THE LEGEND OF THE FAN PALM

A distinctive desert feature offers shade and food and building materials.  Ranger Pat Pilcher recounts the legend of the fan palm…

The California Fan Palm is a familiar sight at Joshua Tree National Park.  This palm, the only native palm in California, grows at five different sites in the Park. A Cahuilla legend tells about the creation of the first palm tree:    “Long, long ago there was an elder of a tribe who loved his people.  He knew that his time was ending, and this saddened him, for he enjoyed providing for his people.  One day he said, ‘I will always provide for you.’  Then he stood very still.  Slowly, his body turned into the trunk of a tree and out of his head grew the fronds of the palm.  From the fronds, his people thatched their dwellings while the fruit provided a sweet food.  So, as the legend goes, he provided well for his people. For more information contact the Visitor Center at 760 367-5500.  For Z107.7, this is Park Ranger Pat Pilcher inviting you to celebrate 75 years of inspiration at Joshua Tree National Park.

NATIONAL PARK ROAD CONSTRUCTION

Joshua Tree National Park, in cooperation with the Central Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration, will begin construction of approximately 10 miles of Park Route 11 (Pinto Basin Road) on Monday, February 10, 2014. The primary objective of the project is to improve safety conditions for the Pinto Basin Road.

The proposed action would include widening, realigning, and modifying the existing 20- to 22-foot-wide paved road to a 24-foot- wide road, with a design speed of 35 or 45 miles per hour. It would also redesign and realign the road to improve sight distances and safety at the Porcupine Wash area and the site south of the Cottonwood Visitor Center. The construction will result in travel delays of up to thirty minutes. The proposed action is part of a phased effort to rehabilitate many of the park’s primary roadways in accordance with the 1995 Joshua Tree National Park General Management Plan.

Any questions regarding this project can be directed to, Kirk Diamond, Chief of Maintenance, Joshua Tree National Park, 760-367-5680, or Roads Supervisor, Jeremie Johnston at 760-367-5683.

YUCCA VALLEY HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION

Installation of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and handicap ramps in Yucca Valley is scheduled to begin Monday, February 3, along Highway 62, from Palm Avenue to Dumosa Ave. Traffic striping will begin Tuesday. This portion of the highway construction is expected to be substantially complete by March.

BURN PERMITS

Due to the lack of rainfall across California and the high winds, there is an increased potential for major wildfires. Coupled with the start of King of the Hammers this weekend, fire fighters will be on high alert, and they are asking everyone to be extra vigilant around fires while enjoying the outdoors. County fire fighters remind residents and visitors that all campfires and warming fires require a permit. The permits are free. First call your local station to check whether burn permits have been suspended. Then, if burns are allowed, drop by the fire station to get the permit. Fire fighters also recommend that fire extinguishers and other fire prevention tools, such as hoses, be nearby in case the fire gets out of control.

TAY CENTER SERVICES FOR YOUNG HOMELESS

Pacific Clinic’s TAY Center offers young adults a safe and comfortable place to define and accomplish their life goals. Clients can come to the TAY Center to meet their basic needs such as a meal, shower and a place to do laundry. Once they become drop-in clients they can utilize additional services, such as counseling, job training, housing referrals, enrichment groups, medication support services, and a place to meet new people. For more information contact the TAY Center at 760-228-9657 or visit them at 58945 Business Center Drive, Suite D in Yucca Valley.

CACTUS SEWABLES QUILT GUILD MONDAY

Cactus Sewables Quilt Guild will meet Monday, February 3, in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; the meeting begins promptly at 1 p.m. Scheduled guest speaker is Mike McNamara who will talk about new techniques, including curved piecing, as well as show some of his completed quilts. Plans will be discussed for the three-guild quilt show to be held at the Leisure Center in Sunrise Park in Palm Springs. The show will be on Friday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday, March 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CERT TRAINING CLASSES

A group of local volunteers stands ready to help the community in the face of the unforeseen.  Managing Editor Tami Roleff tells how you can get on the team…

If an earthquake, flash flood, fire, or other disaster was to hit the High Desert, would you know how to help your family, friends, and neighbors? The Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, trains volunteers what to do before, during, and after a disaster. The San Bernardino County Fire Department will hold two CERT training sessions for Morongo Basin residents. The first class will be held Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Yucca Valley Senior Center, beginning February 6. The second class will be held on Saturdays, from 8 to 5, beginning March 1, at Machris Park in Yucca Valley. For more information, or to register for either class, call Battalion Chief Mike Snow at 760-365-3335.