COOK VOTES IN FAVOR OF WATER RIGHTS BILL

Representative Paul Cook of Yucca Valley joined all the Republican members of Congress in sponsoring HR23, The Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, or GROW Act, which was passed in the House Wednesday on a mostly party-line vote, 230-190. Cook said the bill would change water management plans and environmental restoration goals for the Central Valley region in California, will protect NorCal water rights, and restore availability of water supply for California agriculture. Governor Jerry Brown wrote a letter to the bill’s author, David Valadao, of Hanford, outlining his opposition to the bill and asking for it to be shelved. Brown said water management decisions are a state, not federal issue, and the GROW Act overrides California water rights laws and will benefit a small group of industrial agricultural irrigation districts at the expense of all other Californians. The bill now goes to the Senate; California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris also said they oppose the bill.

COMMUNITY CONCERT SERIES RETURNS TO YUCCA VALLEY CHURCH

The Luminators will present a return engagement for the Community Concert Series at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church Sunday, July 16 at 2:30 p.m. This popular group will once again entertain with bluegrass and gospel favorites in an intimate and friendly setting. Admission is $5 at the door. Light refreshments will be served following the concert. All are welcome. Desert Hills Presbyterian Church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail in Yucca Valley. For more information, call 760-365-7401

YUCCA VALLEY SUMMER CONCERT FEATURES DIXIE MUSIC TOMORROW

Yucca Valley will hold the second of six concerts in its summer concert series tonight. Join managing editor Tami Roleff as she emcees this popular event…

The 23rd annual summer concert series, co-hosted by the town of Yucca Valley, Hi-Desert Publishing, and Z107.7, continues Saturday, July 15, with Persuasion. Enjoy the cool desert evening while listening and dancing to Dixie music on the grass at the Yucca Valley Community Center. The gates open at 6:30 p.m.; the music starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. Dogs are allowed on the upper soccer field only.

Upcoming bands include SouthBound on July 22; The Silverados on July 29; the Ted Herman Orchestra on August 5; and the final concert, The Answer, on August 12

IMPROV TROUPE “BAKER’S DOZEN” AT THEATRE 29 SATURDAY NIGHT

The Theatre 29 Improv group, “Baker’s Dozen,” will perform again at 7 p.m. tonight. With improv, the plot, characters, and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Director Chris Fleischman joins the cast of 13 talented comedian/actors. Troupe members include Cindy Daigneault, Cam D’Angeles, Amy Fangmeyer, Katie Fleischman, Kory Fleischman, Lisa Goldberg, Cody Joseph, Yvonna Mullen, Joseph Rego, Kylie Robinson, and Hope Spicer. Tickets are $10 each; military and seniors are $7; and students with ID are $5. Theatre 29 season ticket holders may attend one performance at no additional charge.

For tickets visit www.theatre29.org or call the Theatre 29 box office at 760-361-4151.

DEADLINE TONIGHT FOR 5TH ANNUAL ART EXPOSITION

Artists hoping to win cash prizes and recognition in the fifth annual Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition have until midnight tonight to enter. Managing editor Tami Roleff tells you how…

The deadline to enter artwork for the fifth annual Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition and Juried Exhibition is midnight Saturday, July 15. The art expo will be held in September at the Oasis of Mara in Twentynine Palms, next to Joshua Tree National Park Headquarters. Artwork must depict or be inspired by the unique aspects of Joshua Tree National Park or its cultural history. Artists may enter up to three artwork entries for an entry fee of $35, More information, complete guidelines, and the entry form are available at www.JTNPArts.org.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK OFFERS SUMMER HIKING SAFETY TIPS

With the summer’s heat, locals and visitors who hike in Joshua Tree National Park need to take extra precautions. Park Spokesman George Land has some summer hiking safety tips…

Hot summer weather is upon us, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up hiking in the park. As long as you plan ahead and observe some basic guidelines, you can still enjoy your summer hike.

Start early in the morning when the day is cool. Be realistic about the hike you’ve planned with respect to the length and difficulty of the route you choose. If you’re not sure, talk to the staff at the visitor centers about their suggestions. Always carry more water than you think you’re going to need. Protect yourself by wearing a hat, long sleeves, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It’s always a good idea to hike with a partner, but if you can’t, at least let someone know the trail you’re taking and what time you expect to be done. Summer can still be an enjoyable time in the park provided you exercise good common sense and show respect for the desert environment.

JUPITER, SATURN AND THE MILKY WAY AT SKY’S THE LIMIT STAR PARTY

Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center will hold a star party Saturday night, July 15. The event begins at 8:45 p.m. and will end about midnight, but you are encouraged to come when you can and leave when you want. Highlights of the night sky include the summer Milky Way, Saturn and its rings, Jupiter, and numerous star clusters. Sky’s the Limit Observatory is located on Utah Trail, just north of the Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.

JOHN FURBEE OF DESERT HOT SPRINGS DIED WEDNESDAY

John Furbee, a resident of Desert Hot Springs for more than 50 years, died Wednesday following an extended illness. He was 87. Furbee, a pillar of the community, was a noted philanthropist, businessman, civic leader, and youth supporter. The city’s aquatic center was named after him. Furbee was a former president of the Desert Hot Springs Boys and Girls Club, and the Mission Springs Foundation. He was a former chair of the Desert Hot Springs Planning Commission and the city’s Economic Committee. In 2006, he received the Senior Inspiration Award. In the past few years, he donated property to the city of Desert Hot Springs.