Wrightwood Troop 351 Boy Scout, Jonathan Spray, is completing an Eagle Project at the Phelan Post of the VFW. He first started planning the project in the summer and was able to make it a reality on Saturday, March 25th.
The project is a large in-ground fire pit for the Phelan VFW Post 9415. Every Eagle Scout applicant has a Mentor that will help to guide the scout. Jonathan has four mentors. Mr. Pat Wood, one of Jonathan's project mentors, donated the large cement insert and crane work. Assisting Jonathon with the construction questions is Wrightwood Troop Scoutmaster Mr. Shawn Ryan. Jonathan's mentor for fire-related questions is Assistant Scoutmaster, Mr. Russell Wilcox.
As a service project for the VFW, Jonathan led fellow scouts Connor Ryan, Dylan Lesseg, Ben Sutton, and Zack Wilcox with instructions to pull weeds around the property, while he worked on the ground construction for the fire pit. Another of Jonathan's project mentors, Mr. Steve Morici brought his backhoe, which initially dug the 4-foot deep hole. Mr. Morici taught Jonathan about surveying and they were able to level everything off perfectly. A very large industrial crane was employed to place the cement insert into the ground. Troop 351 Eagle Scout Carl Wood helped with the crane. Jonathan and the boys worked together to place the large insert in the ground. The insert fit into the accurately measured hole as planned. Once the insert was in the ground, Jonathan and his fellow scouts filled in the gaps with the dirt. They left the top of the fire pit insert out of the ground, planning to go back another day and finish it with brickwork, for aesthetics.
The VFW is very happy to have this addition to their facility. They said they will be using it as a warming pit, and for cooking. On Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day, Wrightwood Troop 351 will be using it for flag retirement. Jonathan said, "I am so happy I am able to do this for the VFW. They are always so kind. I just want to give back to them, for all that they gave for our country." Jonathan hopes that when this is all complete, they will enjoy a lot of happy days with it.
Jonathan will be completing the final touches of his project soon and there will be a ribbon cutting to formally present it to the VFW Post 9415 on Memorial Day morning before the Wrightwood Boy Scout Troop Honor Guard begins their flag retirement ceremony. In the past, the troop retired flags in a barrel.
Hello, my name is Natalie Lopiccolo. I was raised in Phelan, and became a full-time Wrightwood resident in 2011. I have a wonderful husband and two amazing little boys, Hunter 5 and Forrest 2. I am an avid runner, and enjoy hiking, snowboarding, and traveling with my family. I began my college education at Victor Valley College and earned an A.A. in Liberal Arts. I transferred to California State University San Bernardino and attended The Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, from which I earned a B.A. in Administration with a concentration in Marketing. While attending college, I worked locally at Mile High Pizza as a manager and delivery driver. During that time, I also worked in the terrain park department at Mountain High Ski Resort, eventually transferring to the marketing department to fill the Special Events Coordinator position. I had the opportunity to assist the Marketing Director and Special Events Manager with putting on resort events, while acquiring organizational skills and office experience. I had an amazing experience co-founding a safety promoting team called Safety Brigade at Mountain High. Our mission was to encourage visitors to wear helmets and practice responsible habits such as the NSAA’s “Smart Style” approach to terrain park safety. Our primary focus was to engage the youth and spread the message that helmets are “cool” to wear. I am proud to say that I still see the Safety Brigade logo on helmets to this day. I concluded my work experience in the ski and snowboard industry when I became a mother, and decided to focus on raising my child and completing my degree. Upon completion of my undergraduate program in 2013, I began working part time as an office coordinator for a local executive. I have assisted in coordinating the Music in the Pines concert series since 2015. I also work as a co-coordinator of the Wrightwood Community Garden, a local project founded by One Town at a Time. I was appointed to the Wrightwood Municipal Advisory Council in February 2015. During my time on the MAC, I have worked with the First District County Board of Supervisor’s office to find a way to bring Bed Tax funds back to Wrightwood in the form of a grant. This effort is still in progress, and I have hopes that Wrightwood will see these funds in the form of a tourism grant in the near future. I have been a member of the Feasibility Committee for a Wrightwood CSD for several years now, and feel that forming a Wrightwood CSD is an important opportunity for our community. The services can be delivered efficiently, with accountability if they are managed locally by assuring that our tax dollars are making it back into our community. If a CSD is formed, we will see our tax money associated with the proposed services come back to our community to manage and use for improvements at the local level. I see the potential for a lively Parks and Recreation department, which is near and dear to the heart of a mother who is raising children in this community. A CSD could create opportunities through Parks and Recreation for preschoolers, stay-at-home parents, youth by extra-curricular activities, adult leagues, and senior programs. Some of these programs already exist, but are at the expense and energy of the volunteers and local organizations. I see the opportunity for the CSD to work in conjunction with these organizations and volunteers to contribute resources and energy, and nurture a unified effort to offer more to the residents of Wrightwood. The Feasibility Committee for a Wrightwood CSD identified an opportunity to collect a 10% franchise fee for Solid Waste service, which is money we already pay, that is currently collected by the County. CR&R has stated that they will continue to honor the same contract with the Wrightwood CSD, should it pass, which will allow the community to collect this additional revenue source. A CSD will also create the opportunity for LA County residents to participate in the Dump Card Program to dispose at the local disposal site. I believe that there is a benefit to having a locally elected board and a general manager that you know and can have a relationship with. This will make it easier to address the particular needs of the community, while eliminating the need to contact representatives who have responsibility for many other areas aside from just Wrightwood. We remove a layer of government for managing the proposed services, and the community has an opportunity to participate in making decisions and bringing ideas and concerns to a board consisting of their neighbors. Wrightwood is a unique community with so much potential, and it is time that we get together and take control of our tax money, and ensure that it is used to better our own community. We have eight great candidates that truly care for this community, and will represent Wrightwood well. I feel that I can contribute skills attained from my education, civic and work experiences, and personal motivation to make responsible decisions as a board member serving my community. Thank you for reading and for getting to know me!
Serrano senior wins Lions Student Speaker Contest 2/16/2017: Matt McHenry, a senior at Serrano High School. McHenry won $100 as the winner of the local Lions Club Student Speaker Contest. Celebrating its 80th year, the Student Speaker Contest gives students in high school an opportunity to move up through several levels of competition, each with a larger cash scholarship prize for the winner. The student who progresses through all levels accumulates total cash prizes of $22,000. Matt McHenry is an ambitious, well-rounded student. He is the Student Director on the Snowline School District Board of Directors, and is in the Student Senate at Serrano. He initiated the Military Prep and Cadet Corps programs on campus. McHenry has applied to the academies of all four braches of the Military and received Congressional nominations for each from Congressman Paul Cook. If selected for more than one academy, Matt said, “My first choice would be the Air Force. I want to be a fighter pilot.”
Train Wreck in name only
By Terri Hill
Last weekend the Serrano Choral Department wrapped up their run of, It’s a Wonderful Train Wreck, this year’s Dinner Show. Written by Hannah Steinmann and Abigail De Arman, in collaboration with the players, the show took a page from It’s a Wonderful Life and modernized it. Then put it on a train. Everyday people, with everyday problems, find themselves stranded on a broken-down train. Through their interactions, they learn something about Christmas spirit from a train conductor, and from each other. George Bailey must go home and tell his wife that they’ve been turned down for a loan by the bank. He is convinced that there is no true Christmas magic left in the world. The Train Conductor, on the other hand, has been charged by the Station Manager with the task of helping his passengers see the holiday spirit around them. Other passengers include a young starlet, who hopes to get “the part” that will make her career, a little girl who wandered onto the train alone, for an adventure, and a traveling salesman who peddles sponges. The “Grinch” of the story is Mr. Grin, who has plenty of money, but no patience or kindness it seems. In true Hallmark fashion, Mr. Grin sees the error of his ways, and George Bailey rediscovers the magic of the season, just in time for a pair of star-crossed station employees to repair the train’s engine with…duct tape. Steinmann and De Arman were happy with the positive response to their show. The house sold out nearly all four performances. Steinmann had pitched her idea for the modernized classic tale last year. Choir director Alan Alaniz told her he liked the concept, “Now, put it on a train!” Steinmann said, “If I had to sum up producing the show, I would say it’s an insane process; it’s a train wreck, if you will. But it is wonderful, and it does come together into something we can all cherish. It’s been a wonderful experience for everyone involved, and hopefully for all those watching!” De Arman commented, “I’m grateful for the opportunity (to work on the show). Working together, in one cohesive unit let us create something beautiful, something we wouldn’t have been able to do by ourselves.” Between scenes in the play, the audience was treated to musical interludes by the choirs, and by various solos, duets, and choir numbers. Crescendo, Forte, Bedazzled, Vocal Point, and Schitzophonics sang as individual choirs, and as a combined choral spectacular. Notably, Vocal Point brought home the theme of modernizing the classics with, “Text Me a Merry Christmas,” by the group Straight No Chaser: “This holiday - you’ll be far away - and I’ll be all alone, So please remember, this December, to fully charge your phone and, Text me Merry Christmas…” The annual Dinner Show is the choral department’s most anticipated performance of the year, and with such talented musicians and vocalists, it isn’t hard to see why.
Burroughs edges out Serrano, hands D’Backs second loss of the season
Road games have proven to be rather telling of this year’s Serrano football squad. Once again in an away game, the Diamondbacks fared well for most, but not all, of the game.
In almost identical fashion to their loss earlier in the year against Quartz Hill, Serrano gave up the game, 27-24, in the fourth quarter by allowing at least two scores. Against Burroughs, the Diamondbacks held a 14-10 lead after a scoreless third quarter, but couldn’t pull away.
Austin McCullough, the senior quarterback for the Burros, threw more than 40 times against Serrano’s defense. McCullough completed 24 of those passes, throwing for more than 300 yards, and three touchdowns.
Seth Hughes, on the other hand, couldn’t find the end zone. Serrano’s usual go-to guy only threw 15 passes, for under 100 yards overall.
Serrano running back Brandon Murcio ran for 161 yards on 21 carries, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done.
Despite the loss, the Diamondbacks appear to have taken their penalty issue to heart. While still amassing more penalty yards than their opponent, this time the differential was just one yard.
Offensive conversions proved to be few and far between for Serrano in this game; Burroughs was able to get 15 first downs, while the Diamondbacks got just five of their own. Serrano ran 16 fewer plays than their opponent, and that lack of offensive opportunity showed in the final frame.
The loss puts an even bigger emphasis on the Diamondbacks’ regular season finale against Oak Hills on Nov. 4. None of the team’s star players can afford to have a bad game if Serrano wants to ensure that it doesn’t completely collapse. Oak Hills will come into the match up with just one loss in nine games played, but Serrano will be playing with more than a chip on their shoulder.
Four-legged veterans also remembered
By Terri Hill
This week, a veteran U.S. Marine was honored with a statue at Camp Pendleton. Staff Sgt. Reckless was a horse, and a hero in the Korean War, who was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds she sustained to her hindquarter and head during battle.
Reckless was purchased in 1952 by a Marine Lieutenant from a Korean boy for $250, money he needed for his sister’s medical care. The mare was needed as a pack animal, to carry ammunition to the front lines of battle for the recoilless rifle platoon she was attached to, and named for. Ohio resident Harold Wadley, who served with Reckless, attended the dedication of the statue. Wadley was quoted in the L.A. Times, “Cold winter nights, you’d find her nestled among her Marines by the oil stove.”
Reckless reportedly made 51 trips to the front lines to resupply guns, during one intense battle, and carried wounded soldiers when gurneys were in short supply. She was trained to maneuver like a Marine, to crouch under barbed wire, to lie flat or run to a bunker when under fire. Reckless was eventually retired at Pendleton, where she bore three colts. She was buried with full military honors at the base stables.
Stubby was a bulldog that was adopted by the 102nd Infantry of Massachusetts in 1917 after being discovered at the encampment. The infantry shipped out to Europe and smuggled Stubby onto the ship headed to France. Stubby stood watch and would alert the troops to German attacks During World War I. The heroic dog was wounded by a hand grenade, gassed, and having once found a German spy, held him by his pants until American troops were able to take over the capture of the prisoner. Stubby participated in 17 battles during his 18 months in the service.
His master, Corporal J. Robert Conroy was wounded in battle. The loyal canine went to the hospital with Conroy and acted as a therapy dog, by visiting other wounded troops.
Stubby was highly decorated, he was awarded a Purple Heart, medals for his service, and veteran’s awards.
At the end of the war, Stubby returned home where he was a big celebrity. He garnered a lifetime memberships in the YMCA (where he lived), American Legion, and the Red Cross. Stubby died in 1926, and was preserved and displayed with his medals at the Smithsonian Institution.
Dogs and horses are more often associated with wartime heroics, but other animals have served our armed forces in battle. Elephants help load American planes in rural India during WWI. Dolphins were employed by the Navy to find mines, using echolocation, and seals and sea lions could retrieve objects from the water. Carrier pigeons delivered messages of strategy and position between camps.
As we turn our attention and gratitude to America’s veterans and active duty service men and women in ceremonies of honor this week, we can give a nod to the heroic animals that served at their sides.
Serrano’s FNL reports success of driver safety events
The Friday Night Live Club (FNL) at Serrano High School was very busy promoting safe driving awareness during the month of October. Because our area has frequent deaths from car crashes, the FNL students are passionate about informing their peers about the dangers of distracted driving and impaired driving.
Safety Center Incorporation and Allstate Foundation host a Teen-to-Teen Safe Driving Campaign and this was the second year FNL has participated in the event. Our FNL students take this challenge very seriously as it is an opportunity to get information to our community. Safety Center provides a road map listing all the activities we must complete in order to be a contender prizes.
One activity that we enjoyed required school faculty participation. The FNL team chose to ask staff members to watch a video on AT&T’s website itcanwait.com, club members then visited the teachers to get their reaction and discuss the video. Each teacher commented that the videos brought awareness the importance of wise choices while driving, and reinforced the dangers of distracted driving.
New to the road map this year is the peer led activity at a middle or elementary school. Pinon Mesa Middle School staff was very gracious to allow us on their campus during lunch on October 18. We gave the students information on how to be a good passenger in the car. There are many ways that a child can assist their parent while in the car. Passengers can do the texting/talking on the phone when a parent must communicate with someone, and they can eliminate the distraction of loud voices and rowdy behavior. In addition, asking parents to wear their seat belts and to drive safely can help encourage the adults to drive responsibly.
Although not a requirement, club members like to have a grand finale at the end of the campaign. On Wednesday, October 26, we had some hands-on activities that educated our district superintendents, staff, and students. AT&T brought virtual reality simulator goggles, which while worn, virtually put you behind the wheel of a car. Firsthand knowledge of how easily crashes happen, while your eyes are off the road to look at or use a cell phone, was very impactful. Loma Linda University brought a crash mobile that demonstrates a mock car crash at 10 mph with one dummy wearing a seat belt and one not wearing a seat belt. This activity shows the non-belted dummy crashing into the windshield. Bernadette Beltran, our FNL San Bernardino County representative brought adult tricycles that students rode while wearing impaired driving goggles and Officer Tim Mustaikis gave mock sobriety tests to students wearing the goggles.
The club members greatly appreciate everyone participated and helped make this event a huge success.
The Friday Night Live Club hopes that our community will rally together and encourage all drivers to keep their cell phones on silent while driving, wear their seat belts, and not drive impaired, in order to help keep themselves and others safe.
Submitted by Friday Night Live
Edited by Mountaineer staff
Snowline Players put a spell on its audience
By Terri Hill
Talent abounds when the Snowline Players come together for a cabaret night. Add costumes and a theme, and the result is spellbinding.
For the Spooktacular on Saturday night, phantoms, witches, ghouls, and the walking dead roamed the Wrightwood Community Building serving dinner to, and performing for, their guests. Halloween-themed décor set the mood, with a tiny corner graveyard and tables bedecked with orange, black, and purple tablecloths and decorations. Jack-o-Lanterns filled with treats served as centerpieces. The costumed cast of creepy characters served spaghetti, salad, and bread, and a table with tea, coffee, lemonade, and water was set up self-serve style.
But the highlight of the evening was, of course, the entertainment.
Having proved a great team on stage in the past, Chewy Cauby and Wyatt Buckle played the role of emcee with dry wit and corny jokes.
Performances too, followed the evening’s theme. Familiar faces of Snowline Players, children and adults, dressed their parts and sang songs from musicals, movies, and a variety genres. Ken and Tracy Lay sang, “Where Did We Go Wrong?” from The Addams Family. Their Gomez and Morticia were comically clueless. Alexandria and Madison Duarte played Wicked’s Elphaba and Galinda for the song, “Popular.” Galinda’s insistence that Elphaba could, with a swish of the hair and the right shoes, be almost as popular as she, was playful and sweet. Also from a hit musical was “Phantom of the Opera,” sung by Ty Rogoff as the Phantom, and Victoria Randall as Christine.
Perhaps the most clever of the numbers was Captain Hook’s Waltz. Steve Raney and the Raney Kids were an audience favorite, as Hook brags of being the most ruthless, and least likeable of all. Eyes wide, the captain’s crew assures him he is indeed, “The dirtiest dog in this wonderful world.”
Old standards like, “Old Devil Moon,” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” showcased Dexter Martin and Carrie Harrison (respectively), and Keagan Balthis and Mara Duman brought The Nightmare Before Christmas characters of Jack and Sally to life with their solos, “Jack’s Lament” and “Sally’s Song.”
With nearly 25 performances, the night was filled with talent and professionalism, as we have come to expect from Snowline Players.
Emotions run high as Timberline Lions Honor Newest “Rising Stars”
By Vicky Rinek
You know about the Lions and their commitment to the youth of our area. Well, they’ve done it again—honoring local school students who have overcome obstacles to become model students. In front of a packed house, four outstanding students were named as Rising Stars at the most recent Lions Club dinner meeting in Wrightwood’s Community Building, and it was an exceptional evening for the young students who were honored by their families, school principals, teachers, counselors, and the Lions.
From the Baldy Mesa Elementary School, Tigger Hannan was introduced to the Timberline Lions Club. “Tigger was one of those kids that we knew needed extra help. When Tigger arrived at Baldy Mesa, the staff took him under their wings and helped him adjust to his new environment. “He has grown into a solid young man who has gained control of himself, has succeeded in school, and has become a very well-liked and respected member of our school,” Baldy Mesa Principal Dan Mac Donald said. “We all appreciate the Lions Club for providing community recognition for the success of a student and the hard work of our teachers and staff.”
Sergio Islas is a Rising Star from Pinon Hills School. Sergio has become a wonderful young man with a very kind heart. He achieved great success as he overcame obstacles that made it difficult for him in the classroom. Sergio’s positive attitude toward self, school and others is extraordinary. The staff at Pinon Hills has given students like Sergio tremendous support in achieving emotional and behavioral improvements. Sergio has improved his grades while helping other students. Pinon Hills principal and counselors all agreed that Sergio deserved to be recognized as a Rising Star.
The next two Rising Star students are from the Chaparral Alternative School, Isaac Gutierrez and Kylee Dupper. These two students have become a joy to teach. Both Isaac and Kylee keep a positive attitude and maintain their grades while taking on additional responsibilities in their school. The counselors and teachers agree that both Isaac and Kylee have emotionally grown and are role models to other students.
Kylee participates in the ASB programs and brings an infectious positive attitude to campus. She is a leader in school, helping other students feel welcomed on campus. She participated in the SB County board on Healthy Food where she made a great presentation – a tremendous accomplishment for a young lady that was extremely shy.
Isaac has a positive attitude and a love for learning! This wasn’t always the case. During his first year at Chaparral he was depressed and had a feeling of not fitting in. Isaac had 50+ absences out of the 158 days of school. Chaparral School staff recognized Isaac’s frustration and poor attitude. The staff helped Isaac overcome his difficulties in school. He has shown tremendous improvements in his academic skills and is a positive role model to his fellow students. Isaac is a key player on the campus softball team where he supports his fellow students. Isaac’s future plans include joining the Marines after graduation.
Lion Bill Swift, Chairman of the awards, presented each student with a certificate of recognition, along with a check for $100. The certificate reads, “In recognition of the cooperation and effort you have demonstrated toward your education and for reaching your potential as an accomplished student…. We believe that our future is dependent upon each generation’s leadership, vision and creativity. You have shown your willingness to further those values, overcome obstacles and advance your education.” Bill Swift presented each student with their certificate and check, and told them, “You’re a very special person!” The four students had broad grins on their faces as they accepted their gift checks. Tigger and Sergio were a bit shy but were obviously happy with their gifts from the Lions. Sergio’s mother told the audience that she was the one who was blessed when Sergio and his siblings accepted them as a family. She went on to say that the children that joined their household are the best things to come into their lives. Kylee spoke a few words to show her appreciation and her commitment to higher education. Isaac smiled as his mother spoke telling the audience that she was so very proud of her son’s accomplishments.
Loud applause followed the awards along with tearful happiness.
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