Reporter Dan Stork split his report on a lengthy Twentynine Palms City Council meeting into two parts. Today: a federal lobbying presentation, a solar energy facility seeks city favor, and a parade anniversary celebration…
At the behest of City Manager Joe Guzetta, federal lobbyist David Turch described to the Twentynine Palms City Council how his firm could help the City in getting federal funds for city projects. Council directed staff to research the cost and services of other firms, to give the Council background for an informed future discussion.
A representative from Clean Focus, which wants to build a 12-acre solar field on a 148-acre parcel at Mesquite Springs and Raymond, which is outside the city, but within the city’s sphere of influence, asked the council to look favorably upon the project. Under a new county ordinance, cities have a say in solar projects in their SOI. Despite a $200,000 inducement offered by Clean Focus to the City, public comment and Council sentiment was uniformly against the project.
Mary Jane Binge sketched her ideas for a 25th anniversary commemoration of the 1991 Desert Storm victory parade. Public comment and council reaction was generally supportive, although one speaker said she believed that resources could be better applied to meet veterans’ needs. Council designated member Cora Heiser as its representative to coordinate with Binge and city staff on the development of ideas.
U.S. Army veteran Kevin Fish has attended many public meetings in the Morongo Basin, to raise public awareness about the extent of homelessness among his service brethren in the Hi Desert. Fish told reporter Dan Stork how he entered upon this mission, what he’s been doing about it, and what he hopes to accomplish…
After moving to the Hi Desert, Fish started a local chapter of the San Diego-based group Vets Cruzin for a Cause. He has focused on homelessness among veterans. He told us that after reading in Veterans Administration records that there are 1,300 known homeless veterans in the Morongo Basin, he went looking for them himself. He told us, “So far I’ve been successful in finding over 290 homeless veterans out in the desert, between Landers and Wonder Valley.” Some live singly (in one case, on the steps of a public building), some in small groups, including bunker-style base camps dug into the desert dirt. In addition to raising public awareness, he has three concrete goals: bringing Veterans Administration assets to the Hi-Desert, to expedite enrollment and processing of veterans; bringing rehabilitative services to homeless veterans who need them; and establishing local shelters for temporary sojourns. He said that he has placed 27 men in shelters in San Bernardino, Loma Linda, and San Diego. Fish operates a thrift shop, Change for Vets, at 5758 Adobe Road, Suite B, in Twentynine Palms. He described one pressing need: “I’m looking for someone that has a passenger van that is willing to volunteer some time so we can transport some of these veterans to Loma Linda, to the VA center, so that way I can get them started on their VA benefits.” Fish would also appreciate donations of food, clothing, and items for hygiene kits, or cash to buy such things. You can reach Kevin Fish at the store, or via email or phone: 760-368-8715 and email@example.com.
Activities for teens and children at the Twentynine Palms Library tomorrow. At 11:00 a.m., preschool story time will explore the letters Q and R. Children are invited to bring something from home for show and tell that begins with the letters of the day. Parents and caretakers are invited to bring their three-, four-, and five-year-olds to attend this free program. Preschool story time is Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. through April 10, at the Twentynine Palms Library. The program includes age appropriate storytelling, apron stories, fingerplays, songs, and other activities to promote a love of books, reading, and language.
From 4 to 5 p.m., teens in grades 7 through 12 will celebrate Teen Tech Week. Create a one-of-a-kind recycled audio cassette personal journal as you enjoy refreshments. For more information call the Twentynine Palms Library at 760-367-9519.
For the second year in a row, the Twentynine Palms Wildcats softball team advanced to the consolation championship during the Palm Spring invitational on March 7 and 8. Twentynine Palms lost to JW North 6-9 in a back and forth game; Twentynine Palms won two and lost two, and Andraliah Lee took home the All-Tournament award.
Tuesday, the Lady Wildcats traveled to Xavier Prep, taking home a 13-1 win to improve their season to 3 and 2. Coach Dan Mintz says he is very pleased on how the season is starting out and the early season results.
Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School baseball and softball teams will travel away to Needles.
The Twentynine Palms High School softball team will host Cathedral City at home. First pitch is at 3:15.
Also starting tomorrow, the Wildcat baseball team will be playing in a three-day tournament in Hemet.