Johnson Valley News 7/12/2018

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• Homestead Valley Community Council members have agreed we will skip the July 16th meeting, so many people are away.

The next meeting will be Monday, August 20, at 3:00 p.m. at the Yucca Mesa Community Center, 3133 Balsa Ave.

If you have not attended any of these meetings before, the HVCC is a coalition of the community organizations of Yucca Mesa, Landers, Flamingo Heights, and Johnson Valley: meetings are ordinarily scheduled for the third Monday of every month and rotate among the four community centers.

Guest comments are first on the agenda. Public safety officials are always invited and welcome your questions.


San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Assistant Sheriff John McMahon stands next to his framed collection of the badges and ID’s he has used during his 27-years with the department.

• We have the same public safety concerns in the Homestead Valley – in fact, all over the high desert – as the Lucerne Valley-Johnson Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC).

Sheriff John McMahon will speak at the MAC meeting on Thursday, July 19, barring some major emergency. I know you will be interested in what he has to say!

Take a nice trip along Scenic 247 to the Lucerne Valley Community Center, just past the fire station, next to Pioneer Park. Time: 5:00 p.m., but come a little early.

• Sounds like planning for the 2nd Annual “Farewell to Summer” Community Fair & Fireworks will bring everybody something to enjoy!

The unique fireworks display on Saturday, September 1, before Labor Day, and the western band, Cinch, for the music, already have been lined up. There will be much more soon to announce. Location: the Homestead Valley Park in Landers. Mark your calendar, must see! Something special for your Labor Day weekend!

• If you did not make it to the Johnson Valley Landowners Jamboree last month, you can find information from the businesses and organizations who participated that day. In the lobby of the Johnson Valley Community Center you will see the literature rack filled with handouts and brochures for lots of services and resources who help us out here.

Also, you can find real bargains on the New-To-You Table – housewares, collectibles, hardware, you name it ­­– all donated; you donate whatever you wish to pay for them. Best time to shop, during the Saturday Breakfast hours of 7:00-10:00 a.m. All proceeds go toward the activities at the center, and thank you!

• The County of San Bernardino sent step-by-step instructions for using an App to report any issues that you find in an unincorporated area directly to the Code Enforcement Department  – like abandoned vehicles and illegal trash dumping on private property, and short-term private home rental violations.

Some users experienced problems with the app. Download the updated version from your App Store and try again.

County instructions for using the app attached.

• The infamous fire tax levied on every property with a “habitable structure” worked a hardship on many of us, for little determinable benefit.

Update from our favorite organization:

On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed its opening brief and a fourteen-volume appendix to appeal the trial court’s dismissal of the fire tax case.

The fourteen volumes supporting the appeal demonstrate the extensive work that had been done by HJTA and the Attorney General to prepare the case for trial.

HJTA’s opening brief explains that the merits of the case had been fully briefed on both sides, together with a lengthy table of undisputed facts, citations to the evidence supporting those facts, a massive compendium of exhibits, and over 600 payer declarations providing the necessary sworn witness testimony.

The only thing left was for the trial court to give its decision. It was an abuse of discretion, and unfair to the more than 800,000 people affected by the fire tax, for the trial court to dismiss the case instead of deciding it.

While the gargantuan appendix represents the complexity of the case, HJTA’s opening brief presents a concise legal argument to the Court of Appeal. In short, this is a public interest case designated by the court as a complex special proceeding exempt from any specific deadline. Even if a specific deadline had applied, HJTA’s motion for judgment was timely presented. Dismissing a case under such circumstances violates the longstanding public policy of deciding cases on their merits.

The brief points out that, although HJTA was successful in supporting legislation that discontinued the collection of the fire tax, the case in court still has purpose because it seeks refunds of past payments for everyone who filed a Petition for Redetermination. If the court were to agree that, during the years it was collected, the “fire prevention fee” was really a tax, then refunds to the class would be in order.

HJTA hopes the Court of Appeal will be persuaded to reverse the trial court’s dismissal of the case, and to allow the case to proceed to a decision on the merits.

To our newcomers to the JV NEWS e-mail list:
The Johnson Valley community news column in the Hi-Desert Star in Yucca Valley usually becomes the basis for these e-mails – and most non-resident members and interested parties do not subscribe to the Star.

JVIA publishes the Johnson Valley Journal 6 times a year, which mails to members. If you are not a member, pick up an application when you come to the Community Center. Or e-mail me; I can e-mail a form you can download and print. We need the form with your check to process the membership.

You get added details here in between Journals, that space restrictions in the newspaper do not allow, as well as items specific to JVIA members. You usually will receive the JV NEWS once a week which fills in the long wait between Journals.

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

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 Center is also available 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 to the parking lot is open to visitors for free. You are welcome to enjoy this approximately 2-acre plot full of drought-resistant plants and trees, artifacts from homesteader days and whimsical decor our garden designers have created.

An extensive model railway claims top billing here. Make sure kids do not enter the train layout; the track and model buildings can be damaged easily.

The G-scale trains run when the crew is available, and the weather smiles on us. When you come to Saturday Breakfast, ask if the trains will run that day. Right now it’s just too hot.

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, do not go on the Hwy 247 right of way. A dirt trail parallels it on the north side. Cross the highway legally and very carefully to get onto any of the community roads.

Remember to take it easy, watch out at blind corners for junior offroaders and thoughtless speeders.

We always ask you to slow down on the community roads. People do live here; noise and dust travel a long way.

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

See you at the Saturday Breakfast, 7:00-10:00 a.m!

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.


Betty Munson

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