Want Some Parenting Advice? Attend the “Parents as Teachers” Events in Blue Jay or Crestline!

If you were asked who your child’s first teacher was you would probably (depending on how long ago it was) immediately say “Miss,” “Mr.” or “Mrs. “So-and So!” Guess what! You’d be wrong because you, the parent, are your child’s first teacher!

With that in mind if you’re having discipline problems with your child or children and want some ideas on how to make life more peaceful for your household you can attend one of two remaining “Parents As Teachers” events right on the mountain. The “Parents as Teachers” program, funded by First 5  San Bernardino County and coordinated through Rim Family Services in Skyforest, invites all interested parents to a meeting that could prove to be life changing for the household.

The next event will be held at 3 p.m. at the Blue Jay Library on Dec. 17 and then at the Crestline Library on Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.

For information call Rim Family Services at (909) 336-1800.



Caltrans Preparing for Massive Winter Storm: Offers Advice!

Caltrans logoA few days ago I received news from Caltrans that they are preparing for one of the strongest storms Californians have seen in years.Even though this is a “late” post I thought the information might still be helpful to all of you as we are most likely to have many other storms before spring sprouts so the information should be interesting. It is also information that, while no one expects to be caught in an emergency situation in heavy rain, it does happen and the information in this post, from Caltrans, could be lifesaving.

The press release states that more than 1,500 pieces of storm-related equipment and over 3,000 maintenance employees are ready for this week’s major weather ship that is on track to impact several regions throughout the state.

“Caltrans first priority is the safety of the motoring public and we will be working around the clock to keep roads open and clear,” said Caltrans Director Malcom Dougherty. Crews have been busy checking pumping stations, readying equipment and clearing roadside drainage ditches across the state. Generators have been checked and have plenty of fuel for operation throughout the anticipated storms, and crews have been busy filling sand bags. Poles measuring snow height are in and are being inspected and marked. Chain control facilities are operational and crews will be moved to where they are needed as conditions warrant. Sand sheds are fully stocked for the season, avalanche control measures are checked and operable and response crews are ready.

Traffic Management Centers throughout the state will be monitoring highway and weather conditions and they are ready to dispatch crews and equipment to trouble spots and to respond to traffic incidents. Caltrans will activate its Changeable message Signs and Highway Advisory radios to communicate to the public about highway conditions.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm is on track to be one of the strongest storms Californians have seen in years and motorists should be prepared for high winds, heavy rain, floods and snow and ice in higher elevations.

Severe weather can be alarming and hazardous for drivers. The best defense is not to venture out on the roads during stormy weather but if you must drive, use caution. common sense and always be prepared, especially when traveling in high elevation areas.

Winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly and drivers should have their vehicle winterized by checking its brakes, coolant, tires, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust systems. If possible, have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic.

During winter storm conditions, motorists should anticipate unexpected delays and closures. Caltrans strives to reduce the frequency and the length of unplanned closures on state highway but during major storms when traffic flow is heavy, Caltrans may meter traffic to ease congestion.

Caltrans sends along these tips for winter driving: allow time for your trip; be observant of everything going on around you; remember…black ice is nearly invisible,

Keep your fuel tank full and your windows clear; drive as conditions permit and use slower acceleration, slower speeds and slower braking in winter conditions; Reduce speed and leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Use headlights in rainy and snowy weather. During fog, drive with headlights on low beam; Never drive with just parking or fog lights; Remember that you must have your lights on when using your wipers. If you get stuck, stay with your vehicle and wait for help!




A Surprise Meeting of Old Friends Brings Great Memories!

Yesterday when I was down at a store in San Bernardino  I came upon an old friend that I haven’t seen for a long time. I was so happy to see Ed Kalin who was there with his “helper or caregiver.” We enjoyed talking but I was so sad to hear that his longtime wife, Ginny, had died. Ed and Ginny were two of the early members who were part of the founding of the Running Springs Golden Oaks so many years ago. Her framed photo, along with Bob and Helen Hootman and other early presidents including Cleo Lisle, have a special place in that building (as they should!) As I recall Genny spent many years (many, many years ago) in the U.S. Air Force. This was long before women in the armed services were “really” accepted by many people. She truly was a trail blazer and I adored her. Everyone adored her!

Ed and I talked and quietly cried over the loss of loved ones and  the sometimes trials of life but we parted with great long hugs. I liked his “helper-aide” so much as she had quite a continuance about her. I could tell she took great care of this (now) quite elderly man whose life has meant so much to so many. It doesn’t seem possible that Virginia (Ginny) died in 2011 and at the time of her death she and Al had been married for 62 years and she was 84-years-old. He misses her terribly and how could he not? They were married so many, many years.

I like to think this chance meeting was an early Christmas present to both of us. We both shed a few tears at losing loved ones we have spent so many decades with but also came away with gratitude for this unexpected meeting. We exchanged long, loving hugs in the middle of the huge store and I know it meant as much to him as it did for me.

During this holiday season take time to look back to loved ones lost and be grateful for them and for those who helped make life better for all of you, especially when times were tough.



Remembering the Battle of the Bulge December 16, 1944

Amber_Waves_of_GrainPresident Barack Obama has released this proclamation and I wanted to share it with all of you. This battle and the sacrifice of the lives of so many allied forces is one battle Americans should never forget. As a 20-year-old in 1965, traveling around Europe with my mother and sisters we visited many a military cemetery. I will always remember being in Belgium when we met a man who was so thrilled to meet Americans that he insisted on taking us to his home to meet his family. He kept saying, over and over again, ‘You (Americans) saved us! You saved us!” I carry that memory, that man and that place in my mind to this day! We, along with all our allies, truly did save them!

“By the winter of 1944, the United States and Allied forces had stormed the beaches of Normandy, thundered into Europe and liberated Paris, turning the tide of the struggle against the forces of oppression. With the fate of freedom in peril, millions of Americans went to fight for people they had never met to defend ideals they could not live without. But as Americans and our allies advanced through the Ardenees Forest region of Belgium and Luxemburg, German troops launched a desperate and massive assault, attacking the poorly-supplied and heavily-outnumbered Allied front during the early hours of December 16, 1944. Against improbably odds, patriots of exceptional valor and remarkable courage beat back Hitler’s armies and achieved a crucial victory at the Battle of the Bulge, marking the beginning of the end of a world war.

The Battle of the Bulge was one of the United States largest and bloodiest encounters of the Second World War. Over the course of more than a month, some 500,000 American service members fought through snow and bitter winter conditions. in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, our Armed Forces faced down bullets and German tanks. From the grip of hatred and tyranny, they won a victory for liberty and freedom. But our triumph came at a tremendous cost; over 76,000 Americans were killed, wounded or are missing in action.

On the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, we are called to do more than commemorate a victory. We must honor the sacrifice of a generation who defied every danger to free a continent from fascism. As we salute the unfailing dedication of a free people, we tell their story so as to commit it to the memory of our Nation. The world will never forget the heroes who stepped forward to secure peace and prosperity far from home, and we will always remember those who gave their last full measure of devotion.

The warriors who defended the promise of liberty during the Battle of the Bulge are an inspiring and heroic link in an unbroken chain that has made America the greatest force for freedom the world has even known. Today, we lift up their memories and carry forward the proud legacy of the veterans who gave their all and in doing so, changed the course of human history.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, December 16, 2014, as the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the independence of the United State of American the two hundred and thirty-ninth.



Arrowbear Water District Schedules Public Hearing on Proposed Rate Increases

water foset.jpgThe board of directors of the Arrowbear Park County Water District will hold a public hearing on December 18 regarding the district’s proposed rate increases for water and sewer. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the district office which is located at 2365 Fir Drive in Arrowbear Lake. The office is located very close to the lake.

If the board of directors approves the water and sewer rate increases they will rise $3 per month (for each service) for the 2014-15,  2016-18-17 and 2018-19 fiscal years. If approved homeowners would be billed for the upgrades through the January 2019 billing periods. As an example customers who are currently using up to 66 cubic feet of water are paying $21.50 per month.

In a recent interview with the district’s general manager he said the reason for the proposed increases is that the district needs the funds in order to replace old pipes and other underground infrastructure as well as to maintain and continues to deteriorate.

Currently customers with zero to 600 cubic feet of water (4,488 gallons a month) pay $21.50 as a base water usage fee. If the board of directors approves the increases the proposed rate for the 2015 year would be $24.50 for the same amount of water that would result in a $3 per month increase. The monthly sewer rate would also increase by $3. If the board of directors approves the water and sewer increases the rates will rise $3 each every two years through January 2019.

According to the district manager,Norman Hunt  the reason the rates need to be raised is to help pay for repairs and upgrades to the current systems.  Additionally, the funds will help pay for infrastructure replacement and the everyday operating expenses the district faces.

Customers may protest the proposed rate increases can protest the rate increases but they must be in writing and be at the district office by ? Protests may be mailed or personally delivered to the district office at P.O. Box 4045 or taken to 2365 Fir Drive in Arrowbear.

All protests must be at the district office before the December 18 public hearing is closed. If written protests are received on behalf of a majority of the affected properties the rate changes will not go into effect.

The district office is located at 2365 Fir Drive. For more information contact the water district office at (909) 867-2704.



Santa and Soldiers March 35 Miles from Fort Irwin to Barstow Veterans Home to Help Greet Vets

World War 1, familyYou know,  Santa really is a patriot because every year around the holidays, soldiers from the 11th ACR and Santa Claus march 38 miles from the Fort Irwin National Training Center to the CalVet Veterans Home in Barstow.

The Army brings holiday cheer and gifts honoring the facility’s nearly 200 residents. The soldiers and Santa leave the training center at dawn, hike through the desert and then camp on the outskirts of Barstow.

The following morning, the march ends at the Veterans Home. Marchers are greeted by local veterans, Veterans Home residents and staff and guests who are watching from the hilltop and lining the main drive to the Home. The soldiers are treated to a luncheon and a chance to swap stories with other Veterans Home residents which must be an enormous joy to everyone. What a wonderful holiday tradition!

The Veterans Home of California in Barstow is one of eight homes for older and disabled veterans and the program is operated through CalVet. The facility in Barstow opened in 1996 and it has 220 beds. The site is located on 22 acres of land and the program provides skilled nursing, intermediate care and independent living facilities to qualified veterans and their spouses.

What a wonderful idea and way to help those who have helped this country. May they all have a blessed Christmas and a great new year.


Army Identifies Two Soldiers Killed in Action

soldiers holding flagMy thoughts go to the family and friends of two recent soldiers who lost their lives while participating in Operation Enduring Freedom. The soldiers were identified as Sgt. 1st Class Ramon S. Morris, 37, of New York, New York and Spc. Wyatt J. Martin, 22, of Mesa, Arizona.

Tragically, the two soldiers died Dec. 12 in Parwan Province in Afghanistan from wounds they suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. The men were assigned to the 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division from Fort Hood, Texas.

These two brave men gave their lives fighting for this country and we owe them and their families all the respect and gratitude that they’ve earned.



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