February 23 is the 75th anniversary of the raising of the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima during World War II. The Yucca Valley Senior Center will have a tribute to the raising of the flag on Monday, February 24, with memorabilia from World War II. The tribute will honor the 6,821 Americans killed and the 19,000 U.S. Marines who were wounded during the battle for Iwo Jima. The public is invited to come to the Yucca Valley Senior Center any time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to see the World War II tribute. The Yucca Valley Senior Center is located behind Town Hall.


CalTrans will start grinding and repaving Highway 62 in Morongo Valley the week of February 24 through the 27, weather permitting. Eastbound lanes of the highway will be closed from Indian Canyon Road (at the bottom of the grade) to Hess Boulevard (at the top of the grade) from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. February 24 and 25. Westbound lanes will be closed from Hess Boulevard to Indian Canyon Road February 26 and 27. Traffic will be diverted to the opposite direction of travel during the closures, with one lane in each direction, and cones separating the two lanes. If there are any issues due to weather or construction, the work may be extended to February 28. Motorists are urged to use caution while driving through the work zone; speed limits will be lowered to 25 miles per hour.


A newly established non-profit organization has garnered the support of three educational organizations to support its mission of providing students outdoor education in Joshua Tree National Park. Reporter Hilary Sloane has more information…

JTREE is a newly established non-profit organization that is partnering with the National Park Service to provide youth-oriented residential outdoor education at Joshua Tree National Park. Courtesy photo

Joshua Tree Residential Education Experience, or JTREE, announced that three regional educational organizations support the non-profit’s mission. The Morongo Educational Foundation, the Hi-Desert Region 62 of the California Retired Teachers Association, and the Morongo Teachers Association, said in a statement that they believe that providing young students with environmental education will encourage them to be the ecological stewards of tomorrow. JTREE is a newly charitable organization that is partnering with the National Park Service to provide youth-oriented residential outdoor education at Joshua Tree National Park.

The Morongo Education Foundation organized for the purpose of improving educational opportunities for students of Morongo Unified School District. In support of JTREE, MEF Executive Director, Vonda Viland and the Board of Directors enthusiastically believe that providing young students environmental education encourages youth to be the ecological stewards of tomorrow.

The Hi Desert Region 62 of the California Retired Teachers Assn. supports education as a part of their mission. In a letter of support, Co-Presidents, Doris Lawless and Gay Smith, state “We are confident JTREE will also make a positive difference in the lives of many students and community members as they explore environmental education, learn about being positive stewards in our world, and feel empowered to make a difference in society while building their self-esteem, personal knowledge, and skills.”

JTREE also garnered the support of Morongo Teachers Assn. whose motto is “Proud to Teach”. Many of our local teachers and students participate in outdoor science camps outside our area. But as MTA President, Kojo McCallum says, “Although the students receive an invaluable experience and education, nothing can take the place of being educated and enriched in your home community.”

The education program shall be primarily established, funded, constructed and operated by JTREE in partnership with Joshua Tree National Park. To read the valued letters of support and contribute to JTREE please visit their website at www.JTreeOutdoorEd.org.


The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department plans to apply for another year of grant funding through the State of California’s Department of Parks and Recreation for its off-road vehicle enforcement program. The Sheriff’s Department has used this grant source since 2006. For application review and public comment, see the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov. The public comment period begins March 3 to May 4, 2020.


Caltrans has announced its work schedule for this week for the I-10 Tune-Up. Caltrans will be working on the eastbound freeway from 8th Street in Banning to Main Street in Cabazon. During the work, the shoulder will be closed from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, February 24, through Friday, February 28. In addition, work will be done on the center median, requiring the closure of alternating lanes in both directions from 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. February 23 through February 28.