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Johnson Valley News 05/25/2018

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SCENIC 247 vs INDUSTRIALIZATION

• Last Monday’s meeting of the Homestead Valley Community Council reinforced the opposition to industrial-scale renewable energy projects in and around our rural desert homes.

Steve Mills, who composed a masterful comment letter on behalf of a coalition of communities and organizations, spoke about all the meetings in which we have participated, the community plans, the County projects, where we unanimously insisted we want to keep these projects out!

We heard general disbelief that County Land Use Services had dreamed up a policy that completely negated every bit of feedback we gave them, and instead featherbedded the Big Energy developers’ applications to destroy the desert. Joanna Wright, HVCC president, reminded everyone to continue with this commitment, these communities are ours, not theirs.

I had the pleasure of presenting the slideshow for Scenic Highway 247. Laid out in 2011–with the encouragement of Caltrans officials–it highlighted the economic benefits of Scenic Highway status for residents and businesses from Yucca Valley to Lucerne Valley to Barstow.

Attracting visitors to the vast open spaces in between these towns brings much-needed revenues into the County instead of exporting them.

The Scenic 247 Committee of the HVCC now begins to gather local citizens’ support for the campaign in addition to the sponsorships from businesses and tourist destinations who signed on from the beginning. Caltrans wants to see local support. The visual assessment of the landscapes and any man-made intrusions continues.

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HAPPY UPDATE!

• The County Planning Commission voted yesterday to present the Policy 4.10 as originally written to the Board of Supervisors. This section of the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (known as RECE) for the County Plan gives our Community Plan areas protection against industrial solar project applications that want to build in and around us.

We thank all our fellow citizens who traveled to San Bernardino to express our many objections to renewable energy generation where it is not wanted and not needed. Thanks to those who spoke up from the County videoconferencing centers in Hesperia and Joshua Tree.

Now we need the Board of Supervisors approval to save us from fighting every project one by one.
Still to be settled: the project applications for 10,000 acres of solar fields in the Lucerne Valley, Newberry Springs, and Daggett. These applications came in to Land Use Services in the nine months since the withdrawal of Policy 4.10 for “review.”

Since State renewable energy goals have been met and exceeded, since the utilities now pay for excess power to be exported out of state, since Edison says they do not need to make any Power Purchase Agreements for several  years, it looks like those last-minute applications are a foot-in-the-door effort to  be grandfathered before the final RECE goes into effect.

None of those applications meet any standard of need, of dust control, of mitigation of permanent damage to wildlife and human habitat or scenic resources.

But years of fending off solar and wind projects have trained a well-informed and determined grassroots battalion ready to fight these off, too, if necessary. Our neighbors.

Kudos to all!

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3-LEGGED PONY EXPRESS?
• From a Johnson Valley resident, “We’ve been having a lot of problem with our mail here, and I was wondering if you could send out this number to everybody. It’s for the postal inspectors, 877-876-2455. They said the more people that called that they would try and do something about it.”

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ALERT! ODD SCHEDULES
• Just in case a time crunch next week makes it impossible to send out a JV NEWS e-mail, take note of what’s on the schedule at the Community Center.

June 2: No First Saturday Dinner or JVIA General Meeting this month.

Saturday, June 9:  Afternoon open house 1:00-5:00 p.m. for the Johnson Valley Landowners event.

Saturday Breakfasts:
We plan to limit breakfast on June 9th to coffee, orange juice and pastries, to allow volunteers time to prepare for the Jamboree.

Breakfast on Saturday, June 2, may also be limited, since so far we have no kitchen crew! All the coffee you want, OJ, and store-bought pastries.

Saturday, July 7: the annual 2-Buck Chuckwagon dinner, only 2.00 per person, a hot weather favorite in the cool Community Center.
The JVIA General Meeting afterward will catch us up on all the news.

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FIESTA PHOTOGRAPHY
• Remember, please e-mail any photos you took at the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta to ranchotaj@gmail.com. We’ll see how many we can fit into the next Journal!

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CAMPFIRE & SHOOTING ORDERS
• The Bureau of Land Management has issued fire prevention orders for the California Desert District. For details, click on
https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/california/fire-restrictions

To help prevent wildfires, the BLM has also issued recreational target shooting prohibitions within the California Desert District. Licensed hunting is exempted. For details, click on
https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/documents/files/RecShootingOrder_California_summer2018.pdf

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VOLUNTEER BREAKFAST CREWS?
• We still need cooks and servers, particularly for the first and fourth Saturdays of each month.

Whether you live here or are a weekender, if you can help out for a few hours on a Saturday morning, give me a call. 760-364-2646.

And thanks to those who have stepped up!

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A GREAT VOLUNTEER LOST
• We grieve over the surprising sudden death of Jim Weishaar at his place on Saturday, May 19. An enthusiastic supporter of JVIA for many years, an angel for the Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden and railway, always smiling, always helpful.

His family has gathered. We will announce details of any services.

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DIRECTIONS
Johnson Valley Community Center

From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea Rd,
go 1-3/4 miles to Quailbush Rd. The building is on your left at the corner.

You do not have to be a member of the Johnson Valley Improvement Association to join in on scheduled activities and special events at the Community Center!

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden next to the parking lot is open to visitors for free. Alert: kids love the trains, but they should not enter the train layout, it can be easily damaged.

The trains run when the crew is available, and the weather smiles on us.

Off-roaders navigating by GPS – according to Google Maps, the coordinates for the Community Center are
34.3424938     -116.56066880000003.

 

When you travel to and from the OHV Area, you can legally cross the highway at any of the community roads, but not travel on the right of way. A dirt trail parallels the highway on the north side. Remember to take it easy, watch out at blind corners.

As always, take it easy on the community roads, let’s not offend the neighbors with noise and dust!

If you come up Larrea Road while in or on a green-sticker vehicle, travel on the dirt alongside the pavement. Plenty of parking at the Center.


Betty Munson
760-364-2646

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