Members of Wrightwood’s Certificate Emergency Preparedness Team (CERT) urged residents to prepare for the heavy rainfall and snow this El Nino season. With the increasing confidence of heavy rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches or more resulting in potentially dangerous flooding volunteers from CERT made trips around the community handing out sandbags and information. The team included Glenn and Nancy Goldstein, Ted Hubbard, Vicki Arseneau, George Ashworth Virginia and Patrick Martin, and Ed and Bonnie Ross.
San Bernardino County Fire initiated a program this January to inform county residents flood zones of safety measures and tips during the El Nino storm systems. Although El Nino’s effects have been seen primarily north of us so far, storms packing heavy rainfall are expected to increase in number in Southern California and occur through April of this year.
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) across the county are distributing the information packets in high risk flood areas. CERT members stuffed sandbags with “Ready! Set! Go!” pamphlets and information about the location of the nearest fire stations, hints for airing and filling sandbags properly for maximum effect, emergency kit items, and links to County Fire websites with additional information.
Friday January 8, nine CERT members from Wrightwood met at the intersection of Highway 2 and Desert Front Road to distribute 150 packets to homes in the area. Working in teams, Glenn and Nancy Goldstein, Ted Hubbard, Vicki Arseneau, George Ashworth, Virginia and Patrick Martin, and Ed and Bonnie Ross left packets on doorknobs, or attached to gates if the occupants of the property were not home. CERT member Bonnie Ross assured attendees at the January meeting of the Wrightwood MAC that no packet would be left on the doors of part-time residents so as not to leave a flag, for potential thieves or squatters, indicating unoccupied houses.
During the week prior, neighborhoods across the Tri-Community were served with the informative Flood Planning packets. Resources including videos on “Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” how to fill sandbags, and El Nino patterns, and publications regarding debris and erosion control and family disaster plans can also be accessed at sbcfire.org/flood_prevention_advice.aspx.
San Bernardino County Fire wants to “Share the Knowledge” and give the community every advantage in being prepared and staying safe during heavy rains and floods.
Residents are urged to closely monitor forecast and prepare for potential widespread flooding.
In the event of major flooding and widespread power outages, residents could go several days without the ability to purchase food, water and other basic supplies. Additionally, it could take several more days for retailers to restock shelves.
Plan for the possibility of having to take shelter in your home, as well as if you have to evacuate.
CERT urges you to have at least one gallon of water per day per person for seven days. You should also have non-perishable food items for seven days. Stock up on flashlights and extra batteries, as well as hand-crank or battery-powered radio. Assemble a first aid kit. Keep on hand cash, in small denominations, in case you can’t use credit/debit cards. A supply of personal hygiene items and change of cloths is also recommended. Make sure you have enough prescription medication or other medical supplies in case you do not have access to refills for several days.
Include plans for your pets. Make sure to have enough pet supplies, food, cages, litter boxes, and other supplies.
Your plans should include a place you will meet your family members if you become separated. Also establish and out-of-town contact who can coordinate commination.
The American Red Cross offers a free emergency app. The app sends local weather alerts and includes tips for assembling an emergency kit and plan. It includes an “I’m Safe” button to let loved ones know you are OK if other methods of communication go down and a real-time map to help you find the location of Red Cross shelters. Lean more at redcross.org/apps.
The CERT program, backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, teaches average people how to stay safe in their homes and neighborhoods during a disaster. Most Tri-Community-area localities have CERTs, and each program is designed to meet the area’s specific needs.
Members can receive additional training to be deployed to help in large-scale disasters when there won’t be enough professionals. CERT are trained to help in people and pet shelters, distribute supplies, and perform basic search and rescue functions. The teams also assist with outreach and other preparation and awareness activities.
The eight-week basic course covers first aid, search and rescue, and fire suppression, among other skills. It concludes with a disaster scenario that will challenge the new members to apply what we learned. Regular training is offered for members to continue practicing.
The first priority of a CERT member, which also applies to professional first responders, is to make sure to stay safe yourself.
Phelan Chamber: Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow
By Al Morrissette
Last Monday, January 18, at the Phelan Chamber of Commerce induction of the 2016 Board of Directors, newly elected President Charlie Johnson made it clear that his goal and direction for the Board is to work together as a team, sharing objectives, looking at new ideas as well as developing more commerce in the area. Though he has not revealed his plan to accomplish this task, it is a strong commitment to the area, the community and business. He also mentions that he will strive to work with the Pinon Hills Chamber in whatever capacity they can develop cooperatively. At Rick’s Roadhouse Cafe on Hwy 138, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon swore in the new Board in front of a near capacity crowd. McMahon spoke about being a local resident and enjoying the small town atmosphere. The new Board has many familiar names and consists of: Charlie Johnson - President, Dan Whalen - Vice-President, Nikki Ewing - Secretary, Jeanna Mills - Treasurer, Carolyn McNamara - Past President and Honorary Mayor, and Board Members Cathy Johnson, Charissa Porcu, Don Fish Jr., and Tanya Petty. McNamara and President Johnson shared the evening’s Master of Ceremonies duties. Johnson commented that the evening’s theme, “Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow,” shows his willingness to learn from the past and seek new adventures to benefit the community. The Chamber is very community oriented and provides many events such as holding their annual Easter Egg Hunt at Serrano High School. This is great way for your grade school child to release energy, as the event is Tri-Community wide, and separate fields are used to segregate the children by age. Perhaps the oldest Tri-Community event, Phelan Phun Day, will have a fresh face with festivities including performances, contests, and vendors, also showcasing numerous local civic and non-profit organizations. This year’s plan is to move Phun Days to the vacant lot next to Phelan Park, have carnival rides, and during the three-day event have individual themes for each day. A separate event that is held adjacent to the Phun Days is the Chamber’s Champagne Car Show. Because it is close to the Phun Days location, the car show enjoys a large share of visitors. The show hosts a variety of custom and classic cars, which are owned primarily by local residents, and plenty of trophies are handed out. Popular with families and businesses, the Halloween Trick or Treat in October brings thousands of local children to the business center of Phelan, allowing the children to have a safe environment, visit local businesses for goodies and explore the Trunk or Treat in the Stater Bros. In December the Chamber sponsors The Angel Tree program. The event gives less fortunate families in the community an opportunity to celebrate with gifts and groceries provided by the community. Children meet Santa and receive gifts, and parents receive the ingredients for a holiday meal. The fee to join the Chamber is $75 for businesses and $45 for non-profits and individuals. For more information call (760) 868-3291.
Harmony Latham crowned Miss Rodeo USA
By Terri Hill
Harmony Lynn Latham, 21 year-old Wrightwood resident and the current “Miss Hesperia Wranglers” was awarded the title of Miss Rodeo USA 2016 on Sunday January 16.
The title comes after a weeklong series of competitive rodeo events, tours of museums, interviews, modeling, and written exams in Oklahoma. Harmony had support from the Tri-Community through a Facebook page, and website where supporters could cast a vote in the “Peoples’ Choice” division.
Harmony is a graduate of Serrano High School and is a straight-A senior at Azusa Pacific University. In her letter posted on Facebook Harmony wrote;
I would like to be Miss Rodeo USA for a multitude of reasons. First, it would allow me the opportunity of a lifetime to travel and rodeo. Second, I would actively experience how my platform is lived out and how I can be an inspiration for children to stay in school and strive to become educated. Third, being Miss Rodeo USA would allow me to enter into a rodeo family like none other. The people and the places are already near and dear to my heart and it would be an honor to spend the year representing them as Miss Rodeo USA and then a lifetime with them as a former helping others reach their dreams. Lastly, it is my opinion that this is the next step in my competitive career. Everything that I have done, every competition that I have entered into has been to compete and earn a national title. Being a national title-holder is the next, and sometimes the final, step in a rodeo queen’s career.
Congratulations to Harmony on this grand award for character, skill, knowledge, and beauty.
Dusty Spurs resumes Gymkhana
By Terri Hill
On the third Saturday of each month riders spend six to eight hours at the Triple E Ranch, guiding their horses around barrels and poles and trying to do it in as little time as possible.
The Dusty Spurs are riders from across the High Desert who compete in events throughout the year and work toward competing in the California Gymkhana Association (CGA) competition held in August.
The word gymkhana refers to a meet featuring sports contests or athletic skills, as in horse riding or car racing, with a particular set of skills demonstrated and timed. The CGA lists 13 standard events for the state level competition. Clubs compete locally and the riders accumulate points toward position in the state meet.
Dusty Spurs members hold a meet every month on the third Saturday, though in February it will be held on the Saturday the 13th, at 9am. On January 16, the first competition of the year included six of the 13 events. Riders competed for the best time on the Figure 8 Flags, Quadrangle, Poles, Birangle, Figure 8 Stake, and Keyhole. Each of the courses require speed and control as the horses must weave in and out between poles and demonstrate right and left turns without crossing barriers, while the riders must switch flags as they pass a barrel, or drop a golf ball into a safety cone. Small jumps are included in the Hurry Scurry course, but it is usually an optional event, as jumping less popular with many of the gymkhana riders.
Riders range in age from four to adult, with separate divisions for youth. Everyone who rides must also work the show. As is true of all local youth and adult sports, Gymkhana is a volunteer organization and the 20 to 30 riders help the club organizers with set-up, scoring, announcing, judging, and tear-down. Judges are volunteers who have completed an apprenticeship of one year, and a four to six-hour written examination through the CGA. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, keeping a watchful eye on the horse and rider, to make sure the poles or lines in the courses are not bumped or crossed during the event. Seconds are to a rider’s time for such infractions.
Many of the horses had trouble settling down during the events on Saturday. The club was on hiatus in December, and this was the first competition since November. Deborah Jasper explained, “The horses get jumpy and skittish after a long break from performing.”
Chelsea Estes is relatively new to gymkhana. She and her horse, Bailey, have been competing for approximately one year. Last year in fact, she won an award for most improved rider. According to Chelsea’s mom Debbie, Bailey always wears pink tack because the horse prefers it. “If Chelsea presents two sets of tack, Bailey will ‘nose’ the pink set every time.” Chelsea is 20 years old and spends her weekends in Phelan with her dad and Bailey, and attends Pasadena City College during the week.
Next month’s show will include what Sherri Anna calls the “fun stuff,” competition will involve props like hula hoops. The shows are held at the Triple E Ranch at 10164 White Road in Phelan, are open to the public. Find more information about Dusty Spurs Gymkhana at their website:
http://www.dustyspurs30.webs.com/ and on their Facebook page.