Johnson Valley News 11/30/2018

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• Start the holiday season at the Johnson Valley Holiday Dinner, tomorrow evening, Saturday, December 1st, at the brightly-decked hall, the JV Community Center.

Come to enjoy a feast – spiral-cut ham, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, and cookies and ice cream for dessert (it may sound cold, but it’s heartwarming fun after this great dinner!

Donation, 10.00 per person, kids 12 and younger 5.00.

Enjoy the Christmas music, too,
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Dinner will be at 5:00.

Remember to get your raffle tickets for the gorgeous queen-size quilt on display, donated by Johnson Valley Quilter Carole Bickel. Last chance, 1.00 each, six for 5.00! After dinner, we’ll draw for the lucky quilt ticket and some other gift prizes.

Afterward, stay for announcements and the General Meeting, keep up with what’s happening around here. Door prize drawings after the meeting.

Bring your guests, your family; remember, everyone is welcome to every event at the Community Center!

• We’re kicking off another raffle with a wonderful prize, donated by the Yucca Valley Home Depot. Check out the gleaming outdoor cooker when you are at the Center.

The drawing date: May 4th, the Johnson Valley Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, so you have plenty of time to get several batches of tickets for this great fundraiser. Each 1.00, or 6 tickets for 5.00. All raffle proceeds go toward upkeep of the Community Center!

• We had to wait a long time, but the latest batch of 4×8” bricks now reside in the walkway to the pavilion in the Paul Van Hook Desert Drams Garden next door to the Center.

Why so long? The minimum order for either the 4×8” size or the 8×8” size is five, and it took forever for that many to come in. Although the larger size is popular, these look good, too.

If you have been thinking of adding a memory of your own for garden visitors to see, now’s the time. We do have one 8×8 order, but we need at least four more. Think about it.

People, pets, memorials, acknowledgments, organizations, military, whimsical messages, homesteaders – your message can be anything.

4×8” size, 50.00 + 10.00 setup fee.
8×8” size, 100.00 + 10.00 setup fee.
The design is free; you will receive a proof before we place the order.
The bricks are terracotta-color engraved in black by a laser process. Delivery usually takes about a month after we pay the invoice.

Pick up an order form at the lobby desk, or e-mail me for one.

JVIA divides the proceeds equally for maintenance of the Community Center and the Garden.

If you want to order a brick as a gift, we will send a card to the recipient if you wish, and a notice when it is in place.

• The last action of the Lucerne Valley-Johnson Valley Municipal Advisory Council (LV-JV MAC), concerned the Countywide Plan for Lucerne Valley. It has problems similar to our Homestead Valley “Action Guides” to replace our Community Plan adopted in 2007.

Last year at the LV-JV MAC, a Lucerne Valley resident related a strange dialog with a County planner during a regional meeting. He mentioned our doubts about the “action plan” approach, asking, “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.”

However, whatever, we want the policies in the 2007 HV Community Plan included, updated to acknowledge unforeseen changes, such as utility-scale solar projects industrializing desert communities, government policies affecting property values, and deactivation of fire stations.

Yes, we are trying to get things from the county, but what else is a county for?

Our Third District Supervisor, James Ramos, has won election to the State Assembly. The MAC serves as a liaison between Supervisor and constituents. Unless and until its re-establishment by the person appointed to serve the rest of Ramos’ term, the MAC is out of action.

This kind of discontinuity does not affect the Homestead Valley Community Council, since it is self-founded, and self-funded, not appointed by an elected official.  HVCC meets again on January 19th at Landers Belfield Hall, and it will have more updates on the agenda about issues that affect Johnson Valley and all our neighbors:

-the litigation the Red Brennan Group and others have started against the 157.26 parcel tax to be levied against us by the County Fire Department

-the disappointing failure of the County Board of Supervisors to implement protections against industrial-scale solar fields in and around our communities

-that “Action Guide” slated to replace our 2007 Homestead Valley Community plan, mentioned above

-the progress of the class action suit brought by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association to get refunds of the CalFire taxes we had to pay, now adjudged an illegal tax.

-the Environmental Impact Report on the Ord Mountain Solar project tied in with Edison’s Calcite substation – if this industrializing nightmare north of Lucerne Dry Lake goes through, it opens the floodgates for similar solar projects along Hwy 247, so wrong for so many reasons.

HVCC encourages solar generation done right, on rooftops and parking lots on ground already disturbed – not in the open desert lands, destroying both human and wildlife habitats.

Stay tuned.                   

• “Journey To The Hammers” 2018 Season debuts tonight, Friday, November 30 on NBC Sports at 9:00 p.m. PST. This season promises just as much action with more background on what makes ULTRA4 racing unique. And it all began in Johnson Valley with a challenge race among a few offroading friends heading across open desert and into boulder-strewn canyons impossible to travel, at least, before Ultra 4 vehicles.

For a 30-second preview clip see

Get advance Spectator Tickets online (20.00 per person, good for the entire KOH Week beginning February 1st) and Camper Passes at:

• The weather these days invites all kinds of recreation in the desert. Getting chillier, but recent rain makes travel better. More off-roaders arrive for Saturday Breakfast (97 on Thanksgiving weekend, but our Breakfast Crew and extra volunteers kept up with the hungry crowd).

Be sure you take along the Sidekick Offroad Map of the Johnson Valley OHV Area,  featuring a detailed topographical map, a Guide to the original Hammers trails, general information, and off-road tips. The folding paper map is 3:00. The silkscreened Bandanna Map is 8.00. Find both at the Hobby Club Boutique Table.

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

Even though the BLM seems to have numbered Larrea Road as an offroad trail only for street-legal vehicles, it is paved. Dirt bikes, quads, side-by-sides, please run on the dirt trails beside the pavement as you enter or leave the community when going to and from the OHV Area. Cross the highway legally and very carefully from any of the JV community roads to the dirt trail that parallels it on the north side.

Please go slowly on the community dirt roads. Any speed, any vehicle, street-legal or not, going over 25 mph does big damage. Aggressive tires, so valuable in desert conditions, can mess up the roads even at lower speeds. Somehow, making donuts in the dirt seems to be a thrill for some, but those circular ruts can be hard to repair. And only the neighbors repair them, so do your donuts elsewhere, please.

Look out for junior offroaders or heedless speeders right around the next blind corner, where you never met traffic before!.

Glance behind you – that long trail of powdery dust can travel even farther than the racket you make at high speeds. Let’s not irritate the neighbors!

• The Johnson Valley community news column in the Hi-Desert Star in Yucca Valley usually becomes the basis for the JV NEWS e-mails.

If you own property but do not live here, chances are good you have no other way to stay current with all the meetings, litigations, comments, tax plans and do-or-die battles against industrial solar.

JVIA members receive the Johnson Valley Journal 6 times a year – and this JV NEWS e-mail in between Journals keeps you up-to-date. You also get info specific to JVIA members that space restrictions in the newspaper do not allow.

If you do not want to receive these e-mails, just reply and say Cancel.

SIGN UP OR RENEW YOUR JVIA MEMBERSHIP. Don’t miss an issue of the Journal! See the attached 2019 application form to print, due by January 31, 2019. Mail it to Helene, whether you are mailing a check, or making a secure credit card payment via PayPal on

Or pick up an application form during Saturday Breakfast at the Center, between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m. and hand it in with your dues to the cashier.

Tell your friends and neighbors who are not members of the Association and urge them to join, too.

BE A MEMBER SPONSOR! Add a donation to your dues. Help rebuild depleted JVIA reserves. The septic tank and AC cost a bunch of bucks. And the AC may give up the ghost before we can build up enough funds to pay for it without going into the hole again.

Our year-to-date outgo has outpaced our income; spare some $$$ if you have some $$$ to spare. (JVIA is a 501(C)4 non-profit. Your generosity, unfortunately, is not tax-deductible.)

BE A VOLUNTEER! Help once a month on a Breakfast crew, help keep the doors open!

Johnson Valley Community Center
50567 Quailbush Rd.
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, although we would love to have you join.

Book the Center for birthday celebrations, family gatherings, weddings. No rent, we ask for a donation to cover overheads, and that you leave it as you found it.

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden next door welcomed lots of Thanksgiving visitors, then Wednesday’s rain, but colder nights have done the number on the leafy trees and yesterday’s wind began to strip them for winter. Still attracting visitors, though, with the homesteaders’ artifacts, Ed Warren’s airplane, commemorative bricks, and patented JV sunsets. And sunrises.

While you are there, make sure kids do not enter the train layout; the track and model buildings are fragile, and repairs can be difficult.

When the weather allows, and the crew is on hand, you can usually watch the trains on Saturdays, and maybe at other times, too. Ask the breakfast cashier if they are in action.

I hope your Thanksgiving was as pleasant as ours. Best of all, JV residents did not have to face all that traffic to get home.

Betty Munson

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