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Listen To Your News Tuesday, October 9, 2012 News Archive
     

Z107.7 URGES A YES VOTE ON MEASURE "U" IN YUCCA VALLEY
This is an editorial opinion. Z107.7 is urging a "yes" vote on Measure "U," the 1 percent sales tax proposal for the Town of Yucca Valley. With the future of Yucca Valley literally at stake, now is not the time to play personal political gotcha games or point fingers backward. Faced with few options after the dysfunctional state of California mandated that the use of septic be stopped, the Town of Yucca Valley did what they are supposed to do: They stepped up with a reasonable and smart solution to both accomplish the requirements of a sewer system and maintain an attractive, safe and efficient Town environment. Almost half of all the revenue from the tax is obligated to a sewer system and a "yes" vote for measure "U" will take at least 35 percent of the burden off the backs of property owners. It will remove the onus delaying needed investment while providing vital funding to install and sustain important infrastructure and quality of life improvements for Town residents and those who use Town facilities. Yucca Valley desperately needs this solution for both the immediate and long-term needs of good people who want to provide the best future for their families, live in a safe and clean place and operate their businesses successfully. For all the right reasons, Z107.7 strongly urges a "Yes" on measure "U."

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL TO HEAR ABOUT DESERT TOURISM, SCHOOL BUSSING
The Twentynine Palms City Council meets in regular session tonight. Presentations, status reports, and improvements are all on the docket. Reporter Dan Stork takes a closer look at tonight's Council agenda…
Among the presentations that will be given at the start of the Twentynine Palms City Council meeting on October 9 are a status summary from Desert Regional Tourism, a report on the current school busing program from Morongo Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Dave Price, and a status report on city capital projects. The consent calendar includes two one-time capital improvement expenditures: one of $30,000 for equipment for CERT (the Community Emergency Response Team); and $10,000 for resurfacing basketball courts in Luckie Park. Items scheduled for discussion and potential action are: flashing speed limit signs and the design of road improvements on selected major streets; an electric vehicle charging station at the Visitors Center; Knott's Sky Park improvements for youth recreation programs; and an amendment to the Waste Delivery Agreement between the City and San Bernardino County. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall on Adobe Road.

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MARINE CORPS INTRODUCES ALCOHOL INTERVENTION PROGRAM
The Marine Corps announced it will crack down on reckless drinking by requiring service members cited for drunken driving and other drinking-related incidents to participate in a new program focused on "evidence-based intervention." The Prime for Life program was outlined briefly in Marine administrative message 527/12, released September 21. It will focus on early intervention, and include interactive programs that force Marines to review facts about high-risk drinking. Marines who are cited for a DUI receive early intervention services now, but the message establishes Prime for Life as the new standard. Also planned is a campaign focused on the risks associated with alcohol abuse and misuse, training efforts and the development of educational resources related to risk-taking behaviors. Top Marine officials have cited the role alcohol plays in a variety of societal problems plaguing the Corps. They include spousal abuse, suicide and an embarrassing sexual assault problem that Commandant General Jim Amos has called a "black mark" on the service's reputation.

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YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATES PART 2: MEASURE "U"
We continue today with our in-depth election coverage, meeting the candidates in Morongo Basin elections. In Yucca Valley, Measure U is a 30-year, 1 percent sales tax measure placed on the November ballot by the current Town Council. The Council plans to use the projected $100-$160 million in tax revenue to help fund the Town's sewer system and infrastructure needs. Two members of the current Council who support the tax measure are also on the ballot; opposing the sales tax is a former council member and three-time Yucca Valley mayor, who is running as a write-in candidate in the election. In the second of a two-part series covering the candidates for the Yucca Valley Town Council, managing editor Tami Roleff asks each of the candidates about their views on Measure U…
Yucca Valley council members George Huntington and Robert Lombardo voted earlier this year to place Measure U, the 1 percent sales tax, on the ballot in November. Huntington said Yucca Valley needs the sales tax measure to pass. "I would love to see Measure U pass because it would provide some substance to the water district to complete that sewer system which we need definitely." Robert Lombardo, who was appointed to the council last year, explained why he supports the sales tax. "I think this is a much fairer way of doing it and spread out over a larger group. And it's a small tax—1 percent on things you buy in the local area. I think it's entirely fair and it brings in money from outside. Whereas if we do it by assessment, it's just a few people that live down the corridor where the main sewer goes where the main sewer is reaching, Phase 1. Those people can't afford it all at once or even over a long time by attaching it to the properties, which is probably what would happen. It would raise the rents, it would drive people out, and it would close businesses. It'd be a difficult time." Write-in candidate Bob Leone, who served for 12 years on the Yucca Valley Town Council, opposes the sales tax measure, despite the fact that the Town and the water district have a signed agreement spelling out how the tax proceeds will be divided. "The way it's written up and the way it's designed to pass this November 6 … there's no mention, there's nothing in there that guarantees anything going to the wastewater or sewer." Leone says it's a bad time to institute a tax, but then adds the residents should be asked to vote on a designated tax in March, which requires a two-thirds majority instead of a simple majority. "I think we can pass it by a two-thirds vote because I think the people in this town who own the properties know how important it is that we have clean drinking water and a septic system."

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES PART 2: ISSUES AND REASONS
Reporter Dan Stork posed a set of questions to Cora Heiser, John Cole, and Joel Klink, the three candidates for the two available Twentynine Palms City Council seats. Yesterday: Project Phoenix, commercial solar development, and the use of financial reserves. Today: fire department divestment, farmers markets, the biggest issues facing the city, and why they are running…
With regard to the fire department divestment, Cole said he had expected there to be more discussion about it before the water department went forward, and said that the city needs to keep its options open. Klink doubts that an increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax could be counted on to provide the money to restore the projected loss of three firefighting jobs. Heiser said the city should explore ways to help the county, such as looking for money to re-purpose within the current budget. All candidates would like to see a Farmers' Market return to the City. Klink suggested inviting the operator of the defunct Market to City Council, to discuss why she closed it. When asked to list the big issues facing the City Council, Heiser cited the economy, the cost of gas, lack of services, and the need to remove barriers to business development. Cole said, "The obvious one is that we're going to have to get this Project Phoenix thing resolved." He added continued economic development of Twentynine Palms, cooperation with the Marine Base, recognizing a gateway opportunity to the east of the city, and public safety and well-being. Klink started with bringing business and retail to Twentynine Palms, and added reduction of hurdles posed by planning department processes, and staying ahead of infrastructure problems, such as the wastewater issue. We asked each: "Why are you running?" Incumbents Cole and Klink both said they want to apply their experience. Cole said, "I believe I am in a better position now to increase my effectiveness than I was before." Klink stated, "I want to be involved with the city as the economy gets better." Challenger Heiser said, "I would really like to serve the citizens of Twentynine as their representative, as their voice in the government."

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BLOOD DRIVE TOMORROW IN YUCCA VALLEY
Desert Blood Services will conduct a community blood drive in Yucca Valley Wednesday, October 10. Blood donations will be taken at Vons in Yucca Valley, from 2 to 6 p.m. All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 877-827-4376.

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SCHOOL BOARD HOPEFULS AT PUBLIC FORUM LAST NIGHT
The Morongo Teachers Association sponsored a candidate forum at Friendly Hills Elementary School last night. Kristy Lockhart explains the candidates had the chance to address the main issues affecting our schools…
The four candidates vying for the two open seats started the forum with a brief opening statement and then answered questions posed by a moderator. One of the key issues for voters is Prop 30, a proposed state sales and income tax increase. Ron Palmer was the only candidate who voiced concerns. "What do they mean by temporary? I have several neighbors that are senior citizens and they can't afford a tax increase." Another hot topic is teacher morale and teacher evaluations being tied to test scores. Ed Will says that's not fair to teachers. "It's difficult when a teacher has GATE kids who are very bright and easy to motivate and another teacher has shall we say tract D kids that need all the extra help." Opponent Karalee Hargrove disagrees. "With all the resources we have in the district from tutoring to resource to special Ed, I would want them to be held accountable, as I would as a school board member." Candidate Ralph George spoke passionately about the lack of parental involvement. Even the forum was poorly attended. "There are kids that go a whole school year and don't have a parent come to school one time and we can't have that. We have to find a way to draw those parents in." All the candidates hope to see less budget cuts in the future, more technology and smaller class sizes.

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JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM OUT TOMORROW WITH NEW HOURS
The Joshua Tree Clean Team is announcing new fall hours from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The next clean-up will be held tomorrow morning on the north side on Highway 62 and Sunburst Avenue. There will be grabber sticks, trash bags and gloves available to make the volunteer's job easier. Afterwards, the team will meet at the Park Rock Cafe for coffee, breakfast and conversation. For more information call 760-366-8415.

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HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER BOARD TO CONSIDER HEALTH CENTER NOMINEES TONIGHT
The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board meets tonight, Reporter Mike Lipsitz looks at a sparse agenda…
The Hi-Desert Memorial Healthcare District Board of Directors meets in regular session at 6:00 tonight in the Helen Gray Education Center. The single action item on the agenda is consideration of director nominees for the newly-formed Community Health Center Board. And among information items, the board will hear presentations on the reorganization of patient care services, physician recruitment, and the conflict of interest code.

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YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING ON CELL PHONE TOWER TONIGHT
The Yucca Valley Planning Commission meets tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says they will hold a public hearing on a cell phone tower…
The Yucca Valley Planning Commission will hold a public hearing tonight on a proposed wireless communication antenna. The location is described as 400 feet west of Rockaway, just north of the water district's water tank. Also on the agenda, the Commission will select a member for the General Plan Advisory Committee. The meeting will be held at 6:00 tonight in the Yucca Room of the Community Center.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULES
The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojan volleyball team hosted the Golden Eagles of Desert Hot Springs in Trojan gym Monday night. The Trojans fell 3-1. Coach Matt Jennings said the team was led by Chelsea LeBoutillier, with 12 kills and 15 for 15 from the service line. Setter Chelsea Mondary had 28 assists and Michaela Milone had seven kills. The junior varsity lost a close one 2-1, with the final set being 22-24. The team was led by the play of Haley Rayburn at the net and Nikole Cody as setter.

The Twentynine Palms High School Ladycats volleyball squad beat the Rams from Desert Mirage in three sets. All girls saw playing time. Coach Missy Franz said the Ladycats were led by senior Alex Herrera with 10 kills, three blocks and two assists. Junior Cherokee Turner had four kills and one block, and junior Tusia Brown had three kills and three ace serves. Shyanne Borchers had 21 assists and one kill for the night. The Ladycats are now 1-2 in League.

The Twentynine Palms High School Lady Wildcats tennis team competed against the visiting Desert Mirage Lady Rams yesterday. The Lady Cats defeated the Rams 15-3.

In high school sports tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat volleyball and tennis teams will host the Yucca Valley High School Trojans at home in Twentynine Palms. Tennis starts at 3:15; volleyball at 4:30.

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