Once again, it was the quality of sound in the intimate performance space that made the Wrightwood Classical Concert Series summer presentation of “Jazz’n in July” such a rewarding experience for music fans. Guests were seated up close to world-class musicians with the music embracing, rather than overwhelming audience members. At the Peterson Residence in Wrightwood with a view of the soft green San Gabriel Mountains, the temperature was milder than other locales in Southern California because the music was breezy and oh so cool. Joyce Wonderly produced the concert, with Walter Foley serving as Program Director and playing acoustic and electric guitars. Additional musicians included Marshall Hawkins on upright bass, Wynell Montgomery playing saxophone and flute, Lynn Davison on keyboard and vocals, with Alan Winkel playing drums. Additionally, Mary Duman of the Wrightwood Art Center coordinated an art exhibit and silent auction featuring the works of local artists. Beginning the afternoon of entertainment, Wonderly welcomed everyone and then introduced guest performer Gayle Dowling who sang Bob Dylan’s “You’re Going To Make Me Lonesome” accompanied by Walter Foley on electric guitar. The lilting vocals and scatting guitar strings rendition was featured recently on their new CD entitled Catalyst. After that, the band settled into a set of 10 songs that amounted to the greatest hits of Jazz Music with Foley occasionally using the tremolo bar to raise the pitch on his electric guitar to make it sound as if it was crying. That was very effective on the Miles Davis song “So What” combined with bass and saxophone for a great conclusion. On vocals, Lynn Davison first sang “Shaker Song” by Manhattan Transfer in a wildly modulating Brazilian jazz staccato voice that was truly entertaining, with the guitar and saxophone following suit. Later on, she slowed the pace with her own song entitled “Sunlight” from her recent CD called Outside This Box. Highlighting one of the most exciting songs in Wayne Shorter “Footprints,” Hawkins’ bass provided the introduction for piano leading into a shrill electric guitar, saxophone and bass passage, and then edgy keyboards and more of Foley’s crying guitar. After that, a bass solo from Hawkins was assertive at first and then mellowed as a quick keyboard flourish ended the selection. Another audience favorite was “Spain” by Chick Corea. It featured a subtle guitar and dreamy piano followed by a rambunctious flute vibrato and then the bass with a bow for a conclusion…with wild applause. For the song “Sugar,” by Stanley Turrentine, another bass solo from Hawkins found him appearing to pronounce the notes delightfully as he fingered the strings, just like the teacher he is. The encore was “Take The A Train.”
Virtual Schools Approved for SJUSD
By Donna Alvarez
Virtual Schools provide students with more educational flexibility with their high school programs, which is needed because of their various lifestyles. This helps them include necessary extracurricular activities in which they participate. Chad Brooks, administrator of non-traditional schools (Snowline Virtual School, Eagle Summit Community Day School, and Chaparral High School) reported to the Snowline School Board (SJUSD) July 18 meeting. He stated virtual schools help students complete much of their tasks on-line by using project-based work. It is a blended approach, which includes required classes and extra-curricular activities, specifically athletic interests such as rodeo programs connected to the California High School Rodeo Association. Virtual schools must comply with the A through G requirements for Science, Biology labs, Math, and English. Passing coursework with approved A-G certification benefits students’ applications to colleges and universities. Serrano High School and Snowline Virtual School have this protocol and certification. SJUSD is now finishing the requirements for such certifications to comply with NCAA accreditation standards, so students of Virtual School can apply for athletic scholarships throughout the United States. SJUSD has almost completed this requirement. Another important focus of the Virtual School is to increase student-teacher interaction. This approach has attracted more students to the Snowline program. Another vital board approval was allowing students to make up missed work. This helps them to earn their credits for graduation. SJUSD trustees approved a measure stating that new teachers hired for the middle school (6th-8th grade) level may be hired with a multiple subject credential for Science and Math. It is difficult to find single subject credentialed teachers at the middle school level. This is because middle school is still considered elementary school level. Teachers hired for high school must have a single subject credential for science, math, English, or history. Some teachers who are almost finished with their credentialing programs, and are near completion, are being granted preliminary credentials. Superintendent Dr. Ryan Holman presented the SJUSD Board of Trustees two goals that establish a framework for direction relative to all district efforts: “Board Goal 1: The Superintendent will facilitate a Professional Learning Community that will implement systems designed to ensure student success through educational pathways that support the ongoing commitment to ensure endless possibilities for all students through high levels of learning.” “Board Goal 2: The Superintendent will facilitate a Professional Learning Community that will implement systems designed to increase parent, staff and community engagement into the ongoing efforts of the district’s schools to ensure endless possibilities for all students through high levels of learning.” Dr. Holman reported on the “Unity of Purpose” at SJUSD and “What We Hope to Accomplish as a Governance Team: • Create new and expand advanced placement classes, and CTE (Career Technical Education) vocational pathways to ensure endless opportunities for all students. These concepts could save students’ time and resources while enhancing their education. • Develop a plan to pay-off our COP (Certificates of Participation) and remain fiscally solvent in order to maintain our quality programs. • Develop collaborative goals that are comfortable to all of us, which will enable us to have a common focus that we all feel good about. We need to develop and maintain a clear and common focus while maintaining fiscal solvency. • Evaluate what is most important to us and share feedback with all necessary individuals to ensure success. • Model the collaboration that we are establishing throughout the District in order to create sustainability and ensure that the model exists for the future. • Communicate a unified purpose and vision.” During board comments Karie LaFever stated that she appreciated the transparency the Superintendent offers during his evaluation process. Dr. Holman is open to feedback by the board of trustees, staff, and community. This type of openness has been a theme throughout the school year. According Dr. Holman, “The Gigafy Phelan grant was approved by the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) in San Francisco last Thursday, (July 13, 2017). The grant pays $27 million and RACE Communications pays $20 million to complete the project and install all of the infrastructure for our area.” He thanked Charlie Johnson, President of the Phelan Chamber of Commerce, and Don Fish for their help with this project. During board comments Dr. Dennis Zimmerman, Assistant Superintendent, presented four areas of accomplishments that students need to acquire to stay out of poverty: 1) graduate from high school; 2) get a full time job; 3) wait until a person is at least 21years of age to get married; and 4) wait to get married before having children. Board member, Dave Nilsen, added to the above by stating methods that help employees keep their jobs: arriving 20 minutes early, staying 30 minutes late, be willing to do the dirtiest of jobs, maintain an updated resume and portfolio. This helps a person be a success in life and employment. Dr. Holman stated that a children’s breakfast program will start on August 10th. The program feeds 8,000 children under age 18. There will be no income qualifications. This program is federally funded. A special congratulations goes to 2017-2018 Serrano senior Garret Kocab, athlete of the year in Track and Field.
Wrightwood CSD GM sought
By Terri Hill
In an effort to place someone in the position of general manager, sooner than later, the Wrightwood Community Services District (WCSD) published an ad for the job in this newspaper, and on social media last week. Taking the position that the public was well aware of the job opening, due to the publicity, and meetings held since the CSD was voted in, the Board of Directors decided it was best to close the application period on July 28, at 4 p.m. Two applicants are expected to be offered interviews at a public board meeting on Tuesday, July 31. That meeting will be held at the Wrightwood Community Building at 7 p.m. In other business at the July 18th meeting, the issue of solid waste disposal was discussed. WCSD will adopt the franchise agreement with CR&R, for curbside pick-up, which was entered into by County Service Area (CSA) 56. As with CSA 56, a yearly fee of approximately $86 per San Bernardino County (SBC) parcel, as part of the property tax, will come from SBC to WCSD, for landfill use (dump cards) by property owners. Los Angeles County (LAC) residents of Wrightwood do not currently have the same access to the landfill. A public hearing, on Thursday, August 3 at 7 p.m. in the Wrightwood Museum, will address the collection of solid waste disposal facility (dump card) fees from LAC property owners. An ad hoc committee researched insurance options for the new government agency. The board approved the recommendation to move forward with insurance provided by Special District Risk Management Authority for a policy covering the WCSD for 2 million dollars. The board also agreed on the benefits of joining the California Special Districts Association. During Public Comments, Lynn Crawford spoke to the possibility of future requirements for a sewer system in Wrightwood. She presented comments and advice given by Jim Cowan of Golden State Water, Francis “Mike” Coony of Lahontan (our local regional water quality control board) and Kimberly Cox, who is on the water board. Given the quality of Wrightwood’s ground water, and lack of certain harmful chemicals and nitrates, it appears unlikely that a wastewater treatment plant and sewers would be required by Lahontan in the foreseeable future. Crawford has served on the committee, to research a possible sewer system, since its inception in 2001 by the Wrightwood Municipal Advisory Council (MAC). She plans to give a detailed history of the issue, and committee, at the September 8 CSD meeting. Bob Hedden also took the mic to inquire as to the lack of American with Disabilities Act (ADA) approved parking spaces at the Community Building and other properties now managed by WCSD. He pointed to the inefficiency of the two spaces provided by the county, before the handing over of the parks and facilities to WCSD. He also brought up the lack of sufficient ADA parking within the rest of the Village.
New shopping center coming to Phelan
By Terri Hill
Rockridge Plaza is currently leasing retail space in six buildings. Located on the southwest corner of Phelan and Valle Vista Roads, the new shopping center, on 8.43 acres, will house two large stores, a restaurant, a full-service gas station with convenience store, and other retail and dining businesses. In the past, studies indicated the Tri-Community could not support a large retail plaza. According to a statement made to the Daily Press, Joseph Brady of The Bradco Company, the leasing agent for the new plaza, reports a recent audit of the area, “determined that there are approximately 34 national retailers within the market place.” The company is currently marketing spaces within the plaza for lease. VVR, LLC, of which Ken Anderson is a managing member, hired the services of Steeno, Design Studio in Hesperia for the entitlement, design, and architecture on the project. Anderson is well known in the Tri-Community. His family owned and operated the True Value Hardware and lumberyard in Wrightwood, and Ken opened the larger store in Phelan, moving the business and employees to the new location. Building the Phelan Towne Square provided employment and business opportunities for the Tri-Community. The new plaza will again boost the local economy with employment and tax revenue. A Dollar General store is planned for the lot on the opposite side of Phelan Road, at the corner of Sierra Vista. With the addition of three major retailers and a large restaurant to existing locally owned businesses and the Farmers Market, Tri-Community residents will have more options, without driving 15 to 25 miles down the road.
Local bookstore under new ownership
By Terri Hill
Last weekend the Sheldon family celebrated the Grand Opening of their new business, Sheldon Entertainment in Wrightwood. Recently acquired from Mark and Lori Halopoff, the used bookstore will get a few upgrades under the Sheldons’ ownership. Jeff and Cindy Sheldon have added video games and movie rentals to the used-book business. They are also remodeling the back room, which will serve as the computer repair office. Internet access and computers will be available for customer convenience. Jeff said he would eventually like to work with the homeschool community, too, making his computers and library of books accessible to the students. The Sheldons have owned a cabin in Wrightwood since 2006. Jeff explained he and his family have, “felt the love of the community” since they first spent time in the Village. In the interest of showing their appreciation for their new home, (the family recently moved here fulltime from Lancaster), they sought a way to connect with and serve the area. During a visit to Beverly’s Books, Jeff and his daughter Teena overheard Mark telling a customer that they hoped to find a local resident to purchase the business and keep it open. “I have a background in intelligence,” Jeff laughed, “so I’m good at eavesdropping!” He spoke with Mark about buying the business, and soon the deal was made. Jeff and Cindy plan to join the Chamber of Commerce and the Timberline Lions, to further support their new home. The new bookstore owners are honoring credit already established by Beverly’s Bookstore customers. Sheldon Entertainment is located at 6069 Park Drive in Wrightwood.
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961