COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS MEET TOMORROW

The Morongo Basin Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for parents who have experienced the death of a child, meets every second Wednesday of the month from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This month’s meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday, September 11, at the Helen Gray Center located on the campus of Hi Desert Medical Center. The group is facilitated by Kristin Martin. For more information, contact Martin at 760-250-7295 or visit the Hi-Desert Medical Center website at www.hdmc.org.

UPDATE ON JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK STORM DAMAGE

A portion of the park loop road in Joshua Tree National Park remains closed due to Saturday’s storm. Significant debris is still blocking portions of the road, and some road damage has occurred. The Pinto Basin Road from Ocotillo Patch to the South Entrance is closed as is Pinkham Canyon Road. This includes Cottonwood Visitor Center and the Cottonwood Campground. The section from the north entrance, nearest the Oasis Visitor Center to the turn-off to Cottonwood will remain closed until further notice. Queen Valley dirt roads and Keys Ranch Road also remain closed due to flooding and storm damage. Both Jumbo Rocks campground and Geology Tour Road are closed for repair. Bell and White Tank campgrounds have been opened to accommodate campers.

4TH GENERATION DESERT COWBOY AT SCHOOHOUSE MUSEUM FRIDAY

A firsthand look at the rich ranching history of our region is being offered this Friday at the Old Schoolhouse Museum in Twentynine Palms. Reporter Taylor Thacker has your invitation…

The Mojave Desert, rich with cowboy and Indian legends, was settled by people who celebrated life, ranching, mining and cowboy ethics. Billy Mitchell, fourth generation of one of the founding families of Barstow, is a rancher, cowboy, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and resident of Johnson Valley. He is teaming up with photographer Hilary Sloane who moved from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree in 2009. Sloane has discovered a love for exploring the Mojave Desert with her photography. With Mitchell’s stories, and Sloane’s pictures, this Schoolhouse Lecture is sure to bring you awareness about the rich cowboy heritage in the High Desert. This event takes place on Friday, September 13, starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, and admission is $5. Proceeds help support the Twentynine Palms Historic Society and the Desert Institute. There will also be an optional dinner with the speaker at 5 p.m. at the 29 Palms Inn; space is limited and attendees are responsible for their own meal. For more information or to register, call 760-361-1202.

JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM OUT TOMORROW MORNING

The Joshua Tree Clean Team will meet at the corner of Hwy 62 and Sunny Vista on Wednesday, September 11. Volunteers will work from 7 to 8 a.m. There will trash bags, grabber sticks, gloves and water available. Following clean up efforts there will be an optional gathering for coffee and conversation at the Park Rock Café. Everyone is welcome.

YUCCA VALLEY CHAMBER MIXER AT PACIFIC MARINE CREDIT UNION TONIGHT

The Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold a mixer Tuesday, September 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Pacific Marine Credit Union. Mixers are an opportunity for business people to network, exchange business cards, distribute brochures and make new acquaintances. Pacific Marine Credit Union has provided financial services for more than 60 years. Since credit unions are non-profit, they can offer lower rates on loans and lower fees than banks. Pacific Marine Credit Union is located at 57402 29 Palms Highway, Suite 6.

HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER BOARD TO CONSIDER PLACING A TAX ON NOVEMBER 2014 BALLOT

The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board will consider putting a tax on the 2014 ballot. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the Board meets tonight…

At tonight’s 6 p.m. meeting of the Hi-Desert Medical Center Board, Directors will consider beginning the process for placing a tax initiative on the November 2014 ballot with proceeds going to operations of the district. Also tonight, the board will consider two appointments to the District Foundation, and receive an update on the Waste Water Treatment Plant. Those actions and others are in addition to regular reports and the likely approval of items on the consent agenda. It all happens in the Helen Gray Education Center.

BLOOD DRIVE IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW

Desert Blood Services will conduct a community blood drive on Wednesday, September 11, at Vons in Yucca Valley from 2 to 5 p.m. Donors will receive incentives, including a Patriot Day T-shirt. In addition, Desert Blood Services now offers donors free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. 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.

LOCAL MARINES TEAM UP WITH REACH-OUT TO ASSIST LOCAL SENIORS

Seniors and the disabled in Twentynine Palms can get help with yard work and minor home repairs, thanks to a joint project between Reach Out Morongo Basin and the Marines. Volunteers from 1st Tanks Battalion will be matched with eligible residents to work on homes and yards with chores the residents can’t perform themselves. To be eligible for this project the homes must be owned by the requesting individual or have a signed release from the landlord/property owner, and work must be able to be performed within the allotted time. To sign up or to get more information, please contact Reach Out Executive Director Robin Schlosser at 760-361-1410.

CHP OFFERS DRIVING CLASSES FOR SENIORS

The Morongo Basin Station of the California Highway Patrol will offer a free driving update class for area senior citizens in Yucca Valley this Friday. Managing Editor Tami Roleff tells you how to enroll…
As we age, our reflexes slow, our vision deteriorates, and our flexibility declines. The California Highway Patrol is offering a free class to help seniors keep driving as safely as possible for as long as possible. The Age Well, Drive Smart senior driver class will be held 9 a.m. Friday, September 13, at the Yucca Valley Senior Center. Many insurance companies offer discounts to their senior customers who take driver improvement classes. No pre-registration is required. For more information, call the CHP at 760-366-3707.

DISASTER RESPONSE CLASSES OFFERRED IN 29 PALMS

Would you know what to do in case of a disaster? The Twentynine Palms Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will hold free training classes over three weekends to learn about disaster preparedness, fire suppression, medical operations, search and rescue, disaster psychology and team organization, and terrorism. Participants will also take part in a disaster simulation. This 20-hour training class will be held September 21, September 28, and October 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lear Fire Station in Twentynine Palms. Use what you learn to be a member of CERT or to be better prepared to help your family in the event of a disaster. To register, call Mary Reeves at 760-625-5335.

ONE ARREST AFTER A CHASE IN YUCCA VALLEY

A Yucca Valley man who led police on a short chase Sunday was arrested after police found drugs in his possession. According to a police report, a deputy attempted a traffic stop on Phillip Maldonado, 49, about 5:20 p.m. Sunday. Maldonado refused to yield, and led the deputy on a short chase through residential neighborhoods, blowing through stop signs, near Sage Avenue north of the highway. During the pursuit, Maldonado was seen to throw something out the car window, which was later identified as methamphetamine. Maldonado was finally stopped near Antelope Trail and Sage Avenue. The report states the deputy found more meth in Maldonado’s possession. Phillip Maldonado was arrested for investigation of unlawful sale of speed. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT, BONDS, STORM DAMAGE, AND MBTA SUPPORT

Project Phoenix bonds, storm damage, the fate of the MBTA, and an appeal of a Planning Commission decision are part of the Twentynine Palms City Council agenda tonight. Dan Stork has more details…

The September 10 meeting of the Twentynine Palms City Council starts off with two presentations. The first is an overview of current status of 2011 series A and B bonds and related litigation. The second is about damage to city streets from the recent rainstorms. Two public hearings are about proposed amendments to the Municipal Code adopting and updating all applicable “building codes” and an appeal of the planning commission’s denial of an appeal of the Interim Community Development Director’s determination that an apartment project plan as resubmitted constitutes a new project requiring a new application and submittal of plan check fees. A final discussion will be about a recommendation from the ad hoc committee on the strategic planning workshop to be held on October 24. A consent agenda item of note is the adoption of a resolution opposing the County of San Bernardino’s plan to consolidate transit agencies.

RECALL PROPONENT SUES TOWN FOR RESCINDED NAMES, DEADLINE TODAY

A judge on Monday ordered the Town of Yucca Valley to tell the recall proponents how many voters changed their minds about signing the petitions to recall Council Members Robert Lombardo and George Huntington. Recall proponent Ron Cohen sued the Town last Thursday to get the information, and in a hearing Monday morning, Judge Bryan Foster ordered the Town to release the number of voters who have requested that their names be removed from the petitions, but not their names. Yucca Valley Town Clerk Lesley Copeland said that as of 10 a.m. Monday, the number of rescinded names was 21. Copeland added that the Town was following election code in not releasing the rescinded voters’ names to the recall proponents, and she said the judge agreed with the Town’s decision. The judge ordered the Town to turn over the number of names, and Judge Foster also denied the recall proponents’ request for reimbursement of its legal and filing fees. The deadline to turn in the recall petitions is today. State law requires that at least 25 percent of the Town’s registered voters sign the petitions in order to put the recall of the Council Members on a special election ballot.