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Third Edition May/June 2013

Teenage $ex for $ale: Human Trafficking in
San Bernardino County

Watch the video

On June 6th, the Big Bear Valley Coalition against Sexual Trafficking held a screening of Teenage $ex for $ale, a short documentary created by the District Attorney’s Office. This film examines the problem of sexual exploitation of minors in San Bernardino County.

In 2012, there were were 380 prostitution-related cases filed, of which 27 involved minors. It is important to remember that this number only reflects those who were caught and arrested. We know that the real number is much higher. This is a tragic and often unseen problem facing all residents and all parts of the County.

The screening in Big Bear drew an audience of elected officials and concerned community residents. District Attorney Mike Ramos was present for the screening and made the following comment. “It’s important to realize that commercial sexual exploitation affects children in all parts of our County. When we first set out to produce this documentary our main goal was to use it as a tool to educate the public about what was happening in our own backyard. So I am thankful to Supervisor Ramos and his staff, and the Big Bear community for coming together and hosting a special screening. By all accounts, it was a huge success,” stated District Attorney Mike Ramos.

The screening spotlighted a problem that some in the Big Bear Valley were unaware of prior to seeing the film. “I was completely unaware of this issue. Thank you for bringing the program to our Valley,” stated resident Gloria Meade. Many residents shared their appreciation for the film and for those involved in bringing it to the mountains. “Great panel, great prepared questions, excellent answers and presentation of panel participants were just superb!” commented Carol Bremer, a Big Bear Valley resident.

Essential to ending human trafficking in our County is the education of all residents. If your organization would like to host a screening of the Teenage $ex 4 $ale documentary, please visit the District Attorney’s website at

SANBAG I-10 Westbound Widening Dedication Ceremony

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the final phase of the I-10 Westbound Widening Project was held on June 14th. San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), the California Department of Transportation and the cities of Redlands and Yucaipa worked cooperatively to complete this freeway construction project between Live Oak Canyon Road in Yucaipa and Ford Street in Redlands. The project is designed to improve traffic flow, especially for morning commuters headed to San Bernardino and other points west. Funding for this project was secured from a combination of federal, state and local sources.

The Supervisor was honored to serve as emcee for this event and hear from residents who face the inevitable traffic congestion each morning as they expressed gratitude for this project. Fred Contaoi, local resident, stated this is a “nice project that makes it more convenient for people getting on the freeway due to the larger on-ramp.”

(From left to right) Big Bear Lake Mayor Jahn, Supervisors Rutherford and Ramos, Caltrans District Director Muallem, Yucaipa City Councilman Riddell, and Redlands Mayor Aguilar participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony

Supervisor Ramos Around the District

An Evening with the Stars

The Department of Behavioral Health and the Behavioral Health Commission, in collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, held an evening of recognition and education of mental health services. The Supervisor was privileged to attend and recognize those who have dedicated so much of their time to serving those in need. The evening offered a learning opportunity as Dr. Scott Zeller, Alameda County Medical Center, spoke about the patient-center advancements in providing mental health services he has been involved with in Alameda County. Dr. Zeller’s presentation was not only informative but inspiring which kept with the theme of the evening. Congratulations to the award winners and honorable mentions!

For more photos check out the gallery

Barstow Counseling Center receives an award at
the Evening with the Stars

Peace Officers Memorial

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department held a memorial honoring Deputy Jeremiah MacKay who was killed in the line of duty on February 12th, 2013. Sheriff John McMahon welcomed those in attendance and Lauren Hopkins sang the National Anthem. The audience took a moment to remember the brave officers who lost their lives while serving the public. At the end of the memorial, Sheriff McMahon and fellow deputies unveiled the Frank Bland Memorial with the added name of Jeremiah A. MacKay.

“We will never forget those officers who lost their lives in the line of duty nor will we forget the families they left behind. We are truly honored to have such brave deputies protecting us. Deputies like Alex Collins who was injured and Jeremiah MacKay who lost his life while protecting their community. We thank you and we honor you for your sacrifices in your service to our community,” stated Supervisor Ramos.

It is not how these Officers
died that made them Heroes,
it is how they Lived.
Grubstakes Day Parade: Miracles Do Happen

Yucca Valley’s annual Grubstake Days Parade was held Saturday, May 25th. The event brought many from the community out for a day in the sun. Following the parade, the Grubstake Days Community Fair began where people of all ages delighted in the exhibits, vendors, games, and live music. The day also brought the grand opening of the Miracle League Field at the new Brehm Family Recreation Center. The Miracle League Field is the first fully accessible field built for children with disabilities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Area residents had positive feedback from the event. Shannon Luckino, President of Miracle League, stated they couldn’t “thank Supervisor Ramos enough for his support of Miracle League. He supported us and was there to share in the joy of the first day. His prayer and Indian blessing made it very special.” Hilary Slotta, a longtime resident of the Morongo Basin, commented that she “enjoyed meeting Supervisor Ramos for the first time and was very touched by his traditional invocation and then the Native American Blessing”.

“The opening day of our Miracle League Field in Yucca Valley was made so much more special by James and his cousins. Not only did Supervisor Ramos agree to attend the opening and to do a dedication prayer for the field, but he and his cousins did a traditional Native American blessing that was incredible. It made a special day even more memorable. Our thanks go out to James for this beautiful blessing.” Cindy Melland, president of the Basin Wide Foundation. Supervisor Ramos commented that he was “inspired by the hard work of the residents of the Basin in creating a field where all children have the opportunity to participate regardless of physical ability.” He thanks everyone for their work in making this field and dream a reality!

For more photos check out the gallery

Supervisor Ramos and members of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians sing traditional bird songs and offer a blessing

Grubstakes Day Parade

Progress in the Third District

Two Regional MACs Formed

At the June 4th Board meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved the creation of two regional Municipal Advisory Councils. One will serve the communities of Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley and the other will serve the Morongo Basin communities.

These are two large regional MACs that Supervisor Ramos thought would be the best way to serve many of the distinct Third District desert communities. Supervisor Ramos drew these MAC boundaries after holding discussions with community leaders. Within each MAC, the Supervisor plans to appoint smaller community advisory committees to further focus on the individual needs of each community.

The Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley MAC will consist of seven members and the Morongo Basin MAC will consist of nine members. Supervisor Ramos is looking for interested citizens to serve on these MACs.

Those interested in becoming a member can find the application online at

Lucerne-Johnson Valleys MAC (left) and Morongo Basin MAC (right)

Court Update

Despite courthouse closures and drastic reductions of hours in Barstow and Needles, attorneys from the County Public Defender’s Office will maintain a presence at those two locations to serve clients in need of representation.

A defense attorney will be available to meet with clients in the Public Defender’s Barstow office on Thursdays from 8 am to 5pm and in at the Public Defender’s Needles office in the afternoons of the first and third Friday of each month from 1:30 pm to 5pm.

The Barstow office is located at 235 E. Mt. View in Barstow. The Needles office is located at 1111 Bailey Ave in Needles. Clients can call (760) 241-0413 for more information.

Please see our past issues of The Ramos Review for more information on the fight against the inequitable funding of our court system at the state level.

Rail to Redlands Working Group

Supervisor Ramos created the Rail to Redlands Working Group in an effort to bring local business leaders, public officials, and other stakeholders together to discuss the Redlands Passenger Rail Project. This project seeks to create a passenger rail service system, traversing the east valley to the City of Redlands, alleviating highway congestion while providing an alternative source of transportation to its residents. The ad-hoc committee held its first meeting on May 23rd at the University of Redlands.

Among the committee members in attendance were University of Redlands President Ralph Kuncl and Executive Vice President Phil Doolittle, Donald Berry from ESRI, Redlands Council Member Jon Harrison, Carole Beswick and Larry Sharp of Inland Action, Paul Granillo of Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Rachelle Bussell, Senior Vice President of Loma Linda University Health, Loma Linda Chamber of Commerce CEO Paul Carlisle and President Gerry Nelson, and Mayor of Grand Terrace Walt Stanckiewitz.

Board of Supervisors Creates Two Bear Valley Advisory Committees

At the June 4th Board meeting, the Supervisors approved the creation of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park Advisory Committee and the Sugarloaf Advisory Committee. The Recreation and Park Advisory Committee works closely with Reese Troublefield, General Manager of Big Bear Valley Recreation and Parks. The Committee receives reports regarding recreation programming and improvements to parks in the Valley. This Committee will consist of 7 members who represent various geographical area of Big Bear Valley.

First Countywide Gun Buyback Event

On June 1st, the Sheriff’s Department and many local police departments partnered together to conduct the first countywide gun buyback. Hundreds of people came out to turn in their guns in exchange for Stater Bros. gift cards. In all, police collected 1,424 weapons, including 23 assault weapons. Gun owners received Stater Bros. gift cards of at least $50 for inoperable weapons, $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and $200 for assault weapons. The guns that were collected will be melted down and used to make reinforcing bars used in construction. The weapons were taken with no questions asked in an effort to get guns off the streets.

“This first countywide program was a successful effort in getting guns off the streets and streamlining the process of collecting them. Many cities have held these events in the past but a countywide effort is a more efficient way to collect these weapons. I would like to thank the Sheriff Department and the many police officers for their commitment to ensuring public safety”, stated Supervisor Ramos.

Supervisors Approves Moratorium on Commercial Solar Energy Generation Projects

On June 12th, the Board of Supervisors approved a temporary moratorium on commercial solar energy generation projects. The moratorium will halt any approval of these projects, expect those projects with completed applications already submitted to Land Use Services.

Currently, there are over thirty commercial solar projects proposed in rural residential areas of San Bernardino County. Some are as large as 50+ acres and some immediately adjacent to longstanding residences. The existing County Development Code allows for these solar projects as permissible use within county unincorporated areas. Both Supervisor Lovingood and Supervisor Ramos have heard complaints about these poorly planned proposals from residents across the desert including the Morongo Basin, Lucerne and Johnson Valleys, Oak Hills, Newberry Springs, and the greater Barstow area.

Today’s moratorium seeks to provide the county with a short period of time to properly plan where the county should zone these projects. It will allow the county the opportunity to incorporate a renewable energy component into its General Plan, which is currently missing. The moratorium will be in place for 45 days and is designed so that is does not financially injure companies or developers who have already submitted completed applications by grandfathering in those companies.

“As we prepare to become the most coveted county in America with the greatest solar resources and over fifty-percent of the DRECP Planning Area in California, San Bernardino County needs to update its General Plan and incorporate a renewable energy component into it in order to handle the anticipated wave of applications and solar developments likely to come over the next several years,” stated Supervisor Ramos.

This moratorium on solar energy generation projects is effective as of June 12th - and will remain in effect for the next 45 days unless it is extended by further action of the Board of Supervisors.

Third District Community Forum
Fun Facts about the 3rd District

Did you know Pioneertown started as a live-in old west motion picture set in the 1940s?

The town was originally built so actors could live in homes that would be used as part of a movie set. Roy Rogers, Dick Curtis, and Russell Hayden were among the original developers and investors. Gene Autry filmed at the six lane Pioneer Bowl. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has been serving folks with live music, dancing and barbeque since 1982. A façade stood in its place in 1946 and was used as a cantina in some western films. When the cantina closed, the building remained in the family. If you feel like putting on those cowboy boots and doing a little two-step, make a visit out to Pioneertown and enjoy the western atmosphere. It is located on Pioneertown Road and is easily accessed from California State Route 62.

Accessing Your Government

How do I register a complaint with Code Enforcement?

Code Enforcement administers programs designed to protect the public’s safety, welfare, and property value through enforcement of San Bernardino County ordinances and State/Federal laws relating to land use, zoning, housing, public nuisances and vehicle abatement within the unincorporated areas of the county.

There are two ways you can register a complaint with Code Enforcement. To do so over the phone, you can call (909) 884-4056 and (760) 995-8140. Or you can register your compliant online at Land Use Services Code Enforcement. When registering your compliant, please be ready to provide the location of the incident, nearest cross streets, and a description of the incident. Please note: officers are in the field during the day and will return your messages as soon as possible.

Community Highlight

Barstow Route 66 “Mother Road” Museum

The Route 66 “Mother Road” Museum was dedicated on July 4, 2000 in historic Casa del Desierto, Harvey House, in Barstow. Throughout the museum are displays of historic photographs and artifacts which illustrate the development of the U.S. Route 66.

On May 1, 2003, the Museum was designated as a “Roadside Attraction” and an official sign, one of “66” along the Routes’ 2,448 miles, was posted. Visitors can learn what to experience while on Mojave Desert or on Route 66 from many handouts and books available at the Museum. Get your kicks on Route 66!

Admission to the Museum is free. It is located at 681 North First Ave., Barstow, CA 92311. For more information, call (760) 255-1890 or visit

Events Around the County

Date   Event
• JUL •
  Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival
Winners of the 62nd Annual Young Artists Auditions

Where: The Redlands Bowl, 25 Grant St., Redlands
When: 8:15pm

• JUL •
  Big Bear 4th of July Fireworks Show
Where: 400 Pine Knot Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 866-4607
When: 8:45pm to 10pm

• JUL •
  4th of July Celebration
Where: Robert Sessions Sportspark
2800 Mayor Katy Parkway, Barstow, CA 92311

• JUL •
  4th of July Fireworks Show
Presented by Rotary Club of Yucca Valley
Where: Yucca Valley High School Football Field
When: 5:00pm to 10:00pm

• JUL •
  Heart-Healthy Meals ARMC Cooking Class
Where: ARMC Oak Room, First Floor,
400 North Pepper Avenue, Colton, CA 92324
(909) 580-3143
When: 5:30pm to 7:30pm

• AUG •
  Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival
“The Sound of Music”

Where: The Redlands Bowl, 25 Grant St., Redlands
When: 8:15pm

• AUG •
  Town of Yucca Valley Summer Music Festival
The Silverados, a country music band

For more info, please call (760) 369-7211