The deadlines for candidate filings in local races have brought a few late comers to our ballots. Six candidates are vying for the three seats up for grabs on Twentynine Palms City Council. Standing for re-election are incumbents Dan Mintz and Jim Harrris, with challengers Bill Easter, McArthur Wright, John Cole, and Adam Lunn joining the fray. The Yucca Valley Town Council has no shortage of candidates with nine: incumbents Bob Leone and Merl Abel, and challengers Charles McHenry, Ron Cohen, Rick Denison, Lori Herbel, Susan Simmons, Jeff Drozd, and Bryan “Dean” Watson. All three incumbents are running for re-election for the Hi-Desert Water District—Sheldon Hough, Roger Mayes, and Dan Munsey—as well as challengers Gina Orban and Margo Sturges. Filing candidacy papers for the Hospital’s Board of Directors are Paul Hoffman and Marge Doyle, and appointed incumbent Joseph Sullivan, who is running for the short-term seat. None of them face any challengers. In the Joshua Basin Water District, appointed incumbent Bob Johnson faces challenges from Steven Whitman and Don Wiechert for the single 2-year term that will be on the ballot. There are two 4-year terms to be filled as well, with incumbents Victoria Fuller and Gary Wilson being joined by challengers Richard Fountain and Rebecca Unger in the contest for those posts. Five people have filed for the election to fill two seats on the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education. They are incumbent Chris Proudfoot, plus Cindy McVay, Hilary Slotta, Gary Horn, and Doris Lawless.
The Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors has been anxiously awaiting to hear when their waste water project’s assessment report will be heard by the State Water Quality Control Board for its approval, and to hear what interest rate the water district will receive for the $146 million project. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the board got some surprising news at its special meeting last night…
The Hi-Desert Water District’s Board of Directors heard at its meeting last night that the earliest the State Water Quality Control Board can approve the water district’s application for the assessment district and low-interest loan is months away. “At this point, we anticipate that we won’t be able to take the financing agreement before our board for approval before December.” Meghan Tosney of the State Water Quality Control Board (SWQCB) explained that the assessment report had to go through a legal review, which would take six to eight weeks. In a best-case scenario, the earliest the assessment ballots could be mailed out to residents would be October 30, with the ballots not being counted until December 15. Tosney gave the Board of Directors some good news about the interest rate. “The other issue is interest rate, which again ultimately is subject to our board’s approval; … at this point are looking at an anticipated staff recommendation of 1 percent.” This rate is nearly half of the state board’s (SWQCB) general obligation rate of 1.9 percent, which would save the water district about $20 million. Jose Angel of the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board also had good news for the water district. “I feel pretty upbeat where you are today… I see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The Board voted 4-0, with Director Dan Munsey absent, to begin the assessment vote process as soon as the legal review is completed, and not wait until the State Water Quality Control Board has approved the assessment report and interest rate in December.
The Yucca Valley Police Department will conduct a DUI/drivers’ license checkpoint Friday, August 15, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. at an undisclosed location. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol or drug impairment, and will also be checking drivers for proper licensing. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000. If you see a drunk driver, call 9-1-1 to report him or her.
A Yucca Valley man suffered minor injuries in a motorcycle crash Wednesday afternoon. About 5:40 p.m., Jason Russell, 34, was riding his 2014 Yamaha eastbound in the number 2 lane, or the slow lane, on the highway in front of Carla’s Route 62 Diner, when, according to the Sheriff’s Department, another driver pulled out of a parking lot into his lane. Russell locked up his bike’s brakes and left the highway in the 55400 block of Highway 62, where he collided with a rock pile and fell over. Jason Russell was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs as a precaution. Anyone with information about the crash should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-365-4175.
That classic car, truck, or motorcycle you have lovingly been shining up needs to be shown off. Reporter Cara Conway says it’s time to register your vehicle for the 19th annual old car club charity car show…
The Morongo Basin Old Car Club, 19th Annual Charity Car Show is at it again! Register your classic collector by September 5 for $25, or $30 for after the 5th. The event takes place on Saturday, September 20 at the Town Center Mall in Yucca Valley. To register, a copy of current vehicle insurance card must accompany the register form—no exceptions. Registration includes a T-shirt, dash plaque, and goody bag. Space is limited, so sign up today! For registration and questions, contact Steve Tungate at 760-418-5267 or Richard Miller at 760-820-1182.
The Morongo Basin Historical Society’s Museum Marketplace resumes Saturday, September 6, at the museum in Landers. Vendors who are interested in being a part of the marketplace should contact Laurie at 760-363-6681 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Artisans, crafters, collectors wanting to downsize or people wanting to de-clutter are welcome. In addition, the historical society will accept donations of all kinds and will pick them up, too. The fee for a table is $15 for non-members, and $10 for members. Bring your own table and cash box. Set up is 8 a.m.
Joshua Tree Recreation will be taking some fun and informative bus trips. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to get on those busses…
The Joshua Tree Park and Recreation will be taking a trip to the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater on Saturday, August 16. The performance for that day will be “Smokey Joe’s Café,” a feel-good, high-energy event that is filled with classic rock ‘n’ roll tunes from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Then, on Thursday, September 18, Joshua Tree Park and Rec will be on the search for the new black rhino calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,500 animals! To sign up for these trips or for more information, stop by the Joshua Tree Community Center or call 760-366-8415.
There are many homeless veterans in the Morongo Basin who are lacking the necessities to keep warm and fed. A new organization, Vets Cruzin for a Cause, is collecting jackets, blankets, and food to distribute to these homeless vets. If you have old jackets, blankets, and food you can spare, call Kevin at 760-368-8715, to make arrangements to donate and help an American hero who has fallen on hard times.
The Spirit and Truth Worship Center of Twentynine Palms will give away back packs for students in grades K through 12 on Saturday, August 16. The backpacks will be filled with school supplies and will be available at five locations in Twentynine Palms from 8 to 10: El Paseo Apartments, 72952 El Paseo; Hacienda Mobile Home Park, 4561 Adobe Road; Twentynine Palms Apartments, 5862 Bagley Avenue; Adobe Villas, 73747 Raymond Way; and at the church, 4751 Adobe Road, where clothing will also be available. For more information, call 760-361-2450.
It’s time to start thinking about school again. Reporter Dan Stork has the registration schedule for Yucca Valley High School…
Yucca Valley High School Registration begins Monday, August 18. The process starts in the YVHS Library. If you received a notice from the library, please bring your books to turn in or be prepared to pay for these items during registration. Class schedule pick up will follow in the YVHS multi-purpose room. The first day of registration, August 18, is reserved for incoming freshmen only. Registration on August 19 and 20 is open to ALL grade levels. Registration hours for all three days are 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students will have their school ID cards made at this time. Please have all paperwork completed and signed prior to beginning the process (including all forms in the yellow packet and student’s blue card). Please note that 11th and 12th grade off-campus ID cards for first semester will be completed ONLY during registration! Also, you will not be able to see your counselor during registration without having made an appointment in advance.
The Yucca Valley High School Varsity Cheerleading Team’s Booster Club will hold a car wash and rummage sale from 9 to 4 on Saturday, August 16, at The Estate Sale Marketplace, located on the corner of Kickapoo Trail and Twentynine Palms Highway (across from 7-11). Car wash tickets are available from any YVHS varsity cheerleader for $5, or customers can purchase a ticket at the event. Rummage sale items will include furniture, clothing and miscellaneous household items. Proceeds will go toward refurbishing cheer boxes, team travel expenses, and banquet costs.