CRASH KNOCKS OUT POWER ON YUCCA MESA FOR HOURS LAST NIGHT

A man talking on his cell phone while driving knocked out power in Yucca Mesa yesterday afternoon. According to a Sheriff’s report, Greg Han, 52, was driving westbound on Buena Vista in his 2013 Toyota Corolla while talking on the phone traveling at a high rate of speed about 4 p.m.

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The report states that Han wasn’t paying attention to the road and crossed over the eastbound lane, and hit a dirt berm on the south side of the road near Lomita Drive. The car continued into a high-power utility pole and snapped it off at the base. Han’s Toyota came to rest on the passenger side, wrapped in power lines, and with Han suspended from his seatbelt inside. Paramedics had to wait for Southern California Edison for about an hour to arrive to shut down the power lines. Once the power was turned off, Yucca Mesa paramedics used a window saw to remove Han from the car’s front windshield. The crash damaged six surrounding power poles and power was out for several hours yesterday. Lomita Drive was also shut down from Buena Vista to Old Haggard while So Cal Edison crews worked on restoring power. Han appeared to be uninjured but was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs as a precaution.

CONTROVERSIAL SOLAR DEVELOPMENT IN JOSHUA TREE TAKING PUBLIC COMMENTS

Now that the moratorium by San Bernardino County on solar development projects has been lifted, previously-announced plans are moving forward. Dan Stork has the notice for public comments on one controversial development in Joshua Tree…

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Parcel map showing location of proposed solar energy generating facility in Joshua Tree, between Alta Loma and Melton Trail, west of Olympic Road.

January 16 is the announced date for public comments on a solar energy generation project in a residential area of Joshua Tree. This project came to public notice at the beginning of 2013, and is being developed by Coronus, a Canadian company. The installation is planned for 24 acres of a 56-acre site between Alta Loma and Melton Trail, west of Olympic Road. Comments must be received by the County Planning department no later than January 16 to be sure that they are included in the final project action. However, comments will be taken up to the time of the project decision. If you have comments, refer to the project by the applicant’s name, which is: CF SBC OWNER ONE LLC. Mail your comments to an address you can find in this story at z1077fm.com: San Bernardino County, Land Use Services, 385 North Arrowhead Avenue, First Floor, San Bernardino, CA92415-0182. You can also call County planner Chris Conner, at  909-387-4425, or by email at cconner@lusd.sbcounty.gov to register your comments or questions.

TWENTYNINE PALMS POLICE FOCUSING ON SPEEDING AND CELL PHONES

This week in Twentynine Palms, police will be focusing on speed and cell phone violations, and on drivers who are “impeding” traffic, as this often causes other drivers to tailgate. Several crashes have been caused by drivers following too closely. Don’t forget, speeding and distracted driving are a major cause of collisions. The Sheriff’s Department reminds motorists to hang up the phone and drive.

YUCCA VALLEY COUNCIL AND PLANNING COMMISSION DISCUSS WILDLIFE CORRIDORS

The Yucca Valley Town Council and Planning Commission spent nearly three hours last night discussing wildlife corridors, or, more specifically, whether a map showing wildlife corridors should be included in the Town’s General Plan Update. Arguments ranged from lowering property values to scaring off developers to Big Government sticking its nose in Town business, to the validity of the reports. Managing editor Tami Roleff was at the meeting and files this report…

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The Town Council and Planning Commission were divided on whether a map showing wildlife corridors should be included in the General Plan Update. Those opposed contended it would scare off builders and developers from developing their property if they knew they might have to do a study to determine if additional measures would need to be taken to mitigate any impact on sensitive habitat and wildlife areas,. (Such measures could include clustering the development; shielding lighting; avoiding sensitive biological resources; providing buffers between development and riparian areas; and encouraging the use of fences that allows wildlife to pass through.)

The Town Council and three members of the Planning Commission who were present (Vickie Bridenstein and Tim Humphreville were absent) all agreed that property rights are important.

Dawn Rowe listed some of the species protected in wildlife corridors. “The pallid bat. The spotted bat. The western yellow bat. The pocketed tail bat. The big free-tail bat. The pallid San Diego pocket mouse. The bighorn sheep, and the American badger. I have a hard time thinking we are adjusting our General Plan for any of those species, requiring clustering or fencing designs to allow for that.”

The Council and Planning Commission, and most of the 14 speakers, also questioned the validity of the state reports by CalTrans and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the boundaries of the corridors. Bob Leone spoke for everyone when he said the requirement to list wildlife corridors in the General Plan Update was about “government control. We have the national park that abuts YuccaValley. The development of YuccaValley has little impact on species. Everyone is a little over-concerned.”

Those in favor of including the map in the General Plan update argued that developers who owned property in a wildlife corridor would not be prohibited from building on the parcel. They also urged that the map be included in the General Plan Update for transparency, since under the California Environmental Quality Act, the map must be included in the Environmental Impact Report, a very technical report that accompanies the General Plan Update. Ramon Mendoza of YuccaValley chastised the Council and commissioners, telling them he never saw them at any of the meetings were the wildlife corridors were discussed.

Ultimately, because the Council had no other choice, it approved putting the map in the EIR (the California Environmental Quality Act requires the wildlife corridor be included in the EIR), but the issue of whether the map should be in the General Plan Update, was continued to another meeting set for February 4. For a map showing the wildlife corridors, go to page 25 of the General Plan Update at a link in this story at Z107.7FM.

http://www.yucca-valley.org/pdf/general_plan_draft/GP_05_Draft_OSC.pdf

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE CLOSED PART OF TOMORROW

Copper Mountain College will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for staff training and development. If you have any questions please feel free to call and leave a message; all messages will be returned when the campus re-opens. The General Ernie Reid Bookstore will be open for students during its normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The regular monthly meeting of the Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees begins at 3 p.m. tomorrow. The meeting follows a 2 p.m. board study session on the new Student Success and Support Program, formerly known as Matriculation. Then the college’s mission statement will be considered in addition to regular reports and items on the consent agenda. Both the Board Study Session and regular meeting will take place in the Bell Center’s Community Room.

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT PRODUCTIONS OPEN TONIGHT

It’s opening night for the theater students of Yucca Valley high School. Reporter Taylor Thacker says “Break a Leg”…

The Yucca Valley High School Theatre Company presents their student-directed productions of “Happy Birthday, Heather Bigby”, “Flash Mob”, and “We’re Your Friends.” The shows are directed by Hunter Stepp and Cassandre Hemphill. The performances will occur in the YVHS multipurpose room on January 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 6:00pm with an additional matinee on the 11 at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and cost $5 for adults, $4 for students, and are free for children under the age of 12. You don’t want to miss this triple feature! For more information contact the producer, Scott Phillips. His email address is in this story at z1077fm.com. sphillips@yvhs.net.

DOG OBEDIENCE CLASSES OFERRED IN YUCCA VALLEY

The Town of Yucca Valley is offering two dog obedience classes, both of which start this week. A basic obedience class will be held Fridays, starting January 10, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center. The six-week course will cover sit, stay, down, come, heal, and leave-it. An advanced obedience class and therapy dog training class will be held on Thursdays, starting January 9, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the community center. The course will include wait; sit/stay in a group of dogs; walking on a loose leash; staying calm in a crowd, with strangers, and with other dogs; and obeying commands at a distance. The cost for each class is $135 and participants must pre-register either online at yucca-valley.org or in person at the community center. For more information, call 760-369-7211.

JOSHUA TREE LIBRARY OFFERS CHILDRENS PROGRAMS

With the new year, the children’s programs at the Joshua Tree Branch Library are back in swing. Dan Stork reviews all that’s in store…

The Joshua Tree Branch Library will be offering Preschool story time every Tuesday and Toddler Boot Camp every Wednesday. During preschool story time kids will be read to amazing books, sing songs, and then will create simple crafts. Toddler Boot Camp is for children between 0-3 years old and encourages movement, as well as developing motor and listening skills. During Toddler Boot Camp the youngsters move to music, stretch, and relax with a story. Don’t miss the fun at the Joshua Tree Branch Library every Tuesday and Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Preschool Story time and Toddler Boot Camp is a free program offered by the San Bernardino County Library. For more information about these or other programs offered at the Joshua Tree Branch Library call 760-366-8615.

TODDLER BOOT CAMP STARTS TOMORROW AT TWENTYNINE PALMS LIBRARY

A new Toddler Boot Camp Program is starting up tomorrow in Twentynine Palms. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells how to enlist your little one…

There is a new program at the Twentynine Palms Library. Every Thursday, starting January 9, and ending February 13, at 10:00 a.m., the Twentynine Palms Library will hold a Toddler Boot Camp. This program will include high energy songs with lots of movement to inspire a healthy model of physical exercise in a fun and engaging way. In doing this helps the development of gross motor skills, listening skills, following directions, stretching, and being active. Bring your child to Toddler Boot Camp at the Twentynine Palms Library. For more information call 760-367-9519.

TWENTYNINE PALMS LITTLE LEAGUE EARLY REGISTRATION THIS SATURDAY

Twentynine Palms Little League will offer an early bird registration fee of $40 this Saturday, January 11. Sign-ups will take place at Twentynine Palms Jr. High School on the stage from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Individuals who have completed volunteer applications and a photocopy of their ID will also have their $5 background check/membership fee waived. Informational flyers regarding tryouts and other details will be handed out at the tables. For more information, call 760-368-7107.

WINTER LECTURE SERIES KICKS OFF AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM

The noon lecture series kicks off again tomorrow at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum. Managing editor Tami Roleff says come learn more about meteors…

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum’s winter lecture series kicks off Thursday, January 9, with a noon lecture on meteorites by Dr. Stephenie Slahor. Dr. Slahor will discuss meteor origins and characteristics along with stories about them, and will be available after the lecture to sign copies of her book, Meteors. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

BINGO AND SILENT AUCTION TO BENEFIT YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL SWIM TEAM

Bingo at the Sportsman’s Club in Joshua Tree will benefit the Yucca Valley High School swim team on Sunday, January 19. There will also be a silent auction. Money raised from the bingo and silent auction event will go toward paying the team’s bill for use of the pool. Doors open at 3 with early bird bingo starting at 4:30. The team is asking for donations to include in the silent auction. To donate items for the auction, call Kathy Goddard at 760-399-6849.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

This afternoon, the Twentynine Palms High School Girls Soccer team will take on Cajon High School at home this afternoon. The JV game starts at 315 p.m. and the varsity at 5 p.m.

 

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School Trojan wrestling team takes on the Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles at home. Match time is at 5 p.m.