Mtn. Boys and Girls Club Opening Site at Charles Hoffman Elementary in Running Springs

NewspaperThe Mountain Communities Boys and Girls Club will be opening a new location….at Charles Hoffman Elementary School in Running Springs. The new program will begin August 25 and it is open to children from first to fifth grades. The after school program will be held Mondays through Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. On days when schools have a “minimum day” the facility will open earlier to assist parents who are working or cannot find other daycare for their child or children.

As part of the organization’s philosophy their goal is to help assist children in becoming successful students, positive role-models and great team players.

A wide variety of activities as well as after-school homework help is available as part of this program. Involved students will also receive homework help that will help with their self-esteem. As part of this program character development for the involved students is a big part of the Boys and Girls Club program. In many ways a large part of the program focuses on anti-bulling as well as teaching and helping children value diversity. Character development is also stressed.

In addition to the help the Boys and Girls Club participants receive they can receive homework test help that can include homework preparation, reading and help with projects and reports.

Last, but certainly not least, sports are a big part of the Mountain communities Boys and Girls Club program. Sports can often reach children in an entirely different way than their parents or other family and friends can. By participating in sports students learn to share, they learn team building (whether they call it that or not) and in most cases their lives are enriched through these experiences.

Tuition is $20 for one child for the school year and for a family it is $25 for the school year.
For information on this new program at Charles Hoffman Elementary School call (909) 338-0418. By the way, I think the late Chuck Hoffman (after whom the school is named) would love this new program.


“The Second Annual Lee Cozad Mountain Movie Show” Coming to Lake Arrowhead

movie camera artworkWho isn’t entranced by the early films of Shirley Temple, that adorable child actress who has such a fascinating life. Well, if you attend the 2nd Annual Lee Cozad Mountain Movie Show you can see one of her earliest films, the 1937 classic “Heidi.” Some of the scenes from this beautiful story were filmed right here in our local San Bernardino Mountains…most particularly what is now known as Switzer Park and other areas off Hwy. 18.

Presented by the Rim of the World Historical Society and the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa this free movie, from so long ago, is truly a gem. The story line revolves around an orphan named Heidi who is taken from her grandfather to live as a companion to a spoiled, crippled girl. It truly is a classic and if you haven’t seen it yet (or you want to see it again for the 100th time) you can. Just to make the evening more entertaining everybody gets free popcorn!

This fun event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lake Arrowhead Resort.


Shirley Temple’s “Heidi” Free Showing April 7 in Lake Arrowhead

movie filmBring the family to the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa and watch the classic (and I do mean classic) movie “Heidi” that was partially filmed, so many years ago, in what is now called Switzer Park off Hwy. 18. This event will feature the original film that featured a very young Shirley Temple and the famous Jean Hersholt. Those of us who are “uh, a tad older” will particularly enjoy this event, I imagine. It will be fun to try to match the places or the highway involved with this longtime, long-ago hit.

This famous movie was made in 1937 so come and enjoy this historic film and meet new friends. The movie will be shown at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa  at 7 p.m. on April 7 so mark this great event on your calendar. It will be such fun to try to figure out which part (or parts) of this movie look familiar to mountain residents, especially those in the Lake Arrowhead area.

Come and enjoy this great family event at the Lake Arrowhead resort and Spa. While you’re there you might want to go early and have dinner.



Rotary’s PolaRotary Bear Plunge An Enormous Success!

clapping handsThose crazy Rotary jumpers. When people tell them to go jump in the lake………………..they do!

The recent Seventh Annual PolaRotary Bear Plunge in Lake Arrowhead was a huge success! They had more participants, representing more charitable organizations, and raising more money, than in any of the previous six years. The success and yearly growth represents a collaboration of mountain entities that deserve a big “Thank You.”

The Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead, whose volunteers coordinate, staff and sponsor this event, thank everyone involved. A special applause goes to the media; the Mt. News, Alpenhorn, Rim of the World News and Mountain Top Echoes blog for all the publicity and news coverage they gave us.

Another big thank you goes to the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa who provide the venue and are most gracious hosts. We also wish to thank ALA (Arrowhead Lake Association)  for approving and lending logistical support, and the costume door prizes, the Coffee and Tea Exchange, Sondra’s of Lake Arrowhead, Union Bank and California Bank and Trust. We also thank the Rim High School Audio/Video Club under the direction of club advisor Joe Urbz for filming and editing thousands of film and still shots and producing quality DVDs of the event. Each participant is given a DVD. The DVD of this great event may be viewed on UTube.

Others deserving thanks include the San Bernardino County Fire/Cold Water Rescue, Carol Banner (medal hander-outer), Ginny Durand, Sondra Hughes and Janet Massoth (all great costume judges), RC Gladwell Advertising and Design, Rim High Interact Club, Lon Le Blanc (website design), “Greeters” Emily Monroe, Paige Holzberger and Gordon Kinbio Plunge  Committee members, Rim of the World Recreation and Park District volunteers, Hostess Gina Richardson, Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead members and spouses, Spa of the Pines, Guides Meighan and Anna, and plunge spectators and cheering supporters.

Over $25,000 was raised and split between the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Foundation and the following charity organizations for which the “jumpers” sacrificed by plunging into the icy cold water of Lake Arrowhead. Following is a list of the “jumpers” and the group or organization that will receive their “jumping” funds.

Thank you to: Kim Roscoe  (American Heart Association); Nick Nerio (American Legion Post 360); Jon Connor, Bob Gladwell, Kate Malin and Lorna Polley (Arrowhead Arts Association); Rod Akins and Mike Hewitt (Church of the Woods); Mike Hill (Crestline/Lake Gregory Rotary); Alfredo Barcenas, Jessica Bryan, Bryce Davis, Juan Garcia, Allison Rosiles (Cal State University San Bernardino Mountain Communities Scholarship); Chelly Cole and Tahnee Score (Doves); Hannah Allen (Hearts and Lives): Marshall Waters (Lake Arrowhead Christian School); Russell Bell, Sheila Ben-Hur, Mac Elliott, Pat Rains and Mike Zweber (Lake Arrowhead Rotary Foundation); Shelly Niemi, Luz Salinas, Genny Urban (Operation Provider); Jack Winsten (Operation Provider and Rebuilding Together); Randy Buechler (Mount Calvary Lutheran Church); Bob Geer (Mountain Communities Boys and Girls Club); Richard Lavin (Mountain Jewish Community); the synchronous swim team of Lyle Barkley, Sheila Link, Geoff Hopper, Lauralea Hopper, John Moore, Eric Muse, Babe Poyyak and Thacker White (Mountain Sunrise Rotary); Norbert Loewen, Don Pettyjohn, Jo Bonita Rains, Cherie Singer, Jane St. John and Gloria Wolcott (Rim Education Foundation); Hugh Bialecki, Gavin Bialecki, Nick Bialecki, Deanne Dodge (Rim Recreation and Park District); Diane Gladwell and Michael Gladwell (Rim Wrestling), Lauralea Hopper and Cheryl Wood (Soroptimist International of Rim of the World); Polly Sauer (Special Olympics Host Town program), Taryn Caldwell, Jody Condon and Cheri Nagel (Susan G. Komen Foundation); Barbara Miller (South Bay Auxiliary to Children’s Hospital); Ryan Bender, Steve Caloca, Fancy Davis, Jim Ferranti, Dylan Matteson and Kimberly Motz (UCLA Mountain Bruins).

Last but certainly not least, those who donated the $25,000 who deserve a huge “thank you,” said Patrick Rains. “We live in a great community!”






Snow Valley Hosting Chamber of Commerce Mixer on Feb. 20

snow-valley-snow-006Snow or no snow a mixer will be held at Snow Valley Mountain Resort on Friday, Feb. 20. The fun event, where you can meet new friends and business associates in the community, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. and if you attend you can munch your way through pizza, salad and non-alcoholic beverages.

This fun get-together is open to mountain residents and businesses owners and staff as well  as visitors and it will be held in WR’s Smokehouse Restaurant which is located adjacent to the Last Run Lounge at the longtime ski area on Hwy. 18.

For information call the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce at (909)

Come meet new friends (or bring longtime ones) and enjoy the camraderie and the alpine atmosphere.

For further information contact the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce at (909) 867-2411. If no one is available to take your call leave a message and your call will be returned.

Come enjoy historic Snow Valley. The great ski area is located about five miles east of Running Springs on Hwy. 18. For further information call (909) 867-2751.

Snow Valley has a fascinating history and as the oldest of all the local ski areas it’s fun to look back. My parents came up to the mountains in the 1930s and I have some old photos of them skiing on skis that had to be at least seven or eight feet long. Naturally they were made of wood and they look about as long as the Golden Gate Bridge compared to today’s shorter skis.

Before jack Northrup (aviation designer) built the first sling life in the local mountains people had to clomp up the hills in order to “shoosh” down. At this time skis were very heavy (try about 20 pounds) and they were about eight feet long so huffing and puffing all the time back up the hill  must have been exhausting. For some reason the ski area became known as Fish Camp because there was a pond near the top of what is now chair #5.

Just a few years later, in 1937, “Fish Camp” was opened as a commercial ski area. Owner Sevrre Engen from Norway, received his “ski permit” from the Forest Service.A year later the fabulous Arrowhead Springs Hotel took over the site intending to offer their guests winter skiing possibilities and swimming and tennis in the summer. Unfortunately two years later the Arrowhead Springs Hotel went into bankruptcy but another Norwegian ski jumper, John Elvrum purchased the lease to “Fish Camp” for $5,000. At that point the name of the facility was changed to Snow Valley.

In 1948 Snow Valleye was incorporated and the following year the first chair lift was installed.. Two years later the base lodge construction was completed and nine years later the first double chair lift was built.

In 1971 the principal owner and operator, John Elvrum, sold his interest to the parent company, Snow Valley, Incorporated. A lot of us “old timers” will remember the first general manager, Jack Rindal, who had been John Elvrum’s longtime assistant.

In 1974 W.R. Sauey became the owner of Snow Valley and all these years later he still owns the facility. By 1988 Austrian-born Benno Nager assumed the role of general manager but the following year the areas base facilities burned to the ground and as a longtime reporter I remember the three-alarm fire and going up there the following morning. The fire had burned so fiercely that there was hardly anything left of the building except smoldering black pieces of wood. I’ll never forget that sight and I’ll never forget looking at Jack Rindal and Benno and I still remember the horrified looks on their faces, the fire engines that were still there making sure the fire was completely out, and the black, charred timber that was left from that disasster. It was, to put it mildly, heart-breaking.

At this time, and previously for all the years, there was no snowmaking equipment at the site (and I doubt much of it had not even been invented yet!). I remember when snowmaking came in about 1996. It was “magic”….there simply was no other word to explain it. The facility no longer had to rely totally on Mother Nature to bring snow and while unbelievably expensive    it could be made.” The advent of snowmaking was an amazing thing and it continues today, of course. The famous phrase from the outstanding Kevin Costner film, Field of Dreams “If you build it they will come” couldn’t be more  true when it comes to making snow for happy skiers who flock to areas where it’s available if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. It truly has, in many ways, revolutionized the ski industry.

Fast forward to 2002 when Snow Valley made big enhances to its snow play area and the following year the Crestline-Lake Arrowhead Water Agency and Snow Valley came to an agreement that added a larger water pipeline to the area which helped the facility be able to, among other thing, have more water to make snow. That same year four large new snow blowing machines were added. In 2003 local Kevin Somes joined the team as marketing manager. Kevin is now general manager of the sit and he continues his enormous commitment to the communities. In addition to his work at Snow Valley Kevin is, and has been the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce president and he spends an inordinate amount of time promoting the local community and helping on many, many different events.

Throughout the years Snow Valley has been an exciting venue for a variety of events including the totally insane “Tough Mudder” event. Several decades ago outdoor concerts were held at the site that featured John Denver, the Beach Boys, Reba McIntire and the Statler Brothers. Those of us who attended those great events remember them fondly and miss the fact that they can no longer be held at the site due to a variety of reasons, including environmental issues.

Ever since it was built this ski area has held its own in the small area and many people love it because of its small-town “flavor.” While there are many larger areas to ski in California Snow Valley remains a family-friendly, local, easy-to-get to ski resort with great amenities in the small communities near Running Springs, Green Valley Lake and Arrowbear Lake. Located right on Hwy. 18 it has been, and remains, a great place to ski and snowboard for locals and skiers from all over southern California (and sometimes beyond!)

Come to the mixer and meet new friends, breathe the fresh clean air in the local mountains and find out more about what’s available in the Running Springs, Arrowbear Lake and Green Valley Lake  business communities. Our communities may be small but there’s something really great about that!

See you there!






Remembering a Man Who Remembered Pearl Harbor

sailor-salutingTwo days from now Americans will honor those lost in the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. A total of 2,008 U.S. Navy members were killed that day and 710 were wounded. One hundred-nine Marines lost their lives and 68 were wounded. Sixty-eight civilians were killed and 35 were wounded.

When this day rolls around each year I always remember an old man I met many years ago when I had my local newspaper in Running Springs. He was there that day in Pearl Harbor. Each year he took his grief and with the help from some elementary school students from the San Bernardino area, they would honor those lost by planting pine tree seedlings along Hwy. 330 near the ranger station. He and the students would dig holes in the ground and plant the trees and water them as a way to remember those who died and that unbelievable day of infamy. They would come up occasionally and water the trees but the seedlings didn’t take root and they eventually, like so many victims of that terrible bombing, died.

I’ve never forgotten that man nor will I and while I don’t remember his name I will never forget what he did. It had been my privilege to go down and take photos of this annual event and I had the chance to talk to a lot of the students. I hope each of them, now grown, will remember that day. It was one man’s way of bringing life to something so terrible and although the trees are no longer along the highway I remember them. Each time I drive by I remember him and the project that meant so much to him and I honor him…..especially on “Pearl harbor Day,” the terrible day he chose to remember in a very beautiful way!

Local Historian, Rhea Francis Tetley, Released Newest Book

college education clipart Lifelong mountain resident and talented historical writer, Rhea Francis Tetley has published a new book that’s entitled “Lake Arrowhead Chronicles.” The book deals with the history of Lake Arrowhead and  the sawmill days up to the building of Papoose Lake and many other fascinating subjects that occurred more recently.

To purchase a copy of this fascinating new book you can go to the Mountain History Museum in Lake Arrowhead on Dec. 13 when a book signing will be held. There will be several different opportunities for people to purchase an autographed copy of this new book before the holidays end and the event at the history museum in Lake Arrowhead is only one of those opportunities.

If you know someone who loves the history of the Lake Arrowhead area this new book would be a wonderful holiday gift. There will be several opportunities for people to purchase the book and have it autographed by Rhea. Books will be available at the Mountain History Museum in Lake Arrowhead on Dec. 13. Other books on the San Bernardino Mountains written by the author are also available at the museum. Books by the late historian (and longtime local teacher) Stan Bellamy are also available at the site.

Throughout the years Rhea has written several books, including “Crestline Chronicles.” If anyone knows a lot about Crestline, it’s Rhea.
She recently had a successful book signing at the Barnes and Noble in Redlands. This prolific author truly is a local mountain historian as well as a fascinating woman with a great sense of humor. If you attend the Dec. 13 event you will enjoy meeting Rhea as she enjoys the history of the local mountains and shares what she’s learned with all of us who also love to learn about the communities before we were part of the communities.