High School football begins in earnest again tonight. The Yucca Valley High School Trojans will host Riverside Prep at home. The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats will travel away to Apple Valley to play Granite Hills High School. And the Joshua Springs High School Lightning will host Spring Mountain High School from Las Vegas at home tonight. All games begin at 7 p.m.
Twentynine Palms Recreation is taking registrations for its 2016 youth volleyball league. Girls and boys in the fourth through eighth grades can register at the Recreation Office at 74362 Joe Davis Drive, or online at www.29palms.org through Tuesday, September 6. Registration fee is $46 per participant. For information contact the Twentynine Palms Recreation Office at 760-367-7562.
A huge, community-wide yard sale is set for Morongo Valley tomorrow, Reporter Mike Lipsitz says come on down to Covington Park…
Trash collectors and treasure hunters will want to head to Morongo Valley’s community yard sale from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. That’s when all of Morongo Valley is invited to set up and sell at Covington Park, all over the park: in the pavilion, parking lot, on the grass. Come out to shop the tables, meet the fire fighters of the Morongo Valley Fire Department, the Basin’s only independent fire crew. Maybe have a hot dog and cool drink.
National Park Service supporters, visitors and staff are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service today at 413 parks nationwide. The NPS is inviting everyone to join the celebration by visiting a national park this week. There are hundreds of events taking place around the country to celebrate the centennial in unique, fun and engaging ways. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said, “The National Park Service is unlike any other federal agency. We serve not only as stewards of the nation’s greatest landscapes, but also as keepers of its cultural heritage.” Jarvis added, “This Centennial is a celebration of our founders and their foresight to create an organization that embodies our highest ideals, our most symbolic places, and stands as the best national park system in the world.” To help everyone find a park to explore, the National Park Service is offering free admission to all 413 national parks from today, August 25 through Sunday, August 28, as part of the 16 in 16 fee-free days. Park staff at our own Joshua Tree National Park Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms invited guests to join them at 10:00 a.m. this morning for birthday cake. To celebrate the 100th anniversary and to look ahead to the next 100 years, the NPS and National Park Foundation launched the Find Your Park campaign, inviting people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation’s natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Learn more about the campaign online by visiting www.FindYourPark.com.
The frustrations were evident at Tuesday’s meeting of the Morongo Unified School District board. The school district’s teachers are into their second year without a contract, and teachers and board members are exasperated that the two sides have not yet been able to reach an agreement. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more about the meeting…
The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meeting Tuesday night was preceded by a protest by teachers and parents—and two board members—who were urging the board to support a contract for teachers, who have been working without a contract for two years. The board learned at the meeting that student enrollment was reported at 7,844, which is below the projected enrollment by approximately 300 students. The district will continue to monitor enrollment through the 10-day count reporting period. The board approved the Consolidated Application and the Adult Education Block Grant Consortium Letter of Intent. This letter of intent will support the offering of classes by Copper Mountain College at the Monument High School facility. And finally, the board learned that the school district and the Morongo Teachers Association plans to meet Friday, August 26, to try to resolve the outstanding contract issues.
The Twentynine Palms City Council holds a special meeting tonight with only one item on the agenda: a resolution authorizing the city manager to accept property in preparation for Project Phoenix, a multi-million-dollar plan to revitalize the city’s commercial corridor along Highway 62. The city has already acquired several pieces of property standing in the project’s way, and expects to acquire several more. Tonight’s meeting gets underway 5:30 p.m. at City Hall on Adobe Road.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has received reports that a man claiming to represent CalFire is asking residents for donations to help victims of the Blue Cut Fire. The Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that CalFire is not soliciting donations, and that CalFire does not contact residents to ask for donations. Residents should not give anyone who contacts them any personal or banking information. If you have been contacted by anyone seeking donations on behalf of CalFire, call the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station at 760-366-4175 to report the fraudulent activity.
Theatre 29 announces auditions for the highly anticipated return of the eleventh incarnation of their much anticipated and highly successful Halloween haunt. Reporter Rebecca Havely has the audition’s details…
Director Cyrus Short has auditions planned for “Resurgence,” this year’s Halloween haunted house. Adventurous souls will explore a haunted mansion that was unknowingly built on top of an abandoned mine after its collapse. Fright fans will be pleased with this year’s improved special effects from previous “Haunts” along with a few new ones. The production team is seeking at least 25 performers and behind-the-scenes technicians, ages 16 and older only. Auditions will be held on Monday, August 29, beginning at 6 p.m. on the Theatre 29 main stage at 73637 Sullivan Road in Twentynine Palms. Dress comfortably to move around and be prepared to perform a cold reading if required. For more information, contact the Box Office at 760 361-4151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Halloween haunt, “Resurgence,” will come to “life” from 6:30 to 10 p.m., October 14 and will end Halloween night. Haunted house tours begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday nights October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29. Also Sunday and Monday October 30 and 31.
Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center will hold its weekly star party Saturday night, August 27. The event begins at 8 p.m. and will end about midnight, but you are encouraged to come when you can and leave when you want. Volunteers will set up manual and battery-operated telescopes and guests may use them or bring their own. Highlights will be Mars and Saturn, but visitors will also be able to see the sparkling Butterfly and Wild Duck clusters. Sky’s the Limit Observatory is located on Utah Trail, just north of the Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.
The Morongo Basin’s favorite R&B and soul band will be featured at a special fund-raiser for the Twentynine Palms Elks Lodge this Saturday. Reporter Edica Gonzales invites you to enjoy the sounds of Desert Sol…
The R&B and soul band Desert Sol will perform at a fundraising event Saturday for the Twentynine Palms Elk Lodge. Proceeds from the concert will go toward a much-needed new roof for the Elks Lodge. Other activities will include an outdoor barbecue, and a bounce house for the kids. Desert Sol is made up of musicians from Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, and Wonder Valley. The band will play rhythm and blues, soul, and funk music. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door. For more information, call 760-699-1861.
Coming up in high school sports today, the Joshua Springs volleyball team will play Noli Indian School at the Soboba Sports Complex. The match starts at 5:30.
Most everyone knows that nothing goes with baseball better than hotdogs, apple pie, and Ford. Assignment reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us how to enjoy these all-American favorites for a good cause…
Tri-Valley Little League and the Route 62 Cruiser’s invite you to the Tri-Valley Little League Car Show on Saturday, August 27, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Tri-Valley Little League Fields in Yucca Valley. Proceeds from the Car Show will be used to renovate the Little League’s snack bar which is outdated and out of code compliance. Snack bar operations are the greatest source of funding for the Little League, so bring the family out for hamburgers, hot dogs, and root beer floats among the custom cars. And if you own a custom car, enter to compete for Best in Show, Peoples Choice, Top Ten, and Work in Progress. The tax deductible entry fee is $25.
To download an entry form: http://socalcarculture.com/Images/082716TriValley.pdf
A long-time member of the Morongo Basin law enforcement community died Sunday. Frank Doherty, 82, served as a volunteer for the San Bernardino County Citizens on Patrol for 15 years. Prior to his volunteer service, Doherty was a California Highway Patrol officer for 36 years, and also served with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve for 24 years. Frank Doherty is survived by his wife, Lil, of 46 years, five children, 13 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. A celebration of life for Frank Doherty will be held this Saturday, August 27, at 1:30 p.m. at Grace Community Church, 6300 Ruth Drive in Yucca Valley.
Two Joshua Tree event promoters, one a candidate for public office, are conducting business illegally, according to the State of California. The Joshua Tree International Film Festival and the Joshua Tree Music Festivals both offer free event passes and perks in exchange for so called “volunteers” to work preparing for and working at their for-profit events. In response to an investigation by Z107.7 News, the State of California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Labor Standards enforcement said, quote – “Bartering for wages is not allowed in California as it is not legal for volunteers to perform services that benefit a for profit business.” In the case of the Joshua Tree Film Festival, operated by Yucca Valley Town Council Candidate Eric Quander, website pages had first claimed they were a non-profit until a query from Z107.7, then the non-profit references were removed. According to an Opinion letter posted on the DIR website, Chief Counsel H. Thomas Cadell Jr. said, “If the person performing the service is an employee, that person must be paid pursuant to Industrial Welfare Commission orders.” He went on to say, “The term “employee” and “volunteer” are at odds with each other since there is no expectation of payment by a volunteer.” In a letter to Z107.7 News, State Labor Representative Paola Laverde said, “Such enterprises are subject to the Industrial Welfare Commission Order and volunteers may not be utilized, as is the case in these two situations.” Z107.7 News contacted both promoters for comment. Joshua Tree Music Festival promoter Barnett English said, “Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We’ve now embarked on our own investigation into proper Work Exchange / Volunteer programs, and will do whatever it takes to operate in compliance with the California DIR.” Film festival promoter Eric Quander said, “I was not aware. I and my staff will look into it immediately, and adjust the business structure accordingly. Understand, it (is) not I [sic] or the festival’s intention to engage in any illegal or untoward practice.”
The Twentynine Palms City Council met in regular session last night. Reporter David Haldane said the question of whether Twentynine Palms should spend money to market Joshua Tree dominated the meeting.
Joshua Tree or Twentynine Palms? If you were a would-be tourist, which would hold the most sway? That was the question of the hour last night as the Twentynine Palms City Council discussed the ins and outs of a $40,000 investment in something called the Joshua Tree Gateway Communities Marketing Process aimed at luring more tourists to town.
If the purpose is to help Twentynine Palms, some council members wanted to know, why the heck is it called Joshua Tree? The answer, according to the program’s promoters: because those are the two most famous words around.
In the end, the Council reaffirmed an earlier decision to spend the money despite dissenting votes from members Cora Heiser and McArthur Wright. In other actions, it approved bingo at the Community Food Pantry and agreed to spend money on relocating residents displaced by Project Phoenix.
Yesterday in San Bernardino, county supervisors pulled the plug on the controversial Soda Mountain solar project, and said no to marijuana. In a late afternoon 3-to-2 split decision, the board voted not to certify the project planned for 2,000 acres—a stone’s throw from the Mojave National Preserve. The vote followed a public hearing where supervisors heard testimony from local conservation groups and others opposed to the project. Our own third district supervisor James Ramos voted in favor of the project, but was outnumbered by those who felt the solar project would come at too great an environmental cost with little to no benefit to the surrounding area. The Board also voted to ban marijuana, even if the state allows it. Marijuana cultivation and sale will remain illegal in unincorporated areas of the county even if state voters approve recreational marijuana. County staff wrote the updated ordinance so that a possible change in state law would not alter the prohibition on marijuana in unincorporated areas that’s been in force since 2011. If state voters approve it in November, Proposition 64 would legalize recreational marijuana throughout California. But it would also give local governments the right to add their own restrictions or bans. State law does require some limited access. For instance, San Bernardino County will allow qualified patients and holders of medical marijuana identification cards and primary caregivers (for no more than five patients) to cultivate as many as 12 plants per patient, which must be indoors. The ordinance allows no more than 24 plants per residence.
The Twentynine palms Water District Board meets in regular session tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says most of the meeting will discuss preparing for emergencies…
At tonight’s meeting of the Twentynine Palms Water District, the board is expected to adopt a resolution intended to assure the safety of employee families during an emergency, so that employees are available to report to the water district. And in a related measure, the board is expected to adopt a district-wide emergency response plan. In other business, directors will select a board vice president from among their ranks. Those items and others are in addition to routine items on the consent agenda Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the District Office on the south side of Hatch Road in Twentynine Palms.
A Landers man was arrested Saturday afternoon, accused of selling marijuana and making criminal threats. According to a Sheriff’s report, a resident in the 58900 block of Mitch Lane in Landers called about 8:30 a.m. to report that her neighbor, Jay Wilson, 50, threatened to shoot her. When deputies questioned Wilson, they found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a large sum of money. After an investigation, Jay Wilson was arrested on suspicion of felony sales of marijuana and making criminal threats, and on four miscellaneous warrants, booked at the Morongo Basin, with his bail set at $60,000.
A Yucca Valley man was arrested Friday afternoon, accused of assaulting his wife. According to a Sheriff’s report, Forrest Carter, 32, became enraged about noon when his wife of one year admonished him for the way he was treating his 12-year-old daughter. The report states Carter grabbed his wife by the arms and pushed her to the couch, then took her cell phone away, and punched her in the face. His wife said that last week he threw a lighted cigarette at her which burned her. After an investigation, Forrest Carter was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.
Two people were arrested early Monday morning, accused of transporting drugs. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy conducted a traffic stop near Tamarisk Avenue and Highway 62 in Twentynine Palms about 2 a.m. Monday morning. Neither the driver, Marty Crew, 36, or the passenger, Tasha Perales, 36, were wearing their seatbelts. During a search of the vehicle, the deputy found a digital scale, heroin, concentrated THC known as “honey oil” or wax, and drug paraphernalia. Neither Crew nor Perales admitted to owning the drugs. After an investigation, Marty Crew and Tasha Perales were arrested for investigation of transporting heroin, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with their bail set at $20,000 each.