SCHOOL BOARD WITH A BUSY SESSION TONIGHT

A lengthy agenda faces the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education tonight. Reporter Dan Stork lists the topics…

The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education gets off to an early start in its February 4 with a 5 p.m. closed session devoted to student discipline issues, bargaining with employee units, and personnel issues. The 7 p.m. open session begins with a presentation by Assistant Superintendent Douglas Weller on the District’s sunshine issues for this year’s collective bargaining with the teacher’s union. Those issues, and the list presented by the union at the last Board meeting, are up for adoption by the Board tonight. The Board will also vote on whether to sign on to the Countywide Vision Statement for education, and the “Cradle to Career Roadmap.” A leave of absence request and 21 CAHSEE waiver requests will be followed by consideration of regulations on Career Technical Education and English Language Learners, a Board policy on sale, lease, and rental of District-owned property, and a piggyback contract extension with a school supply firm. The meeting takes place at Joshua Tree Elementary School, 4950 Sunburst Avenue.

CHP WANTS MOTORISTS TO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE

Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on California’s roadways. In 2011 alone, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. The California Highway Patrol is encouraging all motorists to make the conscience decision that could literally save their life: “Do not text and drive.” Distracted driving is a serious safety concern for all drivers. Not only do they put themselves at risk, multi-tasking drivers increase the risk of injuring or killing their passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, or innocent victims traveling in another vehicle. “Driving is a complex task, requiring a motorist’s full attention. Anything that diverts the driver’s attention from the roadway, even for one or two seconds, could result in tragedy,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “The bottom line, whatever the distraction, `It’s Not Worth It!’ ” The CHP is asking all drivers to put away cell phones and decide to improve their driving habits. In addition, the CHP is engaged in a yearlong, Adult Distracted Driving traffic safety campaign. By September 30, a minimum of 60 distracted driving enforcement operations and at least 500 traffic safety presentations will have been completed statewide. In 2012, CHP officers issued more than 168,000 citations for handheld cell phone or texting violations statewide. That is an average of 14,000 distracted driving citations a month.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL AND PLANNING COMMISSION IN JOINT MEETING TONIGHT

The Yucca Valley Town Council and Planning Commission will meet in joint session tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff checks the Agenda…

The Yucca Valley Town Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday for the fourth time, to discuss and possibly approve a revised and updated General Plan. At the previous meeting of January 7, the Council was unhappy about provisions for wildlife corridors. Following the joint meeting, the Town Council will hold a separate meeting for Council business. The Council will be asked to approve the adoption of a renewable energy generation facilities ordinance; a program schedule for spring events sponsored by the Town; and the financial audit for 2012-2013. Among items on the action agenda, the Council will hold a public hearing on adopting revisions to the building code, and on development impact fees for public facilities. Following the open session, the Council will go into closed session to discuss potential litigation, Mirage Front Properties versus the Town of Yucca Valley.

A CHANGE IN PARADE OF HOMES VENUES

Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, one of the six homes in Reach Out Morongo Basin’s 10th Annual Parade of Homes has withdrawn from the tour. Casa de Kinsman in Twentynine Palms has been replaced with Casa Grande in Twentynine Palms. The home has a delightful southwestern-style home with Mexican pavers and a courtyard. Other homes on the tour include the Tile House in Twentynine Palms, the Desert Lily and FurstWorld in Joshua Tree, and the Double J Ranch and the Willows in Yucca Valley. Tickets to tour the six homes are $25 each and include lunch. For more information on where to purchase tickets, call Reach Out Morongo Basin at 760-361-1410.

MAKE YOUR SMARTPHONE PART OF YOUR DISASTER PLAN

Your Smartphone, now almost ubiquitous in our culture, can be a lifeline in a disaster or emergency. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says make it part of your disaster plan…

For Smartphone users, incorporating the devices into emergency plans can save lives. If you don’t use texting regularly, familiarize yourself with your phone’s texting functions. Text messages consume less battery and often get through when wireless networks are overwhelmed. And you can broadcast a single text update to many contacts at once, further conserving battery power. Save copies of important documents and insurance information in the Cloud or on your Smartphone in case they aren’t accessible in a disaster. Keep the battery full and have an extra on hand, and consider a solar powered charger in case power is out for an extended period. In a disaster, limit non-emergency calls to reduce demand on wireless networks. Incorporate these tips into your emergency plan; it could save a life.

To prepare for a local disaster, remember, you can put Z107.7 local emergency coverage right on your Smartphone by going to your app store and searching “KCDZ” and downloading the free app.

PRE-SCHOOL STORYTIME THURSDAY AT THE TWENTYNINE PALMS LIBRARY

The Twentynine Palms Library’s preschool story time is walking through the alphabet. This Thursday, February 6, 2014, preschool story time will be exploring the letter P. Children are invited to bring something to share, that begins with the featured letter. Parents and babysitters are invited to bring their three-, four-, and five-year-olds to attend this free program at the Twentynine Palms Branch Library. The program includes age appropriate storytelling, apron stories, finger plays, songs, and other activities to promote a love of books, reading, and language. For more information about preschool story time, please call the Twentynine Palms Library at 760-367-9519.

RETIRED TEACHERS MEET FEBRUARY 14

The California Retired Teachers’ Association will meet on Friday, February 14, at the Helen Gray Center on White Feather Road in Joshua Tree.  The meeting will commence at 10 a.m.  Area Coordinator, Ralph Villani, will speak, and past presidents of CalRTA, Division 62, as well as members who are over the age of 80, will be honored.  Please call Sherry Craft, at 760-881-5275, no later than Monday, February 10, to reserve your place at the luncheon.

DESERT HILLS PRESBYTERIAN DINNER AND FAMILY GAME NIGHT TOMORROW

Desert Hills Presbyterian Church in Yucca Valley will feature a dinner and family game night Wednesday, February 5 at 6:00 p.m. RSVP to the church office at 760-365-6331. The church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail.

TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION MEETS TONIGHT

A construction trailer, cell phone towers, Mylar balloons, and the Development Code are all on the agenda of the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission meeting tonight. Dan Stork fills in details…

The Twentynine Palms Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on an application to extend a Temporary Use Permit for a mobile office trailer on Sullivan Road that is being used for a road project in the national park. Another public hearing concerns a Conditional Use Permit and variances for cell phone tower modifications on two parcels in a residential-zoned area. That will be followed by a study session on what might be done about the blight of Mylar balloons, and the 34th study session on the review and revision of the City’s Development Code. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. on February 4 at City Hall on Adobe Road.

SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT TO BENEFIT TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL

The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat softball and baseball teams are sponsoring a co-ed softball tournament this Friday and Saturday. The 12-person teams must have an equal number of men and women. The tournament will be held at the Luckie Park softball fields. The registration fee is $160. To register, or for more information, call Dan Mintz at 760-902-1263, or TJ Stanford at 760-464-3220.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

In high school sports today, the Joshua Springs Lightning boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will travel to Riverside to play La Sierra Academy. The girls’ game starts at 5:30; tip-off for the boys is at 7.

 

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will travel away to Thermal to play Desert Mirage High   School. The girls’ game starts at 5 p.m.; tip-off for the boys is at 6:30.

 

The Yucca Valley High School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will host the Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles at home tomorrow. The boys’ game starts at 3:15; the girls’ at 5 p.m.