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Listen To Your News Wednesday, July 31, 2013 News Archive
     

FORMER YUCCA VALLEY MAYOR CHAD MAYES RAISES $94,000 FOR STATE ASSEMBLY RUN
Former Yucca Valley mayor Chad Mayes has raised more than $94,000 in the first six months of the year for his campaign for the state assembly, far outraising his potential opponents. Mayes is currently the chief of staff for San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford and is the only candidate for the 42nd District from San Bernardino County. State filing records show that about 63 percent of his money came from donors in the county. Mayes' fundraising eclipses that of Banning businessman Chris Mann, who listed $11,000 in contributions in a report filed Monday. Former Palm Springs police chief Gary Jeandron also has not filed his report. Assemblyman Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, who currently represents the 42nd, is not running for re-election.

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WHAT'S UP WITH THE PFF BANK BUILDING IN YUCCA VALLEY?
Why is the PFF Bank building, at the corner of Highways 62 and 247, still vacant? It's all because of red tape and paperwork that's required by the state. Back in October 2009, the Yucca Valley Redevelopment Agency bought the building for $1.3 million. The former bank building had been sitting empty at the Town's busiest intersection since U.S. Bank bought Pomona First Federal Bank and Trust six months earlier and closed the PFF office. The RDA had all kinds of ideas and plans for how to use the building, but none of them came to fruition. When the state of California dissolved the redevelopment agencies in 2012, the RDA could not sell the building—or any other assets owned by the RDA—until the Town Council, acting as the RDA's "successor agency," received a property management plan approved by the state. The Town couldn't even start drafting the property management plan until it received a Certificate of Completion from the state for dissolving the RDA. Yucca Valley was the first agency in San Bernardino County to receive the certificate of completion, and Town Staff are now working on the Property Management Plan, which should be presented to the RDA Successor Agency in August.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION DENIES APPEAL ON APARTMENT COMPLEX
Last month, Interim Twentynine Palms Development Director Matt McCleary ruled that revisions to a planned apartment complex rendered it a new project, requiring a new application. Last night, the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission held a public hearing on the developer's appeal of that decision. Reporter Dan Stork relates what happened…
SFH Development, which originally submitted a project application in 2009, but put off building in the face of the economic recession, appealed the request for a new application. Revised plans change the project from 240 units in 30 buildings on 40 acres, to 200 units in 25 buildings on 20 acres, off Condor Road, adjacent to the Marine Base. A representative of the developer, as well as one of the individual investors, indicated that their main concern was additional fees they might incur with a new project application, beyond the $22 thousand dollars already assessed. They argued that the project changes were "evolutionary" and not "conceptual", and should not be regarded as defining a new project. After hearing from city engineer Richard Pederson on the need for new hydrology and traffic studies, and from Marine Base liaison Jim Ricker on lack of impact information, the Commissioners voted to deny the appeal. However, they did recommend that the City Council work with the developer on the fee schedule. Then they turned to another study session on Development Code review and revision.

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UPDATE ON THE WORK ON HIGHWAY 62 IN MORONGO VALLEY
A safety project has begun along the median of Highway 62 between Pioneer Drive/ East Drive and Fairway Drive, in Morongo Valley. The project will place class 1 delineators and restripe the median. The following are several turn pockets available to make legal and safe U-turns along the route: East Drive, Palo Verde, Big Morongo Canyon, Fobes Road, Bella Vista Drive, Desert Willow Trail, Rose Eden Drive, Samel Road/Peliz Road, Scholl Drive and Yucca Park Road. The purpose of the work is to minimize cross median traffic collisions and fatalities along the route. The scope of the work includes moving traffic control with east and west bound lane closures along Highway 62. The work will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday, August 2.

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MORE BACKFLOW DEVICES STOLEN FROM YUCCA VALLEY BUSINESSES
Two more backflow devices have been stolen from Yucca Valley businesses during the past week. A large brass backflow device was reported stolen Friday evening, from Castrol Oil, near Pima Trail, and Monday morning, another backflow device was reported stolen from the construction site behind Rite-Aid at Warren Vista and Highway 62. Backflow devices prevent cross-contamination of the water system. The Hi-Desert Water District said in a press release that a property's water service is turned off if a backflow device is removed. The District urges property owners to secure their backflow device by buying a cage to place over it and securing it with a lock. Anyone with information about the thefts should call the Sheriff's Department at 760-366-4175.

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MOUNTAIN FIRE FULLY CONTAINED ON TUESDAY
Firefighters have completely contained the Mountain Fire, which has been burning since July 15 and scorched more than 27,500 acres in Mountain Center. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 100 percent containment was at 6 p.m. Tuesday. At its peak, more than 3,000 firefighters fought the blaze, but as of yesterday, only 35 crew members remained assigned to the fire, which is still burning. The fire was caused by electrical equipment failure that occurred on private property. The Mountain Fire destroyed 23 buildings, including seven homes. Officials said efforts to fight the fire have cost $25.8 million.

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ROTARY CLUB SETS DATE FOR CHARITY GOLF SCRAMBLE
Start practicing your golf swing. The Yucca Valley Rotary Club is holding a Scramble for Charity golf tournament in Desert Hot Springs in about a month. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the tax-deductible event will benefit local organizations…
Golfers, hold the date Friday, September 6, for the Rotary Club of Yucca Valley's Scramble for Charity Golf Tournament. It's traditional golf at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs. Your $75 entry fee includes 18 holes of ball, prizes, fun, and a seat at the awards luncheon. It's all tax deductible and benefits the Morongo Basin Historical Society, and Rotary of Yucca Valley Charities/Miracle League of the Desert. Sponsorships and tee signs are also available. Registrations are due by September 2. For more information or to save your spot, call Debbie Crone at 760-365-3315 or Shelly Licata at 760-228-3447.

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PIONEER DAYS PLANNING MEETING TONIGHT
The Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce will hold a planning meeting tonight for the 2013 Pioneer Days. The Chamber is soliciting ideas and input from members of the community for this year's Pioneer Days. The meeting will be held at City Hall starting at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 760-367-3445.

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BASIN-WIDE FOUNDATION BREAKFAST MEETING TOMORROW
Mental health services in the Morongo Basin will be the topic of tomorrow's Basin-Wide Foundation breakfast meeting. Rae Packard, the program manager at Family Service Association will discuss the new mental health social services and community resource programs available to individuals and families. The breakfast will be held at the Helen Gray Center, on the campus of the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, starting at 7 a.m. The cost is $9 per person. To reserve your sport call 760-365-7219.

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MORONGO BASIN OLD CAR CLUB TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR 18TH CHARITY CAR SHOW IN SEPTEMBER
All you old car enthusiasts—It's not too early to start thinking about the 18th Annual Morongo Basin Old Car Club Charity Car Show. Reporter Taylor Thacker says to mark your calendar…
Now is your chance to show off your old, classic car for a good cause! The 18th Annual MBOCC Charity Car Show is currently open for sign ups and will take place in Yucca Valley on September 28th at Town Center Mall, 57725 29 Palms Highway, at Warren Vista, starting at 9 a.m. This show is open to all makes and models of American and Foreign, Classic and Collector vehicles. Trophies will be presented to the Best of Show, Mayor's Choice, and People's Choice. Also, awards will be given out to the best Hot Rod, Ford, Under Construction, Motorcycle, Truck and many more categories! There will be food and vendor booths, raffle prizes, and the Z107.7 DJ playing your favorite tunes. The registration fee is $25 per vehicle and includes a T-shirt, dash plague and goodie bag. All proceeds are donated to Morongo Basin non profit organizations. For more information call 760-413-7209. Sponsors of this event are Yucca Auto Body, Yucca Valley Insurance Agency, Hi-Desert Publishing Co., Hills Towing, Rarick Financial Group, and Z107.7FM.

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DONATIONS NEEDED FOR SCHOOL SUPPLIES GIVE-AWAY
Every year, Spirit and Truth Worship Center Church has given away school supplies to area children. This year's give-away be held August 10 from 7 to 10 a.m. In addition to the free school supplies, children can also receive gently used clothing. In previous years, the church has donated more than 300 backpacks to Morongo Basin children. If you would like to make a donation of backpacks and school supplies to the church, please contact: Lois Burton deaconlois@stwconline.org or 760-361-2450 for drop-off hours. Spirit and Truth Worship Center Church is located at 4751 Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms.

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STORM FOOTBALL TAKING SIGN-UPS AND HOLDING CONDITIONING PRACTICE
High Desert Storm Youth Tackle Football has begun conditioning for the upcoming football season. All players are required to complete 10 hours of conditioning prior to wearing pads. Conditioning for players 7 through 13 will take place at Knott's Sky Park in Twentynine Palms now through August 9, from 5:30 to 7:30. Registrations will continue to be accepted until teams are full.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS TAKING REGISTRATIONS FOR YOUTH SOCCER, VOLLEYBALL PROGRAMS
Registrations for youth soccer and volleyball in Twentynine Palms begin tomorrow. The soccer program is open to boys and girls ages 4 to 14; the last day to register for soccer is September 6. The volleyball program is open to boys and girls in grades four through eight, with the last day of registration September 4. The registration fee for each sport is $45, with discounts available to families who register three or more children. Volunteer coaches and officials are also needed. For more information, call the recreation office at 760-367-7562.

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