Last Thursday in Wrightwood, Music in the Pines presented an evening of Blues Music at The Apple Farm, which included all varieties of that genre. Opening the “Cruise and Blues” concert, Seville Street Blues Band featured vocalist extraordinaire LaNeika Gallon belting out the lyrics, while guest guitar legend Terry “Big T” DeRouen scorched the strings. Following that performance, the Delgado Brothers Band took the stage playing their unique sound of Latin Blues Music. Welcoming the audience, Master of Ceremonies Greg Jones announced that a new kid’s dance floor had been installed. During a brief conversation with Eric Steinmann prior to the event, he explained the intent was to provide children with their own (safe) space for dancing, separate from the adult dance floor. For those kids who were really energized, a supervised playground adjacent to the Red House was also available for children. However, as with any cultural event embracing music and dance, it was hoped everyone would enjoy The Apple Farm concert and monitor their children’s activities. Back to the music, Seville Street musicians included LaNeika Gallon on lead vocals, Steve Artea on electric guitar and vocals, Big T on electric guitar and vocals, Caleb Roseberry on electric guitar and vocals, Mike Webster playing bass guitar, John Miladelarcoa on keyboards, Allen Melton playing saxophone with Rick Johnson on drums. Warming up the audience for what was to follow, Big T performed lead vocals and guitar for “Let The Good Times Roll,” “The Thrill Is Gone,” and “Mojo Working.” There was a locomotive pace onstage, while the crisp profile of the San Gabriel Mountains formed a stellar backdrop. After that, LaNeika took the stage and with the band powered through a medley of classic blues songs from BB King, Etta James, Steve Miller, Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy and others. Most appreciated by the audience were the songs “I Put A Spell On You” with LaNeika channeling the emotional and terse lyrics of Nina Simone, and “You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Randy Newman. For that song, a saxophone introduction to LaNeika’s sultry vocals, sauntered its way into a shrill barrage of guitars from Big T and Roseberry. And from the audience someone shouted, “She’s a star.” Concluding with “Mojo Working” as the audience cheered and danced, there was a whole lot of action and another guitar frenzy. As Laneika implored the audience, “Let’s keep the party going with two more songs,” the response was affirmative cheering. With that, “Shotgun Blues” and “Proud Mary” comprised the finalé. It was a tough act to follow, but then the cruising Latin Blues of the Delgado Brothers was a perfect departure. Musicians included the brothers Joey on lead electric guitar and vocals, Steve on drums and lead vocals, and Bob on bass guitar, with David Kelley on Hammond B3 keyboards, and guest performer Esperrala on percussions. The set of 15 songs spanned the career of the Delgado Brothers, which got off to a rocky start when their debut album sold only 25,000 copies. After breaking up and then reforming, their second album was blessed with a breakthrough when British Bluesman John Mayall recorded two of their songs and royalties financed their future. In 2016, the band won the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and Joey won the Albert King Best Guitarist Award. Joey confided, “I was born and raised in East L.A and have never been to Wrightwood. Thank you for having us in this beautiful place.” After that, the band performed “Melissa,” Let’s Go” and a long extended version of “Be The One.” Following those songs Joey commented, “I wrote this for kids, and dedicate “Joy You Bring” for all Wrightwood kids.” And then there was grinding roadhouse blues for “Talk To My Friend” with a pulsating beat and driving keyboards. Concluding with a trilogy, “No Regrets,” “Man Without A Plan,” and “Live For Today” summarized the journey of the best Latin Blues band in L.A.
Final 138 Widening Project meeting, if all goes well By Terri Hill
Cal Trans Public Information Officer (PIO) Tyeisha Prunty and three employees of Flat Iron, the contractor for the project, met with the public on July 13, for what will likely be the last project update. Mac Delany, Flat Iron Project Manager, gave a timeline for the remainder of the work. Grinding and paving will be done at night, the week of July 24th, on the intersection at Phelan Road. There will also be a traffic diversion for grinding at Hess Road. The wildlife crossing is almost finished. Paving will be complete in August, and they play to have all lanes open to regular traffic by mid to late August. Project details, such as electrical, structural, landscaping, guardrail, etc., will continue into mid-October, as the final deadline is October 16th. Prunty said the signals at Beekley and at Phelan Road might be flashing at times, until the final electrical is finished, and the intersections paved. More residents attended this particular meeting than have come to any 138 Project meeting in the past. This was due, in no small part, to support for Mtn. Top Café, and access to the popular restaurant. Travelling east on 138, it is nearly impossible to turn left into the café’s parking lot. The left-turn pocket from westbound 138 to westbound SR-2 extends almost beyond the entrance to the café. As oncoming traffic comes over the top of the hill at 55+ MPH, patrons take a great risk, crossing into the paved lot. Prunty explained the turn pocket, at 250 feet, is as short as is allowed by safety codes. “Cal Trans must engineer for safety, not business access,” stated the PIO. She added however, that she is currently having conversations with the engineers, to try and find a solution to the problem. One suggestion came from Mtn. Top employee, Sharon Nemer, who requested left-turn arrows be painted in the “Bay Table,” the section of median that allows left turns from either direction. This would aid in discouraging drivers from entering the turn pocket to SR-2 early, and blocking the short bit of lane currently available to access the café. Other issues discussed included correct signage for the SR-2/138 intersection. Directional arrow signs, that agree with those painted in the lanes, are on order, and should be up by the end of August. Prunty will also inquire about connector dots for left turn lanes at SR-2 (NB) to SR-138 WB. The Vista Point at Mormon Rocks will be completed as a separate project, in order to complete the actual roadwork on time. Also as a separate project, the bridge over I-15 will be rehabilitated, with work scheduled to begin in September or October. At some point, before October 16, 138 from Lone Pine Canyon Road to I-15 will be closed for work on the railroad under and overcrossings. The closure would take place on several night shifts, or possibly a weekend. Prunty assured the crowd that the public would be given plenty of advanced notice, to plan for the closure.
Big rig causes small blaze on 138
By Terri Hill
A small fire broke out on the south side of Highway 138, near Oil Well Road, on Monday July 17. At approximately 11 a.m., the blaze, dubbed the “Pinon Incident,” was reported and San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) Fire units responded. Chris Calomino, SBNF Mormon Rocks, stated his unit was just returning to the station when the call came in. According to Calomino, the tractor trailer was heading west on 138, when lugs on the driver’s side wheel of the tractor came loose. The entire wheel broke free from the semi, crossed the highway, and came to rest about 20 feet from the road, on the south side of 138. Heat from the rubber tire was so intense, it ignited the surrounding manzanita and brush. The resulting fire spread to just 10 feet by 20 feet before responders from County Fire and SBNF Fire were able to extinguish the flames. By the time mop-up procedures began, the event had lasted just an hour. At 11:15, the driver of the RTS company rig was still waiting for roadside assistance. Remarkably, the semi’s wheel did not come into contact with other vehicles, and the incident did not result in any injuries.
Deputies From Sheriff's Rural Crime Task Force Solve Theft Case
On Saturday, July 15, 2017, at approximately 9:19am, deputies responded to the report of a theft from Sanska Construction on Highway 138. Multiple pieces of construction equipment were vandalized and items were stolen including batteries, computers for grading equipment, and cameras.
Deputies Rob Oakleaf and Randy Stanley from the Sheriff’s Rural Crime Task Force work closely with construction companies throughout San Bernardino County and Southern California to help prevent theft. They have taken measures to help Sanska Construction secure their jobsites.
Deputy Oakleaf was contacted to assist in the investigation of the theft. Through evidence recovered at the scene, he was able to identify a suspect, Keith Brown, a 25-year old from Victorville. A search warrant was served at Brown’s residence, where stolen items were recovered. Brown was arrested for grand theft and booked at High Desert Detention Center where he is currently being held in lieu of $75,000.00 bail.
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