Johnson Valley News 9/7/2016

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• If you live in Landers, Flamingo Heights, Yucca Mesa or Johnson Valley – or own property in one of these places – and you want to have a say in the update of the Homestead Valley Community Plan, you can.
The Homestead Valley Community Council urges you to come to the County’s community workshop this coming Monday, September 12, at the Johnson Valley Community Center.Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and light refreshments are available. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. Planned to last until 8:30, you can voice your opinions and comments on “What We Value” in our communities. And ask questions.

You can be sure that several issues affecting our economic welfare that have been action items at the HVCC will be brought up.

We can hope the new Homestead Valley Community Plan will be consulted more often by the bureaucracy than the 2007 Plan was. This is more likely if we see a good turnout on Monday evening. Let them know people live here, and you care.

If you have not visited the Johnson Valley Community Center before: from Hwy 247, after mile marker 21, turn at the red Johnson Valley sign onto Larrea Rd. (paved). Go 1-3/4 miles up to Quailbush Rd. The center is on your left. Doors will open at 5:30.

Take a look beforehand at the 2007 Homestead Valley Community Plan posted on

Find out more on this update process at

• Fun stuff, too, is coming up at the JV Community Center: on Friday afternoon, September 23, at 3:00 p.m., we will be trying out musical memories playing Music Bingo. Folks who have enjoyed this game at Flamingo Heights and the Moose Lodge tell us it is a whole lot of fun.

Come join the party; 5.00 donation. There will be light refreshments available.



• More fun stuff, this you have already heard about, coming up at the JV Community Center: the 7th Annual Johnson Valley Oktoberfest, Saturday, October 1st!

-Yes, the Garden Railway will run during the afternoon.

-The Brewmaster has added another brew, not listed on the menu.

Come sample it and five others when the Beer Garden opens at 3:00 p.m. Sampler of three, only 4.00.

-Get your tickets now for only 7.00 per person; at the door they will be 10.00 each.

Admission includes the fresh Bavarian pretzels, and the German buffet dinner served from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

-Find all the details and the craft beer menu on, and order tickets online by secure credit card.

-Order your souvenir t-shirts or ladies tank tops by next Saturday, October 10, to be sure of getting your sizes in the colors you want.

Choose flag blue, black, royal purple, orange or red, with our traditional Johnson Valley Oktoberfest logo in white on the front, 20.00 each.
Call me at 760-364-2646, or see me at the Saturday Breakfast 7:00-10:00 a.m.

All sale prices from Beer Garden, dinner and souvenirs include sales tax. All proceeds from these, plus your tips or donations go toward the overhead and operation of our Community Center.
• Speaking of the Garden Railway: anti-bunny measures have been working. The gnawing of the cacti and tree trunks and the disappearance of the more tender plants has been reduced.Linda Walsh brought in alfalfa hay. The bale, sliced into smaller pieces and spread strategically on the perimeter of the Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden, successfully distracted the jackrabbits and cottontails. Wire caging works, too, using 1/4-inch mesh hardware cloth. Kim Abramson brought them another roll.

The vegetation and trees around the train layout look very green and healthy right now, but the Garden Committee say they need donations of more hay bales and hardware cloth to help keep the critters at bay.

The generous donations the Committee received last spring have been spent on the extensive undergrounding of the irrigation that grew all the delicious bunny-attractors.

So far, neither El Nino nor the monsoons have greened up the surrounding desert; alfalfa bales and hardware cloth must hold the fort.Be sure to thank the Garden Committee, aka the Railroad Crew, if you like what you see. Court Prittie, Don Minnix, Jim Hanley and Jim Weishaar, with occasional weekender help, have worked in the early morning and late evening hours all summer. The transformation of this former scrubby creosote patch amazes everyone.

Reminder: kids are welcome, but make sure they know not to enter the train layout. The track and accessories result from hours of painstaking care, and many donations. All are fragile. You might not think it, but just a tiny piece of debris in the way can derail the train.

Check out the Desert Dreams Garden videos on YouTube, created by George Cayer with his trusty GoPro camera, flying overhead on his trusty drone, and navigating curves, bridges and tunnels on a flatcar. You can see how the garden has evolved over the last year.

• For you who missed last Saturday’s Tri-Tip Dinner, you missed another satisfying feast. So good, in fact, that we just might do it again sometime early next year.

First, we have to get Don Minnix to do the smoking of the beef, the luscious, melt-in-the-mouth centerpiece on your plate. Then the Board has to agree to share the cost of the beef and donate it to the Association again, to keep down the cost of your dinner ticket.

Then, we have to get Jim Hanley, Linda Walsh, Court Prittie, Kim Abramson and Melissa Sims to do all the rest of the magic behind-the-scenes stuff: like shopping, side dishes, set-up, serving and cashiering, plus get Linda to bake those old-time favorite good desserts again, then we may have another roundup of a truly great dinner. Once again, “better than any restaurant.”

• Mark Saturday, October 15th, and start getting ready. County Code Enforcement has arranged for the big roll-off bins to return to the Community Center that morning from 8:00 a.m. until noon. Now’s the time to get rid of household discards, non-commercial-size tires, old appliances and electronic waste such as old televisions, telephones or computer stuff.

This Community Clean-up is supported by San Bernardino County Code Enforcement and Solid Waste Management.

JVIA members at last Saturday’s General Meeting voted to also have the Parking Lot Swap Meet during the Saturday Breakfast hours of 7:00-10:00 a.m. the same morning.

Bring and buy, bargains galore. Vendor space is 5.00, set-up starts at 6:00 a.m.

• You should have received your Johnson Valley Journal by now, complete with Membership Application form to renew for 2017. After many years, the Board finally had to face the force of rising costs. JVIA dues are now 15.00 per person.

The Journal mailing list is made up from the membership list. Send your dues before January 31, 2017, so you don’t miss an issue.
Mail your check with the application form, or pay your dues

online by secure credit card at We need the form in either case, to be sure all your information is correct in the membership database.Please add any donation you can, and add your name to the JVIA Member Sponsor list for 2017. The Johnson Valley Improvement Association Inc. is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. Therefore contributions are not deductible on your income tax, but they are much-needed and very welcome!

Thank you in advance for the support you give to your Association, whether it is money or time, attendance at the Saturday Breakfasts and the monthly dinners, or participating in the fund-raising parties. Our Community Center, built and maintained by JVIA members and volunteers, from the pioneering homestead days of the Fifties to today, has remained the hub of Johnson Valley for going on 60 years, against all odds, good times and bad. YOU keep it going.

• We hope you have been watching Johnson Valley in prime time. The six-part series “Journey to the Hammers” features comments from Dave Cole, co-founder of the King of the Hammers ultimate desert race, and many of the drivers and riders who bust a gut each year just to qualify for these unbelievable races.

Not to mention, we see brief cameos of the unbelievable Hammertown on Means Dry Lake, appearing like magic in February then disappearing, poof! for another year.

So far we have seen the King of the Motos, the Everyman Challenge, and the UTV races – amazing enough in themselves, but they all grew up around the Big One. And the vehicles have adapted to meet the challenges of high-speed cross-country trails and the low-speed brutal boulder beds in the Hammers canyons. All in one race. What a concept.

Highlights of last February’s King of the Hammers race will fill a one-hour Special Edition show. It has to be highlights; the race takes hours and hours, if you even finish. Look for it tomorrow, Thursday, September 8, at 7:00 p.m. on NBC Sports channel. That’s 220 on DirectTV.

Check your guide, too, for repeats of the episodes already shown, and new episodes showing the saga of the year-long journey of the racers as they tackled a circuit of courses nationwide to qualify for King of the Hammers 2017.

Race Fans, fasten your seat belts, it is gonna be a bumpy ride.

Betty Munson

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