Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Spectacular Sunset

I have a few photos of tonight's beautiful sunset on my other blog.

Yucaipa sunset

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Weekly News Roundup: February 24 Edition

Here's Yucaipa news from the past week. Some good, some bad, some indifferent.

School News

February 22, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Teacher of the Year Rick LeVan receives honors"

Canyon Middle School teacher Rick LeVan was honored, along with four other California school teachers, at a special reception and dinner for 2007 California Teachers of the Year in Sacramento. Also attending were Yucaipa-Calimesa District Superintendent Mitch Hovey, School Board Trustee Joyella Beuler and Canyon Middle School principal Melissa Moore.
February 22, Press-Enterprise, "Teachers Union files charges against Yucaipa-Calimesa" (with podcast and survey)
February 23, San Bernardino Sun, "Teachers threatened, Union says"

The Yucaipa-Calimesa Educators Association has complained that the Yucaipa-Calimesa School District has provided false information about the contract negotiations on its web site and in information sent to parents. In addition, there are complaints that Sherry Smith, principal of the Yucaipa High School 9th Grade Campus and a member of the District's negotiating team, has retaliated against union members for the recent withdrawal of services, in which teachers stopped supervising and participating in activities that they are not paid for. The matter will go before the Public Employment Relations Board, which is already investigating claims bothagainst the union and the school district.
February 24, Press-Enterprise, "Yucaipa-Calimesa parents rally behind teachers" (with podcast and video)

While touring schools on Friday, school board members were met by parents picketing in support of Yucaipa-Calimesa teachers.
Greg Stuart, at the protest with his wife, Jamie, worried about losing good teachers for their first-grader and their child starting preschool next year.

"We've had teachers get offers from Redlands, and they just go," Stuart said. "We're going to get left with what's left over."

Deda James, a picket organizer who has three children in the district, described the trustees as "kind of cocky," shortly after board President Jim Oedekerk waved to the crowd on his way into Dunlap [Elementary].
In related news, Principal Sherry Smith has responded to the allegations that she had unfairly treated and attempted to intimidate teachers.
Smith responded in an e-mail, "I am very disappointed that (the union) would make such irresponsible and unprofessional claims against me. Several of the claims are completely false, full of errors in regards to dates and times and actual documented facts, and unfortunately, in many instances, taken out of context."
Personally, I am saddened that the dispute has gotten so personal, on both sides. In the end, the only losers will be the kids in the Yucaipa-Calimesa school district.

February 20, Press-Enterprise, "Yucaipa charter school has variety of supporters" (with podcast)
February 22, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Inland Leaders Charter School gets its turn at the podium"
There was a public hearing on Tuesday on whether the proposed Inland Leaders Charter School should be approved by the Yucaipa-Calimesa School Board, and parents, educators and government representatives showed up to provide their support. The designer of the new elementary school is Mike Gordon, currently an assistant principal at two Yucaipa elementary schools. The new school would meet at Bryant Street Baptist Church, and has already been awarded a Public Charter Schools Grant for fiscal year 2006-2007.
The school would be different not only in its leadership theme, but also in promotion and schedule. Students would progress among grades based on their performance, not the month on the calendar, and would get out of school shortly after 1 p.m., with the same number of instructional minutes.
The school board is scheduled to vote on the petition on March 13.
February 22, Yucaipa News Mirror, "YCJUSD elementary school #8 is officially a done deal"

The Yucaipa-Calimesa School Board has unanimously approved purchase of five acres for a new elementary school. They are still working on a name.

The full school board meeting minutes and agenda for the next meeting should be posted on the YCJUSD web site soon.

City News

City Council News
February 18, Press-Enterprise, "Cities sue San Bernardino County over cleanup fee"

Eleven San Bernardino County cities, including Yucaipa, are suing the county over a new trash fee meant to help fund the cleanup of perchlorate at the Mid-Valley Landfill in Rialto. Part of the issue is that the county chose to imposte the fee without any input from the affected cities.
"The effect on the average household is less than a buck a year," said San Bernardino County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, whose district includes six of the cities [including Yucaipa] challenging the fee. "But the overall need to clean up perchlorate is enormous."
February 23, San Bernardino Sun, "Loss of Dial-A-Ride weekend service raises concerns"

Omnitrans' proposal to limit OmniLink Dial-A-Ride service in Yucaipa to weekdays has the few people who use the service concerned that they won't be able to get around on weekends. Part of the problem is that Omnitrans is required by the state to collect at least 20% of its costs in fares, but Dial-A-Ride only recovers about 7% of their costs.
Many who attended the meeting and were not Dial-A-Ride customers, said that one day in the future they might need to use it and hoped that eliminating the weekend is not the first step toward eliminating it all together.

"We need to solve this and we can't solve it by putting all of it on the backs of the little people that are already using it," said Clare Lampman of Yucaipa. "I don't think they're fighting enough to find a solution. There needs to be a wider solution because if you want to have fewer people driving and that's their only alternative, they're not going to quit driving, they're going to continue even though they're not safe drivers."
February 12, Inland Empire Daily Bulletin, "Homeowners decry golf course"

The article is mostly about damage done to homes bordering Los Serranos Golf Club in Chino Hills, but mentions similar issues on the Yucaipa Valley Golf Course.

Locals in the News

February 22, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Yucaipa swimmer sets national freestyle time"

Yucaipan Kyle Gornay, a 10-year-old member of the Redlands Swim Team, set the top US time in the 50-yard freestyle for his age group at the January 2007 Southern California Swim Festival.
What makes Gornay's accomplishments even more impressive, perhaps, is the fact that this is his first year of competitive swimming. “I didn't want him sitting around all last summer,” said the swimmer's father, Ed. “We decided to get him involved in a swim club.”

Ed Gornay put in a call to Yucaipa Swim Team, but no one returned his phone message, so he called Redlands Swim Team, which encouraged him to bring his son right down.
(Gornay's time was beat by a North Carolina 10-year-old on February 9th, so he currently ranks #2)

There was a special Senior Lifestyles Supplement in this week's News Mirror, with several human interest stories. Unfortunately, they don't appear to be online, so I can't link the articles.

"Lillian and Maynard Hancock celebrate 70 years of marriage"

Lillian and Maynard Hancock celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on January 6th. The couple moved to Yucaipa in 1960. Lillian is an artist, poet and founder of the Treble Clefs Chorus. Maynard is the founder of the Yucaipa Valley Carving Club and an expert organic gardener. They have two sons, Ken and James, five grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Their advice for a long lasting marriage is to respect and love each other even through the bad times.
"Studying history and culture of Native Americans leads to life rich in purpose"

I'm not sure how Clifford Trafzer qualified for the "Senior Lifestyles" section, since he is far from retirement at age 57, but he is an interesting Yucaipan.

U.C. Riverside History Professor Clifford Trafzer was the was the first professor there to specialize in Native American History, and helped establish undergraduate, M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Native American Studies. Trafzer himself has Wyandot Indian ancestry on his mother's side of the family. His interests aren't just academic; he has served on the California Native American Heritage Commission under four governors, including Schwarzenegger; has been a member of the National Urban Indian Health Commission, which advises the White House and Congress; and is a founding board member of the Native American Land Conservancy. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including the recent Boarding School Blues and As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and the Rivers Flow, and

According to the article:
The Native peoples he has studied have enriched him. He has learned to take things slower, reaping the rewards of taking the time to hear a history. He's also learned to discern what part of the story should be retold to preserve the information. Because the memories of the elders are precious [and presumably because Trafzer is a competent scholar], he makes sure he has the information correct. He has been told by the Indians that they don't mind sharing their stories with someone like him because they want the information to survive intact.
Trafzer plans to continue his studies for the rest of his life.
He would encourage anyone over the age of 50 to find their niche, something that holds their fascination.
(For those interested in learning more about Native Americans, be sure to check out the UCR Extension Courses in Native American Studies and the Crafton Hills College American Indian Association Gallery and Resource Center)

"Brenda Hill does it Again"

Yucaipa resident Brenda Hill Seaman has just completed her second novel, Beyond the Quiet.
Set in Yucaipa, "Beyond the Quiet" abandons the thriller genre for mainstream fiction: After 25 years of marriage, Lisa Montgomery thinks her husband's death is the worst that could happen. A month later, she pushes herself out of bed, dresses and even makes plans to move near her daughter and grandson. She has a reason to live after all. Then she receives a notice about her husband's secret post office box.
Hill Seaman is also an editor and writing instructor. Check out her website for writing tips, information about her services, or to buy a copy of her e-book, "Plot Your Way to Publication". Her first novel was the suspense-thriller Ten Times Guilty.

That's all for this week!



Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yucaipa Nightlife: February 23-March 1

Here are the nightly goings-on in Yucaipa for February 23- March 1. If you know of any other events, feel free to leave a comment. You can find more information in the links at the the end of the post. For theater and family activities, see the Yucaipa entertainment calendar.

Note: all entries subject to change. Call to confirm the bands and cover price.

Friday, February 23
Saturday, February 24
Sunday, February 25
  • Angel's Roadhouse: afternoon music, call for details
Monday, February 26
  • Plan the rest of the week
Tuesday, February 27
  • Angel's Roadhouse: karaoke "2 for Tuesday", with 2 tacos/$2 and domestic draft beer $2.
Wednesday, February 28
  • Angel's Roadhouse: open mic jam hosted by BoXKutters, no cover
  • Bailey's: karaoke
Thursday, March 1
  • White Rabbit Coffeehouse: Chris Thayer, solo acoustic show, 6-8 pm.
  • Angel's Roadhouse: Karaoke Thursday, $2 domestic draft beers
  • Iggy's Roadhouse: karaoke

Where to find Yucaipa nightlife
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Friday, February 16, 2007

Weekly News Roundup: February 17 Edition

Once again, your weekly Yucaipa news summary!

Transit News

February 15, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Yucaipa to receive funding for Live Oak/Oak Glen/I-10 interchange"
The California Transportation Commission approved Yucaipa's request for more than $8 million in additional funds for the Live Oak Canyon - Oak Glen Rd- I-10 Interchange.
The improvements include reconstructing the existing overpass over the freeway as a five lane bridge, widening Live Oak and Oak Glen Roads to match, widening and realigning each of the on/off ramps to the freeway and adding traffic signals at each of the ramps. The signals will all be interconnected with the existing signal at Oak Glen Road and Calimesa Boulevard to ensure a smooth flow of traffic on and off the freeway.
February 15, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Public Works projects finishing/starting"
The Yucaipa Public Works director Ray Casey has reported on the status of several projects:
  • Both the 10th Street Bridge and the 3rd Street culvert bridge are planned to reopen this month.
  • Oak Glen Road widening between Avenue E and Yucaipa Blvd is moving to phase two, with utility relocation scheduled to be completed by March, and paving and sidewalk creation scheduled to be completed by August.
  • A traffic signal will be installed at Wildwood Canyon Road and Fith St. beginning in March.
  • See the City of Yucaipa Public Works Construction Update (pdf) for more information on all current projects.
February 15, Yucaipa New Mirror, "Wildwood Interchange design underway"
CalTrans recently announced that "work has started on a Project Study Report (PSR) to evaluate the construction of a new interchange at the southerly terminus of Wildwood Canyon road and the I-10 Freeway. "

Frebruary 15, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Omnitrans proposes changes that affect Yucaipa"
At least 150 people showed up for the Monday public meeting with Omnitrans at the Scherer Community Center. Apparently the fares collected for the OmniLink service in Yucaipa only cover seven percent of the cost. Omnitrans is proposing to eliminate weekend OmniLink service in Yucaipa, with service continuing to be provided weekdays from 7 AM to 6 PM.
Kuruppa fielded many comments and questions from the audience. One of the most common ones was that the loss of weekend OmniLink service would pose an unacceptable hardship on seniors and disabled residents.

Kuruppa responded that even with the proposed changes, the fares from OmniLink would still provide no more than 12 percent of the actual cost of the service.

“We can't afford to keep providing OmniLink service on Sundays to just 30 customers without significantly raising fares above what we are currently proposing.”
The proposed new fare for seniors and disabled riders would be $1.50 each way.

Locals in the News

February 15, San Bernardino Sun, "Lesson in lovely chocolate"
Yucaipa chef-for-hire Malissa Grinnal gave a tasty "Valentine's Day Chocolate Oblivion" cooking class.
Cooking and food-based television like the Food Network have paved the way for aspiring "foodies" to make their own delectable dishes, Grinnals said.

The women taking the class were looking for something different but elegant to make for their valentines this year.
February 16, San Bernardino Sun, "Educational artwork"
Raynah Woolsey and Nathan Kemmerer, eighth-graders at Canyon Middle School, "received awards last week from a representative of the California Department of Boating and Waterways" for their artwork. Raynah is this year's statewide winner, and Nathan was an 8th grade finalist. Their work is displayed on the Boat Smarter Site for Kids. Check out all of the the winning posters and the work of the 8th grade finalists.

February 16, San Bernardino Sun, "Learning Resources director inspires learning at Crafton Hills"
Damaris Matthews is the director of the Learning Resources Center at Crafton Hills College.
Students can walk to the center with any kinds of questions - about math, English or even science - and they'll find help.
Read the whole profile.

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Eat at John's Philly Steak and Zabella's

Two Yucaipa eateries had recent positive reviews:
John's Philly Steak @ 34215 Yucaipa Blvd (map)
Zabella's @ 32693 Yucaipa Blvd (map)

February 14, Inland Daily Bulletin, "Fast food that exceeds expectations"
Reviewer Devin Cohen gives a big thumbs up to John's Philly Steak on Yucaipa Blvd.
Fast-food establishments that offer quality along with speed and great pricing are few and far between, but I have come across a place that meets all three of these standards. Located on Yucaipa Boulevard, just below 5th street, is John's Philly Steak, a fast-food place with quality that'll knock your socks off. It's a perfect place for the teen, and even the adult.

John's is open for every meal of the day, and happens to offer a wonderful breakfast selection. Many of the traditional breakfast items - such as eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes - are available, and each is prepared very well. Also offered are specialty breakfast dishes, such as the Chorizo Platter and the Louisiana Sausage Plate, which are brilliantly done, and deserve to be in a gourmet restaurant.
February 16 San Bernardino Sun, "Zabella's sizzles
You order at the counter and pick up the food when it's ready. The menu is fairly prodigious, ranging from platters with beans and rice and an array of out -of -the- ordinary burritos to torta sandwiches, unusual soups, shrimp in many guises and a full breakfast menu.
Reviewer David Cohen recommends the chili verde, the tortas, and the posole soup. The beer license is currently pending.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yucaipa Nightlife: February 16-22

Here are the nightly goings-on in Yucaipa for February 16-22. If you know of any other events, feel free to leave a comment. You can find more information in the links at the the end of the post. For theater and family activities, see the Yucaipa entertainment calendar.

Friday, February 16
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles: Valentine's Day Dance, with steak dinner and music and dancing with The Ranch Hands, $6.50.
  • Angel's Roadhouse: Jay Gordon and the Usual Suspects, Johnny on the Spot, The Unheard, 21+, $10
  • Iggy's Roadhouse: call for details
  • Hickory Ranch Steakhouse: karaoke
Saturday, February 17
  • Angel's Roadhouse: Undercover, $10, 21+
  • Iggy's Roadhouse: karaoke
  • White Rabbit Coffee Co: call for details
Sunday, February 18
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles: Flat Out Country
  • Angel's Roadhouse: afternoon music, call for details
Monday, February 19
  • Rest and recover.
Tuesday, February 20
  • Angel's Roadhouse: karaoke "2 for Tuesday", with 2 tacos/$2 and domestic draft beer $2.
Wednesday, February 21
  • Angel's Roadhouse: open mic jam hosted by BoXKutters, no cover
  • Bailey's: karaoke
Thursday, February 22
  • Angel's Roadhouse: Karaoke Thursday, $2 domestic draft beers
  • Iggy's Roadhouse: karaoke
Where to find Yucaipa nightlife
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rain Rain Go Away

At least the sun is finally coming out!


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Weekly News Roundup: February 10 Edition

All the Yucaipa news you need!

February 8, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Paul Cook begins his tenure as 65th Assembly rep"
Our new California Assembly representative, , is settling into his new office in Sacramento. So far he has been appointed to several committees, including the Budget Committee, and has sponsored one bill, to name a section of I-10 near banning after CFD firefighter Chris Kanton.
Cook has stated that his special legislative interests relate to the problem of illegal immigration as well as others with the area's highway system, especially Hwy. 79.
He plans to use the offices of his predecessor, Russ Bogh, on Yucaipa Blvd as a full-time district office.

City News
February 6, Press Enterprise, "Transit agency touts new fare, route plan"
Omnitrans plans to increase fares and change routes, including Route 8 in Yucaipa.
Single-ride fares would increase a dime from $1.25 to $1.35 starting July 1, while a day pass would go from $3 to $3.50. Over the course of five years, single ride fares could go up to $2.25.
See the full plans at Check out the map of the proposed East Valley routes (pdf), then tell Omnitrans what you think.

Related: Press Enterprise "'Dial-a-ride' service in Yucaipa faces cutbacks"
There will be a public hearing at 1 p.m. at the Yucaipa Senior Center (12202 First St.)on Monday, February 12 to discuss whether OmniLink Dial-a-Ride will continue to be available in Yucaipa.

Apparently some of the proposed long range changes (pdf) that included elimination of Route 8 service between Redlands Mall and Yucaipa were taken off the table after Omnitrans heard citizens' concerns, so be sure to speak up!
February 3, Press Enterprise, "Teachers show job seekers the flaws"

Teachers union officials from Yucaipa-Calimesa school district joined those from Rialto and Victor Valley to distribute fliers at a recent job fair at Cal State San Bernardino. The fliers described "low pay, weak morale, and unresponsive management".
We need anybody who's thinking of coming to Yucaipa to know what they're getting into," said Cyndi Holman, president of the Yucaipa-Calimesa Educators Association.
School district representatives appeared unconcerned.
Sherry Kendrick, Yucaipa-Calimesa's assistant superintendent of human resources, said she was aware of the protest but said it wasn't hindering the district's recruitment efforts, describing business as "brisk."
In related news, the YCUSD has announced that kindergarten registration will begin March 1.
The Pitch a Fit blog notes that Yucaipa police have been ticketing cars that cause traffic jams at the local elementary school. If you are picking up your kids, use common sense and obey the traffic laws!
Upcoming City Council Meeting (Monday, Feb. 12, 6PM at City Hall)
Some items on the agenda:
  • The City Council will discuss installing a fabric shade over the Community Park amphitheater stage at the next city council meeting.
  • A proposal to reject all current bids for the Civic Center Park hardscaping and electrical project bids, and reopening the project to bidding.
  • A proposal to purchase a quarter acre of property north of WIldwood Canyon Road and west of 5th Street.
  • Read the full agenda (pdf).
Local Profiles

February 8, San Bernardino Sun "CHC's Paddock busy being visible"
This is a profile of Ericka Paddock, the new director of Student Life at Crafton Hills College.
Paddock was born with cerebral palsy. She said the neurological disorder affects the way she walks and the movement of her right arm. But the disability did not inhibit Paddock from achieving her goals.
Paddock, who has a Masters degree from the University of Redlands, works to make the campus a friendly and fun place for students. She is also a role model, says Gloria Harrison, president of Crafton Hills College.
"I think she's a very good role model for young women. She's someone who has not let a disability change her goal in life. She's very, very positive with a great deal of energy that she brings to any project and a great deal of professionalism," Harrison said. "We were looking for someone who had some experience in student services and certainly working with students and she has that kind of experience. What she puts in place, it will be in place for the future. Her energy and her ideas seemed to be something we wanted to have for our campus. Students activities are very important for us."


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Yucaipa Nightlife: February 9-15

Here are the nightly goings-on in Yucaipa for February 9-15. If you know of any other events, feel free to leave a comment. You can find more information in the links at the the end of the post. For theater and family activities, see the Yucaipa entertainment calendar. Be sure to call ahead to confirm start time, cover charge and age restrictions.

Are there events in Yucaipa that I'm missing? Leave a comment, or e-mail me at

Friday, February 9
  • Angel's Roadhouse: Southland (Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd), $15, 21+
  • Iggy's Roadhouse: Hit Men
  • Hickory Ranch Steakhouse: karaoke
Saturday, February 10
Sunday, February 11
  • Angel's Roadhouse: afternoon music, call for details
Monday, February 12
  • all quiet
Tuesday, February 13
  • Angel's Roadhouse: karaoke "2 for Tuesday", with 2 tacos/$2 and domestic draft beer $2.
Wednesday, February 14 - Happy Valentine's Day!
  • Angel's Roadhouse: open mic jam hosted by BoXKutters, no cover
  • Bailey's: karaoke
Thursday, February 15
  • Angel's Roadhouse: Karaoke Thursday, $2 domestic draft beers
  • Iggy's Roadhouse: karaoke
Where to find Yucaipa nightlife
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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Weekly News Roundup: February 3 Edition

Here is all the local news that's fit to blog from the last week. Fortunately (I think) there's not too much.

City News

February 1, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Omnilink meeting Feb. 12 There will be a public hearing at Scherer Community Center on February 12 to discuss whether OmniLink Dial-a-Ride will continue to be available in Yucaipa.

According to the OmniTrans proposed fare and route changes (pdf), they also propose to increase fares (no surprise) and eliminate service between the Redlands Mall and Yucaipa (Route 8). You can submit comments online to OmniTrans until February 15.
February 1, Yucaipa News-Mirror, "Yucaipa Council approves increases under MRSO"
The Yucaipa City Council has authorized increases in the rates paid for general maintenance and skilled labor in the city's mobile home parks performed by the owner or a representative of the owner.
February 1, Yucaipa News Mirror, "New fire station getting more expensive"
The estimate for the cost of the new fire station planned at Fith and Wildwood Canyon Road has increased to 2.25 million dollars.

Yucaipans in the News

February 1
, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Barger wants to be an ambassador"
Branden Barger, an eighth-grade student at Canyon Middle School, has been accepted as a member of the People to People Student Ambassador Program which will travel to Europe (the United Kingdom and Ireland) this summer.
Donations to help pay for Barger's participation can be sent to Canyon Middle School, or if you are dining at Jose's Mexican Food (11am-9pm) tell your server you want a donation to Barger's account.
February 2, San Bernardino Sun, "Community service not unnoticed"
This is a nice profile of Yucaipa Chamber of Commerce 2006 Citizen of the Year, Kopper Kettle Kafe & Katering owner Susan Gray.
For the past 21 years, Gray has opened her doors to many organizations throughout the community. She has donated prepared food to local school events, the Woman's Improvement Club and the Boys and Girls Club in Redlands, and the Yucaipa Little Theater.
January 28, Redlands Daily Facts, "Visit the past at museum's historic sites"
The article gives an overview of the San Bernardino County Museum's historic sites, including the Yucaipa Adobe.