A combined-arms, live-fire, large-scale exercise will be taking place in our entire region this week starting today. During the Desert Scimitar exercise, Marines and sailors from 1st Marine Division, 1st, 5th, 7th, and 11th Marine Regiments, 1st Tank Battalion, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st and 3rdLight Armored Reconnaissance Battalions, and elements from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and 1st Marine Logistics Group, will all hone their conventional war-fighting skills. The exercise will encompass training areas at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Fort Irwin National Training Center and the Boron Prison Complex. Residents near these installations should expect to see tactical vehicles on State Highways 247 and 62, Interstate 40, and U. S. Highways 395 and 58 during this period. There are no scheduled road closures as a part of this exercise. For more information, contact 1st Lt. Spencer Kenyon at 760-763-9378
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What boy hasn’t dreamed about blowing stuff up? A 13-year-old boy from San Diego will have his dream come true tomorrow, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Marines with Third Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment at Twentynine Palms Marine base. Managing editor Tami Roleff introduces us to Ryan and his wish…
Ryan from San Diego may only be 13, and undergoing treatment for cancer, but that hasn’t stopped him from planning his future. Ryan wants to go in to the military and has researched all the different branches and the different types of military weapons. According to Ryan, the Marine Corps’ Howitzer M777 is the modern-day equivalent of a cannon, and he can’t wait to shoot one. The Make-a-Wish Foundation, which arranges experiences for children with life-threatening conditions, contacted the Marines of 3/11, who were only too happy to introduce Ryan to the thrill of shooting artillery. Ryan, along with his parents and brother, will get to live his dream Tuesday when he’ll spend several hours blowing stuff up with the Howitzer on the range of the Twentynine Palms Combat Center.
Suppose the Town threw a budget party and no one showed up. That is almost what happened Saturday. Managing Editor Tami Roleff was among the very few who did show up, and files this report……
Despite the lure of donuts and snacks, only 10 residents showed up Saturday for a special workshop on the Town of Yucca Valley’s budget. The budget for fiscal year 2014-15 is expected to be just shy of $9.4 million, with a projected surplus of $153,000—which may or may not be a surplus at the end of the fiscal year. The budget includes a 1 percent cost of living allowance for Town employees for the next two years. The town manager’s compensation has been reduced to a base salary of $150,000 to $155,000, and the car allowance has been eliminated. Council Member Dawn Rowe stressed that the car allowance was a cost savings for the Town, since it eliminated a lot of time and paperwork for Town staff. The budget still does not include any significant contribution to maintaining the Town’s infrastructure.
Only three residents spoke during public comment; Richard Harlan to request the Town maintain its street signs; Bonnie Brady to request the Town repair the PFF Bank sign; and Cary Harwin who asked the Town to explore whether machines could fill potholes rather than employees. Staff agreed that the PFF Bank sign is an eyesore, but said the Town is powerless to do anything to the sign until the State makes a determination on the Redevelopment Agency’s Successor Agency’s long-range property management plan.
Council Member Merl Abel was in favor of reducing the amount in its reserves—which is currently at 56 percent of its annual budget, while most cities have 20 percent to 25 percent. “Having a whole bunch of money in the bank and not using it to help long-term expenses go down is not a good way of managing our money.” But the consensus was to keep the reserve level high. However, staff was directed to come to the Council earlier in the fiscal year with a report of any surplus money from the previous year’s budget, which would be directed toward other projects instead of being deposited in the reserve fund. The Yucca Valley Town Council will hold another budget workshop on Tuesday, May 20, prior to its regular town council meeting.
The Yucca Valley High School Theater Company is ready to put on its spring production. Reporter Dan Stork says get in line for “High School Musical”…
This spring’s high school musical at Yucca Valley High is: “High School Musical,” the wildly popular Disney musical. Directed by Scott Phillips, with musical direction by Teresa McClintock, “High School Musical” goes on at 6 p.m. on May 14, 15, 16, and 17, with an additional matinee performance at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. There are almost 50 students in the cast. In the featured roles are:
Troy – Karver Murphy; Gabriella – Madelynn Nimmo; Chad – Ohkwari Tatu; Taylor – Shiloh Moore; Zeke – Patrick Ferragut; Martha – Amanda Adyani; Sharpay – Madison Curtiss; Ryan – Josh Goddard; Ms. Darbus – Vivian Chow; and Coach Bolton – Nathan Lafferty.
Tickets will be available at the door, and cost only $5 for adults, $4 for students, with free admission for children under 12. All performances will be in the Yucca Valley High School Multipurpose Room. The school is located at 7600 Sage Avenue.
Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School Trojan baseball and softball teams will host the Big Bear Bears at home. First pitch is at 3:15 p.m.
The Twentynine Palms High School baseball and softball teams will host the Shadow Hill Knights of Indio at home. First pitch is at 3:30 p.m.
And the Joshua Springs Lightning baseball team will host Baptist Christian at home; first pitch is at 3:15.