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Fourth Edition July/August 2013

Mojave Desert makes National Geographic’s 100 Unforgettable Destinations

In a National Geographic special publication titled The World’s Most Beautiful Places, the Mojave Desert was named as one of 100 unforgettable destinations. Included along with such iconic places as Paris, Rome and the Amazon Rainforest, the Mojave Desert is praised for its vast and immaculate landscape.

“Far from the madding metropolitan crowds of Las Vegas and Los Angeles that surround it, the Mojave Desert offers the balm of silence and solitude. Canyons, giant mesas, mountains, towering dunes, and vast, dust-dry plains make up one of North America’s most elemental landscapes. It is a world little touched by humans, save for the odd crumbling mine or homestead, but one which nature adorns with the beauty of the Joshua tree and spring’s brief-lived wildflowers,” the article stated.

Supervisor Ramos was thrilled to learn of this high praise of the Mojave Desert. “It speaks volumes of the prominence of our desert when it’s recognized by a prestigious magazine like National Geographic. As residents of the County of San Bernardino, I hope you all feel proud of this stunning land that you call home,” he commented. “It should also serve as a reminder of the difficult task and duty we all face in protecting the pristine conditions of our desert for future generations to enjoy.”

Members of the Hispanic Employees Alliance discuss issues with Supervisor Ramos
Hispanic Employees Alliance and County Women’s Network Meeting

The Hispanic Employees Alliance and the County Women’s Network invited Supervisor Ramos to be a guest speaker during their meeting on August 22nd. In addition to providing an update on the state of the county and the projects he is working on, Ramos was honored to be asked to discuss his journey to becoming County Supervisor and the obstacles he faced as a Native American. "Wherever I go, I always remember where I came from. Keep those memories with you because they are what make you who you are," Supervisor Ramos stressed. "If you see a need for change, believe in yourself because you can fill it."

Many in attendance asked questions and showed strong interest in the goals and vision the Supervisor has for the county. "I was pleased to hear that one of the Supervisor’s main goals is to work together with the other Supervisors to move forward and improve the various issues our County faces. The Hispanic Employee Alliance also wants to work with those who desire to move forward and improve the ability of the County’s Hispanic Employees to achieve and make a difference," said Ed Tapia, HEA Vice-President.

Supervisor Ramos Around the District

Barstow Tour with Supervisor Gonzales

On July 25th, Supervisor Josie Gonzales joined Supervisor Ramos for a day in Barstow and Lucerne Valley. The two Supervisors donned hard hats and took an informative tour of the new performing arts center at Barstow Community College. The new facility will allow theater students to gain a more hands-on experience and for the greater community of Barstow to enjoy plays and musical events.

Supervisors Gonzales and Ramos donned hard
hats to tour the new performing arts center
at Barstow Community College

Big Bear Senior Luncheon

Supervisor Ramos had the honor of speaking at the Big Bear Seniors’ Luncheon on July 31st. The group discussed the financial impacts seniors have faced due to the federal sequestration cuts, particularly to programs such as Meals on Wheels. The Supervisor also shared his journey to becoming the Third District Supervisor and spoke about current projects aimed at promoting tourism within the Third District and throughout the County as a whole. Ending the discussion on a lighthearted note, he was happy to teach them a native bird song.

Supervisor Ramos was delighted to take a
photo with Big Bear resident Jeanita Moore!

Coffee with the Supervisor in Joshua Tree

On July 15th, Supervisor Ramos held his first Coffee with the Supervisor at his Joshua Tree District Office. This meeting provided an opportunity for residents to have one-on-one time with Supervisor Ramos and for the Supervisor to hear residents’ concerns first-hand. With over sixty residents in attendance, the Supervisor was able to speak with people on an individual level as he made his way around the room. He then addressed the crowd on a number of key issues such as incorporating a renewable energy component into the County’s General Plan while providing time for Q&A segment. “I found the meeting very productive. I was able to engage with a large number of residents and hear what concerns they have that I can take back and work on. I look forward to the next meeting we hold out here,” stated Supervisor Ramos following the event. Coffee with the Supervisor will take
place at the Joshua Tree District Office every quarter.
Supervisor Ramos talks with residents

Progress in the Third District

County Solar Planning Continues for Rural Communities

On July 23rd, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an extension of the moratorium on commercial solar energy projects in order for the County to complete the planning process of adding a renewable energy component to the General Plan. While the County has begun to make headway, the County needs another 3 to 6 months to update the development code.

The need for proper planning creates certainty for solar development in this county. Delaying development during the planning process protects businesses and developers from investing time and money into a project that could potentially be zoned against the new development codes. Those companies which have already submitted completed applications to Land Use Services will not be affected by the delay.

Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley MAC Members Sworn In

The new members of the Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley MAC were sworn in by Supervisor Ramos on August 13th.

“Energy, water, transportation and land use issues are just a few of the regional topics of concern that face the desert today,” stated Supervisor Ramos. “I look forward to hearing from the MAC members on these broader regional issues affecting San Bernardino County.”

Once the new members were sworn in, elections took place and Richard Selby was elected as Chairman and Joanna Wright was elected Vice-Chair. “Supervisor Ramos has indicated that he will provide us with the resources necessary to make this MAC a leading voice for this part of San Bernardino County,” stated Richard Selby, Chairman, Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley MAC.

The members of this MAC are Lorne Abercrombie, Jean Fuqua, Jean Magee, Betty Munson, Roger Peterson, Richard Selby, and Joanna Wright. Meetings are open to the public and agendas are posted in accordance with Brown Act Requirements.

Board Approves Agreement with University of Redlands to Place Student Interns

On August 6th, the Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the University of Redlands to place student interns throughout County departments. Students from the University of Redlands will obtain hands-on experience and apply classroom theory and concepts to relevant, civic projects. The County will also benefit from having students interns from the University of Redlands who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to be valuable contributing members to whatever department they serve in. “This agreement illustrates the County’s commitment to its vision of supporting our residents from cradle to career,” Supervisor Ramos commented. “I applaud the University of Redlands for taking this step in providing another avenue for educational training to its students.”

“Our students will be transformed by their work with the county, and we hope the citizens of San Bernardino will benefit as well,” stated Ed Wingenbach, Associate Provost for the University of Redlands. “Almost half of our students come from the Inland Empire, and our students perform over 100,000 hours of community service every year, much of it right here in San Bernardino County. We are deeply grateful to Supervisor Ramos and the entire Board of Supervisors for their support.”

Tourism Talk

Big Bear Valley business owners, members of the tourism industry, and other stakeholders met with Supervisor Lovingood and Ramos on July 18th to discuss tourism in the mountain communities. As one of the main attractions in the county, Supervisor Ramos wants to promote tourism to Big Bear Valley as well as throughout the third district. Understanding the trends in tourism for these mountain communities was the main focus of the meeting. Many come to the mountains during the winter to snowboard and during the summer to Jet Ski. But there are other areas in the third district that are equally appealing. Joshua Tree National Park also brings people of all ages to enjoy the beautiful scenery and take part in activities such as rock climbing. The purpose of these tourism talks is to begin to build a more cohesive marketing plan for the third district and the county as a whole.
Biking is just one of the many activities Big Bear Valley has to offer

Third District Community Forum
Fun Facts about the 3rd District

Did you know the Redlands Bowl Summer Festival is the oldest continuously running music festival in Southern California, and the United States, where no admission is charged?

The Redlands Bowl Summer Festival began in 1923. Grace Stewart Mullen founded the Redlands Community Music Association (RCMA) with the belief that “music is for everyone,” and should be accessible to all regardless of their financial status. Since 1923, it is estimated that eight million people have attended an evening of entertainment under the stars. Each summer, this festival brings to life classical music pieces
such as Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 as well as favorite musicals likeThe Sound of Music.

During The Sound of Music intermission on August 1st, Supervisor Ramos had the opportunity to speak about the importance of commemorating the arts together as a community. “The Summer Music Festival provides an opportunity for everyone to experience the cultural arts regardless of their ability to pay an admission fee. This holds a special place in my heart. It truly is something to be treasured,” stated Supervisor Ramos.

Photo Credit: Don Graham

Accessing Your Government

Want to know why you have to take that detour? Where is the nearest waste disposal site? Is my road maintained by the county? The answer to those questions can be found on the Department of Public Works Interactive Map. The maps include Transportation Road Yards, the County Maintained Road System, Temporary Road Closures, Waste Disposal Site Locations, Flood Control Facilities, Flood Control Right-of-Way and Capital Improvement Project locations.

Some of the features include the locations of the Road Yards showing the service boundaries with a link to the road yard supervisors and phone numbers. The County Maintained Road System feature allows you to easily locate which roads are maintained by the County Department of Public Works and allows the public to search by street address to find out if they live along a road that is maintained by Public Works.

The Temporary Road Closures map helps you with avoiding areas where roads are closed for maintenance or problems. Flood Control facilities and Flood Control right-of-ways are easily identifiable on their own unique interactive map. The Waste Disposal map shows you locations, addresses, hours and days of operations to assist you with accessing the landfills or transfer stations in your area.

The Capital Improvement Project map provides an interactive tour of the current projects that are under construction. All of the interactive maps allow users to click on a geographic feature to bring up additional detailed information.

The website can be found at

Community Voice

A Favorite Place in San Bernardino County: Wildwood Canyon State Park

Yucaipa is home to one of California’s newer State Parks, Wildwood Canyon State Park. This park was dedicated in 2003 through the efforts of local residents in an effort to preserve 900 acres of historic ranch property. I didn’t visit the park until years later when a friend invited me to meet her there for a hike.

The park is accessed across from Wildwood Park and down a dead-end dirt road. I met my friend at a locked gate across this road, which is the indistinctive entrance to the park. We walked through an entrance by the gate for an easy hike up the road and past meadows lined with oak trees ending at the historic ranch buildings. On this particular day, my friend and I also took a trail off the main road that circled the park and led us down a wooded, verdantly green trail which I refer to as the enchanted forest, past an equestrian staging area and back to our car. I’ve since took many hikes here, exploring trails that lead up hills with endless vistas and along ranch fencing to former homesteads that appear to be waiting for the homeowners to return at any moment. I’ve even ridden a horse on the trails of the park with my friend Kristie, an avid equestrienne. This park boasts an active support organization called Supporters of Wildwood Canyon State Park which raises funds to preserve and protect the park. This group hosts periodic park events. Be sure to check their website for more details:

Amy Simmons

Community Highlight

Big Bear Historical Society Museum

The Big Bear Valley Historical Society was founded in November of 1967 by a small group of people who wished to preserve the colorful past of this high mountain valley. The Society maintains and operates the Big Bear Valley Historical (Eleanor Abbott) Museum. The museum offers a look into what life was like in the mountains from the discovery of the valley to the gold rush days to the formation of the mountain resorts. Throughout your time at the museum, you will learn how to pan for gold and hear firsthand what the job of a blacksmith was like in the mountain region. The volunteers who graciously staff the Museum have immense insight into the history of Big Bear Valley and will generously answer any questions you might have.

For more information, please visit Big Bear Historical Museum.

Events Around the County

Date   Event
• SEP •
  DRECP Public Meeting
Where: Lucerne Valley Elementary School, 10788 Barstow Rd.
Lucerne Valley, CA 92356
When: 6:30pm

• SEP •
  DRECP Public Meeting
Where: Yucca Valley Community Center, 57090 Twentynine Palms Hwy
Yucca Valley, CA 92284
When: 9:00am

• SEP •
  Coffee with the Supervisor
Where: Barstow City Council Chambers, 220 E. Mountain View St., Barstow
When: 10am to 12pm

• SEP •
  Blood Drive
Where: Highland Police Station, 26985 E. Base Line, Highland
When: 1:30pm to 6:30pm

• OCT •
  Believe Walk
Presented by Stater Bros. Charities and Inland Women Fighting Cancer
Where: Downtown Redlands
When: 6:30am

• OCT •
  Pioneer Days, 77th Annual
Where: 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce, Luckie Park, 29 Palms

• OCT •
  Mardi Gras Parade
Main St., Barstow
When: 7:00pm

• OCT •
  Halloween in the Village
Where: The Village of Big Bear Lake, 630 Bartlett Rd.
When: 5:00pm to 7:30pm