Race Communication Reaches Out to Underserved Residents By Jessica Gonzales
Race Communications, the Bay Area-based telecommunications company who will be bringing high speed internet to under served residents, held a second town hall meeting on Friday, November 17, at Pinon Mesa Middle School. Raul Alcaraz, CEO of Race Communications, told the packed auditorium that the company plans to hold more of these meetings in order to create a “good line of communication” and keep the community informed throughout the entire building process. Although the project is referred to as “Gigafy Phelan,” the actual service area will include Pinon Hills, Oak Hills, and part of Hesperia. The plan is to provide areas that are currently deemed underserved, with fiber gigabit internet directly into residents’ homes, delivering up to 1,000 Mbps for both upload and download speeds. Mr. Alcaraz stated that, because Race Communications is receiving subsidies from the state, the company hopes to keep service prices stable for the next four to five years. The project is currently in “various” stages of the building process. Construction hasn’t yet started on the streets, but the company just purchased property in Phelan that will function as their headquarters; construction equipment and supplies are currently being brought in, and surveying and planning continue. Most of the audiences’ questions focused on service area, eligibility, and the construction process. Residents were assured that engineers and construction teams would work with the proper authorities, and proceed with great care in areas with underground utilities. Company representatives also said that they would provide service through aerial and underground networks. The Race team unveiled the “Gigathon” contest, open to those who attend one of the town hall meetings. Mr. Alcaraz stated that the company hopes to enliven what could be otherwise “boring” meetings by “creating excitement” and encouraging involvement within the community. Raffle winners will be awarded free internet service for periods ranging from one month up to a full year. Jim Miller, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, stated that the company was awarded the grant thanks to tremendous community support. This groundswell of approval was evident at the meeting. Area residents Anthony and Terri Spampinato agreed, “Race Communications represents a quantum leap in data access for the community.” Mr. Spampinato added, “For people who work at home, like me, it’s invaluable.” “I think it’s great,” said Dave Hester, who said he became so frustrated with poor service and increased rates that he cancelled his service and now relies on “hot spots” for internet access. Residents who believe their internet speeds qualify them as underserved customers are encouraged to fill out an inquiry form, which is available online at the company’s website: www.race.com. Wrightwood Chamber lights up the town (Photo Albumn - click here) By Terri Hill
Every year, the village of Wrightwood rings in the Christmas season with a post-Thanksgiving festival. The Mountain Holiday Celebration lasts from Friday through Sunday, brings together visitors and residents for a small-town Christmastime experience. This year’s annual tree-lighting was a sensation. In a desire to see the village Christmas tree lit up in glorious fashion, Michele Kraenkel researched companies that provide that particular service. Michele found a company that would rent, install, and disassemble the lights for the tree in Veterans’ Memorial Park for $5,000. Through fundraising at special events and donations from clubs as well as individuals, Michele was able to raise the money, and schedule the installation of the lights. A crowd of hundreds gathered at the park on Friday night, anxiously awaiting the big event. Sunrise Church served hot cocoa, and the Chamber of Commerce hosted a booth and a raffle. Mal Youngblood led the countdown and Santa Claus switched the lights on. Flashes and lights from phones and cameras were no match for the illumination from the brilliant lights of the tree. From the twinkles and colorful lights to the star on top, which radiates between dark and fully lit, the tree is indeed a sensation. Stores remained open into the night, offering sales and refreshments. Streets and shops were packed, as merchants enjoyed their biggest sales of the year. A little French bar, specializing in champagne cocktails and instruction on preparing and drinking absinthe, appeared in a secret location within the Village Friday night. Like Brigadoon, the little bar disappeared Saturday night, after the festivities, to return perhaps next year. Saturday night’s Parade of lights was also a big hit with the crowd. As is tradition, engines from San Bernardino County Fire Station 14, in Wrightwood, led the parade through town. Mountain High’s float sported hay bales covered in snow, and of course – the Yeti. A lighted sleigh, pulled by illuminated reindeer, carried Santa and Mrs. Claus. Making a return appearance this year was crowd favorite, the Polar Express. Silhouettes of the conductor and children in the train car’s windows seem to come to life as it passes by. A special float honoring the late Max – the Wrightwood Cat, featured a screen looping photos of the village mascot. The parade made its now traditional second loop through town, as spectators took advantage of the second chance for the perfect photo. Children, and not a few adults, spun glow rings in circles, making colorful rainbow arcs along the parade route. As the parade began, Sally, a visitor from Santa Monica, conceded, “I’m getting teary-eyed. I didn’t expect it to be so pretty.” We mused, it is a bit like a scene from a Hallmark movie. Helping Hands and Golden State Water team up for Thanksgiving food distribution (Photo Albumn - click here) By Terri Hill
Once again Helping Hands has served groceries for a Thanksgiving feast to Tri-Community residents in need of assistance. Monday, November 20, volunteers from as far away as Hesperia came to help sort, bag, and distribute food to 94 families. Food provided to each family included stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, green beans, corn, peaches, and a turkey. Food for Helping Hands’ holiday distributions and sustained pantry are donated by members of the community, and purchased with generously donated funds. A large portion of the food and funds is provided by members of Wrightwood Community United Methodist Church. Although Helping Hands is an independent organization, the church has provided their basement for use as a pantry, and the congregation has generously supported the food distributions from the beginning. Bob and Sherri Hedden, and Sherri’s mother Irma Waag, started Helping hands in 1977. With no one else distributing food in the Tri-Community, the Heddens felt they needed to take action. Many people were interested in lending their knowledge and services to the volunteer organization. Through one such contact, Helping Hands was incorporated and able to apply for, and receive, their 501C3 tax-exempt status. They got many volunteers, in Wrightwood, Phelan, and Pinon Hills, and with plenty of food donations, “We were off to a good start,” Bob said. Through notices in the Mountaineer, and the Heddens’ membership in the Lions, residents were made aware of the need, and they responded. After making the pantry available to those in need of assistance, Helping Hands started the holiday meal program, bagging and handing out the groceries for a full family-size dinner. Stater Bros. would, at the time, allow the organization to purchase 50 to 75 holiday turkeys at the advertised sale price, at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Stater Bros. has since changed its policy, and no longer offers a deal on bulk turkey purchases. Through Operation Gobble, Jim Cowen, General Manager at Golden State Water in Wrightwood, arranged for the company to donate turkeys, helping to fill the 75 to 100 requests the organization fills each Thanksgiving. Operation Gobble has been a Golden State Water tradition since 1990. This year, Golden State Water distributed more than 7,700 turkeys to non-profits serving individuals and families with limited resources. Throughout the 27-year tradition, Golden State Water has donated more than 231,700 turkeys to charitable organizations through Operation Gobble. To learn more about Golden State Water’s community partnerships and philanthropic activities, customers are encouraged to visit gswater.com, or follow @GoldenStateH2O on Twitter and Facebook. (gswater.com) At the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, volunteers for Helping Hands were already stuffing envelopes with mailers, and getting ready to shop for the Christmas food distribution. Sweet Deals at the Annual Desserts auctioned for Santa’s Sleigh (Photo Albumn - click here) By Vicky Rinek
Can you imagine paying $100 and more for a cheesecake? There were more than 35 desserts that were auctioned off at the recent Santa’s Sleigh fundraising dinner with most desserts going for high bids. The auction, sponsored by Serrano NHS, is to raise funds to fulfill wish lists from hundreds of local children every Christmas. Auctioneer for the night was Daniel Tate, who kept the event lively encouraging the bidders to compete against each other. He entertained the crowd, which helped keep the bids going up and up. Many of the cheesecakes prepared by Morgan Reed, who bakes works of art, were a hot ticket item. Morgan has been preparing them for years and this year he did it again. Giant baskets of cookies, brownies and cupcakes, that were hard to resist, were paraded around the room to bidders. Even a group of young men from Serrano pooled their cash together to bid on a dessert. Families donated homemade desserts. The evening event, at Heritage Middle School, was nicely decorated in a Christmas theme with singers from Snowline choirs. Guests also participated in the raffle for a variety of items. A student who claimed the first ticket pulled, grabbed the 45” flat screen TV. Dan Tate and his wife Patti founded and have run the Don Ferrarese Charitable Foundation since 2005. They have sponsored this event for 12 years. They started sponsoring kids from various organizations, including military families at Camp Pendleton, he and his family decided to focus their efforts on serving those closest to home in the community through a program called Santa’s Sleigh. The family run project has served thousands of local children at Christmas. Most of the children referred to the Tates come from Snowline Schools. Then the Tates go to the parents and ask them for their children’s wish lists. The Tate’s and vounteers then go out and personally shop to best fulfill those wish lists. After buying and personally wrapping everything, Dan and Patti Tate set up a day for the children and their families to come pick up the gifts while visiting with Santa, Mrs. Clause and their elves. They work under the umbrella of the Ferrarese Foundation. Dan and Patti don’t simply give out random gifts; rather they select the best toy that matches the child’s wish list. They are embarking upon a 1,000-coin bottle challenge in homes and businesses throughout the Victor Valley for the purpose of sponsoring 1,000 children in need. They are seeking businesses and families that would like to participate in taking a bottle and filling it with spare change throughout the year. “100 percent of all cash raised through the bottle challenge will go entirely to purchasing gifts.” Dan said he hopes residents understand that Christmas is not all about giving gifts, but in being able to share with others the spirit of Christmas. To learn more about the Santa’s Sleigh program, visit www.don-frse.com Obituary Zita Marie Hillinger, 1938 - 2017
Zita Marie Hillinger — beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and Wrightwood resident for almost 50 years — passed away at her home on November 20, 2017 at the age of 79.
Born in the small farming community of Ottoville, OH on October 17, 1938 to George and Margaret Brickner, Zita was the eldest of 6 children. In 1967, she met the man who would become her lifelong love and husband of nearly 50 years, William R. Hillinger. Their first date was New Years Eve, 1967. After dating for a little over five months, Zita married William on June 22, 1968. Shortly after, Bill and Zita moved into their first and only home in Wrightwood. Zita fell in love with Wrightwood, its people, its community, and its four seasons. Winter and Christmas held a very special place in her heart. Each year, she would always hope for a white Christmas, just like the song. After she and Bill moved into their new home, they planted a few small cedar trees in their front yard, one of which they began to decorate with lights during the holidays. Over the years, as the tree grew to well over 50 feet tall, the lights remained on its branches year-round and was even visible from Highway 2. Several times a year, Zita could be found climbing the tree to repair its many strands of lights, and she did so, well into her 70s. Throughout her life, Zita held many different jobs. She was a waitress, and an Arthur Murray dance instructor. She operated a successful photography business with her husband. But her greatest career achievement was earning her CPA license and building a tax and bookkeeping business, which she ran out of her home. An active community member, she served with the Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce and helped out with gardening, fundraising and other supporting roles for Our Lady of the Snows Church. Zita is survived by her husband Bill; children Jeff, Cindy, Matt, Bill, Zita, George and Anna; siblings Joan, Ann, Donna, Roger and Robert; 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Memorial service will be held at Our Lady of the Snows Church, 975 Lark Road, Wrightwood, CA 92397, on Saturday, December 2 at 12PM. Reception to follow. Tri-Community Thoughts By Al Morrissette ‘Tis the season
Our forefathers and Thanksgiving couldn’t be more disrespected than through marketing geniuses that think bringing out Christmas songs and merchandise in October alongside Halloween candy and costumes is acceptable. We now overlook Thanksgiving, except for the feast and college football bowl games. Black Friday now seeps into our lives weeks prior to Thanksgiving Day or in some cases even before then. I feel an annual holiday guff coming on so let’s let the rhetoric begin. Why do we have to be bombarded with Christmas songs and music on every radio and television channel just to be followed by some lawyer commercial saying they can cut you a deal on back income tax or some drug class action lawsuit? The answer is to have a joyous holiday. Speaking of suits, why doesn’t Santa Claus have national consciousness about obesity, Santa should be thin, promoting slim-fast. Why are holidays haunting? On the 4th of July we have the “Spirit of 76”, Halloween is infiltrated with ghost and such, plus Christmas, wow, people ask me aren’t you filled with the Christmas Spirit; I answer: What would have happened if Scrooge didn’t believe in spirits? Then we have the minority group of atheists who don’t believe in any religion, yet they have to lambast these churches by bringing out their atheist crying towels because they are offended and want the majority of people who have some religious affiliation to stop what they are doing. Though I am not a fan of organized religion, I am spiritual and believe in the afterlife, angels and more, so if organized church is your fit I say go for it. At this Holiday Season many churches and religions feel a spiritual bond and express that bond and express that through song, midnight mass, public displays and such. I may feel that is overboard at times but the majority rules and if someone gets a benefit especially during this time of the year when depression is high, let the spirit move you. People tell me all year that our country is on the brink of collapse, partisan politics has become standard, and Christianity is our national religion. I am secure in my thoughts of religion, patriotism, economics, sexuality and more. If you are insecure in any matter, you don’t need to broadcast it on Facebook and tell people they must ‘like and share’. So, let me say Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy any other religion celebrating and let the shopping wars begin. Journeys and Perceptions By Michael Palecki Holiday Music Shows
There’s frost in the air and the holiday season has arrived with plenty of options to enjoy music and the warmth of fellowship here in the Tri-Community. With something for everyone, holiday venues include a classical guitar recital, and dinner show fundraisers presented by Snowline Players, Serrano High School Choir, and Music in the Pines. Coming up this Sunday in the United Methodist Church at 3:00 PM, the Wrightwood Classical Concert Series presents twin brothers Sean & Ian Bassett in a classical guitar tour de force. After hitting the Southern California music scene as rock guitarists, The Bassett Brothers changed directions and earned Masters of Music degrees in classical guitar from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. They have since become aficionados of all music genre with two guitars sounding more like four instruments; sample the unique sound of The Bassett Bros. guitar duo on YouTube. For ticket information call Joyce Wonderly at (760) 249-3487 or go to www.mountainmusic.net Also scheduled this Sunday, at 6:00 PM in the Wrightwood Community Building located at 1275 State Highway 2, the Snowline Players present the LUX Radio Theater production of Miracle on 34th Street. Audience members will be transported back to 1947 when this Christmas classic first aired. Enjoy the performance and a hearty meal for $17.00. Advance tickets are now on sale at www.snowlineplayers.org with no tickets available at the door. Scheduled for two weekends on December 8 & 9 and December 15 & 16 at 7:00 PM, the Serrano High School Choir presents their annual Christmas formal dinner show entitled “SHS News Night.” The three-course-meal will be served throughout an original show written by students with full choral performances, small group songs and solo numbers by selected choir members. For tickets ranging in price between $20.00 and $30.00 depending on proximity to the stage, go to www.brownpapertickets.com and then type in 2017 Serrano High School Choir Dinner Show for the “Find an Event” box. Additionally, Music in the Pines will present their holiday fundraiser show on Sunday December 17 from 5:00 until 8:00 PM in the Wrightwood Community Building located at 1275 State Highway 2. Entertainment for the first set will be the Greg Jones Band featuring vocals by Brittan Egnozzi and Claudia Campbell, as well as Loren &Michelle Schneider. After intermission, the Jeff Steinmann Band will perform a Rock & Roll Christmas. Tri-tip dinner and wine is priced at $25.00 with advance tickets purchased at the Village Grind. There is no charge for those not eating dinner with the caveat they bring their favorite dessert to share with others. As the holiday season approaches a New Year, give thanks to all the talented people who enrich the Tri-Community. Dear Editor:
Due to the recent bark beetle infestation in the Village, a lot of firewood became available. Part of one of the affected trees, from Judy Gallo’s home, was donated to Bob and Shari Hedden. The Heddens in turn, with friends John Lenau, Carol Bishop, and Judy Gallo and her son, processed the wood for distribution to widows and other single ladies for firewood in the cold months ahead. We wish to thank the Community United Methodist Church for their cooperation and use of their parking lot. Also to Sheri Ryan, Troop Committee Chair and members of Boy Scouts Troop 351 for hauling and stacking the wood at the recipients’ homes.
Thank you Bob Hedden Detectives seeking the identity of a man who attempted to run over a deputy during traffic stop
INCIDENT: Assault with a Deadly Weapon / Deputy Involved Shooting
On Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 12:12 a.m. a deputy, assigned to Victor Valley Station, made a traffic stop on an older white Ford sedan in the area of Phelan Rd. and Sunny Vista Rd. As the deputy approached the vehicle to make contact with the driver, the driver shifted into reverse and accelerated toward the deputy. The deputy fired at the vehicle and the driver changed direction and fled. The deputy began pursuing the vehicle, but lost the vehicle when he collided with a dirt berm. It is unknown if the vehicle or driver was struck by gunfire.
Specialized Investigators responded and conducted the investigation.
The driver is described as a white male wearing a hat.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Sheriff’s Homicide Detail, Detective Brian Chambers at (909) 387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
Refer: Detective Brian Chambers or Sergeant Jerry Davenport Station: Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail Phone No. (909)387-3589 Case No. 071703744 H#2017-112 Wrightwood man dies in RV collision
On 11/24/2017, at 6:55 am, the California Highway Patrol received a 911 call regarding a traffic collision in the 5500 Block of Acorn Dr., in the unincorporated community of Wrightwood. When officers arrived on scene they found that the driver of a recreational vehicle, Robert Vonch, an 87 year-old resident of Wrightwood lost control of the vehicle causing it to leave the roadway and strike at least one tree. Vonch was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained in the collision. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the collision. [11242017 1655 SC]
Sheriff Logs 11/22 Vehicle Break-In / Theft, 1500 blk Betty St., Wrightwood 11/22 Burglar, residential - night, entry no force, 5000 blk Avenal St., Phelan 11/24 Motor Vehicle theft, grand theft, truck or motorhome, 8800 blk Beekley Rd., Phelan 11/25, Burglary, residential - unknown time, entry by force, 1100 blk Robin Rd., Wrightwood 11/25 Assault on Peace Officer, other dangerous weapon, Phelan Rd., / Sunny Vista Rd., Phelan 11/25 Theft / larceny, other yard, residence, 9500 blk Johnson Rd., Phelan 11/26 Motor Vehicle Theft - grand theft, 1600 blk State Hwy 2, Wrightwood 11/27 Assault, non aggravated, to child, 6000 blk Park Dr., Wrightwood 11/27 Motor Vehicle Theft, grand theft, 9900 blk Mesa St., Baldy Mesa 11/27 Motor Vehicle Theft, grand theft, 11100 blk Beekly Rd.,Phelan 11/27 Vehicle Break-In / Theft, 600 blk State Hwy 138, Pinon Hills 11/26 Assault, other dangerous weapon, 7600 blk Eklm St., Phelan These reports are from San Bernardino County Sheriff media call summary log. Information may be subject to change. Anyone with information regarding these investigation are urged to contact Detective Tina Kirby or Sergeant Greg Myler at (909) 387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
November 22, 2017
Caltrans says, “Thank you,” to Tri-Community By Terri Hill
Caltrans, joined by the California Highway Patrol and SR-138 Widening project contractors, hosted a gathering at the Mormon Rocks Vista Point on Thursday afternoon, November 16. Caltrans Public Information Officer Tyeisha Pruty explained, “This isn’t about Caltrans, contractors or dignitaries. It’s about saying, ‘Thank you,’ to residents of Phelan, Pinon Hills, and Wrightwood for their patience and support during the widening project.” She went on to extend her personal thanks to the residents for their involvement at update meetings, and support. Supervisor Lovingood and representatives for State Assemblymen Tom Lackey and Jay Obernolte presented certificates of appreciation to the general managers of the Phelan Pinon Hills, and Wrightwood Community Services Districts, Don Bartz and Al Morrissette, respectively. After a formal ribbon-cutting, visitors chatted and took advantage of the views and photo ops offered by the Mormon Rocks. The Caltrans-led project added two additional mainlines, a 14-foot median buffer and three wildlife undercrossing structures between Phelan Road and Interstate 15, roughly a 14-mile stretch.
SJUSD Board discusses S.A.F.E. resolution By Terri Hill
Tuesday, November 14th, Snowline Joint Unified School District (SJUSD) Board of Directors (the board) heard from representatives of the Career Technical Education (CTE) program, and from students and parents supporting the Safe Area For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) resolution. In response to questions from the board last month, CTE administrator Matt Wells presented a comprehensive overview of the program and its goals, successes, highlights, labor market information, and plans for expansion and enhancement to maximize the program’s impact. Using reports and projections, CTE advisors plan class offerings to address the most marketable skills for careers identified as growth industries. Those include health science and medical technology, building and construction trades, and hospitality, tourism, and recreation, among others. Learn more about Serrano and Chaparral CTE programs at https://shs-snowline-ca.schoolloop.com/. Student Board member Sabrina Cisneros had asked, at the last meeting, for discussion of the Safe Area For Everyone Resolution to appear on the agenda for November 14. She expressed her concern about the racist atmosphere at her school, and her personal trauma after being met with racist remarks at Serrano. Supporters of the S.A.F.E. resolution chose to hold their public comment period until the item came up later in the agenda. Before the Board discussion, members of the public had 15 minutes to voice their concerns. The resolution addresses racism and bullying on all Snowline campuses, and calls for district employees to report, and administer appropriate discipline to, offenders. Many students and parents at the meeting reported instances of racial slurs and gestures on Serrano’s campus, as well as on social media. Serrano Principal Dan Andrus issued the following letter, after students staged a protest on Thursday, November 16.
Good Evening, This is Dan Andrus, Principal of Serrano High School. There have been many rumors and concerns about protests at Serrano and I would like to briefly explain what happened today. About 300 students planned a peaceful protest about racism and hate at Serrano. Several individual incidents over the last couple of months have caused some students to feel discriminated against and unsafe. Their original plan was to walk out of school and go to the district office to speak with the superintendent, Dr. Holman. To create a safer environment, we invited those students to join us in the cafeteria where they could share their concerns with district and school administrators. The rest of our almost 2,200 students attended class as usual. We met with our concerned students for about 3 hours after which they returned to class. This opportunity to hear from our students on this issue was an important first step in making Serrano a safer place for all students. We will announce student and parent forums after Thanksgiving so that we can hear from all voices and work together to understand what problems exist and to find solutions together. Tomorrow, all students will receive a copy of a letter that addresses this issue. The letter will be posted to our webpage and attached to the email that accompanies this phone call. I remind all of us that this is the beginning of a conversation that we hope will involve all of our community to ensure that there is no place for hate at our schools and that all students have the opportunity to learn in a safe and protected environment. Please discuss the letter with your students and direct any questions or concerns to me. email@example.com Thank you and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. Sincerely, Dan Andrus
Support local businesses, and let Mountain Hardware reward you
Saturday, November 25th is Small Business Day. Mountain Hardware, one of our own small businesses, will offer a discount at their store, to those who shop at other local, Tri-Community, small businesses. On Saturday 11/25, bring in a receipt ($10+) from a local store, dated Friday November 24th or Saturday November 25th, and receive a 15% discount on your purchases at Mountain Hardware. Support your community, by supporting your local small businesses! Take a Hike…with the ‘Wrightwood’ Hiking Club By Carol Bishop Photos -click here
Just because winter’s around the corner doesn’t mean there’s no more hiking. In fact, Pat Trujillo, trail leader of the Wrightwood Hiking Club for the last dozen years, says she determines the weekly hikes largely based on the seasons. In summer, the club hikes in the cooler higher elevations near Wrightwood, such as trails of Mount Waterman, Blue Ridge, and East Table Mountain. During autumn, she schedules hikes that allow for the enjoyment of the fall colors, including to the Earthquake Fault and Cedar Canyon. In an effort to dodge winter’s snow and crowds, the club heads to lower elevations, quite often hiking the various trails around Silverwood Lake. With spring come flowers, so Pat designs hikes up Lone Pine Canyon and through other floral areas. And if the beauty of the hike is not enough reason to get out and hike, there are always the camaraderie and health benefits. Phyllis Gallagher, a 30-year member of the WW Hiking Club, was a “weekender” when she joined the group in order to meet other locals. Along with enjoying the friendships she’s established, she says she especially appreciates getting the opportunity to really see the beauty of our area, not just drive by it. Jan DeGroot is an avid local walker and hiker. While often seen putting on the miles through and around town, she says that she enjoys the socialization and conversation when she joins the club for its Saturday hikes. Pat MacRobert, of Phelan, began hiking at the invitation of a friend, and has benefitted in more ways than he expected. Dealing with some serious health issues and a nasty habit, Pat could not hike more than 15 or 20 minutes without stopping for a rest and wanting a smoke. A couple times he could not complete the whole hike. Within a year he, with a couple friends, successfully hiked the 11-mile route from Dawson Saddle to Mt. Baden Powell and back. He now camps and hikes throughout the local forest, usually at locations he first experienced with the hiking club. Wrightwood Hiking Club began about 38 years ago under the leadership of Charlie Engman and Helga Wallner. Charlie led the hikes until, at 89 years of age, he led his last hike - up Mt. Baden Powell. (No, he didn’t die on the trail! He moved to Oregon.) Helga, along with organizing the group, would carry her camera and tripod and take pictures along the hikes. Many of her photos were then framed and sold, or turned into the postcards one can still buy today in our local stores. When Charlie moved, Frank Trujillo took over the trail leader position. Based on his knowledge of local trails, due to his own personal hiking and work on the PCT trail, Frank guided the group throughout the forest. His wife Pat eventually took on the job of trail leader, when Frank’s health problems became an issue. Both say they love hiking and are willing to lead because “nobody else will.” Also, they know the trails and they enjoy sharing the experience with others. If the idea of hiking Mt. Baden Powell overwhelms you, not to worry; nowadays, Pat plans recreational hikes of four to six miles in length. With a meeting time of 8:15 on Saturday mornings, hikes are usually over by noon so that members can then move on to their other plans for the day. Most hikes are what she categorizes as easy or moderate. No sense in making the hike so strenuous that there’s no breath left for conversation. This is a very social group that enjoys their chats as much as their treks. Currently Pat has almost 30 people on an email list she uses to announce her weekly hike. Waiting until a few days beforehand, she can better gauge what the weather will be and be aware of any access closures due to road construction. Depending on the hike and “life,” the number of hikers varies each Saturday. Usually between 8 and 14 participate. Although it’s called the Wrightwood Hiking Club, there is no residential requirement. Besides from the Tri-Community, people come from Riverside, Ontario, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Silver Lakes, and Victorville. If you would like more information about the club, contact Pat Trujillo at 760-217-9105, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Put on your boots, grab some water, bring along a snack, and take a hike. A neighborhood Coffee with a Cop By Vicky Rinek
Thursday, November 16, at Wrightwood’s Community Building a group of San Bernardino County Sheriff officers and staff gathered with community members for an informal morning of coffee and conversations. Most meetings with law enforcement are during an emergency situation and most conversations with a cop start with “license and registration,” which creates a standoffish feeling. The idea of Coffee with a Cop is to create an atmosphere of openness, improve communication by breaking down barriers, allowing for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction. This alleviates the mindset of “them versus us” and makes the officers a little more approachable. A cup of coffee is a common bond like breaking bread, with officers standing at the same level as you. There was no agenda or speeches. The program was a casual, come-and-go community get-together serving hot coffee and pastries. Many came to speak with officers about law enforcement related topics in Wrightwood, but many participated in just friendly conversations. The discussion around the room included a wide range of topics; the problems with the snow-player traffic, illegal cultivating of drugs, such as marijuana, as well as non-relevant conversations like sports teams. This too is beneficial to the officers. Their days are full of 911 calls, driving from call to call. There’s no downtime to connect and talk to people in a casual setting. “It’s nice to talk about non emergency items and see cops as neighbors concerned with the same issues that the community has,” Said lieutenant Todd Newton from the Victor Valley office. Other officers joining the community for coffee included Deputies Mike New, Molly Leiker, Danny Rodriguez, Greg Herbert, David Moyer, and K9 Officer Ellie, a bloodhound. The goal of the program is to build trust, and connect with one cop, one cup at a time. San Bernardino County Sheriff Department adopted the programs as a regular part of their community outreach program. The Sheriff Department is planning many more Coffee with a Cop events in neighborhoods across the San Bernardino County.Holiday spirit starts in Wrightwood Village
The event that began in the 1970s as the brainchild of Tom Pinard, then owner of the Mountaineer, had a less than grandiose beginning. In order to encourage residents to spend their money locally, Pinard suggested a Shop at Home night to be held on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Some merchants thought the idea ridiculous; one even circulated a petition to encourage the Pinards to leave Wrightwood. But Tom was able to pull together the advertising and enthusiasm to make the event a success, and it has evolved over the years into the festive three-day holiday event that the town looks forward to every year. The name was changed to Wrightwood Mountain Holiday Celebration several years ago, when members of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors were concerned that “Shop at Home” would be confused with the now common phrase for Internet shopping. Now the Annual Wrightwood Mountain Holiday Celebration, which will take place over the Thanksgiving weekend, will bring Santa into town and hopefully a sprinkle of snow too. On Friday and Saturday the local stores will open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and most will offer sales, cider, cocoa, and cookies, and all offer a welcoming holiday atmosphere. There will be a hunt for the Elf hiding among the various knick-knacks, clothes, and gifts inside the merchants’ stores. Finding the Elf in each store enters you in a grand drawing of prizes from the participating stores. Elves will be in hiding until December 20th, so you have plenty of time to participate. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make appearances at the Village Grind, Applewood Court, and Grizzly Café. At the Applewood Court shoppers can enjoyed fudge tasting and ornament making, both free of charge. Hay wagon rides have become a favorite feature of the yearly festivities, along with carolers and live music. As is tradition, the town Christmas Tree lighting will be celebrated on Friday evening as hundreds of spectators gather at the Veterans memorial Park. Michele Kraenkel organized the fundraiser and collected moneys for the tree. This year there will be 15,000 plus lights that will be the best Tree Wrightwood has ever had. Make sure you find a spot to view the tree when the lights are turned on at 6:00 p.m. Children, led by Lora Steinmann, will sing carols before Honorary Mayor Ben Smith and Santa give the order to light the tree. Along with those of the prior day, Saturday’s activities at the Community Building include the Wrightwood Crafters’ Boutique and a production of Odd Couple by the Snowline Players. The Wrightwood Museum, patrons will be treated to local Holiday History. The biggest attraction will be on Saturday November 25, when vehicles will be decorated for the 16th Annual Parade of Lights. As has become tradition, the Parade of Lights will take a second lap through town, much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd.
The Chamber would like to thank the following for their generous contribution to the Wrightwood Christmas Tree decorations and lights: Bronze: Diane Maturo Family, Carol & Paul Heinig, Herb Lanford Silver: Pam & Bruce Mortimer, Applewood Inn. Thibodeau Accounting Gold: Tri-Community Kiwanis Club, Ruthann & Charlie Walsh, Ray & Karen Rezek, Grace & Mario Ficarolla, Barbara & Gil Ahern, Dan Sidwell Mexico Lindo, Laura & Heinz Steinmann, Betty Rossman, Wrightwood Flooring & Carpets, Wrightwood Auto Service Platinum: Country Life Realty, Wrightwood Market, The Grizzly Café, The Golden Acorn, Mountain Hardware, Dee Potter, Eric & Deloris Steinmann, The Yodler and Mountain HighBeautiful homes and quilts on display By Terri Hill
Thanksgiving weekend marks the beginning of the holiday season, when festivities in Wrightwood draw visitors and residents alike to the Village. Another tradition of Christmastime is the annual Holiday Home Tour, presented by the Pine Needles Quilt Guild. Each year, several unique homes are chosen for the tour. The homeowners decorate for the holidays, and the guild members provide quilts for display in each room. Docents provide interesting facts about the homes, and the quilts’ provenance. One of the featured homes this year is the newly built contemporary three-bedroom Bashaw residence. Kelly and Aloysius (Wish) Bashaw began building the house in 2015 and in October 2016 they moved in. Kelly explained they had Silverton Homes build the house. The Bashaws made a few design changes to the model they chose from a selection. The living room, kitchen, and dining room share an open space, so Kelly and Wish included a vaulted ceiling and a skylight to open the space. Wish built the hearth and heat shield, for the wood burning stove, with slate. His father Al helped him build the dining table. A wonderful office/den gives the family space for quiet time or relaxation. The baby’s room is adorable (just as she is!). An elegant master suite, and a welcoming guest bedroom complete the tour of this new home. Quilts that will be on display at the Bashaw home include Marlene Bowman’s Christmas Row Robin. Each of seven women contributed one quilt row, and Marlene stitched them together for the final product. Kim Small hand embroidered and hand quilted her Christmas Quilt, 12-year old Amelia Owens (sister of our own columnist, Morgan Owens) offered her quilt “Fox Farm,” for display. A friendship swap block, Sunbonnet Sue is Icky Orr’s bright, cheerful contribution. Also on the tour is The Rustic Retreat, home of Arlene and Curt Corte. Built in 1934, this is one of Wrightwood’s charming cabins with a wonderful stone foundation and fireplace. Painted barn red, it is typical of cabins from this era. The living room invites you to hang out in front of a cozy fire, and the kitchen, with its wood countertops is adorable. An eating area rounds out the bottom floor. Upstairs, two small bedrooms and a bath are tucked under the eaves, making this is charming Wrightwood cabin. Mary O’Connor and Mary Sypkens have been kind enough to offer their new establishment, Applewood Inn to this year’s tour. The former retirement home has been turned into an AirBNB with six bedrooms, each with its own nature theme, and décor reflecting the name of the room. They are decorated with art from local artists, some of which can be purchased. See the Blue Spruce, and Hollyhock rooms, and the Oak Suite. The Sage room and Sunny Suite (with two bedrooms) are charming. Each room has a kitchenette. Common areas include a large living room and dining room. A game table and piano for sing-a-longs and a gas fireplace complete the homey feeling and the fully-equipped kitchen makes staying in for dinner a real treat. Speaking of treats, finish your tour at the Cookie House, where John and Rose Burcher will again offer a warm drink, cookies, and music by the fire. The Craft Boutique at the Wrightwood Building will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets for the Holiday Home Tour are $12 in advance, available at the Grizzly Café, Cinnamon’s Bakery, Cabin Fever, Sheldon Entertainment, and Applewood Court. Or, send a S.A.S.E and check to PNQG, PO Box 2800 Wrightwood, CA 92397. On the day of tour, tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Boutique and at any of the homes on the tour. Maps to the homes are included with the tickets.Phelan Library Receives Contribution For Books By Michael Palecki
On Tuesday, November 14, the Desert Winds Quilt Guild presented a check in the amount of $1095.00 to the Phelan Memorial Branch Library, for the purchase of new books. Accepting the contribution from 2017 Guild President Jami Foster and 2018 Guild President Pris Beeler was Librarian Tim Johnson. In addition to raising the funds, Guild members also provided a suggested book purchase list of 39 books from 21 authors. The Desert Winds Quilt Guild, based at the Percy Bakker Community Center in Hesperia, in addition to promoting quilt making activities and the appreciation of fine quilts, also pursues charitable works that are agreed upon by the membership within High Desert communities. According to Christmas Party Chair Teresa Fletcher, after two successful years of toy drives to benefit children in the San Bernardino County Children and Family Services Department, Guild membership voted this year to have a monetary drive to benefit patrons of all ages at the Phelan Memorial Library. As part of the motion, the Guild agreed to provide matching funds up to $500.00 for every dollar raised by the membership. During the past three months, Guild members placed monetary donations as well as book title suggestions in a sealed box, which was opened at the November 7 meeting. With $595.00 raised by membership and $500.00 matching funds provided by the Guild, the total gift amounted to $1095.00. Last week during the presentation, Librarian Tim Johnson thanked Guild members for selecting Phelan Memorial Library as recipient of funds for new books The Desert Winds Quilt Guild meets the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. in the Percy Bakker Community Center located at 9333 E Avenue in Hesperia 92345. For additional information on activities and membership, go to www.desertwindsquiltguild.com
By Al Morrissette Hwy 138 and more
Nearly 18 years ago, three Pinon Hills MAC board members (Don Slater, Sandi Hemingway, and I) met with Caltrans District 8 representatives to discuss the safety of Hwy 138 between the I-15 and Oasis Rd. Nearly every week deadly accidents occurred in this stretch of highway, referred to as Blood Alley in a Readers Digest article written at that time. The primary intersection of the accidents was at Sheep Creek Rd though around Mormon Rocks, Hess, Beekley and Hwy 2 all came in as close seconds. The removal of the egress lane to Hwy 138 at Sheep Creek was part of a lawsuit by some of the families that had lost a loved one at that intersection. I covered many of the accidents as a reporter and saw things that remain imprinted on my mind. The due diligence of the three Pinon Hills MAC members was constant, yet it was the outcry of the Tri-Community and the families of the victims that brought involvement from local elected and appointed officials. These officials made direct contact and applied pressure to Caltrans District 8 and in the main Sacramento office, including sending community members, including me, to testify in the legislature hearings. The project eventually got funded but then Gov. Schwarzenegger had to meet a budget and took most Caltrans project funding away, thus the project remained open, but without funding. When Gov. Brown took office for his third term, the funds were reissued but had to be adjusted higher due to inflation. There was another major factor in the widening of Hwy 138. That was the designation of the highway as a route around the congestion of Los Angeles and in the 1960’s being dedicated as an emergency route around LA. This came into play during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake when many key freeways were shut down for nearly a year due to the collapse of the infrastructure. Now the widening of the highway is nearly complete for this section and the whining of local drivers for this minor inconvenience of lane closures will subside. Though I think the tapestry look of the roadway is rather ugly, at least it is a vast improvement from what we had before. There are two other inconvenient projects looming to be exposed through Facebook rants. Caltrans will continue the widening of 138 from near Phelan Rd westward to Hwy 18. I don’t know exactly when that will happen, but I suppose it will be after Hwy 18 is widened from 138 eastward to Hwy 395. That project is in the final stages of engineering and should start sometime next year. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and remember to get over it, Trump won! Journeys and Perceptions
By Michael Palecki Threat Of Nuclear Weapons
Growing up in Burbank after 1945, signs of the war lingered on in the form of ant-aircraft gun brackets mounted on the roofs of Lockheed Aircraft buildings. Although Germany and Japan had been defeated it didn’t take long before the Soviet ally to Western Powers in World War II became the Cold War enemy. On the last Friday of every month, air raid sirens being tested would wail across the San Fernando Valley at 10:00 in the morning. At the time, there was no defense against nuclear missiles with a warning of just eight minutes, if fired from Soviet submarines. I remember my brother and I being awakened one night by the air raid sirens, and running through the house we discovered our parents were not there. We ended up on the front porch cradled in each other’s arms crying as the street lights flickered and went dark. The only light came from a flashlight held by the civilian defense warden as he ran past looking for communists. As it turned out, Dad & Mom had been next-door playing cards and although they came home in an instant, an important sense of trust had been lost. Later on in school during the 1950’s there were “Duck and Cover” drills in which we dove under our desks, assumed a fetal position, and waited for what – the communists or the blast? Apparently, Donald Trump’s threat to “Totally destroy North Korea” and Kim Jong Un’s threat to “Turn the United States into ashes and darkness” negate the awful truth we learned from the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For heads of state to rant about such a sensitive outcome, displays absolutely zero respect for civilian populations. We are at the point in history where several countries with nuclear weapon capabilities have reached the threshold of the Cold War Doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction. In essence that means that nobody wins. With several military leaders conceding U.S. defense systems might not be able to thwart multiple simultaneous missile launches, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held the first nuclear authority hearing this week, since 1976. Additionally, the top U.S. nuclear commander-Air Force General John Hytem- said he would resist President Donald Trump if he ordered an “illegal” launch of nuclear weapons. Never before has the world been so close to a nuclear weapon ultimatum due to unstable heads of state. For all the world’s leaders of nuclear states and all the warmongers, just listen to Roger Waters’ lyrics from The Wall-Live in Berlin in which Joni Mitchell sings: “I used to look in on the children at night, in the glow of their Donald Duck light, and frighten myself with the thought of my little ones burning.” Have You Ever
By John Cromshow
The Early Turkey Captures the Worm
In 2008 I wrote a Christmas radio play: “1938: Lulled to Sleep.” What would happen if high school students debated a pressing issue of the day? The question they faced remains with us today. Should the United States get involved in war? I also interviewed people for “I Remember 1938.” Anyone who lived through those times is a living history lesson. One of my favorites was with my friend’s mother. A teenager on a Missouri farm in the 1930’s, she was isolated from a world gearing up for war. Her chore on the farm was to find turkey eggs after turkeys had concealed them. “Turkeys are smart,” she told me. She had to stealthily follow a turkey observing where it hid its egg. Then, when the turkey left she would “capture” the egg. It was like a hunting expedition. Was any turkey early enough to capture a worm? My vegan friends celebrate Thanksgiving without meat, eggs, milk or animal products. They liked the following story about President Abraham Lincoln. He started the tradition of giving a Thanksgiving turkey a presidential pardon. Lincoln became the first president to pardon a turkey because he responded to special pleadings. Abraham and Mary’s young son Tad grew fond of a live turkey given to the Lincolns for Thanksgiving. Tad objected. Perish the thought of the dinner table! The boy couldn’t imagine that wonderful turkey’s head on the chopping block. His father pardoned the animal and it became Tad’s pet, Jack. The turkey spent its days wandering through the extensive White House gardens. You may remember seeing large turkey farms in Lone Pine Canyon. Massive swaths of white feathers like clouds on the high desert floor. Those feathers and huge turkey breasts were genetically engineered. Benjamin Franklin argued the native wild turkey, with multicolored feathers, should be our national bird. Turkeys had noble qualities, which Franklin admired. That’s another story. Here’s a feathery Thanksgiving riddle. What side of the turkey has the most feathers? (Answer below.) Have you ever considered whether the early turkey captures the worm? Please email email@example.com. Answer: the outside. The List What’s going on, in and around the Tri-Community Compiled by staff Events are open to the public
Wrightwood Mountain Holiday Celebration Friday -Saturday - Sunday November 24, 25 & 26 | 10:00AM - 9:00PM Family Event On Friday visit the Wrightwood Village on Park, Apple, Evergreen and Cedar Streets where there will be wagon rides, live entertainment, Shop-at-Home, Christmas Caroling, Elf games and dinning at the local restaurants. Merchants host special activities and sales. At 5:00 p.m., join your neighbors on Evergreen for the special Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. This will be extra special as the Chamber members have arranged for a professional lighting company to go all out for the decorations and lights! Lights come on at 6:00 p.m. Santa Claus will be in the Village. Pull out those winter jackets, gloves and hats -it might be extra cold! Christmas Caroling, and more Elf games. Begin your holiday season at the spectacular 16th Annual Wrightwood Parade of Lights. The FREE holiday spectacular features marching bands, ornate floats, and, of course, a special appearance by Santa! Grab your hot chocolate and ear-muffs, this year is going to be better than ever! Parade starts at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 participants line-up on Apple Street.)
Wrightwood Crafters Boutique Saturday. Nov. 25 9am - 4pm Just in time for your holiday shopping. The boutique will feature crochet, knitting, photography, painting, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, home decor and much more. All handmade crafts from Tri-Community neighbors: location Wrightwood Comm. Bldg., 1275 Highway 2. Wrightwood.
Holiday Home Tour Brought to you by Pine Needle Quilt Guild Saturday, Dec. 2 10:00AM - 4:00PM The Pine Needle Quilt Guild will host the 24th annual Holiday Home Tour. Owners of three picturesque Wrightwood homes invite you and yours inside their charming residences to get a unique glimpse of their way of life during the holidays. The Tour will feature homes displaying quilts and decorated for the holidays, plus the “Cookie House.” Live music, brings the holiday spirit to the event. Shop handmade gifts at the Christmas Boutique in the Wrightwood Community Building. Tickets $12 presale, available after Nov. 1, at Cinnamon’s Bakery, Grizzly/Golden Acorn, Applewood Court and Sheldon Entertainment in Wrightwood, and at the Boutique for $15 on the day of the event, or send SASE with check made payable to PNQG to: Pine Needles Quilt Guild, PO Box 2800, Wrightwood, CA 92397-2800
Christmas Bazaar Saturday, Dec. 2 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. High Desert Baptist Church invites you to do your holiday shopping early. Buy baked goods and handmade items. 10484 Johnson Rd., Phelan.
Miracle on 34th Street Sunday, Dec 3 6 p.m. Snowline Players’ production of the Lux Radio Theater classic is presented one night only, at the Wrightwood Community Building, 1275 CA-2, Wrightwood. Tickets for the dinner show are available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3153462.
Spark of Love Sunday, Dec.3 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. SBCo Fire will hold their annual toy drive and Fill the Boot fundraiser at the Rite Aid parking lot. New, unwrapped toys are greatly appreciated.
Christmas Dinner Show SHS Choirs Friday Dec. 8 & 15, Saturday Dec. 9 & 16, 7 p.m. Join the Serrano Choirs for their biggest fundraiser of the year. This year’s show is, “SHS News Night.” Enjoy a formal dinner (chicken or vegetarian) while the talented members of Serrano’s choral department entertain you. Tickets for the show, at Serrano’s transformed cafeteria, are available at www.brownpapertickets.com, and from the choir members. Dinner and show tickets are $20, $25, and $30, depending on table location.
Senior Citizens Christmas Program Wednesday, Dec. 13, 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm The22nd Annual Senior Citizens’ Christmas Program, hosted by the Snowline Board of Trustees will be held at the Serrano PAC, with performances by students from Snowline Schools.
November 16, 2017
11 tolls at 11a.m on 11/11
Wrightwood’s Veterans committee sponsored an emotional ceremony for the Tri-Community with Serrano’s Rattlesnake Regiment marching band playing patriotic music, Photo by Vicky Rinek Additional photos of the event - Click Here
By Terri Hill
Wrightwood Veterans’ Memorial Park Committee hosted yet another patriotic and emotional ceremony in honor of Veterans’ Day. Led by Kim Scott, children from Wrightwood Elementary School sang patriotic songs before the opening of the ceremony. Michele Kraenkel, an Army veteran and the President of the Wrightwood Memorial Association, emceed the program. As with ceremonies held all over the country, a bell tolled 11 times signifying the moment World War I, “The War to End All Wars,” formally ended with the signing of the Armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Serrano’s Rattlesnake Regiment, led by Matthew Fell, marched in formation and filled the park with color and music. Few things are as stirring as the National Anthem played by a full marching band, and the Rattlesnake Regiment did not disappoint. As is the tradition, the Boy Scouts of Troop 351 performed the color guard duties, and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Carl “Smitty” Smith presented a touching tribute to his longtime friend, Larry Boyes, who passed away earlier this year. The two men had been friends for years, and they put together the committee that would make their vision of a memorial park a reality. Smitty commented that Larry could be found each day tending to the park’s appearance, as part of his morning walk with his dog. Lynn Crawford, Joy Agnew, Marlene Bowman, and Kim Ogilvie presented Quilts of Valor to six local veterans. The relatively new tradition at the Veteran’s Day ceremony in Wrightwood has become a favorite for veterans and the public alike. Quilts of Valor is a national organization, started in 2003. The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. Local quilters presented Pastor Dave Conrad (Navy), Warren Gour (Navy), Tom Pinard (Navy), Thomas Kite (Marines), and Steven Orona (Army) with their own quilted symbol of thanks for their service. Michele Kraenkel was surprised with the sixth quilt presentation, for her service in the Army. After Girl Scouts from Troop 249 presented the memorial wreath, bugler Jonathan Spray played “Taps.” As a member of Troop 351, Jonathan has become the resident bugler for ceremonies held at the Veterans’ park. Jonathan is also a member of the marching band, and performed with them, as they closed the ceremony. Playing their halftime show the band proved their talent as musicians and performers. Members of the Color Guard danced, and spun flags and rifles to songs including service songs from each branch, and a medley of Shenandoah, America the Beautiful, and Simple Gifts. The energetic performance was a fitting tribute, and brought the ceremony to a close with enthusiastic patriotism. The Veterans’ Memorial Association is always happy to welcome new members to the fold. They meet on the third Sunday of the month, at the Blue Ridge. They are a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, and are also happy to accept donations toward the production of annual Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day ceremonies.
Wrightwood Community Services District continues to work out the kinks
By Vicky Rinek
Wrightwood Community Services District (WCSD) held a public meeting Tuesday, November 7, 2017, to a packed crowd at the Wrightwood Community Building. All board members were in attendance, including Wes Zuber, Leo Hordyk, Michelle Schneider, Chuck Franklin and Natalie Lopiccolo. The meeting ran more than 4 hours with many citizens asking questions on topics ranging from the locking of the public restrooms at night, new community sign, a bench dedicated for neighborhood cat, parks and recreation use, solid waste and dump cards, General Manager’s contract, One Town activities offered to WCSD, and a broken step and light bulbs out, and the election schedule for WCSD. San Bernardino Sheriff reported that in October Wrightwood had 136 calls, 14 reports taken, 1 arrest, 10 burglary alarms, and 8 well-being checks. In West Cajon Valley there were 20 service calls, and 1 report taken for a search and rescue. Ben Smith, representing the Wrightwood Chamber, mentioned that the Chamber is having a membership drive. Increasing their membership would help them receive a grant in the amount of $20,000 to promote the Village. If they receive 101 members the grant increases to $40,000, used for advertising. Leslie Mihalko commented on the problems when the public restrooms are not available during an evening event. GM Al Morressitte answered her saying that he will be attending the 11/14 meeting to discuss their requests. Citizen Ron Parody expressed concerns over the new dump card procedures when dumping at CR&R transfer lot and complained that the new procedure is taking to long. WCSD President Wes Zuber stated that for years CR&R was not following procedures and that they need to correct this so that WCSD would have an accurate accounting. Another citizen was questioning why she could not use a neighbor’s dump card even if she is taking her neighbor’s pine needles to the transfer lot. Zuber again emphasized that the rules CR&R was given years ago were not followed, and that the rules were established to eliminate abuse by contractors and the like. WCSD, is working on the budget for 2017/18 and Wes stated that the actual CR&R costs are $168,000 verses what LaFCo projected at $112,000. Zuber stated that is WCSD had more green waste (pine needle programs) collection that cost would be reduced. Wes said, “If we have 3 or 4 more events people wouldn’t have to go to the dump and that benefits the WCSD because we don’t get charges for the dump at CR&R.” Wes continued, “Al and I am working with John Aziz and trying to twist his arm for about eight of these things. There isn’t anything official on these.” Board member Chuck Franklin commented, “The facility (Community Building) will need some work, and LaFCo did not address these expenses, and in the transfer over we don’t know specifically what to expect. Until we get a handle on it and with the $120,000 $80,000 or $40,000 we will get from the SB County we have to be fiscally responsible. We already have $47,000 deferred.” There was a long discussion on the general manager’s contract. Franklin was concerned with the wording on the compensation and hourly rates and wanted a clarification on the pay and hours scheduled for the general manager. No action was taken by the board to approve the general manager’s contract until next board meeting. Attorney Steve Kennedy reported on the WCSD election cycle; the new law on the election schedule will come into effect January 1, 2018 in that the WCSD will be switching to an even-year election to coincide with the statewide election schedule. The next election for the WSCD will be in November 2020, which extends their seats an additional year, when three seats will be up for election. New elected officers will be sworn in the second Tuesday in December. Why is this important? Kennedy said, “It is to increase voters participation and reduce cost, rather than holding a special election where the cost is higher and the voter participation is lower.” Franklin’s seat was a four year seat, however since he was appointed, his seat will come up for early voting. Kennedy will be preparing the resolution specifying the change for a motion for the board at the next meeting for the Board’s consideration. Zuber commented on the dump card fees; Zuber said, “We’re still dealing with this, County agreed to defer their bill until January.” The fees from the County for the July, August, Sept come up to $25,000 and the credits for WCSD are $12,000, based on my calculation, is what they owe us based upon the rules. I’ll have to negotiate that.” Zuber continued, “On the dump cards I am fixing errors on the addresses and maintaining the data base. We were getting 5 a day and now it’s down to 1 a week.” One Town controls three programs, Music in the Pines, Walking School Bus, and the Community Garden. Michelle Schneider said, “We are looking at each program individually.” The board came to the agreement that Music in the Pines could be held off for further review. Schneider said, “We will be talking with Claudia Campbell on the operations of the Music in the Pines and I’ll be able to report on that program at the next meeting.” Morrissette reported, “The insurance for Music in the Pines would increase the WCSD insurance by $50 a year.” The Walking School Bus program would not be taken over by the WCSD. The Community Garden will be considered in as much as Morrissette reviewed the operation with the WSCD insurance carrier and there appears to be no additional insurance cost to manage the operation. The operation would remain under the control of volunteers and fees collected by the plot assignments will cover the water bills. Equipment and supplies will remain the expense the plot assignees. Natalie Lopiccolo reported a few months back that someone came in overnight and stole all the agra bonns (sun-shade and hoops) from the garden. The garden gate is now locked. She also mentioned, “The agra bonns were replaced by each individual at their own expence. Because the program works so well, Schneider said, “Our recommendation is “Yes,” for the Community Garden.” Zuber is concerned with Al working an additional 100 hours, it has to work independently.” Lopiccolo, “I usually spend 10 hours a year on paper work and at the close 1-2 hours. It’s very easy.” Schneider said, “This could be covered by a volunteer.” Schneider continued, “We also discussed increasing the annual fees from $10 to $20 for many months of sunshine and water.” One Town paid the water bill and they would continue to pay for three years ($25,000). WCSD would have to take over the bills after that. General Manager’s report: Al Morrissette reported that the maintenance staff, (Shane) will be leaving the WCSD, taking a full time position with the SB Co, Al Morrissette will be publishing a position for hire in the coming weeks. Morrissette reported that C. Ford Plumbing has been working on the plumbing at a very good rate and has deferred billing the WCSD. The next public meeting will be held at the Wrightwood Community Building on December 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Wrightwood Winter Traffic Meeting
On November 8th, Wrightwood CSD hosted the 12th Annual Wrightwood Winter Traffic Meeting. Representatives from County Fire, CHP, Forest Service, Sheriff, Mountain High, Wrightwood Fire Safe Council, and the County Supervisor’s office among others, meet each year to review operations during snow and heavy traffic events in the community. Agencies discuss what methods have worked in the past, and to best handle the traffic and snowplay during the coming winter. Following the meeting, the San Bernardino County Sheriff issued the following:
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT SB County Sheriff Winter weather is fast approaching in Wrightwood and we want you to be safe As winter weather conditions approach the beautiful mountain community of Wrightwood, we would like to remind everyone to drive slower and be aware of your surroundings, including other drivers and pedestrians on the roadway. Although the posted speed limit may be 45-mph, that does not mean that 45mph is a safe speed during inclement weather conditions. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for ensuring the neighborhood streets of Wrightwood remain congestion free. Our deputies will issue citations for moving violations and parking violations as well as towing vehicles blocking driveways and roadways when warranted. Wrightwood residents and others are encouraged to call Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 956-5001 to report vehicles illegally blocking roadways and/or driveways. Due to the increased number of people visiting and recreating in Wrightwood during the snow season, law enforcement officials are forced to take a hard stance when it comes to traffic violations and ensuring pedestrian safety. Please remember the following: • Drive slowly and safely. • Use your headlights. • Make sure that your vehicle is in good repair and functioning properly. • Make sure that your tires are in good condition to include proper air pressure. • Carry emergency supplies, including: food, water, blankets, medication and a cell phone. • Keep windshield and windows clear • If you are required to put chains on, look for a legal turnout or find a safe area to pull over to the right side of the road out of the flow of traffic. DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADWAY TO PUT CHAINS ON. • Do not park on or engage in snow play on private property without permission of the property owner. • Do not park in an area which impedes the flow of traffic. • Do not park blocking the access to any residence or business. Road Conditions Definitions: R1: vehicles with snow tires or chains ok R2: snow chains required for 2wd vehicles; 4wd with snow tires ok. Per vehicle code section 27460, you must still carry chains even with a 4wd and may have to pass an inspection at a checkpoint. R3: all vehicles snow chains required; no exceptions. Please refer to the following sources for weather updates: Website: Wrightwoodcalifornia.com Cal-Trans road information line: 800-427-7623 (ROAD) 24hrs/ 7 days a week. http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/mtnhwys.htm (909) 866-ROAD (909) 866-SNOW East West Bank Announces Agreement to Sell Desert Community Bank Branches to Flagstar Bank, FSB November 13, 2017 PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--East West Bancorp, Inc. (“East West” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: EWBC), parent company of East West Bank, today announced that East West Bank has entered into a purchase and assumption agreement to sell its Desert Community Bank (“DCB”) branches and related assets and liabilities to Flagstar Bank, a subsidiary bank of Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. (“Flagstar”) (NYSE: FBC). Desert Community Bank consists of eight branches located in the High Desert area of California, and has been operating as a separate division of East West Bank for ten years. The purchase and assumption agreement includes all eight branches, approximately $70 million in loans and $600 million in deposits. Following the sale, DCB will retain its name and continue to operate as Desert Community Bank, a division of Flagstar Bank. Dominic Ng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of East West, stated, “East West is proud to have served the communities in the High Desert area for a decade. Although we are exiting branch banking in this region of California, it was important for us to find a buyer that was committed to retaining the Desert Community Bank name and banking team, and shared our values in providing an outstanding customer experience. With our choice of Flagstar, we believe we found a dedicated partner to support Desert Community Bank’s integral role in the High Desert communities. I am confident that our customers will be well-served by the team at Flagstar.” The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Power outage leaves Wrightwood dark for 11 hours Staff report
On Friday, November 10, residents of Wrightwood lost electricity at approximately 2:10 a.m. The outage was reported from the east as far as the Desert Front Road area and to the west as far as the camps beyond Big Pines. Edison sent automated emails and text messages throughout the morning, updating customers on the estimated time for repairs. That time varied, with additional notification. According to a post on the wightwoodcalif.com forum, SCE crews were working the apparent source of the problem, an underground cable, on Sheep Creek in Phelan, in front of the high school football field between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. A few residents on the west side of town had electricity by 8 a.m., when Edison switched a power feed and brought it in from Palmdale. Power was restored to the rest of the customers by 1:10 p.m.
News from Noveber 9, 2017 issue
Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District received a clean audit
Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District held the monthly meeting at their Community Center on Wednesday November 1, 2017. The meeting was attended by the complete board: Cathy Pace – President, Mark Roberts – Vice President, Alex Brandon – Director, Al Morrissette – Director, Dan Whalen – Director, as well as Don Bartz – General Manager, Kim Ward – HR Manager, and Lori Lowrance – Administrative Service Manager and attorney Steve Kennedy. A Representative from the San Bernardino County Sheriff office reported the activity for October. In Phelan 940 calls taken, 75 reports were made, and 20 arrests were made. In Pinon Hills 273 calls taken, 27 reports were made, and 5 arrests were made. The Fire Chief reported that they responded to 55 medical emergences, 24 traffic incidents, 4 structure fires, 1 vehicle fire and 1 investigation. Chris Brown from the accounting firm Fedak & Brown LLP presented their final draft audit to the Board for discussion and acceptance. PPHCSD went through an extensive audit as part of their comprehensive annual financial review by an independent certified public account firm. Presented at the recent public board meeting, Fedak & Brown LLP audit included the financial statements of the Phelan Pinon Hills CSD for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017. The audit covers the basic financial statements prepared by the PPHCSD management, and verifies that is free of material misstatement. The audit report showed no weaknesses found in the material, and no difficulties or disagreements. The accountant indicated that the PPHCSD accounting of financial reports is transparent and clean. The Board accepted the audit without further discussion. The final audit and financial report may be viewed in person at the PPHCSD office, 4128 Warbler Rd., Phelan or downloaded at the PPHCSD website. The Board went through the additional items on the agenda but did not make any final decisions and adjourned the meeting at 7:35 p.m. The next scheduled Board meeting is set for Wednesday, November 21, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Phelan Community Center, 4128 Warbler Rd., Phelan.
Dump cards and the transfer station explained By Terri Hill
Al Morrissette and Wes Zuber sat down with me recently, to explain how the dump cards, transfer station, and your taxes are connected. Wes is the President of the Wrightwood Community Services District (WCSD), and Al is the WCSD General Manager, and a member of the Phelan Pinon CSD Board of Directors, and was instrumental in its formation. “Dump” is actually a misnomer. The county site on Phelan Road, where we take truckloads of yard waste and old mattresses, is actually a transfer station, not a landfill. CR&R contracts with Waste Management Company, and they transport the solid waste from the CR&R station to the county landfill in Victorville. Recycling is also transferred to that location. Property owners in the Tri-Community have weekly access to the transfer station via a punch card. In San Bernardino County, the punch card, or dump card, is paid for by the property owner’s taxes. Approximately $87 from a property’s taxes, per year, pays for those 52 trips to the CR&R facility, and the landfill fees, and transportation costs associated with that service. Residents of unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County are not required to enlist curbside garbage pick-up service. If they want the convenience of a weekly trash pick-up, they can pay CR&R to pick it up, and transport it to the transfer station in Pinon Hills (generally thought to be in Phelan). Only the actual transport to CR&R’s facility is covered by the customer’s payment. It does not cover the fees for those loads at the landfill; landfill fees come out of the solid waste taxes paid by property owners. Now that the WCSD has taken over responsibility for solid waste disposal in Wrightwood, questions have been raised, especially by residents of the L.A. County section of town, about how the new dump cards work. New cards were sent out to Wrightwood residents, in both counties, and became effective October 1st. Because the county supplied the addresses of recipients according to zip code, some residents of the Desert Front Road area (PPHCSD customers) were mistakenly sent the new cards. Wes explained, “Desert Front residents who received the new card by mistake, must speak to the County, to reactivate their original cards. We’re sorry for the confusion, but we don’t have control over the County’s procedures.” Wes has, as a courtesy, been sending parcel numbers to the county, when the issue arises, hoping to help fix the problem. Residents within the WCSD can call (760) 249-3205 with questions or problems concerning their new cards. “We print them right here in the office,” Al said, “so we can respond quickly and get a card to them.” WCSD will now receive the $87 per property, for dump access, from SB County. Those funds basically pay the landfill fees. Unused punches in the cards translate to revenue for the district. Though the 100 homes in the L.A. County area of Wrightwood could not get SB County dump cards, CR&R has been, “Eating the cost of dump fees for years,” Wes said. “Brent’s (Spears, CR&R General Manager in Pinon Hills) business has been picking up the tab for the landfill fees associated with curbside pick-up for L.A. County residents.” Wes, Al, and the WCSD, convinced L.A. County tax officials to forward the same $87 from the L.A. County properties’ taxes, to the WCSD, so those residents now receive dump cards too. This is not a new tax, just redistribution of a current tax from L.A. County to WCSD. In transferring the solid waste responsibility from the County to the WCSD, Wes and Al observed that the County employees at the transfer station rarely enforced the rules for use of the dump cards, which resulted in loss of fees to the County. In order to avoid the same losses, the WCSD, in contracting with the County, specified that each load must be weighed and that the rules on the card must be enforced. Only regular household waste is covered by use of your dump card, and construction waste is forbidden. As Wes pointed out, the rules have always been printed on the card, and on the accompanying letter. In order to avoid major financial losses to the WCSD, customers will now be held accountable to the guidelines.Receive the complete newspaper with your susbcription
Chamber membership could drive in big bucks
By Vicky Rinek There is an opportunity for each of the three Chamber of Commerce organizations in the Tri-Community to receive funds to promote their communities. San Bernardino County will grant each Chamber in the unincorporated area much needed cash, if they can increase their membership. Phelan Chamber President Charlie Johnson explained the details simply. “If the Chamber has membership from 1 to 50 the Chamber receives $1,000. With membership of 51- to 100 the Chamber receives $20,000. And with membership of 101 to 150, the Chamber could receive $40,000, etc.” The funds could reach $175,000 max. It’s easy to see that a chamber would do its best to find additional members to sign up before the deadline. To be eligible they need to show membership on their books by November 15 and submit a plan for the funds to the County by November 17, 2017. As of November 7, 2017 the Phelan Chamber has 89 members. Wrightwood’s membership is at 51. And Pinon Hills has more than 50 members. Business and individual members must be in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. There are stipulations tied to this money. The funds have to be use to promote the community. This can be used toward marketing/advertising. The Chamber may us the funds in many ways. Media in print, internet, radio, and TV for economic growth, promotions and events. Even small items like a poster or a banner can be covered under this program. The funds can’t be used for operating expenses such as rent, utilities or payroll. Wrightwood is in the process of creating a community map with sponsor businesses, activities and opportunity for visitors, which would fall under a marketing item. These funds can be used to promote events us as the Mountaineer Days, Phelan Phun Days and Pinon Hills Summer Solstice festival. Phelan is looking into fixing the waterfall with their electric marquee, as this is a marketing tool. The goal for all Chambers is to obtain as many members before the cut-off date. Businesses are an obvious source for membership, but individuals can become members too (you don’t have to be a business owner) The three Chamber of Commerce organizations in the Tri-Community have always struggled to maintain funds for the operations. In the past the County would dish out small amounts to each organization for promoting their area’s businesses and events, but these funds dried up years ago. Now each chamber has to come up with their own fundraising efforts through membership drives and events. In recent years each Chamber has been forced to downsize their office or reduced to a virtual office (online operations only). Membership for individuals is very reasonable. Phelan is collecting $20 for individuals for the end of the year, Wrightwood is collecting $60 for membership through 2018 and Pinon Hills is charging new members $20 for membership through 2018. The Chambers can be reached at: Wrightwood 760.249-4320, Pinon Hills 760.868.3291 and Phelan 760.868.3291. Canine Companions for Independence® visits the Timberline Lions Club
A guest speaker at the Timberline Lions Club made a presentation on companion dog training. The hosting Lion member came with a Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retriever pup in training. and spoke to the members about the basic obedience training received during a 14 -18 month period. The volunteers have the privilege of hosting the dogs in their homes as pup raisers. The volunteers attend approved obedience classes, provide financially for the puppy’s food, medical and transportation expenses, provide a kennel or crate for sleeping indoors, give age-appropriate socialization in the public and medical facilities and give 24/7 supervision of the young puppy. And of course, they agree to return the puppy upon request. There after, the pups are returned to the hands of Professional Canine Companions instructors. They train dogs to master more than 40 commands in six to nine months. Canine Companions assistance dogs are highly trained to perform a limited set of practical tasks geared toward assisting individuals with physical disabilities to lead more independent lives. After training is successfully completed, the dogs can go through Team Training and are matched with adults, children or veterans with a disabilities, or professionals assisting clients with special needs. Team Training culminates in a joyful graduation ceremony for graduates beginning a new journey, and for puppy raisers witnessing their puppies’ achievements. Canine Companions for Independence® has been providing assistance dogs to people with disabilities since 1975. The dogs are trained in four assistance disciplines. Service dogs assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks. • Hearing dogs alert their partners, who are deaf or hard of hearing, to important sounds. • Facility dogs work with clients with special needs in a visitation, education, criminal justice or health care setting. • Skilled companions enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. There are no fees for the person receiving an assistance dog. Canine Companions assistance dogs and all follow-up services are provided free of charge to the recipient. Students are responsible for their transportation to and from the regional training center, their meals during Team Training and, depending on the training center in your regional area, the cost of staying in a hotel.
They provide assistance dogs to people with PTSD. Canine Companions has been selected to take part in a study, in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs, on the effectiveness of service dogs for individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Department of Veterans Affairs is exclusively overseeing the selection of participants for this study. Assistance dogs’ duties include: Retrieve and deliver dropped items Tug to open a door or drawer Pull a laundry basket, or help with a sock or jacket Push with their nose to shut a drawer Open a door with an automatic push plate Pull a lightweight manual wheelchair over a short distance Turn lights on and off Hearing dogs have a different skill set, primarily involving alerting and orienting recipients to sounds Some questions asked by the Lions were: Q. How old do you need to be to receive an assistance dog? A. Individuals applying for an assistance dog must be at least 18 years old with an established, stable home life. We find those 25 years of age and up typically are most suitable for an assistance dog. Children must be at least 5 years old to be considered for a skilled companion. Q. What are the criteria for a dog to graduate? A. It takes an exceptional dog to graduate as an assistance dog, and not every dog is suitable. All dogs must be highly proficient in the trained skills and tasks. In addition, Canine Companions dogs receive rigorous medical and temperamental screening to ensure that every dog that graduates will be healthy, happy and appropriate in their role. Q. How old are the dogs when they are matched? A. Approximately two years old. Q. What is the matching process? Once a dog has completed professional training, and a candidate has reached the top of the wait list, they are brought together for a two-week group class known as “Team Training.” During Team Training, students learn to manage the assistance dog’s behavior, to direct the dog to respond to commands it has learned, and to assume responsibility for maintaining the health and well being of the dog. Q. Who is eligible to apply for a Canine Companions assistance dog? A. People with physical or developmental disabilities, adults who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as professionals working in health care, visitation, educational or criminal justice settings who can demonstrate that an assistance dog will enhance their independence or their quality of life are qualified to apply. Q. Are there tasks Canine Companions assistance dogs are NOT trained to do? Canine Companions dogs are NOT trained to do the following: • Guide work for the blind • Seizure or diabetic alert/response • Mobility assistance, including balance work • Recognize and/or manage undesirable human behavior or provide supervision, navigation, or safety from environmental hazards • Respond aggressively or provide personal protection • Assist with the management of mental illness as a primary condition Q. What is the cost to raise and educate a Canine Companion assistance dogs? A. The average cost to train, raise and care for a Canine Companion Assistance dog is around $75,000. Q. What happens to a dog that fails its final exam and will not be a graduate to the Canine Companion Assistance dog program? A. Some dogs do not work out for the programs for various reasons. If the Canine Companion group has such a dog they will offer the dog up for adoption, first to its trainer, then to others (on a waiting list), for a donation of $500. If you are interested in participating in the Canine Companion program or would like to apply for an assistance dog, visit their website at www.cci.org.
News from November 2, 2017 Snowline CTE Preparing students today for meaningful careers tomorrow
By Donna Alvarez
During community comments at the school board meeting Tuesday, questions arose about the educational system, at Serrano High School (SHS) and nationally, which teaches students to focus their classes toward college, and not toward trade and technical careers. Too many college graduates receive degrees and then are only able to work at low paying jobs. “Some students can’t afford college, don’t want to go to college, or prefer a trade of some sort,” commented one parent. Addressing this statement, eleventh and twelfth grade students from SHS presented a program to the board, explaining the DECA affiliation, and its support of the SHS career pathways. “DECA (also known as Collegiate DECA on the college level, and previously known as Delta Epsilon Chi and Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an international association of high school and college students and teachers of marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. The organization prepares leaders and entrepreneurs for careers and education in marketing, finance, hospitality, management, and other business areas,” (Wikipedia). Through this program, students are prepared for high quality Career Technical Education (CTE). According to the students’ presentation, career pathways supported by DECA at SHS are: Construction; Ag Mechanics; Agriscience; Marketing; Child Development; Design, Visual, and Media Arts; Emergency Response; Food Services and Hospitality; Games and Simulations; Cabinetmaking, Millwork, and Woodworking; Patient Care; Software and Systems Development; and Engineering Design. Serrano Principal Dan Andrus offered, “Some students don’t have the literacy in math and other academics (to fully perform in these careers).” He added, some students don’t see the relevance of the more academic courses. The DECA program crosses that bridge. Andrus, along with Chad Brooks, Administrator of Non-traditional Schools, and Matt Wells, Administrator of Career and Adult Education, continued the presentation regarding the importance of DECA and its link to Career Technical Education (CTE). They stated that Snowline Joint Unified School District boasts of 15 career pathways, the largest number in the high desert. The purpose of these career pathways working with DECA is to help students, after they graduate from SHS, walk into marketable jobs so that they can have real, family-wage ($15-$20 per hour), sustainable careers. During the community comments, concerns were brought to the board regarding bullying and racial profiling at SHS. This most often occurs in the restrooms. The board was asked to be proactive on these issues. Another concern was the political opinions and views voiced by teachers in the classroom. It was stated that this evokes hate speech, verbal attacks, etc., by the students. During board member comments high praise was given to all those who organized and presented the “Veterans’ Event Week.” This event has expanded from one day to a weeklong event acknowledging our veterans. Praises, also, went to those who organized Phelan Phun Days. Students from SJUSD had awesome presentations in the parade, and on stage.Veterans to be honored at annual Wrightwood Veterans Day Ceremony
On November 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. the bells will chime in honor of all Military Veterans who have defended the United States through time and for the ninth year, as the community of Wrightwood come together to pay special tribute to their local Veterans in a ceremony at the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial. “We call out to our local Veterans to make it a point to join their comrades on 11-11,” stated this year’s coordinator Michele Kraenkel, “We have a ceremony that is personalized to pay our respects for all that they contributed, during peace and war.” Highlights of this year’s event will be the Wrightwood Singers pre-show musical presentation and the Serrano High School Marching Band, The Rattlesnake Regiment, under the direction of Matthew Fell, performing patriotic music during the ceremony. The very popular Wrightwood School Singers “pre-music” event will be led by Mrs. Kim Scott, with the students singing their tributes to America. Local quilters group, Quilts of Valor will make a special presentation to five local Veterans. The group presents personalized quilts to Veterans to honor their service. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will help out with the hour-long ceremony on Evergreen Road in the Village Center, with a Color Guard presentation and the traditional laying of the wreath to conclude the ceremony. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m., but you will want to have taken your seat by 10:45 a.m. as the priceless Wrightwood School Singers perform before the event. Armistice Day, the conclusion of the “War to End all Wars,” World War I, came on November 11 at 11 a.m. This year and for years to come, the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial Association members will honor that time with a ringing of eleven bells. While world peace didn’t occur from that day in 1918, brave Americans have continued to serve and defend our nation and keep us free during hot and cold wars. Join us as we honor all Veterans of all services.
Youths with Diabetes can experience Camping in safe environment By Vicky Rinek
The Lions Club hosted their hosted their first diabetes camp for children at the beautiful Teresita Pines Camp facility in Wrightwood. The weekend camp was the first Lions camp organized for children between the ages of ten through thirteen who have type-1 diabetes and are insulin dependent, and type-2 diabetes. Lion Lidia Petrov-Jones founded the camp. The Jurupa Lions Club received a grant to cover the cost for each camper. An accompanying parent pays $120 for the weekend. In as much as this was the first diabetes camp, the volunteers had a lot to learn. This was also the first Diabetes camp held in a Lions Camp in California. The camp ran smoothly and the campers had wonderful experiences. Camp is one of the best experiences for a child with diabetes. It is a place to learn self-confidence, to be with other kids with diabetes, and to simply have a great time. It’s also an excellent opportunity for Moms and Dads to get some support and empathy. An Endocrinology Medical Doctor, medical team of nurses, and dietitians joined the camp staff during Diabetes Camp. Campers were monitored throughout the session in this process. Additionally, the medical staff instructed educational classes each day in order to help campers learn about their unique medical needs. Camp for Children with Diabetes is a friendly place: In addition to diabetes education, the kids enjoy classic camp experiences. Campers participate in many exiting activities; archery, arts & crafts, climbing wall, campfires, volleyball, hiking, Gaga pit, and more. The activities serve may purposes. Some activities were new experiences, opening up new possibilities and interests. Other activities were challenging to the campers, helping them to overcome fear or failure, to encourage them with the message that they can handle whatever challenge lies before them. People with diabetes are at risk of losing sight due to diabetes eye disease. It is the leading cause of new-onset blindness in many countries. All people with diabetes – both type 1 and type 2 are at risk: it can lead to other possible complications, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, leg amputation, and nerve damage. In pregnancy, poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of death and other complications. Teresita Pines is set in the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, just outside of Wrightwood. The 90 + acre site was built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corp and operated by the Catholic Daughters of America until 1995. The camp was purchased by the Lions and renamed Teresita Pines Wilderness Camp. They have renovated cabins and dining halls to ensure the comfort and safety of the campers. The camp is ADA approved with pathways that are wheelchair accessible and indicators to assist the blind and vision impaired. Throughout the year Lions and non-Lions sponsored Special Camps are held for children with disabilities. These special camps have hosted children with hearing impairments, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. Special Camp sessions are organized and staffed by the sponsoring organization. The next Diabetes camp is scheduled in the spring and is open, free of charge, to children with diabetes. Find information and application at http://www.lionsdiabetescamp.org. You may also sponsor a child for $115. Contact Lion Lidia at 909-489-8024, or Lion Carolina at 760-220-6161. They will be happy to help you and your child.Transition Habitat Conservancy Garden Party By Michael Palecki
Last Saturday afternoon, Pinon Hills based Transition Habitat Conservancy (THC) held their annual Garden Party at the home of President Jill and Director Bertrand Bays, located in the middle of the 350 acre Puma Canyon Ecological Reserve. It was there, 12 years ago, that founding members set their vision on what would eventually be a 1,000- acre land trust nestled in the transition zone between the Mojave Desert and the San Gabriel Mountains. Once again this year, the Garden Party was a reunion of THC supporters with many disclosures of accomplishments realized this year. As guests, surrounded by native plants and vegetation, enjoyed a catered luncheon with sumptuous desserts, the big news from President Jill Bays and Secretary Carol Hill was that THC was accredited by the Land Trust Alliance in August for adopting land trust guidelines of responsible and ethical operation. While Hill recounted learning step-by-step the best land trust standards and practices in training with fellow founding member Roberta Dewey, Bays commended the due diligence of Hill for the successful accreditation. Out of 1,363 land trusts in the United States, only 399 have been accredited. Later this week, Bays will travel to Colorado for the Land Trust Alliance National Conference, where she will address the group as its newest member. After that announcement, Bays introduced her father- attorney and former board member Bob Plank- who initially filed all the applications for THC to become a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. Later, THC Director Gina Charpentier updated guests on the creation of a Monarch butterfly Waystation at the Roberta Dewey Learning Center (RDLC). After germinating milkweed seeds and planting the seedlings at the RDLC, 45 caterpillars transitioned into chrysalis, which hatched into Monarch butterflies with a 99 percent survival rate. On display in net enclosures were chrysalises that were developing, and surprisingly enough a butterfly that had just hatched drying its wings in the sunlight. After her presentation, Charpentier gave Jill Bays a necklace with a green and gold glass replica of a chrysalis. On a day filled with so much exciting activity, there was also music in the background performed by Roby Duron playing an Ovation acoustic/electric guitar and singing a selection of songs by Tom Petty, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Bob Dylan from his recent concert at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center. Jill bays presented a certificate of appreciation to Mike Randell for his participation in last week’s Phelan Parade representing Sierra Nevada Packers. Two years ago, Randell rescued a one-week-old orphaned desert burro he named Lojack, which was the center of attention in a pipe corral for petting and photos. Additionally, there were photographic images on gift cards, canvas, and metal, for viewing and purchase, of wildlife at the THC Portal Ridge Wilderness Preserve. Photographers Dan Potter, Johanna Turner, and Roy Dunn used a stationary camera equipped with motion sensors and flash. Epitomizing the mission of Transition Habitat Conservancy, the photographs of a wide array of wildlife were testimonials to land stewards also being the guardians of wildlife. For additional information on the preeminent California land trust, go to www.transitionhabitat.org.Children’s advocate speaks at Kiwanis meeting
By Terri Hill
Brenda Sutherland addressed last week’s meeting of the Kiwanis of the Tri-Community. Sutherland is the High Desert Community Outreach Coordinator for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates. CASA volunteers are assigned by the court, to advocate for juveniles in the foster care system. A Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers who, in the courtroom, could speak up for the best interests of abused and neglected children. A network of nearly 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem programs now recruit, train and support volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Sutherland reported startling statistics about children in foster care, in the county and in the High Desert. In San Bernardino County, more than 4,700 children and youth live in foster care. In 2015, the county received 32,000 referrals for at-risk youths. Twenty-five percent of those calls originated in the High Desert. While not all of these referrals resulted in children being removed from the home, Sutherland points out, it does reflect how many children are in need of help, safety, and/or guidance. CASA volunteers do not need previous education or special skills. Once accepted into the program, volunteers receive all necessary training in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused and neglected children. From CASA’s website: The following is a list of the basic requirements for CASA volunteers: Be 21 years old; Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview; Complete a minimum of 30 hours of pre-service training; Be available for court appearances, with advance notice; Be willing to commit to the CASA program until your first case is closed CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court and other settings. The primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteer are to: • Gather information: Review documents and records, interview the children, family members and professionals in their lives. • Document findings: Provide written reports at court hearings. • Appear in court: Advocate for the child’s best interests and provide testimony when necessary. • Explain what is going on: Help the child understand the court proceedings. • “Be the glue”: Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the children’s lives. As one volunteer said: Be the glue that connects the pieces in a complicated child welfare system. • Recommend services: Ensure that the children and their family are receiving appropriate services and advocate for those that are not immediately available. Bring concerns about the child’s health, education, mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals. •Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that plans are being followed and mandated review hearings are being held. • Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members. Ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so the court knows about any changes in the child’s situation. Visit www.casaofsb.org or call (760) 242-5333 for more information about becoming a CASA volunteer.
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961