Sign guy protests new concert rules

Matt Wilkinson lodges a protest to the Yucca Valley Town Council in regard to the town's new rules about signs at public functions.

YUCCA VALLEY — During public comments at Town Council meeting Tuesday, two Yucca Valley residents voiced their views against a new ban on displaying signs or collecting signatures for petitions on the enclosed field during the summer concerts in the park.

“This policy severely limits my First Amendment rights,” said Matt Wilkinson, who held up signs at the event this summer. “You did this without notifying the public.”

Wilkinson often holds up signs at the intersection of Twentynine Palms Highway and Old Woman Springs Road as well.

Second speaker Anwaan Hines, a resident of Yucca Valley since 1992, said he supports Wilkinson and his right to be heard.

“Does that policy trump the Constitution for free speech?” asked Hines, who described himself as a government accountability activist. “I don’t see how someone can be limited on free speech. It doesn’t trump someone’s right to say it.”

The Town Council voted on Aug. 20 to enforce stronger rules at next year’s Summer Music Festival.

The new policy was passed without comment as part of the Town Council’s consent agenda — a list of items all voted on at once without discussion.

Keeping a safe and orderly atmosphere at the concerts is the town’s top priority, Community Services Manager Sue Earnest said.

“You want to curtail any distractions and disruptions,” Earnest said in an interview after the August meeting. “This addresses stuff for the future.”

Edison says fire danger still high

The council heard a detailed presentation from Southern California Edison about its plans to reduce wildfires.

“Be prepared for a emergency,” Southern California Edison spokeswoman Jennifer Cusack advised during her presentation. “It can happen anywhere at any time.”

Cusack said the region is now faced with the threat of a “year-round fire season,” and Yucca Valley too is included in this danger, but to a lesser degree than other places.

Southern California Edison uses aerial and ground inspections of its equipment and is working to reduce brush around poles to lower the threat of fire.

“Really, it is about reducing the risks,” Cusack said. “We’re doing a lot more vegetation management.”

In extremely dry and windy weather, Edison could shut off all the power in an area. This has not happened in the Morongo Basin so far, according to Cusack.

“We have not de-energized yet,” Cusack said.

Councilman Jeff Drozd praised the power company’s efforts.

“It is incredible all the work that you are doing,” Drozd said.

Councilmen Merl Abel and Rick Denison asked several questions about how outages would affect citizens and ways to keep trees from power lines.

“The message to be prepared is the cornerstone,” Denison said.

Pool report: ‘A great place to start’

The council concluded the meeting with an update on the recreation and aquatics center.

“It will be interesting to see what we end up with in the end,” Abel said. “It is not everything we want in one shot.”

Mayor Robert Lombardo agreed it is a “great place to start,” but said it is hard to imagine that, “$20 million won’t get you what you want.”

(20) comments

don mckinney

If anarchists are idealists , they may simply be likened to someone who finds himself swimming in a cesspool and , rather than paddling about looking for the area with the least amount of floating feces , seeks to climb out of the pool completely - Rob't. Higgs . Every atrocity is the result of people " just following orders " . In order to rally the people , governments ( means mind control ) need enemies . They want us to be afraid , to hate , so we will rally behind them . And if they do not have a real enemy . they will invent one in order to mobilize us - Nhat Hanh . Ban assault politicians and fully automatic stupidity . If a nation expects to be free , in a state of civilization , it expects what never was and never will be - jefferson Davis .

don mckinney

Chapman University survey of American fears . Corruption of government officials 58.0 % . Cyber-terrorism 44.8 % . Corporate tracking of personal information 44.6 % Terrorist attacks 44.4 % . Government tracking of personal information 41.4 % Bio-warfare 40.9 % . Identity theft 39.6 % . Economic collapse 39.2 % . No money 37.4 % . disturbing reality ; 28 U.S. Code s 3002 (5) " UNITED STATES " means ( A ) a Federal CORPORATION ; Religion - latin verb religare : to tie back ; to hold back ; to thwart from forward progress ; to bind .A system of control which holds back progress of consciousness .

don mckinney

Statism ; Ideas so good they have to be mandatory . Censorship is impossible to measure . It has NO END . " Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed . If people all over the world would do this , it would change the earth " - William Faulkner

don mckinney

Political Language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable - George Orwell

don mckinney

You assist an EVIL system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees . An evil system never deserves such allegiance . Allegiance to it means partaking of the EVIL . A good person will resist an evil system with his or her WHOLE SOUL .- M.K. Gandhi . 44,000 bombs dropped last year is unacceptable to civilized people . Your silence is your consent .

don mckinney

The city council is seeking a RESOLUTION to THEIR EMOTIONAL VIOLATION at the expense of our freedom of thought expressed with the written word , our GOD given right of free thought and free speech to express that free thought . Which cultivates free independent thinking and writing .And shares those thoughts to descriminating minds . Contrary to the six global CORPORATIONS that govern our non news propaganda industrial war complex for their benefit , not ours ., Push back becomes mandatory for free thinking anti-war real humans who CARE and have PRINCIPLES and GOD GIVEN RIGHTS to free speech and expression . What our military is supposed to fight for but does not as order follower sheeple mercenaries of the synagogue of SATAN . Where is the cavalry when we need them ?

CheRojo

This guy is a lunatic.

booboo77

Wilkinson is a psycho and should be considered dangerous. He just loves taunting unwary motorists and other trapped audiences with his rude and threatening signs. Standing outside the swap meet with a sign reading "Yucca Valley Dump" is sheer harassment of a local business by a loser that has never participated in anything resembling neighborliness. He's already been physically attacked for displaying explicit messages to motorists at red lights. Trying to paint this miscreant as some kind of protected free speech advocate is a joke. These days nearly everybody wants to be famous. It doesn't matter what for as long as they're recognized. A star in their own mirror. This is just another case, though more pitiful than most. Creepy too.

WonderfulLife

I'm grateful to our founding fathers and the Constitution they believed in, however, there are limits to certain 'rights' - and Freedom of Speech is one of them. For instance, one can not shout "FIRE" in a building that's crowded with people when there is no fire. Another example, you can not threaten to Kill the President of the United States. These are just two ways in which Freedom of Speech has LIMITS. In terms of a venue in which a peaceful co-existence between folks is a priority, limits to dress, like no gang attire colors, no backpacks as to avoid potential terrorist bombs, and limit of signs with political or religious messages that can incite confrontational outcomes/fights are things in my opinion that can be allowed because the Freedom of Speech clause relates to what CONGRESS can do in terms of limits , or what the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT can or can not do . . . it does not apply to private parties and might not apply to a local small town . . . as our town is full of ordinances to control Signage on commercial buildings, like the size of the sign, the height of the sign, the lighting of the sign, etc. If the town has the right to regulate signs on buildings, they have the right to regulate signs anywhere else - like campaign signs on street corners AND Political Signs held on the corner of Hwy 62 and Old Woman Springs Road . . that do nothing but take attention away from drivers and could cause distraction and an accident. So, yes, I am FOR restricting Freedom of Speech when it makes sense to do so.

Branson Hunter

Is the town banning voters registration on the sidelines during public gathering in the park? There was not disorder and or disruptions. The town is infringing on the most sacred of rights for no articulable reason.

Branson Hunter

So, booboo, you are willing to give up your right for fear of someone with a sign?

don mckinney

Thank you for expressing your emotional violation worse case scenarios . They do not trump our free speech laws on the books . With the censorship we face today it becomes paramount to say something when you see something . Do not rely on the " news " ORGANIZATIONS " to bring it to you and it is obvious not many folks are going to seek the truth.Regarding the 18 years of wars of aggression ongoing today . Why are you NOT being told of the Alaska University 300,000 dollar study just presented to the public ? It is demanded by the Franklin District Fire Department New York Commissioners , first responders at 9/11 Trade Center and victims , survivors , and 3,000 architects and engineers , and 400 University professors regarding 47 story STEEL bldg.#7 at free fall speed collapse was due to SIMULTANEOUS failure of structural integrity of All supports at 5:20 pm on 9/11 . Not due to fire .NO investigation to date as mandated by law until NOW ! Where is the " NEWS " when you need it ? Can you wear a Trump hat , or what flag shirts would be allowed ? Always a flimsy reason to take RIGHTS AWAY . Patriot act , National Defense Authorization Act , Marshall Law , anti-BDS laws , etc. ad naseum . Your rights are already gone and you do not realize it . Censorship is Tyranny . Regardless of your desire for a resolution to your emotional violation . Trump dropped 44,000 bombs last year and I do not want to see a " maga " hat either , but I will not snivel about it , impose my will on the wearer . Only shame the wearer for backing the genocide TRUMP promised to end , and fraudulantely traitored out of these promises also . Baaa for now

don mckinney

Boo boo is willing to give up OUR right of free speech because he is emotionally violated , can't turn his head . This means NO " Maga " hats . No flag pattern clothes , especially the controversial gold braid american flag that denotes english admiralty laws of the seas as worn by all police . This could rightfully cause an uproar .No foreign flags or military " war glorification " hats or shirts . Will strictly be enforced . It has to be a two way street . Fair for all . Or you can " bubble wrap " yourself and wear blinders from REALITY . WTFWJD ? They are making a martyr out of a local citizen ?

Branson Hunter

On September 25, 1789, Congress transmitted to the state Legislatures twelve proposed amendments to the Constitution. Numbers three through twelve were adopted by the states to become the United States (U.S.) Bill of Rights, effective December 15, 1791. These coveted Rights were celebrated around the world. On September 3, 2019, five elected town councilmen didn't bat an eye when they were said NO to speech and assembly. The perceived boogie man -- isn't there always one -- is someone holding a sign someone or someone collecting signatures for voters registration. If anyone were to bet out of line at a town concert, the police/sheriff station is 200 feet away. Look guys, come down earth and restrain yourself from draconian and unnecessary Constitutional restraints in the public square. Mr. Wilkinson was punished because his religious views don't conform to what is perceived as the community standard of acceptable public signs in a public place. If anyone were to become disruptive at a town concert, the police/sheriff station is 200 feet away.

Branson Hunter

The Town is not unfamiliar with curtailing rights. Court cases made it difficult for local towns to circumvent California laws: There was the local ban on deliveries of legal medication; courts made it unlawful for towns like Y.V to require a code permit to grow a few plants in your home allowed by law; on an sight code enforcement inspection of grow areas in home -- didn't conform with the law;and there is more. There was the discriminatory violations of California elections codes. Cities and towns (YV) were to begrudgingly forced to change and set up district voting. The town policy is, "Come in to the park and enjoy, but leave your constitutional rights at the entryway." The ordinance may be vague and overbroad. Suspending free speech, signs, voter's registration, and constructively suppressing assembly rights of a few because a few didn't like the message another when there no examples of any threat is akin to putting constitutional rights in the trash bin for deletion.

booboo77

That guy is Rasputin Jr.

Branson Hunter

booboo, you can't just call a sign a names and use name-calling as evidence that the guy with a sign (and everyone_ should be stripped of his constitutional rights in the public square? If anyone is harassing you or U feel threatened you have 911 and a few thousand people at the park for safety and comfort. It's chilling you so cavalierly surrender -- and call for the suspension of -- speech and assembly. I and others have defended those right when we were sworn in, then we wore a uniform and swore allegiance to the U.S. Constitution. It's sad to see people don't care about it. Meanhile, can you describe any emotional or physical harm you suffered by a silly old sign that tends to display a paradiy on religion.

Mark Simmons

I deeply appreciate anyone who took an oath to uphold the Constitution while serving our country. Thank you very much for your service BH and to others who served or currently serving! While I agree in principle with this guy’s right to express himself, I also question his motives. I am not gonna lie I have been stopped at the intersection where this guy likes to haul his signs. I have even laughed at them and have given him a thumbs up. Because that is also my right to do so. I am not a religious person I am not endowed by a so called creator. I just love to live my life for myself and for my family. The difference is I keep my personal thoughts to myself. The only thing this guy is trying to accomplish is antagonizing others. I am all for free speech when it does some good. I don’t always agree with the Town Council. However, I believe they have done a service to this community by banning all types of signs at the summer concert series. When I go to the concert the last thing I want to see is. some guy or group protesting. I also don’t want to hear the “Good News.” Like I said before I just wanna live my life the way I see fit. I suggest that Sign Guy finds a constructive hobby or at least use his First Amendment rights in more of a constructive manner.

booboo77

Wow. Just because I think that guy is an obnoxious clown, all of a sudden I'm out to burn the Constitution and destroy the right to wear a MAGA hat? How did we come to that conclusion? There's a time and place for everything, and people trying to enjoy a concert and forget their troubles for a while is the wrong place to advertise your twisted thoughts. So is a busy intersection with hundreds of cars vying for passage. His curbside craziness is just another traffic hazard. In this town, if you have a serious beef, you go on the local talk show or write a letter to the editor. Sorry if I'm torturing this poor misunderstood free speech proponent. I'm just sick of looking at him glaring at everyone. What an eyesore. What's funny is that all his defenders are the same guys that trashed the idea of a local church erecting a sign recently. I guess it's OK to force your views on everyone only if you look bedraggled and nutty and do it in the road. Just another Roadside Detraction.

Branson Hunter

booboo, your position was that you didn't want Mr. Wilkinson or his sign in the public square. Now you want Wilkinson and and his lawful sign removed as a distraction alongside 62. Driving through 62 in this overly commercialized area there are thousands of signs. Not such a sensible argument. How else would you desire to punish Mr. Wilkinson for his unchristian like and unorthodox sign? You can't go around and arbitrarily infringing upon law abiding residents first amendment because you don't like the message. The Putins, and -- while all the thousands of commercial signs apparently are not a distraction and you're okay with those. Thank all the deities that have bless the earth . The way I see it is that you sell out too quickly for purely selfish motives. The constitution rights of others are important a your little stuff. Can we burn this guy at the stake at the top of the Morongo grade? They did it in Salem. Trials? We don't need any stinking trials... Maybe boohoo would like to see Mr. Wilkinson banned from all public places? Would you like to censor me?

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