The newly formed St. Joseph’s players in Yucca Valley opened a three-week run of the popular play “On Golden Pond” last weekend. Managing Editor Tami Roleff was in the audience and offer this review of the show…..
“On Golden Pond,” now playing at St. Joseph of Arimathea Church in Yucca Valley, is a sentimental comedy that will make you long for summers spent at the lake. Directed by Rebecca Havely and starring some of the area’s best actors, the cast draws you into this family drama about growing old and facing your own mortality. Lloyd Steele as Norman is perfect as the prickly, curmudgeonly father who only comes alive when he suddenly has a grandson to take fishing. The very talented Sue Kelly as his wife Ethel, is sweet, but still strong enough to stand up to her husband. She and Steele have great chemistry together. Sadie Johannsson plays Chelsea as a defiant daughter who loves her parents, but isn’t sure how to connect with them. Supporting characters Ben Bees as her boyfriend and new husband the dentist, Trevor Carpenter as her stepson Billy, Ben Sasnett as her former boyfriend Charlie, and Jananne Turner as the operator, give good, solid, professional performances. The set design is fantastic; you feel like you are at a cabin on a lake—complete with a dock. There were plenty of laughs and sniffles during this nostalgic look at family life.
“On Golden Pond” plays Saturday, March 1 and 8, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 2 and 9, at 2:30 p.m. at St. Joseph of Arimathea Church in Yucca Valley, 56312 Onaga Trail. Tickets are $10, $8 for military, seniors, and students, and are available at The Silk Purse in Twentynine Palms, Wind Walker in Joshua Tree, or by calling 760-365-7133.
A photograph by a noted local photographer has been added to the National Park Service’s collection of images depicting the country’s national parks. When David McChesney of Joshua Tree was in Washington, DC, last year, he visited the Park Service’s headquarters and realized there was no photo of Joshua Tree National Park in its collection of national park photos. McChesney contacted Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent Mark Butler about the omission, who selected McChesney’s photo, “Joshua Trees near Hidden Valley” to represent the park in Washington, DC. According to Butler, “The entire project has been funded by public donations made at national park visitor centers.” McChesney said he was both “honored and delighted” that one of his images will represent Joshua Tree National Park in the Park Service’s headquarters.
The Twentynine Palms Art Gallery is hosting a reception Sunday for two new exhibitions of artists Janis Commentz and Olive Toscani. Commentz, who recently retired as a high school art and English teacher, founded the Morongo Basin Life Drawing League seven years ago. Her artwork of watercolors, pastels, acrylic, and oil paintings feature her love of the human form, the ocean, and the desert. Toscani, a 12-year-resident of Twentynine Palms and Wonder Valley, has studied figure drawing, ceramics, painting, metal smithing, and dance. Her show will feature assemblage, ceramics, and paintings inspired by the Mojave Desert. The opening reception is set for noon to 3 Sunday at the TwentyninePalmsArtGallery,74055 Cottonwood Drive in Twentynine Palms.
It will be teen crafts at the Twentynine Palms Library this Saturday. Reporter Taylor Thacker has your invitation…
Create a one-of-a-kind craft this Saturday, March 1, at the Twentynine Palms Library. Teens in grades 7-12 are invited for this month’s craft of a paper portrait collage. Refreshments will be served. This teen craft program takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. All supplies are provided by the Friends of the Twentynine Palms Library. For more information, or to sign up, call 760-367-9519.
Local high school juniors and seniors are encouraged to apply for the Future Achievers of Science and Technology (FAST) program at Harvey Mud College in Claremont. The FAST program includes class visits, research lab demos, an overnight stay in one of the residence halls, hands-on experiments and workshops, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with Harvey Mudd College students, professors and other college-bound students who share their passion for math and science. The FAST programs are absolutely free, and participants receive a fee waiver for their HMC freshman application. The deadline to apply is March 3. For more information, contact Steven Howes at Twentynine Palms High School.
A combined music concert tonight with students from Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High Schools at Twentynine Palms High. ROP Broadcast student Richard Ewing has details….
The Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley High School music departments will hold a combined concert Thursday in the Wildcat Gym. Doors open at 6:15 and the concert starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5. The concert will feature band and choral songs with both schools performing together, with the focus on Twentynine Palms High School students. The two schools will hold a second combined concert at Yucca Valley High School at a later date, which will focus on Yucca Valley High School students.
The California Highway Patrol has released additional information about the two-vehicle crash on the Morongo Grade Monday afternoon that closed the highway. According to the CHP, Juan Ibarra, 20, of Twentynine Palms was driving a red 2007 Chevrolet Silverado westbound in a reckless manner when he lost control of his truck shortly before 2 p.m. The rear of the truck struck the mountainside on the north side of the highway, just east of Indian Canyon Road. After the initial impact, the truck then struck a silver 2003 Honda Civic, driven westbound by Ashley Billington, 21, of Twentynine Palms, who CHP says was also driving recklessly. A 20-year-old male passenger in the back seat of the truck was ejected in the crash and sustained major injuries. Billington and her passenger, and Ibarra and his other passenger all complained of pain, but had no visible injuries. All five of the injured were taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs by ambulance. Westbound Highway 62 was completely closed for about 30 minutes, and traffic was delayed in both directions for an hour and a half. Alcohol or drugs are not believed to be a factor in the crash. The CHP reminds residents to wear their seatbelts properly.
The Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a woman suspected of burglarizing Joshua Tree Laundry last November. According to a Sheriff’s press release, the woman broke into the Laundromat after hours November 19. Video surveillance shows the suspect stealing quarters from a locked box inside, and causing several hundred dollars worth of damage to the interior and exterior of the business. A photo of the suspect can be seen with this story at z1077fm.com.
Budgetary issues dominated discussions at the Twentynine Palms City Council meeting last night. Reporter Dan Stork broke his report into two parts. Today: The budget review, Knott Sky Park improvements, and the community reinvestment program…
In a mid-year budget review, Finance Director Ron Peck told the Twentynine Palms City Council that current revenue versus expenditures is tracking about $92,000 in the red, following significant drops in revenues from sales taxes and hotel bed taxes. Although City Manager Joe Guzetta advised that this should be viewed as an “on track” report at this point in the fiscal year, the deficit alarmed Council and colored subsequent discussions. Authorization to put an improvements job at Knotts Sky Park out for bids passed 4-1 (Jay Corbin dissenting) after staffer Randy Councell cautioned that failure to go forward could jeopardize Community Development Block Grant funds assigned to the project. A community reinvestment fund of $125,000 was approved (4-1, Cora Heiser objecting). The fund will provide qualifying business applicants along Adobe Road and Route 62 with money for trash enclosures, paint and painting supplies, drought-tolerant landscaping, and monument signs.
Yucca Mesa firefighters took part in a county-wide training drill in a warehouse Monday in Victorville. Known in firefighter parlance as a “wide rise,” the 800,000 square foot warehouse was a different challenge for the firefighters who are more used to fighting house and wildfires.
County Fire Captain Mark Murphy said the drill taught firefighters how to fight fires in extremely large buildings. Murphy said in the drill, they had to act as if a segment of the warehouse was on fire, locate the blaze, organize themselves, develop a plan of attack, and finally, implement the plan. According to Murphy, between 45 and 60 firefighters from all the County’s divisions—Fontana, Hesperia, Victorville, and Arrowhead, and Yucca Valley—participated in the annual drill.
The Bighorn Desert View Water Agency Board met last night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there and files this report…
At last night’s meeting of the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency, the Board of Directors authorized funds for document preparation and a financial audit of County Special Districts as the Agency moves forward in its effort to bring all of Landers under its control. Among the other actions, the Board approved 2014 committee assignments and formed an ad hoc committee to evaluate solar power options for Agency facilities.
The Twentynine Palms Water District Board meets in regular session tonight. Reporter Taylor Thacker says they will discuss both water and fire department business…
Tonight, Wednesday, February 26, starting at 6:00, the Twentynine Palms Water District will hold their monthly meeting. During this meeting, the Board Directors will consider the cost share with the city of Twentynine Palms for additional services of groundwater protection plan and wastewater management plan and will also approve directors to attend ACWA spring conferences. Immediately following this is the Fire Department meeting. During this time, the Directors will consider and possibly approve the facilities use agreement with San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters and with Copper Mountain College District. All of these meetings take place at 72401 Hatch Road in Twentynine Palms. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend the meetings. For more information call 760-367-7546.
While the wait for the other shoe to drop in the litigation over Project Phoenix bonds continues, the City of Twentynine Palms has to continue with the required steps in the winding-down of the Redevelopment Agency. The Oversight Board of the Successor Agency to the dissolved Redevelopment Agency of Twentynine Palms is meeting this evening. On the agenda are legislative and litigation updates, the revised property management plan, the administrative budget for the next fiscal year, and the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule for the second half of this calendar year. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. in City Hall on Adobe Road.
The Oversight Board of the Successor Agency to the Yucca Valley Redevelopment Agency will hold a special meeting at 9:30 Friday morning in the Mesquite Room of the Community Center. The committee will be asked to approve the recognized obligation payment schedule, and will then hear an update on the Successor Agency.
LCFF and LCAP have become part of the alphabet soup that California schools have to deal with. The local school district is asking parent groups for input on LCAP. Reporter Dan Stork explains what, why, where, and when…
The way that funds for educational programs are distributed from the state to local school districts has changed, as part of Governor Brown’s reorganization of state finances. A large part of state funds depends upon the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF. To get funds as part of this process, school districts have to apply for them, and have to explain to the state how they are going to account for their use. This explanation component is part of the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP. The state requires that school districts solicit input from parents, students, and community groups in writing accountability plans. To fulfill that requirement, the Morongo Unified School District is holding two public meetings. The first is in the Yucca Valley High School Library at 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 27, and the second will be in the Oasis Elementary School Multipurpose Room at 5 pm on Thursday March 6. Assistant Superintendent Tom Baumgarten told us, “The particular groups we are to engage include individuals from the following groups: English Language Learners, Foster Youth, low-income and parent advisory groups. Members of the parent advisory groups include members of the school site councils, district advisory councils or Parent-Teacher Organizations.” For more information, call the District at 760-367-9191, extension 4224.
Yucca Valley Elementary School will induct 30 students into a newly formed chapter of the National Elementary Honor Society. According to Principal Jolie Kelley, “Yucca Valley Elementary School has many exceptional students. The faculty decided to apply for a charter in the fall, in part so we could honor these students and help them rise to the next level.” Students are selected for their academic success, leadership, and service. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 27, at 5:00 p.m. in the YuccaValleyElementary School multipurpose room and is open to the public. A list of the students being inducted into the honor society can be found with this story at z1077fm.com.
THE FACULTY COUNCIL
Kojo McCallum, Chapter Advisor
YUCCA VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NATIONAL ELEMENTARY HONOR SOCIETY MEMBERS:
Katie Alexander, Secretary
Allison Arterberry, Parliamentarian
Alexis Cortes, Vice President
Mariah Greenwood, President
Joshua Gueltzow, Treasurer
Manuel Moreno Jr.
Even as the hard-charging volunteers at Theatre 29 get ready to open “The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Town’s Women’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery” this Friday, they will be holding auditions for their next production Monday. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says five performers are being sought for “Nunset Boulevard”…
Veteran director Kathryn Ferguson has announced auditions will be held for Theatre 29’s spring production, “Nunset Boulevard.” The musical will take the stage for five weeks, beginning April 25 through May 24. “Nunset Boulevard” follows the latest exploits of The Little Sisters of Hoboken, who have been invited to perform at the Hollywood Bowl. They are thrilled at the prospect until they realize they are booked into the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama — a bowling alley with a cabaret lounge — and not the famed ‘Bowl’ they were expecting. Ferguson needs a cast of five female actresses for this production. Most lead roles require the ability to sing. Please come to audition prepared to sing Broadway music, with either a karaoke tape or professional backing track with no background vocals. Ferguson also needs help in technical roles, such as set builder, costume, and back stage help. Auditions will be Monday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the theater, 73637 Sullivan Road in Twentynine Palms. For more information, visit theatre29.org, or email KFerguson@theatre29.org
The Joshua Tree Retreat Center will host a New Moon Drum Circle Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. The circle will be held in the center’s sanctuary. There is no charge to attend, though donations will be accepted. The Joshua Tree Retreat Center is located at 59700 29 Palms Highway in Joshua Tree, on the north side of the Highway. For more information, call 760-365-8371.
An Australian composer, singer, musician, and artist-in-residence, will present a musical performance Saturday at BoxoHouse in Joshua Tree. Biddy Connor will perform several pieces with a viola, saw, and electronic effects. Connor will also perform the soundtrack to Megan Evans’ video, “Stranger in the Desert,” which will be screened. The reception begins at 7 p.m. and the performance at 7:30. BoxoHouse is located at 62732 Sullivan Road. Art works by Diane Best and David Mackenzie will also be on display.
The Morongo Basin Historical Society has announced the winners of its dog parade, held during its Bob Barker Day February 15. Winning Best Personality was Tuxedo, owned by Jim Krob; Most Like Owner was BooBoo and foster mother Eve Vykydal; Windy Jo, owned by Candy Jo Keserich, went Best of Show; and Kodi, owned by Tina Mincer, was awarded Best Costume.