The City of Twentynine Palms has won a round in its legal struggle with the California Department of Finance, over the proceeds of bonds that the City issued to finance the Project Phoenix development effort. Project Phoenix would build a community center, theater, gym, and 40 housing units in downtown Twentynine Palms. Reporter Dan Stork passes along the official elation, and reads from the court’s decision…

Late Wednesday afternoon, Twentynine Palms Mayor Dan Mintz issued a press release via email that said this:

“I am pleased to announce that the City learned today that the Court issued the writ of mandate requested by the City in its case against the State Department of Finance relating to bonds issued for Project Phoenix, the Downtown Revitalization Program. It appears this means that the City has prevailed.”

This is the first public word since a court hearing in Sacramento in January, at which the City challenged the decision by the State Department of Finance (DOF) that disallowed the use of bond funds in the downtown revitalization effort known as Project Phoenix, following the dissolution of the City’s Redevelopment Agency by the state.

In his decision, a copy of which Z107.7 received last night, Judge Michael Kenny concluded “…the Court finds in favor of petitioners [i.e., the City of Twentynine Palms] and grants their requests for declaratory, injunctive and writ of mandate relief to invalidate DOF’s determinations regarding the Bond Proceeds Agreement and the bond proceeds.” This means, as the decision went on to say, “The Court finds that the Bond Proceeds Agreement is an ‘enforceable obligation’ … and that nothing in the redevelopment laws precludes petitioners from using the bond proceeds for Project Phoenix and related public improvements…”

It is unknown at this time whether the Department of Finance will appeal this ruling.


The Town of Yucca Valley will host a dog licensing and pet vaccination clinic today, Thursday, April 10, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Community Center courtyard. The clinic is offered to all Yucca Valley and San Bernardino County residents. Low-cost rabies vaccinations will be available for $6 each as well as the canine DHLPP, Bordatella, and rattlesnake boosters for $10 each, and feline 5-way booster with Leukemia for $15. Dr. Norman Smith will administer the vaccinations. Dog licenses will also be available at the clinic. Pet owners are asked to bring dogs on leashes and cats in carriers. Fees for services must be paid in cash. Checks will be accepted for Town of Yucca Valley licensing only. For more information, contact the Town of Yucca Valley Animal Care and Control at 760-365-1807.


If you are looking for a summer job as a lifeguard anywhere, you must first be certified. The Town of Yucca Valley is offering a class to do just that. Managing Editor Tami Roleff splashes in with details…

The Town of Yucca Valley is accepting registrations for its Lifeguard Certification course. The course will provide entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide care for health emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services personnel take over. Participants must be at least 15 years old before the last scheduled class session and must be able to pass a prerequisite skills evaluationThe course fee is $220. Sessions will be held at the Yucca Valley High School pool, April 21-25 from 8 to 3; or 7:30 to 5:30 on May 3, 4, 11, and 1:30 to 6:30 on May 10. Register online at, or call Sue Earnest at 760-369-7211.


The Morongo Basin Democratic Club meets this Saturday morning at Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen on the CopperMountainCollege campus in Joshua Tree. Fellowship and a $10 full breakfast begin at 9 a.m.the meeting begins at 10 a.m. Topping the agenda is an address by San Bernardino County Auditor/Controller, Larry Walker after which the Nominating Committee will present a slate for the May elections and nominations will also be accepted from the floor. Members will also consider a resolution in support of Yucca Valley Planning Commissioner Warren Lavender and reaffirm the Club’s opposition to age discrimination. In other business, the Club will hear a presentation on Patients, Pot, Profits and Principles. Saturday’s meeting is accessible to persons with disabilities and open to all registered Democrats and invited guests. Follow the signs from the traffic light at Rotary Way and Highway 62 at the entrance to the college. Parking is free and plentiful. More information, links and resources are online at


Science Saturday at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum is about “Pollution and Recycling” this week. Reporter Taylor Thacker has details…

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum continues their popular education program, Science Saturdays, with an exciting topic in April. On Saturday, April 12, in honor of Earth Day, this Science Saturday will help teach children about the effects humans have on the planet. Pollution is a major issue that causes problems for all life on Earth, but there are specific actions that can help with this growing issue. Join Museum Educator, Crystal Mason, as she teaches about environmental problems and solutions. Science Saturdays are held from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. and are offered free of charge with no pre-registration required. Come out and learn something new this Saturday. For more information call 760-369-7212.


There are children in the Morongo Basin who don’t have shoes to wear to school. The Joshua Tree Rotary Club is sponsoring a fund-raising bike ride to purchase a new pair of school shoes for children in need in the Morongo Basin. The Bike 4 Shoes ride on May 3 features five different rides, ranging from 30 kilometers to 80 kilometers, with gradual ups and downs for easy rides and steep climbs for the harder rides. Registration forms are available at the Joshua Tree Community Center, Pacific Western Bank in Yucca Valley, or by e-mail from Riders can also register the morning of the event. The rides start at 6:30 a.m. from Yucca Mesa Elementary School on Avalon Avenue in Yucca Valley. The cost is $50 per person, or $45 for military, with discounts given for families, groups up to five people, and military riders.


The ordinance on commercial solar facilities that San Bernardino County adopted last year is not the County’s last word on the subject.  Reporter Dan Stork says that public input is being sought for a Renewable Energy Element for the County’s General Plan…

This month, the County Land Use Services Department is holding its first round of public workshops to discuss the future of renewable energy projects within the County. The effort is dubbed the San Bernardino County Partnership for Renewable Energy and Conservation, or SPARC. “It is intended to provide a framework for renewable energy development while protecting communities and natural resources,” according to a County press release, in which Third District Supervisor James Ramos encourages the public to participate. During April, there will be workshops in San Bernardino, Big Bear, Yucca Valley, Hesperia, and Barstow. The Yucca Valley meeting will be on Thursday, April 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center. Details about the workshop agenda and online activities can be found at The times and places of the other meetings are listed with this story at


San Bernardino: April 15, 6:00-8:00 PM

Covington Chambers, County Government Center (385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, San Bernardino, CA92415)


Big Bear: April 16, 6:00-8:00 PM

Big Bear Municipal Water District (40524 Lakeview   Drive, Big Bear   Lake, CA 92315)


Yucca Valley: April 17, 6:00-8:00 PM

Community Center, Yucca Room (57090 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92311)


Hesperia: April 22, 6:00-8:00 PM

Hesperia Library (9650 Seventh Avenue, Hesperia, CA92345)


Barstow: April 23, 6:00-8:00 PM

Barstow City Council Chambers (220 East Mountain View Street, Barstow, CA  92311)


Navy Seaman Apprentice Michael A. Prince Jr., son of Michael and Bernadette Prince of Yucca Valley, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois. During the eight-week program, Prince completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness. Prince is a 2012 graduate of Yucca Valley High School.


The Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert is holding a reverse raffle Saturday, April 12, in which the last ticket drawn wins the grand prize, $1,500 toward the drip of your choice. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more information about how you can be a part of this Redneck Event…

Get out your tackiest undershirt or housecoat for the Redneck Reverse Raffle, sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert. The grand prize of the reverse raffle is $1500 toward a trip of your choice, or $1500 in cash. There will be a monster truck load of prizes given away during the evening, plus the very popular game, You Might Be a Redneck If … Prizes will also be awarded for the “best dressed.” The Redneck Reverse Raffle is set for Saturday, April 12, at the Boys and Girls Club in Yucca Valley. Tickets are $50 each, $45 for two or more, but $75 at the door, and include dinner and one raffle ticket. For more information or tickets, call 760-365-5437.


Twentynine Palms High School Track and Field split victories with the Big Bear Bears yesterday in a De Anza League dual. Coach Ronda Morton said Adriann Miller led the girls with 4 first place performances in the 4×1, 4×4, 100 meter, and 200 meter. Nisa Seals won the high jump, Makya Bullion won the 400 meter, Chiyanna Maxwell won the 100m hurdles, and D’Avion Oliver won the long jump. Sia Faletagaloa earned a personal record with her second heave in the discus throw of over 102 feet. The girls lost 45-73 and the Lady Wildcats hope to bounce back next week at Desert Hot Springs.


The boys were paced in a well balanced attack. Senior Zach Kanlong won all three distance events against the deep Big Bear team. Andrew Wilson tossed a 128 feet-10 inch discus throw, good enough for a personal record and first place in the event. Jamal Lowe won the long jump; Chris Hayes led the sprint corp with victories in the 100 meter; 200 meter, and anchoring the 4×100 meter relay. Ronnie Rondeau won both hurdle events and the 100 meter trio of Jamal Lowe, Gilroy Middleton, and Chris Hayes completed a 9-point sweep in the event. The boys won 69-58 and improve their record to 4-1.


Yesterday, the Wildcats boys’ tennis team hosted Palm Valley School Firebirds from Rancho Mirage. Firebirds were short one doubles team and had to forfeit 3 points in doubles. This gave the ’Cats the opportunity to play all players. Cats defeated the Firebirds 13-5. Coach Larry Battle said in singles; Jarod Burks, Bradley Linkey and John Lanza each won two out of three sets. In doubles; Sam Choi and partner Vincent Thomas won two out of two; Marcus Simon and partner Scott Clinkscales won one out of two. Brian Gaddis played with two teammates: Raul Hernandez and Jose Valdez, and won one out of two sets.


Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Lightning softball and baseball teams will host Desert Christian Academy at home. Both games start at 3:15.