From January 2008 to January 2009, my husband, Richard, and I called 911 13 times. The Morongo Valley Fire Department was always there within five minutes. The fire and paramedic personnel were always very competent and compassionate, especially on the last call in January 2009, when Richard passed away.
The big question to James Ramos this election before history is written: You decide, do you want to be the political leader who spent $5 million of the taxpayers’ money for a pipeline project for 78 people to get treated, reclaimed water for “blending” to their privately owned system?
Some of you may remember the accident on the Morongo Grade in the Sept. 3, 2015, edition of the Hi-Desert Star: “Man jumps from flaming car.” It was when a car started burning up and the driver jumped out of his car. That driver was me. I was rescued by my local fire department along with two Cal Fire engines and a paramedic engine from Desert Hot Springs. Morongo Valley Capt. Andrew Arthen and his crew were at the scene within minutes to suppress a roadside vegetation fire and then the car fire. It should be noted that because Morongo Valley has a fire department, our community can benefit from mutual aid, which is what Cal Fire and Desert Hot Springs were providing.
Mr. Lund’s classroom at La Contenta Middle School would like to thank the Sportsman’s Club of Joshua Tree and Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms for their generous donations. Their donations will help defer the costs of field trips and classroom supplies for the students.
On the way up Old Woman Springs Road in the Western Hills area there is a lighted cross. A Christian symbol. It’s not subtle at all. If this was a Muslim symbol, or a Buddhist symbol, or anything but Christian, people would be freaking out and calling for its removal and probably defacing it and likely threatening who ever put it up.
As a new resident of Morongo Valley, I’m awed by the care and concern of fellow residents for our small community. I now know about Measure E that is coming up on the ballot on June 7th. One of the first things that I did was register to vote at the post office. The second thing was to look into and search out the facts on both sides of the fire issue. And there is a lot to discuss. It seems that continued local fire and paramedic services will cost the taxpayer more than they are paying now. The other concern is that the prior fire department and chief allegedly wasted funds and “sat around wasting time.”
The 29 Palms Ministerial Association would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the 65th annual National Day of Prayer held on May 5. The theme was “Wake Up America” and seven key areas were prayed for. Three services were held and attendance was 120 with 12 churches represented. Prayer topics for government, military, church and family were provided by a number of local pastors, ministry leaders and retired servicemen.
Now is the time for the citizens of Morongo Valley to reach out and attain adulthood. The survival of basic services, property values and affordable homewner insurance are at stake. Adolescent take-take without ever giving back is no longer an option.
Months ago, I sat in many meetings with Community Services District Director Gayl Swarat, the fire chief and the general manager of Morongo Valley to discuss proposing a fire tax. I told them if they wanted to increase the already inflated fire staffing in Morongo Valley they would have to make their case to the community. If the people supported it and were willing to pay the extra money for it, they would have my full support. They agreed we must be completely transparent. The roll-out of Measure E has been anything but truthful. A huge expansion has been renamed “Save your fire department.” The Local Agency Formation Committee told us our fire department has become top heavy and to stop the deficit spending.
The Morongo Valley Citizen Fire Committee spent months weighing options to sustainably fund the Community Services District and fire and paramedic service. As a registered voter (not just property owners), please review the available information.
In 2015, the Morongo Valley Community Service District (MVCSD) agreed that a financial crisis was close at hand. Funding for the local Morongo Valley fire and paramedic service was not adequate to maintain service. The MVCSD created a standing committee to study financial options for fire and paramedic service. With the help of concerned citizens, who donated their time to find a solution, the best option was presented to the community. Since that time, the MVCSD has found mitigation measures in paying the tax to help those over 62 years of age, the blind, the disabled and multiple parcel owners.
I’m replying to Allen Baker’s overwrought letter supporting legality of Measure E. He’s understandably defensive about this controversial attempted money grab benefitting just a small group. The lack of two-thirds majority Baker mentions was only one problem with illegal Measure Z from 2004. Like the new Measure E it wasn’t equitable and taxpayers paid disproportionately to property value and benefits. There are other legal problems too.
I moved from the LA area to Sky Valley in 1979. I purchased a little ranch. I think it was the real estate agents who first approached me about joining the volunteer fire department. I joined the department and began training in medical first aid and firefighting. There was a group of us “young” folks in a community of mostly retirees. We trained, on our own time, we learned first aid and eventually we contracted with College of the Desert to have an EMT class for fire volunteers in our community. I learned to teach CPR and about six of us all became EMTs as we continued to train. Most of our calls were medical aids. We were young and strong and when our pagers went off in the middle of the night for someone who was having difficulty breathing, we ran to the fire house, got the truck and oxygen, and spent the night helping a neighbor and waiting for an ambulance.
The city of Twentynine Palms Park and Recreation Department would like to thank the 68 riders who participated in the first annual Park to Park Bike Ride that was held on April 30. These riders braved a nearly 2,500-foot elevation climb and some staunch winds, but impressively most all finished.
The Yucca Valley Sunset Rotary’s 14th annual Dessert Soirée Charity Benefit and Auction held on April 2 was an amazing event whose success is due to the support of the attendees and the generosity of the businesses and individuals who helped make this event possible.
With the exception of one office, residents of the Morongo Basin are well represented through elected and appointed officials. Today, our friends and neighbors serve on town and city councils, planning commissions, water district boards, Morongo Unified School District Board of Education, hospital, college and special districts, advisory groups, California State Legislature and United States Congress.
One of the best things about living in the desert is the fact that we can see the night sky, the Milky Way and the stars, where so much of the world is cut off from this because of light pollution. Very few places can you see so many shooting stars and fireballs (for most a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have seen eight in the last year alone). As light pollution is a growing problem in the world, we become at risk of losing our treasured and beautiful night skies.
Many thanks are in order for the successful Morongo Valley tire and electronic waste collection held on March 26. Collected electronic waste weighed 37,719 pounds and collected tires weighed 2.80 tons. That’s a lot of stuff diverted from our landfill and pristine desert!
Thanks to all the people who mailed in their forms and especially to all those people who helped get signatures. More protest forms were picked up Sunday at the Elks Lodge and were delivered to the Local Agency Formation Commission prior to the meeting. Hopefully enough voters protested to reach the 25 percent threshold level to require a public vote. (Note: the county fire chief said no protest in the state has succeeded on fire annexations.)
The truth about Measure E, the Morongo Valley fire tax. The fire department/paramedic services will not be shut down if the measure does not pass. Don’t believe the misinformation and lies. The Morongo Valley Community Services District board has mismanaged the department budget going back four years. A “no” vote means the fire department will need to reorganize and make cuts to operate within its revenue but it will not have to close down. We are a small community and we do not need an over-inflated fire service. We need a fire service that operationally reflects the community it serves.
Morongo Valley Community Services District is again asking the voters to approve another property tax increase for the fire department; the last increase was only supposed to last four years, that was in 2004. It was stated this tax would be eliminated in 2007. There would be no need for supplemental tax after 2007; this did not happen.
As a resident of Morongo Valley for the last 25 years, the fire department has responded to my home on three different occasions, two for health-related incidents and once for an actual fire in our home.
Hear the one about the presidential candidate whose adult children could not vote for him because they were not properly registered to vote? That might be the beginning of a good joke but unfortunately the scenario is true. Ivanka and Eric Trump found out too late they had missed the deadline to register as Republicans in order to vote for their dad in the closed-system New York primary.
Generally speaking, how soon we Americans forget. We stuck our noses into Korea and Vietnam trying to unite them into one country. Thousands upon thousands were sacrificed in those conflicts and today both countries are still split. What did we accomplish? Nothing. The ruination of millions of lives; mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and many other loved ones.
The members of the Republican Party in the United States Congress are guilty of desertion. For a party that claims to hold the Constitution in high regard to refuse to do their duty as described in the document is equivalent to abandoning their post.
It’s that time again, time when local government entities, from the city and the town to water districts to schools to special districts, begin planning how they will spend money in the next fiscal year, beginning in July.
Regarding the recent item about Lucinda Cox suing for her illegal arrest, it is about time that someone sues the county over the beastly treatment people receive in jail, especially when it arises from an illegal arrest and then illegal bail setting, all too frequent realities in this county.
Today is a day many California families dread, Tax Day. California has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. Yet it seems no matter how much of our hard-earned money we pay to our local, state and federal governments, the services we receive from them are continually reduced and diminished in quality.
The power in our Joshua Tree neighborhood is out again! Why can’t Southern California Edison keep this neighborhood in electricity? It’s like living in the 1920s. The only saving grace is all the additional lanterns I ordered after the 24-hour power outage 10 days ago have arrived, so I guess I’ll starting putting in batteries because it’s unlikely power will be restored by 8 p.m. as stated by SCE.
In 86 percent of the nation’s fire departments, members are paid-call volunteers or all-volunteer and not-paid, unionized staff. The proposed reorganization and fire tax is pure covetous greed! LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) culpability is evident, facilitating and allowing this to fester into an embarrassment for the county of San Bernardino and the city of Twentynine Palms. This quagmire casts suspicion upon the competency of commission members and staff and should alarm the board of supervisors and district attorney.
Torture sounds like a good, quick way to get information from terrorists. But there’s a good reason why the U.S. military no longer uses torture: It doesn’t produce reliable information. People will say anything to get the torture to stop, including telling blatant lies. Using inaccurate information gained from torture wastes time and can endanger lives by leading investigators in the wrong direction.
The article in your April 16 edition about the Morongo Valley Community Services District was complete except for the most important point. Sixty-one percent of the calls made to the fire department are paramedic calls. This service is 7 minutes away. If we give up our fire department and rely on the county, the paramedics will be 20 minutes away.