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Listen To Your News Wednesday, April 17, 2013 News Archive
     

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL HEARS 2015 EARLIEST DATE TO FIX BLACK ROCK CANYON ROAD
The Yucca Valley Town Council met in regular session last night. Managing editor Tami Roleff says repair of Black Rock Canyon road dominated the meeting….
The deplorable roads in Yucca Valley, especially Black Rock Canyon Road, were the topic at last night's Town Council meeting. Resident Gladys Kovaleff described what driving on Black Rock Canyon is like. "It's like watching a demolition derby." And Michael Alford said the road is a hazard to vehicles. "They're going around on both sides of the road to avoid the potholes. I have a horse trailer. I bent a spindle on the horse trailer driving that road." The Council authorized Town staff to apply for a grant for the reconstruction of Black Rock Canyon Road. If the grant application is accepted, the Town would have to provide $90,650 from Measure I and Local Transportation Funds for the project, and then Black Rock Canyon Road would be incorporated into the Town's maintained road system. The Council was warned that, assuming the grant application is accepted, the earliest reconstruction on the road could start would be 2015. Next, the Council authorized Staff to request bids for a town-wide slurry seal project, with a start date of July.

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TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT FOCUSING ON SPEEDING IN YUCCA VALLEY
This week, Yucca Valley traffic officers will be conducting traffic enforcement on SR 62 between Kickapoo Trail and Hopi Trail. They will be focusing on speeding, and other vehicle code violations.

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1,000 STOPPED, 1 DUI ARREST IN FRIDAY CHECKPOINT
Of the more than 1,000 vehicles that were screened during a DUI checkpoint in Yucca Valley Friday night, only one arrest was made for driving under the influence. The checkpoint was held between 7 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday in the area of Highway 62 and Church Street. Deputies also cited one person for possession of marijuana, two people for operating a vehicle without a license, and arrested one person on an outstanding warrant.

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MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT LOOKS AT MAINTENANCE & OPERATIONS, NOT POOL FUNDING
The Morongo Unified School Board met in workshop, regular, and closed sessions last night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was at the meeting and files this report…..
The Morongo Unified School District Board met yesterday first in a workshop which offered the board a review of the scope and capabilities of the District's maintenance and operations departments. Also in that workshop, Principals from Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Friendly Hills and Yucca Mesa elementary schools presented their individual plans for student achievement. The program aims to bring MUSD student scores closer to state averages. After breaking for a closed session, the board reconvened and approved each school's Plan as presented earlier. Among other actions last night, the board approved several temporary employment positions, an updated non-discrimination policy, some course outlines, and two matters involving board policy. Trustees did not take up the matter of chipping in on upkeep for the Yucca Valley pool pending receipt of additional information. And under announcements, the board learned that the ribbon cutting for the new Joshua Tree Elementary School is to be the morning of May 13 at 10:45.

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LYRID METEOR SHOWER IN OUR DESERT SKIES THIS WEEKEND
This Sunday, April 21 and Monday, April 22, the Lyrid Meteor Shower pays our planet a visit. About 20 meteors per hour are expected at the showers' peak, says World of Astronomy. One of the features of the Lyrids are dust trails that are particularly noticeable. Meteor watchers get poetic and call it "star dust" although "meteor dust" would be more accurate. Look near the constellation of Lyra, which will rise from the north-northeast after 10 p.m. Its principal star, Vega, is the third brightest star in the northern hemisphere. The Lyrids' early arrivals may start up as early as tonight.

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MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST PLANS SECTION 33 CLEANUP THIS SATURDAY
On Saturday, April 20, Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) will host a Volunteer Clean-up Event at Section 33, located at the corner of Highway 62 and La Contenta in Joshua Tree. The event provides participants with a meaningful way to celebrate Earth Day, enjoy the great outdoors, and meet other conservation-minded people. Reporter Dan Stork has the back story…

Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) and The Trust for Public Land (TPL) recently acquired Section 33, supported by the Twentynine Palms Marine Base, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and donations to MDLT's Wildlife Linkage Campaign. The MDLT says that the section is a key parcel within a wildlife corridor, known as the Joshua Tree North Wildlife Linkage, that this linkage plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem for the Morongo Basin's diverse flora and fauna, and is an essential corridor for the movement of animals such as desert tortoise, bobcat, golden eagle, American badger, and prairie falcon. Much of Section 33 had been compromised by significant dumping and other incompatible uses. Over 41 tons of debris was removed in February, followed by more than 2,500 pounds in March.

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AUDITIONS FOR "STEEL MAGNOLIAS" IN YUCCA VALLEY SUNDAY
An all new theatre group, the St. Joseph's Players in Yucca Valley, have chosen Robert Harling's popular "Steel Magnolias" as their debut production. Auditions for "Steel Magnolias" will be held this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the St. Joseph of Arimathea Church, 56312 Onaga Trail in Yucca Valley (corner of Onaga Trail and Church Street). There is no need to prepare material as you will be reading from the provided script. Actors will be asked to use a Southern dialect, as the play is set in Louisiana. If you would like the scenes that will be auditioned, contact direct Rebecca Havely by email at cafecrafty@yahoo.com. There are six female characters in the play ranging from ages of the 20's to 60's. Rehearsals will be most weeknights from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. starting May 1. Performances of the show will be all four Friday and Saturday evenings, plus two Sunday matinees in July. Those interested in helping backstage are also invited to attend. Tickets to the intimate 50-seat theater will be $8 to $10. To reserve tickets, leave a message on the church answering machine at 760-365-7133.

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BASIN-WIDE FOUNDATION LOOKING FOR NOMINEES
Nominations are being sought by the Basin-Wide Foundation for honorees for a number of categories of community service. Managing editor Tami Roleff tells you how to put the name of a deserving person in for consideration…
Basin Wide Foundation is now accepting award nominees for its June 9th Annual Dinner, to be held at the Helen Gray Center at the hospital in Joshua Tree. Award categories are: Lifetime Achievement; Basin Wide Cultural Contributor; Volunteer; and Youth Volunteer and Together We Can (person or organization(s) that best displays the BWF motto of "Together We Can"). To get a form faxed or mailed, call 760-365-7219. Nomination forms are available on the Foundation's web site www.basinwidefoundation.com. The due date to submit form is by noon on April 22. Return completed form to: Basin Wide Foundation, 56711 29 Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284.

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"YOUNG AT HEART" MOVIE FRIDAY EVENING
The "Young at Heart Theater Series" returns Friday, April 19 with selected short subjects from the Spiritual Cinema Circle. The first is "America's Heart and Soul" by world-class cinematographer Lovis Schwartzberg. The second is a short comedy entitled "Career Suicide." Enjoy these free films along with some salads, compliments of the Yucca Valley Center for Spiritual Living. Doors open at 5:30; films start at 6 p.m. The Yucca Valley Center for Spiritual Living is at 7434 Bannock Trail, two blocks east of Pioneertown Road in Yucca Valley. For more information, leave a message at 760-365-2205.

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MORONGO VALLEY COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD MEETS TONIGHT
The Morongo Valley CSD meets in regular and closed sessions tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz lets us know what the Board will be considering…
The Morongo Valley Community Services District Board meets in regular session at 7:00 tonight in the Covington Park Multi-Purpose Room. Following agency reports and consideration of routine items on the consent agenda, the board will move to closed session to discuss three separate items with legal counsel. After reconvening in open session, the board will consider a request from General Manager Rick Lebel that they adopt new guidelines and regulations recently published by the California Special Districts Association. Also tonight, the board will give public notice of a Special Districts Mail Ballot Election on Tuesday, August 27, when three expiring Director positions will be on the ballot. The public is invited to attend and comment on those topics and others at tonight's meeting.

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HI-DESERT AND JOSHUA BASIN WATER BOARDS MEET TONIGHT
The Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors meet in regular session at 6:00 tonight at district offices on the highway in Yucca Valley. On tonight's agenda, staff will offer a presentation on master planning and infrastructure improvements in anticipation of the District's upcoming Water System Master Plan generally done every five years. Also tonight, the board will consider accepting staff recommendations that the District accept two low bids for pipe and pipeline materials totaling around a half million dollars from HD Supply Waterworks. The board will also consider a $75,000 purchase for equipment that will produce chlorine bleach for disinfection at the District's newest groundwater well. The District already has eight of these machines operating at other well sites, allowing them to be self-sustaining in production of the water disinfectant used industry wide.

The Joshua Basin Water District Board of Directors meets tonight in regular session beginning at 7:00 at District offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree. Among items on the action agenda, the board
will formally authorize a rate study that was identified as priority in last year's strategic plan. The $29,000 for the study is funded in the current budget. Also tonight, the board will take up the 2013-2014 Strategic Plan tabled last month pending some clarifications. Then prior to committee reports and a closed session with a labor negotiator, the board will receive a presentation on the Public Employee Pension Reform Act.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION FOCUSES ON PARKING RULES
After a shuffling of personnel, the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission focused on parking rules. Reporter Dan Stork outlines some of the issues from last night's meeting…
At the start of the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission meeting, new member BK Wiederhold and returning members Cary Alderson and Bill Easter were sworn in. New member Rob Fleck was absent on personal business. Departing member Richard Banneck used public comment time to explain he did not resign, but was replaced, and it's OK with him. Greg Mendoza was chosen to be the new chair of the Commission, with Bill Easter moving to the vice-chair slot. The 18th Development Code study session focused on parking rules. During public comment, Philip Block, representing the Vipassana Meditation Center, noted that rural, public, and institutional concerns are required to pave parking lots for new projects, although commercial and tourist businesses are not. He asked for comparable lenience, allowing alternatives to asphalt for dust control.
The Commissioners concentrated on the number of parking spaces to be required, which varies with the size and type of businesses. Cary Alderson suggested many changes, all in the direction of requiring fewer spots, and based upon his research as to what comparable cities do. The other commissioners agreed with that trend, but admitted they had no expertise in deciding upon specific formulas. They asked staff to consult with a traffic engineer to help them make decisions in this area.

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TWO TWENTYNINE PALMS BOYS TO RECEIVE EAGLE SCOUT BADGES TONIGHT
Two Twentynine Palms area boys, Andrew Kennedy and Victor Isarraraz, will be receiving their Eagle Scout badge tonight. The event will be at Blessed Sacrament Church at 6:00. Both boys have grown up together and are the first out of this Twentynine Palms troop to receive the title of Eagle Scout.

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ARENA SOCCER OFFERED IN TWENTYNINE PALMS
Twentynine Palm Recreation is taking sign-ups for arena soccer through tomorrow. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to register…
Soccer season is starting soon… sign up now! The Twentynine Palms Recreation Department is taking registrations for its upcoming 2013 Arena Soccer League. You can sign up in the Recreation Office, located near Luckie Park, through Thursday, April 18. Kids in grades third though sixth are eligible to play. There is a discount for families with three or more children participating in the league. The cost is $45 per child. Please call 760-367-7562 for more information.

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A HARD LOSS FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL GOLF
The Twentynine Palms Varsity Golf Team suffered a heart-breaking loss yesterday to cross-town rival Yucca Valley High School losing by just two strokes 244-242. Coach Grant Whipple said the 'Cats are now 6-2 in league, and with this loss, are now out of contention for the league championship. The team will now start prepping for individual finals at the end of the month. Twentynine Palms will host Desert Hot Springs Thursday at home in a league match; tee time is 2:45.

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