KITTEN FOUND IN JOSHUA TREE

KITTEN FOUND IN JOSHUA TREE

Long hair Tabby.

Beige and white kitten.

Found near: Border and Sunnysands, in Joshua Tree.

Call: Jeanne 323-253-2764

PIT LOST IN 29 PALMS

PIT LOST IN 29 PALMS

Female, grey and white, wearing red collar.

Named, “Jewels”.

Lost near: Adobe & Two Mile in 29 Palms.

Call: Destany 760-910-9179

MORONGO BASIN ICON, MARA CANTELO, DIES OF NATURAL CAUSES

A Morongo Basin icon, Mara Cantelo, founder and driving force behind the annual Tender Loving Christmas, TLC, events, has passed away. Cantelo, who suffered multiple illnesses, passed away of natural causes at her home, she was 64. A caregiver reported that she had not been heard from since Friday September 8. Investigating deputies found her deceased Monday afternoon with no sign of foul play. In 1983, Cantelo, who lived alone, decided that no one should be alone for Christmas and started the TLC movement. In the subsequent 33 years, literally thousands of people had a meal, gifts, toys, entertainment, canned goods, and a place to be with friends on Christmas. Cantelo described it as, “One neighbor taking care of another neighbor.” Adding, “We’re hoping that everybody gets the message that they don’t have to be alone on Christmas Day.” In 2013, Congressman Paul Cook awarded Cantelo a “Woman of Distinction” award for her remarkable contributions to the citizens of the Morongo Basin. Yucca Valley’s Mayor Merl Abel said, “On behalf of the entire Town Council, we are saddened to hear of the passing of Mara Cantelo. Mara was a fixture in our community, and her selfless spirit was evident in her countless hours of dedication to the entire Morongo Basin, Mara will be missed.” The town added that they stand ready to partner with any non-profit or faith-based group that desires to pick up where Mara Cantelo left off, and continue the Tender Loving Christmas event for the community.

SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES NEW TEACHERS CONTRACT

Eureka! That pretty much describes the mood among those in the know at last night’s school board meeting. Reporter David Haldane was there and explains…
To the casual observer, it looked completely routine; without a word of discussion, the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education last night unanimously approved an across-the-board .5 percent pay raise for district teachers.
In fact, it was a breakthrough; the same process last year spurred more than a year of rancorous debate with the Morongo Teacher’s Association whose members spent that long working without a contract.
Board president Hilary Slotta attributed this year’s quiet efficiency to an outbreak of good will. “We just decided to come together and sit down and really talk. I just think it was a cooperative attitude on all sides that made the difference.”
The new contract – approved last week by the union’s full membership – also puts caps on classroom size and details various extra duties required of teachers.
“We are so thrilled that we are starting with such a positive for all of our employees.”

A SPATE OF BURGLARY AND VANDALISM IN YUCCA VALLEY

Morongo Basin Sheriff’s deputies were busy Monday investigating at least four commercial burglaries and vandalism. According to Sheriff’s reports, deputies were called to the 56400 block of 29 Palms Highway about 8 a.m. where an unknown suspect broke through a back door and stole the cash register and cash, along with an iPad. A business in the 55900 block of 29 Palms Highway reported about 9 a.m. that someone had thrown a boulder through the business’s front window, shattering two windows. About 8:30 a.m., a business in the 56300 block of Onaga Trail reported it had its third break-in during the last month. The suspect broke an office window, cut the lines to the video cameras, and stole a video recorder. And finally, deputies were called to the 57000 block of 29 Palms Highway about 10:45 a.m. for a report of a bullet hole through a business window. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN SUSPECTED IN MULTIPLE BURGLARIES

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Thursday in connection with multiple burglaries. According to a Sheriff’s report, detectives were conducting a follow-up investigation for several Yucca Valley burglaries and identified Thomas Brown, 37, as a suspect. When deputies located Brown in the 2900 block of Star Lane, he resisted arrest, but was taken into custody after a brief altercation with deputies. Brown was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center with minor injuries. When he was medically cleared, Thomas Brown was arrested on his warrants for burglary, spouse abuse, and possession of a controlled substance, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and is being held without bail. The investigation into the burglaries is on-going.

MORONGO VALLEY CSD TO HEAR OSHA-REQUIRED FIRE DEPARTMENT SAFETY REPORT

A month ago to the day, the Morongo Valley Community Services District received notice from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health that a complaint had been filed. The complaint alleged hazardous and unhealthy work conditions at Morongo Valley’s Fire Station. Reporter Mike Lipsitz picks up the story from there…
The complaint, filed presumably by a current or former employee, claimed insufficient maintenance and availability of certain gear, and some conditions at the station thought to be unhealthy. The OSHA letter made no determination as to the validity of the complaints, but did require the District to investigate. And in compliance, the CSD hired an outside consultant to look into the points raised in the OSHA notice. That investigation has concluded and tonight, at a special 7 p.m. meeting of the CSD, the board will review and discuss the findings and recommendations. Tonight’s meeting takes place in the Community Building’s Multipurpose Room on the edge of Morongo Valley’s Covington Park.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BOARD FACES A BUSY AGENDA TOMORROW

The Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees will have a busy day tomorrow. The board will meet at 1 p.m. for an accreditation workshop. At 2 p.m., it will tour the Student Success Center, after which it will go into closed session to confer with labor negotiators and discuss employee discipline/dismissal. The board will then convene their regular meeting at 3 p.m., at which time it will consider hiring six instructors for the Fire Technology Program, renew its affiliation agreement with Hi-Desert Medical Center for two more years, and then approve a memorandum of understanding between the college and the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center. The meeting will be held in the community room of the Bell Center on the Copper Mountain College campus in Joshua Tree.

HI-DESERT WATER CONSIDERS OLD WOMAN SPRING RANCH AS A WATER SOURCE

The Hi-Desert Water District board of directors meets in regular session tonight. A potential new water supply source is just one items on tonight’s agenda. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains…
Among the items on tonight’s agenda of the Hi-Desert Water District board of directors, the board will be given a presentation on the Old Woman Springs Ranch as a potential additional source of water, and then be asked to provide direction to staff. The board will also be discussing various items related to the sewer project: a contract to design the Palomar booster station, the selection of a firm to relocate native plants at the site of the wastewater reclamation facility; and a lighting plan for the sewer plant. These items and more will be discussed at tonight’s meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. in district offices at Inca Trail and Highway 62 in Yucca Valley.

YUCCA VALLEY AIRPORT DISTRICT MEETS TONIGHT

Among the old business items the Yucca Valley Airport District Board of Directors will discuss at their meeting tonight (Wednesday, Sept 13) is correspondence with LAFCO. 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.

BHAKTI FEST SAYS IT IS ALL ABOUT LOVE, BRINGS 3,000 TO JOSHUA TREE

Anyone who’s driven along Highway 62 west of downtown Joshua Tree in the past week has probably noticed the commotion. Reporter David Haldane tells us what it’s about…
They say it’s a vibration. It starts in the cosmos, winds its way to earth and somehow – through music or dance or meditation – into your soul. And just like that, your heart is one with the universe.
That’s why they come to the annual six-day Bhakti Fest at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. About 3,000 were there this week camping out, singing mantras, practicing yoga and well, just kind of grooving on each other and the desert winds.
Amy Dewhurst, a festival producer, says it’s all about love. “Bhakti is the yoga of love. It’s a move out of your head into your heart.”
That’s certainly what Judy Haft, an LA makeup artist attending for the first time, experienced. “It’s amazing. It’s really beautiful and the community is really connected.”
Founder Sridhar Silberfein, who lives in Joshua Tree, says it’s perfect for the festival. “There’s a power here, a divine power and we blend in perfectly with that.”

ANNUAL PRAYER BREAKFAST THIS SATURDAY IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Make plans to attend the annual prayer breakfast Saturday, September 16, at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Twentynine Palms. The keynote speaker will be Daniel White, who will talk about worship and discipleship. The breakfast starts at 9 a.m. in Mercy Hall of the church. Tickets are $15. The church is located at 6785 Sage Avenue. For more information, call 760-367-3343.

PEACE CHANTING TONIGHT, FUND-RAISER ART SHOW TOMORROW AT RAINBOW STEW

There will be a fund raiser art show at Rainbow Stew in Old Town Yucca Valley. Reporter Eric Knabe provides the charitable details…
Rainbow Stew will host a fund raiser for St. Mary’s Of The Valley Altar Rosary Guild Thursday, September 14, through Wednesday, October 11. They are featuring a wall of paintings by Walter A. Lawson, whose love of painting blossomed when he was 86; he celebrated his 98th birthday last month. The proceeds from the sale go to St. Mary’s of the Valley Altar Rosary Guild for Parish Kitchen improvements. Rainbow Stew is located at on the south side of Highway 62 in Old Town Yucca Valley. For more information, call Terry Sanchez at 760-831-0653 or call Rainbow Stew at 760-418-5170.
Rainbow Stew will hold an evening of peace chanting Wednesday, September 13, at 7 p.m. Arrive early; the doors will be locked at 6:50 p.m. Chanting usually goes on for about an hour, sometimes less. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of the highway in Old Town Yucca Valley.

CHARCOAL SEED BUGS INVADE THE MORONGO BASIN

Many Morongo Basin residents have reported that thousands of black-and-red bugs are swarming around their doors and windows and lights at night. Managing editor Tami Roleff says don’t panic; the bugs are harmless and will be leaving the area soon…
If you opened your front door to find thousands of black-and-red bugs at your door step or windows, or congregating around outside light fixtures, don’t freak out. They’re most likely NOT kissing bugs—which feed on blood—but charcoal seed bugs, which eat desert plants. Charcoal seed bugs do not pose a health threat, but if you want to get rid of them, pesticides are effective. Or, you can keep your doors and windows closed and outside lights turned off to discourage them from coming inside. The bugs will leave on their own after a while.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

In high school sports, the Yucca Valley High School tennis team took a 8-10 loss against Banning High School Tuesday. In Cathedral City Friday they lost 7-11. Coach Cindy Miller said they are looking better with every match they play together.

In Tuesday’s match, Katie Brattain went 6-0, 6-0, 6-1, Elizabeth Anderson 6-1. In doubles, Savannah Beasley and Kloee Scaccianoce 6-1, 6-2, 6-1; Mckenzi Monical and April Bratcher 6-1. They lost a very close and good match 6-7 (6-8) in a tie breaker.

In last Friday’s match, Katie Brattain was 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. In doubles April Bratcher and Mckenzi Monical were 5-7, 6-1, 6-0; Montana Rowe and Alyssa Synder 4-3, 3-6, 6-1; and Alex Costa and Deja Valeur 6-3.