MARCH-APRIL, 2015 - Yucca Mesa Improvement Association

President’s Message
~ Rick Sayers
Season’s Greetings !!
I know you are saying that it is not Thanksgiving or Christmas but it is MY season when I
c a n o p e n u p t h e h o u s e a n d p ut o n m y s a n d a l s a n d s ho r t s.
I can’t tell how happy it makes me to see the new faces at our community center, lots of fresh
energy these days. I want to thank Dan Keeney for bringing our website up to modern standards,
Charla Shamhart for taking on our newsletter, Dominique Gonzalez for ram-roding our
community garden and helping with our Facebook page, Manuel Borges for keeping our book
very professional, Paula Carter for cleaning up after me, Nancy Sammons for getting the word
out to the newspaper about Yucca Mesa events and Barbara Harris for all the things she does !!
Our building usage is picking up lately, which is very encouraging. Transition Joshua Tree
will be having their quarterly meeting on March 22 nd. Charla Shamhart begins a series of herbal
and health classes also on March 22nd. The Radio Club will be using the building several times in
preparation for Field Day. On April 17th we will be having our second catered dinner featuring
Italian food. We are have a wedding reception on April 25 th. The 4th Friday potlucks are going
strong with good food and interesting speakers. Our focus at the moment is hosting a fund
raiser for a Mesa family. If you are on the ‘Yucca Mesa Neighborhood’ Facebook page you may
have seen Abigail’s Day.
Abigail Snipes is a 12 year old little girl suffering from plexiform neurofibromatosis NF1. She
recently had a biopsy done and had the tumor removed as much as they could remove on 1-222015. The surgery took 10 hrs. The tumor weighted 15 lbs and was located on her neck. The biopsy came back Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor. A sarcoma cancer of the nervous system that
occurs in less then 1% of all cancer diagnoses. Abigail is connected to several life saving devices such as a g tube aka feeding tube. Trach so she can breath and a pic line. Abigail is having
radiation treatments along with chemo treatments at loma Linda. She finally was able to come
home for a quick visit last night. The Snipe’s family has been in Morongo basin community for
ever. Her mother Angela was raised here. Her father Rickey was stationed in 29 palms. Abigail
has two sisters one older and one younger. Angela just started working for Riverside sheriff's department and has not been there long enough to take leave. Rickey has been with his company
for a very long time so he is able to take off work and stay with Abigail. While family help with
life here in yucca and watch over the other two siblings. With the expenses of every day life and
now traveling for Abigail and missing work times are rough. I put together a relay for life team.
Our community came to me wanting to raise money directly for the Snipe’s family. It was
brought up by Paul and Jennifer Russell to do a fundraiser with the goal being to pay the snipes
rent for the remaining of the year. Their rent is 800.00 a month. I contacted Yucca Mesa Community Center and they are letting us hold the Event Abigail's Day there. There will be BBQ,
games, raffles, booths, our goal is to raise $7000.00 and bring awareness to this special family
in need! Please find it in your heart to help spread the word!! You can look up cards for Abigail
on Facebook where her family has written more in detail. Rebecca Pahssen 760-220-4934
TJT 58pm
^ Potluck
Clay Elam
YMIA Building Maintenance Day
On Saturday, May 2 at 8am, members are asked to come
and help prep and paint the fascia of our Community
Center. On May 1, members will pressure wash the old
paint off so that boards can be re-painted to preserve the
wood and keep the Community Center looking nice.
Please plan to come and help. For more information call
YMIA President Rick Sayers at 760-574-6598
Potluck Wedding
5:30pm Reception
^ Potluck
speakers on
Landers Solar
Every Saturday at 9AM is a Community
Garden work day. Come and help out!
YMIA Board Members, Staff & Community Leaders
By Donation
YMIA is a 501 (c) 4 non-profit
Call or email Rick Sayers
760-574-6598 [email protected]
President: Rick Sayers
VP: Paula Carter
2nd VP: Olivia de Haulleville
Treasurer: Manuel Borges
Secretary: Dominique Gonzalez
Grounds Keeper: Chris Nichols
Webmaster: Dan Keeney
Facebook: Dan Keeney & Dominique Gonzalez
Newsletter: Charla Shamhart
Community Garden Leader: Dominique Gonzalez
Yucca Mesa News Correspondent: Nancy Sammons
Spring is a time when honeybees swarm to relieve overcrowding in their
hive. Honeybees are becoming endangered due to colony collapse from
pesticides and other conditions. If you see a swarm of bees, call local
beekeepers Michael or Charla Shamhart instead of pest control. They can
often help rescue the honeybees and provide or find a new home for them
at no cost to you. Time is of the essence! CALL IMMEDIATELY. The
honeybees need a SAFE home.760-401-3030 or 760-401-0689 >>>>>>
Rev. Dr. Charla Shamhart, MsD
We d d i n g s , C o m m i t m e n t
C e re mo n i e s ,
M e mo r i a l s ,
Funerals, Christenings,
Naming Ceremonies and
Other Rites of Passage.
Meeting 3rd Thursday of each month
St. Christopher of the Desert, Joshua Tree
7 PM
Membership $15 Individual $20 Family
Contact Manuel Borges 760-365-2652
Amateur Radio Emergency Service
Meeting 1st Thursday of each month
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Yucca Valley
Contact Manuel Borges 760-365-2652
A Community Garden Begins
Along with Spring Weeding
Paula Carter, Dan Keeney, Manuel
Borges & Michael Shamhart
Dan Keeney & Rick Sayers
Michael Shamhart, Thaeden
Fleming, Dominique Gonzalez
& Dion Dubois
Michael Shamhart
Derek Morrison
Michael Shamhart, Rick Sayers, Paula Carter &
Dominique Gonzalez
Janet Vikdal
Dominique Gonzalez
Dominique Gonzalez, Derek Morrison & Thaeden Fleming
Paula Carter
Derek Morrison, Suzin Sequoia, Dan Keeney,
Paula Carter & Dominique Gonzalez
Michael Shamhart & Marilyn Lutz
Derek Morrison & Suzin Sequoia
Charla Shamhart
Rick Sayers & Jerry Goforth’s Ford Tractor
John Stevens & Paula Carter
Community Garden & Cleanup Day Participants:
Rick Sayers, Paula Carter, Manuel Borges, Dominique
Gonzalez, Thaeden Fleming, Dan Keeney, Michael &
Charla Shamhart, Suzin Sequoia, Derek Morrison, Dion
Dubois, John Stevens, Janet Vikdal & Marilyn Lutz
Dominique Gonzalez, Derek
Morrison & Dan Keeney
Transition Joshua Tree was begun by a handful of locals who could no longer ignore the issues brought forth by
peak oil, climate change & economic instability. It grew into a group of people who together are actively facing
the future by becoming a resource for teaching & demonstrating strategies for community resilience. Transition
Joshua Tree will hold their quarterly meeting with a potluck dinner at Yucca Mesa Community Center from
5-8pm on Sunday, March 22. The organization has three working groups who hold regular meetings and community events: Water, Permaculture and Heart and Soul. This meeting is being put on by Heart and Soul and
features a musical: Heart & Soul. All are welcome and there is no charge. Please bring your own plates, cups
and utensils, as this is a ‘no waste’ event. Contact Transition Joshua Tree at [email protected]
High Desert Homegrown Poultry meets 6pm Wed.,
April 22 at Yucca Mesa Community Center. All who
like chickens and other poultry are invited to attend.
Meetings are lively and everyone always learns from
the presentations. There is no charge but a hat is passed
for donations to cover space use. For more information
contact Charla Shamhart at 760-401-0689.
On Facebook at High Desert Homegrown Poultry
Association and at Raising Homegrown Poultry.
Mesquite specialist Clay Elam will speak about the
history, utility, cultural and food value of desert
Mesquite trees at the March 27 YMIA potluck.
Clay and his wife Jan will bring samples of foods and
beverages made with mesquite pods. Mesquite trees
were prevalent in both high and low deserts in past
years, but have been removed for cattle grazing and
The largest local stand of these trees
remaining is in Covington Park in Morongo Valley
where both the Honey and Screwbean varieties grow.
Mesquite was an important food source for Native
American peoples that allowed them to end a nomadic
lifestyle and settle down with plenty of food.
The Permaculture group of Transition Joshua Tree is
committed to replanting as many native mesquite trees
in the area as possible since they are home to many
species of wildlife. Mesquites also serve as nurse trees
for desert plants that grow under their shelter and
receive nitrogen from this member of the pea family.
Herbalist Charla Shamhart will offer a seminar on
'Herbal & Natural Methods to Have Healthy Kidneys
for Life' on Saturday, March 14, from 3-5pm at Yucca
Mesa Community Center from 1:30-3:30pm on
Sunday, March 22.This is the first in her series of
Charla is a long-time herbalist who first went herb
collecting with her family at age 3. She has practiced
herbal and nutritional healing methods for 40 + yrs.
Do you want to live a long and healthy life? Do
you have low back pain? Do your legs swell? Do you
have diabetes? Have you had kidney stones? Are you
on 'water pills'? Come learn how you can use herbs
and make lifestyle changes to improve all aspects of
your life with healthier kidneys. Herbal formulas to
assist with kidney health for both adults and children
There is a suggested donation of $10. Those who
are not able to contribute monetarily will be asked to
contribute or volunteer community service in a
mutually agreeable way with prior arrangement.
For more information call 760-401-0689.
Proud Spirit no Borders Cooking — Chefs Gena and Danny Echeverria who catered last
fall’s Starry Nights Festival and a spectacular Mexican dinner at YMIA in February are
cooking AGAIN on April 17. The menu is a CLASSIC ITALIAN DINNER. Tickets are $10.00 for
adults and $7.00 for children under 10. Hours will be from 6-8 PM. Boun Appetito!
Linda Willgues
lived in Landers for 10 years and
was a dedicated communityminded volunteer, serving as an
officer of the Landers Association,
correspondent to the Hi-Desert
Star and newsletter editor. She was
known to all the bargain hunters
who love the Landers Thrift Store,
as she and her helpers worked
very hard to reorganize and
improve it.
She was Landers delegate to the
HVCC for several years. Even
though she was forced by ill health
to discontinue attending meetings,
she faithfully continued to be the
e-mails and the
photos show her
during our 2010
Poker Run fundraiser, and at the
presentation of the flag that flew
in Afghanistan over one of the
Marine units HVCC sponsored.
Linda lost her long fight with
cancer on October 23. She was
only 60 years old.
anders residents whose homes lie
within 1,000 feet of the Bowman
Solar development were indignant
that they did not receive the required
notification by
mail that this 35acre project was to
go in just up-slope
from them. They also missed legal
notices in the Hi-Desert Star and
various radio announcements.
So it came as a bombshell to hear
the County Planning Commission
had ok’d the permit for s-Power to
proceed with construction...and there
were only days to appeal...and the
fee would be almost $1200.
An emergency meeting at Belfield
Hall on Saturday, December 13, drew
about 80 people from Landers and
other Homestead Valley communities. A representative from s-Power
was on hand to explain the project
and answer questions. Too late.
he 1000-foot notification rule is
ridiculous in the sparsely-populated desert where most parcels are 5
acres and neighbors are few and far
between. The closest resident complained of construction noise, trespass and vulgar language by workers
in the hearing of her kids. It turns out
this was not s-Power jumping the
gun on the permit, but an SC Edison
contractor trenching in the Bowman
Trail right-of-way to tie into existing
underground cables connected to the
transmission lines along Reche Rd.
The protesters raised the money to
pay the appeal fee,
and filed the
appeal before the
was the following Monday.
he Homestead Valley Community Council is on record since
the days of the battle against the
LADWP Green Path North transmission lines: The better way to utilize
renewable energy is solar generation on
rooftops and parking lots in already built
environments, at the point of use.
The system the County now uses
permits industrial projects on private
property and fails to protect County
residents and their property values.
The Planning Commission ignores
County General Plan requirements
for development compatible with the
character of desert neighborhoods.
This has now resulted in what looks
to be the first of many private property is being leased and sold for industrial projects. The cumulative
effect is “upgrades” of power poles
and transmission lines. Those already
in place are not scenic. Who wants
them? No one.
Is it any wonder the County, SCE and
the developers are called sneaky?
First Industrial Solar
in Homestead Valley
T HVCC Projects and Issues • The 4 Communities • One-Click Donations with PayPal
Yucca Mesa + Flamingo Heights + Landers + Johnson Valley = HVCC
Many people in the Landers area have been protesting a proposed solar project in Landers for a number of reasons and anticipate
a May 5 hearing to appeal of the Land Use Services approval of the project. The Landers Association is sponsoring the appeal to
the Board of Supervisors. Some of the reasons they object to this project include:
 SPower's deceptive description of the property as "disturbed land" with OHV trails, liter, and prior development, none of
which is true.
 The project is within 1000' of residents there who oppose this development for the dust, destruction of view sheds, and
destruction of wildlife habitat.
 SPower began grading and trenching in earnest prior to approval from the Count and then lied about it claiming to be
operating under permits secured by SCE.
 The project will most certainly drive down property values of those who live closest to the project, while the developer will
enjoy an exemption to property tax.
 SPower bought up many of the adjacent properties and then mailed project development notices to themselves in order to
satisfy "noticing requirements;" disingenuous at best.
 SPower claims they are only interested in developing 35 acres, but concealed their interest in the purchase of an additional
60 acres immediately to the south of phase one.
SPower claims that the project will bring much needed jobs to the area, but what they did was bring outside workers to the area
all the way from Denver and Fresno. They used no local labor.
The efforts to derail this project include a petition drive registering public opposition to be presented to the Board of Supervisors.
The goal is 1000 signatures. Please add names either online at or by signing the petition and following the "return" instructions once completed. It is
NOT necessary to fill the petition to send it in. Landers Community Assoc., PO Box 3108, Landers, CA 92285