CHP LOOKING FOR TRUCK THAT LOST A COUCH

The California Highway Patrol is asking for the public’s help in locating the driver of a pickup truck that failed to stop in a collision that injured a little girl. According to a CHP press release, last Saturday about 5:20 p.m., Ariel Gilman of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was driving a silver Toyota Matrix westbound on Highway 62 near Sunfair Road when a couch flew out of a pickup truck traveling eastbound and struck Gilman’s Toyota. The driver of the truck failed to stop. A 6-year-old girl in Gilman’s vehicle was injured as a result of the collision. Anyone with information about the collision or the pickup truck driver should call the CHP at 760-366-3707

HELP CLEAN-UP PIPES CANYON THIS SATURDAY

Save Our Desert will host a cleanup day in the Pipes Canyon Area this coming Saturday, November 16. Participants will meet at the corner of Highway 247 and Pipes Canyon Road, and disperse to several areas to clean up roadsides and open space area in the vicinity of Black Lava Butte, Flat Top Mesa, and Pioneertown. The Joshua Tree Clean Team has donated equipment to use for the day. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes, long sleeves, sunscreen, gloves, and bring water and lunch. For more information, email info@saveourdesert.com or contact Frazier Haney at 760-464-5430, or visit SaveOurDesert.com.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL PART 1 OF 2: PRAYERS BEFORE COUNCIL MEETINGS

In the first of two reports on this week’s meeting of the Twentynine Palms City Council, Dan Stork highlights the discussion of the practice of invocations before meetings of the Council…

At the beginning of the discussion of invocations before City Council meetings, Twentynine Palms City Attorney Patrick Munoz set a legal frame for the topic. He told the Council that current policy, in which anyone wishing to deliver an invocation may request to be scheduled to do so, meets current federal guidelines. During the period of public comment, there was applause from many following statements supporting the current practice, and applause from few for opposing opinions.

Pastor Steven Burns, president of the Twentynine Palms Ministerial Association, cited Biblical support for the practice of praying for civil authorities. He also claimed evidence for the efficacy of local prayer. “During all the Middle East operations over the last 20 years, this base has suffered the least amount of fatalities of any other base. Is this because they’re better-trained? Not necessarily so. Can it be because local churches were praying for our armed forces?”

Chenise Campbell said that during her deployment at a base in Iraq that had been subject to frequent “incoming,” the incidence of “incomings” stopped during her time there, during which she prayed regularly.
Owen Gillick affirmed his own status as a believer, and went on to state his opposition to religious invocations. “To be strongly encouraged to remain standing while an invocation will be presented – that becomes part of a government program.”

Almut Fleck reviewed arguments made by supporters of public prayer which claim historical support for the practice dating to the founding of this country. She said that many of the practices that support religious expressions in public matters are of recent vintage, and asked whether it is desirable to spread a “Christian nation myth.”

Within the City Council, Jay Corbin spoke strongly against current practice. “I believe in prayer. I pray often. I’m praying right now. But I don’t believe it’s our role as government to sponsor it.”
Mayor Joel Klink wants things to remain as they are. “I am a Christian, and I love having invocation before Council. It clears my head and puts me in a good place to do my job.” Jim Harris offered advice to those opposed to the practice. “My personal thought was, stand outside the door, don’t come in until it’s over.” Dan Mintz and Cora Heiser expressed a wish for some compromise solution. Corbin moved replacing current practice with a moment of silence, and received no second. At end, the current practice remains in effect.

COMMUNITY DRUM CIRCLE THIS SUNDAY

The Joshua Tree Retreat Center will host a community drum circle celebrating the full moon from 7 to 9 p.m. this Sunday, November 17. Well-known Joshua Tree percussionist Sam Sloneker will facilitate the gathering, which will be held in the center’s Friendship Hall. The event kicks off the sixth year of monthly community drum circles at the Retreat Center. Sloneker said, “The 17th is also “World Peace Day,” and as we’re so near Thanksgiving, the theme of our circle will be peace and gratitude.” Participants are encouraged to bring drums, shakers, tambourines, etc. A number of instruments will also be available at the event. There is no charge to attend, though a suggested donation of $5 per participant or $10 per family will be welcomed and appreciated. The Joshua Tree Retreat Center, formerly Mentalphysics, is located at 59700 Twentynine Palms Hwy. in Joshua Tree. Turn right after entering the Center and take the first left; Friendship Hall will be on your left toward the middle of the long building (follow the signs). For additional information, please call the Center at 760-365-8371.

YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY EXPANSION

Expansion of an assisted living facility on Joshua Lane and outdoor displays for a new store were on the agenda for the Yucca valley Planning Commission last night. Managing Deport Tami Roleff was there and files this report…
Despite receiving letters from neighbors objecting to the expansion of an assisted living facility, the Yucca Valley Planning Commission approved the request to convert the garage of the home at 8980 Joshua Lane into four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The home currently houses six residents; with the expansion, it will be able to house up to 12, with four employees. Neighbors feared the expansion would bring increased traffic from visitors and emergency vehicles, and would negatively impact the neighborhood. The Planning Commission was reassured that the expansion would not significantly increase traffic and approved the request unanimously. In other business, the planning commission also approved the request by Tractor Supply Company to place merchandise such as lawn, garden, pet and livestock equipment, fencing materials, and trailers outside the store.

A CLARIFICATION TO THIS STORY:

The Planning Commission approved the assisted living facility request with two conditions. The Commission will review the facility’s request in 12 months to determine if traffic is an issue. It also required the facility to receive approval from the California Water Quality Regional Control Board to make sure the higher number of residents does not have a negative impact on the neighborhood and the proposed sewer project in Phase III.

YUCCA VALLEY REPUBLICAN WOMEN MEET SUNDAY

Yucca Valley Republican Women will hold their Installation Dinner meeting this Monday, November 18, at 6 p.m. Yucca Valley’s own Chad Mayes will be the installing officer and speaker for the evening on “Election 2014 – Get Motivated.” Mayes served three terms on the Yucca Valley Town Council and served as mayor twice and is a candidate for California Assembly. The installation and meeting will be held at Evangelical Free Church on Mohawk Trail in Yucca Valley. Cost for the dinner is $15 ($1 of your ticket goes to charity) and reservations are required. For reservations or information on the evening call Sharon at 760-365-6272.

RELAY FOR LIFE CRAFT BAZAAR AT HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER SATURDAY

Hi-Desert Medical Center’s Relay for Life team is sponsoring a community craft bazaar Saturday, November 16, from 8 to 2:30 at the Helen Gray Education Center on the hospital campus. Handmade soaps, jewelry, jams, cards, and homemade knitted, embroidered and personalized items will all be available for sale. More vendors are needed; the fee is $25, and is donated to Relay for Life. For more information or to rent a space, call Jenne Wheeler at 760-366-6179.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BOARD MEETS TOMORROW, VOTING FOR STUDENT REP ON AGENDA

The Copper Mountain College Board will meet tomorrow. Reporter Mike Lipsitz checks the agenda…
The regular monthly meeting of the Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees begins at 3 p.m. tomorrow. Topping the action agenda is a possible decision on whether or not to grant voting privileges to the Student Trustee. A 2:15 p.m. Board Study Session will contemplate that question as well. Those items and others are in addition to regular reports and items on the consent agenda. It all happens in the Bell Center’s Community Room on the Joshua Tree campus.

DESERT HILLS PRESBYTERIAN HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

A holiday boutique and luncheon will be held Friday, November 15, and Saturday, November 16, at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church in Yucca Valley. The boutique is open Friday, 8 to 4 and Saturday, 9 to noon. The luncheon is served 11:30 to 1 Friday only. The boutique will feature crafts, jewelry, a raffle, and more. The church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail in Yucca Valley.

AN INVITATION TO JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK FOR SUNDAY

Family-Up! invites everyone to spend the day with them in Joshua Tree National Park Sunday, November 17. The group will picnic, hike, and rock scramble. Those interested in the event should meet at 11:30 a.m. at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 56750 Mountain View Trail, or if you prefer to drive yourself, meet about noon at the Hidden Valley parking lot in the park.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY VISITS WHITEWATER PRESERVE THIS FRIDAY

The Historical Society is travelling to the Whitewater Preserve this Friday. Reporter Taylor Thacker invites you to join them…
Join the Morongo Basin Historical Society on their car pool to the Whitewater Preserve. Naturalist Dawn Boatman will be the host for the day and will share the history of the area, which includes the first inhabitants, the Serrano Indians, and the Rainbow Fish Hatchery of recent years. Participants can enjoy the day at their own pace as they hike the trails or look at the exhibits. Lunch will be available. The Historical Society will meet at Covington Park in Morongo Valley on November 15 at 10 a.m. to car pool to the preserve. The trip is $5 per person plus $7 for lunch. For more information call 760-363-6681.

YUCCA VALLEY AND TWENTYNINE PALMS VOLLEYBALL LOSE 1ST ROUND CIF PLAYOFF GAMES

The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojans volleyball team travelled to West Valley High School yesterday to take on the Lady Mustangs in round 1 CIF playoffs. Yucca Valley High School lost in three sets. Coach Matt Jennings said standouts were: Ashley Priest, with one block, two kills; Chelsea LeBoutillier, three kills; Chelsea Mondary, nine for nine serving, and seven assists; Michaela Milone, five kills; Daylin Anderson, 13 digs. Jennings said he was proud of the team and how hard they worked all season long. It was a pleasure to coach them and he wishes them the best.

The Twentynine Palms High School Ladycats volleyball team lost a hard-fought battle to the visiting Koalas of Connelly High School, winning the first set and dropping the final three sets. The Ladycats were led by senior Tusia Brown with 12 kills, one block and three assists. Senior Hannah Sutherland had three ace serves and three kills. Freshman Tatiyanna Mackall had four kills and four blocks. Junior Koko Cabrera had 27 assists for the night.