Johnson Valley News 10/28/2017

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• Promoters of the Countywide “web-based comprehensive” Plan, call it “unprecedented.” They are right.

They think “easily accessible data” will create a “public equipped with tools to create positive changes in their communities, empowered by civic involvement and a network of relationships.” Also “Stewardship that protects the viability of natural resources and open spaces as valuable, aesthetic, and economic assets.” They would replace existing Community Plans with a greater focus on community self-reliance, grass-roots action and implementation of goals and policies. Huh?

Unincorporated rural desert communities labeled “disadvantaged” have a sparse and scattered population. How do planners think our present small network of involved citizens can improve and grow when County policies work against us?

We see County doling out highway repair and assignment of fire and law enforcement protection according to population, so we do not count for much. City planners never can fit us into the urban mold; they assume we have streetlights, curbs and piped water; well, we don’t. We won’t. And the Internet does not reach us all.

Many of our neighbors devoted much time and thought to the Plan adopted in 2007. They went to meetings, got feedback from their neighbors.

But when it came down to brass tacks, County planners overlooked the 2007 plans. Chain stores and industrial renewable energy projects began to reshape communities. The self-reliant grass roots mobilized to fight them where we could.

So County may want to place a better focus on that kind of activism, but we already “champion” a multitude of issues without success.

One proven economic asset to the Homestead Valley, championed since 2009, spun its wheels in a mire of bureaucratic disinterest or backstage obstacles. The case for Scenic 247 includes significant benefits bringing tourism dollars into our disadvantaged wallets. Will future activism for this and other goals succeed any better with a different plan?

The conversation these days tends toward keeping our 2007 plans, updating them to address threats that appeared after 2007, and putting teeth into it, biting down on unwelcome permit applications.
We have until Monday, November 20, to comment on the Environmental Impact Report. It’s not easy, folks.
Online: www.countywideplan/com/EIR.
Print on paper: read it at the Joshua Tree Government Center, 63665 Twentynine Palms Highway (thanks to grass-roots activism that prodded County into printing copies).

• A Zero Net Energy building produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements.

“Pathways to Zero Net Energy Living,” the latest in the Morongo Basin Conservation Desert-Wise Living Program, brings you ZNE experts from Southern California Edison next Saturday. Will Vincent leads ZNE planning and coordination activities, and Ron Kliewer has worked in the building industry on the cutting edge of energy efficiency.

How could this work for your home? Learn about the ZNE concept and energy-saving retrofit possibilities that you can take advantage of now.

Local solar contractors, the Town of Yucca Valley, and others will have exhibits and inform you what steps and incentives are available for individual homeowners.

Saturday, November 4
9:30 a.m. – noon
Doors open 9:15 a.m.
Yucca Valley Senior Center
57088 Twentynine Palms Hwy

From Hwy 62, turn north onto Dumosa Ave. Turn left on Antelope Trail, turn right at the drive that curves around the Yucca Valley Community Center and the Library, go left through the parking lot; the Senior Center is ahead on your left.

• Continuing warm weather and light winds pull offroading enthusiasts to their desert escape in Johnson Valley, to take advantage of the miles of trails across the highway in the Johnson Valley OHV Area.

Warn guests and newcomers, please to take it easy on the dirt roads in the community. Three things to point out:

-Washboarding and ruts are at an all-time high. Of course, it is tempting to go fast, but ask them to take a quick look back. The dust that raises behind every vehicle drifts a long way into homes and raises tempers. We get enough dust anyway without aggressive treads and high speeds to create more. It undoes roadwork instantly.

-We have been advised many times by roadwork guys, hold speed down to 25 mph or less to hold down damage to the road surface. You may feel the bumps more, but you will spend less on suspension repair.

-Collisions can occur at the many blind corners; watch out, there may be a kid on a quad where you rarely meet any traffic at all.

The last issue of 2017 mails out tomorrow to members of the Johnson Valley Improvement Association, as well as other interested parties and all the advertisers who sponsor the Journal. The deadline for the Jan-Feb 2018 issue is December 15.

If you have a business or service that you know would appeal to Johnson Valley residents or weekenders, take a look at the Ad Format and Rates for 2018, which are attached. If you know someone who would benefit from appearing in the Journal, pass it on.

The earlier we receive your copy, the better – the holiday season is coming. Things like your logo in digital form help a lot, too. The layout and first proof are free.

Call me anytime for more information. Leave a message.

Betty Munson

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