZEV HOV

With every new year comes new traffic and vehicle laws.  Here are some of the new ones for 2014.

  • The use of Amber alerts has been expanded, by requiring law enforcement to request activation of the AMBER Alerts after receiving a report that a child has been taken abducted by anyone, including a custodial parent or guardian, who may cause serious bodily injury or death to the child.
  • Motorists will be prohibited from passing a bicycle with less than three feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or driver. When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not. This law will go into effect September 16, 2014.
  • The sunset date for allowing zero emission vehicles to use diamond lanes without meeting high-occupancy requirements has been extended to January 1, 2019.

APPLICATIONS BEING TAKEN FOR 2014-15 COUNTY GRAND JURY

There’s a great opportunity for public service for those who have the time to devote.  News Director Gary Daigneault describes what it takes to be a Grand Juror…

Volunteers for the 2014-2015 San Bernardino County Grand Jury are being sought; the recruiting period is open for those citizens interested in serving. Successful applicants will serve as Grand Jurors for the period beginning July 1, 2014 and ending June 30, 2015. To be eligible for selection a person must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the County of San Bernardino for at least one year prior to appointment. Potential grand jurors are also required to possess sufficient knowledge of the English language, be in possession of their natural faculties, of ordinary intelligence, of sound judgment and of good character. By law, elected public officials are not eligible. Service as a grand juror involves an average of 3 to 5 full working days per week. Compensation is $25 per day plus meals and appropriate mileage. The regular grand jury meeting place is located in San Bernardino. The county grand jury is charged to investigate all aspects of County, city and special district government, and possibly hear information on certain criminal investigations. Interested citizens can complete the application on-line at the grand jury’s website at www.sbcounty.gov/grandjury. Applications can also be obtained by calling 909-387-3820, pick one up in person at the County Courthouse in San Bernardino. Applications may also be available at the various district Court offices throughout the County. Applications will be accepted through February 28, 2014.

THE ABCs OF WATER

Ever wonder how much water we really have in the High Desert, or what kind of chemicals are found in our groundwater?  You can learn the answers to those questions and more, at  a “Science of Water” presentation on January 28, featuring Lance Eckhart, the Principal Hydrogeologist of the Mojave Water Agency..  The Agency uses science to make sound decisions to ensure a sustainable water supply for the region.  Find out about MWA’s monitoring and sampling programs, its scientific investigations, and its vast data repository by attending this session.  Seating is limited, so RSVP soon.  Refreshments will be served.  To register, call Gloria Golike at (760)946-7001, or write her with questions at ggolike@mojavewater.org.  The event will be at 13846 Conference Center Drive, in Apple Valley, from 5:30 to  7 pm on Tuesday, January 28.