The Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce 65th Annual Grubstake Days parade will take place on Saturday, May 23, of Memorial Day Weekend,. The grand marshal for this year’s parade is the United States Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. This year’s theme is “Patriotic Parade: Celebrating the Past, Present and Future.” Featured this year is the Marine Corps Band San Diego. The route starts at Inca Trail at Highway 62 and will travel east 1.6 miles to Sage Avenue. The highway will be closed at 9 a.m., volunteers will pass out American flags at 9:30, and the parade starts at 10 am.
The Joshua Tree Memorial Park will observe Memorial Day with an official military ceremony Monday, May 25. The event begins at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a free community barbecue with kids’ games, a bounce house, and vendors. Bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on the grass and listen to live music by the Shadow Mountain Band, Gutter Candy, Mojave Sky, and more. The memorial park is located south of the highway on the west end of Joshua Tree. The Twentynine Palms cemetery will host a Memorial Day service on Monday, May 25. The service will start promptly at 9 a.m. Major General Lewis Craparotta will be the guest speaker. The Marine Color Guard and Firing Detail will also be present. The public is invited to attend. The cemetery is located on Encelia Avenue in Twentynine Palms. For more information, call Stacey Lee at 760-367-9316.
One year ago, CalTrans altered the speed limits coming into Joshua Tree from both directions on Route 62, perplexing many locals who thought the change from a gradual slowdown in 10 mile per hour increments to an abrupt 20 mile per hour change was unsafe, even with a warning. Reporter Dan Stork says another change may be in the works…
When CalTrans changed the speed limits coming into Joshua Tree center last year, a representative of the agency explained that the change, in which a 65 miles per hour speed limit stepped down to a 45 mile per hour zone, with a warning sign, but without an intermediate 55 mph speed, was done after a traffic survey. The change was presented as being consistent with how people actually drove. (There’s a link to our May 22, 2014 story on this topic in this story at z1077fm.com: http://www.z1077fm.com/new-lower-speed-limits-in-joshua-tree/ .) This was disbelieved by local drivers, and the claims made for the benefits of the change mystified many.
This week, we complained to Haissam Yahya, the Operations Manager for CalTrans District 8, that we felt the change was unsafe and unwarranted. When we described how the signs were arrayed, he expressed surprise. He told us that a 20 mile per hour step-down wasn’t supposed to happen, and somebody must have made a mistake. Yahya said he would look into it, and that the situation should be changed.
We can’t wait to see what happens.
A Yucca Valley triple homicide will be featured Sunday on a television show about couples who murder. In January 2004, Jimmy Dale Kelly and Kimberly Michaud went to a home on Joshua View Drive in Yucca Valley to rob Patty Crevoisier, 44, and ended up murdering her and two men—William Landers, 44, and Ward Phillips, 37—who were laying carpet in her home at the time. Kelly and Michaud then fled to northern California, and where they were arrested three days later in Kern County. Z107.7’s reporter Karl Gardner, and Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Lieutenant Don Mahoney, Sergeant James Porter, and Captain Dale Mondary were all interviewed for the program. “Snapped: Killer Couples” will air 6 p.m. on the Oxygen network.
A Joshua Tree man was arrested Wednesday, accused of punching his girlfriend. According to a Sheriff’s report, a woman called deputies about 10 p.m. to say Jay Tchakerian, 24, was drinking and punched her in the face. She said he then left the residence in the 62400 block of 29 Palms Highway. After an investigation, Jay Tchakerian was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.
It is a three-day holiday weekend and the regional thoroughfares will be full of holiday travelers. Managing Editor Tami Roleff reminds you to be careful out there…
Memorial Day weekend is traditionally one of the heaviest travel times in the Inland Empire region. CalTrans is expecting lengthy delays on some area roads and freeways, with heaviest delays between Beaumont and Indio on I-10; at the Cajon Pass, and between Rancho Cucamonga and Hesperia on I-15. CalTrans urges motorists to plan ahead before they travel, and to bring water and snacks, have a full tank of gas, bring a car charger for your cell phone, and most importantly, be patient.
All government offices, banks, libraries, schools, and post offices will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. In addition, Burrtec will delay its trash pick up by one day. The Morongo Basin Transit Authority will NOT operate service on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day and will resume its regularly scheduled service on Tuesday, May 26.
The Morongo Valley CSD had a wide-ranging meeting Wednesday night. Reporter Dan Stork says they addressed the budget, the CalFire tax, a director’s complaint, change of meeting date, a threatening state bill, and heard a goodbye preview from a longtime director…
The Morongo Valley Community Services District Board of Directors approved a balanced budget for the coming fiscal year, with revenues and expenditures each coming to a little over $700,000.
CalFire tax revision
Residents were urged to fill out an application for reimbursement, so that they will be in a position to get money back if the much-protested CalFire tax is revised.
Karen Lowe complaint
The board voted to ask legal counsel how to proceed with member Karen Lowe’s request of an investigation of the conduct of members’ Gayle Swarat, Kristina Brook, and Johnny Tolbert’s behavior toward her and member Chuck Osborne.
SB 239 opposition
The Board formally opposed the proposed Senate Bill 239, which might increase the control by the Local Agency Formation Commission over local fire departments.
Terms for selling Women’s Club building
The CSD Board tuned the language of the listing notice of the unused Women’s Club building, owned by the district, to make it potentially easier to sell.
Change of meeting date
Starting next month, and extending until at least February of next year, the Board’s regular meeting date will be changed to the third Tuesday of each month.
Chuck Osborne announced that, after 20 years on the CSD Board, he will not run for re-election.
Sky’s the Limit will host a star party Saturday, May 23. The star party will start at the Twentynine Palms observatory about 9 p.m. and end about 1:30 a.m. After observing the moon and Jupiter, attention will turn to Saturn and its moons and rings. Bring water, snacks, chairs, and dress for cold weather. For more information, call 760-367-7222. Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center is just north of the Twentynine Palms entrance to the Joshua Tree National Park at 9697 Utah Trail.
The St. Joseph’s Players of Yucca Valley opened “Biloxi Blues” last Friday night with a gala fundraiser benefiting two charities: The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and the Gladys Carol Scholarship Program. Reporter Rebecca Havely shares the fundraiser’s success…
The “Biloxi Blues” audience arrived last Friday night and enjoyed delicious pre-show foods beautifully prepared by Kerry Jimenez and her family, themed to the show’s locale of Biloxi, Mississippi. Huge arrays of donated items were available. The enthusiastic crowd bid on silent auction and live auction items. The play which stars Jericho McWilliams, Ryan Flieshman, Beau Stoker and Liyan Legavardi was well received by the crowd. The Gladys Carol Scholorship Program, Inc., led by Cheryl Gillon, raised over $1,700, and the Relay for Life crew, led by Diane Durden, garnered over $1,100 in donations, for a combined total of over $2,800. The spirits of the cast and crew were also raised by the excellent reception of the opening night crowd of theater goers.
St. Joseph’s church is located at 56312 Onaga Trail, Yucca Valley. Tickets for “Biloxi Blues” are $9 to $11. You can purchase tickets at Align the Spine Chiropractic in Yucca Valley or at Windwalker in Joshua Tree. The show runs weekends through June 7. To reserve your seat call 760-362-9319.
The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will not be serving dinner tonight. The Sunday breakfast is pancakes, eggs, quesadillas and omelets from 8 to 11. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1.
The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club is hosting a plus-level square dance at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge tonight at 55946 Yucca Trail. Brent Lively will be calling squares from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. Lines will be cued from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. and between tips. For further information contact Dennis at 760-366-8626.
Five congregations will meet Sunday for Pentecostal services at Knott’s Sky Park in Twentynine Palms. The service will start at 9:30 a.m., and will be followed by a potluck, so bring a dish to share and your own dishes and utensils. Participating in the services are congregations from St. Martin’s in the Field Episcopal Church, IPOP Lutheran, Faith Lutheran, and the Methodist churches from Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. All are welcome.
A new art event is coming to Joshua Tree at the end of May. Reporter Dan Stork points the way to the Joshua Treenial…
BoxoPROJECTS has announced the inaugural Joshua Treenial. This is an international art event whose focus and locus is Joshua Tree, and surrounding areas. Featuring installation and performance works, the event includes artists and works from fifteen different countries.
The Joshua Treenial unfolds over Memorial Day weekend, May 22 – 25, concurrent with events at other area arts organizations. For the full schedule and program, follow links in this story at z1077fm.com.
The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojans Softball Team defeated Desert Christian Academy in round one of CIF play, 7-1, in seven innings. Coach Dennis Priest said freshman Jaqueline Bolha gets the win in the circle, throwing a two-hit, three-walk complete game. The hot bats of Sierra Scali, Savanna Fowlkes, Karson Scaccianoce, who all had multiple extra bag hits, and a three-run home run by freshman Ayriel Fonseca gave the Trojans the victory. The Lady Trojans host Polytechic of Pasedena in round two at 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26 at the Boys and Girls Club softball field in Yucca Valley.
A Memorial service for the victims of a Sunday night DUI hit-and-run in Joshua Tree has been set. The family of Lonnie and Pat Tiner said the service will be Saturday, May 30, at 10:00 a.m. at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Twentynine Palms. Granddaughter Keliana Tiner thanked the community for their outpouring of support saying, “I know they were truly missed by all. There has been such an outpouring of love and support these last few days that it truly brings our family a sense of solace to know that they’ve touched so many people in this community.” A 21-year-old Marine lance corporal, Mariah Natividad, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run, and drunk driving in the crash that killed the couple.
A modestly-sized, but vocal group of Morongo Valley residents showed up to hear what CalTrans had to say about the Route 62 median project. Reporter Dan Stork tells about the give-and-take…
Caltrans officials conducted a public meeting at the pavilion in Covington Park in Morongo Valley Wednesday night, to update the community on the status of the Route 62 median project. District 8 operations supervisor Hassam Yahya said that construction on a permanent median should begin in late 2016 or early 2017. Lack of drainage systems have required hydrological studies, that have shown that the solid divider that is used at the top of the Yucca Grade is not suitable for many sections of the median. Environmental studies are also required. Yahya, CHP officers, and Morongo Valley fire personnel and residents all noted that there have been no cross-median collisions since the plastic delineators have been installed, and generally agreed that this outweighs inconvenience and extra care in crossing and turning that they require. Yahya and Caltrans spokesperson Terry Kasinga asked for public input on where turn pockets and traffic signals might be installed; the current breaks in the delineator array don’t have to match the permanent configuration. Yahya said that the only traffic signal planned would be at Bella Vista, which met with disfavor by many of those present. Residents also complained that the delineators have led to increased, and rapid traffic in neighborhoods, as drivers look for ways to cross the highway. Yahya said that he is willing to come again to Morongo Valley when the design for the median project is further along. Morongo Valley residents or business owners who have thoughts on implementation of the median project can share them with Caltrans at an email address given in this story: firstname.lastname@example.org
More drivers on the road for the Memorial Day weekend means the California Highway Patrol will conduct a maximum enforcement period. From 6 p.m. Friday, May 22 through midnight Monday, May 25, CHP officers will be out in force, enforcing speed limit laws, click-it-or-ticket, and looking for DUIs. Last year, 25 people were killed in traffic collisions in California during the Memorial Day weekend and seven of them were not wearing a seat belt. Motorists are reminded to buckle up, drive the speed limit, and designate a non-drinking driver.
Some good news for property owners in Yucca Valley. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says a federal grant will help pay for the new sewer system…
The Hi-Desert Water District has been awarded a $4 million grant from the Bureau of Land Reclamation—with the assistance of Congressman Paul Cook of Yucca Valley—for its wastewater treatment project. The treatment facility will provide tertiary treatment to percolate recycled water in the Warren Valley Groundwater Basin, where water levels have been depleted. Once completed, this projected is expected to result in the recharge of more than 1,900 acre-feet of recycled water annually, to replace water that would otherwise be imported by the State Water Project from the Bay Delta.
Two people were arrested Tuesday morning, accused of stealing firearms and electronics from a home in Morongo Valley. According to the Sheriff’s Department, deputies were called to a home May 1 in the 52600 block of Altadena Drive in Morongo Valley to investigate a burglary. The homeowners said tool and all their firearms and computer equipment were stolen, and suspected that Katelyn Wright, 21, and Russell Young, 26, both of Twentynine Palms, may be involved. On May 19, a CHP officer made a traffic stop on the highway in Morongo Valley. Inside the vehicle were Wright and Young. Sheriff’s Deputy John Lett arrived to assist with the stop, and items inside the car were identified as items that had stolen May 1. Detectives served a search warrant on a home in the 6000 block of Daisy Avenue in Twentynine Palms where they found the stolen firearms and computer equipment, valued at more than $2,200. Katelyn Wright and Russell Young were arrested on suspicion of residential burglary, and booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with their bail set at $25,000 each. Russell Young also had several outstanding warrants with an additional bail of $37,500.