‘Every 15 Minutes’ program addresses the teen drunk driving epidemic
A sobering dramatization at Chaparral
By Al Morrissette
As part of a dramatization, Tuesday morning the Grim Reaper wandered through Chaparral High School and upon entering each classroom would choose a student to follow him. This simulation was to show students the reality that teens driving under the influence could affect you personally. As the Reaper gathered more and more “victims,” the somber realization hit many students and the nexus came at the 1pm assembly known as ‘Every 15 Minutes.’
The Every 15 Minute Program is part of a youth outreach by the California Highway Patrol designed to create awareness among students that a fatality involving drunk driving occurs every 15 minutes. This program weighs on students’ emotions, and demonstrates firsthand how their actions affect the lives of other people. It is a two-day assembly that begins with a narrative video that portrays a real situation from a grad night party that involves alcohol. Viewers are lead through the effects of the intoxicant transforming sober partygoers into dysfunctional drunks that think they are in control. The realistic demonstration does not stop at the scene of the accident portrayed in the assembly, but continues with the after effects. The arrest of the drunk driver, the court process, the scene at the morgue, notification to family of the deceased, and the funeral, are all played out on the campus grounds Tuesday.
Tuesday’s assembly was held on one of the activity fields adjacent to the school, where G&N Towing placed two cars, similar to students’ cars found on any high school campus. The cars had been in actual accidents, thus the crumbled body panels and the spider web cracked windshield were genuine. Narrating through a PA system, CHP Public Relations Officer Matt Hunt presented the timeline and activities before the students. Chillingly, he walked the students through the initial response by a CHP officer, to the call for San Bernardino Emergency Service response by Medical Engine 10, and Ambulance 10 with support by Engine 40, to the actual transport of the passenger via ambulance, and the helicopter evacuation to Arrowhead Regional Hospital of the driver, who died in transport.
Hunt explained the simultaneous emergency services provided to the victims, the administration and eventual failure of the field sobriety test of the driver who caused the accident, and his resulting arrest. As the scene unfolded in front of the students, the somber reality held their attention as they silently watched. It was evident that the images stayed with the students, as the scene came to its conclusion and they returned to their classrooms.
ASB President Angela Galvin brought the program to Chaparral, after seeing a similar video last September at an ASB Conference in Anaheim. She felt that it was important to bring this to the students and presented the idea to ASB Teacher Mike Babenstein, who gave her his nod of approval. Galvin also had to make her presentation to the District’s Board of Trustees for approval, and received that approval unanimously.
Then with help from fellow ASB student leaders, Galvin approached Officer Hunt, who explained that the program is usually presented to larger campuses. But Hunt, seeing Galvin’s commitment, worked with her to bring the program to the smaller school.
Mountain High Closes, looks for March Miracle to roll in
By Vicky Rinek
Mountain High has reported that they are going to remain closed due to the warm weather but expect to reopen around March 11th with fresh snowfall in the forecast. A stormy March is somewhat typical of El Nino and the long-range weather forecast shows a change toward a more active pattern.
Normal winter weather snowmaking is an essential part of the season for skiing in Southern California. However our mountains have suffered with this long lasting high-pressure system (anticyclone) that has been lingering, holding in the warm air and creating winds that keep the cool air and moisture to the north.
Our ski area has some of the largest snowmaking systems in the world. In good weather conditions using water and air, the same two elements as Mother Nature, making snow all season long can provide the best possible conditions. This is why Mountain High is traditionally the first resort to open in Southern California and the last to close.
Forecasts indicate another significant storm is expected on Monday fueled by low pressure from the coast bringing plenty of rain and snow according to the National Weather Service. NWS meteorologist Robbie Munroe said Climate Prediction Center models have called for rainfall totals 60 to 70 percent above normal for the first half of March which, depending on how and where the precipitation falls, could provide a measure of relief to the state.
And they’re off! At the Kiwanis Derby
By Terri Hill
Saturday February 27 Tri-Community Kiwanis hosted their Annual Derby. This year’s theme was Leap Year, which lent itself to fun lighted table decorations with frogs on logs, and some clever racehorse names, like Kiwanis’ Leapin’ for Joy, and Arturo’s Rana (Spanish for frog).
More than 30 businesses, clubs, and individuals sponsored races and horses, and donated the two dozen or more prizes raffled at the end of the evening. Along with local realtors, direct sellers, and restaurants, sponsorships came from Hesperia, Agua Dulce, and even Santa Anita Race Track.
Attendees enjoyed a nice chicken dinner and the opportunity to place bets, with tokens, on their favorite horses in each of nine races. Six stick horses, ridden by volunteer jockeys from the audience, competed in six and eight-furlong races, which were decided by the role of three giant dice. When the number two came up on a die, the horse in the number two lane advanced, and so on.
Diana Ford headed the committee for the derby, assisted by the other members of the small but dedicated club. Alex Brandon called the races, filling in the lulls, while bets were being placed, by telling horse jokes, which garnered nearly as many laughs as groans.
Monies collected from the festivities are used by T.C. Kiwanis in “Kiwanis’ current global campaign for children, The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal/neonatal tetanus, aims to raise US$110 million and save the lives of a 129 million mothers and their future babies. In partnership with UNICEF, Kiwanis is committing by 2015 to eliminating maternal/neonatal tetanus, a disease that kills one baby every nine minutes. By targeting this disease, Kiwanis will not only save lives but also pave the way for other interventions that will boost maternal health and child survival among the poorest, most underserved women and children in the world.”
Serrano’s Key Club is sponsored by T.C. Kiwanis and several members volunteered to help. They worked in the kitchen, collected for the 50/50 raffle, and rolled the dice and jockeyed during the races.
For more information about the Tri-Community Kiwanis, call Diane Ford (760) 868-0819 or visit the website: http://www.tcpphw.kiwanisone.org/
Serrano’s Friday Night Live ends February with Pink Shirt Day
By Terri Hill
Serrano’s Friday Night Live (FNL) Club had a busy February. Their focus was on anti-bullying, and kindness.
At the beginning of the month, the students gave out pencils with a message, “I think you are just write” to other students as they left a rally. Faculty Adviser Sue Holman said FNL chose that particular message to, “encourage people to be content with who they are and not let their peers influence any negative thinking.” The club members also hung posters with various messages of kindness around the campus, promoting Pink Shirt Day.
On February 16, FNL members arrived on campus early in order to greet parents and students with signs offering positive messages, in hopes of helping them to start the day with a smile. FNL students also decided it would be beneficial to the club to get an idea of what teachers and students see on campus in regards to bullying. They created an online survey and asked students and teachers to take a few minutes to fill it out. Holman said that she the club is encouraged by the results and the survey should give them additional insights.
February 26 was National Pink Day and the last FNL event of the month. Because this event had never been done on Serrano’s campus, Holman and the students were unsure how it would be received. They advertised the day to wear pink, in support of anti-bullying, with posters and and an announcement in the daily bulletin. The number of teachers, classified staff, and Administration that wore pink was especially encouraging. “We hope to be more successful next year in advertising this event and making students aware of the story behind Pink Shirt Day,” Holman said.
Here is a snippet of the Globe & Mail article that inspired CKNW Orphans’ Fund Pink Shirt Day:
“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied [for wearing a pink shirt]…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school. ‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’ So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag. As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled. The bullies were never heard from again.”
Multiple agencies attend 3-day Winter Ops Drill
By Terri Hill
February 23-25 various sheriff and fire agencies conducted a Winter Ops Drill in an effort to improve communication during emergencies when more than one of those agencies will respond.
In the event that someone is lost or hurt at or near Mountain High’s resort areas, the closest responders are SB County Fire Stations 14 in Wrightwood, and 10 in Phelan. Mt. High is located within LA County, therefore it is the LA County Fire and Sheriff who are dispatched to emergencies like lost skiers or victims of avalanche. Search and rescue units and the Sheriff Department are specifically trained and equipped to handle such emergencies. In a situation like the one in January, in which a woman was lost in the snow near Table Mountain, the local fire response takes less than ten minutes and therefore provides a greater chance for the victim to be found alive.
Realizing the need for cooperation and communication between the counties and their agencies, Captain Steve Roeber enlisted the help of Mt. High and a Winter Ops Drill was held at their North Resort. Agencies that participated included LA County Fire and Sheriff, SB County Fire and Sheriff, Mountain High Resort, Angeles National Forest, and Wrightwood CERT.
Two days of training and demonstrations took place before Thursday’s avalanche scenario. A dozen emergency response vehicles waited at the West Resort for their dispatch. The scenario that played out was that of a woman who walked in to Station 14 and reported her elderly father missing, and without his medication. From there, the dispatches went out and the responders pulled into the Table Mountain parking lot in the order in which their respective agencies would likely arrive. The training included determining command upon arrival at the scene, then reorganizing the chain of command as responders arrive and perform their respective duties dictated by the emergency situation. Having found the missing man’s truck in the parking lot, the search began with following footprints into the snow and to the east side of the lodge. At this point the drill focused on communication between agencies and rescuer accountability and safety.
Wrightwood straddles the SB/LA County Line, which presents issues with regard to agency responsibility and response time. Training exercises, like the Winter Ops Drill, and the annual Winter Traffic Meeting, attended by the same agencies with CHP and Caltrans, encourage cooperation and are proving to result in shorter response times by emergency agencies and better coverage of the community by law enforcement.
5th Annual Senior Health Fair Thursday 3/17
The fifth annual Tri-Community Senior Health Fair will be held at Serrano High School on Thursday, March 17 from 10am to 1pm. The fair is held during spring break and the school’s gymnasium will be the location of approximately 50-75 vendors that make themselves available to the senior citizen community. According to the 2010 census more 5 thousand of the 26 thousand Tri-Community residents are 62 years old or over.
The event is a cooperative venture by the Snowline School District (providing the facility and staffing), Phelan Pinon Hills CSD (lead agency for the event), and First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood.
Last year approximately 600 visitors enjoyed interfacing with a wide range of vendors providing information from holistic medicine to onsite blood pressure tests and other health tests provided by the Visiting Nurses Assoc. Several vendors provided trust and estate planning reviews, HICAP was available to answer Medicare and Medical questions. Medicare offers four programs for participants to choose from and improper enrollment could result in delay of service, or penalties that can last the entire time of service, so if you are utilizing Medicare or will soon then you need to stop in at the HICAP booth.
County government had several booths from Adult Services, behavioral health, recycling, and various assistance programs for food, home maintenance and utility costs. Local organizations were present with both the Phelan and Pinon Hills Senior Groups offering fellowship and fun. The Phelan Seniors have various activities in the middle days of the week, with Wednesday being their primary activity day, for the Pinon Hills Seniors, their activity days are Thursdays.
For more information about the Senior Health Fair you can contact the Phelan Pinon Hills CSD through their website: www.pphcsd.org or by calling (760) 868-1212.
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961