Memorial Wall a solemn backdrop to Phelan ceremony
May 28, 2018
By Terri Hill
As the culmination of nearly three years of planning, the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Phelan Park - just yards from the Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall (AV Wall), - was a dignified and poignant event.
As the crowd of approximately 400 people entered the park, the Pinon Mesa (PMMS) Wolverine Band played patriotic music, augmenting the theme of the day’s activities. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy John Hayes played bagpipes, also a fitting tribute for the occasion.
Before Dan Whalen, Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District (PPHCSD) Board of Directors, spoke and made introductions, Serrano High School’s Cadet Corps presented and posted The Colors. The PMMS Band played the National Anthem, while many in the audience sang.
State Assemblyman Jay Obernolte gave a moving speech, wherein he recounted the origins of our present Memorial Day holiday. He spoke of the service men and women who have died in past conflicts, “Every day is Memorial Day for the families of those who have given their lives in service to their country.”
The Cadet Corps placed a wreath at the Memorial Wall, before Bob “Gunner” Tolliver, Region 9 Combat Veteran Chaplin, gave the benediction. Having been a combat medic in Vietnam, he said working with the AV Wall organization made him feel like he was, “part of family.”
Point Man Antelope Valley (PMAV) volunteers, and representatives of the AV Wall, invited all Vietnam Veterans present to come up and receive recognition, a Vietnam War 50th Anniversary commemorative lapel pin, and a long overdue, “Welcome home,” from a grateful community. Nearly 100 Veterans stood up and went to the front to receive the honor. More than 200 Tri-Community area Veterans received pins during the holiday weekend.
Following the procession of Vietnam Veterans, PMMS 8th-grader Raegan Meeker played Taps on the bugle. She played the tribute warmly, befitting the solemn occasion.
As early as 4:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, visitors to the AV Wall came to pay respects and leave items of remembrance and honor for loved ones lost in Vietnam. The Wall was erected on Friday, May 25, and was open and tended by volunteers and PPHCSD staff 24 hours a day until it was disassembled on Tuesday, May 29. Hundreds of people visited the Wall during the 87-hour display. Many have stories of family members who are memorialized the Wall, others came to honor those whom they never met, but appreciate the sacrifice made.
According to PMAV, a veteran support group who acts as caretaker for the AV Wall, items left at the Wall will be collected, catalogued, and reused for future educational displays.
Kimberly Ward, Steve Lowrance and the entire PPHCSD staff and Board are to be commended for the planning and work that went into the local display of the Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall, and the exceptional and meaningful ceremony on Memorial Day. Volunteers from the Tri-Community and beyond also made the event memorable and fulling for visitors to the AV Wall, as they found records for service men and women, and directed family and friends to the location of names on the panels. It was a community effort, in the truest sense.
Wrightwood Memorial Day Commemoration
Theme “Global War on Terror”
May 28, 2018 By Vicky Rinek
Across the Nation, citizens went to pay their respects to those who answered the call to serve, but never made it home. Here in Wrightwood a ceremony was held Monday morning at the Wrightwood Memorial Park to mark the observance of Memorial Day. The ceremony was organized by the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial Association (WVMA).
Tom Pinard, President of WVMA, said it was a chance to pause and reflect on the meaning of the day. Marking the Memorial Park’s 10th year, Tom Pinard welcomed dignitaries, active service men and women and Wrightwoodians in attendance.
Prior to the ceremony, children from Wrightwood Elementary School, led by their principal John Garner, sang “This Land is your Land” and other patriotic songs. Tom Pinard was stalling the ceremony for good reason, so he asked that Lori Steinmann and her choir group sing a few songs. During the medley of Armed Services songs, the crowd began to cheer as, in the distance, a small black spot on the northwest blue sky began to appear. A spectacular C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, dramatically appeared to cheers from the crowd. It seemed as if the aircraft slowed down as it arrived above the event. The huge plane is used for combat, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions worldwide. The aircraft’s home is March ARB, U.S. military facility.
Returning to the program Pastor Dave Conrad, of the Methodist Church, delivered the invocation, giving a few heartfelt words, then Claudia Campbell led the National Anthem, and Boy Scout Troop 351 Color Guard presented the flag and led the Pledge of Allegiance. The wreath for the Unknown Soldier was presented by Girl Scout Troop 249. Lt. Colonel Ron Harris, USMC (Ret) read the Medal of Honor Recipients’ valor.
Keynote speaker Lt. Colonel Kenneth Lee, USMC, Executive Officer of Marine Corps Logistic Base, Barstow served two deployments to OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom, the official name for the Global War on Terror). LtCol. Lee gave accounts of U.S. men and women who are engaged in this war, spotlighting the human side of their sacrifice.
About LtCol. Lee: A native of San Bernardino, LtCol. Lee was commissioned in the Marine Corps in December of 1994. In the following years, his assignments included Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms in various assignments before his unit deployed to Okinawa. Command assignments followed at MCAS Miramar and as Company Commander when his unit deployed to OEF in 2004. Tours with the First Marine Division as a Lt. Colonel included a second deployment to the OEF as Deputy Plans Officer.
LtCol. Lee has worked in two tours at Maine Corps Logistics Base Barstow (MCLBB), presently serving as Executive Officer at this important base that is responsible to rebuild and repair ground-combat and combat-support equipment and to support installations on the West Coast of the United States. Today, one of MCLB Barstow’s most important facilities is the Marine Corps Logistics Bases’ Maintenance Center. MCLB Barstow celebrated its 75th year serving Pacific Fleet Marine assets this past year and is famous in Southern California as MCLB Barstow has the only horse-mounted color guard in the Marine Corps.
The close of the observance Tom recognized a few individuals and churches that helped make this event successful including: Bugler Cody Cantu from Troop 351, John Garner of Wrightwood Elementary School, Lori Steinmann, Buck Breazile, Cari and Patrick Nuse of Serrano Audio -Visual department, the Methodist church for the use of their chairs and Sunrise Church for suppling water.
In conclusion Pastor Dave gave the Benediction.
Students voice opinions at Parks workshop
Brennan Betts, Zachariah Budd, Natalie Lin, Meaghan Valeivia, John Snolenski attended the Phelan’s Park workshop. Photo by Terri Hill
May 17, 2018
By Terri Hill
On May 17, a group of high school students attended the community workshop regarding the Master Plan for the Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District (CSD) Parks and Recreation Department. The workshop was one of several that preceded the public forum held Thursday night.
While the students were five of just seven people who attended (Snowline’s Robert Chacon accompanied the students and one other adult attended), they were ready to share ideas and concerns about the park services available to young people within the District.
When teens take their younger siblings to the Phelan Park, the students noted, there isn’t an attraction or activity geared to their age group. One student mentioned a hobby, slacklining, that he’d like to see in the park. Slacklining is a type of tightrope-walking, using a length of flat webbing that is anchored between two points, often trees. The tightrope is tensioned just a foot to 18 inches off the ground. The young man mentioned that he and his friends wrap a blanket around the tree, before securing the webbing around it. Still, they have been asked not to use trees at the park and schools for the activity.
Along with providing posts that would serve as anchors for slacklines, the teens suggested a rock wall, and bouldering facility.
Their point was taken by Tom Diehl and Mike Singleton, the advisors leading the workshop, who included the teens’ ideas and suggestions in the data they compiled. Learn more about the public meeting and Parks Master Pan in Jessica Gonzalez’s story in this issue of the Mountaineer.
Timberline Lions Club cares about the food banks in the Tri-Community.
Kevin and Ruth Zittrauer of Helping Hands, Lions: Bob Hedden and Steve Rinek, and Appliance Specialist Walt Cripps with Midway owner Don Lager standing in front of the refrigerator given to Helping Hands. Photo by Vicky Rinek
By Vicky Rinek
The Tri-Community Helping Hands (HH) organization in Wrightwood supplies needed food items to more than 100 people twice a month. Most of the food comes from a regional food bank in Victorville as well as local donations.
HH volunteers pick up food on Friday, for distribution on Saturday. Because the organization did not have an appropriately sized refrigerator, they could not always pick up fresh foods - fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat that require refrigeration overnight.
That’s when the Timberline Lions Club stepped up. Lion member Steve Rinek contacted Don Lager at the Midway Appliance Center in Victorville. Steve was able to obtain a good size appliance at cost. With this refrigerator, Helping Hands will now be able to provide fresh vegetables, dairy products, and more to families and seniors in need. They set-up their trailer in the Methodist church parking lot, on Barbara Street, on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, distributing food begins at 10 a.m.
Timberline Lions and Helping Hands would both like to thank Midway Appliance for providing the means of obtaining an appliance that is greatly needed.
If you would like to volunteer with Helping Hands, you may contact Kevin at (760) 562-6003.
Serrano students awarded $287,500 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 $98,700 educational benefits MGIB/Tuition assistance.
Ryan Gillard - 25U- Satelite Communications System Operator/Maintainer 6 year contract, $40,000 cash bonus and $98,700 educationaAl benefits MGIB/tuition assistance
Dollar amounts unavailable:
Gavin Orton, Gannon Hubbell, Mahealani Bonilla, and Lauren Cruces
Diven Avila, and Jennifer Gulick
Memorial Day Ceremonies in the Tri-Community
A mobile 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will be stopping in Phelan
Phelan The Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall
Fri.-Mon. May 25, 28
Opens to the public May 25, 5:00 a.m.
Open 24 hrs. May 26 - 28
Memorial Ceremony on May 28, 10:00 a.m.
A 250-foot half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be unveiled in Phelan Park,Warbler & Sheep Creek, sponsored by the Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District.
The Wall That Heals, a traveling exhibit that honors more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Vietnam War and bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who lost their lives there.
On Monday, May 28 at 10:00 a.m. a Memorial ceremony will be held at Phelan Community Park.
Wrightwood’s 10th Memorial Day Honors
Mon., May 28 11:00 a.m.
The community of Wrightwood will again host their annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 28, this year honoring military members serving through America’s longest war, the Global War on Terror. Wrightwood’s Veteran Memorial Association members feel that military service to their country in peace and war through the years is our overriding commitment, but those serving presently and Veterans who have served during this protracted period, need to be recognized.
In keeping with this focus, Lt. Colonel Kenneth Lee, USMC, Executive Officer of Marine Corps Logistic Base, Barstow, will be the featured speaker. His appearance in the Memorial Day ceremony begins with a pre-show, the very popular Wrightwood School singers, led by Principal John Garner, at 10:50 am.
The hour-long ceremony begins at 11 a.m. and includes patriotic songs, a Boy Scout Color Guard, the traditional Wreath Laying. Tri-Community Area residents and visitors are urged to attend.
The event at the Veterans Memorial at 1274 Evergreen Road is sponsored by the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial Association.
Local family takes homeschool case to Sacramento, and wins
By Terri Hill
In April, a Wrightwood family went to Sacramento to be present during the hearing in the Committee on Education regarding two anti-homeschool bills, AB 2756 & AB 2926. AB 2756 was defeated, AB 2926 was withdrawn by the author. Each bill called for strict policing of home school facilities, one required names, ages, and addresses of home-schooled children be published in a database available to the public. After canvassing the neighborhood and gathering signatures in opposition to the bills, April De La Cruz and her children attended the coffee and conversation event with Assemblymen Tom Lackey and Jay Obernolte in Phelan on April 21. The family then took their objections to Sacramento, to be heard by the State Assembly.
The following are accounts by April De La Cruz and her two home-schooled children, Vaughn and Violet, of the experience.
April De La Cruz:
While we were in Sacramento we had the opportunity to meet with Assembly Member Tom Lackey and his Sacramento staff. My kids and I were given a wonderful tour of the Capitol by Assembly Member Tom Lackey personally.
Regarding both these bills, the kids presented Tom Lackey with signed non-legislative petitions that were collected by our family from people in our (Wrightwood) neighborhood. Assembly Member Lackey told them they were the youngest lobbyists he had ever met.
It was quite an exciting experience! AB 2756 had a rare outcome. There was a special order for AB 2756 to be heard first when the hearing began at 1:30PM. The hearing persisted for more than 3 hours, during which 1,500 to 2,000 people lined up in opposition to the bill and to be heard. Vaughn and Violet and I were within the first 45 people to go on record in opposition. Not a single committee member was willing to make a motion to move the bill forward to vote. Each bill requires a motion to call for a vote, and then that requires a second member on the committee to agree with the motion. If that happens, the committee will vote on the bill. With AB 2756, not even two members on the committee were willing to call for a vote. Not one member made a motion, so it died. The Chief of Staff for Assembly Member Tom Lackey shared with me that it is very rare to see that happen. He stated that the volume of families who came to oppose AB 2756 influenced the committee’s opinion and their final decision. All the homeschool families who came together to fight these anti-homeschool bills impacted the outcome of this bill. It truly is reason to celebrate, not only for our families but for the nearly 200,000 current homeschoolers within California, and future homeschool families as well.
Vaughn De La Cruz
11 years old
Homeschool Field Trip Report
May 4th, 2018
Assembly Member Tom Lackey gave our family an amazing Capitol tour. A grand room held 80 desks for each district’s member. We stood on a porch where history and many bargains were made. We left the Assembly room through two huge wooden doors that felt like 50 pounds. On the floor below us, stood a statue of a queen, king and squire. Once, Members were locked inside until 2 am. They became bored. Someone challenged, “I bet I can toss a penny into the crown.” The Queen’s finger was hit and broken. Now anyone who tries that will be arrested.
Next we headed to a hearing room. We joined 1,347 people waiting to oppose AB 2756. I testified, “Good afternoon. My name is Vaughn De La Cruz. I represent the community of Wrightwood. We oppose AB 2756.” Three hours later, the final person spoke. At voting time, we heard, “Item one, Medina AB 2756. Is there a motion?” You could hear a pin drop. It was so quiet. He declared, “The bill fails.” I will never forget this day.
Violet De La Cruz
11 years old
Homeschool Field Trip Report
May 4th, 2018
So there I was, in the car, excited, a little tired and ready for adventure. By morning, we arrived in Sacramento. Quickly, passing through Capitol security, we found people already lined up for the hearing of AB 2756. We joined the line and later visited Assembly Member Tom Lackey. His office and staff were super nice and really cool. His challenge coins were my favorite part about his office. He gave us a tour of the Capitol. We didn’t expect that! All I can say is - the tour was AWESOME!!!!!!!
After the tour, we returned to the line. We were part of the 1,347 people who came to oppose AB 2756. I testified and stated, “Good afternoon. My name is Violet De La Cruz. I am the Student Ambassador of Established Homeschool Support in Chino. Our group of 500 opposes this bill.” When voting time came, nobody voted for the bill. So the bill died. In my heart, celebration happened. God is good. It was amazing!
Wrightwood and the PCT, A Symbiotic Relationship
By Carol Bishop
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.
WDAD returns to its “home” venue
May 17, 2018
by Terri Hill
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