Johnson Valley News 11/24/2017

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•  Food may be the last thing on your mind if you’re still grazing on leftover turkey and stuffing, but we remind you of your invitation to the Johnson Valley Holiday Dinner next Saturday, December 2!

The Johnson Valley Cooks will be hosting a Ham Potluck, and they have spiral-cut hams for the entree; for dessert: Christmas cookies with ice cream.

If your last name begins with A-S, bring a side dish. If your name begins with T-Z, bring a salad. Call Joanna Wright, 760-364-2207, leave a message. She is keeping track of who will bring what.

Donation 3.00 with a dish, 7.00 without, to help maintain the Johnson Valley Community Center, where we enjoy good dinners the first Saturday of every month!

Everyone invited; dinner at 5:00.

1-Day Rummage Sale
Friday, December 1st from 8:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m., find some great bargains donated for the Morongo Basin Historical Society’s Year-End Holiday Rummage Sale!

-Get your Christmas decorations – come early for best selection.
-Household finds include a couch, two beds, framed pictures, a great selection of chairs, a scale, and small appliances.
-Clothes: All sizes of men’s, women’s and children’s in great condition.
-Special on books: best sellers, how-to, non-fiction, cookbooks – you name it they’ve got it.

It’s at 632 Landers Lane, the MBHS Museum and Research Center in the old Landers home. From Hwy 247, turn onto Reche Rd., turn right at the Landers Post Office, and look on your right for the house just to the south.

• The comment period ends December 15 on the Draft Homestead Valley Community Plan, which includes Johnson Valley.

The  notice says,“The County has made a number of corrections based on public feedback during the Regional Open Houses, survey entries, and online comments.” How this affects the Environmental Impact Report, we do not know.

Also, “Remember, the Community Plans will be easily updated as communities complete their action items.”  That’s part of what gives us so much grief.

a) Where will we find all the concerned citizens the County planners call for that have both the time and resources to devote to the “action items” listed in the plans?

b) Who determines our completed action items will have any impact on development?

From what we hear, the other unincorporated desert communities in San Bernardino County all wish to keep the Community Plans adopted in 2007, but update them to address the kinds of development that have appeared since then and to assure ourselves that Land Use Services will heed them.

The consensus is that urban planners with little understanding of our desert lifestyles have made assumptions that do not work given tiny and scattered populations. The action plans call for research, travel and sometimes funds that seem unworkable to those few who already devote much of their time to community affairs.

At the meeting of the Lucerne Valley-Johnson Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) on November 16, a Lucerne Valley resident related a strange dialog he had with a County planner during a regional Countywide Plan meeting. The gist of it was:

He mentioned citizens’ doubts and questions about this action plan and asked, “What if it doesn’t work?”
“It has to work.”
“What’s the contingency if it doesn’t work?”
“There is no contingency. This is what it is. You people have to make it work. Everybody is always trying to get things from the County. You people need to be on your own and do things within your own area.”
“But there is no plan to help us work through this if we can’t get the number of people we need to work through all these different committees?”
“No, this is the plan, you have to make it work.”

Since we are always on our own and doing things within our own area, and since many of the actions called for we have been taking without reaction from the County, this just added to the frustration of the MAC members.

• With all the County and State legislation and regulations and requirements and truly inexplicable taxations, some desert dwellers in our small “severely disadvantaged “ communities feel they have reached the status of victimhood.

As we lose population and the spirit of volunteerism, we can only complain. Complaining has been described as what people do who feel powerless, and that does strike a chord. But when we complain all together, we expect our voices to be heard in the halls of government. Oh, well.

Thanksgiving is our national day of non-complaint; our coming together to express our gratitude for the good things we may be forgetting amongst the daily irritations. Gratefulness remedies that feeling that our glass is half full, or worse yet, nearly empty.

If you were not in Johnson Valley yesterday, feel grateful that it is still here waiting for you. Yesterday was calm and warm, but not hot. Clear blue skies gave way late in the day to wispy mares’ tails. Coming home from a fine dinner at a friend’s house we were treated to enough clouds to make peach-colored waves over the distant mountains. They may have become too much to be able to see meteors later in the night. I can’t say, never went back outside. Too full.

Lots of visitors’ buggy lights flashed toward us from the camp areas at the lakebeds as they enjoyed perfect weather for a night ride under a sliver of a moon.

The same kind of day and evening, the same kind of matchless views, the same kind of holiday gatherings that first drew us to Johnson Valley years ago – and we were right. No half-empties out here; our cup runneth over.

• Speaking of cups. Your coffee cup is never empty at the Saturday Breakfast at the Johnson Valley Community Center, where volunteers serve up a pancake breakfast with eggs, plus bacon, ham or sausage from 7:00-10:00 a.m. Only 6.00 or 4.00 according to how much you feel like eating, it’s a great way to start your day. And someone else does the dishes.

Welcome to new readers on this e-mail list who have not visited the Johnson Valley Community Center before, it is at 50567 Qualmish Rd. From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea, go 1-3/4 miles to Quailbush. The building is on your left at the corner.

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden is next to the parking lot, open to all. The nights have not been very cold, and there are still leaves on the trees.

The model trains will not be running; the crew is shorthanded this weekend. However, you are welcome to enjoy the Garden any time with its vintage artifacts from homesteading era. And the airplane, don’t forget the airplane!

Take a look at the commemorative bricks in the walkway by the pavilion. They celebrate homesteaders, friends and families, and the memory of neighbors who have passed away. If you would like to donate a brick yourself, let me know. The proceeds help maintain both the Garden and the Community Center.

Hope to see you at the breakfast tomorrow.


Betty Munson

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