Active-Shooter Response addressed at Wrightwood Crime Prevention meeting
By Terri Hill
Welcome to “It’ll Never Happen Here” U.S.A. That was the road sign that punctuated the Active-Shooter presentation at the Wrightwood Neighborhood Watch meeting on Wednesday February 3rd.
Richard Pumerantz, PhD, Sheriff’s Special Bureau (SSB) instructed the approximately 50 attendees in recognizing a potential threat, and response during an active-shooter scenario. Among his credentials, Pumerantz has spent 13 years with the San Bernardino Sheriff Department. He has recently begun delivering the Active Shooter slide program created by Bruce Park, retired SBC Sheriff SSB.
Pumerantz began by pointing out that the threat of a mass casualty incident happening in a local workplace, school, or other public area is real, as evidenced by the tragedy at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino in December. An active-shooter (active killer) is defined as, “One who participates in a random or systematic shooting spree, demonstrating an attempt to continuously harm others. The subject’s overriding objective appears to be that of mass murder rather than other criminal conduct such as robbery or hostage taking.”
Since 1966 there have been 81 school or university shootings that have resulted in a total 208 deaths. No one has died in a school fire during the same time period. Pumerantz asserts that it is because students and faculty are trained, through drills, how to react when there is a fire. Taking what is known about the common actions of active shooters, law enforcement agencies are training community members how to respond in an active shooter situation.
Run, Hide, Fight.
If someone comes into the building brandishing a gun of any type, your first response should be to run. Evacuate the area even if no one else follows. Leave belongings behind and help others if you are able.
If unable to escape, hide behind something that will conceal you entirely. If you can’t hide, use something that will slow a bullet as a barricade. Lock doors, turn out lights and silence electronics.
Finally, if you have no other option, fight for your life. Use anything at your disposal to injure and incapacitate the shooter.
Whether barricaded, hiding, or on the run, you can call 911 and simply leave the line open, and not on speaker. The dispatcher will pinpoint your location, and be able to hear what’s going on. If you are away from danger and able to speak to the dispatcher, give as much information as possible, re: description number, and present location of the shooters, type of gun (hand gun, rifle, etc.), and number and location of victims. The average active-shooter incident lasts 12 minutes and the shooting is often over before law enforcement arrives. Accurate information is crucial to ending the shooters’ rampage.
While there is no specific profile for an active shooter, the average subject is described as a Caucasian male, 16 to 21 years old, and in good physical health. He is likely from a dysfunctional family and has poor relationships with parents and siblings. Pumerantz pointed out that because the subject is a loner or social outcast, he is impressionable, and therefore susceptible to influence by terror groups, media, and internet recruiting.
Pumerantz and Park stressed the importance of being aware of our surroundings in all situations. Find the exits in any new or unfamiliar venue. Identify, for yourself, people who might be helpful or knowledgeable in an emergency situation, and have a plan for where you would escape if confronted with a fire, shooter, or other emergency situation. Observe human behavior and, if something doesn’t look right, notify management or law enforcement of your concerns. Always carry a communication device.
A great deal more information and instruction can be found in the slide presentation; John Aziz posted the link on the wrightwoodcalif.com forum:
A practical demonstration video shown at the meeting can be found at http://www.activeshooter.lasd.org/.
The video depicts three active-shooter events and is graphic, but staged. Both presentations are suitable and recommended for offices, classrooms, churches, and families to share.
The next Crime Prevention/Neighborhood Watch meeting is scheduled for May 21, 7pm at the Wrightwood Community Building. Self Defense is the scheduled topic.
CHP addresses Wrightwood MAC
By Terri Hill
Monday night, February 8, CHP Officer Matthew Hunt spoke to the Wrightwood Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) in his capacity as Public Information Officer (PIO).
Officer Hunt gave details about a traffic collision on Highway 2 February 1st. A drunk driver lost control of his vehicle near Wright Mountain Road at approximately 11:30pm. A passenger in the back seat was not wearing a seatbelt and died in the accident. Two air ambulances were called to the scene in the early hours of Tuesday morning to transport the driver and two additional passengers to area hospitals. The victims are from out of town.
Hunt also announced the availability of three driver safety programs offered by the CHP.
Start Smart is a course for teenagers, and Age Well, Drive Smart is geared toward senior drivers. Just Drive is a course that focuses on the dangers of distracted driving. Hunt commented that after taking the course himself, he believes that texting while driving may be even more dangerous than drunk driving. He commented, “Your brain can’t handle both ----- and operating a motor vehicle at the same time.”
All three courses are offered at the CHP Office in Victorville quarterly, and Hunt said he would bring any of the classes to the community if 10 to 15 people at a time sign up. The courses are free and, in the case of the senior driver training, qualify the participant for a discount on insurance. Chp.ca.gov has more details on the courses.
Roy Montry from S.B. County Roads responded to a question from John Lenau regarding the possibility of the use of anti-icing agents on the county streets. Montry stated that the process would not be cost effective for the county, given the unpredictability of snowfall. The solution must be applied one to two days prior to snowfall in order to be effective.
Special Districts Representative discussed the plans to improve the parking lot at the Community Building. The plans include upgrades to lighting, ADA parking spaces, and water runoff to avoid the ice floe that forms near the building.
Currently, the County is accepting applications to fill an open seat on the MAC. Residents of Wrightwood with the good of the community in mind are encouraged to submit an application online. Go to sbcounty.gov, click Clerk of the Board, then Forms, then Boards, Commissions, Committee Applications, then choose Wrightwood MAC. You may also call Supervisor Lovingood’s office and Susan ---- will walk you through the website.
Family Owned Store Celebrates First Year
By Vicky Rinek
Ricasso’s Fine Antiques and Vintage Collectibles celebrated its one-year anniversary in Phelan, CA. The shop initially opened on February 14, 2015, and has grown in its 1,200 square foot building. Just a little more than a year ago the space on Phelan Road was an empty shell. Now it’s bursting at the seams with fine accessories, antiques and vintage furniture items looking for a new home, and customers are roaming the isles on a daily basis hoping to find the next must-have treasure to furnish or accessorize their homes. Rick Ramirez, operating Ricasso’s stated, “Our shop is an unique experience for all antique enthusiasts, collectors, decorators, or just casual shoppers.”
The giant leap of faith Rick took a year ago required guts, drive and a sense of adventure — as anyone blessed (or cursed) with an entrepreneurial spirit will tell you - you don’t go into business in the spur-of-the-moment. You first have a dream then you work on the reality of a business. The collecting bug has been with him throughout his life. “I remember going to garage sales with my mom as a child and was fascinated the collection of items my mom would bring home,” said Rick. “I started collecting at a young age and then I wanted to share my passion with others.”
Although the business is still young, Rick has been around the Tri-Community area for a number of years and raised three children, all in college now. “As a family-owned business, we’re ecstatic to reach our first anniversary,” says Rick. Working into their second year of business, Rick hopes to continue expanding their merchandise selection while offering some additional events to welcome customers into the store. “There is something for everyone at our store with hundreds of items to choose from,” said Rick. “We are enthusiastic and dedicated to providing excellent customer service.” Ricasso’s offerings and inventory includes antique furniture and decorative accessories, vintage furniture, stadium seats, shabby chic, glassware, primitives, iron garden furniture and accessories, jewelry, lamps, midcentury modern, dolls, vintage and antique watches, paintings, linins, books, china, porcelain, military, pottery, sports cards, classic vinyl albums, vintage kitchenware, and more.
Ricasso’s Fine Antiques and Vintage Collectibles hosts events such as the monthly Flea Market on the 2nd Saturday, holiday and seasonal events and many other fun promotions and sales for their customers to enjoy. Eddie Spaghetti performs regularly on Flea Market Day. There is a huge outdoor area with garden art, mosaic art and pottery. Don’t forget new items are arriving constantly. The store literally changes on a daily basis as new items arrive daily.
Rick and his wife Dianna are very proud of their community and to give back, they support the community with various events like a canned food drive. They raised his four children here and are extremely proud of each of them. They all attended college and have received Master and Bachelor degrees.
Ricasso’s Fine Antiques and Vintage Collectibles is located at 4468 Phelan Rd. Phelan, (next to J.Tidwell & Assoc.) phone (760) 980-1861. The store is open Tue – Sat from 11:00AM to 4:00PM.
Excelsior’s night of mystery and intrigue
By Terri Hill
Excelsior’s burgeoning performing arts department is small, and talented. Students in the STEM Academy at the charter school for grades seven through twelve wrote, produced, and starred in their own play on Friday, February 5.
The Case of Winter’s End is a classic whodunit a la Sherlock Holmes and the Thin Man Mysteries. Using a device from an original Sherlock tale, the students wrote their mystery around an ice sickle as the murder weapon.
Following one of the coldest nights in London’s history, Mr. Winters, played by Jesse Kari who also provided the narration, is found dead. Scotland Yard is quick to take charge of the investigation into the suspicious death of the owner of Winter’s Pawned when none other than Holmes (Rachel James) and Watson (Olivia Wood) join, or rather take over, the crime scene.
Suspects in the murder case include Alice Kingsley, played coyly by Grace Ziepke. In Winter’s Pawned shop Alice sees the watch that had belonged to her now dead husband. She is adamant that it belongs to her, but the shopkeeper refuses to sell it to her. Thomas Whitmore (Noah Butler) and Benjamin Hawke (Abby Ziepke) also make suspicious inquiries about items for sale in the pawn shop. In fact, even Mr. Winters looks guilty of something as he interacts with his customers.
Alex Vallejos plays the eternally flustered Inspector Ryan Taylor of Scotland Yard, continually losing patience with Holmes’ and Watson’s smug demeanor. Victoria Monroe is Taylor’s partner, played by Katie Tally.
During the intermission, while desserts were being served to audience, each table was instructed to collaborate and make their deductions as to the “Who, what, and why” of the murder. A card on each table had blanks for who we thought committed the crime, motive, and with what weapon.
In the second act Holmes gathered the suspects and police and poured over his notes as he laid out the details of his brilliant deductions. Having found a small pool of water near the body and the distinct absence of any ice sickles outside the door, Holmes declared the murder weapon to be an ice sickle. Officer Monroe was found to be the killer. Having a sordid past as the infamous Crimson Rose Killer, Monroe had thought she was discovered when she saw the watch of her last victim in Winter’s shop, she had to silence the store owner.
Campy and well written, the show was fun to watch and obviously fun for the students to perform. Dinner was served by the show’s crew, who also handled props, sets, and as they exclaimed, “Everything!”
Excelsior production Instructor Tammy Austin is very proud of her students and their first show. Most of them were performing for the first time. It was also the department’s first show. Three of the students are also members of the choir, the only members. But that didn’t stop them from performing during intermission. Austin and her students have been “talking up” the program and expect to gradually have more participation. Austin is also working on including arts in the STEM program to create STEAM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathmatics.
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