JOSHUA TREE VFW BENEFIT SATURDAY FOR COUPLE WHO LOST EVERYTHING IN A FIRE

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Joshua Tree is holding a fundraiser for Richard Meyers, also known as “Ricky Racer,” whose Joshua Tree home burned down in a fire last month and whose wife was injured in the blaze. The couple lost everything they own; friends have donated a motor home for them to live in for now. The benefit is set for Saturday, February 22, starting at noon, and the public is invited. Food will be $5 a plate. Live music will be provided by Ramblin’ George and Dick Howes. All proceeds from food and donations will go to the Meyers. The Joshua Tree VFW is located on Veterans Way in downtown Joshua Tree.

MORONGO VALLEY CSD DISCUSSES FIRE TAX, BOARD MEMBER RESIGNS

Last night’s marathon meeting of the Morongo Valley Community Services District Board of Directors lasted four hours, reinforcing the district’s lengthy meeting trend. To allow more people the opportunity to attend the meetings, the board voted unanimously to change not only the start time for the district’s monthly meeting, but the meeting day as well. Beginning in March, the Morongo Valley CSD meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of each month beginning at 6 p.m. Reporter Andrew Dieleman has more from the meeting…

The Morongo Valley CSD Board of Directors. From left to right: Morongo Valley Fire Department Chief and CSD Director of Operations Gary Yearsley, President Gayl Swarat, Vice President Kristina Brook, Director Johnny Tolbert, and Director Matthew Campos. Director Laurie Klimowicz was absent for the meeting.

At last night’s meeting, the Morongo Valley CSD Board of Directors also reviewed an ad hoc committee report on generating additional income for the Morongo Valley fire department, including possibly pursuing a Morongo Valley Fire tax. The board agreed to begin gauging public support for a fire tax before taking any action to pursue it.

The board also provided an updated financial figure of more than $6,800 in attorney fees that have resulted from board-related problems since 2016. The board agreed to continue pursuing last month’s promise to minimize arguing in the future.

The board also discussed the grants that the district has applied for and those that the district plans to apply for in the near future. The board also  reviewed a new, lengthy list of updates required to bring the Covington Park Community kitchen up to code. The board voted to research the cost of the needed improvements to see if completing the kitchen is financially possible for the district.

Additional ad hoc committee reports included providing rental discounts of CSD facilities to Morongo Valley residents, continuing with the recent changes to driving parameters for the Morongo Valley Fire Department designed to minimize wear and tear on fire vehicles and improve response times to areas of Morongo Valley with unkept unpaved roads, and rescheduling a previously postponed open public workshop on completing annual employee performance evaluations for March 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Lastly, the board adjourned to closed session to discuss pending litigation and to hold an evaluation of the district’s director of operations. Returning to open session, the board reported that the district will settle the pending litigation for $1,675.

In an unexpected event, just before the board returned from its closed session meeting, Board Vice President Kristina Brook announced she would be resigning from her position on the board due to accusations made against her by other board members during the closed session meeting.

BLOOD DRIVE AT COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE TOMORROW

LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Thursday, February 20, at Copper Mountain College on Rotary Way in Joshua Tree, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In addition, LifeStream offers incentives and donors receive free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.

COUNTY ADULT AND AGING SERVICES IN WONDER VALLEY TODAY

A representative from the San Bernardino County Adult and Aging Services will be at the Wonder Valley Community Center from 11 a.m. to noon, on Wednesday, February 19, to help seniors with any issues they may have. If you are a senior and would like to submit an application for the home energy assistance program, call Breanna Parker at 760-228-5232. For more information, call Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880.

SIGN UP TODAY FOR LIFE COACHING AT RAINBOW STEW

Rainbow Stew will offer a class Saturday (February 22) on life coaching. Participants will learn what coaching is—and is not; how it works; and how to apply it to their lives. The workshop will be led by Carmen Mendoza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is required by February 19.The cost is $20; call 760-418-5170 to register.