San Bernardino County voters overwhelmingly voted in the Tuesday election to slash county supervisors’ compensation to $60,000 per year and limit them to just four years in office. Measure K supporters say the unprecedented changes will curb corruption and save taxpayer money, while supervisors say it will do just the opposite—prevent qualified candidates from running for office, encourage more reliance on special interests and hurt the county economy. Their position isn’t because of self-interest, said Supervisor Janice Rutherford—California law says she’ll continue to serve under the terms that were in place when she was elected. Natalie Zuk, spokeswoman for the Red Brennan Group, which sponsored Measure K, said she hoped the county’s “experiment” would prove these are changes that improve government. “I’m thankful to the voters for being willing to take on this new concept that’s never been done before,” Zuk said. “Residents have made it loud and clear what they want.” Measure K, which has 67% of the vote as of Wednesday’s results, cuts compensation, pay and benefits combined, to $60,000 per year. And once a supervisor is elected, they cannot be reelected.
At last month’s meeting of the Morongo Basin Healthcare District Board of Directors, the directors learned that the healthcare district had spent $261,000 of its $500,000 allocated to its Feeding Morongo Basin Project. The consolidated July operating loss was $150,000, which was under budgeted expectations. Clinic operations for July came in at $14,500, which was also under budgeted expectations. The board will hold a virtual meeting tonight. Here with the agenda is Managing editor Tami Roleff…
Tonight’s meeting of the Morongo Basin Healthcare District Board of Directors will be a virtual meeting. The directors will hear an updated report on the district’s finances. CEO Jackie Combs is expected to tell the directors that the healthcare district will expand COVID testing and flu vaccinations to various locations in November and December, and that it plans to apply to become a COVID vaccination provider. The hospital has hired a new internal medicine physician, psychiatrist, and nurse practitioner.
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Blood drives are considered an essential service, and blood donations are way down due to the public’s fear of coronavirus. Blood is desperately needed; a blood drive will be held from 10 to 3 p.m. Friday, November 6, at the “old” Stater Brothers grocery store, 57075 29 Palms Highway, on the west end of Yucca Valley. Blood donations will also be screened for COVID-19 antibodies. The test does not detect if the donor currently has COVID-19. All blood donors must wear a face mask and will undergo a COVID-19 health screening on arrival. All donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 115 pounds, and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. Donors will receive a free cholesterol screening and incentives. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.
It has been a sacred gathering point for Native American tribes, hideout for a suspected Nazi spy in World War II, site of a remote airfield replete with cafe, and present-day lover’s lane. Storied Giant Rock in Landers is the subject of today’s historical highlight. Here’s reporter Mike Lipsitz with more about the monolith some claim to be the world’s largest freestanding boulder…
In the desert wilderness north of Landers is a granite rock as tall as a seven-story building. Rising from the desert landscape in stark contrast to its surroundings, a visit there makes obvious why Native Americans would revere the rock as sacred. In the 1930s immigrant prospector Frank Critzer excavated a home underneath the rock. Rumored to be a Nazi spy, Critzer met his end there under circumstances mired in mystery. Broadcasting from there in the 1950s, Walter Cronkite called the rock and its environs a Valhalla for UFO enthusiasts. In February 2000 a south facing portion of the rock split off and crashed to the desert floor fulfilling some doomsday predictions. Although tarnished by graffiti and litter, today Giant Rock is popular among campers, off-roaders, and randy teens.
The Legend of Giant Rock