CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS TO BE OFFICIAL GATEWAY TO MOJAVE TRAILS MONUMENT

It’s no secret that the City of Twentynine Palms wants to attract more visitors. Last night the City Council took a couple of steps in that direction. Reporter David Haldane was there and files this report…
Tourism. That was the main subject at last night’s meeting of the Twentynine Palms City Council, which took two actions promoting it. First the council voted to sign a memorandum of understanding with the federal Bureau of Land Management declaring the city a gateway community for visitors to the Mojave Trails National Monument. That’s the 941,000-acre preserve created last year which includes a long stretch of historic Route 66.
Next the council appointed five representatives of the local hospitality industry to the advisory board of the newly established Tourism Business Improvement District, expected to begin in October.
Both actions were taken unanimously with little discussion.
In other business, the Council approved the city’s General Funds budget for the next two years and heard a report on distressed palm trees at Joshua Tree National Park’s Oasis of Mara.

YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION TO APPROVE SHORT TERM RENTAL ORDINANCE

The final approval of the Yucca Valley town ordinance regulating short term vacation home rentals is on the agenda for the Yucca Valley Planning Commission tonight. Managing editor Tami Roleff checks the agenda…
At tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission, the consent agenda includes the draft ordinance for short-term vacation rentals; commissioners will be asked to give their final approval to the short-term vacation home rentals before forwarding the ordinance to the town council. The commission will then hold a public hearing on the Mohawk carwash at Mohawk Trail and Highway 62 concerning revised elevations for the vacuum station canopies. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

MANZANITA FIRE NEAR BANNING UP TO 5,000 ACRES; FALSE ALERT RATTLES LOCAL RESIDENTS

A wildland fire burning in remote terrain south of Beaumont and Banning prompted a voluntary evacuation warning last night, and the closure of a key local commuter link, Highway 79. Residents in the Morongo Basin, including Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, and Twentynine Palms, mistakenly received alerts last night notifying them about fire evacuations. A Cal Fire spokeswoman said the cause of the mistaken alert is under investigation. The evacuation warning covered homes between Highland Home Road south of Beaumont and Highway 243 south of Banning, and included the San Jacinto Mountain communities of Silent Valley and Poppet Flats, according to the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.
By 6:30 this morning, the fire had scorched 5,000 acres, and is 10 percent contained, and more than 300 firefighters are on the scene. County Fire Battalion Chief Scott Tuttle of Yucca Valley is at the fire directing a strike team. The fast-growing Manzanita fire blaze was sparked by a vehicle collision in Lamb Canyon and tore through 1,200 acres in its first three hours, spreading east through dry fuel on a windy 100-degree day.

SCHOOL BOARD LOOKS TO TAMP DOWN TEACHER’S CLASSROOM OPINIONS TONIGHT

In this time of dramatic public controversy, many school districts are re-examining their policies regarding classroom discussions. Morongo Unified is no exception, as reporter David Haldane explains…
Teachers in the Morongo Unified School District may find it more difficult to express personal opinions to students after tonight’s Board of Education meeting. Board members will be asked to approve an updated controversial issues policy specifically prohibiting educators from advocating personal views in the classroom and subjecting them to potential censure if they do.
The original policy—last updated in 2001—requires only that all sides of an issue be presented fairly.
In other business, the board will hold a public hearing on its tentative agreement with the California School Employees Association for 2017-18, consider the proposed budget for the same period and grant blanket authority to district administrators to dispose of obsolete property.
Tonight’s meeting gets underway 7 p.m. at Joshua Tree Elementary School on Sunburst Avenue. For Z1077, this is David Haldane.
Joshua Tree Elementary will also be the site of a special meeting scheduled for 8 a.m. tomorrow to discuss new textbooks and conduct a work study session on the district’s priorities and strategic vision.

Z107.7 TO BROADCAST BACKGROUND MUSIC FOR TWO COMMUNITY FIREWORKS SHOWS

Make plans to attend and enjoy the professional Fireworks shows this Fourth of July in the City of Twentynine Palms and the Town of Yucca Valley. Pyro-Spectaculars, the same company that does the fireworks for the Olympics and the Super Bowl, will be putting on the shows in both communities. There will no July 3rd show in Landers this year.
For the second year in a row, Z107.7 will broadcast the patriotic music that is synced to the fireworks displays. Morongo Basin residents can watch the fireworks from their backyards, patios, pools, and vehicles, tune in to Z107.7 and get the same coordinated music experience as the people at the show locations.
The Yucca Valley show starts at 9:00 p.m. at the Brehm Youth Park near Little League Drive. Before the fireworks in Yucca Valley, enjoy a summer concert by the local funk-rock group Del Sol, vendors, games, kid’s activities, and food.
In Twentynine Palms, pre-fireworks activities include games, food, vendor booths, music with the Z107.7 mobile DJ, and live entertainment, all at Luckie Park. The Twentynine Palms fireworks show will also start at 9:00 p.m.

“DESERT ORACLE” LOOKS AT DESERT MYSTERIES FRIDAY NIGHTS 10:00 ON Z107.7

A new program comes to Z107.7, the strange world of “Desert Oracle,” hosted by Ken Layne. Reporter Rebecca Havely says expect evocative tales…
Whether you’re driving across the dark, lonely Mojave or at home listening to coyotes howling outside, “Desert Oracle” will add some intrigue to your Friday nights. At 10 p.m. tune in to hear tales of lost mines, UFOs, missing tourists, secret military projects and local legends. This mysterious half-hour program is hosted by Ken Layne, the editor and publisher of “Desert Oracle,” the acclaimed print quarterly published in Joshua Tree. The show will also be available as a podcast; download full episodes each week from z1077fm.com and the iTunes store.

DESERT ORACLE Editor and radio host Ken Layne broadcasts DESERT ORACLE RADIO Friday nights at 10:00 pm on Z107.7 FM from an undisclosed location deep in the Mojave Desert. (Photo by Laura Crane)

JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM WILL BE OUT TOMORROW MORNING

The hard-working dedicated members of the Joshua Tree Clean Team will be out taking pride in our desert tomorrow morning, Wednesday, June 28. The team will meet at the Joshua Tree Post Office and will work from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Joshua Tree residents who want to be part of the noble volunteer efforts of the Joshua Tree Clean team are invited to join them. There will be optional coffee and conversation afterward at the Park Rock Café.

BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER TAKES UP STANDBY AND AVAILABILITY FEES TONIGHT

Standby and availability fees, and a ratepayer variance are among the items up for discussion at the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency meeting tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more…
The Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors holds the regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. tonight. On the action agenda,
the board is expected to establish the appropriation limit for fiscal 2017-18 at $167,000. Also tonight, the board will establish the standby and availability fees for unmetered/unoccupied parcels in the Goat Mountain Improvement District, this action is renewed annually. And among other items the board will consider granting a variance to a parcel owner who needs an extended line to connect with the water main. Those items and others are in addition to routine items on the consent agenda and reports from the staff and general manager. It all happens at the agency’s board meeting office under the old water tower on Cherokee Trail in Landers.

MORONGO BASIN HEALTHCARE DISTRICT BOARD IN CLOSED SESSION TOMORROW

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District will hold a special, closed session meeting Wednesday, June 28 at 4 p.m. The sole item on the agenda is a performance evaluation of the chief executive officer, Jackie Combs. The meeting will be held in the district’s office at 6530 La Contenta Road, Suite 100, in Yucca Valley.