Saturday, August 18, 2007

Weekly News Roundup: August 18 Edition

Yucaipa news for the week of August 12-18.

City News
  • The City Planning Commission met on August 15th (agenda pdf).
  • The Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting will be August 22 at 6:30 PM in the Community Center. The agenda has not yet been posted.
  • The City Council meeting scheduled for August 27, 2007 has been canceled.
The front page of this week's News Mirror was a story about residents of Carter St. who are trying to get the City Council to implement measures to deter speeders.
Nearly a dozen citizens, with many more attending for reinforcement and support, addressed the council, recounting their memories of [the July 6th] accident along with other tales of collisions with trees, property, parked cars and numerous experiences of close-calls of the residents themselves, all from drivers who use this road as a speedway. Each citizen demonstrated fears for themselves and their families, particularly those with children who live along Carter.

“It's a concern for all of us. We're fearful of allowing our children to play outside,” said Beth Morabito.

One of the major problems this particular street faces is that it is an approximate two mile stretch of downhill road that quickly changes from a rural to a residential area with nothing to slow down the speeding drivers.
Among the suggestions made to the council was a four-way stop at the corner of Carter and Fremont Streets, where there is currently a two-way stop. No changes to the street were promised, but Police Chief Bart Gray has said he will "make this area a high priority for patrol." I'll have more on the story later this week.

At the same meeting , Captain Gray presented his mid-year report for 2007. Here are the numbers:
  • reported crime was down 9% over the same period last year
  • one murder, the same as last year
  • 5 rapes, same as last year
  • 6 robberies, up from 4 in the same period of 2006; 128 burglaries (102 in 2006), 263 larceny (217 in 2006), and 62 grand theft auto (63 in 2006)
  • 14 cases of aggravated assault, way down from last year's 32; 100 cases of simple assault, well up from last year's 61
  • 2 cases of arson, same as in 2006
  • there has been a 19% decrease in the number of traffic collisions
  • 2,768 traffic citations
  • 117 DUI arrests
  • he said three areas required added attention: "Habitual offenders, juvenile crime and the safety of our school campuses and traffic."
You can read the full report in the August 13 City Council meeting agenda/minutes (pdf).

The Sun reports that the city council also decided to allow city staffers to arrange an agreement with Hoover Ranch to change from raised chicken cages to ground-level pens.
The way chicken coops are currently set up, manure can collect in piles and become a breeding ground for flies, McMains said. Letting the birds live on the ground could prevent their waste from accumulating in gobs, and chickens could control the fly population by munching on insect larvae. Hoover Ranch's plans had to go before the council because the ranch, near the crossing of Carter and Jefferson streets, is in a northeast Yucaipa residential zone, McMains said.
That should reduce the smell, but it's not clear how long it will take for the plan to be implemented.

Other Yucaipa News In Brief
  • A third man, Christopher Dean Dacosta (18) of Bermuda Dunes, has been arrested in the beating death of Mark Douglas Smith of Big Bear City. Smith's body was found on July 23rd along the dirt extension of Avenue E. Aaron Alan Dixon of Yucaipa was arrested on July 25 and Kelly Lucien McLeod of Yucaipa was arrested July 31.
  • According to the Sun, Michael Dwaine Elmore of Yucaipa was arrested this week for the suspected rape of a sleeping woman in December 2004. "The victim had been going to counseling and was finally able to confront what had happened."
  • The City Council has asked for a proposal to raise the monthly mobile home rental fee from $4 to $7.84, to be split be mobile home residents and park owners. The money would go to fund the Mobilehome Rent Stabilization Program.
  • The City Council approved a contract of up to $22,000 for the further study of the proposed Oak Hills Marketplace on Live Oak Canyon Rd, just off I-10. According to the Sun "Target Stores, which will pay the cost of the study, has requested that the report show the environmental effects of a new shopping center if Target trims five acres and 80,000 square feet of building space from its plans."
  • The Yucaipa High School Turf and Track Committee is looking for donations to ensure the new artificial turn field at Yucaipa High School is completed in time for the first home football game, scheduled for September 7. "Any donations or inquires can be made at the high school at 797-0106."

Yucaipans in the News

The News Mirror has a touching story of the Ortiz family. All three of teenaged Ortiz kids - Kira, 17, Thomas, 14, and Krisalynn, 12 - suffer from the rare and life-threatening disease, mitochondrial myopathy. The inherited condition is so rare that the family must often travel to Ohio to consult a doctor with expertise in the treatment. Despite hospitalizations and symptoms of their illness, all three kids sound like hard-working achievers.
  • Kira - who wasn't expected to live past the age of 7 - is entering her senior year at Yucaipa High and is working on a book. She has expressed interest in becoming a youth minister after graduation.
  • Thomas will be attending the YHS Ninth Grade campus. In May he received his heart's desire from the Kids Wish Network: his own French horn. He is planning to join the band this school year. He is interested in studying genetics.
  • Krisalynn is entering seventh grade at Park View this year. She is interested in zoology, and her wish to swim with dolphins was granted by the Kids Wish Network.
If you know a kid who might be in need of having a wish granted, contact the Kids Wish Network.

The News Mirror has an update on Yucaipa High School grad, Marine Lance Corporal Joshua D. Pico who is currently serving in Iraq.
From Iraq Pico says, “Ramadi was pretty bad when we got here but the people are making a turn around to make this city safer.” He helps contractors fix schools or build new ones, make soccer fields and repair power and water lines. “The big picture,” Pico says, “is that we are trying to make Iraq better.” Pico told the News Mirror that when his deployment and contract is done he is not sure whether he wants to re-enlist or not.
Pico is scheduled to arrive home on leave September 1st.

The Sun writes about 92-year-old painter Catherine Stone, who lives in an assisted living center in Yucaipa and is a member of the VisionQuest Center for Creativity.

Stone said painting has kept her creative and it might be her recipe for aging gracefully. "I think it kept me from being a little old lady," she said chuckling. "I try to keep my sense of humor. I try to do something useful every day and I have a lot of faith."

The News Mirror has picked up the story about Clifford E. Trafzer being named the Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs at UC Riverside. Trafzer is scheduled to speak at the Yucaipa Valley Historical Society on October 7.

The News Mirror reports on Yucaipa High School varsity pitcher Matt Davidson's experience at the trials for USA Baseball Youth National Team. Davidson was named to the team last Friday, and will compete in the World Youth Championships in Barquisimeto, Venezuela this coming week.

The Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District Board of Education presented three of the district's employees: Georgia Rankin for her work in Business Services, Fred Nelson in the maintenance department, and Tracy Doeden for her work in child nutrition at Yucaipa High School.




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