YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT, HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM CONTRACT AND A PIPELINE ON THE AGENDA

The Yucca Valley Town Council meets in regular session tonight. Among items of interest are a contract with the registrar for Hi-Desert Nature Museum and discussion of converting a pipeline…

The Yucca Valley Town Council will meet in regular session at 6:00 tonight. On the consent agenda, the Council will be asked to approve a $20,000 contract between the Town and the Hi-Desert Nature Museum’s registrar. Members of the 2013-14 Youth Commission will also be introduced and appointed to the commission. The Council will then hold a public hearing on a development code amendment for permit procedures. Finally, the Council will open the bidding process for the Paradise Park playground equipment improvements, and receive a report on the Questar Southern Trails pipeline oil conversion project. The meeting will be held in the Yucca Room of the Community Center.

TWO TRUCKS TAKEN FROM COUNTY YARD IN LANDERS

Thieves went on a joyride Sunday morning after breaking into the County maintenance yard in Landers and stealing two vehicles. Shortly before 7 a.m., the California Highway Patrol reported that someone had broken into the county yard in the 800 block of Landers Lane. The suspect or suspects somehow got over the fence, and then forced their way into the office through a window. They stole the keys to two county Ford F-250 trucks parked on the property. One truck was driven through the gate and then abandoned north of the county yard on Landers Lane. A second truck was driven out into the desert near Giant Rock, where it was discovered near Belfield Lane; it appears to have rolled over at least three times. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the thefts; anyone with information is asked to call 760-366-4175.

TWO HOSPITALIZED AFTER MOTORCYCLE CRASHES INTO TRUCK IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Two people were hospitalized yesterday after the Yamaha motorcycle they were on crashed into a pick-up truck in Twentynine Palms. According to a Sheriff’s report, Matthew Fletcher, 24, with passenger Ashlee Demund, 26, was attempting to cross Highway 62 southbound at Split Rock when his motorcycle collided with a Ford truck, driven eastbound on the highway by Anthony Hilson, 41. Both Fletcher and Demund complained of pain to their left ankles, and Demund also complained of pain to her right hip, and were taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.

SCHOOL BOARD MEETS, ATHLETIC ELIGIBIITY ON AGENDA

Athletic eligibility is likely to be the focus of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meeting for this evening. Dan Stork previews what else will be going on…

A late addition to the action agenda of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meeting for September 17 says waives the first and second readings of a Board Policy and adopts it on the spot. This departure from usual Board procedures is part of an effort to change athletic eligibility rules, so that up to six Twentynine Palms High School football players can get back on the field as soon as possible, in the wake of an emotionally charged special meeting last week. The rest of the action agenda consists of change orders and completion notices for various improvement projects around the District, which follows a presentation by Assistant Superintendent Dave Price on summer projects. The 7 p.m. regular open session will be preceded by two work-study sessions at 5 pm, on class size reduction and District academic data. Sandwiched between the open sessions is a closed session at 6:30, to treat collective bargaining and personnel issues. The meeting takes place at Joshua Tree Elementary School, 4950 Sunburst in JT.

COMMANDANT CALLS FOR SMALLER MARINE CORPS OF 174,000

The Commandant of the Marine Corps has called for the service to cut its active-duty force to 174,000 personnel saying in a piece published Monday, “doing so will allow Marines to remain engaged as the U.S.’s premier crisis-response force.” Gen. Jim Amos’ essay, posted on the website “defense one,” called for additional cuts to the Corps, already in the midst of a drawdown from 202,100. Earlier plans called for a force of 182,100 by fall 2016. However, Amos had suggested previously that additional cuts would be necessary. In his essay, Amos said the decision to reduce the Corps to 174,000 assumes federally mandated budget cuts, known as sequestration, will remain in place. The commandant also left open the possibility that the Corps could be slightly larger to account for an increase in embassy security guards, mandated by Congress earlier this year. There’s no guarantee the service will be allowed to keep even 174,000 Marines, however. In similar fashion to when Amos called for a Corps of 186,800 Marines, there is pressure to shrink even more. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in August that the force’s end strength could shrink to “between 105,000 and 175,000 due to sequestration. Amos said the additional cuts would affect virtually all components of the service. The piece published Monday amd referenced in today’s Marine Corps Times, made no mention of how the Corps would make the additional cuts to 174,000, or how quickly it would happen. It has been shedding about 5,000 Marines per year as part of current drawdown plans. The commandant has said previously that while he wants to “keep faith” with Marines and not break service contracts, the option was on the table if the service was forced to shrink below 182,100 Marines.

FREE SEMINAR: CHOLESTEROL; THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY, AT HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER

A great way to learn more about how to keep you and your family healthy. The Hi-Desert Medical Center is offering a free seminar about cholesterol. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says while the event is free, you do have to make a reservation…

Many of us think of cholesterol as bad; truth is, there is good cholesterol as well. “Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” kicks off Hi-Desert Medical Center’s fall community health education series. The free seminar is Tuesday, September 24, at 6 p.m. in the Helen Gray Education Center on the hospital campus. Participants will learn what cholesterol is, why its management is important, the difference between “good” and “bad” cholesterol, and the latest treatment advances. Educational materials and light refreshments will be provided. Registration is required by calling 760-366-0808 or by logging onto hdmc.org.

CALL FOR ART FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS VISITORS CENTER GALLERY

The fall Art in Public Places group show is titled “Recollections: The 20th Century in the Morongo Basin,” from gold miners and desert homesteaders to artists, military, and the pioneers who built our community. The historically themed show will be on display from October 1 to December 27, 2013, at the Twentynine Palms Visitor Center Gallery in downtown Twentynine Palms. Artists are invited to submit one piece of original art for possible inclusion in this group exhibition and are requested to bring their submission to the visitor center on Friday, Sept. 27, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Artwork should depict the spirit and the memories of our desert communities and changing landscape over the last century, from 1900 to 2000, portrayed in painting, drawing, photography, mixed media, sculpture or assemblage. There is no charge for entering a work, and the piece must be offered for sale. All work must be ready to hang or mount with professional wire and should be suitable for viewing by the general public. Complete requirements for exhibiting work are at www.29palms.org. An opening art reception is being planned for Thursday, Oct. 3, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., with music by Bobby Furgo and Randy Godfrey. The gallery is open daily in the Twentynine Palms Visitor Center. For more information, contact Jon Beard at 760-367-7562 or email: publicarts@29palms.org.

TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION LOOKS AT HOUSING ELEMENT OF GENERAL PLAN

The Twentynine Palms Planning Commission will discuss the Housing Element of the General Plan at its September 17 meeting. Dan Stork has some background…

The sole item on the agenda of the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission for September 17 is a public hearing on the presentation of the 2013-2021 Housing Element to the Planning Commission for review, comment, and recommendation to forward to the City Council. The detailed 120-page Housing Element, available as part of a staff report on the City’s web site, is one of seven mandatory elements required by the state to be in the City’s General Plan. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall on Adobe Road.

TWENTYNINE PALMS SOROPTMIST TO HOST PRUDIE UNDERHILL SCHOLARSHIP EVENT

Tickets are now on sale for the Prudie Underhill Western Champagne Social, a scholarship fund-raiser set for Saturday, October 12. Join Soroptimist International of Twentynine Palms from 6 to 10 p.m. at Broadview Hacienda, Prudie Underhill’s former home, at 73452 Sunnyslope in Twentynine Palms. The evening will consist of a barbecue, live entertainment by Ramblin’ George, and both a live and silent auction. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple and are available at the Flower Garden, the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce, from any Soroptimist, or by calling 760-367-1126.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE CELEBRATES CONSTITUTION DAY THURSDAY

The staff and students of Copper Mountain College are celebrating constitution day this Thursday. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says they are calling it a “Mega-event”…

Over at Copper Mountain College the Cultural Education Enhancement Committee will commemorate National Constitution Day with two, edge-of-your-seat events that will happen together. It all starts with a public reading of the U.S. Constitution by history students, and the simultaneous judging of fresh baked, homemade apple pies. Any attending moms will receive special attention. This mega-event is Thursday, September 19, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bell Center’s Community Room. It’s all free and open to the public along with an invitation to submit homemade apple pies to be judged on taste. Fresh baked pies should be submitted at the Community Room by 11:45 that morning. Contact Cathy Allen 760-366-3791 ext. 0600 for more information.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT WEDNESDAY AT YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL

Yucca Valley High School will celebrate Back-to-School Night, tomorrow night, Wednesday, September 18, at 6:00 p.m. The night’s activities will kick off in the Trojan Gym with a performance by the award winning Trojan Marching Band. The teachers and staff look forward to meeting as many parents as possible and hope that all Trojans and parents will attend.