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DESERT-WISE LANDSCAPE TOUR

Drought-tolerant landscaping and energy efficient homes are the focus of the upcoming seventh annual Desert-Wise Landscape Tour. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says get tickets now…
Now in its seventh year, the Morongo Basin Conservation Association’s Desert-Wise Landscape Tour has become a de facto right of Spring. The popular, self-guided tour, has been extended to two days: Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April  23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Map in hand, ticket holders will explore and discover 23 mostly private properties, each selected for blending low water consumption and artful desert living. Along the way, participants will see an abundance of native, drought-tolerant and water-efficient plants, as well as creative uses of other landscaping elements from dramatic architectural shading and outdoor “rooms,” to reflective pathways and sitting areas, to rockscapes, container gardens and objets d’art. A $10 per person donation is requested for participating in the Tour. More information and registration is available at mbconservation.org . Reporting for Z107.7 News, this is Mike Lipsitz.


TWO CONCERTS AT HARRISON HOUSE IN JOSHUA TREE

Two concerts are planned at Harrison House in Joshua Tree. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has your invitation…
Three prominent musicians from San Francisco will give a performance at Harrison House in Joshua Tree tonight. Emil Miland on cello, Meredith Clark on harp, and singer Ann Moss will perform Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available at Harrison House, Joshua Tree Health Foods, or online at louharrisonhouse.org. The concerts will be given at Harrison House, 6881 Mount Lassen Avenue in Joshua Tree. For more information, call 760-366-4172. Reporting for Z107.7, this is managing editor Tami Roleff.


NEW LOCATION FOR SQUARE DANCING

The Star Twirlers Square Dance club has found a new place to hold its dances. Its new location is at the Evangelical Free Church on Mohawk Trail in Yucca Valley. Its next dance on tonight, Saturday, April 22, and will be a picnic theme. Line dance will start at 7 and between tips; square dancing is from 7:30 to 10. The cost is $7. John Walters will call squares, and Linda Sande will call lines. Handicap parking is available at top behind the gym; all others should park in the tiered parking lot. Bring your favorite “picnic” fare to share.


COMMUNITY CONCERT FEATURES A TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA

A Yucca Valley church will feature a tribute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes” tomorrow. Kirby Davis invites you to the community concert…
The Community Concert Series at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church will present A Tribute to Frank Sinatra Sunday, April 23, at 2:30 p.m. Former Las Vegas entertainer Tommy Hernandez will host the event at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, and he will be joined by the StarStruck dance studio. Hernandez will be joined by Clyde Grabski on piano, Dale Colgrove on trumpet, Frank Haggard with vocals and saxophone, Ricky Lee on clarinet, and Chuck Miller on saxophone. It will also feature Norma Hernandez singing Patsy Cline Country. The doors will open at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 760-418-5254. The event includes pizza and drinks afterwards. Desert Hills Presbyterian Church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail. Reporting for Z107.7, this is Kirby Davis


STAR PARTY AT SKY’S THE LIMIT TONIGHT

Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center will hold a star party Saturday night, April 22. The event begins at 8:15 p.m. and will end about 11:30 p.m., but you are encouraged to come when you can and leave when you want. Jupiter is quite bright and its colorful clouds and four moons are ideal for viewing. Sky’s the Limit Observatory is located on Utah Trail, just north of the Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.


LYRID METEOR SHOWER THIS WEEKEND

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks this week, with meteors visible through April 25. While the Lyrids are not the strongest meteor shower, some meteors may occasionally reach fireball intensity. The showers emanate from the constellation of Lyra; its principal star, Vega, is the third brightest star in the northern hemisphere. For best viewing, face toward the northern half of the sky with the moon at your back. This will allow you to see the fainter Lyrids, which will be more numerous than the bright ones. 


EARTH DAY CELEBRATION IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW

Saturday is the annual Earth Day event at the Yucca Valley Community Center Complex from 9-2. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the celebration is a hugely popular, family-friendly event……
Celebrate Earth Day during a festival filled with activities, entertainment, and demonstrations in Yucca Valley Saturday. Local experts will give demonstrations on gardening, permaculture, and composting, recycling, alternative energy, and organic foods. This family-oriented event includes arts and crafts, live music and dancing, a bounce house, face painting, food, and more. The Earth Day festivities run from 9 to 2 in the Yucca Valley Community Center courtyard. Z1077’s own Gary and Cindy Daigneault will broadcast live from the event and will give away reusable tote bags, coloring books, and more. Admission is free.


APPROVAL OF HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT NEAR JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK CLOSER

A controversial hydroelectric power project on the southern border of Joshua Tree National Park is another step closer to reality after the Bureau of Land Management said Thursday that pumping billions of gallons of water from the aquifer, and building power transmission lines would have “no significant impact” on the environment. Eagle Crest Energy Company intends to build a 1,300-megawatt hydroelectric power plant that would pump nine billion gallons of water from the aquifer into a hydroelectric dam at the site while energy from solar farms and windmills is meeting or exceeding demand, and then release the water to generate power when demand for electricity is high. Supporters, who include Governor Jerry Brown, say it will help the state reach its mandate of producing 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy. Critics, including Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent David Smith, say the project will have several negative impacts on the environment, including depleting the aquifer and harming the environment and threatened species. A 30-day protest period on the proposed plan opened yesterday. More information can be found at https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-announces-next-steps-eagle-crest-hydroelectric-project-riverside-county


FACING CHECKMATE: ALTAMIRA HOUSING PROJECT GOES TO MARKET 

Like a high stakes game of chess, since 2006 developers of the proposed Altamira housing project and those opposed have come to what appeared to be the last possible move, only to avoid a “checkmate” by some unexpected stroke of luck. Hanging in the balance is the fate of the proposed 248 new homes on 105 acres next to Friendly Hills Elementary School in Joshua Tree. Reporter Mike Lipsitz fills us in on where the players now stand…
After the Planning Commission approved the project (4 to 1), a group of those opposed to it formed an alliance and appealed the decision to county supervisors. Then following a cliffhanger continuance last September, the Board of Supervisors upheld the Planning Commission’s approval. A month later, the JT105 Alliance, as they called themselves, filed a CEQA, or California Environmental Quality Act, lawsuit. They contend the County failed to require an Environmental Impact Report, and did not properly review the project for consistency with either the County General Plan, or the Joshua Tree Community Plan, which is a required “finding” for approval by both State and County Law. Next, a six-month stay was agreed on so the developers could explore options proposed by the JT105 Alliance during a mandatory settlement discussion. That’s when the Alliance got wind that the project was listed for sale online. The price tag? $3 million and all the headaches that come with it.
Follow the link at www.mbconservation.org/alta_mira_housing_project


JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK VISITOR SPENDING LOCALLY GOING UP

Visitor spending to Joshua Tree National Park in 2016 increased by more than $25 million over the previous year, according to a new report released by the National Park Service. The report shows that last year, more than 2.5 million visitors to Joshua Tree National Park spent $123.3 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,701 jobs in the local area. Superintendent David Smith said, “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.” According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging, at 39 percent, followed by food and beverages at 25 percent. Gas, oil, and transportation, recreation, and souvenirs round out the spending. For more information, go to a link at
www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.


THEATRE 29 SUMMER YOUTH THEATRE APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE

The Theatre 29 summer youth theater program has applications available now. The first 30 applicants approved in each age group will be accepted. The program will run Monday Through Friday from June 26 through July 30 (with July 4 off) culminating with six performances of “Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr.” Reporter Rebecca Havely shares how to apply…
The Theatre 29 Summer Youth Theater program will break into two age groups of 30 students each with “Juniors” (ages 7-11 years old) meeting weekdays from 10:00 a.m. until noon. The “Seniors” (ages 12-17) will meet from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. The cost for the program is $60 per student. The program will teach a wide variety of theatrical skills, including auditioning, acting, singing, choreography, costuming, make-up, backstage skills, set construction, lighting, sound, and much more. Applications will be available at the Twentynine Palms Park and Recreation offices, the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Z107.7 studios in Joshua Tree and must be turned in to an address on the application by June 12, 2017. Applications are available online at
http://www.theatre29.org/summer-youth-theatre-2016


PIONEERTOWN WOMAN ACCUSED OF FELONY SPOUSAL ABUSE

A Pioneertown woman was arrested about 11:15 Wednesday morning, after her husband said she punched and bit him. According to a Sheriff’s report, the man said he was driving and back-handed his wife, Rachel Kee, 47, in the face several times. Kee retaliated by punching her husband and biting him on the face, causing significant bruising. Kee allegedly showed the deputy a video she took after they arrived at their home in the 51300 block of Chateau Road in which she could be heard saying that she hit her husband. After an investigation, Rachel Kee was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $50,000.


BLM PONDERING LOCAL OFF-ROAD VEHICLE ROUTES

Earlier this week, officials from the Bureau of Land Management
held an open house in Yucca Valley. The aim was to provide information on a proposal that would bar ORV, or off-road vehicle, traffic from various types of local roads, and to gather public comment on the proposal. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more…
The issue is related to a larger project called the West Mojave (WEMO) Route Access Plan which proposes to regulate ORV traffic across more than three million acres in the western Mojave Desert. By all accounts, the larger plan is exceedingly complex, poorly understood and inadequately documented. Those characteristics came into play at Wednesday night’s meeting with BLM focus on just 148 miles of county maintained roads where they cross Federal land. But of concern to many are the hundreds of miles of non-county maintained roads in the unincorporated areas here. Those roads are maintained by assessments added to the property tax bills of those who live along them. Public comment on permitting only street-legal traffic on the 148-miles of roads in question ends May 12. For more information, follow the link at http://www.orvwatch.com/
Public comment on route designations in the larger WEMO plan will be accepted until September 2017. A draft report is expected January 2018 with finalization of the route access plan forecast for October 2019.


BLOOD DRIVE IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW

LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Saturday, April 22, at Wal-Mart in Yucca Valley from 11 to 3. Due to a nationwide blood shortage, all blood types and all types of blood donations are needed. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, Desert Blood Services now offers donors free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.


STAR TWIRLERS SQUARE DANCING AT A NEW LOCATION TOMORROW

The Star Twirlers Square Dance club has found a new place to hold its dances. Its new location is at the Evangelical Free Church on Mohawk Trail in Yucca Valley. Its next dance on Saturday, April 22, will be a picnic theme. Line dance will start at 7 and between tips; square dancing is from 7:30 to 10. The cost is $7. John Walters will call squares, and Linda Sande will call lines. Handicap parking is available at top behind the gym; all others should park in the tiered parking lot. Bring your favorite “picnic” fare to share.


BILLY IDOL TRIBUTE AT TORTOISE ROCK CASINO TONIGHT

Kick off your weekend at tonight’s Live at the Rock free concert series where Generation Idol pays tribute to rocker Billy Idol. Generation Idol nails the iconic sound and sneer of the singer that has sold over 20 million albums and has such well known rock hits as “Rebel Yell,” “White Wedding” and “Eyes Without a Face.” Catch this fun tribute to Billy Idol at tonight’s free 8 p.m. outdoor concert at Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms. Now in its third season, “Live at the Rock” presents a new tribute band each Friday night through October. To get to Tortoise Rock Casino heading east on Highway 62, make a right on Adobe Road. Live at the Rock is presented by Z107.7 FM.


SUSPECT IN LAST WEEK’S WAL-MART ARMED ROBBERY ARRESTED

The man suspected of robbing Walmart last week was arrested in Yucca Valley Tuesday. About 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, the man entered Walmart and demanded money from a cashier. He then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. The Sheriff’s Department publicized a photo of the suspect wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, light pants, and a bandana over his face. Through investigation, detectives and the Yucca Valley Multiple Enforcement Team identified the suspect as Noel Reimers, 32, of Twentynine Palms. Detectives served a search warrant on a home in the 55500 block of 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday where they found Reimers and the clothing worn by the suspect during the robbery. Noel Reimers was arrested on suspicion of robbery, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $100,000.


NAVY CHANGES REGS ABOUT POSTING NUDE PHOTOS

Posting nude pictures of service members without consent is now, for all intents and purposes, a crime in the Navy and Marine Corps—a response to the nude photo-sharing scandal that surfaced when a reporter outed a private Facebook group of Marines and sailors that was used at times to swap nudes. An interim revision to Navy regulations prohibits Navy and Marine Corps personnel from posting intimate photos “if the person making the distribution or broadcast does so without legal justification or excuse,” the regulation reads. The statute details three conditions that will be considered a violation of Navy regulations, including if images are broadcast or transmitted: “with the intent to realize personal gain; with the intent to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the depicted person; or with reckless disregard as to whether the depicted person would be humiliated, harmed, intimidated, threatened, or coerced,” the regs read. The new regs, which were signed off by Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, go into effect immediately. It is characterized as interim until the next edition of Navy regulations is printed.
http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/ALNAVS/ALN2017/ALN17021.txt


FIREFIGHTERS TRAINING IN CONTROLLED BURNS IN TWENTYNINE PALMS NEXT WEEK

Most residents of rural areas are accustomed to seeing occasional “controlled burns” of unwanted brush and plant life. What’s not usually included, however, are buildings. Reporter David Haldane says that’s about to change…
If you happen to see smoke in Twentynine Palms next week, don’t be alarmed; it’s just the fire department burning down some houses.
It’s all part of a joint action by the city and the San Bernardino County Fire Deparment to benefit both. The firefighters get to train 40 new recruits in actual structure fires and the city gets rid of two duplexes and four single family dwellings standing in the way of Project Phoenix.
One of them, officials say, is among the nicest houses around.
Fortunately, the city compensated various owners at their properties’ assessed values. To accomplish the demolition by fire, Cholla, Smoketree, Yucca and Tamarisk Avenues will be closed between Highway 62 and Cactus Drive from April 24-28.
Oh, and a bit of advice from the fire department: if you see any smoke that you’re not sure comes from the training burns, please call 911.


GRUBSTAKE DAYS PARADE GRAND MARSHALS ANNOUNCED, ENTRY FORMS AVAILABLE

The organizers of the Grubstake Days parade have announced their grand marshals for 2017. Ed Hardesty Sr., and Art Miller Jr. will be leading the 67th annual parade down Highway 62 May 27. Ed Hardesty’s family has a 73-year history in the Morongo Basin; his mother was Yucca Valley’s first postmaster and chose the name for the town. Ed Hardesty took over the Hardesty’s store in 1968 from his father and ran it until his retirement in 2006.
Art Miller Junior’s family has a 62-year history in Yucca Valley. Miller began working in his father’s Western Hills Realty business in 1974 and he is now president of Yucca Valley Realty.
The Grubstake Days Parade will travel east on Highway 62 from Inca Trail to Sage Avenue, starting at 10 a.m. Entry forms for floats and participants are available from the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce. Call 760-365-6323.


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