The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is holding a fitness challenge for women 21 years and older who want to see if they have what it takes to be a deputy sheriff. The event will consist of a “pursuit and rescue” obstacle course, push ups, sit ups, and a 1 ½ mile run. The fitness challenge is Saturday, August 23 at the Sheriff’s Department Academy, 18000 Institution Road, San Bernardino. Register online by August 19. Check in begins at 7 a.m. Only participants will be allowed on the premises; all spectators, men, and children will be turned away.


Plans are afoot to enhance the grounds of Theatre 29.  Reporter Taylor Thacker describes the upgrades, and how you can make a permanent record of your interest in the theatre…

Theatre 29 has big plans for their new “Serenity Patio” currently being constructed. This area will include a giant sculpture, said to be reminiscent of the iconic “Comedy and Drama” masks, a beautiful garden, and seating area. Theatre-goers will be able to enjoy the peaceful seating area before, after, and during intermission of productions at the Theatre. The sculpture is being built by a world renowned artist named Simi Dabah whose studio is based in Joshua Tree. The sculpture will be on a large concrete pedestal and the area around it will be paved with “legacy bricks”. These bricks, custom engraved for the donor, can be sponsored by volunteers, community members, and businesses who wish to leave a mark on this community treasure. There are two sizes, 4×8 for an $85.00 donation, or 8×8 for $150.00. The funds raised will be used to retire the Theatre’s debt on the new electronic sign recently erected on Adobe Road. Theatre 29 invites you to “Be a Part of the Arts!” For more information call  760-366-8471.


The busy roads of Joshua Tree National Park need regular maintenance, and get it.  Ranger Pam Tripp tells what the Road Crew does…

The Road Crew at Joshua Tree National is responsible for maintaining 85 miles of paved road, 109 miles of unpaved road and associated parking lots. Throughout the year they play an important role in the preservation of our National Park. They help mitigate the spread of invasive weeds along the road shoulders, working close with the Resource division to ensure the proper timing of shoulder maintenance to stop further spread of invasive weeds.   This year’s road project consists of re-striping Park Route 12 and adjacent parking lots, and installing and replacing Stop Bars.  During our desert monsoon season the Road Crew works very diligently to keep the roads safe and open, during and after a flood event. Severe rain events cause flooding throughout the Park, and as you are traveling through, be safe and proceed with caution.  The Road Crew takes great pride in their work to provide the best thoroughfare for you to enjoy the park, and we wish to thank them for all their hard work.


In addition to regular maintenance, there’s a special project going on now that will affect visitors to the Park.  The Cottonwood Visitor Center in Joshua Tree National Park will temporarily close August 4 through August 15, due to road construction in the area. The closure will be Monday through Friday. The visitor center will be open the weekend of August 9-10 with a planned permanent reopening August 16. Pinto Basin Road to the Cottonwood Visitor Center is undergoing road construction; travel through an 11-mile section of the road is by pilot car and visitors can expect delays of up to 30 minutes. The Cottonwood Springs Oasis and trail areas are still closed until further notice due to damage from the flash floods in September 2013. Other campgrounds that are still closed for the summer are Ryan, White Tank, and Belle. For more information about construction, call Kirk Diamond at 760-367-5680.