DID THEY GET DOWNTOWN RIGHT? TWENTYNINE PALMS COUNCIL AND PLANNERS MEET TONIGHT

Redeveloping downtown Twentynine Palms has lately been a major topic of discussion and debate. The discussion continues at a special workshop meeting tonight as city officials contemplate whether mistakes may have been made. Reporter David Haldane has the details…
Did Twentynine Palms officials mess up in formulating the city’s Downtown Revitalization Specific Plan back in 2012? In other words, does it really promote a “walkable, pedestrian-friendly” downtown as intended, or just act as a hindrance to achieving such an end?
That’s the subject of tonight’s rare joint meeting of the Twentynine Palms City Council and Planning Commission. Among the topics to be discussed: does requiring rear parking for new commercial structures discourage economic development; are current allowable land uses too restrictive; is the plan out of date and inconsistent with Caltrans recommendations; and, finally, should the boundaries be changed to include Project Phoenix?
Tonight’s workshop gets underway 5:15 p.m. at City Hall on Adobe Road.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT: TRAFFIC SIGNAL SYNC, WASTE STATION

The Yucca Valley Town Council meets in regular session tonight. Managing editor Tami Roleff says councilmembers will hear about the waste transfer station, traffic signal synchronization, and legal services, among other matters…
After hearing a presentation on the Yucca Valley Youth Commission’s year-long project, the Town Council be asked to approve a routine consent agenda. A public hearing was continued from its May 2 meeting to tonight to approve a community facilities district for the new Burrtec waste transfer station. Under department reports, the council will be asked to approve a traffic signal synchronization project; form an ad hoc committee to request and review new contracts for legal services; approve a revision to the town’s employee handbook; hear an overview of economic impacts of tourism on the town, and receive a summary report on the council’s ideas and initiatives workshops. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

MORONGO VALLEY CSD MEETS TONIGHT: BUDGET AND A SOLAR FIRE STATION

A public hearing will kick off tonight’s meeting of the Community Services District in Morongo Valley. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us what it’s all about…
At tonight’s regular 7 p.m. meeting of the Morongo Valley Community Services District, the board will gather input during a public hearing on the proposed 2017/2018 budget; a board vote is not expected on the proposed budget until a future meeting. Also tonight, the board will set a date for a special meeting on the district’s six-year budget projections, discuss an intern contract for a CMC student, and further discuss a proposal for Covington Park and the Morongo Valley Fire Station to go solar. After which the board will adjourn to closed session for a performance evaluation of the interim general manager. Tonight’s meeting takes place in the Covington Park Community Building in Morongo Valley.

PIONEERTOWN MAN SCAMMED OUT OF ALMOST $2,000

A Pioneertown man was scammed out of nearly $2,000 Friday. According to the Sheriff’s Department, an unknown woman called the victim and said she was from the Federal Reserve Bank and that he was prequalified for a federal grant program. The victim was told to purchase two iTunes gift cards in increments of $100. About a half hour later, the victim received another call, this one from a man who also said he was from the Federal Reserve Bank. The scammer told the victim to buy five $100 Walmart gift cards and he would receive $9,000 for the grant. The victim ended up purchasing $1,950 in gift cards and called back and gave the scammers the card numbers and access codes. The Sheriff’s Department reminds residents that the Federal Reserve Bank does not award grants or any other types of funds for individuals. If you have been the victim of such a scam, call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

YUCCA VALLEY WOMAN ACCUSED OF TRASHING A HOUSE

A Yucca Valley woman was arrested Friday night, accused of causing about $4,000 worth of damage to a house. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to the 7600 block of Jemez Trail in Yucca Valley about 11 p.m. because Vaialae Tupu, 49, was throwing rocks at a man and at the house’s windows. Tupu was upset because the man had put her clothing outside. After being treated at Hi-Desert Medical Center for her injuries caused by breaking glass, Vaialae Tupu was arrested for investigation of felony vandalism, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $25,000.

WESTERN UNION REACHES SETTLEMENT IN SCAM CASE, YOU MAY HAVE MONEY COMING

Western Union admitted in a court settlement that scammers have been using its services for years. More than 550,000 customer complained to the company between January 2004 and August 2015. If you were tricked into wiring money to scammers using Western Union, you may be eligible to get at least some of your money back. Edica Gonzalez explains how…
The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice came to a $586 million settlement with Western Union. If you were the victim of a scam and sent money through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you may be eligible for a refund. Once Western Union pays its settlement, the Department of Justice will begin accepting claims from people who lost money. Visit www.westernunionremission.com to learn more and sign up to receive updates.

GRUBSTAKE DAYS CARNIVAL TICKETS AVAILABLE, STILL TIME TO GET INTO THE PARADE

Discount tickets for the Grubstake Days carnival are now available. Discount tickets are 10 for $6 until May 25. Tickets may be purchased at the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce, Yucca Valley Boys and Girls Club, at the Z107.7 Studios in Joshua Tree and in front of Vons in Yucca Valley from 9 to 1 Saturday, May 20. Tickets may also be purchased in advance by calling Tracy Rader at 760-368-8990.
There is still time to sign up for the Grubstake Days parade. Grand Marshals Ed Hardesty Sr., and Art Miller Jr. will be leading the 67th annual parade down Highway 62 May 27. The Grubstake Days Parade will travel east on Highway 62 from Inca Trail to Sage Avenue, starting at 10 a.m. Entry forms for floats and participants are available from the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce; call 760-365-6323.

JTAG EXTENDS THEIR DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION TO JURIED SHOW

Attention artists, the Joshua Tree Art Gallery “JTAG” has extended the deadline to apply for the “The Drawing Show,” the JTAG invitational show. The open call for artists’ work has been extended to until May 20. Application and prospectus are on their website at www.joshuatreeartgallery.com. Entry fee is $30. Cash awards and People’s Choice awards will be given. The juror for the show is Steve Rieman.

SPECIAL ORIGINAL SHOW TOUR KICKS OFF AT THEATRE 29 JUNE 3

Broadway and television performer Alan Palmer returns to Theatre 29 with an all-new show. Reporter Rebecca Havely has your invitation…
You may remember Alan Palmer from his previous one-man show performances at Theatre 29: “The Fabulous Divas of Broadway” in 2014 or “The Fabulous Divas of Hollywood” in 2015. He’s returning to Twentynine Palms for one weekend only with his latest creation, “The Final, Final Farewell Tour of Dolores and Dick DelRubio.” Palmer is an accomplished television and Broadway stage performer. He is touring his show with his co-creator and performing partner, Andrew Orbison. The duo will kick off the show’s tour at Theatre 29 and travel to New York and back to Las
Vegas. Performances at Theatre 29 are Saturday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 4 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available now at theatre29.org or by calling the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-361-4151. This is sure to be a popular event so get your tickets now. The production contains light innuendo and is not appropriate for children under 13.

COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM TRAINING STARTS THIS FRIDAY

New training classes will start this Friday, May 19, for volunteers who are at least 18 years old interested in becoming a part of the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT. The classes will be held Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, from 8 to 5. All classes will be held at the Twentynine Palms Senior Center on Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms. Volunteers will learn about personal preparedness, disaster training, medical operations and triage, terrorism, incident command system, fire safety, search and rescue, and more. After completion of the program, volunteers will receive a CERT manual, safety helmet, backpack, safety vest, and the knowledge to help their community during a crisis or disaster. There is no cost, but RSVPs are required. To reserve your spot, call 760-228-6380 or email stuttle@sbcfire.org.

TWENTYNINE PALMS JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WIN SOLAR COOK-OFF

Six Twentynine Palms Junior High School students traveled to Apple Valley Saturday to compete in the fifth annual Solar Oven Cook-Off, sponsored by the Mojave Environmental Education Consortium. Managing editor Tami Roleff said the students came home with some prizes…
For the past two months, six students at Twentynine Palms Junior High School have been studying solar ovens and how to use them to cook food. Last month they qualified to participate in the solar oven cook-off last Saturday at the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley. The solar cook-off competition is for students in grades four through twelve, who work in teams of two to five students to design and build solar cookers. The teams must cook an original dish for the competition.
With the cool temps Saturday, the students were worried that their solar ovens wouldn’t reach the required temperature of 212 degrees, but all the ovens and food cooked reached the minimum temps.
The school’s three teams earned four of six awards given (second and third-place awards for the construction of their ovens and second and third-place awards for their recipes), and earned $375 in cash awards.

Congratulations, Makayla Hurst (7th grade), Kimberly Murray (7th grade), Jacob Dickson (7th grade), Paige Graham (7th grade), Sebastian Haney (8th grade), and Jennifer Pearson (7th grade).

Team: Puppet Noodle: Makayla Hurst and Kimberly Murray; cooked Moon’s Moon Cookies
Sizzlin’ Siracha: Jacob Dickson and Paige Graham; cooked chicken enchiladas
The Nerd Squad: Sebastian Haney and Jennifer Pearson; cooked calzone pockets

Design 2nd Place: The Nerd Squad
Design 3rd Place : Sizzlin Siracha

Recipe 2nd place: Puppet Noodles (Moon’s Moon Cookies)
Recipe 3rd place: Sizzlin’ Siracha (chicken enchiladas)

Solar Oven Cook-Off