PROPOSED NEW LAW WOULD ALLOW CITIES TO REGULATE MASSAGE PARLORS

State lawmakers proposed new legislation on Wednesday for the regulation of massage therapy in California that would give cities more power to regulate massage parlors. Cities have complained for years that the 2008 Massage Therapy Law prohibited them from enacting laws to regulate massage parlors, and since the law went into effect, the number of massage businesses has increased dramatically. Yucca Valley currently has 13 licensed massage parlors, and Twentynine Palms has nine. While Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, and Sheriff’s officials stressed that they did not want to cast aspersions on legitimate massage businesses, they did acknowledge that—at least in the past—some massage parlors foster illicit and illegal activity. Assemblyman Chris Holden of Pasadena, co-sponsor of the bill, said the proposed Massage Therapy Act of 2014 will permit local cities to regulate zoning for massage parlors. “This bill removes the most detrimental parts of the law and ensures the control over planning of our communities is handed back to people, not business owners with bad intentions.” The proposed law also raises professional standards for massage, prohibits businesses from posting suggestive sexual ads in the newspaper, and requires additional training hours to receive a massage therapist license. Twentynine Palms’ Interim Community Development Director Matt McCleary said the city was supportive of the proposed law. “The city’s responsibility is looking after the health, safety, and welfare of residents.” And Yucca Valley’s Deputy Town Manager Shane Stueckle agreed, saying that changes are needed to address the explosion of massage parlors.

TWO MOTORCYCLE RIDERS KILLED ON AMBOY ROAD IN SEPARATE CRASHES

Two motorcycle riders were killed in separate accidents on Amboy Road Thursday afternoon. According to the County coroner, Jerry Douglas, 63, of Hernando, Mississippi, was riding his motorcycle with friends on Amboy Road between Twentynine Palms and Amboy when his motorcycle left the road and overturned on the sand shoulder about 1:45 p.m. yesterday. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 3 p.m.

Then an hour later, Jimmy Parsons, 60, of Riverside, was riding his motorcycle, with his wife as a passenger, on Amboy Road approaching National Trails Highway, just south of Amboy, when his motorcycle left the road and crashed in the desert at 2:47 p.m. Parsons was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:18. The California Highway Patrol is investigating both crashes.

COUNTY FIRE CAPTAIN IN JOSHUA TREE PROMOTED TO BATTALION CHIEF

County Fire Captain Steve Lasiter, who helms Station 36 in Joshua Tree, was promoted to Battalion Chief Wednesday. Lasiter started his 22-year-career as a paid-call fire fighter in Yucca Valley in 1992, and has worked at the Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, Arrowhead, and Fontana, before returning to Joshua Tree as a captain almost nine years ago. Lasiter will assume his new duties May 3 as battalion chief in Fontana. Lasiter said he was excited about his new challenge and hopes to some day make his way back to working in the Morongo Basin. Tom Marshall, who is stationed in Needles, was also promoted from captain to battalion chief, and will assume a vacant position in Yucca Valley.

“NUNSET BLVD” OPENS TONIGHT

Opening night for “Nunset Boulevard,” the latest in the blockbuster “Nunsense” franchise of musical comedies, is tonight at Theatre 29, and is sponsored by the Twentynine Palms Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT. For the opening night performance only, the doors open at 6 p.m. with light hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction during intermission. “Nunset Boulevard” follows the latest exploits of the Little Sisters of Hoboken. Assignment reporter Mike Lipsitz says this show is not to be missed…
The curtain opens for “Nunset Boulevard” this Friday, April 24, for a five-week run at Theatre 29. Audiences will love The Little Sisters of Hoboken’s exploits as they prepare to perform at the Hollywood Bowl at least, that’s what they think. They’re actually booked at the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama, a bowling alley with a cabaret lounge. Everything that happens after that is in God’s hands. The show runs Friday and Saturday’s at 7 p.m. plus two Sunday Matinees May 4 and 18. Kathryn Ferguson directs this production. Tickets are $8 to $12 available online at theatre29.org, or through the box office at 760-361-4151. Theatre 29 is a quarter block west of Adobe Rd. at Sullivan Rd.

FREE SOLAR EXPO FOR HOMEOWNERS SATURDAY

The County is sponsoring a free public expo on solar options for homeowners. The Solar Options for Homeowners expo aims to bring area property owners together with solar power companies, contractors, installers, consultants, and lenders. Energy consultants will discuss whether buying or leasing a solar energy system is the most economical option. Homeowners who want to switch to a solar system should bring their electric bills from the last 12 months to the expo. Representatives from the County’s Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program will also be on-hand with financing options not just for solar, but for a variety of home energy upgrades. The expo is set for Saturday, April 26, from 10:30 to 3 at the Joshua Tree Community Center on Sunburst Avenue in Joshua Tree.

COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP DAY IN TWENTYNINE PALMS SATURDAY

Saturday, April 26, is a day of community service to clean up Twentynine Palms. Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Rotary shelter picnic area in Luckie Park. Volunteers should bring a hat, gloves, and water. Following the clean-up, a hot dog and potluck lunch will be served for all workers at 11:30. For more information, call Trese Judd at 760-401-3495.

ELECTRONIC WASTE DROP-OFF TOMORROW IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Help keep electronic items out of landfills by bringing them to free e-waste recycling events Saturday and Sunday. The Twentynine Palms Rotary Club is sponsoring a free collection of your electronic waste tomorrow. On Saturday, April 26, from 10 to 1, you can drop off—for free—your televisions; computers, laptops, and computer components; fax machines, copiers, or printers and their ink cartridges and toners; video game consoles; cameras; VCR and DVD players, cell phones and telephone equipment; and mp3 players. Bring them to the Twentynine Palms Community Center on Joe Davis Road. And just a reminder, you can also drop off your e-waste for free at Cardinal Van and Storage, 73873 Callie Todd, just off Adobe Road, in Twentynine Palms, Monday through Friday, from 8 to 4. For more information, call Randy Councell at 760-367-7562 extension 105.

On Sunday, area residents and businesses can bring their televisions, computers and components, cameras, cell phones, DVDs, and VCRs to Joshua Tree. The drop-off point is the parking lot north of the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce, 6448 Hallee Road, from 9 to 1. Household or car batteries and appliances will not be accepted. The Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce, Joshua Basin Water District, and Bighorn Desert View Water Agency are sponsoring the event.

MOJAVE RATTLESKATERS RUMMAGE SALE TOMORROW

The Mojave Rattleskaters women’s roller derby team has spent the last month collecting items for its rummage sale to raise funds to build an outdoor roller rink in Yucca Valley. Reporter Diana Jones has the scoop on where to go to get some bargains, and help the Morongo Basin’s roller derby team at the same time…

The Mojave Rattle Skaters women’s roller derby team will hold a rummage sale Saturday, April 26, from 9 to 4, on the corner of Park Boulevard and Highway 62. Donations of gently used, vintage and other sellable items for their sale are still being accepted; call 760-366-9683. All proceeds from the sale will go toward building an outdoor roller rink, to be built at the new Brehm Sports Park in Yucca Valley. For more information, visit mojaverattleskaters.com.

SPECIAL CLOSED SESSION MEETING MONDAY AT HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT

The Hi-Desert Water District will hold a special closed-session meeting Monday for a performance evaluation of the general manager. The meeting will start at 5 p.m. at district offices on Inca Trail and the highway in Yucca Valley.

STAR TWIRLERS DANCING TONIGHT IN YUCCA VALLEY

The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club is hosting a plus-level square dance at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge tonight. Andy Allemao will be calling squares from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Lines will take place from 7 to 7:30 and between tips. For more information, call Dennis at 760-366-8626.

CONCERT AT HARRISON HOUSE THIS WEEKEND

Harrison House Music and Arts in Joshua Tree will present a concert of original music featuring acoustic instruments and percussion this weekend. Maxime de la Rochefoucauld is the Samuel H. Scripps artist-in-residence at Harrison House for two weeks, and during his residency, he will create an original composition, using an analog, robotic music system he invented that uses inaudible frequencies to control physical phenomenon. The music will be accompanied by an art installation of puppet-like mechanical figures that is also controlled by the robotic system. The concerts will be presented at Harrison House Saturday, April 26, from 5 to 10, and Sunday, from noon to 5. Admission is $5 and tickets are available in advance at Joshua Tree Health Foods. Harrison House is located at 6881 Mount Lassen Avenue in Joshua Tree.

REGISTER NOW FOR ONAGA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

There’s still a little time left to get kindergarten preregistration packets at Onaga Elementary School. Reporter Dan Stork tells what materials you’ll need to bring with you when you register…
Onaga Elementary School will be holding kindergarten rre-registration during the month of April. Packets for kindergartners may be picked up in the school office. You will need to bring with you the following items to enroll your child in kindergarten:
· Child’s CERTIFIED birth certificate;
· Immunization record;
· Proof of residency, preferably a current utility bill;
· Completed registration packet;
· Custody papers (if applicable).
Completed packets will be accepted from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Your child must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2014 to be able to enroll in kindergarten.

VFW KITCHEN

The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will offer an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner tonight, from 4 to 6, complete with salad and garlic bread, for only $6. There is no Sunday breakfast this week. But don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1.

PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY TOMORROW

The Sheriff’s Department will take all of your unused and unwanted prescription drugs tomorrow. Assignment reporter Mike Lipsitz has the details…

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration offer the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station on the Highway just east of White Feather Road in Joshua Tree. The service is free and anonymous; no questions will be asked. The take back program is part of a nationwide effort. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse, and abuse. And, Americans are advised that past practices of flushing unused medicines down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards.

MOJAVE VIPERS YOUNG MARINES CAR WASH SATURDAY

The Mojave Vipers Young Marines will hold a car wash on the Marine base at building 1102 on Friday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds will go toward sending the Young Marines to a national encampment in Oklahoma during the summer.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School track team will travel away to Vista Murrieta. The event starts at 8 a.m.