WATCH THE SKIES THIS WEEK FOR THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWERS

Late in every summer the Perseid meteor shower delights sky watchers with a show of multiple streaks of light that appear to originate from the constellation Perseus. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more on the phenomenon and some tips on how to get the best view…

The Perseids are usually among each year’s brightest and most accessible meteor showers, turning up between July 17 and August 24 as Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. This year our planet will drift through the most dense part of the Swift-Tuttle trail on Saturday, August 12. Unfortunately, this year the Perseids will be a little more difficult to see because the moon will be three-quarters full and will rise shortly before the shower hits its peak around midnight. Patient sky watchers can still expect to see the brightest meteors, but most will be obscured by the moonlight. Find a viewing spot where city lights and those from neighbors will be at a minimum. Set up a chair and give your eyes ten or 15 minutes to adjust to the darkness and concentrate on the northeastern part of the night sky any time from around midnight until sunrise. The days just before and after August 12 should also provide reliable viewing opportunities.

COUNTY’S RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT PLAN SENT BACK TO PLANNING COMMISSION

After listening to hundreds of speakers during a five-hour marathon meeting yesterday, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to send the county’s renewable energy development guidelines back to the Planning Commission for further review. Once approved by the board of supervisors, the guidelines will be included in the county’s general plan and will determine where solar farms can be developed in the county. Large-scale solar developers were unhappy that that the proposed plan required that new solar farms be built on already disturbed land or in remote areas of the county like Amboy, or that they would be prohibited from building solar farms in rural living areas or in areas that would have a negative impact on surrounding local communities. Conservationists were unhappy that the county’s plan didn’t protect communities from solar development and that they would have to fight solar projects on their own.

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER UPSET OVER TRAINING AT CHURCH

They say you shouldn’t discuss politics or religion among friends. One of those rules was breached at last night’s Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meeting, causing tempers to briefly flare. Reporter David Haldane, who was there, explains…

Is it OK for public school employees to be trained at a church? Morongo Unified School District board member Karalee Hargrove thinks not. And she minced no words in saying so at the board meeting last night.

“When you run a public agency on $100 million that’s all publicly funded money and then ask all those publicly paid-for employees to go to a church for a training, I think you’re crossing a bit of a line.”

Her comments were sparked by Superintendent Tom Baumgarten’s announcement of a half-day staff development session scheduled for August 17 in the Thunderdome at Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel in Yucca Valley. Though original plans called for it to be held elsewhere, he said, no other venue could be found.

That didn’t placate Hargrove. “You don’t want to make a teacher feel out of place. They don’t feel comfortable in going to that place. And when you organize that development, you do it in an all-inclusive environment.”

But the training will go on, Baumgarten said, including a school-sponsored talent show called Morongo’s Got Talent.

VEGETATION FIRE IN MORONGO VALLEY YESTERDAY

Morongo Valley firefighters and CalFire made quick work of a vegetation fire Tuesday evening. According to Morongo Valley Fire Captain Jeff Rarey, firefighters were called to a 100-foot by 30-foot vegetation fire near Bella Vista and Highway 62 about 6:40 p.m. Firefighters got the blaze under control in about 5 minutes and it was completely out in about 20 minutes, Rarey said. CalFire is investigating the cause of the fire that burned mostly creosote, cactus, and thick vegetation in the rocky area.

BURGLARS HIT YUCCA VALLEY

Burglars have been hitting Yucca Valley again. At least four burglaries were reported Monday. A resident in the 56400 block of Cedarbird Road told deputies that sometime between July 30 and August 6, someone broke in through the garage and stole guns and electronics. A house sitter in the 7400 block of Canyon Drive reported that sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., someone broke in through a sliding glass door and stole guns and other property. A resident in the 58800 block of Santa Barbara Drive reported to deputies that burglars forced open the front door and stole electronics, cash, jewelry, guns, and other items. And St. Joseph of Aramethea Church reported that burglars broke a window and stole cash and electronics. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

YUCCA VALLEY SQUATTERS ARRESTED

Three people were arrested Monday night on various charges, after they were found squatting in someone’s Yucca Valley home. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were asked to check a home in the 7400 block of Alaba Avenue for squatters. When deputies arrived about 8:30 p.m., they found Shalom Wellong, 45, at the home with a large amount of methamphetamine. Shalom Wellong was arrested for investigation of possession for sales, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000. Devon Ann Seegrist, 39, was arrested on suspicion of providing a false name to a deputy, and on warrants for drug charges. Devon Ann Seegrist was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $125,000. Brian Huddleston, 52, was arrested for investigation of possession of a controlled substance, cited, and released.

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW FOR THEATRE 29 OPENING NIGHT GALA OF “JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT”

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will open at Theatre 29 with a gala fundraiser for the Yucca Valley Rotary Club. The Rotary Club sends high school kids to Rotary Youth Leadership Academy camps in the fall and spring. Reporter Rebecca Havely has information on this amazing musical…

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a musical extravaganza opening at Theatre 29 on Friday, August 25, with a gala fundraiser. Tickets for opening night ONLY are $35 each. Join the Yucca Valley Rotarians at 6 p.m. for refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. The curtain will rise on the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical at 7 p.m. Sweets will be served at intermission. Directed by Rebecca Havely, the cast stars Jericho McWilliams as Joseph, Analisa Pilecki and Scott Clinkscales as the narrators, and Ben Bees as Pharaoh, plus many, many more. The musical is sung from beginning to end with show-stopping numbers including a country-western hoe down, a 60s go-go number, a 50s sock hop, and a Caribbean calypso. The entire family will enjoy this show about a boy whose dreams come true.

Opening night tickets ONLY can be purchased at The Loan Lady, Realty Professionals, from any Rotarian or by calling 760-365-7003. The show will continue its run Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. through September 17 at the regular tickets prices of $8 to $15. For those tickets visit theatre29.org or call the Theatre 29 box office at 760-361-4151.

JOSHUA TREE MAN WINS TWO MEDALS AT KARATE CHAMPIONSHIP

A Joshua Tree man brought home two medals from the 18th Pan-American Shitoryu championships in Canada last weekend. ME Wilson Sr. won the silver medals in both the masters open kata and masters open kumite in the masters’ elite heavyweight division. The competition was held Saturday, August 5, in Gatineau, Quebec. Wilson was one of only three North Americans to compete. Wilson is the cross-country coach at Twentynine Palms High School.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BOARD TO MEET TOMORROW

The Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees will meet tomorrow. Reporter Eric Knabe fills us in on what’s on the agenda…

Following a 2:30 closed session, the CMC board of trustees will reconvene to open session at 3 p.m. Then following the opportunity for public comment there will be an Academic and Student Success Board Report, follow by regular reports, and information items, and routine items on the consent agenda.

The trustees will consider a list of agenda action items. Among those items is approval for paid daycare for the children of the adult education students, to be handled by the Adult Education Block Grant Consortium in partnership with the Neverland Child Care Center. Tomorrow’s meeting takes place in the Bell Center’s Community Room on the Joshua Tree campus.

HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

At tonight’s meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors, the board will hold a workshop to discuss loan requirements for a low-interest loan from the State Revolving Fund for customers to use to connect their homes and businesses to the new sewer project. Other items on the agenda include authorizing a bid of $44,000 to rehabilitate and install new pump equipment for Well 8 West; authorize an agreement with an engineering firm to design water mains; vacate a portion of an easement on a vacant lot at 57858 29 Palms Highway; endorse board president Bob Stadum for a position with the Association of San Bernardino County Special Districts; and approve the disbursement agreement with the Town of Yucca Valley for Measure Z sales tax proceeds. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in district offices at Inca Trail and Highway 62 in Yucca Valley.

YUCCA VALLEY AIRPORT AGENDA

Some of the items the Yucca Valley Airport District Board of Directors will discuss at their meeting tonight are a progress report on the consultant’s report and noise abatement rules. Under new business, directors will approve payment for cleaning up the weeds and new fencing. The meeting starts at 6:30 in the Mesquite Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

VENDORS NEEDED FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS CAR SHOW

When is a “car show” not a car show? When it’s an “automobile, truck, boat, rat rod, motorcycle, and specialty vehicle show.” That’s right and it’s
coming to Twentynine Palms next month. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the deadline for vendors to reserve their spot is Friday…

It’s the first ever Desert Oasis Car Show and it will be in Twentynine Palms’ Luckie Park one day only, Saturday, September 23. Now is the time for
local vendors and merchants to get in on the action by reserving one of the limited vendor spaces or securing a high visibility sponsor package. Vendor spaces are 10×10, and run between $20 and $50. Sponsor packages range from $100 to $500. Deadline for sponsor tie-ins on the event poster is
August 11; deadline for sponsor logos on the event schedule is September 1. Call 760-367- 7562 for more information. All proceeds from the Desert Oasis Car Show will go toward Twentynine Palms community events.

PEACE CHANTING AT RAINBOW STEW TONIGHT

Rainbow Stew invites the public to an evening of peace chanting. Reporter Eric Knabe provides the details…

Come to Rainbow Stew the evening of Wednesday, August 9, at 7 p.m. for an evening of peace chanting. Plan on arriving no later than 6:50 p.m. The doors are locked and chanting begins promptly at 7 p.m. Chanting usually goes on for about an hour, sometimes less.