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TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2008

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POWERFUL STORM POUNDS 29 PALMS, CITY DECLARES EMERGENCY
YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION LOOKS AT MAJOR ADDITIONS TO VALLEY COMMUNITY CHAPEL
DESERT HOT SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL MAY PASS ANTI-GREEN PATH RESOLUTION TONIGHT
ARIZONA WOMAN DIES IN SINGLE CAR ROLLOVER EAST OF TWENTYNINE PALMS
MAJOR INJURY CRASH IN YUCCA VALLEY
TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION EXPECTED TO DENY NEW APARTMENT BUILDING
1200 TWENTYNINE PALMS MARINES GET DEPLOYMENT EXTENDED 30 DAYS
MOVE AFOOT TO BREAK UP COUNTY EMPLOYEES UNION
JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT CITIZENS COMMITTEE MEETS TONIGHT
BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY LOOKS AT CHARGES AND FEES TOMORROW AFTERNOON *
TWENTYNINE PALMS VOLLEYBALL WILL BEGIN PRACTICE MONDAY *

POWERFUL STORM POUNDS 29 PALMS, CITY DECLARES EMERGENCY
A POWERFUL STORM POUNDED THE TWENTYNINE PALMS AREA MONDAY, CAUSING WIDE SPREAD FLOODING, ROAD CLOSURES, AND POWER OUTAGES. THE RAIN BEGAN TO FALL AROUND NOON AS A HUGE THUNDERSTORM PARKED OVER 29 PALMS, THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ESTIMATES THAT UP TO 4 INCHES FELL, AT A RATE OF ABOUT 11/4 INCHES EVERY 40 MINUTES. FIRE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL PERFORMED A SWIFT WATER RESCUE NEAR THE BACK GATE OF THE MARINE BASE AFTER A WOMAN’S VEHICLE BECAME MIRED IN WATER AND MUD. AT ONE TIME WATER AND DEBRIS SOME 6 INCHES DEEP WERE FLOWING ACROSS THE HIGHWAY AT INDIAN COVE, STATE ROUTE 62 WAS CLOSED BETWEEN SUNFAIR ROAD IN JOSHUA TREE AND BERMUDA AVENUE IN 29 PALMS FOR ABOUT 3 HOURS UNTIL CAL-TRANS COULD CLEAN UP MUD AND DEBRIS. ONE RESIDENT ON RAYMOND WAY LOST THE ROOF OF A CARPORT DUE TO STRONG WINDS. A LIGHTNING STRIKE SET A PALM TREE ON FIRE NEAR THE TWENTYNINE PALMS ELKS LODGE, IT WAS QUICKLY PUT OUT. JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK OFFICIALS CLOSED THE PARK ROAD FROM THE TWENTYNINE PALMS ENTRANCE TO THE PINTO WYE AFTER IT WASHED OUT. ADOBE ROAD WAS CLOSED BETWEEN AMBOY ROAD AND INDIAN TRAIL AFTER THREE VEHICLES WERE TRAPPED BY UP TO 3 FEET OF MUD. LIGHTNING STRIKES LEFT THOUSANDS WITHOUT POWER IN PARTS OF TWENTYNINE PALMS, AMBOY, YUCCA VALLEY JOHNSON VALLEY AND LANDERS. THE CITY OPENED A COOL CENTER AT THE SENIOR CENTER BECAUSE OF THE POWER OUTAGES. THE TWENTYNINE PALMS MARINE BASE CLOSED BOTH GATES TO OUTBOUND TRAFFIC DUE TO FLOODING FOR A SHORT TIME UNTIL A DETOUR COULD BE ARRANGED. THE CITY OF 29 PALMS PROCLAIMED A LOCAL EMERGENCY TO ASK FOR INTERAGENCY ASSISTANCE AND FUNDING. THE CITY ESTIMATES DAMAGES AT WELL ABOVE $150,000.00 TO THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE ALONE. HOMEOWNER LOSSES COULD WELL BE IN THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. CITY MANAGER MICHAEL TREE SAID INITIAL CLEANUP EFFORTS TODAY WILL BE ON ADOBE ROAD, MESQUITE SPRINGS ROAD, AND TWO MILE ROAD. CREWS WILL ALSO BE WORKING ON THE HANSEN TRACK AREA WHERE LARGE AMOUNTS OF DEBRIS WERE LEFT ON THE ROADWAYS TO ASSURE ACCESS FOR EMERGENCY VEHICLES. THEY ARE ASKING FOR PATIENCE DURING THE INTENSE CLEAN-UP EFFORT.

YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION LOOKS AT MAJOR ADDITIONS TO VALLEY COMMUNITY CHAPEL
THE YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION MEETS TONIGHT, REPORTER TAMI ROLEFF SAYS THE WILL TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT A MAJOR ADDITION TO THE VALLEY COMMUNITY CHAPEL...
AT TONIGHT’S YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING, A HEARING WILL BE HELD TO CONSIDER A REQUEST TO AMEND THE CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR AN ADDITION TO VALLEY COMMUNITY CHAPEL AT 59205 YUCCA TRAIL IN YUCCA VALLEY. THE ADDITION IS A 1,682 SQUARE FOOT SECOND STORY TO THE CHURCH’S MULTIPURPOSE ROOM AS PART OF A 10-YEAR, 3-PHASE PROJECT WHICH ALSO INCLUDES A 10,800 SQUARE FOOT CHURCH AND A 3,600 SQUARE FOOT FELLOWSHIP HALL ON ALMOST 5 ACRES. ALSO ON THE AGENDA IS A REQUEST TO AMEND THE CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR DESERT VISTA VILLAGE ON THE EAST SIDE OF PALM AVE SOUTH OF THE HIGHWAY. THE REQUEST IS TO ALLOW THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY FOR THE CLUBHOUSE AND POOL PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF LANDSCAPING. THE CONDITION OF APPROVAL WILL BE MODIFIED TO REQUIRE THE LANDSCAPING BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO FINAL INSPECTION OF THE FIRST HOME IN PHASE 3. THE HEARING WILL BE HELD AT 7 PM IN THE YUCCA ROOM AT THE COMMUNITY CENTER.

DESERT HOT SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL MAY PASS ANTI-GREEN PATH RESOLUTION TONIGHT
THE DESERT HOT SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL HOLDS ITS AUGUST MEETING TONIGHT. THE AGENDA INCLUDES A RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE GREEN PATH NORTH PROJECT: A LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER PROPOSAL TO RUN GEOTHERMAL ENERGY TRANSMISSION LINES THROUGH DESERT HOT SPRINGS AND UP INTO THE MORONGO BASIN. THE PROPOSAL HAS GENERATED CONTROVERSY, WITH CRITICS QUESTIONING HOW "GREEN" IT WOULD BE SINCE IT COULD IMPACT THE COACHELLA VALLEY MULTIPLE SPECIES HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN, AS WELL AS JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, BIG MORONGO, AND PIONEERTOWN WILDLAND PRESERVES.

ARIZONA WOMAN DIES IN SINGLE CAR ROLLOVER EAST OF TWENTYNINE PALMS
AN ARIZONA WOMAN WAS KILLED IN A SINGLE CAR ROLLER ABOUT 50 MILES EAST OF 29 PALMS. CHP INVESTIGATORS SAY ASHLEY HARE, 19, OF PEORIA ARIZONA WAS DRIVING HER 2004 KIA WESTBOUND AT ABOUT 4:30 MONDAY AFTERNOON WHEN, FOR UNKNOWN REASONS, SHE DRIFTED ONTO THE NORTH SHOULDER, OVERCORRECTED AND LOST CONTROL, HITTING THE SOUTH BERM AND ROLLING SEVERAL TIMES. ASHLEY HARE, WHO WAS WEARING A SEATBELT, SUSTAINED FATAL INJURIES AND WAS DECLARED DEAD AT THE SCENE.

MAJOR INJURY CRASH IN YUCCA VALLEY
DEPUTIES RESPONDED TO A MAJOR INJURY TRAFFIC COLLISION ON WAMEGO TRAIL AT SUNLAND DRIVE IN YUCCA VALLEY AT 9:36 LAST NIGHT. DEPUTY CURTIS KOLB SAID MARK SAMUELS, 19, OF PIONEERTOWN HAD STOPPED ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD IN HIS PICKUP TRUCK TO TALK ON HIS CELL PHONE. WILLIAM BOYD, 53, OF YUCCA VALLEY WAS DRIVING HIS 1996 HONDA NORTHBOUND ON WAMEGO TRAIL. FOR UNKNOWN REASONS, BOYD SWERVED AND HIT SAMUELS' VEHICLE. WILLIAM BOYD SUFFERED MAJOR INJURIES AND WAS TAKEN TO DESERT HOSPITAL IN PALM SPRINGS. THE COLLISION IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE SHERIFF’S MAJOR ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION TEAM

TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION EXPECTED TO DENY NEW APARTMENT BUILDING
THE 29 PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION WILL MEET IN REGULAR SESSION TONIGHT. REPORTER KATIE ELWELL SAYS THEY ARE EXPECTED TO DENY A PROPOSED APARTMENT COMPLEX...A NEW BED AND BREAKFAST MAY BE COMING TO NATIONAL PARK DRIVE IN 29 PALMS. THE 29 PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION WILL CONSIDER A PERMIT FOR THE BUSINESS AT THIS EVENING’S MEETING AT CITY HALL ON ADOBE RD AT 6. A PUBLIC HEARING WILL ALSO BE HELD TO DISCUSS AN APPLICATION TO ALLOW FOR 35 ADDITIONAL AUTO DISPLAY PARKING SPACES AT THE EXISTING ADOBE AUTO SALES FACILITY. COMMISSIONERS ARE EXPECTED TO DENY A PERMIT FOR AN 81-UNIT APARTMENT COMPLEX PREVIOUSLY PRESENTED BY MIKE DE LA TORRE OF GLOBAL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT. THE PROPOSED COMPLEX WOULD HAVE BEEN BUILT ON MESQUITE SPRINGS RD BETWEEN EL PASEO AND SUNNYSLOPE DRIVES.

1200 TWENTYNINE PALMS MARINES GET DEPLOYMENT EXTENDED 30 DAYS
APPROXIMATELY 1,200 MARINES FROM 2ND BATTALION, 7TH MARINES, BASED IN 29 PALMS SERVING IN SOUTHWESTERN AFGHANISTAN WILL HAVE THEIR TOURS OF DUTY EXTENDED BY 30 DAYS, PENTAGON SAID. THE MARINES WILL COME HOME AT THE END OF NOVEMBER INSTEAD OF THE BEGINNING OF THAT MONTH. 200 ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TROOPS AND SEVERAL HELICOPTERS WILL BE SENT TO SOUTHWESTERN AFGHANISTAN TO HELP WITH ROUTE CLEARANCE, ENGINEERING AND ADDITIONAL AVIATION ELEMENTS THEY HAVE BEEN SERVING IN FARAH PROVINCE AS TRAINERS FOR THE AFGHAN ARMY. THEY HAVE BEEN REPEATEDLY ATTACKED BY INSURGENTS AND HAVE BEEN SEEKING ADDITIONAL FIREPOWER. EARLIER THIS SUMMER, THE PENTAGON APPROVED PLANS TO EXTEND THE TOURS OF ABOUT 2,000 MARINES SERVING IN COMBAT ROLES IN AFGHANISTAN'S HELMAND PROVINCE. U.S. MILITARY COMMANDERS SAY THAT UNTIL MORE TROOPS ARE FREED UP FROM IRAQ, SUCH EXTENSIONS ARE THE ONLY STEPS THEY CAN TAKE TO BOLSTER THEIR COMBAT CAPABILITY IN AFGHANISTAN.

MOVE AFOOT TO BREAK UP COUNTY EMPLOYEES UNION
A MOVEMENT IS AFOOT TO BREAK UP ONE OF SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY'S LARGEST UNIONS. A PETITION TO GET THE STATE TO DETERMINE IF THE SAN BERNARDINO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION SHOULD REPRESENT SEVERAL THOUSAND COUNTY EMPLOYEES IS CIRCULATING AMONG MEMBERS, SAID A COUNTY EMPLOYEE WHO ASKED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS. THE PETITION STATES THAT MEMBERS OF ONE OF THE UNION'S BARGAINING UNITS - THE TECHNICAL AND INSPECTION UNIT - NO LONGER WISH TO BE REPRESENTED BY SBPEA, WHICH OVERALL REPRESENTS ABOUT 12,000 COUNTY EMPLOYEES. THE TECHNICAL AND INSPECTION UNIT, WHICH HAS ABOUT 4,000 MEMBERS, IS THE LARGEST BARGAINING UNIT IN SBPEA. IF IT WERE TO BREAK FREE, THE END RESULT COULD MEAN A LARGE FINANCIAL LOSS FOR SBPEA. EACH UNION MEMBER PAYS $9.25 EVERY PAYDAY TO THE UNION. CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE COUNTY AND SBPEA HIT AN IMPASSE REGARDING THE COUNTY'S "FLEXIBLE BENEFITS PLAN," FUELING DISSATISFACTION AMONG SOME UNION MEMBERS. THE TECHNICAL AND INSPECTION UNIT VOTED DOWN THE PROPOSED CONTRACT, BUT SBPEA ORDERED A REVOTE. THE RESULTS OF THE SECOND VOTE ARE EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED MONDAY. BUT TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR THE PETITION EFFORT. AT LEAST 1,500 SIGNATURES MUST BE GATHERED BY THURSDAY. IF ENOUGH SIGNATURES ARE GATHERED, THE STATE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS BOARD WILL STEP IN AND HOLD AN INDEPENDENT ELECTION IN WHICH UNIT MEMBERS WILL BE ABLE TO VOTE EITHER FOR OR AGAINST SBPEA REPRESENTATION.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT CITIZENS COMMITTEE MEETS TONIGHT
THE JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT WILL HOST A MEETING OF THEIR CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE TONIGHT, REPORTER KARL GARDNER CHECKS THE AGENDA... A SPECIAL MEETING OF JOSHUA BASIN WATER’S PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE IS BEING HELD THIS EVENING AT DISTRICT OFFICES ON CHOLLITA ROAD, STARTING AT 7. FOLLOWING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT, THE COMMITTEE’S WORK WILL INCLUDE LOOKING AT THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DISTRICT WEBSITE AND PUBLIC INFORMATION SERVICES, PIPELINE REIMBURSEMENT POLICIES, AND SETTING A DATE FOR FUTURE MEETINGS.

BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY LOOKS AT CHARGES AND FEES TOMORROW AFTERNOON *

TWENTYNINE PALMS VOLLEYBALL WILL BEGIN PRACTICE MONDAY *

*AVAILABLE ON AUDIO FILE ONLY

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