YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL TAKES ON BREHM PARK, MAYBE BLACK ROCK ROAD

The Yucca Valley Town Council officially took responsibility for the Brehm Youth Park last night, and may take on Black Rock Canyon Road. Managing Editor Tami Roleff was there at a very busy meeting and files this report…

The Yucca Valley Town Council agreed at its meeting last night to proceed with transition of the Brehm Sports Park from the Basin Wide Foundation to the Town, effective July 1. As part of the agreement, the Town will provide $10,000 in scholarships for low-income youth sports programs for at least 10 years. The Town will also complete street improvements to Palm Avenue and the parking lot, at a cost of $170,000 to about $200,000. The council rejected all the bids for the sidewalk improvements on Sage Avenue, as they came in nearly $100,000 to more than $200,000 over budget. The Town plans to make some modifications to the plans and open the bidding process again, with the stipulation that the work be completed before school begins in August. The Council also rejected the proposal for a charging station for electric vehicles, saying that there weren’t enough residents who would use it to make it a worthwhile project. And finally, during an update about capital improvement projects, the Council was informed that Staff believes that Black Rock Canyon Road can be accepted into the Town’s maintained road system, as it provides access to public facilities (South Park), and that Staff plans to allocate $100,000 in Local Transportation Funds to convert the road to a gravel road.

COUNTY-WIDE NON-PROFIT FUND-RAISER TOMORROW

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 8, is “Give Big San Bernardino County,” a 24-hour online giving campaign that allows residents to give to their favorite causes in the Morongo Basin and San Bernardino County. The goal is to raise a minimum of $300,000 in just 24 hours through online donations. More than $43,000 in prize money will be awarded to nonprofits during Give Big Day. From 7 a.m. on May 8, to 6:59 a.m. on May 9, supporters of Morongo Basin nonprofits can go online, connect with causes they care about and make a donation. The minimum donation is $10, with no maximum amount. Every donation made has a chance of receiving a “Golden Ticket.” When a randomly selected donor is the lucky recipient of a “Golden Ticket,” their charity will receive additional prize money. In addition, the top five organizations on the Leaderboard will receive prize money. Go to givebigsbcounty.org to donate or for more information.

SCHOOL BOARD HEARS AWARDS, CONTRACTS, AND FUNDING

Employee recognitions occupied most of the meeting of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education. Reporter Dan Stork reports that school awards, employee contracts, career education funding, and financial administration were also discussed…

At the start of the Board of Education meeting, employees from (mostly) western schools in the Morongo Unified School District were honored by their principals. Selected teachers and classified employees from each of 11 schools were lauded for their dedication. The names of those honored are listed below…

 

SCHOOL CLASSIFIED CERTIFICATED
Black Rock Avery Smith, Kyle Chapman Eric Beck
Friendly Hills Diana Fisher Margaret Reed
Joshua Tree Carol Steere Mitch Benson
Lander Lisa Knoll Linda Higginson
La Contenta Virginia Youngberg Leah Bergman
Morongo Valley Bill Lipkins Angela Beamon
Onaga Barb Parsons Margarita Ramirez
Yucca Mesa Mike Ware Lori Anderson
Yucca Valley Elementary Tony Cruz Victoria Hoover
Yucca Valley High Gail Mangan Ray Larson
Twentynine Palms High Linda Ogdahl Kristin Walsh

 

Superintendent Cecelia English announced that four District Elementary Schools—Landers, Friendly Hills, Morongo Valley, and Condor—were named Title 1 Academic Achievement award winners. Only 6 other schools in San Bernardino County got the award, with a total of 106 winning schools in California, out of 6,000 schools that receive Title I federal funds. To receive this distinction, the school must demonstrate that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California’s academic content standards. Additionally, the school’s socioeconomically disadvantaged students must have doubled the achievement targets set for them for two consecutive years.

Trustee Karalee Hargrove requested that the payments item be pulled from the consent agenda, so that she could vote against it, without commenting on her reasons. She also was the lone vote against the approval of Prop 30 funds for non-administrative uses, citing an absence of oversight information. She also expressed concern over the exit of the District’s top business affairs administrators.

The Tentative Agreement with the classified employees’ union was approved, as was a 5.77 percent total compensation increase for non-contract management and confidential employees. Also approved was funding for Career Technical Education and the acceptance of $81,000 of federal funding for the program. Single Plans for Student Achievement for the three District high schools and for Morongo Valley Elementary were also approved.

MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY BOARD MEETS TOMORROW

Morongo Basin Transit Authority Board of Directors will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at the MBTA Operations Center on Verbena Road in Joshua Tree. Among the items on the consent agenda are treasurer, ridership, operations, administrative and financial reports. Under new business, the board will be asked to authorize the installation of an on-site radio repeater and to review and discuss the draft operating and capital budget. The board will then go into closed session to discuss existing litigation of Rhoads versus Davis and the MBTA, and to continue its evaluation of the general manager.

MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY TO START BUS SERVICE TO TORTOISE ROCK CASINO

The Morongo Basin Transit Authority (MBTA) will begin service to the Tortoise Rock Casino on Monday, May 12This location will be served by MBTA’s Route 3B which will leave the Twentynine Palms Transit Center on the hour and proceed directly to the casino. For more information, visit www.mbtabus.com or call MBTA Dispatch at 760-366-2395.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BOARD MEETS, MAY EXTEND PRESIDENT/SUPERINTENDANT CONTRACT

The Copper Mountain College Board meets tomorrow afternoon. A move to offer bachelor’s degrees and contract extensions are on tap. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details…

The regular monthly meeting of the Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees begins at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the Bell Center’s Community Room on the Joshua Tree campus. Under action items, trustees will consider endorsing a State Senate Bill that would open the door for the community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in select programs. If adopted, CMC would initially test the waters with a pilot program. In other business, trustees will consider a three-year contract extension for President/Superintendent Dr. Roger Wagner, and shorter duration contract extensions for the college’s top managers and administrative educators. Those items and others are in addition to regular reports and items on the consent agenda.

HARRISON HOUSE TO FEATURE FASHION YOU CAN WEAR SATURDAY

During Joshua Tree’s monthly Second Saturday art crawl this Saturday, Harrison House Music and Arts, in collaboration with The Station, will present “Art You Can Wear.” “Art You Can Wear” is a runway show extravaganza, featuring costume creations by Harrison House Artist-in-Residence Margaret Hatcher. The open house and runway show will take place at The Station, 61943 Twentynine Palms Hwy, in Joshua Tree, with show times at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30pm. This will be the first “Second Saturday” event held at The Station and their first collaboration with Harrison House Music and Arts. For more information, call 760-366-4712.

BOXO HOUSE TO PREMIERE THREE SCREEN FILM SATUDAY

Boxo House will present the premiere of a three-screen film “No Destination” by local artist Diane Best in Joshua Tree. The film will be shown continuously from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Bobby Furst World, 8528 Desert Shadows Road. The last showing of the film will feature live music score by the Rev. Screaming Fingers and the Black Angels. Music and party will follow.

HOW TO DRIVE SAFELY AROUND MOTORCYCLES

Reducing the number of motorcycle-involved collisions goes beyond training and prevention on the part of the motorcyclists. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, more than half of all fatal motorcycle collisions involve another vehicle. In addition, SWITRS data indicates on average, more than one quarter of fatal motorcycle-involved collisions occur within an intersection. CHP Officer Joan Griffin offers the following tips for driving safely around motorcycles…

Give motorcycles extra room. A minor rear-end collision involving a motorcycle can have major consequences. Look twice for motorcycles. Always check and double check blind spots and mirrors before changing lanes or merging. Passenger vehicles should remain extra vigilant when entering or crossing intersections. Nearly one quarter of all fatal collisions in California occur within an intersection.

HOSPITAL BOARD TO HEAR FROM CONSULTANT HOPEFULS

The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board will hold a special open meeting tomorrow. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us why…

The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board of Directors meets in special open session beginning at 12:30 tomorrow afternoon. On the agenda are four, hour-long presentations, one each from four affiliation consultants, each with an interest in wooing the District in hopes of a possible partnership. The District has been looking at pursuit of such an affiliation as a way to remain viable since last year. Following the presentations at 5 p.m., the board will adjourn to closed session, presumably to discuss their options.

PRE-SCHOOL STORYTIME TOMORROW AT THE 29 PALMS LIBRARY

Calling all preschool-aged children! The Twentynine Palms Library’s Preschool Story time is walking through the alphabet. This Thursday, May 8, preschool story time will be exploring the letter W. 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. Preschool story time is held every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. through June 6, at the Twentynine Palms Library. For more information about preschool story time, please call the Library at 760-367-9519.

DROP KIDS OFF AT TWENTYNINE PALMS YOUTH CLUB FOR PARENTS’ DATE NIGHT FRIDAY

Take a night out this Friday, Drop off the kids at Twentynine Palm Youth Club while you take Mom for a lovely night out. The Youth Club will open their doors from 6 p.m. to midnight. There will be dinner, games, art, snacks and a movie. The first child will be $25, then $10 for each additional sibling. Call ahead at 760-67-5776; the first 6 people to pre-register and pay will receive $5 off. The best time to reach them is Monday thru Friday from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

ANOTHER TOP-LEVEL FINANCE ADMINSTRATOR LEAVING MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

It has become known that Dave Price, the Assistant Superintendent for Business Services in the Morongo Unified School District, will be leaving his post. Reporter Dan Stork asked Price about his plans…

We caught up with Dave Price during a break in the Board of Education meeting, and asked about his timing for leaving his post as the Assistant Superintendent for Business Services in the School District, and about his next career move. He told us that he will be leaving the District on June 30. The following day, he will take up the position of Deputy Superintendent for Hope Academy, with responsibility for daily operations in the far-flung charter school. Dave will continue to reside in the Morongo Basin, while he oversees the operation of Hope Academy sites in Bloomington, Indio, Palm Desert, Beaumont, and Yucca Valley. He said he was excited about being involved in alternative education. Price is the second high-level financial administrator to exit the District recently, following the resignation of the Director of Fiscal Services. Both positions are posted on EDJOIN, the education employment web site.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School and Twentynine Palms High School track teams will participate in the De Anza League finals, beginning at 4 p.m., at Shadow Hills High School in Indio.

 

The Yucca Valley High School Trojan baseball, softball, and tennis teams will travel away to Desert Mirage High School in Thermal. Tennis starts at 1 p.m.; baseball and softball at 3:15.

 

The Trojan golf team will travel to Indio to play the Shadow Hills Knights. Tee-off is at 1 p.m.

 

The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat baseball and softball games with Big Bear, originally scheduled for tomorrow in Twentynine Palms, have been postponed until Friday. The Wildcat teams will travel away to Big Bear. First pitch is at 3:30 p.m.