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MORONGO BASIN LOCAL NEWS FOR

MONDAY, JULY 21, 2008

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SHERIFF’S RAM A STOLEN HI-DESERT STAR VAN IN HIGH SPEED CHASE
HOSTILITY AND SUSPICION GREET LA DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER PRESIDENT IN YUCCA VALLEY
SURPRISE STORMS CLOSE ROADS, CUT POWER, FLOODING REPORTED
DESERT LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP SCHEDULE FOR THIS SATURDAY
COUNTY DEPORTS MORE JAILED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
WE SUMMARIZE PUBLIC TOURS OFFERED BY HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT
29 PALMS ROTARY PRESENTS PROGRAM ON 29 PALMS MARINE CORPS BASE TRAINING *

SHERIFF’S RAM A STOLEN HI-DESERT STAR VAN IN HIGH SPEED CHASE
A HI-DESERT PUBLISHING DELIVERY VAN WAS STOLEN SATURDAY MORNING AS THE DRIVER WAS DROPPING OFF PAPERS IN LANDERS. DEPUTY ALLEN FREEMAN SAID THAT AROUND 2:50 AM, BECKY HUFFMAN WAS AT THE MOJAVE MARKET ON RECHE ROAD AND HIGHWAY 247 DROPPING OFF PAPERS. HUFFMAN WAS OUT OF THE VAN WHEN THE SUSPECT, 31 YEAR OLD PAUL MAKI JUMPED IN, AND TOOK OFF. AT AROUND 2:57, DEPUTY MIKE CUSACK SPOTTED THE VAN ON OUTER HIGHWAY 62 NEAR LA CRESCENTA DR. DEPUTY CUSACK ATTEMPTED TO STOP THE VAN, AND THE CHASE WAS ON… EAST ON HIGHWAY 62 AT SPEEDS UP TO 120-MILES PER HOUR. A SPIKE STRIP WAS DEPLOYED AT EL REPOSO IN JOSHUA TREE FLATTENING ONE OF THE VAN’S TIRES. THAT DIDN’T SLOW THE VAN AND THE PURSUIT CONTINUED EAST THROUGH 29 PALMS AND BEYOND. AT MILE MARKER 59, THE VAN LOST 2 MORE TIRES, AND THE DRIVER SLOWED TO 35-MILES PER HOUR. SHERIFFS’ OFFICERS APPLIED A PURSUIT INTERVENTION TECHNIQUE, OR PIT, RAMMING THE REAR OF THE VAN, BRINGING THE CHASE TO AN END. THE VAN BRIEFLY CAUGHT FIRE, WHICH WAS EXTINGUISHED BY DEPUTIES AT THE SCENE. PAUL MAKI WAS ARRESTED AND BOOKED INTO THE MORONGO BASIN JAIL FOR INVESTIGATION OF GRAND THEFT AUTO AND FELONY EVADING. HE IS BEING HELD ON $50,000 BAIL.

HOSTILITY AND SUSPICION GREET LA DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER PRESIDENT IN YUCCA VALLEY
RANCOR AND RUDENESS GREETED THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOS ANGLES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER, THE LADWP, AT A COMMUNITY INFORMATIONAL WORKSHOP SATURDAY MORNING IN YUCCA VALLEY. THE MEETING HAD BEEN CALLED BY THE DWG TO EXPLAIN HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL PLANS TO BRING GEOTHERMAL POWER FROM THE SALTON SEA TO HESPERIA. Z107-7 REPORTER TAMI ROLEFF WAS AT THE VERY WELL-ATTENDED MEETING AND FILES THIS FIRST OF A 2 PART REPORT… IT WAS A HOSTILE AND SUSPICIOUS STANDING-ROOM-ONLY CROWD OF ABOUT 500 PEOPLE THAT GREETED LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER’S GENERAL MANAGER DAVID NAHAI SATURDAY AT THE FIRST PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT THE GREENPATH NORTH PROJECT. GREENPATH NORTH IS A MASSIVE POWER LINE PROJECT THAT WILL BRING GEOTHERMAL AND SOLAR POWER FROM THE SALTON SEA AREA TO LOS ANGELES, AND THE HUGE HIGH-VOLTAGE POWER LINES COULD GO RIGHT THROUGH MORONGO VALLEY, YUCCA VALLEY, PIONEERTOWN, AND OTHER HIGH DESERT COMMUNITIES. SATURDAY’S MEETING AT YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL WAS THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY ANGRY AREA RESIDENTS HAD TO CONFRONT NAHAI AND LADWP AND THEY LET HIM HAVE IT. SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE PROJECT WERE TWO CITY COUNCILMEN FROM DESERT HOT SPRINGS, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE COUNTY OF SAN BERNARDINO, MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST, BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY, THE WILD LANDS CONSERVANCY, HAM RADIO OPERATORS, AND THE NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION. RESIDENT AFTER RESIDENT ASKED NAHAI TWO QUESTIONS: HOW DOES THIS POWER LINE PROJECT FOR LOS ANGELES BENEFIT THE HIGH DESERT? AND WHY, AFTER FINDING LADWP SURVEY MARKERS SECRETLY PLACED ON THEIR LAND LAST YEAR—AND WHICH LADWP THEN DENIED HAVING PLACED—WHY SHOULD THEY TRUST LADWP OR ANYTHING HE SAYS? NAHAI, WHO TOLD THE AUDIENCE THAT HE TOOK OVER AS GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE POWER AGENCY LAST DECEMBER, ALMOST A YEAR AFTER THE SURVEY MARKERS WERE PLACED ON RESIDENTS’ PRIVATE PROPERTY, SAID HE WISHED THIS MEETING HAD HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO. HE ADDED THAT HE ORDERED THE SURVEY MARKERS REMOVED IN APRIL, AND IN JUNE HE SUBMITTED PROPOSALS FOR SIX POSSIBLE POWER LINE ROUTES. THESE POWER LINES ARE NECESSARY, HE TOLD THE AUDIENCE, BECAUSE LADWP IS TRYING TO RESPOND TO A STATE LAW THAT REQUIRES A REDUCTION IN DEPENDENCE ON COAL-GENERATED ENERGY. GEOTHERMAL AND SOLAR ENERGY ARE GREEN, RENEWABLE SOURCES OF ENERGY THAT WILL REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES AND GLOBAL WARMING, A GOAL THAT WILL BENEFIT EVERYONE, HE ADDED. NAHAI CLOSED HIS PRESENTATION BY OFFERING HIS OWN PERSONAL SINCERE APOLOGY FOR THE SECRET SURVEY MARKERS THAT LADWP HAD PLACED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. HE GAVE A PLEDGE TO LISTEN TO THEIR CONCERNS AND SUGGESTIONS TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT, AND THEN A PLEA FOR RESIDENTS TO TALK TO LADWP IN AN ORDERLY WAY WITHOUT ANGER. IT WAS A PLEA THAT MANY AUDIENCE MEMBERS IGNORED, AS THEY HECKLED HIM AND SOME SPOKE SO RUDELY THAT HE REFUSED TO ADDRESS THEIR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS. TOMORROW, MORE ON THE SIX PROPOSED POWER LINE ROUTES.

WE WILL HAVE THE SECOND PART IN THIS REPORT TOMORROW HERE ON Z107-7 RADIO

SURPRISE STORMS CLOSE ROADS, CUT POWER, FLOODING REPORTED
SURPRISE DESERT THUNDERSTORMS WANDERED THROUGH THE MORONGO BASIN SUNDAY LEAVING SOME MINOR FLOODING AND SPORADIC POWER OUTAGES. IN TWENTYNINE PALMS, CITY ROAD CREWS REPORTED FLOODING ON ADOBE ROAD WITH TRAFFIC DIVERTED FOR A SHORT TIME. JOSHUA TREE WAS SPARED HEAVY RAINFALL BUT DID EXPERIENCE POWER OUTAGES. IN THE NEARBY COACHELLA VALLEY, THE STORMS WERE MORE VIOLENT, KNOCKING OUT POWER TO SOME 4,500 PEOPLE AND FLOODING ROADS, HOMES AND BUSINESSES. THE SWIFT-MOVING WATERS CAUGHT THREE DRIVERS IN PALM SPRINGS AND LEFT THEIR CARS STUCK IN THE ROAD, FIRE CREWS HAD TO RESCUE ONE OF THE DRIVERS WHO WAS UNABLE TO GET OUT OF THE CAR. WITHIN THE SPACE OF AN HOUR, THE PALM SPRINGS AREA RECEIVED .86 INCHES OF RAIN, ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE. CATHEDRAL CITY, INDIO AND DESERT HOT SPRINGS WERE THE HARDEST HIT. ROADS IN INDIO WERE CLOSED DUE TO FLOODING AND MUD SLIDES, AND THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL RESPONDED TO ROCK SLIDES ALONG HIGHWAY 74 IN PALM DESERT AND HIGHWAY 243 IN IDYLLWILD.

DESERT LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP SCHEDULE FOR THIS SATURDAY
WITH WATER CONSERVATION THE ORDER OF THE DAY, A SERIES OF DESERT LANDSCAPE WORKSHOPS ARE BEING OFFERED LOCALLY, WITH THE FIRST PLANNED FOR THIS SATURDAY. REPORTER KARL GARDNER INVITES YOU TO PARTICIPATE.... WITH LANDSCAPE IRRIGATION ONE OF THE LARGEST DRAWS ON DOMESTIC WATER USAGE, COUPLED WITH DIMINISHING WATER SUPPLIES, THE SUMMER TREE INSTITUTE IS OFFERING A SERIES OF DESERT LANDSCAPE WORKSHOPS, BEGINNING JULY 26TH. SPONSORED BY JOSHUA BASIN AND HI DESERT WATER DISTRICTS, ALONG WITH COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE AND THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER AWARENESS AND CONSERVATION, THE SERIES OF WORKSHOPS WILL HELP YOU TRANSFORM YOUR YARD INTO A BEAUTIFUL WATER-WISE SANCTUARY. THE FIRST WORKSHOP IN THE SERIES, PLANNING AND DESIGNING YOUR LANDSCAPE, IS BEING HELD SATURDAY MORNING JULY 26TH FROM 10 TILL NOON AT THE YUCCA VALLEY COMMUNITY CENTER. FOLLOW-ON WORKSHOPS ARE SCHEDULE THROUGH THE SUMMER AND FALL. THE COST IS JUST $12, WHICH IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE. FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL THE HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT AT 365-8333.

COUNTY DEPORTS MORE JAILED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
MORE JAILED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE BEING DEPORTED FROM SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY AND THE SCREENING PROGRAM IS NOW COMING HERE TO THE MORONGO BASIN JAIL. SHERIFF'S STATISTICS SHOW MORE THAN 7,000 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CRIMINALS HAVE BEEN FUNNELED FROM COUNTY JAILS BACK TO THEIR HOME COUNTRIES IN THE PAST TWO YEARS. THE FEDERAL PROGRAM WAS IMPLEMENTED IN 2006, WITH SEVEN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SHERIFF'S EMPLOYEES WORKING FULL-TIME TO SCREEN FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND EXPEDITE THEIR DEPORTATIONS. "IT MAKES FOR A SAFER COMMUNITY FOR ALL," SAID SHERIFF'S LT. DENNIS SHAFFER, WHO OVERSEES THE PROGRAM. "THE MAJORITY OF THE ONES DEPORTED ARE SERIOUS OFFENDERS." A THIRD OF THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DEPORTED SINCE JANUARY 2006 WERE CONVICTED OF VIOLENT CRIMES SUCH AS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, LEWD ACTS UPON A CHILD OR ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON. MOST OF THE REMAINDER WERE CONVICTED OF DRUG VIOLATIONS, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND BURGLARY. IF CONVICTED OF A CRIME, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS SERVE THEIR TIME BEFORE OFFICIALS ESCORT THEM BACK TO THEIR OWN COUNTRIES. THE PROGRAM IS CREDITED FOR IDENTIFYING MORE THAN 60,000 PEOPLE IN JAILS SUSPECTED OF BEING IN THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY. THE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS RECENTLY APPROVED SPENDING $60,000 ON TWO-WAY CAMERAS TO BE INSTALLED AT JAILS HERE IN THE MORONGO BASIN, BARSTOW, AND VICTORVILLE. OFFICIALS WILL THEN BE ABLE TO SCREEN AND INTERVIEW POSSIBLE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AT THOSE JAILS.

WE SUMMARIZE PUBLIC TOURS OFFERED BY HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT
Z107-7 REPORTER DAN STORK RECENTLY TOOK A TOUR OF THE FACILITIES AND SYSTEMS FOR THE HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT. WE HAVE BEEN RUNNING AN OCCASIONAL SERIES FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS HIGHLIGHTING FEATURES OF THE TOUR. TODAY, IN THE LAST OF THE SERIES, DAN SUMS UP THE WATER SYSTEM TOUR... IN ADDITION TO ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT WAS PROVIDED IN POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS AT HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT HEADQUARTERS DURING A RECENT TOUR, ATTENDEES WERE TAKEN ON A BUS RIDE AROUND THE DISTRICT. OPERATIONS MANAGER GREG SNYDER SERVED AS THE GUIDE FOR THE TOUR, WHICH STOPPED AT A RECHARGING BASIN, A RESERVOIR TANK, THE STATION WHERE MOJAVE WATER AGENCY WATER IS TAKEN INTO THE HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT SYSTEM, AND AN OPERATIONS YARD. AT THE OPERATIONS YARD, THE TOUR GUESTS WERE SHOWN DRILLING EQUIPMENT, TYPICAL CONNECTION EQUIPMENT, REPAIR DEMONSTRATIONS, THE NITRATE TREATMENT PLANT, AND A CHLORINATION PLANT. THE DAY BEGAN WITH A CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST, AND ENDED WITH LUNCH AND A PRESENTATION ON THE STATUS OF WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANS BY JOE GLOWITZ. PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER JENNIFER CUSACK SAID THAT MORE TOURS ARE PLANNED, WITH SUMMER TOURS TARGETING SCHOOLTEACHERS.

29 PALMS ROTARY PRESENTS PROGRAM ON 29 PALMS MARINE CORPS BASE TRAINING *

*AVAILABLE ON AUDIO FILE ONLY

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