With music Friday and the carnival rides, parade, booths, and food Saturday and Sunday, last weekend belonged to Phelan Phamily Phun days. Saturday’s events began with a sumptuous pancake breakfast, hosted by the San Bernardino County Fire Department Explorers Post 351 in Phelan. Captain Wetzel was busy at the grill in the Phelan Senior Center, while Fire Explorers collected money, served guests, and bussed tables. The menu included pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, coffee, and juice. As the Explorers’ major annual fundraiser, the breakfast is supported by local businesses. Rick’s Café donated pancake mix, Mama Maria’s and Mexico Lindo donated eggs, and Arturo’s provided the delicious spicy sausage. By the time the Phun Days Parade got under way (details in Michael Palecki’s article), the Champagne car Show was already set up on Sheep Creek, and attracting enthusiasts and casual observers alike. From hotrods to classic cars, the array lent a splash of bright color to the autumn desert landscape. Dan Coffey displayed his restored 1969 Chevy Camaro with classic Houndstooth interior. Coffey, a 29-year resident of Phelan, said he’s owned the Camaro for 20 years, and has more recently been able to put in the time, and money to work on it. The Chevy has a “383 stroker, and 373 posi-disk brakes.” (Window sticker) Among the booths near the carnival rides were schools, scouts, clubs, and vendors. Mojave River Academy, of Oro Grande School District brought information about their independent study programs available at their office in Phelan, and the State Preschool program was represented. Heritage teacher, Todd Anton raised additional funds for the annual Veterans’ Dinner by making ID cards for children. Using a WWII era model, Mr. Anton created authentic looking IDs with photo, fingerprints, and stats of the subjects. He even used a WWII Era typewriter to fill out the information. National FFA Organization members from Serrano hosted a pumpkin patch to raise money for their local chapter and to support trips that the students take during the year. Molly French, a junior, commented, “I have two bunnies, and I’m raising a lamb to take to the County Fair next year.” Students from 4-H were near the pumpkin patch, with a petting zoo for the younger children to enjoy. Fifth-grader, Sarah Quintana is in her second year with 4-H. Her goat, Stormy, was bent on eating the straw from the rabbit cage. Food booths offered everything from BBQ to Smoothies. Melissa Cagle, of Pinon Hills, had planned to have her hotdog and hamburger service at the event. As reported last week, Melissa had lost her service dog in Las Vegas, during the mass-shooting incident. She was reunited with her dog, Roulette, but she attended the concert as a vendor, and her foodservice operation is still impounded at the venue. Kiwanis and Lion clubs were represented, as was the Community Cabinet. San Gorgonio Girl Scout Council and Phelan Pinon Hills CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team) had membership materials and literature about their organizations as well. Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District (PPHCSD) employees had a booth at the entrance to the fair. Fun prizes, with a “conserve water” message, could be won from the spin of the prize wheel. A special appearance by “Precious” delighted the children. Precious is a water drop character who reminds kids not to waste water. Phelan Gas, whose company truck displayed the American Flag over the fairgrounds, was a major sponsor of the event. Presented by the Phelan Chamber of Commerce, the 3-day festival was also sponsored by The Medicine Shoppe, DCB, news Plus, CR&R, Mojave River Academy, san Bernardino County, The McNamara Group, and the PPHCSD.
Phelan Phamily Phun Days Parade by Michael Palecki
Under picture-perfect blue skies last Saturday morning, the 28th annual Phelan Phamily Phun Days Parade streamed past spectators. Before the parade arrived at the Phelan Chamber of Commerce flagpole, signage and planter, Master of Ceremonies Tony Spampinato welcomed everyone and explained, “The theme of this year’s parade is celebrating diversity within our community.” After that announcement, members of Boy Scout Troop 53 led the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and raised the American Flag. 16-year old Serrano High School junior class student Reagan Slomback, in a strong and resolute voice, then sang the National Anthem. After that, Cub Scout pack 351 led the parade past the judging stand, followed by Grand Marshal Grez Drylie. Just behind, Phelan Chamber of Commerce President Charlie Johnson, CSD President Kathy Pace and Pinon Hills Honorary Mayor Lori Weston followed. And then to honor the memory of Phelan Honorary Mayor Carolyn McNamara, who passed away this year, McNamara’s rider-less horse was led down the parade route by 2016 Miss Rodeo USA Harmony Latham. Next up, Bat Man arrived from Gotham on a stealth motorcycle, followed by the Serrano Rattlesnake Regiment Marching Band. After them, hopeful contestants to be Miss Phelan passed by in a pickup truck and introduced themselves on the microphone. And then reaching out beyond the community Evergreen Lutheran Church paid tribute to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes baseball team. Later on, while Snowline School District Superintendent of Schools Ryan Holman expounded on the many facets of diversity to Spampinato, a school bus, van from Snowline Academy, and a float from Chaparral High School passed by. Following them, members of the High Desert Challengers 4-H Club rode in a trailer. There were also pristine tractors, which looked like they just rolled out the factory door, from Early Day Tractors and the High Desert Antique Power Association. In between those, the Drylie Clan entry presented a dazzling motorcycle, pickup truck, and tiny tractor. Also from outside the community, a crowd favorite was the tiny red cars with the agility of go-karts driven by Al Malaikah Shriners from Apple Valley. Additional entries included Sunset Community Little League, SBC Junior Fair Board members, CSD Water, Excelsior Charter School, and Fountain of Living Waters Church. In equestrian units, there were Jinetes del Desierto, Miss Rodeo Adelanto Lexi Specchio, Dusty Spurs Gymkhana, Sierra Nevada Packers, Oak Hills Hillbilly Riders, and the SBC Sheriffs Search & Rescue Phelan Posse. Concluding the procession, gleaming SBC fire trucks were applauded for stopping the Blue Cut Fire. First Place parade awards went to Jinetes del Desierto for equestrian, Evergreen Salutes Quakes, Serrano Rattlesnake Regiment Marching Band, and the Drylie Clan. The Theme Award was won by Snowline School District for multiple entries embracing diversity.
The Silverados In Concert By Michael Palecki
Last Friday night, Phelan Phamily Phun Days 2017 was launched as the Phelan Pinon Hills CSD presented a block party in the Phelan Park featuring The Silverados country rock cover band. In a vast improvement from last year’s poorly lit venue, the Phelan Chamber of Commerce, Snowline School District and Victorville Motors collaborated this year to provide an elevated stage and lighting truss for musicians, as well as overhead lights to illuminate the lawn and beer garden for spectators. With The Silverados performing a set of 29 songs, which mostly amounted to the greatest hits of country and rock music, there was something to please everyone in the audience, and some line dancing too. Musicians included, Julie Wuertz singing lead vocals, Mike Heil playing acoustic guitar and singing vocals, Doug Hanks on lead electric guitar and vocals, Steve Sanchez playing a red electric guitar, Scott Van Tine on electric bass guitar, and Ray Ochoa playing drums. During a sound check prior to the concert, The Silverados transitioned into Tom Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down” as a tribute to the late rock star. Following that at intervals during the performance Heil & Wuertz shared information about the band and then played songs pertinent to the anecdotes. Founded in 1992, the band opened for Tim McGraw at Camp Pendleton “Something Like That,” and Montgomery Gentry in Bakersfield “Gone.” As the city Buck Owens called home, “Act Naturally,” Bakersfield was where Dwight Yoakam revitalized the career of Owens and the Bakersfield Sound “Fast As You.” From the first set, the Maren Morris comically irreverent song “My Church” had Wuertz singing about cheating and lying in an emotional delivery, with the only hope for redemption coming from keeping the wheels rolling and the radio scrolling to Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, “Til my sins wash away.” Continuing with the pure California sound of the Eagles, Doug Hanks sang lead vocals for “Already Gone” and “Heartache Tonight” as the Ferris wheel lit up the Phelan sky in the background. Also from that set, Phil Everly’s “When Will I Be Loved” and Jason Aldean’s “Take A Little Ride” featured scorching red guitar solos from Steve Sanchez. During the second set, there was a funky introduction for Little Big Town’s song “Boondocks” with Wurertz’s and Heil singing harmonies and counter harmonies to a twangy red guitar. After that, Hanks sang two songs he learned when he was 12 years old-the Beatles’ “You Can’t Do That” and the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time.” Other audience favorites included John Mellencamp’s “Rock In The USA” with everyone singing in a raucous delivery, and Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman” as Wuertz sang with conviction for the freewheeling anthem of the evening. Slowing things down considerably, the set ended with drummer Ray Ochoa singing Eric Clapton’s song “Lay Down Sally” as Wuertz and Heil sang vocal harmonies with yet another, but restrained, red guitar solo. Powering towards a conclusion in the third set, there was “Ring Of Fire” from Johnny Cash, a couple of Doobie Brothers songs, Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl Shake It” and the finale, “What I Like About You,” by The Romantics.
Mountain Lion on the Prowl By Donna Alvarez
Alpacas killed, one six month old colt killed and a mare severely injured. A mountain lion is on the prowl reeking havoc in Oak Hills. The multipurpose room at Quail Valley Middle was filled with extremely concerned local residents. Even before the meeting officially opened questions blurted out from the audience: “What do we do when we see a mountain lion?” “What about our children walking to and from the school bus or playing in the yard?” “Can we re-locate the lion?” Because of the extreme nature of the community’s concerns, Kathy Arch organized the talk to answer questions and inform the community. Answering the first immediate questions was Andrew Hughan of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) began addressing preventative measures. “If you actually see a mountain lion, you are lucky! These cats are extremely stealthy. They may be around you and you would not know it,” he stated. “LOOK BIG, DON’T RUN, MAKE NOISE!” To protect yourself remember: “Safety in numbers, don’t walk or cycle alone, keep children close, give it a chance to leave, don’t run away, which may trigger an attack from behind, if approached, get aggressive, throw sticks and stones, fight back.” He stated that deer are the main source of food. If deer are around, so will a mountain lion. They also eat porcupines, raccoons, rabbits, beavers, pets, and livestock. Re-locating mountain lions is not an option. Because of the unfamiliar habitat, the animal would die. Hughan said that when public safety is involved it is the CDFW responsibility to protect citizens. The animal may have to be dispatched if danger is imminent so tranquilizing and relocating the cat is not an option. Citizens may dispatch the cat if it is on their own property but they need to obtain a depredation permit. This is good only on their own property and for ten days. If more time is needed the permit may be extended for another ten days. Kevin Brennan, a wildlife biologist, stated that such permits are only for the person or designee to whom it is assigned, it is unlawful for bullets to hit another person or neighbors’ property, and only shot guns may be used. As far as the drought is concerned, lions have unique abilities to find water sources. However, standing water, household gardens, pet food left outside may attract all types of wildlife including lions . Lions like other wildlife like free and easy meals. To protect livestock and pets keep food and standing water picked up, use over head covering for livestock, keep livestock in sheltered areas or barns, don’t let livestock and pets roam free at night, and having large dogs (like a large hound from the pound) that patrol the area helps deter the cats. According to an audience member, using electrical fencing acts as a deterrent as well. Actually, one of the biggest problems in our desert and mountain areas are roaming dogs. It was highly recommended to always report stray dogs. These often run in packs. Many times it is the dogs that kill livestock and not mountain lions or coyotes. Wild life expert, Annie Lancaster, discussed how controlling rats using poisons affects the entire food chain. The poison enters the rodents’ body which may be eaten by other animals such as dogs, cats, owls, coyotes, bobcats, and lions. This has an adverse effect causing severe mange. An animal that is injured, ill, or affected by rat poison may come into residential areas for easier food to eat. One of the audience members said that “Rat X” will kill rats but not harm other pets or animals.The anticoagulant zinc phosophide cause animals to bleed out. Rat X does not have this ingredient. See “pet med. com” on the internet. Our local Feed Barn in Phelan supplies this product. A question from the audience was “What is the response time of DCFW to respond to a troubled scene?” DCFW may take an hour, however but a person may call 911 for local support from the police department. They will respond within 5 minutes if danger from a mountain lion is imminent. Keeping the mountain lions, citizens, pets, and livestock safe is a balancing act. The big cats were here first but citizens should, also, be kept safe, too. We should all do our part to follow the safety protocols.
News from October 5 -11, 2017
11 out of 12 SJUSD Schools Win Top PBIS Awards!
By Donna Alvarez
Top Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) awards were given to Snowline Joint Unified School District (SJUSD) for the 2016-2017 school year. PBIS is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, which supports school districts and states to build systems for implementing a multi-tiered approach for social, emotional, and behavioral support. The broad purpose of PBIS is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of schools and other agencies. PBIS improves social, emotional, and academic outcomes for all students including those with disabilities and those from underrepresented groups. Recognition was awarded based on criteria linked to the Tiered Inventory (TFI) at the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Levels.” According to the PBIS Rewards web site: “PBIS Rewards is a management system for school-wide success promoting and assisting schools in their Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. It is a multi-device platform that makes it easy to continuously recognize students for meeting behavior expectations from anywhere in the school, not just the classroom.” California PBIS Statewide Recognition Coalition (CA PBIC Coalition) presented awards to California schools. Eleven SJUSD schools were recognized. Phelan Elementary School was one of two High Desert schools to win the most prestigious award, the Platinum Award for the 2016-2017 school year. The other 10 school recognitions in SJUSD were as follows: two Gold (Pinon Hills School and Mesa Elementary School); 6 Silver (Baldy Mesa Elementary School, Vista Verde Elementary School, Wrightwood Elementary School, Quail Valley Middle School, Chaparral High School, Serrano High School); 2 Bronze (Heritage School and Snowline Virtual). Principal Tony Buckley explained how Phelan Elementary won the Platinum award, “We use Restorative Practices to restore (healthy behaviors) when behaviors are inconsistent with, and/or, severely transgress the core values of Respect, Responsibility and Safety. We look forward to giving ALL Falcons a SAFE learning environment where they will be challenged, be allowed to make mistakes, to grow into the best version of themselves that they can possibly be.” Both the counselor, Judi Skillman, who played a significant role in Phelan Elementary’s award, and Mr. Buckley emphasized that the students’ creation of positive relationships within the “Phelan Family” is the number one step. The hardest aspect has been to change the thought on discipline, moving from “the punitive, toward teaching positive replacement behavior. Using positive behavior replacement, rewarding that behavior, and giving appropriate feedback makes positive change on campus.” In Buckley’s final statement on his “Principal’s Page” he quoted Nelson Mandela, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children.”Poetry and more, in the pines By Terri Hill
September ended and October began with the 3rd Annual Wrightwood Literary Festival (WLF) last weekend. Held at Camp Mariastella, the festival again featured keynote speakers, guest poet/teachers, and writing, performing, and editing workshops. The event is geared toward writers of varied media and experience levels. The Wrightwood Literary Festival is presented by the Rattle magazine and the Rattle Foundation, a 501(c)3, working to promote the practice of poetry. Sponsors this year included the Applewood Inn, Mountain Hardware, Cinnamon’s Bakery, Jensen’s Foods, Mile High Pizza, Whole Life Soaps and Tonyan Coffee. Wrightwood resident Timothy Green, Editor of Rattle, also acknowledged support from Wrightwood Arts Center, Wrightwood Certified Farmer’s Market, Village Grind, Inlandia Institute, Big Pines Movement Arts, the San Bernardino County Library, and Wrightwood Lodging. Green works each year with local writers and artists to bring the festival and its participants to Wrightwood. With the help of Jan Vondra, Gail Nieto, Joan McCandless, and many others, Green has created a much-anticipated and well-attended event. Each of the four led workshops during the two-day festival. Saturday’s Keynote Speaker was Victoria Patterson, author of the novels The Peerless Four and This Vacant Paradise, a 2011 New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, Drift, was a finalist for the California Book Award, the 2009 Story Prize, and was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The San Francisco Chronicle. Patterson’s topic was the import of literary terrain. Brendan Constantine, a teacher of poetry in Southern California schools and colleges as well as Elisa hospitals, elder care centers and shelters for the homeless, is currently poet in residence at The Windward School. Brendan also works with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. He led workshops and performed some of his poems for the festival. Janet Hay, Elisa Suzanne Grajeda-Urmston, Kelly Grace Thomas, Mary Duman, Ron Frank, Victoria Barras Tulacro, and Gregory Jones were contributing performers and workshop leaders. Like last year, Saturday’s scheduled events included a poetry slam at the Village Grind in the evening. On Sunday, the festival ended with an “open mic” and readings by the guest poets. Three of the readings were from Snowline district students who had submitted their poems to the festival organizers, and won the opportunity to read at the event, and to have their works published in the magazine for young authors, Rattle Young Poets Anthology (R.Y.P.A) magazine. Tonee Ales, a 7-year old from Pinon Hills Elementary School read first. Her poem, I Hear Laughing, educed appreciative applause and amusement from the adult audience. Heritage student Greta Geriguis read next. At just five years old, Greta’s voice was no more than a whisper. Tim Green reread, Sweet Cherries, so the audience could hear the words, which humorously described the life cycle of the fruit. Finally, 13-year old Heritage student McKenzie Renfrew read, Vague Existence. Her poem is a mature look at keeping others from knowing who you are, inside. Wrightwood Literary Festival is scheduled the last weekend of September, 2018. Watch for specifics on the website, wrightwoodlitfest.com and follow Rattle on Facebook. To order the quarterly magazine or R.Y.P.A., visit www.rattle.com. Camp Fenner - A great neighbor in so many ways By Carol Bishop
Officially known as Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp #41, Camp Fenner is situated 11 miles as the crow flies, or about twice that far if you drive west from Wrightwood on the winding Big Pines Hwy. The last leg of the drive, Big Rock Creek Road, parallels a stream and curves through a beautiful canyon of sugar pines, cedars, and oaks. The enjoyable scenery almost compensates for, and hopefully prevents, any motion sickness one might incur due to the nature of the road - unless you’re sitting in the back of a Cal Fire crew transport truck, that is. First developed and inhabited in 1902 by the Big Horn Mining Company and named after its superintendent and co-owner, Fred C. Fenner, the site has served many different purposes throughout the years. In the 1960’s, once the mine had closed, the Job Corp gained control and opened a center. After that, Los Angeles County took over the land and buildings and used it for a youth camp, which was then followed by the California Youth Authority and Cal Fire establishing a partnership. In the early 1990’s, Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp opened as a joint operation of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). Currently Duran Gaddy, CAL FIRE Division Chief, and Lieutenant W. Mock, CDCR Camp Commander, work hand in hand meeting the camp’s many missions. Chief Gaddy is responsible for operations, while Lt. Mock handles the corrections side - the security and safety of the inmates. When at capacity, 26 staff work with up to 140 male inmates as they serve our community, area, and state, while serving their time. The primary mission of Camp Fenner is providing fire response. Six crews, averaging 14 inmates and 2 staff each, are available for fighting fires anywhere in California and up to 25 miles across the borders into Nevada, Oregon, and Mexico. During fire season, it is common for crews to be away weeks at a time moving from fire to fire as needed. Inmates continually receive training in order to keep them safe and effective as they play a vital role in saving our wildlands. When not fighting fires, crews work on projects. In exchange for using their Angeles National Forest (ANF) owned site, Camp Fenner provides two crews a day for project work within the forest. Weed-abatement, trail and campground maintenance, and tree removal along with other general cleanup and light construction requiring labor intensive effort are performed throughout our area. Local regional benefactors of their efforts include Saddleback State Park, the Poppy Preserve, Patton State Hospital, the Pacific Crest Trail, and our Grassy Hollow Visitor Center. Along with yearly weed abatement, they have stained the building, made repairs, taken down dead trees, and performed occasional snow removal. Chief Gaddy states, “Our crews com-plete many projects in the community that just wouldn’t get done otherwise.” Various government and non-profit entities are dependent upon Camp Fenner. Special projects include weed abatement and general cleanup for Phelan/Pinon Hills Community Services District, including around the water tanks and community parks. Did you ever wonder who cleans up along the aqueduct? Along roadways and highways? Who provides the manpower for many of the Wrightwood Fire Safe Council projects? And, today, if some fire doesn’t get in the way, there will be a crew in Wrightwood once again taking down dead trees along Hwy 2. CAL FIRE’s official mission is to serve and safeguard the people and protect the re-sources of California. Chief Gaddy, Lt. Mock, and the staff and inmates of Camp Fenner are do-ing that and more for our area. We are lucky to have them as our “neighbor,” and appreciate their hard work. (Another article about Camp Fenner, focusing on the inmates, will appear in next week’s edition.)Adopt a Road by High Desert Keepers By Vicky Rinek
Thursday, September 28, 2017: the San Bernardino County Supervisor Robert Lovingood came out to Phelan to dedicate the new “Adopt a Road” along Phelan Road (between Wilson Ranch Rd to Holiday Lanes) by the High Desert Keepers (HDK). HDK is an organization with the purpose of maintaining and protecting our beautiful desert landscape. They serve the Antelope Valley, Victor Valley, and the Morongo Basin. The number one issue is illegal dumping. The High Desert is the garbage can of Southern California and HDK’s goal is to clean it up and stop the dumping. They work with other groups, non-profits, San Bernardino County, the cities, towns, and communities of Victorville, Lancaster, Palmdale, Hesperia, Phelan, Pinon Hills, Little Rock, Pearblossom, Wrightwood, 29 Palms, Joshua Tree, and surrounding areas.
Since their beginning they have removed 1000 tires and 47 tons of trash from our deserts. Scott Brown, President and founder of the High Desert Keepers, was inspired by a big clean up project he initiated in Wrightwood, and in 2009 he created the High Desert Keepers. As a former police officer, firefighter, and Emergency Medical Services volunteer, as well as an accomplished and published photographer and documentary filmmaker, Scott has an avid and active interest in the environment and the community. “This is our desert, this is our country, this is our planet; its up to us to make it a better place.” HDK is a 501c3 organization. They hold fundraisers throughout the year to help with their efforts. PPHCSD and CR&R have assisted them with large dumpsters. To find out about their next clean-up date or to report an illegal dump, go to their facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/High-Desert-Keepers-288943028171952/.
Students Involved in Celebrating the Veterans
By Donna Alvarez
Last week’s meeting of the Snowline Joint Unified School District (SJUSD) Board opened with comments from Todd Anton and eighth grade student, Brynn Knowlton of Heritage School, expressing thanks to the Kiwanis of the Tri-Community, Serrano High School (SHS) football team, and the Pizza Factory for their support of the annual Veterans’ Dinner, recognition, and Graduation Ceremony. The students of the Snowline district will be serving the dinner and be eating and talking with the veterans. According to Knowlton, the purpose of this is to have the students and veterans interact and get to know each other. This will help students appreciate the service and sacrifice for our country’s freedoms because “freedom is not free,” Knowlton quoted. The students also bring a lot of healing to the veterans, making them feel young again. Also mentioned was the importance of the veterans’ graduation. Some veterans had their education interrupted because of WW II, Japanese Internment, Korea, and Vietnam, according to Hansen. The high school graduation ceremony is in its third year at SJUSD. The veterans will be honored during that week’s football game at Serrano High School on October 20th, 2017. They will be honored prior to and during the game. Chad Brooks promoted a new marketing program for Snowline Virtual School, which will eventually be Snowline Academy as soon as their accreditation is completed. The main concerns presented were: how do we recruit new students to our schools, retain the students that we have, and deliver quality education? Local charter schools compete with SJUSD even giving money to students for various extra-curricular activities, like dance lessons. If students are home schooled or enrolled in the Virtual School in SJUSD, they are welcome to participate in the many extra-curricular activities that are offered by highly qualified staff and coaches. Brooks crafted strategies for success using a multi-tiered venue, “Committed and Visionary Leadership; Develop and Communicate Our Brand; Devote Resources to Staff and Team; Set Goals for Enrollment; Implement a Word of Mouth Campaign; Redesign Our Website; Tell Our Story; Re-recruit Our Families.” Snowline Virtual School has a flexible curriculum. Students may attend most classes at SHS then attend one class at Snowline Virtual, or they can enroll in classes at Snowline Virtual and take a class at SHS. The district’s flexibility in scheduling allows SHS students dual enrollment, attending certain classes at Chaparral Alternative High School for needed course make-ups, and permits students to partner with SHS’s sports, band, FFA, and other programs. Brooks stated that Snowline doesn’t have to give out money to students to provide extra-curricular activities because it already provides multiple extra-curricular activities to its students by qualified staff and coaches. Phelan Phun Days is promoting SJUSD with a stage venue for dancing and singing. The parade will include the SJUSD band, flag team, FFA, and Military Prep. Superintendent Doctor Ryan Holman gave his monthly update on his Long Term Debt Repayment Plan. Regarding the State of the District visits, the completion of staff feedback and preparation survey is forthcoming. He stated that the CFD (Community Facilities District) contracts are approved and the modifications are next. During school board comments, Board Member Richard Upshaw said he visited Vista Verde Elementary School, and commented on the quality of the Physical Education program. Employment of an Elementary School Physical Educator allows the classroom teachers collaboration time.
Jeeps and chili draw visitors to Wrightwood By Terri Hill
October’s festivities in the Tri-Community got off to a roaring start, with the Willys and Jeeps Day and the Chili Cook-off in Wrightwood on Saturday. West Coast Willys Club hosts the annual Willys and Jeeps event; it is not a competition, but a meet and cruise, there are no awards given out. Instead, the day is about being with friends and sharing a common interest. Carl “Smitty” Smith was, as usual, under an easy up with a handful of Wrightwood friends, relaxing and enjoying the perfect weather. Missing from the familiar sight was longtime friend, Larry Boyes. Larry, who with Smitty organized the even every year, passed away in August of this year. Kevin Hampton brought his recently acquired Jeep, a 1947 CJ2A, with a Buick V-6. He commented, I’ve been trying to get Smitty to sell it to me for years! When I heard he was ready to sell it, I jumped at the chance.” Smitty said his grandkids learned to drive in it, during the 25 years he owned it. Visitors to the Willys and Jeep day were also welcomed at the Wrightwood Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Tasting being held at the Community Building and its parking lot. Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce sponsors the popular event each year, in October. So many eager testers showed up, that the competing cooks were running out of chili within the first hour. This year, the competition was stiff between the chili chefs. South Paw, who took home the First-Place Trophy, added a special ingredient to their concoction – rattle snake. (The sign said, “Tastes like chicken.”) Although I couldn’t tell you which morsel was reptilian, you can bet I’ll brag about having tried it. About the recipe, Scott and Judy Thompson said, “It’s a collaboration of five family cooks.” Michele Kraenkel won Second Place Honors, with her, Christmas Tree Fundraisers’ chili. Michele found a recipe in Parade Magazine, and tweaked it a bit. She explained, “It has chorizo, chuck steak, cinnamon stick, and jalapeno.” “And,” she added, “The main ingredient is love.” Third Place was awarded to the Hawaiian Chili crafted by Greg Fleming and his daughter Brittany. Their “smoky, sweet, and spicy,” concoction was also a family collaboration. In the salsa competition, First Place went to Janice Quick. A Corn Hole Tournament kept the crowd entertained, as did the live music that played at the bandstand of Vivian Null Park. Families brought chairs and enjoyed the shaded grass of the park. As a fun side note to the day’s festivities, Brittany Keeley introduced a couple who had returned to Wrightwood because they liked it so much when they stopped during their Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hike. Brittany had been the couple’s host, and when they came back for a visit, she brought them to the cook-off. Brittany took the mic during a lull in the music, and announced the engagement of Tim Tracy from New Zealand, and Corinne Phillips from Australia. Tim had the ring custom made, and hidden (from him and Corinne) at the Canadian Terminus of the PCT. Once he found the ring, he proposed, and she accepted. The fun announcement brought out the romantic in everyone present. Next year, two teams have committed to entering the chili cook-off: Claude Grijalva and Eric Johnston, and Kelly and Wish Bashaw are up for planning to win, and hoping for at least a dozen competitors to rise to the challenge.
Therapy dog lost during Las Vegas shooting
Staff report Days after the October 1st shooting in Las Vegas, a Pinon Hills couple were reunited with their lost therapy dog. Roulette, a French Bull dog, ran off during the chaos and gunfire. Her owner Melissa Cagle was at her vendor booth at the concert venue when the dog was scared by the noise. Melissa called her fiancé Ryan Needham in California and he drove to Las Vegas to search for Roulette. Ryan refused to go back to California until he found her. Ryan had been living out of his truck for days. So for four days, they drove around and followed hundreds of tips that came in through e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. People from as far away as Asia logged into Facebook and reported seeing the dog photos posted online. She was finally spotted Wednesday night in a field not far from Mandalay Bay, near where the gunman killed 58 people. “We saw her run by as we were talking, just kind of running from people, and I had jumped over the fence, but as soon as I was calling her, I kneeled down, and she ran straight to me and jumped into my arms,” Needham said. Now Roulette is back home in Pinon Hills!
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