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MORONGO BASIN LOCAL NEWS FOR

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2008

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BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY PRESIDENT, ARRESTED BY DA, WAITS ATTORNEY’S ADVICE
BONE MARROW DRIVE FOR JOSHUA TREE BUSINESSMAN SATURDAY
KIDS, THE SCHOOL BUS, AND YOU, THE 2ND OF A 3 PART SERIES *
HOSPICE OF THE MORONGO OFFER $4,000.00 PRIZE IN FUND-RAISER *
6 MILLION SHORT OF STATE FUNDS, MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT DIPS INTO RESERVES
CAMELOT OPENS AT THEATRE 29
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME STARTING AT YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY *
TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION TAKING IT SLOW ON VACATION HOME RENTALS
NO SERVICES FOR ANDY HOPKO, WHO PASSED AWAY AT 82

BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY PRESIDENT, ARRESTED BY DA, WAITS ATTORNEY’S ADVICE
THE EMBATTLED PRESIDENT OF THE BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY, ARRESTED AFTER AN INVESTIGATION BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S PUBLIC INTEGRITY UNIT, SAYS HE IS WAITING FOR AN ATTORNEY’S ADVICE. Z107-7 MANAGING EDITOR KARL GARDNER TALKED BRIEFLY WITH JOHNSON YESTERDAY... BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY BOARD PRESIDENT PHIL JOHNSON, ARRESTED ON 2 FELONY AND ONE MISDEMEANOR CHARGE FRIDAY, SAID HE’S NOT MAKING ANY COMMENTS UNTIL HE RETAINS AN ATTORNEY. JOHNSON TOLD Z107.7 HE HASN’T MADE A DECISION ON WHETHER HE’LL RESIGN HIS POSITION, WAITING ON ADVICE FROM A LAWYER. AGENCY OFFICIALS SAY JOHNSON, 64, HAS BEEN ON THE BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER BOARD FOR 8 YEARS, ALMOST 2 OF THOSE AS BOARD PRESIDENT. HE WAS ARRESTED FRIDAY, FOLLOWING A 2 ˝ MONTH PROBE BY THE DISTINCT ATTORNEY’S PUBLIC INTEGRITY UNIT, FOR INVESTIGATION OF SECRETLY RECORDING CLOSED SESSION MEETINGS, ATTORNEY INTERVIEWS AND TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS. JOHNSON WAS BOOKED INTO THE MORONGO BASIN JAIL, AND RELEASED ON $25,000 BOND.

BONE MARROW DRIVE FOR JOSHUA TREE BUSINESSMAN SATURDAY
A BONE MARROW DONORS DRIVE WILL BE HELD AT THE DOWNTOWN YUCCA VALLEY FIRE STATION #121 FOR A RESPECTED JOSHUA TREE BUSINESSMAN FROM A LOCAL PIONEER FAMILY BATTLING A BLOOD DISEASE. MARK GARRY, WHO, WITH HIS MOTHER PAT, OWNS AND OPERATES GARRY’S TIRES, HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH M.P.D. AND IS IN NEED OF A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT. THIS SATURDAY, FROM 9:00AM UNTIL 3:OOPM, A CHEEK SWAB TEST WILL BE GIVEN TO TEST FOR POTENTIAL MARROW DONORS. THE FIRE STATION IS AT 57201 29 PALMS HWY, ON THE HIGHWAY NEAR DUMOSA. GARRY IS THE GRANDSON OF LOCAL PIONEER BILL KEYS. MANY BONE MARROW DONORS AND BLOOD DONORS SIGNED UP AT PLEDGE SHEETS IN THE COMMUNITY AND MARK GARRY THANKS EVERYONE BEING TESTED OR PLEDGING BLOOD. THOSE WHO PLEDGED BLOOD WILL BE CONTACTED LATER. THE MARROW TESTING AND BLOOD DONATIONS ARE BEING COORDINATED BY THE CITY OF HOPE HOSPITAL IN DUARTE. INFORMATION ON THE DONATION PROGRAM FOR MARK GARRY IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE CITY OF HOPE AT 626-256-4673

6 MILLION SHORT OF STATE FUNDS, MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT DIPS INTO RESERVES
THE MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL BOARD HEARD BAD NEWS AND BAD NEWS LAST NIGHT, WITHHELD STATE FUNDING, A DROP IN ENROLLMENT, AND DRUG DOGS AT TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL WERE ALL DISCUSSED. REPORTER DAN STORK WAS IN THE AUDIENCE AND REPORTS... ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT MICHAEL WALKER REPORTED TO THE MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION THAT THE STATE HAS WITHHELD $6 MILLION SO FAR FROM THE DISTRICT DURING THE BUDGET IMPASSE. THIS MEANS THAT SEVERAL DISTRICT PROGRAMS ARE BEING RUN BY DIPPING INTO RESERVES. IF THE LEGISLATIVE GRIDLOCK ON HOW TO PAY FOR THE SHORTFALL CONTINUES UNTIL NOVEMBER, THE DISTRICT MAY HAVE TO BORROW MONEY TO PAY FOR OPERATIONS. WALKER ALSO REPORTED THAT PRELIMINARY STUDENT POPULATION FIGURES SHOW A DROP OF ABOUT 1-1/2% FROM LAST YEAR. CONSTRUCTION FUNDED BY MEASURE O BOND FUNDS IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN IN OCTOBER AT LA CONTENTA MIDDLE SCHOOL AND ONAGA AND CONDOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. THE ANTICIPATED START OF NEW BUILDING WORK AT TWENTYNINE PALMS AND YUCCA VALLEY ELEMENTARY IS IN DECEMBER, WHILE THE JOSHUA TREE ELEMENTARY PROJECT REMAINS ON HOLD PENDING SEISMIC STUDIES. 29 PALMS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE GENARO ORODIO REPORTED THAT A NEW PROGRAM THAT USES DOGS TO SNIFF OUT CONTRABAND WAS INTRODUCED IN AN ASSEMBLY PROGRAM THAT WAS "SORT OF COOL". THE BOARD APPROVED A ROUTINE CONSENT AGENDA, PLUS ASSORTED CHANGE ORDERS AND NOTICES OF COMPLETION FOR FLOORING AND ROOFING PROJECTS AT VARIOUS SITES, AS WELL AS FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES AT 29 PALMS JUNIOR HIGH AND FRIENDLY HILLS ELEMENTARY.

CAMELOT OPENS AT THEATRE 29
"CAMELOT" OPENS AT THEATRE 29 THIS FRIDAY EVENING AT 7:00PM. TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE OPENING NIGHT. CAMELOT TELLS THE STORY OF KING ARTHUR AND THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, STUNNINGLY BROUGHT TO LIFE THROUGH SUCH MUSIC AS "CAMELOT", "IF EVER I WOULD LEAVE YOU", "HOW TO HANDLE A WOMAN" AND MANY OTHER TIMELESS BROADWAY HITS. THE MUSICAL WILL RUN SEPTEMBER 5TH - OCTOBER 4TH, AT THE JOHN CALVERI THEATRE, HOME TO THEATRE 29, LOCATED ON SULLIVAN ROAD, RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM BARR LUMBER IN 29 PALMS. TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW THROUGH THE NEWLY REDESIGNED THEATRE 29 WEBSITE: WWW.THEATRE29.COM OR BY CALLING THE BOX OFFICE (760) 361-4151.

PRESCHOOL STORY TIME STARTING AT YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY *

TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION TAKING IT SLOW ON VACATION HOME RENTALS
THE 29 PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION SAYS ANY ACTION ON VACATION HOME RENTALS WILL BE SLOW IN COMING. REPORTER KATIE ELWELL WAS AT LAST NIGHT’S MEETING AND FILES THIS REPORT... VACATION HOME RENTALS MAY SOON BE LEGAL IN 29 PALMS FOLLOWING TUESDAY EVENING’S PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING. WHILE MANY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC CLAIMED THAT ILLEGAL VACATION HOME RENTALS ARE RAMPANT THROUGHOUT 29 PALMS, THE CITY’S CODE CURRENTLY HAS NO PROVISION FOR SUCH RENTALS. A STUDY SESSION BROUGHT TO LIGHT THAT MANY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AND COMMISSION WOULD LIKE TO SEE VACATION HOME RENTALS LEGALIZED. INTERIM COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR BUMARO CANSECCO SAID THE CITY WOULD NEED TO DEVELOP WHAT REGULATIONS TO PUT IN PLACE, AND COULD EITHER ADD VACATION HOME RENTALS AS A USE IN HOMES, OR CREATE A SEPARATE CODE AMENDMENT SECTION. COMMISSION CHAIR REBECCA RINKES TOLD STAFF TO PUT AN ADDITIONAL STUDY SESSION IN A FUTURE AGENDA AND TO LOOK MORE IN-DEPTH AT CREATING A CODE FOR VACATION HOME RENTALS THAT FIT THE NEEDS OF 29 PALMS. SHE WARNED THE PUBLIC AND COMMISSION, SAYING, "THIS IS GOING TO BE A SLOW, LONG PROCESS."

NO SERVICES FOR ANDY HOPKO, WHO PASSED AWAY AT 82 *

*AVAILABLE ON AUDIO FILE ONLY

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