With the high winds blowing through the Morongo Basin today, the San Bernardino County Fire Department reminds residents to be smart and safe about open flames. The high winds and low humidity result in a high fire potential, and the County suspends all burn permits when there is a high wind warning. Residents are reminded to obey all County and local ordinances concerning burning.
The process was so nice, they’re doing it twice—reopening the public discussion of vacation home rentals that Twentynine Palms pursued for 16 months in 2009 and 2010. Reporter Dan Stork says that the City Council talked about sculpture and archaeology, too…
As Interim Development Director Matt McCleary explained to the Twentynine Palms City Council, the issue of vacation home rentals was on its agenda so that the Council could decide how to approach it, not to make a yea/nay decision. McCleary also surveyed nearby treatment of VHRs, noting that rentals in Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley operate without County sanction, and that Yucca Valley simply ignores such operations within its limits. McCleary sketched regulations in effect in La Quinta and Palm Springs, which license 2,100 VHRs between them. During public comment, speakers in favor of allowing short-term rentals in residential properties cited economic benefit to the city, and claimed that renters will tend to be responsible people with money to spend who would sooner seek lodging in another community than stay in a hotel. Speakers against VHRs, who were all hotel or motel operators, warned against septic load issues, the dangers of strangers in residential neighborhoods, and the intrusion of commercial operations into residential zones, and asked for a level playing field in the treatment of competing businesses. Council voted 4-1, Jay Corbin opposed, to have a joint Council/Planning Commission/community workshop meeting on April 29 to air the issue further.
Council tabled approval of installation of three Simi Daba sculptures—two at the SeniorCenter, one at Theatre 29—pending more details from staff. Council wants to: see site plans, hear whether Theatre 29 fundraising plans are dependent upon the placement of the sculpture, and learn whether Simi Daba would have objections to his sculptures being painted.
Finally, the council unanimously approved the movement of funds to support archaeological monitoring of the road construction project on National Park Drive.
The County will hold a second Joshua Tree community meeting tonight. Topics will include the desired character of the community of Joshua Tree, environmental concerns, renewable energy, transportation, bike and pedestrian facilities, tourism, housing, and incorporation. The community is invited to participate from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26 at the Joshua Tree Community Center. The meeting will begin with a brief recap of the comments received in September then move quickly into an open house format where residents may meet individually with representatives from County departments and other agencies.
County Fire Battalion Chief Dan Munsey of Yucca Valley, who serves as a Hi-Desert Water District Board member, was appointed as the High Desert Division Chief Saturday.
The High Desert Division ranges from the Inyo County line in the north, to the Nevada state line to the east, south to Interstate 40, and west to the Kern County line. Munsey began his career in the fire service in 1995 as a paid-call firefighter. He became a fulltime firefighter in 1998 in Arrowhead. Munsey has worked in every division of the San Bernardino County Fire Department, and was promoted to captain in 2004 and battalion chief in 2008. Munsey and his wife Amanda live in Yucca Valley with their four children. Chief Munsey fills the vacancy left due to the promotion of Don Trapp to assistant chief.
The Yucca Valley Planning Commission gave a thumbs up to plans for the new Hawk’s Landing Golf Course last night. Managing Editor Tami Roleff was at last night’s meeting and files this report…
The developers of the Hawk’s Landing at Blue Skies Golf Club got the go-ahead last night to continue work on the golf course. The Yucca Valley Planning Commission unanimously approved the golf course’s environmental assessment and site plan review at its meeting last night. Golf course spokeswoman Cindy Melland told the commission the club house will be built in two phases. “The first clubhouse phase will have food, but it’s more of a warming snack bar-type thing with a nice patio. It will also have a bar. We are planning to have a nice gathering place so that you can have a glass of wine or a soda pop and sit and watch the golfers.” Melland explained the reasoning behind having a 12-hole golf course. “People don’t have time to play 18, but with the uniqueness of this design, you could play 18. Or for the avid golfer, they can come out and play six, two six- or three six-hole loops. If you want to just come out and have a good time and play one six-hole loop and go in and have a sandwich.” The greens will be seeded in April, the fairways in May, with the course opening in the late fall.
Morongo Basin Unity Home Domestic Violence Shelter, Outreach and Thrift Store is once again in need of household donations of any kind. Donations and proceeds from the shelter’s thrift store go directly to support their clients. Especially needed now is a small pick-up truck to transport donations within the community. And a reminder, the March Madness sale at Unity Home Thrift Store will end in a few days. This means there are only a few days left to enter the raffle; the drawing will be held Tuesday, April 1. For more information, call 760-366-8500.
The Bighorn Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors gave themselves a raise last night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there and files this report…
At last night’s Board meeting of the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency, Directors authorized the general manager to begin the process for giving themselves a 5 percent cost of living increase. Once final, the increase would bring director’s per diem compensation from the current $105 to $110.25. Also last night, Directors approved an application to the Local Agency Formation Commission for the annexation of water service for the people in the eastern part of Landers.
The Twentynine Palms Library’s preschool story time is walking through the alphabet. Tomorrow, the preschool story time will be exploring the letter “S.” Children are invited to bring something to share that begins with the featured letter. Parents and babysitters are invited to bring their three-, four-, and five-year olds to this free program. Preschool story time is held every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the Twentynine Palms Library. The program includes age appropriate storytelling, apron stories, finger plays, songs, and other activities to promote a love of books, reading, and language.
For more information about the preschool story time, please call the Twentynine Palms Library at 760-367-9519.
Landers Elementary School will hold a Bingo for Books night, Wednesday, March 26, from 6 to 7 p.m. There will also be a bake sale. The school is located at 56450 Reche Road in Landers. For more information, call 760-364-2382.
Tomorrow night, Oasis Elementary School in Twentynine Palms will host a Reading Night Books for Bingo! The free event will be Thursday, March 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be readers, activities, pictures with Cat in the Hat, and bingo, and fun for the whole family. Dinner and chances to win gift baskets will be available for purchase.
Yucca Valley citizens will get the first look at what it may cost to hook into the sewer system tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff checks the Hi-Desert Water District Board meeting agenda….
The Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors will hear a presentation at its meeting tonight that will describe how the preliminary dollar amount for hooking up to the proposed sewer project was calculated for each parcel in the sewer project’s three phases. Staff will present the preliminary costs associated with each assessment at tonight’s meeting. Also on the agenda for tonight’s meeting, the board will be asked to approve repayments for its new health insurance program, and donate $1,500 to the Desert Wise Landscape Tour. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in District offices at Inca Trail and the highway.
The Twentynine Palms Cemetery District will hold a very routine meeting starting at 5:30 Thursday, March 27, at the cemetery’s office, 5350 Encelia Avenue. Among the items on the agenda include a discussion over industry events and class offerings, the closing of bank accounts, and approval of minutes, expenditures, and financial reports.
The Twentynine Palms Water District Board meets in regular session tonight. Reporter Taylor Thacker checks the Water and Fire agendas…
Tonight, Wednesday, March 26, starting at 6 p.m., the Twentynine Palms Water District will hold their monthly meeting. On the agenda for tonight is the approval of the intention to continue currently existing water availability assessments and the consideration of contract award to provide design services for fluoride treatment plan. Immediately following this is the Fire Department meeting. There are no new items up for discussion on the Fire Department agenda. Both of these meetings take place at the Water District Office at 72401 Hatch Road in Twentynine Palms. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend. For more information call 760-367-7546.
The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats Softball team hosted the Yucca Valley Trojans at Luckie Park Tuesday afternoon. Coach Dan Mintz said the Trojans jumped to a 5-to-nothing lead in the fourth inning, and added another run in the top of the fifth. The Lady ’Cats scored their first run in the bottom of the sixth, with Clarissa Felton leading off with a double and Latasia Baker singling her home. Then in the bottom of the seventh inning, with two outs and two strikes, Courtney Stanford hit a three-run home run to beat the Trojans 7 to 6. Coach Mintz says it was a total team effort to win the game. Rebecca Deguzzman picked up her second league win.
Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School baseball and softball teams will be hosting Twentynine Palms High School at home. First pitch for baseball is 3:15; softball starts at 3:30.