Have you ever wondered how Peter Pan got his name? How did he learn to fly? Why does Captain Hook hold such a grudge against the boy who never grows up? In a comic send up of familiar characters, and introduction to new ones, Peter and the Starcatcher (Peter) answers these questions and more. Serrano’s, The Majestics do more than justice to the imaginative story in their production of Peter. With Mike Osborn Sr.’s stage craft class working lights and sound, and Mr. Fell joining his music students for the score, Beverly Quinn’s students have once again crafted an entertaining, professional show. “This play was the hardest show I’ve directed,” Quinn said, “It’s so complicated, with the cast members playing different parts, and the fast pace of the show itself. We spent three months putting together the staging. Quinn was referencing the multiple roles played by each member of the cast. Calling for just 12 actors, the play actually involves dozens of characters. With a bit of clever staging, a swap of the occasional prop, and a slight change or addition to costumes, those 12 actors play all of the roles. This production involves 14 actors, as two of the roles are double cast. Dexter Martin plays the sullen orphan boy who has come to the conclusion that grown-ups always lie and are never to be trusted. “I’ve been waiting to play Peter Pan since I was four!” Martin exclaimed after the show. While onboard a ship, Peter meets a mysterious girl, Molly, who has a mission to protect special cargo from falling into the wrong hands. Molly, played alternately by Hannah Steinmann and Sunshine Nelson, is a “starcatcher in training” and one of just six people who know the powers of the star stuff in her father’s care. Jacob Laycock gets the most laughs as he portrays Captain Stache with the exceptional comic timing that patrons of Snowline Players’ and Serrano’s productions have come to know and enjoy from the young actor. Laycock commented after the opening night performance, “This character is so fun to play, I’m thrilled to have this opportunity!” Smee, Stache’s “right-hand man” is continually correcting his captain’s misuse of words. Madison Duarte’s Smee is playful and energetic, reminiscent of mythology’s Puck. Mrs. Bumbrake is Molly’s rather nymphomaniac nanny. The character is played on alternate nights by Victoria Randall and April Williams. Both actresses bring comic relief to the preshow, on their off-nights as Bumbrake. Williams and Randall alternate evenings as the preshow emcee, telling seasoned jokes in vaudeville style and introducing the numbers performed before the headline show. Perhaps the most well received musical scene involves mermaids. At the risk of spoiling the experience, no details will be revealed here. This is an evening of entertainment not to be missed. Tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday nights, May 12 and 13, and can be purchased from any cast member, at the door, and on Serrano’s website at the online store. The tickets are $10, a pittance for such an enjoyable evening at the theatre.
Wrightwood Arts Center Student Exhibit
By Michael Palecki
Like a Phoenix rising from ashes to be reborn with a new life in the sun, a former gallery space in the Wrightwood Village has been transformed into an educational arts center for students of all age groups and experience levels. Last Sunday afternoon, the Wrightwood Arts Center (WWAC) held its first student art show and the synergy of children, adults and teachers attracted a large number of viewers. The success of the venture being, you’re never too young or too old to learn artistic techniques. Founded by Wrightwood artist, musician/songwriter and teacher Gayle Dowling, WWAC displayed artwork by local educators who, as students, were learning something new. Founder of Keyboard Art School of Music Chet Noll and Producer of Wrightwood Classical Concert Series Joyce Wonderly are both watercolor students and a series of paintings displayed their evolving skills. Nearby, the artwork of L.A. County Outdoor Science School Principal Kathleen Mitchell showed her progress during the past year. Most interesting of art created by children was a pencil drawing by 11-year old Baylee Fischer, who is afflicted with scoliosis (curvature of the spine). In the foreground is the image of her spine copied from an x-ray superimposed upon a butterfly with extended wings. She also created a watercolor and ink drawing of a tiger inspired by a magazine. Posing for a photograph of a poster advertizing Keyboard Art and WWAC that she helped create with Dowling, was student Phoebe Snow. Across the room, Erin Fisher and her children admired another of Snow’s artwork. Later on, instructor Mary Duman explained images from her class, entitled Mandela Meditation, in which fire, water, earth and air were represented. Coming in the fall, Duman will teach Creativity Unleashed. Spring classes currently offered by WWAC include Gayle’s Wine & Watercolor class on the first Saturday of each month, Kids Paint! On May 17 and 31, Drawing Essentials with Christina Shelby on May 20, and Studio Time With Friends every Monday from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Additional classes include those in: pastel, watercolor, acrylic, and graphite drawing. The WWAC is located at 6020 Park Drive above the Village Grind. For additional information go to www.twwac.com or call Gayle Dowling at (760) 488-8879. In the months of June, July and August, the Keyboard Art School of Music and the Wrightwood Arts Center will present a Summer Enrichment Program for children. For information visit www.keyboardart.com.
Phelan Pinon Hills CSD addresses the end of the emergency drought declaration But water conservation will remain away of life
By Vicky Rinek
It’s been quite sometime since the desert and hillsides have been so green. The long-overdue wet season has created a blanket of green on the ground that resembles a lush garden state, and the State’s officials have taken notice. Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order lifting California’s drought emergency in all but four counties. That emergency was placed in 2014. The frequent rain and snowstorms, which created one of the highest precipitation totals in the past 150 years, according to state water, energy, and environmental agencies, filled reservoirs to capacity and beyond. The statewide snowpack on April 1 was the seventh heaviest on record, going back to 1950. The new order means different things to 36 million Californians, who have learned to reduce their water use an average of 20 percent since 2013. Governor Brown’s administration is adopting plans to embed conservation in the state’s water provider’s practices. Water budgets for urban agencies will go into effect in 2019 and by 2025 they must be in full compliance. What does this mean for us locally? Jennifer Oaks, Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District (PPHCSD) Conservation Program Administrator, outlined in detail the effects of Brown’s declaration on PPHCSD. The governor’s executive order continues prohibition on wasteful water use such as hosing off sidewalks, watering lawns within 48 hours of a rainstorm and excessive irrigation that flows into the roadways. It also continues to require PPHCSD to report their water use to the state. The PPHCSD will continue exploring and developing water resources that prepare the region for the future water challenges created by inevitable drought and climate change. Under the State Bill, beginning in October 2017, PPHCSD will begin reporting, showing water totals, usage and losses as well as conservation procedures. The compliance reporting will be more flexible than during the past drought years and will take into account local factors such as summer temperatures, evaporation rates and population. What is the household water allotment? The allotment of 15 units (50 gallons per unit) per day will remain in effect. PPHCSD stated that Pinon Hills and Phelan average around 14.5 units per capita. This number includes the outdoor water and any livestock. Three hot topics are horses, livestock, and swamp coolers. “As a majority of homeowners have these issues to deal with,” said Mark Roberts, Board member. “80 % our customers were using less than alloted.” Al Morrissette added, “We need concrete regulations from the State before we can adjust our rates. We need to wait for guidelines.” What is the Statewide average water use? It is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural, and 10% urban. A third of the urban water is used in people’s homes and the remainder is commercial and institutional (hospitals and schools). Environmental water is used to improve or maintain the health of rivers and wetlands and groundwater basins. According to Don Bartz, General Manager of PPHCSD, commercial and institutional customers will be closely monitored, however their allotment is different from household. Don was asked if a Cottage Industry falls under commercial allotments. “I don’t think that they would be using more than their household allotment.” He stated the office would outreach to them to review each situation to determine if they could receive an adjustment in their water allotment. He was also asked if a small winery or small agricultural business, such as suppliers to farmers markets would fall under a Cottage industry? Don continued, “We would be interested in talking to them. Generally cottage industries don’t fall under the agricultural allotment as this provision is for properties of 100 or more agricultural acres.”
What is the average water usage per household? Showering 5 minutes - 25 gallons Showering 5 minutes (low flow) - 15 gallons Lawn Watering (hand) - 10 gallons Dishwasher full cycle - 15 gallons Clothes washer full cycle - 60 gallons Clothes washer full cycle (water saving) - 15 gallons Flushing toilet (regular) - 5 to 7 gallons Flushing toilet (low flow) - 1.6 gallons or less Leaking toilet - 60 gallons per day Washing a car (20 minutes with 5/8" diameter water hose) - 97 gallons Washing a car (20 minutes with 5/8" diameter water hose and pistol grip nozzle) - 15 gallons
Despite the conservation improvement, the state noted that California’s five-year drought will have lingering effects. Part of the governor’s executive order aims to build on water conservation efforts statewide. “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”
Wildfire and arson awareness discussed at press conference
By Terri Hill
As a kick-off to Wildfire Awareness Week and Arson Awareness Week, multiple agencies gathered on Old Cajon Boulevard for a press conference and demonstration of fire line maintenance. Usually held at the Wrightwood Fire Station, the annual event took place this year near the origin of the Blue Cut Fire, to underscore the importance of wildfire readiness. While wildfire is generally associated with mountain regions, the Blue Cut Fire’s devastation included the desert communities of Phelan, West Cajon, and Oak Hills. Likewise, the North Fire in 2015 scorched 4,250 acres of desert land in the Oak Hills area. Firefighters from Cal Fire and San Bernardino County Fire (SBCoF) spoke to the urgency for all rural residents to be “Wildfire Ready.” SBCoF Chief Mark Hartwig said that when asked if the rain makes it easier or harder for firefighters, he replies, “It just creates a different problem for us. It creates more moist fuels, especially the larger fuels.” Hartwig pointed out the grasses and bushes that have grown since the winter, and have already dried out. He reiterated the fact that there is no longer a “fire season,” evidenced by the 200-acre fire just last week that closely followed a wet season. Chief Hartwig described the Ready Set Go program for wildfire preparations that homeowners and residents can implement, to protect their homes and property. He stressed the importance of being “Set,” by looking for anything suspicious on dry, hot, red flag days. Have a plan and follow it if told to evacuate. And, if told to evacuate, “go” Hartwig continued, “If you don’t go, you not only put your life at risk, you put firefighters at risk.” He went on to suggest that residents get involved in volunteer programs like Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), local Fire Safe Councils, and the new Fire Corps program. Fire Corps is an SBCoF program that mirrors the Citizens on Patrol volunteer program employed by the County Sheriff Department. Volunteers with Fire Corps can help with fire patrols on windy, high fire danger days, answer phones during a fire event, and more. Chief Hartwig concluded by mentioning the partners of County Fire: Forest Service Fire, Cal Fire, inmate crews, and the sheriff helicopters that assist with fires. Cal Fire’s San Bernardino Unit Chief Glenn Barley spoke to the statewide fire outlook for the coming year. The rainfall totals, while good for the water supply, are not expected to alter the fire danger in California this year. Grasses and other fuels are dry and the brush will take several years to recover from the drought. Barley also mentioned the tree mortality in the state, more than 100 million dead trees threaten the central and southern Sierra, as fire fuel that will exist for decades to come. Barley reiterated the importance of evacuating when asked to by fire agencies. He said they are seeing a growing trend of residents staying in their homes under evacuation orders, “Which puts not only the homeowner in danger, but puts our firefighters in danger too.” Fire Marshall Mike Horton presented statistics related to arson. Nationally, arson fires cause damage to public lands, homes, infrastructure, and businesses, costing lives and millions of dollars each year, and putting firefighters in danger with every alarm. Horton said the public’s vigilance is necessary to combat the arson problem in San Bernardino County, “When you see something, say something.” Of 465 suspect fires in the county, 40% were incendiary, and 25% of those were determined to be arson.” Over the last year, SBCoF has made nine arrests for arson, and they have a 33% conviction rate on arsonists. This does not include work by Cal Fire or the Forest Service on recent fires such as the Blue Cut, which is still under investigation. The presentation ended with a demonstration by SBCoF Old Cajon Crew of tools and techniques of fighting wildland fires. The Ready SB County App is available at http://readydl.com/san-bernardino-county.
Phelan Pinon Hills CSD’s Public Transparency Policy
Regarding transparency, government agencies seem increasingly unresponsive, unaccountable, and prone to failure, even at the White House. However, here at home the Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District (PPHCSD) is doing their due diligence in creating District Transparency guidelines for their employees and five board members. PPHCSD has been awarded the Certificate of Excellence for transparency, based on their website and public documentation. New practices will provide transparency in all communications throughout all new forms of technologies. The Brown Act, which outlines procedures on conducting business, is a complex set of rules to guarantee the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of legislative agencies such as CSDs. Governing Board members are prohibited from holding secret meetings of any kind and all records must remain open to the public. The Brown Act however did not foresee new technology such as texting, email or social media. The discussion at the PPHCSD Board meeting on May 4, 2017 on this subject brought to light a number on concerns for members. At this board meeting attorney Steve Kennedy addressed the procedures for emails through the PPHCSD office. This new policy would make all electronic communications in the PPHCSD Offices more transparent. Mr. Kennedy went on to say that the use of a PPHCSD devise or accounts would be reviewed and an employee would sign a declaration stating that the document has been reviewed. This would be a self-certification that they complied with the policy. Further, if the District receives a public record request, General Management staff and the Board would be notified and all related information would be provided after a “Request for Inspection/Copies of Public Records” form is completed and fees are collected. It appeared the new guidelines were straightforward however, concerns still lingered. Use of a personal email, text messages and other forms of social media used by the Board to discuss business items was a hot topic. Dan Whalen asked, “If the office calls or texts me on my personal phone does that mean my personal device falls under these procedures?” Mr. Kennedy replied. “There has to be an understanding that any electronic communication regarding CSD sent through the PPHCSD devises, would fall under the public record policy. Kennedy continued, “It is discouraged that private emails and texting be used, and only PPHCSD email accounts be used. The policy is to have 100% protection for directors’ personal information and employees’ privacy. The ideal situation is no co-mingling of business and personal communication devices.” Alex Brandon asked, “If a member was to email another member, on their personal computer, how long should that email be kept and should they forward this email to the District to put it in the PPHCSD (archives)?” The same question came up on texting, or messaging on a personal phone or computer. There were a number of unanswered questions and in general Kennedy stated as a private person you are not subjected to Brown Act unless a business related subject comes up in the communications. Brandon said, “I keep all business related email in a folder. Should I forward them to CSD?” Another question came up on record retention policy, limit of time retention before old emails and messages can be trashed. Don Bartz suggested that a 90-day period be established. The attorney suggested that they adopt this policy and amend the policy on retention of communications. After much debate between board members, it was agreed to work with the new Transparency policy. Any amendments to the policy will continue to be addressed.
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961