FIRE AWARENESS IN THE NATIONAL PARK

It’s desert…what’s to burn?  Not so, says Ranger Pam Tripp…

Fire has always played a major role in Joshua Tree National Park and other desert areas.  Lightning strikes as well as human caused fires are both helpful and harmful to certain desert landscapes.  Fire is a part of nature and we need to appreciate its potential for benefit and destruction.  Small, relatively cool ground fires may clear brush and kill certain non-native plants, which in turn, allow many desirable plant species to germinate.  However, larger and hotter fires can kill many plants and animals, and, endanger human lives. In Joshua Tree, campfires are allowed only in developed campgrounds, where grills or fire pits are provided; no ground fires are allowed. Be sure campfires are out and cold before leaving the site. Since many campgrounds do not have water available, be prepared with enough water to extinguish any fires you plan to start. For more information on fire go to:  www.fire.ca.gov

FAMILY WATER FUN AT THE MOJAVE WATER AGENCY

A night of family water fun is planned for the Mojave Water Agency’s next ABCs of Water session. Ice cream, water games, and prizes will all be featured during the evening. The event is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, at the MWA’s office 13846 Conference Center Drive in Apple Valley. Call Gloria at 760-946-7001 to reserve your spot or for more information.

WATER IN THE DESERT ART SHOW

Desert artists are invited to submit one piece of original art for the summer Art in Public Places exhibition at the Twentynine Palms Visitor Center. The theme is “Water in the Desert: Scarcity and Abundance.” Artwork must depict or be inspired by the theme of water in the desert, focusing on either its scarcity or abundance. Artwork should be dropped off Friday, June 27, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Artists who are unable to make the scheduled drop-off time should call the Chamber of Commerce at 760-367-3445 to make other arrangements. An opening reception with music and refreshments will be held Friday, July 11, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

YUCCA VALLEY FIREWORKS SHOW IS SET TO GO

Thanks to the generosity of many sponsors, the Yucca Valley Rotary club has moved forward with its plans for this year’s annual Fireworks Show and Community Fair.

The show which moved last year to a new location at the new Brehm Youth Sports Park at Little League Drive, will open its gates at 6 PM, with a community fair with food, children’s activities, vendor booths and more. The entertainment before the big pyrotechnic show, includes a lineup of the “On Tapp” Country rock band, the Star Twirlers, The Heat Dance Team, the YVHS Cheer Team and a special performance by local singer, Kristina Quigley.

Kids should bring towels and bathing suits, as water activities are planned as well as other fun events, including face painting, glow items to wear and lots of room to run and play on the huge new grass field at the park. A static military display is being provided by our local Marines too!  Bring your chairs and blankets and have a picnic with food by Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen, Maggie’s Munchies, the Yucca Valley Rattlers and more!

Vendors are welcome to sign up by calling 760-766-5656 before July 1, 2014.  For information on the event, call 760-365-1988.

MUSD SUPERINTENDENT PUT ON PAID LEAVE

Dr. Cecilia English, the Superintendent of the Morongo Unified School District, has been placed on paid administrative leave.  That was the full statement given to z107.7 by a school board member, following a special meeting of the Board of Education that was noticed as a closed session performance evaluation of the Superintendent.  That meeting began on Thursday, and continued on Saturday.

Dr. English became the Superintendent of the local district a year ago, when her employment contract was approved by a 3-2 vote of the Board.  She became the focus of school employee protests during union contract negotiations earlier this year.  Protests resumed at a recent Board meeting, when the Board considered raising her salary, and those of the three Assistant Superintendents, by a  percentage matching that achieved by the two school employee unions, retroactive to last July.  The raises for the assistant sup’s were approved,  but the one for Dr. English was denied, by a 4-1 vote of the Board.

The Board of Education will meet in a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday of this week.  No item on the action agenda relates to the Superintendent, and business will proceed without her presence.

BEWARE OF PHONE SCAMS

Have you gotten a phone call from someone trying to sell you something that sounds too good to be true? Chances are, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. The FBI offers the following tips to help prevent you from being victimized by telemarketers.

  •  “You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”
  • “You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
  • “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
  • “You don’t need to check out the company with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
  • “You don’t need any written information about their company or their references.”
  • “You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

If you hear these or similar “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you” and hang up the telephone, then call the Sheriff’s Department or the FBI.