Team Mike was notified late in summer that OneLegacy is honoring Mike McKay with a memorial ‘floragraph’ on the 2020 Donate Life Rose Parade Float! They were asked not to share the news until late September. Team Mike shares their social media posts and details. The floragraph is Mike’s portrait (made out of flowers) and will be displayed on the Donate Life float seen by 700,000 parade viewers in Pasadena, and by more than 70 million television viewers throughout the world on New Year’s Day. In addition to Mike’s portrait being displayed on the float, Mike’s family was invited to help build/decorate the float, participate with the float judging committee, attend PR media events, and receive hotel and dinner accommodations, as well as tickets to view the Rose Parade from a prime grandstand location. Tickets to these events are still available for purchase, if you’d like to see it in person. Go to www.DonateLifefloat.org for details. Donate Life began their Float media campaign last week and are releasing new stories about the Float every few days (via their Donate Life Float FB page). Mike’s story will be posted in the coming weeks. “Meanwhile,” Vince McKay said, “Donate Life is always in need of financial donors to support their lifesaving mission - I’m certain that any level of contribution would be appreciated. I was hoping to maybe coordinate a Team Mike Rose Dedication campaign as a fundraiser... Lots more to come!” From Team Mike’s Facebook page: “We got to spend a very special day yesterday, as we gathered with other west coast-based families to create the floragraphs that will adorn the Donate Life Rose Parade Float on Jan 1st, 2020!” “Using only plant-based ingredients (ground up flowers, spices, glue) we meticulously converted a base photograph of Mike into the piece of art (in the photo)!” Thanks, to the compassionate staff and artists at Donate Life who gave up another weekend to share their skills with us to help remember Mike. Special thanks to Julie and Patrick Boyle who spent the day with us - Julie received many compliments for her ability to accurately capture Mike’s smile! Actual Float construction commences on November 16 in Azusa- Donate Life extended an open invitation to any volunteers who are interested in helping!”
Serrano showcases Performing Arts Department
By Terri McCawley Hill
On October 9, Serrano’s Performing Arts Department showcased their singers, dancers, musicians, and actors in a 90-minute variety show at the PAC. Director of Instrumental Music, Matthew Fell conducted the Wind Ensemble in three contrasting pieces. Metroplex by Robert Sheldon took the audience on a day-trip through New York City, with the smooth sounds of dawn preceding the hustle and bustle of the workday streets. The Late Night Snake Bite Jazz Band performed Just Friends, by John Klenner. Choral groups Vocal Point, and the Diamondback Singers performed a cappella songs, with maturity and beautiful intonation. Director Jonny Dolan announced the Diamondback Singers’ upcoming trip to NYC to sing at Carnegie Hall. The students were invited after an official from the famed music center heard them sing on a Youtube video. The Majestics, actor-singers from the theater department, gave a fun preview of the fall musical production, “The Addams Family.” Performances are October 30 and 31, and November 8 and 9. Tickets are available from drama students, at the school, and online: shs.snowlineschools.com. New to the department are the dance classes, taught by Kristin Grijalva. More than an after-school club, four regularly scheduled classes offer jazz, hip-hop, modern and other dance styles. Serrano boasts an outstanding performing arts repertoire, with talented students and dedicated directors. Contact any of the teachers in the department, for a schedule of their performances.
October 2, 2019
Local church displaced, and still worshiping
By Terri McCawley Hill
Sunday, September 15, members of the Wrightwood Sunrise Church arrived at their place of worship, only to find the gates and doors locked, and locks changed. More than 20 years ago, the Baptist Church in Wrightwood was in danger of losing their church, as it was not financially stable. Sunrise Church, Inc., in Rialto, offered to take the small mountain church under their umbrella, until they could pay their own way. At that point, members say, they would become independent once again. When the church was doing well, and ready to go it alone, Sunrise, Inc. told them it was not an option. Instead, Sunrise would dictate the Order of Service, the music during worship, and even the number and layout of the chairs for the service. The corporation wanted all their churches to look the same and to teach the same lessons each week. According to members of the church in Wrightwood, Pastors Todd Marcy and Wayne Robbins had expressed to Sunrise, Inc. that the demographics of the village church were different from those of churches in the city, and they needed some leeway to minister to their particular to church, and that the strict rules forced on the church seemed to leave no room for God. Sunrise did not acquiesce. Pastor Wayne Robbins attended a regular meeting at Sunrise in Rialto, on September 10. At that meeting, he was reportedly told resigning was his only option. Later, he told his congregation that it, “wasn’t my choice.” On Sunday, September 15, Sunrise Rialto Pastor Jeff Gonzalez came to the early service in Wayne’s stead, and explained that Wayne had resigned. Gonzalez expected to deliver a sermon that morning, but the congregants had questions and wanted answers. Terri Campbell, a 21-year member of the church, said she and others may have been a bit outspoken, but they had received no satisfactory answers as to why two honest, well-liked pastors would be dismissed, and for no apparent reason. Pastor Todd had left under similarly questionable circumstances. On Wednesday, September 18, Campbell went to the church to ready food for the monthly food drive. She mentioned to the pastors from Rialto who were there, that the non-denominational community Bible study would meet the next morning in the church. The representative from the corporation told the Women’s Ministry and the Bible study group that they would have to find another venue for their meetings. That week, the gates and doors to the church were locked, and new locks installed throughout. Pastor Wayne agreed to continue ministering to his congregation. They set up chairs, coffee (on a camp stove) and donuts, at the wash across the street (Swarthout Creek). Both services were well-attended, and the set-up was repeated on the following Sunday. It was quite a sight, for locals as well as bikers cruising Highway 2. On September 28, church members were given 3 ½ hours to remove the food for the food bank, and to take out any personal property. Pastor Wayne has named the new church, ‘Christ’s Church of the Canyon,’ and they are actively looking for a new venue for worship. Campbell said, “We feel we are out of the bondage of their (Sunrise Inc.) Order of Service, and free to worship God.”
October 1, 2019
Sheep Creek Water’s Short Session
By Michael Palecki
The September 19 regular board of directors meeting of the Sheep Creek Water Company (SCWC) was brief and concise, lasting just one-half hour. Initially, President Andy Zody broached a suggestion to move meetings back to the SCWC office. He also expressed concerns about legal fees. SCWC General Manager Chris Cummings discussed progress on the Source Capacity Project, which included information on potential new well sites. During member comments, Andy Zody suggested moving board meetings back to the SCWC office on Sunnyslope Road, due to low shareholder attendance. As he spoke, there were only two newspaper reporters and one shareholder in the audience. Zody then proposed that shareholders register 24 hours in advance if they intended to go the meeting, which would determine if the larger Snowline School District board room was needed. However, Directors Kellie Williams and David Nilsen were opposed to the idea, citing possible confusion, and there was no action taken. On a new subject, Zody reported that shareholders and audience members had made telephone calls to SCWC Legal Counsel Ernest E. Riffenburgh, seeking information about the water company. Subsequently, SCWC was billed for telephone consultations. In discussion, Williams suggested that the attorney be notified only to accept calls from the General Manager and Cummings said that Riffenburgh had already been notified. In old business, Cummings delivered a Source Capacity Project update. He commented that Environmental Consultant Tom Dodson was looking at sites for future water wells. Potential sites being considered include the SCWC grounds on Sunnyslope Road, a site on Johnson Road near Yucca Terrace Road, and a third locale between Malpaso and Lebec Roads near Phelan Road. The next SCWC meeting will be on October 17 at 6: 30 pm in the Snowline School District board room.
Feel the heat! By Terri McCawley Hill
On August 7, San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters Local 935 partnered with the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District and the International Association of Firefighters to hold a special event for County and City officials. Fire Ops 101, “Feel the Heat,” brought the dignitaries together to suit up and perform emergency response scenarios under the guidance and protection of the professional firefighters. In an effort to educate policy and budget makers, Fire Ops demonstrates the equipment and staffing necessary to perform the emergency services the departments face every day.
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) units are called on for victims over the side of the road, or below the trail, and for extrication from vehicles. Fire Ops participants learned stokes basic rigging, body harness donning, and hand signals with lowering and raising a litter (basket) for Low Angle Rope Recue Operations used for retrieving victims from below. At another station, cars were staged in a collision scenario, for which extrication was necessary for access to the victims. After a demonstration, Fire Ops attendees were given a chance to remove all or part of crushed car door, using the Jaws of Life - or hydraulic spreader. Each of these operations requires a minimum of five rescuers, a staffing point driven home when one scenario involved a city councilman, who played the role of man suffering heart failure during the opening remarks and orientation to the “As we near Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday later this week, we’re asking the public to take his ‘one less spark’ message to heart.” The restrictions, which are enforced through a forest order, are set to expire December 31, 2019, but may be rescinded early or extended depending on conditions at that time. The forest order and the list of which campgrounds and picnic areas where fires in Forest Service-provided fire rings and grills will still be allowed.
Sheep Creek Water Forges Ahead
By Michael Palecki
August 17 , 2019: The much-anticipated Special Shareholders Meeting of the Sheep Creek Water Company (SCWC) was held in the Womack Auditorium of Pinon Mesa Middle School. Voting in person, by shareholders or assignment of a proxy vote to another shareholder, accounted for 4,340 votes cast out of a total of 8,000 existing shares. Presiding as Inspector of Elections was Mary Watson, with April Chaplin and Dorothy Zody serving as the Proxy Committee. Although the proposed consolidation with the Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District (CSD) submitted by SCWC remained on the table until July 17, 2019, that option was no longer germane when the CSD declined to purchase SCWC shares. Instead, SCWC Board members chose to forge ahead with the drilling of three new wells with Well #11 becoming a backup, hoping to meet State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) source compliance requirements. Initially, because of a legal glitch from the May 11 Shareholders meeting, a revote was required to establish a loan repayment for Well #11. On that measure, 2,281 shareholders approved Option Three of increasing the Base Rate by $5.00 per month, per meter service plus use charges from the Tier 3 Overage for five years. Next, 4,183 shareholders approved giving updated power to SCWC Board and Staff to decide how and when to adjust water allotment to customers, depending on increase or decrease of production and groundwater levels. The water allocation plan is based on the production of the Wrightwood Well Field. The final item for shareholders was consideration for an expenditure on capital improvements exceeding $10,000, to drill three new wells. As an oversight SCWC President Andy Zody commented, “We had no choice when the CSD rejected our proposed Consolidation Plan. We will request technical assistance from the California Rural Water Association to secure grants. We have to secure CEQA approval for identified properties, and hopefully it will not take as long as for Well#11.” Continuing as somewhat of explanation as to why the merger issue was not on the agenda, SCWC Legal Counsel Ernest E Riffenburgh remarked, “The current situation does not preclude discussion in the future.” During the Public Forum, the consensus of 15 shareholders was that SCWC remain a private company. However, there were concerns about escalating assessments and the construction moratorium continuing until three new wells were online. Zody commented that he has three additional sources for grant monies, and that Tier 3 payments would reduce costs. He also mentioned that another water company was interested in purchasing SCWC at “fair market value.” He then proposed a “straw vote” from shareholders if they would approve… just as Director Dave Nilsen objected to a vote on unsubstantiated information. The vote to drill additional wells to meet source capacity compliance as ordered by SWRCB was 3,304 in favor with 1,036 opposed.
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961