Wildfire and Disaster Awareness Day (WDAD), sponsored by the Wrightwood Fire Safe Council (WFSC) came “home” to Mountain Hardware’s parking lot Saturday. In recent years the event had been held in the parking lot at the Community Building, but this year, with the blessings and encouragement of local hardware store owner Mike Troeger, WDAD, and its many supporting agencies, returned to its original venue. Many participants and visitors agreed it, “felt right” to be back.
Devastating wildfires threaten California every year, and to ensure residents in the State are ready, California’s Governor proclaims the first full week of May as “Wildfire Awareness Week,” when California highlights the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness. WDAD is the culmination of this special week in the Tri-Community.
Saturday’s event was attended by hundreds of people, including residents of Wrightwood and the Tri-Community, and an international presence, thanks to the Pacific Crest Trail hikers who stopped by. Attendees were treated to free popcorn and water courtesy of the WFSC, as well as hot dogs, chips, and sodas provided by the Explorer Scouts. Donations were accepted by both organizations, toward operating expenses.
Explorer Scouts of San Bernardino County Fire (SBCF) in Phelan also conducted two demonstration exercises for children. The Jr. Firefighter Challenge is a popular activity each year. Explorers stage a “house fire” and assist youngsters with the handling of a real fire hose to douse the flames. Another activity hosted by the Explorers is the Safety Trailer. The special RV is equipped to simulate a house fire. Children are first taught to recognize signs of danger, like smoke under a door, or the door itself feeling hot to the touch. They are reminded of kitchen safety and the importance of calling 911. In the next room, as smoke billows above their heads, each child is taught to stay low, and to climb out the window safely. Both activities give the adolescents respect for the danger of fire, and the Safety Trailer gives them knowledge to avoid becoming a victim.
San Bernardino and Angeles National Forest representatives were on hand to greet visitors and distribute Smokey Bear-related toys and literature. They also escorted Smokey himself who, along with SBCF’s Sparky, posed for photos with children, and not a few grown-ups.
L.A. County Agricultural Commission and San Bernardino County Code Enforcement had displays and literature about weed abatement and regulations for fire-safe clearing around residences. Kathy Smith, WFSC Board member, hosted a fire-resistant plant booth, where she instructed visitors about proper water-saving techniques for watering landscapes and the best plants for local gardens, based on fire resistance and drought tolerance. Plants were available to take home.
Local agencies and partners included San Bernardino County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Mountain High, Citizen Emergency Response Team, and Golden State Water. Also represented were the National Weather Service and San Bernardino County Emergency communications Services.
WFSC’s next event is the annual Tri-Community Green Waste Recycling Days, June 2 through June 9. Take pine needles and other green waste (No rocks, dirt, cement, trash, Joshua, or Palm trees) to the County Yard on SR-2 in Wrightwood for free drop-off, Sat., Sun., Mon., Tues., Fri., and Sat. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wed., Thurs. from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. County Code Enforcement has again agreed to begin inspections after the Green Waste event, to allow residents the opportunity to comply and avoid being cited.
FFA Brings Two Marketing Steers to Board Meeting
By Donna Alvarez
A large livestock trailer, occupied by two marketing steers, sat in the parking lot as students, parents, and board members walked through the lot to attend Tuesday’s Snowline Joint Unified School District (SJUSD) Board of Trustees meeting. One of the trailer’s occupants, a 6-month old steer named Moo, was loudly complaining. Apparently, he was demanding his dinner. No waiting for this little guy; he wanted his milk. A 1400-pound steer named Loki was patiently waiting for his dinner.
Waiting in the boardroom were eight uniformed members of Future Farmers of America, (FFA), ready to give their presentations. FFA advisors Sarah Huss, Jack Rice, and Kylene Maise introduced their student presenters. One student explained that Moo was a special project. Earlier this year he suffered a severe bout of gastric bloat. Many hours of help and nurturing pulled him through. Now he is a healthy 300 pounds.
Serrano High School’s (SHS) 125 FFA members had the opportunity to attend eight different conferences, including the Southern Regional FFA Meeting at Cal Poly Pomona. FFA teaches life and career skills through a variety of student activities. They participated in 24 contests and competitions. Providing so many activities for its members, FFA helps them to develop social skills, become positive role models, develop leadership skills, excel in academics, develop ethical personal characteristics and be value driven, and to be life-long learners.
After the student presentations, the board and audience were invited outside by the FFA to meet the two Angus steers, Moo and Loki. Board members actually got to feed them. Moo made short time of drinking his 3-quart bottles of milk plus grain. His 300-pound baby frame finally got full.
During community comments, a parent stated that many of the Adelanto families would like to have their children attend Snowline School District but that the bus fee is too high. She stated that the money funding bus transportation, teachers, and classified personnel should always be a priority.
Athletic Director of Serrano High School and former football coach Ray Maholchic spoke to the Board regarding presenting a formal resolution to have the athletic fields be named in honor of Rick Rueter. Rueter was a long-term head grounds man at Serrano High School and was praised for his high standards in keeping Serrano’s fields in such beautiful condition. Coaches, teachers, and other grounds men supported this action, praising Rueter for his work. Tuesday night’s hearing was the second of two. A motion in favor of such a resolution was made by the board and passed unanimously. The athletic fields are now to be called Reuter Field.
Board member David Nilsen opened up board comments by addressing his continuing support regarding drought resistant landscaping for Snowline’s campuses. Citing districts in other arid states, Nilsen stated that the use of such accouterments throughout the district, such as artificial turf in special areas, “hardscaping” (using various types of rocks, concrete, etc., to create beautiful landscape), and drought resistant plants and other desert plants, would help reduce funds for upkeep and reduce water usage.
Superintendent Dr. Holman stated that at 3:00, before the board meeting on May 22, the trustees will honor Snowline’s retirees. A special recognition will also be given during the regular meeting, which begins at 6:00 that night.
Holman stated that his continued update on Snowline’s Long-Term Debt Repayment will be given at the next board meeting, May 22.
He commended the 36 Military Prep students who received 146 awards. Holman praised the growth of the Military Prep Class from 36 this year to 60 students next year.
He stated that the district had just celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week, and he praised the hard work of the Snowline teachers for their dedication to teaching, for their caring for kids, for mentoring them, and for being apart of the Snowline family.
Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall coming to Phelan
By Terri Hill
The Phelan Piñon Hills Community Services District (CSD) is hosting The Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall (AV Wall) during the Memorial Day weekend.
A huge honor and undertaking, The Wall presentation requires many volunteers over the course of the holiday weekend. The Wall will be erected and receiving visitors from Friday, May 25, 5 p.m. until Tuesday, May 29, 8 a.m. A Memorial Day Ceremony will take place at the location of the AV Wall, Phelan Park, at 10 a.m.
Volunteers are needed for two-hour shifts of greeting visitors, finding name placement – using the Wall’s computer database, and walking the Wall to assist visitors with locating names. These shifts run 24 hours per day, as long as the Wall is on display. Volunteers may sign up for as many shifts as they like, consecutively or on different days. Volunteers are needed for set up on Friday May 25, and dismantling on Tuesday May 29. Linda Willis, AV Wall Secretary, explained that volunteers who help set up The Wall will be allowed to place the panel with a loved one’s name, if they desire. Call Kim Ward at PPHCSD (760) 868-1212, or sign up online at https://signup.com/go.LmBHTMT. Donations, toward the cost of displaying the Wall, and sponsors are also still needed.
The AV Wall is a half-scale size tribute monument of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is cared for by Point Man Antelope Valley (PMAV), a veterans outreach organization that ministers to veterans of all wars.
PMAV is a non-profit, faith-based 501(c)(3) autonomous organization that is fully financed by donations. PMAV is under the umbrella of Point Man International Ministries (PMIM), Spring Brook, NY.
The concept of a local mobile Vietnam memorial wall was first discussed in 2005 when a committee celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Palmdale Playhouse was looking for a mobile wall to display at the “A Piece of My Heart” play. The play, by Shirley Lauro, details the stories and struggles of six women who served in Vietnam. A mobile wall would be the perfect tie in, but none were available at that time. “Why can’t we build our own wall” was asked by a Playhouse staff member, and the concept took off!
It took four years to raise the $102,000 to fabricate the wall. Signs and Designs, Inc. of Palmdale was integral in the manufacturing and engraving of the wall. Each year, upon the release of additions and changes to the wall by the Department of Defense, Signs and Designs, Inc. updates our panels. (http://www.avwall.org/about/the-av-wall/).
These are a few of the 36 interesting facts about The Wall listed on hand-out for volunteers: There are 58,318 names on The Wall as of May, 2018; there are 8 females named on The Wall – all nurses, 7 Army, 1 Air Force; there are 2 male nurses on The Wall; Earliest to die was Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr – 8-Jun-56; 13 soldiers on The Wall were just 17 years old.
Serrano Sports Highlights
By Gino Lewis
Many children grow up dreaming of being professional athletes, the glory of a game winning home run in the world series, or a gold medal at the Olympics. As children we have no idea how implausible those dreams are, or how much hard work it takes to get there. The stress and pressure of an at bat in the world series rarely enters the imagination of a child. Almost everyone has to grow out of those dreams during their high school years, as it takes an elite athlete or team to excel at even that level. Serrano is well represented in the spring CIF playoffs. The athletes competing will probably never reach the pros yet are playing on a stage most can only dream to be on.
Track and Field had another strong season. Girls’ track continued their dominance of Mojave River League winning their ninth consecutive league title. The standings weren’t even close, the Diamondbacks were 75 points better than second place Apple Valley. Natalie Lin was named league Female Field Athlete of the Year after she won the long and triple jumps at league finals. Lin has also qualified for CIF finals in the triple jump. Boys’ track finished second in Mojave River League, they were edged out by three points in the standings by rival Oak Hills. Ian Crocker won the 1600 and 3200 meter runs and was named league Male Track Athlete of the Year. Brandon Forbes qualified for CIF finals in the pole vault. Lin and Forbes will be competing in the CIF Championship Meet Saturday at El Camino College in Torrance.
Boys’ Tennis suffered their first defeat in the CIF playoffs Friday at the hands of Bishop Montgomery, a private school out of Torrance. The Knights of Bishop Montgomery had an impressive season themselves with a 13-2 overall record and a perfect 10-0 in Del Rey league. D’Backs were the home team and favorite heading into the match, despite having far less experienced players. What made the undefeated streak of the tennis team even more impressive is most of their players have only been playing two to three years and play mostly for fun. According to coach Erik Broca most of Bishop Montgomery’s players have been playing competitive tennis more than ten years. Serrano suffered a huge setback in practice the day before Friday’s match when #2 singles Max Seo suffered an ankle injury and was ruled out, they still only lost 10-8. Coach Broca is hoping Seo will be healthy for their next CIF tournament match Thursday May 24.
Despite a tough week with two losses to Apple Valley, D’Backs baseball qualified for CIF playoffs when Buroughs lost to Hesperia last Wednesday. Had Burroughs won that game they would have won a tie-breaker over Serrano. The Diamondbacks opened CIF play Tuesday in a wild card game away at Citrus Hill in Perris. With a win in that game they would play again Thursday at Northview High School in Covina.
Mon May 7 at Apple Valley L 7-2
Wed May 9 vs Apple Valley L 3-1
Wed May 9 at Apple Valley L 11-8
Wed May 9 vs Adelanto W 16-2
Fri May 11 vs Bishop Montgomery L 10-8
5/9 Fraud by trick or device over $400, 6600 block Bartlett Dr., 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.
Local TCs result in 3 deaths
May 11, Friday afternoon, San Bernardino County Fire, Station 14 responded to reports of a vehicle over the side of the road on Highway 2, near Inspiration Point.
Witnesses reported the driver of the small black sedan had exited his vehicle and was acting “crazy,” before he got back in and appeared to intentionally drive off the highway. The car plunged approximately 200 feet down the steep embankment before coming to rest in the brush.
Capt. Karl Hegle of San Bernardino County Fire, Station 14 in Wrightwood, said they were dispatched to the scene, where they attempted a rescue. When the driver, who was hiding outside the car, began screaming at the firefighters and displaying erratic behavior, the Captain called his men back and requested support from the Sheriff. After being hoisted off the mountainside, the unidentified man was flown by helicopter to Antelope Valley Hospital for mental health evaluation.
May 12, 2018, at 6:24 a.m., oa single vehicle rollover traffic was reported, near El Mirage Elementary School in Adelanto.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a 1995 Honda Civic was traveling north on Saint Basil Road, south of El Mirage Road at an ‘elevated speed’. A CHP news release reported, “For reasons still under investigation, the driver of the Honda collided with a dirt berm located on the east roadway edge, causing the vehicle to overturn multiple times.”
The driver, a 39-year-old Phelan man, was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from the car, sustaining fatal injuries. The name of the deceased was not yet released, pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.
The Victorville CHP office encourages anyone who witnessed or has information regarding this collision to call the CHP office at (760)241-2911.
May 14 at 12:49 p.m., a crash involving a vehicle and a buggy (OHV) was reported at, near the intersection of Johnson Road and Smoke Tree Road, according to CHP logs. Also, according to the logs, the buggy was on fire after the accident.
Upon responding to the scene, San Bernardino County firefighters pronounced two people dead on arrival.
Ground ambulance transported a third person with unknown injuries to a local hospital.
Johnson Road, was closed north of Smoke Tree in both directions during the investigation into the incident.
The cause of the collision is under investigation by the Victorville CHP office. Anyone with information is asked to call (760)241-1186.
Compliance checks of registered sex offenders
On Saturday, May 12, 2018, Deputies, Parole Officers and Probation Officers conducted a Sex Offender Compliance Operation in the cities of Hesperia, Adelanto, Victorville, Barstow, Apple Valley, Phelan, Pinon Hills and Helendale. The operation is part of “Operation Broken Heart,” which is held in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program (OJJDP) and all 61 of the nation’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces. “Operation Broken Heart” takes place during the months of April and May and targets those persons who exploit children.
The Sex Offender Compliance Operation included verifying the home address of each registered sex offender. The operation involved 36 deputies, 6 parole officers and 14 probation officers, who conducted 294 compliance checks of registered Sex Offenders (PC 290).
As a result of these compliance checks, it was found that two registrants are deceased, 13 are in state prison and six have moved from their last registered address. A total of 20 subjects were arrested during the sweep for various charges.
The Sheriff’s Department will continue to monitor and conduct random compliance checks of all registered sex offenders within the cities and County of San Bernardino.
WCSD agrees to rental fee adjustments
By Terri Hill
Rental fees for Wrightwood Community Services District (CSD) facilities were discussed, and set, at last week’s CSD Board meeting. In a compromise between leaving the status quo, and increasing the fees for use of the CSD properties, the Board chose to continue charging the many of the same rates imposed by the former CSA 56 (San Bernardino County Service Area for Wrightwood), however, the CSD will actually enforce collection of those fees.
Fees for use of the Community Building, Museum Conference Room, and other facilities, have always existed, but the County, as CSA 56, did little to enforce payment and gave seemingly arbitrary discounts to some organizations. The Board has argued that continuing to honor the generally undocumented agreements made by the County could leave the CSD open to litigation based on ‘Gifts of Public Funds’ laws. A portion of property taxes fund the CSD, therefore the CSD cannot subsidize events or organizations unless certain conditions are met. While all of the volunteer organizations offer specific benefits to Wrightwood, they will not meet the qualifications for subsidization by the CSD. The CSD Board agreed to accept a “Request for Variance” applications, per event, for subsidization.
Rates for the Community Building (CB) and its kitchen and parking lot, Vivian Null Park stage, and Museum Conference Room will remain at the CSA 56 prices, for the most part. The Board also agreed to remove the “per 10x10 space” fee for the CB parking lot, as there is already a per-hour charge to close it off for an event. This was good news for the Farmers market, and its supporters. Fees from the CSA 56 schedule that will not be charged by the CSD include per-chair, and per-table charges when using the Community Building.
Email the CSD, or visit their Facebook page for more information.
STEAM Night Showcases Students' Abilities
May 4, 2018
By Jessica Gonzalez
Anyone who says that science is a dry, boring subject never experienced it beyond their school textbook. Fortunately, local students and their families saw it brought to life at the 7th Annual STEAM Night, held on Friday, May 4, at Quail Valley Middle School in Phelan. The acronym “STEAM” stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. “Art” was recently added to the traditional “STEM” moniker. This was the first year that art was included in the program, and student artwork was displayed in the cafeteria.
According to Quail Valley Middle School Principal Tony Bennett, this event gets bigger every year. “What blows us away are our students. Each year the projects get more complex, more creative, and more innovative,” he said.
This year’s projects didn’t disappoint. Students, parents, instructors, and vendors thronged the gymnasium and cafeteria, while a drone flew over the crowd in the courtyard. An ambulance parked nearby and a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Helicopter landed in the football field. Attendees were treated to lectures, demonstrations, and food provided by various vendors.
“It just seemed like a fun activity,” said eighth-grader Chris Morgan of his participation in the event. Morgan, who was inspired by his sister’s participation in STEAM, believed that his project, “Money to Burn,” “Gives me more experience with all the chemical reactions that happen. It’s a lot of engineering and science.” Like all of the exhibits, Morgan’s was well-attended. To demonstrate the integrity of the fibers found in a dollar bill and the flammability of alcohol, Morgan soaked a bill and then lit in on fire; the bill remained intact.
Eighth-grader Katherine Bell is a three-year STEAM Night veteran. Her display, “Which Came First (Chicks and Ducklings),” explored their journey from egg to hatchling. “I’ve grown up with animals and the science part of animals, learning why they hatch and how they develop,” she said. Bell has her sights set on becoming a veterinarian and hoped that her participation in this event will further her understanding of science. “It always interests me that everything works in the world, but how does it work?” she said.
Ricardo Polanco hadn’t planned to take part in the event. The eighth-grader worked as a teaching assistant in his science class. He enjoyed cleaning the fish tanks and caring for guppies, shrimp and an Assassin snail that was no bigger than a pinky nail. After some thought, he decided to share his interest with the community.
The school district partners with various entities who help bring this special activity to the public, including NASA, Cal Fire, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, ambulance providers AMR, Greiner, Victor Valley College, Forever Wild, General Atomics, Alien Machine Worx, and Mojave Environmental.
“We love our partnerships and couldn’t make this happen without their support,” said Bennett.
Deputies recover stolen credit cards
DATE/TIME OF INCIDENT: Wednesday, April 18, 2108 7:00am
INCIDENT: SEARCH WARRANT/ POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY/ THEFT BY FRAUD
Fraud Investigators from Dell Computers, INC. reported that between February 21, 2018, and April 17, 2018, numerous laptop computers were bought online using stolen credit card holder’s identities and addresses. Dell intercepted the delivery of 12 of the computers; however, six laptops were successfully delivered to a residence in the 12800 block of Hacienda Road in Phelan. All fraudulent orders were ordered to be shipped to the same address in Phelan.
Through continued investigation by Deputy Molly Leiker and surveillance of the residence, a search warrant was obtained. Deputies served the search warr ant on April 18, 2108, at 7:00am, and recovered multiple stolen items, including a Dell laptop computer, two HP Notebook computers and jewelry. Deputies also located FedEx/ UPS/USPS shipping labels/receipts, and a large amount of prepared shipping labels addressed to an unknown subject in Ghana, Africa.
The suspect, 53-year old Shaun Patrick Russum, who resides at the residence was observed by law enforcement accepting the deliveries and was subsequently arrested for possession of Stolen property and Theft by fraud. He was booked at the High Desert Detention Center and is currently being held in lieu of $250,000. bail.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact Deputy Molly Leiker at Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station, (760) 552-6800. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can report information to WeTip by calling 1-800-78-CRIME, or by accessing the website at www.wetip.com.
May 4, 2018
Shrek, ultimately a lovable ogre
By Terri Hill
Shrek The Musical opened to a packed Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Friday, May 4, and followed on Saturday with an equally full house. Serrano Center Stage – The Majestics’ production of the DreamWorks Theatricals musical is nothing short of magical.
As usual, the acting and singing from students of Beverly Quinn’s drama classes and Alan Alaniz’ choirs is exceptional.
Jacob Laycock gives one of his best Serrano performances, as the irascible ogre, Shrek. Jacob’s voice is expressive, even as he talks and sings from under the ogre’s prosthetics and makeup, revealing the “layers” of his complex character. With a hint of Scottish in his accent, Jacob respects the beloved character voiced by Mike Myers, without simply doing an impersonation of him. While many fine actors will return to, and join the PAC next year, Jacob will be missed on that stage, as he is graduating at the end of this month.
Kayleigh Balthis is the talented makeup artist behind Shrek’s green pallor and prosthetics.
Lord Farquaad is played by Ty Rogoff, for an outrageously comic portrayal of an outrageously funny character. Ty’s timing and physical comedy are the perfect fit for the diminutive autocrat-wannabe. Flipping his black locks, and strutting through the story on stubby little legs, Ty gets the lion’s share of the laughs, sometimes without saying a word. Although, his (or the writers’) nod to Elphaba at the end of, “What’s Up, Duloc?” does not get as many laughs as it should. Rogoff too, will be missed as he also graduates this month.
Reagan Slomback, as Fiona in Saturday’s performance, sang the role sweetly and powerfully. Serrano’s performing arts department is fortunate to have Reagan for another year, as she is a junior this term. Another junior, Canon Toki plays a sassy, if manipulative, Donkey. Canon has great comic chops, and is an accomplished singer and dancer.
Stage design in this production lends a character of its own. Operated by stagehands, the only set piece is an open book, in which the characters come to life. Designed and painted (with help) by Larry Wilson, the book sits on a turntable. “Pages” of the book open revealing one of six sets to the audience at a time, as the base turns. The design allows for smooth transitions between scenes.
Serrano’s own Orchestra plays the soundtrack for the musical. Live musical accompaniment energizes the cast, and the audience responds accordingly. An authentic musical theatre experience is the reward. Shhh, the orchestra has a bit of fairy-tale magic of their own to reveal.
Also, members of the track team might find a familiar face at the wedding of Fiona and Farquaad.
Shrek The Musical runs Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12, at 7 p.m. at Serrano’s PAC. Tickets are available at Serrano’s online store, and at the door. Get there early, if you want a good seat at the swamp.
Student Art Creations in Full Color and Living Wax Museum Presented to Snowline School Board
By Donna Alvarez
Jammed packed and over flowing the school board room was filled with students of Snowline Joint Unified School District (SJUSD) and their parents. They were waiting for their awards to be given out by the Snowline’s board of trustees honoring them for their participation in the annual student art contest. The contest was open to all students throughout the District. A variety of multi media was used for their art representations, such as use of watercolor, pencil, 3-D projects using paper and paint, clay, and interlocking blocks. These beautiful expressions of art are on display in the boardroom. The public may view them by contacting Candice Forbes at (760) 868-5817, extension 1031, at the Student Learning and Support Services Office.
Wrightwood Elementary School presented the “Living Wax Museum.” Students chose a historical figure, dressed the part, and spoke about important facts regarding the person’s life and goals. Presentations given to the board were: Bill Gates, presented by Brandon Jones; Sally Ride, presented by Matea Mitchell; Helen Keller, presented by Presley Hubbard; Benjamin Franklin, presented by Maddie Wharton; Katherine Johnson, presented by Isabel Maust; and P.T. Barnum, presented by Leighton Pratt.
During community comments questions were asked regarding special taxes and fees attached to homeowners after properties are bought and taxes paid. The property in question is owned by large home developer, D. R. Horton. A representative from the Community Facilities District (CFD) stated that the developers have already disclosed the taxes, such as Mello-Roos and Home Owners Association (HOA) taxes, to new buyers, that this is on the title, and that taxes and rates cannot change.
An exciting proposal from Ray Maholchic was to honor Snowline’s grounds’ keeper, Rick Reuter, by naming the baseball field at Serrano High School (SHS) after him. Reuter had spent many years and hours keeping the grassy fields of SHS in pristine condition. Reuter’s commitment to excellence and high standards were so well known that it was compared to that of the grassy fields of the Pittsburg Steelers. “Reuter was a true “Diamondback” (mascot of SHS) and deserves to have the field named after him,” Maholchic said.
Superintendent Dr. Ryan Holman continued his monthly update on the district’s Long-Term Debt Repayment Plan. Emphasis was on the Marketing and Public Relations aspect the district’s plan for the debt repayment to stimulate revenue for the Snowline District. Holman talked about the importance of promoting and communicating awareness with the community, of the varied and innovative classes and activities throughout the district by using several means of outreach: having the opportunity for the public, parents, and students to use the District Website updates through text notifications; using Text-a-tip, (Text–a-tip is an anonymous communiqué for students who have an issue on campus and can ask for help); giving out informational flyers to new homeowners about the extensive educational opportunities for their student at Snowline; and delivering live streaming of the high school graduations. Using these communication aspects, Holman stated, shows the community many of the wonderful programs of SJUSD.
During school board comments, Assistant Superintendent Allan Miller stated that Poetry will be showcased along with the Young Authors program.
The highlight of board and superintendent comments was praise for the recent Phelan Elementary School Centennial Celebration. It was well attended with exciting venues, music, and historical information of the school’s beginning. In the Little Red School House, individual plaques honor the legacy of the first families attending the school. The board emphasized the rarity of such an event. The trustees stated that they are proud of the growth Snowline has had in the last 100 years.
WCSD Budget Workshop
By Jessica Gonzalez
In preparation for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, a Special Board Budget Workshop was held at the Wrightwood Community Building on April 24. Members of the Wrightwood Community Services District Board reviewed the proposed budget and welcomed comments from the residents in attendance.
Public comments opened the meeting. One long-time resident questioned the large sums allotted to pay off the Skate Park loan and elections and wondered if a longer payment plan could be contracted. She also wondered if legal action against the County could be taken, since they left the Community Building in disrepair. She then read her son’s prepared statement to the Board. Her son expressed concern about the projected amount of revenue from increased facility rental fees, which are paid by organizations and entities that use the Community Building. He noted that he was opposed to taking money from these groups and suggested that fund raising might cover the cost of rental fees.
Another resident, a member of the Pine Needles Quilt Guild, told the Board that her group was prepared to pay the rental fees, while pointing out that some groups pay and others do not.
Board members responded saying, since the community bought the building “as is,” the County is not liable for repairs or maintenance. They also expressed a preference for paying off the Skate Park loan as soon as possible rather than prolonging payments; two more installments will reportedly pay off the loan.
During a line-by-line review of the budget, several issues came up for discussion.
Board member Chuck Franklin expressed concern that revenue collected from these fees will fall short of the projected $15,000 because of inconsistent payment and the various “deals” and discounts given to different organizations. General Manager Al Morrissette assured the Board there will be no “deals” made with individual organizations, and stated that, after speaking with the Farmer’s Market and Chamber of Commerce, these entities agreed to pay the increased facility rental fee of $16 per hour and five dollars for parking space use. Morrissette also proposed that the vendor fee be lowered from five dollars to three and added that organizations who feel they need to “request an adjustment” in fees for a particular week can fill out a form and submit it to the Board. He pointed out that groups must give “practical” reason for making the adjustment, particularly if the event benefits the public. The ultimate goal, he concluded, was to ensure that “everyone pays their fair share.”
After a review of the projected revenue for the coming fiscal year, the team agreed that $423, 708.03 was a realistic estimation.
As the Board began to review expenses, several members questioned the two percent “merit raise” built into the projected salaries for the General Manager, park services and facility staff. Zuber asked for a definition of the term “merit,” and expressed concern about applying this raise to the budget at this time because he felt unsure about how much revenue might actually be generated. Morrissette said it was based on information from the Consumer Price Index and statistics from other Counties. The Board will hold off on the raise and review it again this fall.
Several line items were altered including projected yearly cost of utilities, which the Board changed from $15,000 to $13,000, taking into account water issues experienced last year that have been resolved.
The Board will hold another meeting to review the budget changes made during this workshop. Two weeks before the June 5 meeting, the budget will be published and a community hearing will be held. If the budget is adopted at the June 5 meeting, it will be implemented July 1, 2018.
Left to right; Gersemy, Gwen, Katie. Courtesy photo
Local students to attend Tech Trek
By Terri Hill
Seventh grade students Gersemy Martinez, Guinevere Olesinski and Katherine Wilson, of The Heritage School, have been chosen to attend the girls’ science camp Tech Trek this coming July. They will attend the prestigious camp at the University of California Irvine campus, one of ten sessions held at eight different campuses this summer. Heritage science teacher Wendi Rodriquez nominated the three young ladies, and they are three of only four students selected from the High Desert to attend.
Tech Trek, a program operated by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), is a camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)-related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional and recreational facilities are located on a university campus. (AAUW website) In 2013, AAUW National began a National Tech Trek Pilot Program using the successful California Tech Trek camps as a model. Several states now hold camps of their own.
AAUW Victor Valley is sponsoring the four girls to attend; and their Tech Trek committee - Donna Filadelfia, Karen Hadsell, and Robin Stonesifer – interviewed and selected the girls, after perusing their applications. In an email the committee told Mrs. Rodriquez, “It was obvious that they (Gersemy, Guinevere and Katherine) exhibited a passion and interest in math and science and we hope that they will continue to apply that same level of interest and involvement as they progress through middle school, high school and college.” The committee also commended Rodriquez for her positive influence in the girls’ lives. Donna Filadelfia added, “AAUW Victor Valley has participated in Tech Trek for 20 years by sponsoring at least one girl each year, and up to as many as eight girls, since 1998. This year we are providing four scholarships so that these girls can participate in the week-long Tech Trek Science Camp at UC Irvine. In addition to the three girls who attend The Heritage School, Sara Benton-Wilson, a student at Lakeview Leadership Academy in Victorville, is the fourth girl chosen to attend Tech Trek this year.”
Girls were selected for an interview based on essays they wrote about how to use STEM, in their chosen fields) to make the world a better place. Mrs. Rodriquez had all of the 7th-grade girls apply for Tech Trek, a process that, in itself, the AAUW committee said is a valuable experience.
Katherine Wilson cited teachers Mrs. Rodriquez and Todd Anton, and her parents as inspirations for her interest in learning and pursuing a medical career. Katherine’s mother went to medical school, and her father worked as an engineer at Boeing. “I’m happy,” she enthused, “that girls are given an opportunity to accomplish something that, in the past, women were not allowed to do.”
Gersemy Martinez is the second young lady in her family to attend Tech Trek. Her older sister, now a freshman at Serrano, also went to the science camp. She, along with Gersemy’s mom and teachers, have been inspirations. “Mrs. Rodriquez is my role model,” she said. Gersemy plans to attend medical school and, “The hands-on experience of Tech Trek,” she said, “will benefit college applications and scholarships.”
Guinevere (Gwen) Olesinski is interested in veterinary science. Living on a farm in Phelan, with her aunt, Gwen has enjoyed raising and caring for animals. “This is a great opportunity,” she said, “and I’m glad Mrs. Rodriquez saw qualities in me and recommended me for the camp.”
The American Association of University Women (AAUW), founded in 1881, is the nation’s leading organization advocating equity for women and girls. Its national membership of 80,000 seeks to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. People of every race, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and level of physical ability are invited to join. AAUW California is the state’s most active and diverse organization for women with nearly 12,000 members in 125 branches, plus over 5,000 members-at-large. (AAUW website) Find out more about Tech Trek and AAUW at www.aauw-ca.org.
Todd Anton, historian, author, and a local teacher
Todd Anton A battlefield guide in Normandy, France
By Terri Hill
Todd Anton, historian, author, and a local teacher in the Snowline Unified School District has been offered an amazing opportunity to fulfill a dream--to become a battlefield guide in Normandy, France during the summertime. The exclusive tour company is “D-Day Memory Tours” (DDMT) and is based in Boca Raton, Florida and also in the Normandy region of France. Anton has been offered a “tryout” to see if he can make the cut and bring history to life for the tour participants. Anton who was a Board of Trustees member for the National World War Il Museum in New Orleans, LA for four years was mentored by renowned historian Stephen E. Ambrose who wrote the classic WWII book “Band of Brothers.” Anton has a Master’s degree in WWII Studies and has authored well-received books on WWII himself focusing on WWII MLB Baseball and WWII NFL Football. Fox Sports even featured Anton and his WWII stories in a one-hour TV special “From the Ballpark to the Battlefield: Baseball and World War II.” Anton and the Tri-Community Kiwanis Club is the host of the annual veterans every year at Serrano High School. Over the last 24 years Anton and his students have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for veterans and served thousands of veterans. Anton’s own father served in France and Germany in WWII in the 70th Infantry Division and being able to trace the footsteps of heroes is a very emotional opportunity. You can visit the D-Day Memory Tour webpage at http://www.ddaymemorytour.com/
Jean-Pierre “JP” Paviot is the visionary and owner of D-Day Memory Tours (DDMT). This Frenchman is passionate that DDMT brings France and the US together as brothers and sisters in the fight for freedom then and now. JP’s respect, love, and passion to honor the sacrifice of so many Americans for his nation is truly amazing. “The concept of this adventure is simple. We take you back in time with my team. You will experience the history of D-Day in a different way, very personal, as a witness of history. It will be June 1944! We want to be different, our expertise and knowledge allows us to share Normandy with you, as if you were a soldier back in 1944. We believe that history can be experienced in immersion by being there and living there. We in France remember how many young American soldiers came here to fight and die for our freedom from so very far away. You are guaranteed an authentic 1944 adventure as no one has had offered before.” Tour participants can choose their US division that was in action in Normandy and DDMT will suit them up in authentic WWII gear and they will live the life as it was in 1944. DDMT has authentic WWII Jeeps for participants to ride in. DDMT also has it own M1 Sherman Tank and an actual Higgins assault boat for participants to ride in in the calm waters near Pegasus Bridge. Lastly if requested DDMT even has access to a C-47 for actual paratrooper jumps over the Norman countryside if a person is jump trained. Most participants choose the legendary 82nd Airborne Divisions’ “All Americans,” or the 101st Airborne Divisions’ “Screaming Eagles” to honor. Anton will portray the 82 AB in honor of his dear friend and airborne legend Arthur “Dutch” Schultz. Schultz was a High Desert resident for many years and was written about in many WWII books, as well as featured in the WWII classic movie “The Longest Day.” Anton will be leading many unique side trips to honor MLB legends who fought at Normandy such as Hall of Famer Yogi Berra of the NY Yankees who fought a Utah Beach, Morrie Martin who landed with the 1st Division at Omaha Beach and played with the Brooklyn Dodgers. A special tribute will honor “Lefty” Brewer who was killed in action at the La Fiere Bridge outside of Ste. Mere Eglise. Brewer was with the Washington Senators organization.
The only problem for Anton is in order to make the tryout; Anton has to get there. Anton’s supporters at the Don Ferrarese Foundation are hoping to bring this opportunity to reality. If you wish to support Todd, any amount will help. He needs to raise nearly $2,000 by May 20 or he loses his tryout. If he makes the team, Anton’s wish is to get a group of local High Desert people to join him and the DDMT team for next year’s 75th Anniversary Celebration in Normandy.
Any questions? Contact Mr. Dan Tate at 760-951-8003. Thanks to the Don Ferrarese Foundation support. As a result, all donations are tax-deductible since the foundation is a 501-c-3 charity, tax ID# 73-1723719.
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961