Ref: Daily Press – Gary Brodeur / Councilmen, School District Governors To Meet Jointly

 

Councilmen, school district governors to meet jointly

GARY BRODEUR
STAFF WRITER
Posted Jul. 8, 2014 @ 8:47 am

HESPERIA — A joint meeting of the City Council and the Hesperia Unified School District Governing Board to discuss items of common interest is scheduled Tuesday night.
Councilman Bill Holland said he asked for the meeting after a 7-year-old girl was struck by a car and killed March 6 on Peach Avenue. She had been crossing the street to get to her school bus.
Holland said the topic of school bus-stop placements would be discussed. Other discussions may turn on a possible school district bond issue, he said. Hesperia Superintendent David McLaughlin recently mailed questionnaires to residents asking for their input on schools. The superintendent provided a community feedback form for residents to mail back to him that listed nine areas for them to prioritize.
The one-hour workshop is set to take place at 6 p.m. in the school district’s Administration and Educational Support Center, 15576 Main St., Board Room B in Hesperia.
Public comments will be heard from those who complete a comment card and submit it to the city clerk or board secretary. The council and board are prohibited from taking action directly on oral requests but their members may comment or make referrals to staff members.
Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

 

 

 

Ref: Daily Press – Gary Brodeur / Ranchero Bridge Latticework To Be raised In Early July

 

Ranchero bridge latticework to be raised in early July

Interstate 15 traffic passes through the Ranchero Interchange bridge. SANBAG officials reported the project is back underway and continuing at a pace to be done by the end of the calendar year.
JAMES QUIGG, DAILY PRESS
Interstate 15 traffic passes through the Ranchero Interchange bridge. SANBAG officials reported the project is back underway and continuing at a pace to be done by the end of the calendar year. 

STAFF WRITER
Posted Jun. 19, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

HESPERIA — The regional transportation authority is planning to erect more falsework, or wooden supports, on the Ranchero Road Interchange bridge over Interstate 15 in early July. The latticework will provide support for re-installing steel beams needed to complete the bridge.

The anticipated work will be done on the northbound side of I-15 on July 1 and the southbound side on July 2.

No lane closures are expected until then, and the work is subject to Caltrans approval.

“The contractor has been able to salvage most of the materials, and only five of the 121 beams needed to be replaced” following a destructive fire on May 5, said Wendy Strack, SANBAG’s director of legislative and public affairs.

“They were able to secure the five they needed, through splicing together shorter beams and acquiring a few of the longer ones from other local suppliers, and thus we can move ahead with the falsework in a few weeks.”

Despite the accidental fire that torched the temporary bridgework and I-beams ready for a concrete pour, the I-15/Ranchero Road Interchange Project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It was on track to be finished in October, Hesperia council members said.

SANBAG Executive Director Raymond Wolfe and a Security Paving Co. Inc. executive will be at the July 1 Hesperia City Council meeting to update the council and the community on the project.

The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. at 9700 Seventh Ave. in Hesperia on the first and third Tuesdays monthly.

Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Comments:

Dan Harley ·  ·  Top Commenter · Owner at PrimeConcepts for Internet Solutions

Word of advice: NO welding when the wind is blowing at 40 mph…
  • Bill Neice ·  Top Commenter

    Ya think?
  • Steven Steele ·  · Owner at Steven Steele Productions

    They should name the bridge ‘The Phoenix’.

 

Ref: Daily Press – Brook Self / VVC Enters New Era

VVC enters a new era

 

By Steve Hunt
Posted Jun. 17, 2014 @ 8:29 am
Anew day is dawning at Victor Valley College. Interim Superintendent/President Peter Allan, who saw the college through a rough spot after Christopher O’Hearn’s departure, retires at the end of the month and Roger Wagner will take over as superintendent/ president on July 15.

Wagner comes with impressive credentials. He has been superintendent/president of Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree since 2008. Copper Mountain, somewhat similar to Barstow Community College, is a small school that boasted an enrollment of about 1,800 in January.

Before that, Wagner was vice president of academic affairs at Copper Mountain, and a dean of career and technical education, dean of economic development and dean of instruction at Crowder College in Missouri. Those experiences should serve him well at Victor Valley College.

So, too, will his previous instructional experience. He was a faculty member at Labette Community College in Kansas, Crowder and Los Angeles Metropolitan College Overseas.

He also is retired from the U.S. Air Force, so he can relate to the many veterans who are enrolled at VVC and the new vets who will be joining the student body in the coming years.

Wagner has all the degrees one could hope for in a college president — an associate’s degree from East L.A. College, bachelor’s degree from the University of the Philippines, master’s from the University of Phoenix and doctorate from the University of Nebraska.

He’s been around, literally and figuratively. He has traveled the world, living and working abroad.

Best of all, he wants to be here and brings a vision for VVC.

He told Staff Writer Brooke Self he practices “Servant Leadership,” based on the Robert Greenleaf book by the same name. He said instilling that concept at VVC will be a priority, as will be creating an environment of trust.

From the outside, trust is something VVC could use more of, especially between the faculty and the Board of Trustees. Wagner will have to try to resolve that, but it is vital if VVC is to fix its budget problems and grow into the type of institution that students in the High Desert need and deserve.

We are heartened that he says he values transparency and that he has strong training in ethics, too.

Above all, we hope he leads VVC in a new commitment to excellence, that he will inspire teachers and convince youngsters that their futures will be brighter if they will step on campus and pursue a certificate or degree.

If Wagner can do that, he will have certainly proven he was the right man for the job.

- See more at: http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20140617/OPINION/140619829/-1/news#sthash.HIINvJte.dpuf

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Comments:

Dan Braun · Works at Retired/Self Employed
Congratulations Mr. Wagner, I wish you the best. I hope that transparency and truthfulness does not sink your ship. As you know the board has had many issues and seems that they circle the wagons to protect and serve themselves rather than “public service” not only has there been enormous budget issues but also the inability to fix this problem over and over again. I would and assume many tax payers would like to know specifically what you intend on doing to address this issue and the outrageous amount of money and. Benefits the board of trustees receive monthy.
Reply · Like · 1 · Follow Post · Yesterday at 4:49pm
 
 

Bill Tuck Jr ·  Top Commenter · Mt. San Antonio College
Dr Wagner would You consider a Monthly or Quarterly News letter to the Victor Valley Tax Payers and Residents. I wish it were possible to find out the Names of any Board Members who would dare to Hurt The Righting of VVC! Would Love to Do Non Violent Political Terrorism on them. These SORRY Pieces of Garbage need to be thrown out of Office!! Best Wishes to You Dr Wagner!!
Reply · Like · Follow Post · Edited · 19 hours ago
 
 


Bill Tuck Jr ·  Top Commenter · Mt. San Antonio College
Thank You Editor Steve Hunt for You Good Commentary!!!
Reply · Like · Follow Post · 19 hours ago

Ref: Daily Press – Brooke Self / Consultant Wary Of VVC Budget Policies

 

Consultant wary of VVC budget policies

BROOKE SELF
STAFF WRITER
Posted Jun. 17, 2014 @ 7:37 am

VICTORVILLE — Two proposed budget policy changes made by the Victor Valley College Board of Trustees in March would cause the college’s finances to descend into a “downward spiral” and limit its incoming president from doing a successful job, an outside financial authority said.

Jim Austin, of Cambridge West Partnership, has served on committees for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and with the state’s Financial Crisis Management Assistance Team. He said the proposed measures, while showing an effort by the board to fix its ballooning salary and benefit expenses, do not directly address the previously projected $6.3 million deficit or planning issues that were the cause of recent sanctions by the ACCJC.

The two policies included restricting the percentage of the budget committed to salary and benefits for all employees to 83 percent, and specifically for classroom instructional employees to 52 percent by 2016-17.

“I was surprised, but I definitely take their expertise,” said Trustee Lorrie Denson, who helped formulate drafts of the policies with VVC Trustee Brandon Wood. “Mr. Austin said it was good we attempted. It does show we’re serious about trying to solve the situation we’re in and climb our way out of the hole.”

Austin is a former chief business officer in the California community college system and comes highly recommended, according to VVC’s Chief Financial Officer G.H. Javaheripour. He told the board that it had “no control over many of the funding issues of your district,” referring to state apportionment and local property tax revenue.

Austin said a perception that total employee compensation was too high and the college’s budget trend of greater expenses vs. revenues were two of the reasons the board has been concerned with its financial situation. He suggested that the board hold off on pursuing the policies until the fall semester, when faculty input would be greater.

He recommended the college take different strategies to improve its financial situation, including doing a classroom management schedule review to ensure that classes were being offered at times when the community needs them and not when they’re “convenient” for college faculty. He said there was no “silver bullet” proposal to remedy their financial issues.

“There are strategies that the college could pursue to address the issues,” Austin said. “But to succeed, all constituencies of the district must be intensely involved, especially the board, chief financial officer and collective bargaining units.”

Another policy to block withdrawals from the principal of the college’s $29 million Guaranteed Income Contract, or GIC Fund, was also proposed. Denson said this policy was not directly part of Austin’s comments regarding the negative budget impacts. However, Austin recommended that the board create a multi-year plan for the GIC that is “congruent with the district’s objectives and existing board policies and addresses the FCMAT and ACCJC concerns.”

Brooke Self may be reached at 760-951-6232 or BSelf@VVDailyPress.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @DPEduNews.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Comments:

  • Bill Tuck Jr ·  Top Commenter · Mt. San Antonio College

    I Think a Good start would be to Replace GH Javaheripour. He did a Poor job when I was on the JJ Bond Committee! We need a winner doing his Job. He’s a Loser! Look at his track record!
  • Bill Tuck Jr ·  Top Commenter · Mt. San Antonio College

    I believe it can be done. Somethings wrong within the Board. Dr Allen had an Exilent plan. It will come to light soon. For sure before the Fall Elections!
  • Bill Tuck Jr ·  Top Commenter · Mt. San Antonio College

    Thanks for the Update DP!

 

Ref: Daily Press – David Pardo / New VVC President Reveals Vision For College

 

New VVC president reveals vision for college

The Victor Valley College board approved Roger Wagner, center, as the new president during a board meeting on Tuesday. Wagner was superintendent/president of Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree. 
DAVID PARDO, DAILY PRESS

The Victor Valley College board approved Roger Wagner, center, as the new president during a board meeting on Tuesday. Wagner was superintendent/president of Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree.
VICTORVILLE — The Victor Valley College Board of Trustees officially approved the contract for its new superintendent/president at a board meeting Tuesday.
Former Copper Mountain College president Roger Wagner’s annual contract for $192,000 plus stipends and benefits will run from July 15 to June 30, 2017. He’ll be officially sworn in to the position at the next board meeting in July.

Wagner participated in a Q&A with the Daily Press on Tuesday.

Q: What is your vision for VVC?
A: To become the college of first choice for every community member that seeks a higher education or new work-ready skills. This means accreditation without sanction, a balanced budget, increased enrollments and retention, and a working climate and culture focused on student success.

Q: Following VVC’s recent struggles to maintain accreditation, how will you work to ensure that the school does not go back down the same path?
A: I have served and chaired a number of accreditation teams and this has given be the basis to understand what the commission looks for. Probably more important is the recognition that the answer to most, if not all, issues related to accreditation rest with the faculty and staff of the college. It can be difficult to get back on track once you have been placed on a sanction by the commission, but it is also an opportunity to make the accreditation standards part of the fabric of the institution and not something that a college responds to every six years or so.

Q: Why are you interested in working at VVC?
A: First, it’s located in the desert and that is important to me. VVC is a larger college that brings with it many elements of the comprehensive community that I have experienced in the past which are not part of Copper Mountain College. I began my career working with business and industry as a contract trainer and have missed that interaction as well as music, theater, and sport programs.

Q: Tell us about your background, personal and professional.
A: Prior to my positions at Copper Mountain College, I held positions as Dean of Career and Technical Education, Dean of Economic Development, and Associate Dean of Instruction at Crowder College located in Southwest Missouri. I have served as part-time faculty in Administration of Justice, Management, and Sociology for Labette Community College in Kansas, Crowder College in Missouri, and Los Angeles Metropolitan College Overseas.

I am retired from the U.S. Air Force and earned my Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Nebraska, a Masters in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences from the University of the Philippines, and an Associate Degree from East L.A. College.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

 

 

Ref: Daily Press – Brook Self / HUSD Denies Bid By Board Member

BROOKE SELF
STAFF WRITER 

Posted Jun. 13, 2014 @ 8:15 am

HESPERIA • Hesperia Unified School District officials left a contract bid for after-hours security services unopened, citing a conflict of interest, and will look for new bids for the services, according to district records.

The district received three bids total, including one from True Liberty Protection Services, which is owned by Trustee Cody Gregg. Two of the three were deemed unresponsive, and the third by Gregg’s company was left unopened, according to a district memo obtained by the Daily Press.

Board President Nicole Childs declined to comment regarding the move and referred questions to Superintendent David McLaughlin.

Gregg said in an email that he didn’t believe there was a conflict of interest as long as a board member “recuses themselves” from the vote. He claims the district, “violated our rights to participate in the open and competitive bidding process.” He also questioned whether the district’s action to not open the bid was a “form of retaliation.”

“If this information is not correct, I’d be happy to exclude our company from the bidding process,” Gregg wrote. “However, the district’s decision to automatically disqualify our bid is a concern that will need to be addressed. Who at the HUSD arbitrarily removed True Liberty Protection Services from the vendor list? And on what legal basis did this occur? ”

McLaughlin said in a written statement that board bylaws and government code “make it clear” that the board cannot award a contract in which a board member has a financial interest. The district bylaws refer to California Government Code 1090, which states that members of governing bodies “shall not be financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by any body or board of which they are members.”

“(Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Alan) Giles and our purchasing department are vigilant in their efforts to conduct all business within strict government guidelines and regulations,” McLaughlin said. “Mindful of a possible conflict of interest, staff did not consider the proposal. The board expressed concern regarding a conflict during the meeting, and agreed to a decision to re-bid the project.”

Gregg also questioned the legality of board member Eric Swanson’s previous votes on Hesperia Teachers Association contracts that Gregg claims benefited Swanson’s spouse and household.

McLaughlin said there is an exception which “specifically provides” that a school board member may vote on collective bargaining agreements and personnel matters that affect a class of employees to which his or her relative belongs.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

 

Comments :

  • Shawn Clayton · Senior Groundskeeper at Hesperia Unified School District

    We trimmed those hedges.
  • Steve Herron ·  Top Commenter · Fontana High

    The young man still has much to learn.
  • DeAnn Golden Hudgens ·  Top Commenter · Victorville, California

    Being elected to SERVE is not an opportunity for you to enhance your business opportunity!
  • Jake Tapper ·  Top Commenter · UCLA

    Hey Cody, explain why you were expelled from HUSD while you were in high school a couple of years ago.
  • Jake Tapper ·  Top Commenter · UCLA

    Hey Cody, explain why you were expelled from HUSD while you were in high school a couple of years ago.
    • Curt Cope ·  ·  Top Commenter

      Why don’t you tell us?
  • Jake Tapper ·  Top Commenter · UCLA

    Cody, the district does offer adult education classes for reading comprehension ..I’ m sure you’ll find space.
  • Rick Maschek ·  Top Commenter · UC Berkeley

    What a joke: “(Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Alan) Giles and our purchasing department are vigilant in their efforts to conduct all business within strict government guidelines and regulations,” McLaughlin said.

    Here is an example of how HUSD does what it wants; this is what government code 54956.8. says:

    {{{Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a
    legislative body of a local agency may hold a closed session with its
    negotiator prior to the purchase, sale, exchange, or lease of real
    property by or for the local agency to grant authority to its
    negotiator regarding the price and terms of payment for the purchase,
    sale, exchange, or lease.
    However, prior to the closed session, the legislative body of the
    local agency shall hold an open and public session in which it
    identifies its negotiators, the real property or real properties
    which the negotiations may concern, and the person or persons with
    whom its negotiators may negotiate.}}}

    For years I have been asking the identity or location of property that negotiations are taking place at the public session prior to the closed session of board meetings and HUSD would routinely break the very code they quote in their governing board’s agenda by not revealing the property in violation of government code…even when asked to do so.So much for being ‘vigilant’.

    And HUSD is very good at retaliation.

  • Rodney Caroline · Bassett Senior High

    just sad
  • Julie Benghazi Jensen ·  Top Commenter · Victor Valley College

    Cody, you need to put your company in your wife’s name – if you’ve got one. That’s how the real politicians manage to get themselves hooked up to the public feedbag.

Ref: Daily Press – Staff / Oak Hills Community Meeting Set For Thursday Night

 

  • Oak Hills community meeting set for Thursday night

 

By STAFF WRITER

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 9:26 am

OAK HILLS — Staci Parks, a service specialist with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, will be the guest speaker at a special Oak Hills community meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Oak Hills High School, 7625 Cataba Road.

The meeting will offer instruction on how to start a Neighborhood Watch program and provide tips on how to keep your home and family safe from burglaries and other crimes.

There has been a rash of burglaries in the Oak Hills community in the past few months, prompting the Oak Hills Property Owners Association to coordinate this meeting, which is supported and sponsored by the Oak Hills Municipal Advisory Council.

Attendees should park in the student parking area on Cataba Road near the stadium and follow signs to the meeting. For more information, visit 222.ohpoa.org and click on the CRIME link.


Victor Valley Daily Press

The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

 

Ref: Daily Press – Gary Brodeur / Chat And Coffee With Hesperia Mayor

Chat and coffee with Hesperia mayor

Thurston "Smitty" Smith

Thurston “Smitty” Smith

By STAFF REPORTS
Posted Jun. 12, 2014 @ 9:21 am

HESPERIA • The public is invited to join Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith for coffee and a chat at 10 a.m. Monday.
Meet the mayor at Courtyard by Marriott, 9619 Mariposa Road in Hesperia. Coffee is provided by the city.

Ref: Daily Press – Gary Brodeur / Ranchero Road Bridge Reconstruction Going ‘Very Well’

 

Ranchero Road bridge reconstruction going ‘very well’

STAFF WRITER
Posted Jun. 11, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

HESPERIA — Restoration of work lost in a fire on the Interstate 15 Ranchero Road Interchange Project’s bridge is progressing “very well,” with new wooden falsework rising above the freeway, a transportation official said Tuesday.

Recovered steel girders are still being tested, straightened and retested, San Bernardino Associated Governments spokesman Tim Watkins said, while grading and paving are underway.
The contractor, Security Paving Co. Inc., is trying to salvage as much of the damaged interchange’s framework as is safely practical, he said earlier. The project’s wood and steel bridge structure burned and collapsed in an accidental fire May 5.
“The efforts for straightening some of the large steel girders used to span I-15 during bridge construction continues and has gone very well thus far,” Watkins said in an email. “Some of the testing results for the columns in the median of I-15 remain outstanding.
“While those test results will factor into the schedule for constructing the bridge, the contractor remains optimistic about completing the bridge by the end of the calendar year.”
Construction work on the interchange requires nighttime lane closures of both directions of I-15 between Oak Hill Road and Highway 395 in Hesperia through Thursday morning, transportation officials said.
No detours are necessary because at least two lanes will remain open during the operation, according to a SANBAG news release. Additionally, “Motorists can expect nighttime lane closures in the coming weeks to prepare for additional falsework and project activity,” Watkins said.
Current lane closures are as follows:
• From 9 p.m. Wednesday night until 6 a.m. Thursday — two inside lanes of northbound I-15 between Oak Hill Road and Highway 395 will be closed.
• From 9 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday — one inside lane of southbound I-15 between Oak Hill Road and Highway 395 will be closed.
Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

 

 

 

Ref: Daily Press – Andrew Namgoong / VVC Students Receive $97K In Scholarships

 

VVC Students receive $97K in scholarships

 

By ANDREW NAMGOONG, FOR THE DAILY PRESS
Jun. 10, 2014 @ 10:07 am

VICTORVILLE — Thanks to approximately 38 local scholarship sponsors and endowment funds, 88 Victor Valley College students will be able to focus more on their studies during the 2014 fall semester and worry less about financial hardships.

A total of 115 scholarships worth more than $97,000 were awarded at the annual Victor Valley College Foundation Scholarship Recognition Ceremony at the college’s Performing Arts Center last week. More than 60 students crossed the stage to receive their awards and thank their donors.
In addition to new and existing scholarships, 10 Victor Valley College students benefited from the statewide endowment created by a historic gift from Bernard Osher, who several years ago gave $25 million to help California Community College students pursue their dreams. Osher also pledged to give another $25 million to match new endowment funds established before June of 2011 at any community college in the state.
The VVC Foundation facilitates nearly a half a million dollars in scholarships received for students from both local and national organizations and manages a dozen endowments that fund scholarship awards from the earnings of principal investments.
Local organizations who would like to participate in the annual scholarship program at Victor Valley College can find out more by visiting the Foundation website at www.vvcfoundation.com or calling Jesika Pomponio at 760-245-4271 extension 2522.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

 

 

Ref: Daily Press – Gary Brodeur / Hesperia Working With Balanced Budget

Hesperia working with balanced budget

GARY BRODEUR
STAFF WRITER
Posted Jun. 8, 2014 @ 12:01 am

HESPERIA • The city is poised to work with a balanced budget during the next fiscal year, and a finance director is hopeful more building permits will raise additional money.
Assistant City Manager Brian Johnson said revenue is projected to increase 1 percent over last year, delivering $71.1 million to city accounts.
Expenses are projected to decrease by 1 percent, bringing the 2014-15 budget to $77.9 million.
Though the shortfall will be covered by reserves — spent only for one-time expenses such as a final $500,000 payment on water rights and $305,000 for new digital storage capacity — every major operating fund but one will retain cash reserves of at least 10 percent, Johnson said.
“The Fire Department is having some financial challenges, but it’s manageable,” he said.
The city’s fire services have been staffed under contract with San Bernardino County Fire since 2004, said Councilman Mike Leonard, a former city firefighter.
“The fire budget has always been an issue,” he said, explaining the current problem in his view seems to hinge on a lack of communication between County Fire executives and the city.
The city gets a bill from County Fire and has little control over what is presented, Leonard said, and the situation is similar to the contract for police services provided by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Leonard said he believes a reduction in property-tax revenue, due to adjustments in assessor valuations following the economic downturn and a lack of new development, hamper efforts to balance the Fire Department budget.
He is not optimistic things will turn around soon.
On the other hand, Johnson said after three years with no new single-family construction in Hesperia, the city received permit filings for 40 residences in the past seven months or so. He expects to receive construction permit requests for about 100 homes during the fiscal year beginning July 1.
One expense that was increased at council direction is the city’s Street Rehabilitation Program, Johnson said. Originally budgeted for $2 million, it was upped to $2.5 million. That will provide additional slurry sealing to affordably meet residents’ expectations for road improvements.
The City Council is expected to consider the 2014-15 budget at its June 17 meeting.
The Hesperia City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays monthly at 9700 Seventh Ave. in Hesperia.
Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Ref: Daily Press – Gary Brodeur / Hesperians Vexed Over Bike Route’s Stop-sign Changes – Drivers Urged To Pay Attention

 

Hesperians vexed over bike route’s stop-sign changes Drivers urged to pay attention

By GARY BRODEUR, The Daily Press
Jun. 8, 2014 @ 12:01 am

HESPERIA • Progress on the area’s longest bicycle trail system is advancing with some unforeseen consequences. Motor vehicle collisions have increased markedly at one intersection following traffic-control changes that are part of the city’s bike-lane plan.
Stop signs were changed from east-west to north-south in September along Sequoia Avenue at Locust, Fifth and Second avenues as part of a plan to make bicycling along the city’s northern border safer, Hesperia spokeswoman Rachel Molina said.
“The reason for the change in alignment was to facilitate our Non-motorized Traffic Plan for that corridor,” she said. The new routing offers an alternate, safer route for bicyclists who previously chose to ride along busy Bear Valley Road, Molina said.
“The bike lanes are a great part of the (area-wide) Healthy Communities initiative,” Molina said. The city contains 35 miles of bike paths, the most of any city in the Victor Valley.
Residents at Sequoia and Locust thought city workers were enhancing the intersection’s traffic control to a four-way stop, Jennifer Williams said. But since then the sound of squealing tires is jangling their nerves.  “It’s a daily thing,” Williams said.
Since the stop-sign change, the Sequoia-Locust intersection has seen a major increase in vehicle collisions. There were two incidents in the year before the change. There have been 12 collisions since the change on Sept. 1, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The Sequoia-Second Avenue Intersection has also seen collisions rise, with one crash in the year before the changes and six in the eight months since.
Williams said if the frequent collisions don’t involve two vehicles, they involve a vehicle and a fence or wall at the four corners.
“Honestly, we never see people riding bikes along the street,” she said, adding that she and her neighbors would like to see a four-way stop at the intersection or something like flashing red lights to draw more attention to the change.
“Although the intersections are clearly marked, it is feasible that some of the collisions are as a result of the change in the direction of the stop signs,” Sheriff’s Hesperia Station spokeswoman Susan Rose said. “We tend to be creatures of habit and may have traveled these routes for years. Even on what we consider familiar roadways, it is important for drivers to pay attention.”
Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.

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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Comments :


Karen McLean Lanfranca ·  ·  Top Commenter · Mission Viejol High School
There needs to be a four way stop there at Locust & Sequoia, it is dangerous and people drive too fast down Sequoia. There is a hump in the intersection there too, my husband saw a guy nearly get airborne in a Camaro, he sees this kind of stuff almost on a daily basis while working. It was a bad move to just switch the Stop signs without warning, yes, everyone should see that big red sign that says Stop, however, to just switch them without notice? People are creatures of habit for the most part and I still see people stopping on Sequoia and one day, someone is going to get rear ended from it.
Reply · Like · 1 · Follow Post · June 12 at 6:41am

Jennifer Williams · Victor Valley College
This is a dangerous intersection, and while some people have argued that “stupid drivers need to pay attention”, I have heard others who claim to be good drivers admit that they have almost hit someone there. The “people need to pay attention” argument is not a strong one when involves so many lives at risk. And what about us residents that live here? It is dangerous just for us to pull out of our driveways, and it’s dangerous for some of my neighbors to be in areas of their own yard, because people have lost control trying to avoid being hit and crashed into their yards. At what point will the city realize that they need to intervene for the safety of the people who live here, and the safety of innocent drivers? Just a couple weeks ago my neighbors and I witnessed a man get hit by a truck on his motorcycle. The victim was thrown off his bike and knocked unconscious, with his head pouring out blood. Will it take the loss of lives, and thousands of dollars in damages before the city notices this problem?
Reply · Like · Follow Post · June 12 at 9:43pm

Jennifer Williams · Victor Valley College
Also, Molina stated that the change was part of the Healthy Communities initiative, but how healthy is it that collisions almost occur every day here, usually multiple times a day, and 12 collisions were reported in a 9 month period, and that doesn’t include the collisions that have gone unreported? We have apartment complexes all down Sequoia Rd, and how safe is it for families that walk and have to cross this intersection? Wouldn’t it be better to just have nonexistent bicyclists stop at a stop sign, and put a stop to this problem?
Reply · Like · Follow Post · June 12 at 9:59pm

 

 

 

Ref: Daily Press – Gary Brodeur / Hesperia Officials: ‘No Excuse’ For Illegal Dumping

Hesperia officials: ‘No excuse’ for illegal dumping

May 26, 2014 4:17 PM

HESPERIA • Illegal dumping is a continuing problem in the High Desert and city officials have no love for it.

They also say there is no reason for it, as Advance Disposal will pick up large items as long as residents call ahead of time.

“Illegal dumping continues to be a problem in our city that we’ve been trying to combat over the past few years,” city spokeswoman Rachel Molina said. “The variety of items dumped is endless.”

She said Hesperia works to combat the problem through enforcement and cleanup days.

“It’s against the law and (scofflaws) will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Councilman Russ Blewett said. “There’s no excuse for it.”

He said illegal dumping and graffiti are akin in their negative impact on the community. “It’s despicable,” he said.

Code Enforcement officers investigating cases of illegal dumping sometimes can track down the owners of abandoned property and issue citations, Molina said. And it can be stunningly easy.

“It’s surprising how much personal information is left in the desert,” Molina said.

Civic leaders and residents gather one day in April and again in October to remove and dispose of debris blown by the wind and illegally dumped waste.

“The common goal is beautifying our desert,” Molina said.

Hot spots are targeted for the biannual cleanup days.

For unwanted large household items, Hesperia residents can take advantage of four free large-item pickups a year for up to eight items — except e-waste and tires. Residents can schedule the pickups by calling the city’s solid-waste franchisee, Advance Disposal Co., a week ahead of their next scheduled trash-day pickup.

Vehicles that contain metal can be sold by weight for scrap or to an auto dismantler such as Sierra’s Number Three on E Avenue.

“We can sell some parts from (the vehicles) and (customers) can get more money from us” than by selling to a scrap yard, Manager Israel Sierra said.

Fiberglass boats and recreational vehicles up to the size of a personal watercraft are accepted by the city’s trash hauler. There is a minimum fee of $15 for taking in the fiberglass with metal parts separated, and more for those not separated, an Advance Disposal spokeswoman said.

A hard-to-handle fee of $105.31 is added for larger fiberglass boats or vehicles. Acceptance hours are 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. (The address is 17105 Mesa St., in an area of mixed industries — and desert lots that attract impromptu illegal dumping.)

An alternative is to take fiberglass scrap to a county waste disposal site for a fee.

Blewett is hoping the city’s recently updated solid waste code will eliminate clandestine dumping from construction sites by requiring waste disposal plans and compliance.

Molina said residents who witness illegal dumping or notice illegally dumped waste should call the Code Enforcement hotline at 760-947-1343.

Motorists who notice debris in Hesperia roadways should call Public Works at 760-947-1400, she said.

Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.

Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

 

The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Comments :

  • Bill Neice ·  Top Commenter
    As a 26 year resident of Hesperia there are things that really bother me. To see Advance Disposal trucks spewing trash as they go down the street. In addition those that overfill their trash cans and the Ravens having a field day dragging trash out of them. Then there’s there’s one other little problem. These trash cans do not have secured lids and we have winds here. I can’t count the number of times you’ll see these cans with their lids blown open and trash going everywhere. Is blowing trash a problem? Most certainly. Although I would like to see the Hesperia City council as concerned about allowing our lifestyle to be continuingly eroded by the construction of more housing anthills as they are about the trash problem. Afterall the amount of trash that can be blowing around and the number of people producing that trash are directly connected. Oh, I forgot, no politician will get more campaign contributions by promoting that.
     
    • Julie Jensen ·  Top Commenter · Victor Valley College
      So put a rock on your trash can lid already.
       
    • Don Cook ·  Top Commenter · Chapman University
      Bill: and; that relates to the geeks who dump illegally … how?
  • Dan Harley ·  Top Commenter · Owner at PrimeConcepts for Internet Solutions
    San Bernardino County offers up to $1,000 reward for turning in illegal dumpers and especially construction dumpers, which are the toughest to catch. This can be done anonymously by calling County of San Bernardino Code Enforcement at (909) 387-4044 or (800) 722-3181.
     
  • Nellie Mejia · Store Manager at DRESSBARNN
    These are people who can care less about the city they live in. I for one love to see Hesperia looking clean and beautiful. Is the right of every citizen. They need to be respectful.
     
  • Tom Trull ·  Top Commenter · Boston Latin School
    How about no excuse for illegal illegals?f
     
    • Don Cook ·  Top Commenter · Chapman University
      May You have Peace.
       
    • Tom Trull ·  Top Commenter · Boston Latin School
      Don Cook I have peace more so than the vast majority of the population and I am not on your favorite subject MEDS.
    • Don Cook ·  Top Commenter · Chapman University
      Tom Trull if you have peace; why the rant on illegal aliens?
       
  • Carolyn Olsen ·  Top Commenter · Pasadena City College
    Not only do these individuals dump in Hesperia, but in Oak Hills too. They dump right by our mail boxes. tires and trash every week .
     
  • Et Snell ·  Top Commenter · MT
    Councilman Russ Blewett
    Taking everything in to consideration and all the thousand of dollars you took to give the garbage people a lavish contract and a million dollar building. What is the next deal or slop you have cooking in the Hesperia political pig trolph. You need to go back to Baldwin Park where you clowns allowed minning in millions of peoples water. Please take the Hesperia clowncils favorite teenage sexual explotation business with you Bunnies/Peaches. You sir are a real piece of work.
    Also I found out that Burtec waste has different rules and regulation for city and county contracts like how they have bribed the Apple Valley clowncil to make it in the city that who ever owns the property gets stuck with the bill. It’s different in the County it goes back on the customer not the property owner. I wonder how many of our Apple Valley clowncil have taken bribes from the disposal companies political pig trolph. I know one or two that have. Know there will be another PUC hearing because water and trash rates are going so high that they are killing our seniors while many of our politians belly up to the political pig trolph in quest of another morsel of human flesh to fill there bottomless pit of greed.
     
    • Rosanne Weathers ·  Top Commenter
      Mr. Snell, I was hoping that you could share with us all of the positive gears I’m sure that you have set into motion against all of the “Wrongs” being committed by our local Government. You have some very strong opinions about our City Council, School Board Members, City contracts with it’s vendors, our businesses and the way they choose to operate, the water boards in all areas of the High Desert, the Phoenix Foundation, license plate scanners, our Sheriff and too many more subjects to name here. I may be alone in saying that the best approach to a problem is a great solution. I’m sure you would agree! So…How are you helping to change all of the things you have a problem with? Do you go out into the desert and pick up trash? Do you feed the needy? Canned food drive? Diapers for Moses House? Are you on any committees to actually create ANY change at all?
       
  • Julie Jensen ·  Top Commenter · Victor Valley College

    I have a neighbor who refuses to pick up the trash, paper, plastic, beer bottles and cans in her own yard. I’ve complained to Code Enforcement for YEARS and her yard is still littered with the same trash that’s been there all this time, minus everything that’s blown into my yard. I don’t get it; it’s her home and she simply won’t clean up her trash. Why isn’t the City concerned about this? It’s a fire hazard near homes where people live.
     
  • Julie Jensen ·  Top Commenter · Victor Valley College
    People don’t have respect for their own community. They seem to think their mommy is going to come and clean up after them. I started carrying a camera with me everywhere about 15 years ago after seeing three dumpers out in the open desert and being unable to do anything about it fast enough to matter. Now everyone has a cell phone with a camera. If you see someone dumping, snap a photo and be sure to get the license plate in the photo.
     
  • Dawn K Borden ·  Top Commenter
    Have called several times…Hubby rides out there, off Danbury Estates and they dump all the time….Oil, sealed cans, tar….it is endless….Told him to take pic’s of them!
     
  • Stephanie Lonsdale ·  Top Commenter · Love Animals
    What about the illegal things the City does to it’s own citizens? I’m more concerned with that than trash.
     

Ref: Daily Press – Rene Ray La Cruz / Hesperia Mayor Crowned Man About Town

Hesperia mayor crowned Man About Town

May 25, 2014 5:06 PM

APPLE VALLEY • Their campaign signs were never posted along Bear Valley Road or on chain link fences, but these men fought valiantly to earn the title of Man About Town.

The Phoenix Foundation crowned Hesperia Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith as the organization’s second winner on Saturday night at the Apple Valley Conference Center.

Foundation founder Julie Norton said the 2013 Man About Town winner, David North, relinquished his crown to Bianca Johnson, the Universal Royalty Ambassador, who then crowned Smith.

“I know that Smitty is going to do a wonderful job carrying the title for the entire year,” Norton said. “I would also like to thank everyone who helped us raise money through this yearly event. Without the help of these people, we would not be able to help the families that we do.”

Norton said the 10 nominees earned a total of $7,405, with each candidate’s vote earning $1 for the foundation.

Despite a huge online push for votes, Donald Tatera, an interior designer and general contractor for Decorating Den Interiors, came in second.

During his campaign, Tatera, a 22-year resident of Apple Valley, flooded Facebook with photos of himself holding a Man About Town flier as he stood next to a variety of community leaders.

Manny Serrano, a community leader, Army veteran and the owner of Edible Arrangements, came in just behind Tatera.

Other contestants were Algot Stephenson, David Smith, Roy Uhl, Derek King, Jim Gutierrez, Michael Karen and Josh Grewal.

Apple Valley Councilwoman Barb Stanton, a former radio host and a member of the foundation, was the Master of Ceremonies.

Norton said each contestant received a “tool belt sash” with their name on it. Each of the three winners received a desk clock with their title and name.

Norton said totals from Saturday night’s admission and raffle tickets will be added to the total fundraising mark.

“We had some pretty cool prizes this year,” Norton said. “We had a mini helmet autographed by Joe Namath, a jersey from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, an iPad Air, Toby Keith tickets and many specialty baskets.”

Entertainment was provided by the Sun City Rockettes and Smith and his wife were scheduled to take a donated limo ride home after the event.

Donations for the foundation can still be made online at www.HDPhoenixFoundation.com.

Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter@renegadereports.

 

The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Et Snell · FollowFollowing · Top Commenter · MT
Another photo op for the greedmeisters. Yes phoenix foundation does help burry many needy families and helps the grieving at a time when they so need it. But for every failing Politian to hitch hike rides on the back of grieving mourners is sickening and wrong. I refer to Miss Stanton’s complete failure to represent the elderly when it comes to water issues and Thurston Smith not lifting a finger to stop the teenage sexual exploitation by Peaches/Bunnies a 18 yr old total nude establishment in Hesperia. WE are living in some sick end times with some sick Politian’s posturing for more greed and recognition. I just want to know how one can vote and did Smitty vote several times or did he have his staff vote.
  • Rose Henrichsen · FollowFollowing · Top Commenter · Owner at Self-Employed

    Michael Karen would of done well

    · 2 · Follow Post · Yesterday at 11:58am

    • Rose Henrichsen · FollowFollowing · Top Commenter · Owner at Self-Employed

      Congrats to Smitty
      · Yesterday at 11:59am

  • William CrazyLacy Furmage · Top Commenter · Works at RAD Riders Against Discrimination

    Smitty sure does’t get a pat on the back for the lame @ss Skatepark Hesperia put in, THAT PARK IS PATHETIC IN EVERYBODY’S EYES. It’s 2014 for Christ sake. Build a park one would be proud of!
     
  • Stephanie Lonsdale · Top Commenter · Love Animals
    Barb Stanton another politician who is unresponsive and doesn’t care much for the citizens she is supposed to represent. We’ve been emailing her for over a year and she has not responded once. Citizens have met with her personally about issues and she has done NOTHING!!!
  • Stephanie Lonsdale · Top Commenter · Love Animals
    Thurston Smith! Unresponsive and uncaring about the items and issues of the City of Hesperia’s citizens. Please reply to at least one of our emails.
    · Follow Post · 22 hours ago

Ref: Daily Press – Staff / City, Town Officials Link Up At Global Retail Convention

City, town officials link up at global retail convention

May 24, 2014 4:57 PM
STAFF REPORTS

VICTORVILLE • Officials from five High Desert cities combined marketing efforts for the second year in a row at the Global Retail Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas this week.

The conference brings together commercial developers, business franchises and city officials in the largest industry convention in the world, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

If Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Adelanto and Barstow were one city, its population of 442,497 would make it the eighth largest city in California, officials tout.

“We had multiple meetings,” Hesperia Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith said. “We had a lot of interest in the High Desert with all of us working collaboratively.”

Smith said there were no contracts or letters of intent signed, but he is buoyed by the amount of positive attention retailers are giving to the region.

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive recognition,” said Adelanto City Manager James Hart. “Developers recognize the area and that it’s cohesive. Developers like that because they want to know the regional areas are working together.”

Victorville City Manager Doug Robertson, who attended along with Assistant City Manager Keith Metzler, said “good progress” was made during the weekend, but it will ultimately take time to determine if that will translate to any deals being made.

“You never can quite put your finger on ‘can we get an XYZ company?’ ” Robertson said. “We’re not quite there yet.”

— Staff writers Brooke Self, Gary Brodeur and Shea Johnson contributed to this report.

Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

 The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Ref: Daily Press – Staff / Finalist For VVC President Drops Out

Finalist for VVC president drops out

May 23, 2014 3:17 PM
STAFF REPORTS

Candidate Nicholas O. Akinkuoye, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs at City College of San Francisco, has dropped out of the running to be the next president /superintendent of Victor Valley College, officials said Thursday.

Consequently, the public forum scheduled for May 30 at 11 a.m. has been canceled.

Four other candidates remain.

They are Dr. Christopher Villa, vice president of student services at Fresno City College; Dr. Roger Wagner, superintendent/president at Copper Mountain College; Dr. Luis Sanchez, associate superintendent/vice president of academic affairs at Allan Hancock College; and Dr. Sherrie Guerrero, associate superintendent, instruction and student services at Chaffey College.

Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

 

The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Comments :

  • Bill Neice ·  Top Commenter
    So now there are only 5 Good Ol Boys left? If VVC wants to change directions their best bet would be to bring in someone with no ties to the Educational Establishment at all. They encourage students to “think outside the box” but they don’t.
  • Anna Parker ·  Top Commenter
    Why has the public forum been canceled? There are still four viable candidates
  • Xenia Szabo ·  Top Commenter · Hesperia, California
    Why would someone move from the beautiful Bay Area to the Victor Valley? No wonder he dropped out.