Last Thursday night, Music in the Pines continued the outdoor summer concert season at The Apple Farm with an exciting lineup. There was original music from Jeff Steinmann, blues music from the internationally famous band Kelly’s Lot, and more of the Blues from harmonica virtuoso Mo Grundy and his band Porch Project & Friends. The audience favorite of the evening was Jean-Francois Thomas performing his songs, in French, with Kelly’s Lot. Wrightwood singer/songwriter Jeff Steinmann and the Brothers Van Ostenbridge opened the show with original music from the new CD entitled Farm Tapes. Musicians included Steinmann on lead vocals and electric bass guitar, Adam Van Ostenbridge on electric guitar and Brett Van Ostenbridge playing drums. Immensely popular with young listeners, Steinmann also resonated with older audience members who remembered Top 40 hit songs. True to that format, the songs California Sun and Comic Book Heroes had clever lyrics and a snappy danceable beat. There were nice guitar transitions on Military Jacket and a power pulse finalé for Waiting For That Day To Come with maximum impact and cheers from the audience. Kelly Zirbes, lead singer for her band Kelly’s Lot, returned to Wrightwood for another compelling performance. Band mates included Rob Zucca on lead electric guitar, with Perry Roberson and Jean-Francois Thomas also on guitars, Matt McFadden on bass guitar and Sebastian Sheehan playing drums. Since forming the band 21 years ago, singer/songwriter Kelly has steeped herself in and become a champion of American Roadhouse & Southern Blues. Over the years with 11 CD’s released, Kelly’s Lot has become popular not only in America, but also in Belgium, France, Germany, England, Scotland, and The Netherlands. Just before the concert Kelly disclosed, “Unlike longer performances that include a number of cover songs, tonight’s shorter set will be all original music.” After that, Kelly took the stage with her strong vocals and dynamic gestures singing Reason For The Blues, followed by Don’t Give My Blues Away. She next introduced former boxer, current high school economics teacher, and life-long blues aficionado Jean-Francois Thomas (aka Jeff Toto Blues), who played a wild blue electric guitar and sang in French, with the audience clapping loudly. The music then shifted back to Kelly’s high-octane song about a very unhappy couple, Come To This, with Jean-Francois playing a sizzling lead guitar. Other highlights of the set include Jean- Francois singing locomotive rhythmic anthems California and Death Valley Blues from his new CD, Kelly singing Woman’s Love co-written with Rob Zucca and featuring him on a pulsating staccato guitar solo, and a requiem song Kelly sang for Adrianne Edgerly entitled Home. Concluding the evening’s music, Mo Grundy was the front man on harmonica and vocals for Porch Project & Friends, singing “Route 66” written by Bobby Troup. Additional musicians included Damon Van Buren on lead electric guitar, Chad Buchannan on second guitar, Jay Buchannan on upright bass, and Peter Kaye playing drums. While Grundy was the central focus with long extended and soulful harmonica passages, Damon and Chad traded off on lead vocals and guitar positions. The set included Damon singing the Tommy McClennan’s Delta Blues song Cross Cut Saw and Chad singing Willie Dixon’s Hoochie Coochie Man with Grundy all over the place on harmonica. There were plenty of Stevie Ray Vaughan songs, bluesy harmonica and guitar solos and exceptional vocals by Chad on the Jimi Hendrix’s classic song Red House. Goggle search: Grundy/Buchanan Project Cover for an example of the combination that had the audience applauding and dancing the blues. Music in the Pines continues on August 18 from 6:00 until 9:30 PM. For complete information go to www.mountainmusic.net
Changes coming for Baldy Mesa OHV trails
By Steve Mosley
On Tuesday, August 2nd, the San Bernardino National Forest and Southern California Mountains Federation held an open house to discuss proposed changes to the Baldy Mesa Off-Highway Vehicle Area. The open house was a requirement of the California Environmental Quality Act. The project is funded by grants from the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Staff members from the Southern California Mountains foundation were available to address questions from the public. To help illustrate the project, staff presented project overview displays and timelines. The Baldy Mesa Project will include the construction of new trails and the restoration of existing user-created trails to their natural condition. Also included in the plan are new picnic tables, bear-proof trashcans, and map panels. According to the project timeline, the beginning of the sensitive species survey and monitoring, the beginning of the Storm Water Pollution Protection Plan, and the installation of a boundary fence with the assistance of Urban Conservation Corps crews are scheduled between now and December. Next year will see the completion of trail construction and trail upgrades
Sheep Creek and CSD agreement discussed
By Steve Mosley
Water was the main topic at the August 3rd PPHCSD Board Meeting. Don Bartz, PPHCSD General Manager, speaking on the current water conservation order, reported that the order could be lifted in as soon as two weeks. Bartz also updated the Chromium-6 Mitigation Project, stating the average parts per billion (ppb) of Chromium-6 in the district’s eleven wells is at the maximum allowed contaminate level of 10. According to the August 3rd Board Package, in order to obtain acceptable levels, the CSD will need to install additional infrastructure and incorporate the new systems into the existing water systems. The CSD is currently in the process of obtaining funding for the Chromium-6 Mitigation Project. According to the preliminary timeline, groundbreaking for construction of the new system integration is scheduled for August 2017 with completion scheduled for June 2019. There was also a discussion of a proposed water exchange agreement between the CSD and Sheep Creek Water Company. The Sheep Creek Water Company owns and operates a 912,000-gallon water storage reservoir while the PPHCSD owns and operates a 428,000-gallon water storage reservoir. The proposed agreement states that the requesting agency will be provided water by the other without impairing water service to its customers. There is currently a 12” interconnection located between the two storage reservoirs. Concerning the issue of water quality, the agreement states that all water exchanged between the two agencies “shall be potable, shall meet all State Water Resources Control Board Standards for quality and taste, and otherwise be of equal or better quality to all water exchanged.” On the status of Sheep Creek’s water supply, Chris Cummings, General Manager of Sheep Creek Water Company, said that although well levels have dropped, speaking with high use customers has helped decrease water use. With those cutbacks, he reported, Sheep Creek Water, “Should be ok.” The proposed emergency agreement between the two agencies states that each party will supply emergency water upon request. Board member Al Morrissette cited that the agreement did not include a trigger for emergency services. He went on to state “I’m sure this whole thing can be put together. Let’s make it work.” Addressing the issue of the possibility of a sudden water shortage, David Nilsen spoke on behalf of Sheep Creek Water in saying to the PPHCSD board members, “We are all a community, we can turn on the taps for you.” He went on to say, “We’ll work with CSD, we can’t depend on snow and rain.” With the closing words, “Regardless of what happens, we’re still good neighbors,” Board President Dan Whalen solidified the cordial working relationship between PPHCSD Water District and the Sheep Creek Water Company.
Local hams support AC100
By Terri Hill
Festivities for the AC-100 began Friday afternoon, August 5, with the traditional spaghetti dinner, this year prepared by Bruce LaClaire and the Wrightwood Seniors. Community members, race supporters, runners and their crews chatted over spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread, swapping stories and memories of the race, and of Wrightwood. Nearly 200 racers and their support teams arrived during the afternoon, and with the usual crowd for the Famers Market, the Village hopping. Saturday morning 189 runners signed in at the Wrightwood Community Building and, after a medical check-up, started the race at 5 a.m. From the Village, runners travel through Wrightwood to the Acorn trail. At the top, they join the PCT and continue largely on the mountain trail until they reach the finish line, 100 miles away, at Loma Alta Park in Altadena. Checkpoints along the trail are staff by volunteers. Medical aid is available, and support teams have access to most of these areas. A critical component of the checkpoint is the volunteer amateur radio operators, or hams. As runners come through the checkpoint, their bib numbers are recorded, along with the time they exited the area. hams, stationed at the exit point, radio the information to their data operators, who then enter the information into a database designed for the AC100. At Inspiration Point, the first checkpoint on the route, radio ops remain on site until every runner who left the station arrives at Vincent Gap, the next checkpoint. Radios are used throughout the course, as cell signals are non-existent in the wilderness. If a participant does not show up from one checkpoint to another, one of three Search and Rescue units along the course are activated for the search. Finishing 1st this year at 19 hours 14:24 minutes was Guillaume Calmettes, 32, from Los Angeles, CA. Taking the First Place Female Runner title, Jenny Welsh, 40, from Monrovia, CA, finished 40th at 26 hours 51:42 minutes. The oldest runner to finish was Jussi Hamalainen, 70, from Newbury Park, CA, who finished 117th at 30 hours 23:45 minutes. The youngest runner to finish was Johnathon Craig, 26, from Midway City, CA. He finished 33rd, at 24 hours 24:04 minutes. Reuben Cheang, 51, from Singapore traveled the farthest to participate. He finished 122nd at 30 hours 32:07 minutes. Local runner Jordan Craft, 31, of Wrightwood, finished 41st, at 26 hours 59:50 minutes.
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