This year is the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, the federal law which designated the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) as one of the first two national scenic trails. (The Appalachian Trail was the other.) The 2,650ish-mile trail stretches from Campo, CA, just north of the US/Mexican border, to Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia at the US/Canadian border. The exact distance of the trail cannot be determined as it continually changes due to detours and reroutes caused by endangered species, land-acquisitions, trail repair and construction, weather, wildfires, and more. The PCT crosses 26 National Forests, 7 National Parks, 5 State Parks, 4 National Monuments, and right above Wrightwood!
While Wrightwood - and especially Mountain Hardware and the post office - have always had a history of supporting “thru-hikers” (those passing through on their way from border to border; and, yes, that’s the official spelling), its trail reputation of being a friendly and supportive town has exploded due to digital communication. PCT maps and guidebooks have been supplemented or replaced with websites, blogs, emails, YouTube videos, and podcasts. Information along the trail is being shared constantly and instantaneously - if there’s a cell tower nearby, and one common recommendation is to make at stop at our officially-designated trail town.
The most popular access is via Inspiration Point. Hikers come off the PCT hoping to catch a ride down to town with plans of hitchhiking back up when it’s time to continue their trek. This allows them to stay true to the trail without the pain of descending and ascending the steep Acorn Trail. If you’ve seen a truck with a cab stuffed with hikers and a bed piled with backpacks coming into town, or a car picking up hitchhikers in front of Jensen’s on Hwy. 2, you know the locals are making those plans come true. In fact, transportation is just one form of assistance and support the Tri-Community provides.
Upon reaching town, most hikers make a beeline for the official PCT Register and the Trail & Town Information folder located at the hardware store. Carolyn Therrio, the local register monitor, reports that the trekkers not only enjoy memorializing reaching Wrightwood, but also use the book to help establish the whereabouts and progress of other hikers they’ve met along the way.
Realizing that not all thru-hikers make the detour into Wrightwood, the register cannot be used for determining exact numbers, but is helpful in indicating trends. The major trend is growth: In 2013, 296 signed the register; in 2014 - 523; 2015 - 769; 2016 - 1,444; and 2017 - 1,611. Scanning the book is also a fun way to practice your geographical skills. Last year hikers from 48 states, Washington, D.C., and 38 other countries added their John, or Jane, Hancock to the list.
Supplementing the digital information sources listed above and the omnipresent FaceBook, the hardware store’s Trail & Information folder contains helpful information specific to Wrightwood. Services listed include lodging, restaurants, wifi locations, mail drops, resupply stores, offers of transportation, and the water report for the trail ahead. However, the true “golden” page is the list of host families, those offering a place to sleep, shower, maybe do laundry and have a meal. After taking a picture of the page, hikers start calling for lodging and checking for any other offerings - there’s already been at least one spur of the moment spaghetti fest, and there’s Mexico Lindo’s Tuesday night 5-cent special - that might be scheduled.
Be it for a few hours or a Zero-day (a day where no hiking on the trail is done) or two, hikers will move about town picking up packages, buying supplies, and enjoying creature comforts. In case the lines have not been indicative enough, both the post office and Mountain Hardware are listed as PCT package pickups, with hikers and their families using them for sending equipment and treats for the weary. Seeking a good meal and a cool drink, the trekkers visit our food and drink establishments along with the market and bakery, and then, if spending the night, find four walls and a roof.
Eventually, it’s time to stand on Hwy. 2, stick out their thumbs, and be on their way. They’ll find jugs of water left at Grassy Hollow and “groomed” trails leading north, two more examples of local support. The locals that hosted and supported the trekkers will have memories, and maybe even continued friendships, with the thru-hikers who shared their stories. If you haven’t had a chance to interact with PCT trekkers, don’t worry: In an effort to spread the hikers out and mitigate wear on the trail and environment damage, a quota system exists which has allowed only 50 thru-hikers starting the PCT daily. More are on their way, and surely some will be swinging by Wrightwood.
Serrano students awarded $287500 in scholarships and military education aid
Photos and story by Terri Hill
On May 16, Tri-Community schools, merchants, service clubs, churches, individuals, and businesses celebrated Serrano 2018 graduates who have excelled in community service, academics, and/or sports. Sixty-five seniors were awarded for their achievements with scholarships totaling more than $43,000 along with and military scholarships, education assistance, and cash bonuses of $244,400.
During the Senior Awards ceremony, held at the Serrano Performing Arts Center, the following students were recognized for outstanding achievement and humanitarianism.
Kassidy Gleason - Adelanto Chamber of Commerce, $2000; Andrew Canchola - AQMD Environment, $500; Mariana Espinoza Lugo - AQMD Environment, $500; Baldy Mesa Roadrunner: Ryan Black - $500, Sabrina Yeom - $250, Hadley Conrad - $250, Carmen Canchola - $250, Jacob Kershner - $250, Gissel Soto - $250, Ty Rogoff - $250, Austin Malone - $250; Sabrina Yeom - California Scholarship Federation, $250; Katey O’Neill - California Scholarship Federation, $250; California School Employees Association: Ryan Black - $1,250, Jacob Laycock - $750, Sierra Alfonso - $500; Alyssa Edwards - Alyssa Edwards - CSEA of Hesperia #684, $350; Bayley Doyle - Cash for College John Orta, $1,000; Britany Woods – Evergreen Lutheran Church, $1,000; Fivacious, Inc. Schlolarship: Joshua Beed - $125, Katey O’Neill - $125, Jonathan De La Cruz - $125; Future Farmers of America: Carrie Pirner - $500, Hannah Widgery - $250; Hesperia Unified School District PCC: Divya Behal - $1,000; Heperia Teachers Association: Austin Malone - $250, Heath Bou longer - $250; High Desert Community Foundation - Carmen Canchola ; MEEC Scholarship - Andrew Canchola, $2,500; Mountain High Resort - McKenzie Cornell, $300; Mountaineer Progress - Jenna Griffiths, $200; Phelan Chamber of Commerce - $500 each to Ryan Miller, Vincent Rollins, Ryan Tomlinson, Shannon Reed; Pinon Hills Chamber of Commerce: $250 each to Haily Baugh, Morgann Jensen, Melaina Ramos; Pizza Factory Scholarship: $200 each to and Amy Irwin and William Patterson; Siewert Family - $200 to Nicolas Cash; San Bernardino County Fire Fighters – Summer Barkan, $500; Beverly Schneider Memorial Scholarship - $500, Nathan Lee; School’s First Credit Union - $300 each to Sarah Cebrynski and Jordan Holman; Serrano Football Boosters - Vincent Rollins $1500, James Swegles $1000, Jacob Kershner, Scott Pasquale, and Ryan Tomlinson $750 each, Trent Birch $500, Brandon Forbes $375; Serrano Instrumental Music Association - Madison Newman $500, Armari Tolliver $500; Serrano Staff Scholarship - $450 each, Jelittza Herrera and Qing Quan Xia; Serrano Yearbook Scholarship: $250 Shoylan Montgomery; Snowline Players: $300 Jacob Laycock; Snowline Teacher’s: Hadley Conrad $200; Timberline Lions Club: $500 each to Summer Barkan, Natalie Cedillo, McKenzie Cornell, Jelittza Herrera, Kiera Hill, and Ryan Miller;
Wrightwood Elementary PTG: Jordan Holman $500; Wrightwood Property Owners: $2000 each to McKenzie Cornell, Kiera Hill, and Delaney Porterfield.
Deven Jameson - 25U- Signal Support Specialist 4 year contract, $12, 500 cash bonus and
Gavin Orton, Gannon Hubbell, Mahealani Bonilla, and Lauren Cruces
Diven Avila, and Jennifer Gulick
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.
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.
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.
Scout builds fire pit for VFW
By Sharon Fuller
Wrightwood Troop 351 Boy Scout, Jonathan Spray, is completing an Eagle Project at the Phelan Post of the VFW. He first started planning the project in the summer and was able to make it a reality on Saturday, March 25th.
The project is a large in-ground fire pit for the Phelan VFW Post 9415. Every Eagle Scout applicant has a Mentor that will help to guide the scout. Jonathan has four mentors. Mr. Pat Wood, one of Jonathan's project mentors, donated the large cement insert and crane work. Assisting Jonathon with the construction questions is Wrightwood Troop Scoutmaster Mr. Shawn Ryan. Jonathan's mentor for fire-related questions is Assistant Scoutmaster, Mr. Russell Wilcox.
As a service project for the VFW, Jonathan led fellow scouts Connor Ryan, Dylan Lesseg, Ben Sutton, and Zack Wilcox with instructions to pull weeds around the property, while he worked on the ground construction for the fire pit. Another of Jonathan's project mentors, Mr. Steve Morici brought his backhoe, which initially dug the 4-foot deep hole. Mr. Morici taught Jonathan about surveying and they were able to level everything off perfectly. A very large industrial crane was employed to place the cement insert into the ground. Troop 351 Eagle Scout Carl Wood helped with the crane. Jonathan and the boys worked together to place the large insert in the ground. The insert fit into the accurately measured hole as planned. Once the insert was in the ground, Jonathan and his fellow scouts filled in the gaps with the dirt. They left the top of the fire pit insert out of the ground, planning to go back another day and finish it with brickwork, for aesthetics.
The VFW is very happy to have this addition to their facility. They said they will be using it as a warming pit, and for cooking. On Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day, Wrightwood Troop 351 will be using it for flag retirement. Jonathan said, "I am so happy I am able to do this for the VFW. They are always so kind. I just want to give back to them, for all that they gave for our country." Jonathan hopes that when this is all complete, they will enjoy a lot of happy days with it.
Jonathan will be completing the final touches of his project soon and there will be a ribbon cutting to formally present it to the VFW Post 9415 on Memorial Day morning before the Wrightwood Boy Scout Troop Honor Guard begins their flag retirement ceremony. In the past, the troop retired flags in a barrel.
Serrano senior wins Lions Student Speaker Contest 2/16/2017: Matt McHenry, a senior at Serrano High School. McHenry won $100 as the winner of the local Lions Club Student Speaker Contest. Celebrating its 80th year, the Student Speaker Contest gives students in high school an opportunity to move up through several levels of competition, each with a larger cash scholarship prize for the winner. The student who progresses through all levels accumulates total cash prizes of $22,000. Matt McHenry is an ambitious, well-rounded student. He is the Student Director on the Snowline School District Board of Directors, and is in the Student Senate at Serrano. He initiated the Military Prep and Cadet Corps programs on campus. McHenry has applied to the academies of all four braches of the Military and received Congressional nominations for each from Congressman Paul Cook. If selected for more than one academy, Matt said, “My first choice would be the Air Force. I want to be a fighter pilot.”
Train Wreck in name only
By Terri Hill
Last weekend the Serrano Choral Department wrapped up their run of, It’s a Wonderful Train Wreck, this year’s Dinner Show. Written by Hannah Steinmann and Abigail De Arman, in collaboration with the players, the show took a page from It’s a Wonderful Life and modernized it. Then put it on a train. Everyday people, with everyday problems, find themselves stranded on a broken-down train. Through their interactions, they learn something about Christmas spirit from a train conductor, and from each other. George Bailey must go home and tell his wife that they’ve been turned down for a loan by the bank. He is convinced that there is no true Christmas magic left in the world. The Train Conductor, on the other hand, has been charged by the Station Manager with the task of helping his passengers see the holiday spirit around them. Other passengers include a young starlet, who hopes to get “the part” that will make her career, a little girl who wandered onto the train alone, for an adventure, and a traveling salesman who peddles sponges. The “Grinch” of the story is Mr. Grin, who has plenty of money, but no patience or kindness it seems. In true Hallmark fashion, Mr. Grin sees the error of his ways, and George Bailey rediscovers the magic of the season, just in time for a pair of star-crossed station employees to repair the train’s engine with…duct tape. Steinmann and De Arman were happy with the positive response to their show. The house sold out nearly all four performances. Steinmann had pitched her idea for the modernized classic tale last year. Choir director Alan Alaniz told her he liked the concept, “Now, put it on a train!” Steinmann said, “If I had to sum up producing the show, I would say it’s an insane process; it’s a train wreck, if you will. But it is wonderful, and it does come together into something we can all cherish. It’s been a wonderful experience for everyone involved, and hopefully for all those watching!” De Arman commented, “I’m grateful for the opportunity (to work on the show). Working together, in one cohesive unit let us create something beautiful, something we wouldn’t have been able to do by ourselves.” Between scenes in the play, the audience was treated to musical interludes by the choirs, and by various solos, duets, and choir numbers. Crescendo, Forte, Bedazzled, Vocal Point, and Schitzophonics sang as individual choirs, and as a combined choral spectacular. Notably, Vocal Point brought home the theme of modernizing the classics with, “Text Me a Merry Christmas,” by the group Straight No Chaser: “This holiday - you’ll be far away - and I’ll be all alone, So please remember, this December, to fully charge your phone and, Text me Merry Christmas…” The annual Dinner Show is the choral department’s most anticipated performance of the year, and with such talented musicians and vocalists, it isn’t hard to see why.
Burroughs edges out Serrano, hands D’Backs second loss of the season
Road games have proven to be rather telling of this year’s Serrano football squad. Once again in an away game, the Diamondbacks fared well for most, but not all, of the game.
In almost identical fashion to their loss earlier in the year against Quartz Hill, Serrano gave up the game, 27-24, in the fourth quarter by allowing at least two scores. Against Burroughs, the Diamondbacks held a 14-10 lead after a scoreless third quarter, but couldn’t pull away.
Austin McCullough, the senior quarterback for the Burros, threw more than 40 times against Serrano’s defense. McCullough completed 24 of those passes, throwing for more than 300 yards, and three touchdowns.
Seth Hughes, on the other hand, couldn’t find the end zone. Serrano’s usual go-to guy only threw 15 passes, for under 100 yards overall.
Serrano running back Brandon Murcio ran for 161 yards on 21 carries, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done.
Despite the loss, the Diamondbacks appear to have taken their penalty issue to heart. While still amassing more penalty yards than their opponent, this time the differential was just one yard.
Offensive conversions proved to be few and far between for Serrano in this game; Burroughs was able to get 15 first downs, while the Diamondbacks got just five of their own. Serrano ran 16 fewer plays than their opponent, and that lack of offensive opportunity showed in the final frame.
The loss puts an even bigger emphasis on the Diamondbacks’ regular season finale against Oak Hills on Nov. 4. None of the team’s star players can afford to have a bad game if Serrano wants to ensure that it doesn’t completely collapse. Oak Hills will come into the match up with just one loss in nine games played, but Serrano will be playing with more than a chip on their shoulder.
Four-legged veterans also remembered
By Terri Hill
This week, a veteran U.S. Marine was honored with a statue at Camp Pendleton. Staff Sgt. Reckless was a horse, and a hero in the Korean War, who was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds she sustained to her hindquarter and head during battle.
Reckless was purchased in 1952 by a Marine Lieutenant from a Korean boy for $250, money he needed for his sister’s medical care. The mare was needed as a pack animal, to carry ammunition to the front lines of battle for the recoilless rifle platoon she was attached to, and named for. Ohio resident Harold Wadley, who served with Reckless, attended the dedication of the statue. Wadley was quoted in the L.A. Times, “Cold winter nights, you’d find her nestled among her Marines by the oil stove.”
Reckless reportedly made 51 trips to the front lines to resupply guns, during one intense battle, and carried wounded soldiers when gurneys were in short supply. She was trained to maneuver like a Marine, to crouch under barbed wire, to lie flat or run to a bunker when under fire. Reckless was eventually retired at Pendleton, where she bore three colts. She was buried with full military honors at the base stables.
Stubby was a bulldog that was adopted by the 102nd Infantry of Massachusetts in 1917 after being discovered at the encampment. The infantry shipped out to Europe and smuggled Stubby onto the ship headed to France. Stubby stood watch and would alert the troops to German attacks During World War I. The heroic dog was wounded by a hand grenade, gassed, and having once found a German spy, held him by his pants until American troops were able to take over the capture of the prisoner. Stubby participated in 17 battles during his 18 months in the service.
His master, Corporal J. Robert Conroy was wounded in battle. The loyal canine went to the hospital with Conroy and acted as a therapy dog, by visiting other wounded troops.
Stubby was highly decorated, he was awarded a Purple Heart, medals for his service, and veteran’s awards.
At the end of the war, Stubby returned home where he was a big celebrity. He garnered a lifetime memberships in the YMCA (where he lived), American Legion, and the Red Cross. Stubby died in 1926, and was preserved and displayed with his medals at the Smithsonian Institution.
Dogs and horses are more often associated with wartime heroics, but other animals have served our armed forces in battle. Elephants help load American planes in rural India during WWI. Dolphins were employed by the Navy to find mines, using echolocation, and seals and sea lions could retrieve objects from the water. Carrier pigeons delivered messages of strategy and position between camps.
As we turn our attention and gratitude to America’s veterans and active duty service men and women in ceremonies of honor this week, we can give a nod to the heroic animals that served at their sides.
Serrano’s FNL reports success of driver safety events
The Friday Night Live Club (FNL) at Serrano High School was very busy promoting safe driving awareness during the month of October. Because our area has frequent deaths from car crashes, the FNL students are passionate about informing their peers about the dangers of distracted driving and impaired driving.
Safety Center Incorporation and Allstate Foundation host a Teen-to-Teen Safe Driving Campaign and this was the second year FNL has participated in the event. Our FNL students take this challenge very seriously as it is an opportunity to get information to our community. Safety Center provides a road map listing all the activities we must complete in order to be a contender prizes.
One activity that we enjoyed required school faculty participation. The FNL team chose to ask staff members to watch a video on AT&T’s website itcanwait.com, club members then visited the teachers to get their reaction and discuss the video. Each teacher commented that the videos brought awareness the importance of wise choices while driving, and reinforced the dangers of distracted driving.
New to the road map this year is the peer led activity at a middle or elementary school. Pinon Mesa Middle School staff was very gracious to allow us on their campus during lunch on October 18. We gave the students information on how to be a good passenger in the car. There are many ways that a child can assist their parent while in the car. Passengers can do the texting/talking on the phone when a parent must communicate with someone, and they can eliminate the distraction of loud voices and rowdy behavior. In addition, asking parents to wear their seat belts and to drive safely can help encourage the adults to drive responsibly.
Although not a requirement, club members like to have a grand finale at the end of the campaign. On Wednesday, October 26, we had some hands-on activities that educated our district superintendents, staff, and students. AT&T brought virtual reality simulator goggles, which while worn, virtually put you behind the wheel of a car. Firsthand knowledge of how easily crashes happen, while your eyes are off the road to look at or use a cell phone, was very impactful. Loma Linda University brought a crash mobile that demonstrates a mock car crash at 10 mph with one dummy wearing a seat belt and one not wearing a seat belt. This activity shows the non-belted dummy crashing into the windshield. Bernadette Beltran, our FNL San Bernardino County representative brought adult tricycles that students rode while wearing impaired driving goggles and Officer Tim Mustaikis gave mock sobriety tests to students wearing the goggles.
The club members greatly appreciate everyone participated and helped make this event a huge success.
The Friday Night Live Club hopes that our community will rally together and encourage all drivers to keep their cell phones on silent while driving, wear their seat belts, and not drive impaired, in order to help keep themselves and others safe.
Submitted by Friday Night Live
Edited by Mountaineer staff
Snowline Players put a spell on its audience
By Terri Hill
Talent abounds when the Snowline Players come together for a cabaret night. Add costumes and a theme, and the result is spellbinding.
For the Spooktacular on Saturday night, phantoms, witches, ghouls, and the walking dead roamed the Wrightwood Community Building serving dinner to, and performing for, their guests. Halloween-themed décor set the mood, with a tiny corner graveyard and tables bedecked with orange, black, and purple tablecloths and decorations. Jack-o-Lanterns filled with treats served as centerpieces. The costumed cast of creepy characters served spaghetti, salad, and bread, and a table with tea, coffee, lemonade, and water was set up self-serve style.
But the highlight of the evening was, of course, the entertainment.
Having proved a great team on stage in the past, Chewy Cauby and Wyatt Buckle played the role of emcee with dry wit and corny jokes.
Performances too, followed the evening’s theme. Familiar faces of Snowline Players, children and adults, dressed their parts and sang songs from musicals, movies, and a variety genres. Ken and Tracy Lay sang, “Where Did We Go Wrong?” from The Addams Family. Their Gomez and Morticia were comically clueless. Alexandria and Madison Duarte played Wicked’s Elphaba and Galinda for the song, “Popular.” Galinda’s insistence that Elphaba could, with a swish of the hair and the right shoes, be almost as popular as she, was playful and sweet. Also from a hit musical was “Phantom of the Opera,” sung by Ty Rogoff as the Phantom, and Victoria Randall as Christine.
Perhaps the most clever of the numbers was Captain Hook’s Waltz. Steve Raney and the Raney Kids were an audience favorite, as Hook brags of being the most ruthless, and least likeable of all. Eyes wide, the captain’s crew assures him he is indeed, “The dirtiest dog in this wonderful world.”
Old standards like, “Old Devil Moon,” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” showcased Dexter Martin and Carrie Harrison (respectively), and Keagan Balthis and Mara Duman brought The Nightmare Before Christmas characters of Jack and Sally to life with their solos, “Jack’s Lament” and “Sally’s Song.”
With nearly 25 performances, the night was filled with talent and professionalism, as we have come to expect from Snowline Players.
Emotions run high as Timberline Lions Honor Newest “Rising Stars”
By Vicky Rinek
You know about the Lions and their commitment to the youth of our area. Well, they’ve done it again—honoring local school students who have overcome obstacles to become model students. In front of a packed house, four outstanding students were named as Rising Stars at the most recent Lions Club dinner meeting in Wrightwood’s Community Building, and it was an exceptional evening for the young students who were honored by their families, school principals, teachers, counselors, and the Lions.
From the Baldy Mesa Elementary School, Tigger Hannan was introduced to the Timberline Lions Club. “Tigger was one of those kids that we knew needed extra help. When Tigger arrived at Baldy Mesa, the staff took him under their wings and helped him adjust to his new environment. “He has grown into a solid young man who has gained control of himself, has succeeded in school, and has become a very well-liked and respected member of our school,” Baldy Mesa Principal Dan Mac Donald said. “We all appreciate the Lions Club for providing community recognition for the success of a student and the hard work of our teachers and staff.”
Sergio Islas is a Rising Star from Pinon Hills School. Sergio has become a wonderful young man with a very kind heart. He achieved great success as he overcame obstacles that made it difficult for him in the classroom. Sergio’s positive attitude toward self, school and others is extraordinary. The staff at Pinon Hills has given students like Sergio tremendous support in achieving emotional and behavioral improvements. Sergio has improved his grades while helping other students. Pinon Hills principal and counselors all agreed that Sergio deserved to be recognized as a Rising Star.
The next two Rising Star students are from the Chaparral Alternative School, Isaac Gutierrez and Kylee Dupper. These two students have become a joy to teach. Both Isaac and Kylee keep a positive attitude and maintain their grades while taking on additional responsibilities in their school. The counselors and teachers agree that both Isaac and Kylee have emotionally grown and are role models to other students.
Kylee participates in the ASB programs and brings an infectious positive attitude to campus. She is a leader in school, helping other students feel welcomed on campus. She participated in the SB County board on Healthy Food where she made a great presentation – a tremendous accomplishment for a young lady that was extremely shy.
Isaac has a positive attitude and a love for learning! This wasn’t always the case. During his first year at Chaparral he was depressed and had a feeling of not fitting in. Isaac had 50+ absences out of the 158 days of school. Chaparral School staff recognized Isaac’s frustration and poor attitude. The staff helped Isaac overcome his difficulties in school. He has shown tremendous improvements in his academic skills and is a positive role model to his fellow students. Isaac is a key player on the campus softball team where he supports his fellow students. Isaac’s future plans include joining the Marines after graduation.
Lion Bill Swift, Chairman of the awards, presented each student with a certificate of recognition, along with a check for $100. The certificate reads, “In recognition of the cooperation and effort you have demonstrated toward your education and for reaching your potential as an accomplished student…. We believe that our future is dependent upon each generation’s leadership, vision and creativity. You have shown your willingness to further those values, overcome obstacles and advance your education.” Bill Swift presented each student with their certificate and check, and told them, “You’re a very special person!” The four students had broad grins on their faces as they accepted their gift checks. Tigger and Sergio were a bit shy but were obviously happy with their gifts from the Lions. Sergio’s mother told the audience that she was the one who was blessed when Sergio and his siblings accepted them as a family. She went on to say that the children that joined their household are the best things to come into their lives. Kylee spoke a few words to show her appreciation and her commitment to higher education. Isaac smiled as his mother spoke telling the audience that she was so very proud of her son’s accomplishments.
Loud applause followed the awards along with tearful happiness.
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