Drive: Carl Smith - Wrightwoodian of the Year • Rider: Ben Smith - Honorary Mayor Rider: Carl's granddaughter Faith • Rider: Ben's wife Janic Photo by Vicky Rinek
By Vicky Rinek
Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce announced the 2017/18 Honorary Mayor and the Wrightwoodian of the Year. Both appointments were awarded to Smiths, and each elected by the Chamber of Commerce.
Ben Smith, a resident of Wrightwood, was voted Honorary Mayor. He is the Vice President and General Manager of Mountain High Resorts, longtime Mountain High veteran Smith is responsible for all aspects of the resort’s day-to-day operations and maintaining the highest standards of excellence and providing first-class customer service at all levels of the organization. He will, without a doubt, bring this same dedication to the Chamber. Ben and his family have lived in Wrightwood since 1984. He and his wife Janice have been volunteers with the Chamber for nearly 5 years, and both know the importance of supporting their community.
Carl Smith, a dedicated community member, was voted Wrightwoodian of the Year. Carl is extremely committed to the betterment of his community and surrounding communities. His work helping the victims of the Blue Cut Fire was exemplary. He found homes (RVs and 5th wheel trailers) for 10 families, arranged for food, water and clothing and continued helping them for many months after the fire. Carl was the Timberline Lions Club President for two years and oversaw many fundraising activities to help those who needed help the most. Carl is the owner of Benchmark Roofing, a very busy roofing business, but still finds time for volunteer work. Both Smiths were awarded ceremonial medallions that they wore proudly throughout the day. Together they plan on creating an environment that will help the Chamber grow, provide more opportunities for local businesses and bring visitors to the community.
The Chamber thanks the past year’s President Mal Youngblood and the Wrightwoodian Dee Potter for their services to the Chamber and their community.
The Chamber is built upon the work provided by volunteer community leaders. Check out the Chamber of Commerce and become a member by joining today, and participate in their full calendar of Chamber events, learn about upcoming mixers, festivals and celebrations. Their many events all year long bring the community together, all of which provide an opportunity for residents and visitors to connect while experencing the fun and culture of Wrightwood. Ben and Carl invite you to join the Chamber, support its many events, and volunteer your talent, big or small. “You don’t have to be a business owner to join the Chamber,” said Janice, “come to a meeting with your ideas and suggestions.” The next Chamber meeting is 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30p.m. at the Chamber Office, 1350 Hwy 2, suite E.
The next event will be the Classic Car Show scheduled for August 19. For more information call (760) 249-4320 or visit www.wrightwoodchamber.org
No rain on our parade
Mountaineer Days - 2017 Photos by Terri Hill and Vicky Rinek
By Terri Hill
By 4 p.m. Saturday the street fair was winding down, and the thunderclouds were building up. Before the rainstorm began, visitors to the annual Mountaineer Days festival had plenty of time to enjoy everything from quilts and metal sculptures, to wild-west gunfights and watermelon eating contests.
Timberline Lions hosted the carnival-type game booth. Children enjoyed tossing toilet paper rolls into a toilet, knocking over paint cans, and choosing from a myriad of blow-up toys and bouncy balls as prizes.
Mountaineer Days’ organizers, the Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce held a 50/50 Raffle and Silent Auction. Michele Kraenkel, Leslie and company employed the mic and loud speakers to keep the crowds informed and entertained throughout the weekend.
The quilt auction, a favorite event each year, drew a crowd of hopeful bidders who had their eyes on the beautiful offerings from the Pine Needles Quilt Guild. Gary Drylie acted as auctioneer again this year, bringing authenticity to event. Charlotte Ketcheside’s three-dimensional pattern, featuring parrots and other tropical birds was a fan-favorite, as was Diana Armstrong’s Kokopelli.
Children crowded around the table for the annual watermelon-eating contest. As parents and siblings cheered for their contestants, they each scarfed down a large wedge of the juicy, red fruit while keeping their hands behind their backs. Almost unnoticed until declared the winner, 4-year old Hailey finished chomping down her watermelon before everyone else.
The Hula Hoop contest also drew a good-size crowd of contestants, ranging in age from 12 years to 70! Girls and boys participated, as the competition ran long, and Vicky Rinek, of Mountaineer Progress had to give the last four contestants special tricks to perform, culling the last three. Annamaria, a 12-year old, held out, and took home a sparkling Hula Hoop as her prize.
Michele Kraenkle and the Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce have partnered to raise funds to professionally light this years’ town Christmas tree. Jim Oliver and family challenged them to raise $20 by 3 p.m., and he would match those donations. He said, “It’s because I think it’s a wonderful idea, creating the “wow” effect when those lights come at the annual tree-lighting!”
Sunday’s parade made its traditional two laps through town, with children on decorated bicycles, a snocat trailing a snow-making machine from Mt. High, decorated floats from Miss Tonya’s Dance Studio and more. Tonya’s won the award for Best Business Float. Four-year old Emmalynn Kuffel and her family won Best Family Float, Wrightwood League All Star Champions won Best Childrens’ Float, Best Equestrian went to Mike Randall and his Mule Pack, and Best Antique Vehicle honors went to Mike Ludwig for his 1937 Ford Humpback Sedan.
By the time another storm rolled in, the fair was wrapping up, and tired visitors and vendors alike were ready to call it a day. Spirits had not been dampened by the welcomed rainstorms of the weekend.
Did you feel it?
Pinon Hills earthquake
Monday, July 10, 2017 the USGS reported that at 5:43 p.m. a 3.0 magnitude, 3km depth (2.36 miles) was recorded with the epicenter located SW Pinon Hills (north of Table Mountain area). This earthquake was recorded as a Minor quake. 25 people reported feeling the mild tremor.
Firefighter describes July 4th hoist rescue
By Terri Hill
Residents in Wrightwood were witness to a dramatic rescue operation on July 4th. Having first seen a sheriff’s helicopter circling south of Twin Lakes Drive, people in the area then saw a Air Rescue 6 circle the same area. Soon, a rescue was underway for a hiker who had fallen from the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) the day before.
Firefighter/Paramedic Eric Sherwin, of San Bernardino County Fire (SBCF) explained the timeline, during a phone interview with the Mountaineer Progress.
On July 3rd, 50-year old Matthew Paulson, of Carpenteria, fell nearly 500 feet while hiking the PCT above Heath Canyon. Paulson was unable to get cell phone reception, and it was getting dark. He took shelter in a bush on the side of the mountain. On July 4th, Paulson made his way up the steep terrain until he had reception, and called for help.
Sherwin explained Sheriff’s Patrol, 40 King3 was already in the air, and when Paulson’s call was received at about 3:30 p.m., they were dispatched to the area. Air Rescue 306, of the Sheriff/Fire partnership out of San Bernardino International Airport, launched right behind the patrol ship. When the patrol located Paulson, the crew determined a hoist rescue would be necessary, based on the steep terrain.
As Air Rescue 306 approached Paulson’s location, they determined with nowhere to land, a “pick-off” maneuver would be necessary. Overcoming changing wind direction, the pilot, Corporal Jon Anderson, would need to hover long enough to allow the crew to lower Sherwin approximately 135 feet to the victim, and bring them both safely back to the ship. According to Sherwin, “From insert to retrieval took five minutes.” Asked about triage protocols, Sherwin explained the first step is to get the victim to a safe and stable environment. Once there, paramedics can assess and treat injuries. Paulson was flown approximately 2 miles to an awaiting ambulance and transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Sherwin remarked the department maintains proficiency in technical maneuvers through consistent practice, offering one reason for the successful rescue. Paulson also made, “a series of good decisions,” Sherwin pointed out. First, the hiker stayed where he was, after he fell. Paulson could have put himself in more danger by trying to navigate the unfamiliar terrain as the sky became dark. He conserved his cell phone battery, only checking periodically for a signal. The next day, Paulson climbed just far enough to get a signal and call for help. Finally, and as Sherwin stressed, most importantly, “Paulson stayed put.” Because he stayed in the same location from which he called 911, the search was short and 40 King3 located him quickly. When Sherwin reached Paulson, he was, “awake and alert, followed directions, and not panicked.” The paramedic added, “When a person panics, it increases the risk.”
Eric Sherwin has been with the Sheriff/Fire partnership since its inception, in December 2013. He also acts as a Public Information Officer for San Bernardino County Fire.
Concert In Phelan Park Resounds
Hot Concert in Phelan
Monday July 3, Phelan Pinon Hills Parks and Recreation brought the summer concert featuring Caliente, a high desert premier band, playing a variety of music from country to rock and roll and blues. The Phelan Park was transformed from an open space to an outdoor concert venue as the heat was intense attendees found some relief under the shade of a milkweed tree while music played in the distance.
Up-In Smoke was there with his BBQ and Maui Wowi served up Hawaiian Smothies. Other sponsors include Pizza Factory, McDonald’s in Phelan, NewsPlus and Victorville Motors.
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