Johnson Valley News 7/23/2020

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• No news! The Johnson Valley Saturday Breakfast continues as our only event at the Community Center  – but not in it.

Attendance has slumped since no one wanted to wait or eat in the outside heat – wasn’t the Gov kind to let us have breakfast-to-go in the fresh air of the Desert Dreams Garden? However, for this Saturday, July 11, the weather forecast claims 61-79 degrees during our breakfast hours, 7:00-10:00 a.m., somewhat cooler than last week!

You come inside the building to order, but you wait outside to pick up. Your best bet: order before you leave home at 760-792-4555, after 7:00 a.m. Just keep calling if the line is busy.
The Breakfast Burrito (trendy these days) is a sweet deal with fresh salsa if you want, and coffee, only 6.00.
Or, choose from our traditional Saturday Breakfast menu, first-come, first-served.
1. Hash Browns and Biscuit, or
2. Pancakes, or
3. Biscuits and Gravy, or
4. French Toast
plus two eggs any way, and your choice of bacon, ham, or sausage.
Large breakfast is 6.00; Small breakfast (one egg, smaller portions) 4.00.
Sorry, we still can’t offer the never-empty coffee cup, servers will bring your orders outside, with one cup.

Cash or credit card accepted.

If we have you on the HVCC outreach list, you saw this story yesterday; just skip over to the next item (additional reports from this meeting coming next week).

Last Monday, July 20, we saw lots of masked men in uniforms at the Homestead Valley Community Council (HVCC) monthly meeting.

The agenda listed a lot of catch-up business. Although the Council themselves had met in June in Homestead Park, Monday was the first public meeting since February!

Sen. Grove’s Field Rep Dominic Heiden is still not authorized to attend public meetings. However, new representatives from County Sheriffs and California Highway Patrol came to meet the folks and answer questions. Since the HVCC had a Resolution supporting local, state, and federal law enforcement, recognizing their commitment to public safety and calling for increased funding, we were gratified they could be there to hear it.
(This Resolution is posted on Please check it out.) (And thanks to folks who have already applauded it.)

County Fire Chief Dan Munsey presented figures and projections on the infamous Fire Protection Zone 5 expansion (FP-5) and the parcel tax that came along with it. Several in his audience had not heard before the costs of a new fire engine or a new fire station, gasp!

When we vote on FP-5 in November, we have the happy choice of coughing up that tax added to our property tax bills and increasing each year, or further reductions – drastic in extent – in capabilities, firefighting and medical personnel, plus increasing response times.

Chief Munsey fielded many questions, including what caused this messy situation? He sugar-coated nothing, agreeing the parcel tax will not be funding any increase in services. Cost-cutting measures have reduced their deficits. He plans to continue those actions. He also plans to spread the money-saving attitude to present and future firefighters (all of whom are now trained EMTs).

Tom Murphy of The Red Brennan Group also attended this meeting Monday. TRBG has challenged the FP-5 expansion on its legality from the get-go. HVCC invited him to speak at the next meeting, at the Yucca Mesa Community Center on Monday, August 17.

County Supervisor Dawn Rowe reported on the latest restrictions imposed by Gov. Newsome’s efforts to slow COVID19 and its effects on our businesses and health. No good news here, but Supervisor Rowe has kept up with our problems and responded to them. Having attended most HVCC meetings since she first took office, she has worked on almost every County issue we discuss and even advanced some causes to the State.

Jason Hansen, with H.E.L.P.  – Humanitarian Emergency Lifeline Project – described steps being taken to mount a grassroots response to the many problems arising from any disaster. They call for volunteers all over the Homestead Valley communities of Yucca Mesa, Landers, Flamingo Heights, and Johnson Valley, to use any special skills and training, as well as familiarity with our maze of back roads, to advance the project.

In only four months, even with the limitations of working around a virus, the organizing of H.E.L.P. has made progress. To find out more, call Jason at 951.232.8248.  Email:

HVCC President Jim Harvey projected some of the 2-page spreads from the print version of the Visual Assessment document for Scenic Highway 247, to give the audience a taste of the scope of this project. The Scenic 247 Committee is putting final touches on the campaign presentation. More news next week.

No events can be held at any of the four homestead Valley Community Centers right now. (The news on the Johnson Valley Oktoberfest is still gloomy. For a fundraiser effort, we may have to create a souvenir t-shirt saying, “In Memory of the 11th Annual Oktoberfest, a victim of COVID19.” However, they would be fairly high-cost apparel, to make up for the loss of our #1 fundraising party of the year.)
But, stay tuned.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Passing on press releases of interest from the outside world:
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – The County Workforce Development Board may be able to help you if you have job problems caused by Governmental actions against the spread of COVID19. See their Job Center flyer attached.

Unfortunately, fraud reports have spiked due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and scammers exploiting the crisis to find new ways to cash in at your expense:
– Are they a real COVID 19 contact tracer, or a scammer? Legitimate tracers need health information, not money or personal financial information.
– Don’t respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government.
– Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.
– Be wary of ads for test kits. Most test kits advertised do not have approval by the FDA, and aren’t necessarily accurate.
– Hang up on robocalls. (Or don’t answer if you have an answering machine or voice mail) Scammers are using the pandemic to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
– Watch out for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO.
– Do your homework when it comes to contributions. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
FROM CALTRANS Thanks to Chuck Bell
If you’re headed this way from the I-15, the badly-needed SR-18 Resurfacing Project from Apple Valley to Lucerne Valley starts flagging traffic on July 29.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin a $1.3 million resurfacing project on two routes. On State Route 18 (SR-18), work may delay you anywhere from Central Rd. in Apple Valley to the west of Fairlane Rd. in Lucerne Valley.
The contractor, Calmex Engineering, will begin placing road construction signs next Monday, July 27. On Wednesday, July 29, crews will begin restriping operations throughout the construction zone.
Beginning August 3, 2020, crews will start the AC paving process on SR-18. Good news: Caltrans anticipates this project to finish in late September 2020.

Road work hours are 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Crews will conduct traffic-control flagging operations at each work zone. Traffic delays anticipated, 10-15 minutes, but you could be held up to 30 minutes.
This schedule is subject to change. Know before you go! To stay on top of roadwork in the Inland Empire, go to Caltrans District 8 and sign up for commuter alerts. Follow us for the latest information on  Facebook and Twitter. To assist in planning your trip, view real-time traffic conditions using QuickMap and planned lane closures under the Options menu.
For those with sensory disabilities requiring alternate formats (i.e., Braille, large print, sign language interpreter, etc.) and those needing information in a language other than English, please contact Emily Leinen at 909-383-1910 or TTY 711 by July 31, 2020.
🌠Comet NEOWISE will be visible for a few more days.
Here are some tips for catching a glimpse of the comet before it disappears for another 6,800 years.
-Bring binoculars or a small telescope
-Find a spot away from city lights, like JV
-Just after sunset, look below the Big Dipper in the NW sky

⛺The Bureau of Land Management reports that two proposed management plans for the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area would cut overnight camping by half while making numerous infrastructure improvements including added toilets. New regulations affect recreational activities, from climbing to OHV use to flying drones. The more restrictive alternative proposes day-use permits for most activities, banningRVs and trailers from some roads, and moving all camping to a new, single campground
The BLM seeks public input on the Alabama Hills Management Plan. Submit written comments on the proposed alternatives in the environmental assessment via email to; by fax: 760-872-5055; or by mail to: BLM Bishop Field Office, Attn: Alabama Hills Management Plan, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100, Bishop, CA  93514.Public Comment Deadline – August 7, 2020

🗓Public land mining claim fees and waivers are due to the Bureau of Land Management by September 1, 2020.
Claimants who wish to retain their existing mining claims on federal public lands through the 2021 assessment year must pay a maintenance fee or file a Maintenance Fee Waiver Certification (Small Miner’s Waiver). The deadline is September 1st to prevent the mining claim from being declared forfeit and void. All details listed at

💨🙄Where’s that smoke coming from? map shows you where the fire location and which way the smoke is headed.How to protect yourself from wildfire smoke:
🔹 Stay indoors and keep your air clean – install a high-efficiency filter
🔹 Avoid outdoor activities during smokey conditions
🔹 If driving, keep your windows rolled up and set the A/C to recirculate

Well, Th-th-th-at’s all, folks. The writers of newsletters and press releases may be working from home, but they’ve been busy these days. Maybe we can take it as a good omen that the world will resume turning soon.

Stay well; keep smiling!Betty

Betty Munson

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