In a momentous undertaking, Lora Steinmann and Michelle Schneider are touring the new show, written by Barbara Lennon with music by Bill Francoeur, with a cast of forty-four of the Tri-Community’s talented children.
A campy, modern take on the classic tale, Rockin’ is full of double entendre and 50s style music. The show opens with siblings, Josh (Connor Carroll) and Peggy Sue (Natalie Lowthers) arguing about how a princess’ story should play out. Josh wants the princess to be discovered by macho soldiers, while Peggy Sue insists that she be rescued by Prince Charming (Anthony Chastain). To help settle the matter, their mother, played by Helena Ojeda, offers to read the Brothers Grimm tale of Snow White.
The story greatly resembles the classic tale, with a few fun additions and a comical score. Ladies in Waiting to the Evil Queen (Tess McKenzie) sing into their mirrors about being pretty, and spending all their time waiting on her majesty, “We’re cute, we’re hot, it’s so humiliating!” A DNR (Department of Natural Resources) rep stops the Queen’s Huntsman (Davey Schneider) from killing the pig, whose heart was to serve as the replacement for Snow White’s. Danika Hennessy plays the dorky DNR government agent with wit and great physical comedy.
When the Evil Queen tries to eliminate the innocent Snow White, she finds that Snow has nearly as many lives as a cat. The Queen tries to kill Snow with a stylish apron that suffocates her, a poison comb placed in her hair, and finally the poison apple. The witch’s transformation into a young girl and an old woman, in order to trick the heroine, is cleverly staged. No spoiler here, there will be more opportunities to see the show in April.
The show’s cast is to be commended for their comic timing, musical performances, and ability to improvise. One of the actors was ill and his cast mates filled in the gap, nearly seamlessly. The dwarves sing a number in which they introduce themselves, “I’m Zip, I’m Kip, I’m Tip, I’m Pip, I’m Flip, I’m Chip, my name is Big Mike.” To fill in for the missing dwarf, we heard, “I’m Kip, where’s Tip?” They must also have taken up Tip’s lines, but that too was well covered. Also noted; Big Mike was perfectly cast with the most diminutive of the actors. It is not difficult to see these talented youngsters as the Bravo and Center Stage students in Beverly Quinn’s Serrano PAC performances in the future.
The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White now goes on tour to the various elementary schools in the Snowline District. The show returns to the Wrightwood Community Building on April 2nd and 3rd. Performances are 3pm and 7pm; tickets are $5, or $20 for a family of five or more.
Calmer waters at CSD meeting
By Terri Hill
At the March 2nd General Board Meeting of the PPHCSD, a crowd not quite as large as that of the previous meeting turned out to continue discussions about Conservation Measures and State Water Board Compliance.
General Manager Don Bartz began the meeting with a return presentation on the choice by the Board to go forward with a plan to blend water from different wells in order to bring the average Chromium 6 levels to less than 10 parts per billion (ppb). Although Bartz had given a similar presentation when the Board voted on the proposed plan and again in shorter versions at multiple meetings since, he and the Board felt that with so many in attendance and so much confusion over the issue, it was a good time to revisit the plan and clear up misconceptions.
Bartz covered the other options, including treatment, which carry more exorbitant costs and explained how the water will be brought from wells on the dairy property to wells in the district that exceed the State maximum ppb. The dairy wells have a near zero Chromium 6 level and when mixed with the wells that average 10-13 ppb, should bring the PPHCSD water supply to the targeted 8ppb.
Ordinance No. 2016-01, Establishing Conservation Measures, returned to the Board for reconsideration after revisions from February had been made. One of the fine points addressed by customers and the Board was the designation by the State Water Board of the District as an urban water district. The argument was made that the area is considered rural when the State bills residents for a fire protection fee. Attorney Steve Kennedy explained that a rural/urban district is defined by legislation, not the Water Board, so they would not be able to change the District’s status.
The Board also considered a ‘Resolution in Support of a Rural Community’ proposed by Director Cathy Pace. On the eve of a community meeting with County officials to discuss the Community Plan, Pace felt it was important to reassert the District’s desire to remain a rural community with 2.5 acre lots and limited development. Board President Dan Whalen agreed with Pace. Directors Roberts, Brandon, and Morrissette agreed that it would be a redundancy, as the Community Plan established at the formation of the PPHCSD already addresses the issue and has not changed. It was decided that the formal resolution should be written and brought to the Board again at the next meeting.
In an effort to increase funding opportunities for the Chromium 6 project, the Board considered retaining KP Public Affairs (KP) to aid in the acquisition of grant monies. Directors Whalen and Morrissette, and GM Bartz had met with KP’s Ed Manning who would be able to put the District in direct contact with the appropriate personnel at the State Water Board to improve the District’s opportunity for assistance and funding. The Board voted to hire KP at a rate of $5000 per month.
Residents gives input on the Phelan/Pinon Hills Community Plan
By Al Morrissette
Last Thursday, March 3 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Pinon Hills Elementary School, 63 residents from Phelan and Pinon Hills met with representatives from the County to listen to the County’s review of the Phelan-Pinon Hills Community Plan.
County First District Supervisor, Robert Lovingood, was in attendance and though he did the initial introduction of the Community Plan Staff led by Karen Watkins, he watched from the sidelines and listened to the input from the community. Every 10 years, the County reviews their County Plan and within that plan are numerous Community Plans from incorporated and unincorporated areas. These Community Plans enable the County to target local issues and hone the will of the local residents into the county perspective.
The County provided materials from census information, community history and some growth projections, but emphasized that the current Phelan-Pinon Hills Plan will stay in place with their goal of updating community thoughts and insight to make the plan practical and align it with community intention. Many of the participants to the forum had been part of the community committee that developed the current community plan, which took a year to develop and was accepted by the Board of Supervisors in 2007.
Participants were separated into 6 teams. Team members then shared their thoughts and brought ideas to the combined group discussions at each step of the process. The four steps were, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It was evident that not all participants shared the same outlook, but it was significant that each person was able to have a voice in the conversation.
Though there were many points made for each topic, perceived community ‘Strengths’ included the rural lifestyle and maintenance of the natural environment, community pride and unity, and the low crime rate. As for ‘Weaknesses,’ participants cited illegal dumping, lengthy permit processes, unmaintained dirt roads, and law enforcement response time.
‘Opportunity’ was seen in creating additional park infrastructure with emphasis on a community pool, equestrian facilities, and family-oriented centers including sports facilities. Large development, residential and commercial, is the biggest ‘Threat’ to their current lifestyle that concerns most of the participants.
Gayle Goodwin commented on Facebook: “The County is reviewing our wants and everyone wants things to stay the same”, adding, “They were looking for our ideas for the future. Many residents came and we all had a chance for our input. It was actually fun. So far all is good. Hope to see everyone at the next meeting the 31 of March. Your input is valued.”
The information created that night will be posted on the County’s website: www.countywideplan.com and this side is interactive allowing residents to add more insight or ask questions. The March 31 meeting will be held at the Phelan Community Center from 6:30 to 8:30pm. After an overview of the first meeting, it will focus on land use.
By Vicky Rinek,Editor
WWCSD would not raise taxes
Exploratory meeting was held to allay fears and misconceptions.
Tuesday night, March 8, 2016, nearly 30 Wrightwood community leaders gathered at the Old Fire Station to discuss the proposed creation of a Wrightwood Community Services District (WWCSD). The informal meeting provided information on the progress with Lafco (Local Agency Formation Commission), of the exploration and procedures to establish a CSD. The dedicated community members that have been working on the drafts of the proposed CSD include Darrel Sikes, Wes Zuber, Stephanie Carroll and Natalie Lopiccolo. Al Morrissette, who brings his expertise as a Board member of the PPHCSD, has guided the committee. Attendees included members of the MAC, Wrightwood Property Owners Association, business owners, and concerned citizens.
The well-drafted application explains the scope of responsibilities that a WWCSD would cover. These include the parks, public buildings, public land, 23 streetlights, solid waste, recycling, equipment, and maintenance of facilities that are now controlled by the San Bernardino County departments of public works and Parks and Recreation. The CSD operations and control would be kept to a minimum and would encompass approximately 6012-sq. acres within 9.61-sq. miles bordered all sides by the National Forest. The staff that currently maintains County parks and buildings in Wrightwood would remain the same and be employed by the WWCSD. Individuals operating WWCSD would include five elected Board of Directors members. The Board would hire part-time General Manager, financial contractor, attorney, and facility maintenance crew positions.
This meeting addressed residents’ concerns and sought to enlist their support on establishing a CSD. Steve Rinek asked, “Why should we create a CSD?” Stephanie answered, “to bring a more efficient control over our community and to enable the unification of these services across the entire community, regardless of county lines.” Natalie added, WWCSD would create a local form of government that is a true representation of the community.”
Tom Pinard addressed the issue of State mandate on the sewer system and “Why isn’t this plan included in the WWCSD?” Stephanie answered, “This issue would be too cumbersome for the CSD to include in the plan.” Chuck Carroll commented saying, “The County has taken responsibility to work with the State, as our community is unique.”
Another issue addressed was the water control, “As most CSDs take control of the water utility and maintenance,” said one individual. Stephanie continued, “We have no plans to pursue this issue, first because Golden State is doing a fine job, and financially a small CSD would not have the funds to purchase such a large operation.”
Many who attended the meeting brought up the subject of costs and added taxes. Al Morrissette addressed these topics saying, “There would be no cost to the community to establish a WWCSD nor would there be any added taxes to its residents.” Al added, “A CSD cannot create a new tax without a 2/3 voters approval.” Al was asked when would the WWCSD be approved? “It will go to the voters and we hope the ballet will be in the upcoming 2016 November election.” A citizen at the meeting asked, “Who will pay for the ballet expenses?” Al replied, “The San Bernardino County covers that expense.” Stephanie added, “We received a letter from the Board of Supervisors stating that they are in favor of the creation of a WWCSD.” Stephanie continued, “The deadline to submit the application to Lafco is the end of March and this organization is very cooperative.”
The budget to operate WWCSD would come from a portion of the property taxes collected by the County, franchise fees from the solid waste contract with CR&R, rental fees collected from the community buildings and utilities (streetlights) fees now controlled by the County.
The meeting covered and answered many questions, while removing concerns that have been floating around the community about the feasibility as well as the impact and cost to its residents. The five-year projection that was presented to everyone at the meeting is available to the public by email request to firstname.lastname@example.org
The public is invited to attend the upcoming meeting of the Wrightwood MAC, scheduled for March 21, 2016 at the Wrightwood Community Building, 1275 Hwy 2 at 7:00 PM where the WWCSD will be discussed and comments from the community will be accepted.
Spanish exploration of So Cal discussed at WHS
By Terri Hill
More than the history of Wrightwood, the March 4 meeting of the Wrightwood Historical Society included a presentation by Jim Wood, An Overview of Spanish exploration In Mexico, the Southwest, and California.
Using original diaries and maps along with satellite images, Jim gathered details on the routes of 18 explorers, culminating near San Bernardino.
After brief notes about Columbus, Jim talked about major explorers and their routes between the years 1535 and 1827, including the first non-natives to enter San Bernardino County. Using original diaries and maps along with satellite images, Jim gathered details on the routes of 18 explorers, culminating near San Bernardino.
Woods’ maps detail the names of explorers, from deVaca and Coronado to DeAnza and Smith, and their corresponding routes to demonstrate when and where they traveled the same routes or crossed paths, sometimes within just a few years of each other. Woods also pointed out that most of those routes became the major roads and railways used today.
Jim was a soil-water scientist with the USDA for 37 years. His degree was from UC Davis in 1974. Although not an historian, he has delved into the history of California where he was born and raised.
Monthly meetings at the Historical Society often host speakers from outside the Tri-Community and from a variety interesting backgrounds. The Society’s meetings are held on the first Friday of the month at 1PM in the Wrightwood Museum. Guest speakers are announced in the “Events” section of the Mountaineer, usually two weeks prior to the meeting, and the public is welcome to attend.
Juvenile arrested for throwing rocks at vehicles
One day after Sheriff Sergeant Toll reported to the PPHCSD that the department had some “good leads” as to the identity of the subject suspected of throwing rocks at vehicles near Hwy 138 and Phelan Road, the following statement was released by the SBC Sheriff Victorville Station:
March 3, 2016: The Phelan Sheriff’s Station, in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol, conducted an investigation into large rocks being thrown at vehicles traveling along Highway 138 near Phelan Road. The incidents would usually occur over the weekend and late at night. On February 27, 2016, during early morning hours, seven incidents of vehicles being stuck by rocks were reported to either the CHP or Sheriff’s Department. On February 22, 2016, one victim reported a large eight to ten pound rock came through his passenger window striking him and caused a large bruise. On January 10, 2016, a marked Sheriff’s Department vehicle was on patrol in the area and was hit causing damage to the vehicle. Vehicles struck by the rocks sustained minor to major damage. The incidents can be traced back as far as July of 2015.
Deputy Molly Leiker, from the Phelan Station, developed significant information through her investigation that helped break the case. Detective Scott Chapdelaine, also from the Phelan Station, assisted and the suspect was identified. The suspect was interviewed, arrested, and booked at the Apple Valley Juvenile Detention facility on March 2, 2016.
It is believed there are many more incidents that went unreported. The investigation is ongoing and victims are encouraged to contact the Phelan Sheriff’s Station at (760) 868-1006, to file a report.
Murder/suicide involves Pinon Hills resident
On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 9:49 p.m. Victorville deputies were called to a residence in the 1700 block of Electra Dr. in Victorville for a possible shooting. Deputies arrived and found the victim deceased inside the residence. As deputies were beginning their investigation, an off-duty deputy reported a man with a gun at a nearby residence. Additional deputies responded to that location and made contact with a male subject, later identified as Robert Hernandez, who was armed with a handgun. Deputies ordered Hernandez to put down the gun. Hernandez immediately shot himself and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sheriff’s Homicide Investigators responded to the scene to conduct the investigation. Investigators have determined that, for reasons unknown, Robert Hernandez shot his mother, Judy Merejil, and then fled to a neighbor’s house where he shot himself.
The investigation is ongoing and no additional information is available for release.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Homicide Detail, Detective Nick Hartleben at (909) 387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
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