A Twentynine Palms couple was arrested Sunday morning after their 2-year-old child was found wandering on Utah Trail. According to a Sheriff’s report, a passer-by found the boy walking with a German shepherd dog in the 3300 block of Utah Trail about 8 a.m., and could not find the child’s parents. The deputy finally found the boy’s home in the 3800 block of Utah Trail and determined that the inside of the home was “a disaster” with several potential hazards for a small child. The report states the mother, Samantha Shaw, 22, forgot to tell her husband, John Shaw, 22, to secure the door behind her when she left for work, and the child wandered off. John Shaw and Samantha Shaw were arrested for investigation of child endangerment, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with their bail set at $100,000 each.
Counterfeit bills have been turning up in Twentynine Palms. According to a Sheriff’s report, security at Tortoise Rock Casino called the Sheriff’s Department about 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon to report a woman attempted to use two counterfeit $10 bills. The woman told deputies she received the bills from Stater Brothers and did not know they were counterfeit. Then, at 5:30, deputies were called back to the casino for another report of counterfeit bills, this time a $20 bill. The woman said she had gotten the fake twenty from Sav-A-Lot on Saturday. Anyone who suspects they have a counterfeit bill is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.
Branding the Morongo Basin, the concerns of two Basin communities, and a Council vacancy were subjects of discussion at the June meeting of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council. Reporter Dan Stork fills in the details…
The featured informational presentation during the June 9 meeting of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council was given by Art Miller, Jr., supported by Jerry Mattos. They talked up using “Joshua Tree Gateway Communities” as a tourism marketing brand for the Morongo Basin. Their point was, we know ourselves as the Morongo Basin – and there’s no reason to change that — but for the rest of the world, “Morongo” is someone else’s brand.
Mary Reeves listed the concerns of residents of the Desert Heights area, with Twentynine Palms Fire Chief Jim Thompson giving a history of the largest one—fire services—and the closure of the Lear fire station. Reeves listed other concerns: the hazardous intersection of Lear and Two Mile; trash and abandoned cars; the need for grading at the dry lake; OHV abuses; and bad road conditions. When asked whether Desert Heights would benefit from MAC representation, she said “Of course”—that would give the area someone to go to.
Starlene Javier gave a history of the special district for road assessments in Wonder Valley, and said that the $15 per year parcel assessment is no longer adequate to the task of maintaining dirt roads. She asked for the MAC’s support in making a case to the Board of Supervisors for an increased assessment and rezoning. There was disagreement among Wonder Valley residents about the precise terms of a proposed course of action that had come out of a recent community meeting. Consequently, the MAC tabled the issue, with Chairman Mike Lipsitz telling the Wonder Valley residents, we’d like to support you, but we don’t know what you’re asking.
Lipsitz said that applications are being taken for the vacant Joshua Tree seat on the MAC, formerly held by David Peach. (A statement issued by Supervisor James Ramos said, “I thank Mr. David Peach for his valuable service on the Morongo Basin MAC. He played a key role in the development of the MAC and I wish him the best of luck in his future public service endeavors.”)
Almost 100 drivers were ticketed in the Morongo Basin for handheld cell phone talking or texting during Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, according to Officer Joan Griffin of the California Highway Patrol. The 95 citations written by Morongo Basin CHP officers were less than half of the number of 211 tickets written in April 2013, but more than twice as many as the 39 tickets written in March. Statewide, the percentage of drivers actively using cell phones while driving dropped to its lowest point since counting began in 2011. Cell phone citations in general have been dropping yearly from the high in 2011 of over 476,000 to just over 426,000 in 2013. The only category still increasing is for texting, which began with 2,800 in 2009 and hit over 27,000 last year. CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said, “It only takes a split second of inattention to change your life or injure or kill others. Through education and enforcement campaigns like the statewide effort this past April, we are hoping to keep the public safe by encouraging drivers to stay focused on the road and avoid all distractions while behind the wheel.”
It will be round two tonight as the Yucca Valley Planning Commission hears renewal requests to operate a gun business and a sculpture studio out of private homes tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff takes a closer look…
The Yucca Valley Planning Commission will hold two public hearings tonight to consider renewing permits for home-based businesses. First up is a request from Jonathan Zorawicki to renew his permit to assemble and sell firearms from his home in the 55900 block of Skyline Ranch Road. The second request is from David Falossi to renew his permit for his artist studio in the 6200 block of Hoot Owl Trail. Following the public hearings, the Planning Commission will be asked review changes to home occupation regulations in the development code amendment. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Community Center.
Hi-Desert Water District will host a series of neighborhood meetings about the proposed sewer project to collect community input and answer questions. Two meetings will be scheduled for each neighborhood in Yucca Valley. Meetings for the Burnt Mountain area will be held Wednesday, June 11 at 2:30 and 5 in the Yucca Valley Senior Center. For residents who live in the Western Hills-Rancheros area, meetings will be held Thursday, June 12, at 12:30 and 5 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Community Center. For more information about the meetings or the wastewater reclamation project, call Jennifer Poland at 760-228-6267.
The Twentynine Palms Youth Club will be offering a summer youth camp. Reporter Sara Snyder says sign-ups are being taken today and tomorrow…
Join the Twentynine Palms Youth Club for tons of fun this summer! Starting on June 16, the Youth Club will have a summer program every day from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for kids ages 5 and up. Summer camp includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, and crafts, bowling, movies, swimming, and field trips. Registration will be held today and Wednesday from 3 to 5:30, and Thursday from 9 to 5. Cost is $600 for all three months, with discounts if three or more siblings are enrolled. Children can also attend daily, weekly, or monthly. Registration ends June 12, at the Twentynine Palms Youth Club in Luckie Park. The Twentynine Palms Youth Club is located at 5882 Luckie Avenue. Call 760-364-5776 for more information.
The next clean-up for the Joshua Tree Clean Team will be tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. at Highway 62 and Sunburst. Anyone interested is encouraged to join them for one short hour of work. There will be trash bags, grabber sticks, gloves and water available to make the chore more do-able. Volunteers are invited to meet afterwards at the Park Rock Cafe for coffee and conversation. The Joshua Tree Clean Team is grateful to have seven co-sponsors which include, Park Rock Café, Z107.7, Joshua Tree Outfitters, County of San Bernardino Waste Management, Joshua Tree Recreation and Park District, Cal Trans and the Hi-Desert Star. For more information call 760-366-8415.
An interim city manager, or a contract for city manager services? — That’s one decision facing the Twentynine Palms City Council. Dan Stork says that bid rejections, real estate acquisition, and more, is afoot…
The consent agenda of the Twentynine Palms City Council meeting on June 10 includes the rejection of all bids for lighting improvements at Knott Sky Park, the approval of a contract with the consulting firm PMC for Development Director services, and approval of some turnover in the Public Art Advisory Committee. (Alan Barter has resigned from that committee, and Gillyan Thorburn and Debbie Medina are new members.) A closed session to discuss acquisition of property at 3580 Smoketree will be followed by an open discussion of whether to follow through on that acquisition. Other open discussion will be on the third draft budget for next year, and consideration of an employment agreement for an interim city manager and/or a contract for city manager services. At the end of the evening, the Council will enter another closed session. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall on Adobe Road.
Transition Joshua Tree Heart and Soul Team will hold its 2nd Annual OM Circle at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center June 12. The event will begin with a potluck dinner at 7 p.m. followed by chanting under the rising full moon. Karen Soriano will facilitate the OM circle at 8:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $5. Bring a chair and a dish to share, as well as your own cutlery, plates, and cups. Enter the Retreat Center from Yucca Mesa Rd. and follow the lighted signs. For more info call Karen at 760-401-0809.
The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board meets in regular session tonight. Reporter Taylor Thacker checks out a routine agenda…
The Hi-Desert Medical Center will have their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 10, starting at 6:00 p.m. At this meeting, the Board will first have an education session on infection control. They will then discuss new appointments, reappointments, and terminations made at the clinic. Lastly, they will receive the Board committee reports such as finance committee report, governance committee report and more. This meeting takes place at the Hi-Desert Medical Center at 6601 White Feather Rd in Joshua Tree.
The Desert Christ Park Foundation is holding a raffle to raise money for the park in Yucca Valley. A matted, framed, and signed black-and-white photo of one of the statues in the park “Suffer the Children,” by photographer Phil Dunham will be won in a raffle drawing, set for November 2. Tickets are $1 each, or 6 for $5. To purchase tickets, call 760-365-3984. Desert Christ Park is located at 56200 Sunnyslope Drive in Yucca Valley.
If you are a rock hound, or want to be, don’t miss a special lecture tomorrow at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley. Reporter Sara Snyder gets out her pick ax….
Have you often wondered about the difference between a rock, a gemstone, or a mineral? What does lapidary mean? Roger Thompson, president of the Hi-Desert Rock Hounds, will talk about the science and history of geology, the rules and regulations of rock hounding and the recreational fun involved in this avocation. Bring your questions and your finds to the Morongo Basin Historical Society’s 2nd Wednesday Lecture series on June 11, at 5:30 p.m. at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley. Donation is $5.
The Morongo Basin Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a national support group for parents who have experienced the death of a child, announces their monthly meeting. The support group, which meets every second Wednesday of the month from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., will hold its meeting at the Helen Gray Education Center on the campus of Hi Desert Medical Center tomorrow, Wednesday, June 11. The group is facilitated by Kristin Martin. For more information, please contact Martin at 760-250-7295 or visit the Hi Desert Medical website at www.hdmc.org