Coldwell Banker Roadrunner Realty owners Jeff and Mike Poland have announced they have acquired Willow Tree Realty of Twentynine Palms, at 73395 Sullivan Road. The acquisition was announced in joint statements that went to existing Willow Tree clients. According to the Polands, “We are humbled yet excited to have been chosen to continue the Willow Tree legacy and we make a solemn commitment to all Willow Tree clients to represent their interests in the best and most professional way possible.” Coldwell Banker Roadrunner Realty buys and sell homes, and also offers help to those in the rental market. They specialize in helping military families throughout the area find temporary rental spaces that meet their unique needs. Tenants can pay their rent online or at any 7/11 store. Landlords can get their rent money via direct deposit. To learn more visit the Coldwell Banker Roadrunner Realty website at cbroadrunner.com or call 760-365-8880 to speak with an agent.
Yucca Valley Recreation is planning an adult excursion to the beautiful Mission Inn. Reporter Caitlin Logan tells you how to sign up for the trip…
Join the Town of Yucca Valley’s adult excursion on December 11 to the Riverside Mission Inn, which is filled with rich culture and beautiful gardens that will be decorated for the holidays. Registration for the day trip is $85 per person and includes deluxe motor coach transportation, guided tour and meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Departure for the trip is at 12:15 p.m., returning at 8:00 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, register online at yucca-valley.org or in person at the Yucca Valley Community Center by November 25. For more information contact Community Services at 760-369-7211.
The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will hold a Thanksgiving turkey dinner tonight, Friday, November 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. The cost is $8, with to-go orders being an extra dollar. The VFW Post volunteers will be taking Thanksgiving week off; there will be no Sunday breakfast or Taco Wednesday next week, and the post will be closed on Thanksgiving.
Food For life of Twentynine Palms will be serving two free meals to those in need in the next week. The United Methodist Church of Twentynine Palms will serve tomorrow from 3 to 5 at the Little Church of the Desert Community Hall in Twentynine Palms. Then on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, The Betty Garret Memorial Thanksgiving meal will be served from 1 to 4, also at the Little Church of the Desert Community Hall. Volunteers are still needed for cooking, setting up, serving, and cleaning up for the Thanksgiving meal. If you are interested in helping, contact Teresa Brown at 562-324-9099. Drivers are also needed for delivering meals to shut-ins. All volunteers are asked to wear white shirts and black pants.
Rate increases at the Twentynine Palms Water District were the topic of discussion at last night’s meeting of the Board of Directors. Water rates have not increased since 2011, and the water district does not charge ratepayers enough to fully cover the cost of its retiree health benefits and California Public Employee Retirement benefits. Board members discussed three options for rate increases for five years: a 3 percent increase with no funding of retirement benefits, which would result in the district being out of cash in 10 years; a 3 percent rate increase that would go toward satisfying the district’s retirement fund, which would result in the district being out of cash in less than seven years; and a 5 3/4 percent increase and funding retirement benefits, which would also result in the district being out of cash in less than seven years. The directors continued the discussion to its January meeting. The Board of Directors also decided to terminate a 23-year agreement it had with the City of Twentynine Palms that gave the city free water in exchange for encroachment permits.
Another setback for the Yucca Valley sewer system. The Hi-Desert Water District Board heard about another delay last night, before it went into closed session for a performance evaluation for General Manager Ed Muzik, where it gave him a unanimous vote of confidence. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains why the sewer project is delayed yet again…
It seems the Hi-Desert Water District just can’t catch a break for its wastewater reclamation project, as it faces another delay in the project’s timeline. When the Board of Directors changed in September how the future sewer plant would treat wastewater, the change required an updated tortoise survey at the plant site. The results of the tortoise survey should have been received two weeks ago, but the water district is still waiting. That delay has forced a minimum two-week delay for the district’s application to be approved by the State Water Resources Control Board, which is the agency that will determine the interest rate for the loan for the water district. So instead of assigning the water district’s interest rate for its loan for the sewer project on February 3, the water district’s application may not be on the state water board’s agenda until February 17, or possibly not even until March. The Board of Directors voted last night to wait until the state has assigned an interest rate before mailing out assessment ballots to Yucca Valley residents, which is not tentatively set for the end of February, providing there’s not another delay.
The owner of the Yucca Valley Medical Marijuana Resource Group, Jason Elsasser, will be on the Z107.7 Up Close show tomorrow (November 21). Elsasser is also the sponsor of the ordinance petition that would require the Town of Yucca Valley to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Town limits. This is your opportunity to call in with questions and comments about medical marijuana dispensaries and medical marijuana and the ordinance itself. Jason Elsasser and medical marijuana on the Up Close show tomorrow, starting at 10 a.m.
The Hi-Desert Medical Center came awfully close to choosing an affiliation partner at last night’s special board of directors meeting. A vote between Strategic Global Management and Tenet Healthcare Group was on the meeting’s agenda, but due to a lack of unanswered questions, the motion was made to table the vote to a future date. Rebecca Havely attended the meeting and offers this report…
The Helen Grey Center on the hospital campus was packed last night with community members and employees as a special board of directors meeting began. The two affiliation partners being considered were given time to make presentations and answer questions from the standing-room-only crowd. Newly appointed board members Paul Hoffman and Marge Doyle were among those asking some important questions. Since they do not have a vote on board issues until January, Doyle said, “I appreciated the Board’s inclusion of both of us.” Many questions were answered immediately while others needed some research before they could be answered. Consultant Jonathon Spees presented a side-by-side comparison of both organizations, stating that the financial proposals should be viewed as essentially equivalent. Therefore, the decision should be based on which organization the board believes is most likely to close the transaction in a timely manner and which has the highest likelihood of success over the next 30 years. The board faces a long-term legacy decision. The motion was made to table the board vote until all questions could be answered. Another special meeting was set for December 3 at 6 p.m.
Two Twentynine Palms men were arrested Tuesday in separate incidents for felony spouse abuse. About 8 a.m., a woman in the 7400 block of Saladin called police to report her boyfriend, Michael Bylund, 50, had beat her up. According to the Sheriff’s report, Bylund hit her, kicked her, and dragged her by her hair. The deputy found Bylund hiding under a staircase with a bottle of rum. After an investigation, Michael Bylund was arrested for felony spouse abuse, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail and released later Tuesday evening on $50,000 bail.
In the second spouse abuse case, a woman in the 71600 block of 29 Palms Highway called just after noon to say her husband hit her. According to the Sheriff’s report, Robert Vocker, 60, hit his wife several times in the head, causing her head to start bleeding. When the woman called police to report the crime, Vocker tried to flee in his van, but couldn’t leave because he was blocked in. Deputies located Vocker near the scene and arrested him for investigation of felony spouse abuse. Vocker was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.
The Rotary Club of Yucca Valley has set Saturday, December 13, for this year’s Festival of Lights Parade. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to sign-up to be in it…
The annual Festival of Lights parade is set to “Light Up the World.” The Rotary Club of Yucca Valley has set the date of their annual Christmas Light Parade for Saturday, December 13, at 5:30 p.m. The route will be the same as last year with the parade taking place on Sante Fe Trail, beginning at Bannock Trail, heading west and ending at Inca Trail. Floats will be displayed at the Hi-Desert Water District’s parking lot for viewing, and the kids are all invited to come in to the district offices to see Santa and enjoy a puppet show. This year’s parade main sponsor and grand marshal is Southern California Edison. To sign up to be in the parade, pick up an application at the Yucca Valley Chamber office or go online to the Rotary website at www.yvrotary.org or call 760-365-1988. Entries will be accepted until December 11.
To encourage area businesses to get into the spirit and to encourage shopping locally, Hi-Desert Publishing Company and Z107.7 Radio have teamed up to co-sponsor a free holiday decorating contest for all businesses located in the Morongo Basin. Winners get hundreds of dollars in local advertising, very cool plaques, and holiday bragging rights. Entries will be judged on five criteria: Overall Appeal; Use of Available Space; Use of Lights and Color; Inventiveness and Overall Theme; and the Wow Factor. Painted windows do not qualify. Awards will be given for first and second places in four categories: best interior and best exterior for large businesses (over 1,500 square feet), and for small businesses (up to 1,500 square feet). First place winners get $300 in advertising from Z107.7 and Hi-Desert Publishing. Second Place winners get $150 in advertising from Z107.7 and from Hi-Desert Publishing. New for 2014, entrants can submit a photo of their decorated business, inside or outside, for a bonus People’s Choice award which will run on our websites. Submit your photo at z1077fm.com. To enter, just call Z107.7 Radio at 760-366-8471. Deadline to enter is 5:00 p.m. December 10 and winners will be announced December 17.
The Twentynine Palms Cemetery District’s board of directors’ special meeting for tonight has been cancelled due to a lack of a quorum. The Board has not set a date yet for a rescheduled meeting.
Kids from 5 to 12 years old will have some fun with arts and crafts at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum Saturday. Reporter Caitlin Logan has your invitation…
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is giving kids an opportunity to express their creativity through arts and crafts. On Saturday, November 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., kids ages 5 to 12 are welcome to join museum staff to make arts and crafts inspired by nature and the fall season. Twigs, buttons, fabric, seeds, leaves, burlap, paint and glue will be used to create fall-themed masterpieces for some creative fun. The $5 registration fee covers all materials; pre-registration is required. For more information, contact the museum at 760-369-7212.
The Mane Street Stampede Wild West Show needs spirited volunteer actors and actresses to perform in their comedy western, family shows Saturday afternoons in Pioneertown. Shows run from April to October. Proceeds benefit local organizations. They will professionally train you. Call Phil for more details at 760-366-3333. The next membership meeting is this Saturday, November 22, at high noon at the old Roadhouse Cafe, which is now La Palapa, at 57173 Sunnyslope in Yucca Valley.
Sky’s the Limit will host a star party Saturday, November 22. The star party will start at the Twentynine Palms observatory about 5:20 p.m. and end with moonrise about 1 a.m. The focus of the star party will be globular clusters and planetary nebulae. Bring binoculars, telescopes, water, snacks, chairs, and dress for unpredictable weather. For more information, call 760-367-7222. Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center is just north of the entrance to the Joshua Tree National Park at 9697 Utah Trail in Twentynine Palms.
Auditions for the classic farce “An Ideal Husband” by Oscar Wilde are scheduled this Sunday afternoon. This will be the first show of the 2015 season at Theater 29. Reporter Rebecca Havely has the details…
Theater 29 veteran director Butch Pelfrey seeks eight men and six woman for the cast of “An Ideal Husband,” a farce set in London 1895.
In “An Ideal Husband,” Sir Robert Chiltern seems to have everything: considerable wealth, a blissfully happy marriage to a wife who idolizes him, and a stellar career in politics with the promise of even greater things to come. Suddenly he is faced with a terrifying choice: see his career and his marriage in ruins as a secret he thought was buried long ago threatens to erupt, or be party to a swindle of international proportions. Either way he faces disgrace, self-disgust and much, much worse: the knowledge that he will no longer be his beloved wife’s ideal husband.
Sir Robert Chiltern, 40-60ish. Sir Robert is the play’s “tragic” hero, a government official who owes his success and fortune to secret scandal. Sir Robert is a “personality of mark” with a manner of impeccable distinction; the contrast between his chiseled jaw and romantic eyes suggests a violently willed separation of thought and emotion in his personality
Lady Gertrude Chiltern, 40-50ish. A woman of grave Greek beauty, Lady Chiltern embodies the Victorian new woman: upright, virtuous, educated, politically engaged, and active in her husband’s career
Mrs. Cheveley, 30-50ish. One of the play’s wittiest and most well dressed characters, Mrs. Cheveley is the vicious and opportunistic villainness, a disciple of the deceased Baron Arnheim who values wealth and power above all.
Lord Goring, 20-30ish. Of impeccable dress and inimitable wit, Lord Goring is the play’s thirty-something dandified philosopher, an idle aristocrat.
Mabel Chiltern, 20-30ish. An exemplar of English prettiness, Mabel, Sir Robert’s pert and clever younger sister.
Lord Caversham, 40-60ish. Father to Lord Goring, Lord Caversham, described as a “fine Whig type,” is a stuffy, serious, and respectable gentleman who is firmly opposed to the excesses of his dandified son.
Lady Markby, 30-60ish. A pleasant and popular woman with “gray hair à la marquise and good lace.”
Lady Basildon and Mrs. Marchmont, 40-60ish. Lady Basildon and Mrs. Marchmont are described as “types of exquisite fragility” with an affection of manner of delicate charm.
Vicomte de Nanjac, 30-50ish. Attaché at the French Embassy in London, is a young man famous for his ties and Anglomania.
Mr. Montford, 30-50ish. A “perfectly groomed” young dandy and secretary to Sir Robert.
Phipps, 20-30ish. A “mask with a manner” who serves Lord Goring. Phipps is the ideal butler.
James, 20-30ish. A minor character, James is Lord Goring’s footman.
Mason, 20-30ish. Butler to Sir Robert Chiltern.
Harold, 20-30ish. Sir Robert’s footman.
Auditions will be held November 23 at 3 p.m. at Theater 29, 73637 Sullivan Road, Twentynine Palms. You should also attend auditions if you are interested in helping backstage with costumes, props, or sets.
Yucca Valley High School Trojan wrestling will host the annual Black and Gold Scrimmage Thursday night, November 20, at Yucca Valley High School to determine the varsity and junior varsity lineup. The public is invited, admission is free. The event starts at 6 p.m. in the gym. A snack bar will be available; and there will be a drawing for prizes. Larry Giron has been hired as the new Head Coach for Yucca Valley Wrestling; he is a former wrestler of Coach Alex Conti and is pleased to take over as Coach Mark Murphy turned over the position to Larry Giron.
Yucca Valley Girl Scout Troop 791 will be having a yard sale Friday and Saturday, on November 21 and 22. The troop is trying to raise funds for a trip to San Francisco in May where they will get to cross the Golden Gate Bridge with thousands of other Girl Scouts during a rank promotion ceremony. The Girl Scout Troop 791 yard sale will be Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at 7468 Chula Vista in Yucca Valley.
During a marathon four-hour meeting last night, the Yucca Valley Town Council faced a packed house and residents who were passionate about changes to the development code concerning the native plant ordinance and changes to the code that affect adult-oriented businesses. Town staff repeatedly told the council the town did not have any businesses that met the definition of an adult-oriented business, but the residents who made public comments clearly thought that No Limits, who has a sign twirler with a Triple X sign on the highway, was an adult business. After spirited public comments on the morality of the business versus the owner’s right to operate a legal business, the item was pulled so that the Town’s lawyer could study the changes to the development code and report back in a few weeks. Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the details about the changes to the native plant ordinance…
When the Yucca Valley Planning Commission updated the town’s development code, it removed most of the protected plants from the town’s native plant ordinance, leaving just two—the Joshua tree and one species of yucca. Several town residents urged the council to add several plants back on to the protected list, and Councilmember Bob Leone said the council needed education about the different plants. “We have to be more learned on what we’re doing to these plants. Once you remove them, they’re not protected, you can inherently change the environment in this community. If you want to go ahead to make it a New York City, then you go ahead and cement everything up and build around.” Outgoing council member Dawn Rowe said if residents wanted native plants, they didn’t have to look too far. “We do have the national park, Mojave preserve. We’re talking about developable land, where we have an expectation of parks and sidewalks in some cases and children and playing and houses and structures for horses. How do we accommodate all that while we preserve nature?” Leone retorted, “We don’t live in the park; we live in Yucca Valley.” Ultimately, the council’s consensus was to add California juniper and pinon pines, and Parry nolina back on to the list of protected desert native plants.
The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board of Directors will hear from the two organizations tonight that are courting the hospital with affiliation proposals: Tenet Healthcare, and Strategic Global Management. Following the presentation, the board will vote on which organization to partner with. The board will then go into closed session to discuss trade secrets. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Helen Gray Education Center Boardroom on the hospital campus in Joshua Tree.