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MORONGO BASIN LOCAL NEWS FOR

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 2008

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EXTREME HEAT KILLS ONE, INJURES ANOTHER NEAR PARKER DAM
YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES HOOKAH BAR
JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN VISITS 29 PALMS, PLANE CASES STIR IN PALM SPRINGS
MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY BREAKS GROUND ON NEW YUCCA VALLEY TRANSIT CENTER
MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY BOARD MEETS TOMORROW *
29 PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION POSTPONES LAND USE STUDY SESSION
HI-DESERT AND JOSHUA BASIN WATER BOARDS MEET TONIGHT *
YUCCA VALLEY TOWN AND HI-DESERT WATER TALK WATER AVAILABILITY
SUMMER DAY CAMP OFFERED IN YUCCA VALLEY *
LOCAL AUTHOR TO TALK ABOUT THE OIL INDUSTRY TOMORROW
MORONGO BASIN HUMANE SOCIETY PLANS GOLF TOURNAMENT *

EXTREME HEAT KILLS ONE, INJURES ANOTHER NEAR PARKER DAM
THE EXTREME DESERT HEAT APPEARS TO HAVE KILLED AN ELDERLY WOMAN AND SEVERELY INJURED HER HUSBAND IN NEARBY PARKER, ARIZONA MONDAY. AUTHORITIES SAY HEAT WAS A FACTOR IN THE DEATH OF JOYCE SANDERS, 77, AND INJURIES TO HER HUSBAND, VIRGIL, 90. THE COUPLE WANDERED FROM THEIR CAR NEAR PARKER DAM ON A DAY WHEN AREA TEMPERATURES HIT 116 DEGREES. SOMETIME MONDAY, THE ORACLE, ARIZ., COUPLE WERE DRIVING ON BLACK MEADOW LANDING ROAD, ON THE CALIFORNIA SIDE OF THE COLORADO RIVER, WHEN VIRGIL STOPPED AND GOT OUT OF THE CAR, SAID SGT. TIM SMITH, OF THE SHERIFFS' COLORADO RIVER STATION. FOR UNKNOWN REASONS, VIRGIL LEFT HIS WIFE INSIDE THEIR FORD TAURUS AND DIDN'T RETURN. SO JOYCE, 77, TOOK OFF IN SEARCH OF HER HUSBAND. AT 7:07 P.M., A MAN DRIVING SAW THE EMPTY CAR. "HE FELT THAT IT WAS ODD THAT THE CAR WAS UNOCCUPIED AND THE DOOR WAS OPEN," SMITH SAID. THE MOTORIST FOUND THE COUPLE 50 YARDS FROM THEIR CAR AT THE BOTTOM OF A HILLSIDE. JOYCE SANDERS WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. VIRGIL IS IN EXTREMELY CRITICAL CONDITION AT THE PHOENIX BURN CENTER AFTER SUFFERING SECOND- AND THIRD-DEGREE BURNS FROM THE SUN AND LYING ON THE GROUND. LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AND HEALTH EXPERTS SAY THE INCIDENT POINTS OUT THE DANGERS OF SUMMER'S EXTREME HEAT

YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES HOOKAH BAR
THE YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION GAVE A THUMBS UP TO AN APPLICATION FOR A HOOKAH BAR LAST NIGHT. REPORTER TAMI ROLEFF SAID DISCUSSION ABOUT CHAIN LINK FENCING AT HOME DEPOT WAS POSTPONED... IF YOU’RE A FAN OF HOOKAH BARS, YOU MAY BE BLOWING SMOKE SOON. THE YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION VOTED LAST NIGHT TO ALLOW HOOKAH BARS IN THE TOWN AFTER REVIEWING THE POLICIES FROM OTHER NEARBY CITIES. HOOKAH BARS ARE SMOKING LOUNGES WHERE PATRONS SMOKE FLAVORED TOBACCO OUT OF A COMMUNAL WATER PIPE. THE COMMISSIONERS APPROVED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HOOKAH BARS IN GENERAL COMMERCIAL AREAS OF YUCCA VALLEY WITH A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT THAT WOULD ALLOW THE TOWN TO REGULATE THE HOURS OF OPERATION, AGE LIMITS, AND FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT IN THE SMOKING LOUNGES. IN OTHER BUSINESS, HOME DEPOT REQUESTED THAT ITS HEARING ABOUT WHETHER CHAIN LINK FENCING IS ALLOWED AROUND ITS RETENTION BASIN BE CONTINUED UNTIL THE COMMISSION’S NEXT REGULAR MEETING, WHICH WILL BE JULY 15.


JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN VISITS 29 PALMS, PLANE CASES STIR IN PALM SPRINGS
THE TOP OFFICER IN THE MILITARY, NAVY ADM. MICHAEL G. MULLEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, WAS AT THE TWENTYNINE PALMS MARINE BASE YESTERDAY VISITING MARINES, ACCORDING TO THE OFFICE OF THE JOINT CHIEFS. THE VISIT CAUSED A STIR IN PALM SPRINGS WHEN A U.S. AIR FORCE PLANE WITH MARKINGS SIMILAR TO THE PRESIDENT'S AIR FORCE ONE PARKED ON THE TARMAC OF PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT MOST OF TUESDAY. THE PLANE'S PRESENCE ON THE TARMAC HAD MANY SPECULATING ABOUT WHAT TOP GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL MAY BE VISITING. THE MODIFIED BOEING 757-200, CALLED A C-32A, IS ONE OF FOUR SUCH PLANES BASED AT ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, MD. THE PLANE IS PART OF THE AIR FORCE'S "BLUE AND WHITE" FLEET THAT'S DESIGNATED FOR "DISTINGUISHED VISITORS" SUCH AS CABINET MEMBERS OR GENERALS. AIRPORT DIRECTOR THOMAS NOLAN SAID AIRPORT OFFICIALS AND STAFF HAD NO ADVANCE NOTICE OF MULLEN'S ARRIVAL TUESDAY. "IT LITERALLY CAME IN OUT OF THIN AIR," NOLAN SAID. "WE WERE ALL SURPRISED, BUT DELIGHTED TO ACCOMMODATE THEM." PRESIDENT BUSH NAMED ADMIRAL MULLEN THE 17TH CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF LAST OCTOBER. MULLEN SERVES AS THE PRINCIPAL MILITARY ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT, THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, AND THE HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL.

MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY BREAKS GROUND ON NEW YUCCA VALLEY TRANSIT CENTER
THE MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY, THE MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY, BROKE GROUND ON THEIR YUCCA VALLEY TRANSIT CENTER YESTERDAY. REPORTER KARL GARDNER WAS THERE... ADORNED WITH HARD HATS AND WIELDING GILDED SHOVELS, LOCAL, COUNTY AND STATE OFFICIALS TURNED THE FIRST SPADE OF DIRT TUESDAY MORNING, MARKING THE START OF CONSTRUCTION ON MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITIES’ NEW TRANSIT CENTER. THE MILLION DOLLAR PLUS PROJECT, AT THE CORNER OF YUCCA TRAIL AND AIRWAY AVENUE, WILL BE THE HUB OF MBTA’S WEST END ROUTES. MBTA’S GENERAL MANAGER JOE MEER MARKED THE OCCASION BY SAYING, "WE’RE REALLY HAPPY TO BE MOVING INTO OUR NEW HOME". 8 BUS BAYS ALONG WITH 2 PUBLIC SHADE SHELTERS WILL OUTFIT THE NEW CENTER THAT WAS BEEN FUNDED IN PART BY GRANTS FROM SANBAG, SAN BERNARDINO ASSOCIATED GOVERNMENTS, AND THE STATE.

MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY BOARD MEETS TOMORROW *

29 PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION POSTPONES LAND USE STUDY SESSION
THE 29 PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION DELAYED A STUDY SESSION ON LAND USE DEFINITIONS WAS POSTPONED LAST NIGHT. REPORTER TERRY BIGLER WAS AT THE BRIEF MEETING...A FAIRLY BRIEF MEETING WAS HELD BY THE 29 PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION TUESDAY EVENING. THE CONSENT CALENDAR WAS ACCEPTED AND APPROVED INCLUDING A REQUEST BY FRANK LACHAPELLE FOR A ONE YEAR EXTENSION ON A TENTATIVE TRACT MAP. NEXT ON THE AGENDA WERE PUBLIC HEARINGS AND APPROVAL FOR THE PHASING OF STREET IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA VIPASANNA CENTER, A 55,000 SQUARE FOOT MEDITATION CENTER AT 68561 29 PALMS HIGHWAY. AND FINALLY, A STUDY SESSION TO DISCUSS LAND USE DEFINITIONS FROM THE DEVELOPMENT CODE WAS POSTPONED TO THE NEXT MEETING TO ALLOW THE COMMISSION MEMBERS TO COMPILE LISTS OF NEW AND UN-FAMILIAR DEFINITIONS.

HI-DESERT WATER BOARDS MEET TONIGHT
A BUSY AGENDA FACES THE HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT BOARD, MEETING THIS EVENING AT DISTRICT OFFICES ON THE HIGHWAY AT INCA TRAIL, STARTING AT 6. FIRST UP, THE BOARD WILL CONSIDER AN UPDATE TO THE DISTRICT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY POLICY, REVIEW A DRAFT AGREEMENT WITH THE TOWN AND STATE ON SEPTIC TANK USAGE REGULATIONS, THEN SET APPROPRIATION LIMITS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008 – 2009. MOVING ON THE BOARD WILL LOOK AT APPROVING A CUSTOMER SURVEY CONTRACT, RECEIVE AN UP DATE ON PROPOSED SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEMS, CONSIDER A LETTER IN SUPPORT OF WATER BONDS, THE DISCUSS APPROVAL OF CONTRACT FOR A TECHNICAL STUDY OF THE DISTRICT’S NITRATE TREATMENT PLANT, DAMAGED DURING FLOODING BACK IN 2002. A CLOSED SESSION FOLLOWS TO EVALUATE GENERAL MANAGER ED MUZIK.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER BOARDS MEET TONIGHT *

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN AND HI-DESERT WATER TALK WATER AVAILABILITY
2 YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS AND 2 HI-DESERT WATER BOARD MEMBERS MET IN WHAT IS CALLED A 2+2 SESSION YESTERDAY TO DISCUSS WATER ISSUES OF JOINT CONCERN. REPORTER KARL GARDNER SAID AVAILABILITY IS THE CONCERN... WATER AVAILABILITY WAS THE CHIEF TOPIC, AS 2 MEMBERS FROM THE HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT AND THE YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL, SAT DOWN YESTERDAY TO DISCUSS ITEMS OF MUTUAL INTEREST AND CONCERN. COUNCIL MEMBER LORI HERBEL BEGAN WITH A SUMMARY OF GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER’S RECENT DROUGHT DECLARATION, THEN QUESTIONED FIGURES FURNISHED BY THE MOJAVE WATER AGENCY ON THE AMOUNT WATER HI DESERT WATER WILL SEE IN THE FUTURE. HI DESERT WATER’S GENERAL MANAGER ED MUZIK SAID THAT THE WATER ALLOCATIONS FROM THE STATE WILL STAY AT CURRENT LEVELS FOR THIS YEAR, BUT FUTURE ALLOTMENTS COULD CHANGE. ON FUTURE WATER AVAILABILITY DIRECTOR WADE WHITE SAID, "NOBODY KNOWS. WE DON’T KNOW, MOJAVE DOESN’T KNOW, EVEN WATER AUTHORITIES AT THE SATE LEVEL DON’T KNOW." OTHER DISCUSSIONS DEALT WITH AN AGREEMENT WITH THE STATE, TOWN AND DISTRICT ON HOW TO HANDLE CURRENT AND FUTURE SEPTIC SYSTEMS UNTIL THE SEWAGE PLANT COMES ONLINE, AND THE SEWAGE PLANT’S COLLECTION SYSTEM.

SUMMER DAY CAMP OFFERED IN YUCCA VALLEY *

LOCAL AUTHOR TO TALK ABOUT THE OIL INDUSTRY TOMORROW
A TIMELY SUBJECT FOR DISCUSSION AT THE YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY TOMORROW. LOCAL AUTHOR JAY BERNE WILL DISCUSS HIS BOOK, OIL: FROM BOON TO BANE, TOMORROW. REPORTER DAN STORK PULLS UP TO THE PUMP... LOCAL AUTHOR JAY BERN WILL DELIVER A TIMELY PRESENTATION TITLED "OIL: FROM BOON TO BANE" AT THE YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY ON TUESDAY JUNE 19TH AT 6 PM. MR. BERN IS THE AUTHOR OF "BITTERSWEET CRUDE", WHICH REFLECTS HIS KNOWLEDGE OF MANY FACETS OF THE OIL INDUSTRY. HE IS A RETIRED ENGINEER WHO HAS WORKED ON INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS FOR THE UNITED NATION, THE WORLD BANK, AND VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS. MR. BERN’S BOOKS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE, WITH PROCEEDS BENEFITING THE FRIENDS OF THE YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY.

MORONGO BASIN HUMANE SOCIETY PLANS GOLF TOURNAMENT *

*AVAILABLE ON AUDIO FILE ONLY

 

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