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Listen To Your News Wednesday, May 9, 2012 News Archive
     

PROJECT PHOENIX CONFUSED, BUT NOT DEAD, IN TWENTYNINE PALMS
Confusing, conflicting, and complicated. Those are the messages the City of Twentynine Palms is getting from the State about Project Phoenix, a redevelopment project that would build a community center, theater, gym, and 40 housing units in downtown Twentynine Palms. Last year the City issued $11.5 million in bonds to raise money for the project. By law, bonds can only be used for the purpose for which they were issued. At issue is whether the bonds can be considered a legally binding contract for Project Phoenix. In a confusing letter to the City, the State Department of Finance writes that the City's Redevelopment Agency has not executed a contract for Project Phoenix, but then a Finance Department representative gave conflicting statements to City staff that the bonds CAN be considered a contract for Project Phoenix. City Manager Richard Warne told Z107.7 News that Project Phoenix is NOT dead, as it appears that there is a complicated—but legal—way to go forward with it. The RDA's Successor Agency and the City could enter into a contract to develop Project Phoenix, which would then be approved by the Oversight Board and the State Finance Department. Warne stressed that the City is awaiting written confirmation from the Department of Finance that this is an acceptable approach before it moves forward. He added that the Successor agency is willing to sue the State over the issue so that the agency is not in default or in breach of the bond covenants, IRS regulations, and various security laws.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES RDA AND BONDS, STATE DECISION DUE FRIDAY
While still trying to get clarification from the state about the downtown revitalization project, the Twentynine Palms City Council met in regular session. Reporter Derwood Andrews said the subject dominated the meeting...
The Council was one short tonight; Joel Klink was not in attendance. Then some important information not on the agenda was presented by RSG Consultant Matt McCleary. It dealt with a "deceptive" letter from the Department of Finance and the question of the Bonds concerning the dissolved RDA back in February this year. The Department of Finance is supposed to make up their minds if the monies can be used for Project Phoenix or not, and if not where is the money, by this Friday. A proposed contract between the City and the Successor Agency to the Former Twentynine Palms Redevelopment Agency, basically between themselves, will be brought forth at the next regular meeting. One item in the consent calendar was pulled, that being the minor use permit for the new tattoo shop in the Stater Brothers lot. A 3-to-1 vote YES, with Mayor Cole saying NO for the record. Then the City voted unanimously to oppose the Final Draft Water Quality Control Policy of the State of California Water Resources Control Board.

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JOSHUA TREE MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER
A Joshua Tree man was arrested yesterday, accused of attempted murder after he beat up his pregnant girlfriend because she wouldn't have sex with him. Shortly after 9 a.m., a man called police to report his grandson, Matthew Guerrero, 19, had beaten his pregnant girlfriend in the 6500 block of Sunset Road in Joshua Tree. The woman had a busted lip and black eye from being hit several times, and she said he also tried to choke her and held a pillow over her face. Matthew Guerrero was arrested in the 5400 block of Daisy Avenue in Twentynine Palms at 2:22 Tuesday afternoon for investigation of attempted murder. He was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $1 million. His girlfriend was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center for treatment.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Tuesday morning after his girlfriend said she found child pornography on his computer. About 8:30 yesterday morning, a woman called police to report she had found photos and videos of child porn on the hard drive of her boyfriend, Alex Ramirez, 39, of the 71500 block of Sun Valley Drive. Using a search warrant, the Sheriff's Department seized electronics equipment as evidence. Alex Ramirez was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail for investigation of possession of obscene materials involving children. His bail is set at $100,000.

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SMALL EARTHQUAKE RATTLES OUR MORONGO BASIN
A 3.2 magnitude earthquake rattled windows in the Morongo Basin Tuesday evening. The earthquake struck at 4:55 p.m. It was centered about 2 miles north-northwest of Yucca Valley and was about 4 ½ miles deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Z107.7 has not received any reports of damage or injuries.

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LARGE TURNOUT FOR YUCCA VALLEY GENERAL PLAN WORKSHOP
The Yucca Valley General Plan workshop was packed last night. Among those in attendance was our own Managing Editor Tami Roleff, who files this report...
A large crowd of about 60 people packed the Yucca Valley Community Center last night at a General Plan workshop, held during a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Committee. The General Plan has not been updated in 17 years. Each table had a large map of the Town spread out on it, with markers and stickers for residents to indicate what they wanted to see in the Town in the future. People at nearly every table had similar ideas of the Yucca Valley needed: sidewalks; parks, including doing SOMETHING with Blue Skies Country Club; gathering places for teens; activities for teens, residents and tourists; and preserving the views and night skies. Other ideas were for more art in public places, and to turn the soon-to-be abandoned old Walmart store into some kind of gathering place, perhaps a skating rink. Town staff said they plan to examine the ideas generated in the workshops for possible inclusion in the General Plan update. The General Plan Update is expected to be completed in spring 2013.

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COUNTY APPROVES TATTOO REGULATIONS, EASES BUILDING CODE
The County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance yesterday that would impose more stringent regulations on businesses that provide tattooing, body piercing, branding, and permanent makeup services. The ordinance mirrors a new state law, the Safe Body Art Act, or AB300, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 9 and goes into effect on July 1. Practitioners will now be required to register annually with the county or the cities in which they do business to ensure they are properly trained and certified in blood-borne pathogens. The county ordinance returns to the Board May 22 for adoption, and will go into effect 30 days after that. Under the new county ordinance, tattooists, body piercers, and those applying permanent makeup and branding will be required to keep their permits and certifications up-to-date and on display in their businesses. And they must always wear latex gloves when applying body art. The Supervisors also amended the county code to ease a mandate requiring owners of unreinforced masonry buildings to retrofit their structures to withstand major earthquakes. The proposed amendment, which returns to the board on May 22 for a second reading, would require owners of such buildings to only post signs in their buildings warning visitors that the buildings have not been retrofitted.

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STILL TIME TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN JUNE PRIMARY
There's still time to register to vote in the June Primary election. If you have moved, changed your name or wish to change your party affiliation, you need to fill out a new voter registration. The final date at the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters for the primary is May 21.

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COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BOARD MEETS TOMORROW
The Copper Mountain College Board meets tomorrow. Reporter Mike Lipsitz checks the college Board's agenda...
The Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees meets in regular open session at 3:00 tomorrow in the Bell Center's Community Room on the Joshua Tree campus. In addition to regular reports and items on the consent agenda, Trustees are expected to recognize Professor Greg Gilbert for emeritus status for his significant contributions during his years at the community college. In other business, Trustees are expected to approve contract renewals for eight managers and supervisors through July 2014. And among other items, the board is likely to proclaim May 21 - 25 as Classified School Employees' Week at the College.

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YUCCA VALLEY AIRPORT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT
The Yucca Valley Airport District Board of Directors meet tonight at 6:30 in the Joshua Tree Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center. Among items of interest, the Board will discuss Form 700 Requirements, a property appraisal, K&N Aircraft Maintenance & Gemini Welding default, and public finance measures. The airport Board will also discuss a resolution concerning insurance requirement for vehicles on airport property and Airport rezoning information.

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CPR/AED TRAINING AT MORONGO BASIN SENIOR SUPPORT CENTER SATURDAY
The Morongo Basin Senior Support Center will hold an American Red Cross certified adult and pediatric first aid-CPR-AED training on Saturday, May 12. Advance registration is required. The Senior Support Center is located at 57121 Sunnyslope Drive in Yucca Valley. To register for the classes, and to check for class times, go to www.safetyschooling.com, or call 800-691-1205.

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TOMORROW IS DEADLINE TO SIGN UP FOR OPEN STUDIO ART TOURS
The last date for artists and studios to apply to be included in the 11th Annual Highway 62 Art Tours is tomorrow, Thursday, May 10. The art tours are produced by the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. This year the tours are set for October 20-21 and October 27-28. All artists in all media throughout the Morongo Basin are encouraged to apply. Applications are being accepted online at mbcac.org. No entries will be accepted after Thursday.

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"A LITTLE MURDER NEVER HURT ANYBODY" AT THEATRE 29
The hilarious, off-beat, tongue-in-cheek comedy, A little Murder Never Hurt Anybody" is playing through June 2 at Theatre 29. Tickets are available at theatre29.org. ROP Broadcast student Vincent Thomas has more...
The newest production at Theatre 29 is "A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody," by Ron Bernas, directed by John Wright. It is a comedy/mystery play, where a wealthy couple—Matthew and Julia Perry—seem to have it all. But Matthew, played by Tom Highfill, wants to be free from Julia, played by Cheryl Gillon, so he could have some fun. He resolves to kill her by New Year's end and tells her so; she then tells him that she is going to stay alive. Then begins a year-long match of wits and the witless where many are mistakenly killed. Tickets are from $8 to $12. The production ends June 2.

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RETIRED TEACHERS MEET FRIDAY
The California Retired Teachers' Association meets the second Friday of each month at the Helen Gray Educational Complex in Joshua Tree at 10 a.m. The May 11 program will be presented by Pat Rimmington, whose topic will be "Chaos at the Museum." All those interested in education are invited to attend. For more information contact Ruth Ann Crites at 760-367-7321.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORE AND SCHEDULES
The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats Boys Tennis Team hosted La Serna High School Lancers from Whittier in a CIF-Team Wildcard Play-Off match-up. The Lancers defeated the Wildcats 0-18 and ended the 'Cats season. The 'Cats' overall record was four wins and seven losses with a season record of four wins and four losses.

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School Trojan baseball and softball teams will host the Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles at home. Game time is 3:30.

The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat baseball and softball teams will host the Desert Mirage Rams at home; their game time is also 3:30.

And finally, Joshua Springs Christian School Lightning baseball and softball teams will travel away to Baptist Christian School. First pitch is at 3:15.

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