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BIG BEAR HEADLINE NEWS
What you need to know - When you need to know it

News Director: Catherine Sandstrom / Copyright © Parallel Broadcasting, Inc.


KBHR NEWS HEADLINES 2007

BUTLER #2 FIRE ARCHIVE (click here)

SLIDE & GRASS VALLEY FIRE ARCHIVE (click here)

December 31, 2007

Spare Yourself a Headache Tomorrow; Take Some Precautionary Measures This Evening

The National Headache Foundation says that increased alcohol consumption can cause the onset of a hangover headache. If you do plan to drink tonight, mixed drinks containing fruit or vegetable juices will have less potential hangover effects than straight alcohol, while the natural chemicals in red wine tend to trigger headaches more than other drinks. The NHF suggests some honey or fruit before or after drinking, as the fructose in both, and the vitamin B6 in honey, can reduce hangover symptoms. Other suggestions to make your first day of 2008 a little brighter include plenty of fluids, such as sports drinks or water, caffeine and ibuprofen. You can also make the choice to alternate your drinks with non-alcoholic beverages this evening. For more information on how to deal with a hangover headache, you can visit the National Headache Foundation website at www.headaches.org.

Designate a Driver for New Year's Eve; Big Bear Taxi Will Be Operating All Night
If you're headed out this evening, you should plan to have a designated driver, as there is only one public transportation option that will be available in the Big Bear Valley tonight. Big Bear Taxi will be operating nine 15-passenger vans, and tells KBHR that they will respond to all calls in an effort to get everyone home safely. Big Bear's taxi service can be reached at 909/866-TAXI.

Making Change in Fawnskin: Final Days to Cast Your Vote for the North Shore's Honorary Mayor
The residents of Fawnskin, on the North Shore, are making change, as they wrap up the final days of voting for the community's Honorary Mayor. You can cast your vote with a quarter for incumbent Gene Cyr, Moose Lodge bartender Betty Conroy or Fawnskin Postmaster Cynthia Crane at all Fawnskin restaurants and most businesses on the North Shore through tomorrow evening. Last year, $7800 in change was collected in the Fawnskin Mayoral Race, and all proceeds were distributed to local charities by the North Shore Improvement Agency. Though the voting ends on New Year's Day, Fawnskin's new mayor won't be announced until mid-January.

National Weather Service Issues Red Flag Warning; Please Be Fire-Safe in the Mountains

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Southern California, including our area, through tomorrow. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are in place, including a combination of strong winds and low relative humidity. As the Big Bear Valley is in a sensitive and unique wildland/urban interface, please be especially careful during this Red Flag Warning. Never throw cigarette butts out the car window, even if there is snow in the area, and if you are using a fireplace in your home or rental, dispose of ashes in a safe way. Fireplace and woodstove embers continue to stay hot for up to 72 hours or more so only remove them if you can place them in a fire-safe metal container with a secure lid. Also, the San Bernardino County Fire Department says that you should never burn a Christmas tree in a fireplace or woodstove as they burn quickly and could be explosive. (For Christmas tree recycling information, please scroll down to December 26.)

All Highways To and From Mountain Open Today; No Chain Restrictions In Place

All highways to and from the Big Bear Valley are open today, and there are no chain restrictions in place. When R-2 chain restrictions are in place, you must have chains on your vehicle, unless driving a four-wheel drive with snow tires. When you stop to put chains on your vehicle, be sure you are safely out of the roadway, so find a turnout or safe place to pull over on the right side of the road, out of the flow of traffic. When you are driving on mountain roads, especially in winter conditions, Gary Fernandez with the California Highway Patrol recommends, “Reduce your speed, allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and allow extra driving time.”

All Lifts and 98% of Runs Open at Big Bear Mountain Resorts; Annual Torchlight Parade Tonight
Big Bear Mountain Resorts have all 26 lifts open this week, and 98% of runs are open, with reports of excellent snow coverage of a depth of 16 to 28 inches. Both Snow Summit and Bear will offer half-day sessions, starting at noon today, and Summit will have night session skiing and riding until 9:30pm. Both resorts also offer a New Year's Eve party this evening, with the annual New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade down Miracle Mile kicking off at 7pm from the top of Snow Summit.

Changes to Residential Trash Schedule for Both Ends of the Valley This Week
Given the holidays, residential trash pickup is operating a day behind schedule. For those who receive trash pickup from Big Bear Disposal within the City of Big Bear Lake, expect pickup a day after your regular pickup day. Those who are regularly scheduled for Friday will be on Saturday this week. Customers within the service area of the Big Bear City Community Services District can expect normal trash pickup today, though Tuesday through Friday services will be pushed back one day. The revised schedules apply through January 5th.

Big Bear Lake Water Temperature in the Low 30s; Do Not Go Out on the Lake Ice
The Big Bear Municipal Water District, the agency that oversees Big Bear Lake, wants to be sure you know the dangers of venturing out on to the lake ice, which is never a good idea. During winter months, ice begins to form around the edges and back bays of Big Bear Lake and, eventually, the lake's entire surface may freeze over. However, due to the Valley's fluctuating temperatures, the lake ice never gets thick enough or strong enough to safely support those who walk on it. The MWD notes that it is unpredictable at best and, if you were to fall through, hypothermia is a real threat. Lake Operations Supervisor Travis Carroll tells us that the water temperature in Big Bear Lake has been in the low 30s this week, so please don't jeopardize your safety, or that or rescue personnel, by going out on to the lake ice. If you see people or pets doing so, please advise them of the dangers and call 911 in the case of emergency.
You may have heard about the Victorville man who drowned in Lake Jackson near Wrightwood on Christmas Day. Claro Claridad, 41, was playing in the snow with his family, which includes five children under the age of 12, when he ventured out on to the lake ice to save other's children, and subsequently died, possibly from hypothermia, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner's Office. You may have met Claridad, as he worked in the Verizon store on Bear Valley Road in Victorville, and had just been promoted to manager prior to the holidays. Our local Verizon store, at 40941 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake, is collecting donations on behalf of Claridad's widow, Judith, and their son and four daughters.

December 28, 2007



After 26 years with the Big Bear City Fire Department, Fire Chief Dana Van Leuven's final day
before retirement is December 28. Community Services District President Rick Ollila (center)
thanked the Fire Chief for his service to the community at CSD's December 17 meeting, to
which Van Leuven replied, "It's been an incredible experience." Assistant Fire Chief Jeff
Willis (right) who, like Van Leuven, got his start with Bear City Fire as a paid-call firefighter,
will assume command of the department on December 29.


Bald Eagles Spend Their Winter in Big Bear; At Least Four in Our Area This Month

The San Bernardino mountains support the largest wintering bald eagle population in Southern California. Eagles typically arrive in our area in late November and stay through early April. Since 1978, the U.S. Forest Service has organized monthly eagle counts, and within the Big Bear basin, eagles have numbered from 10 to 40 over the last 22 years. Though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service down-listed bald eagles from endangered status to threatened status in 2007, counts do continue. The first of these counts in our area, this season, resulted in the spotting of four eagles—3 adults and 1 immature—in December. Mark Stamer, Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that the average December count for Big Bear is 11 eagles. If you hope to spot an eagle, they can usually be seen perched on snags or dead-topped trees near the lakeshore during the day—though please be careful to observe them without disturbing them.

All Highways To and From the Mountain Open Without Chain Restrictions

All highways to and from Big Bear are open today, and there are no chain restrictions in place, despite last night's dusting of snow. There are three main highways that can take you on and off the mountain and, a good note to remember: east is least. There tends to be less traffic congestion on the two highways leaving from the east end of Big Bear Valley. Highway 18, “down the back way” as locals call it, takes you through Lucerne Valley and the desert communities. Highway 38 runs through Angelus Oaks and Interstate 10 can be accessed once you arrive in Mentone, at the bottom of the hill. (Those driving up the mountain can access Highway 38 by taking Interstate 10 to Orange Street, then go north to Lugonia Street and turn right. Lugonia turns into Highway 38 in Mentone and will bring you to Big Bear via Angelus Oaks.) Your other choice when leaving the mountain is Highway 18 down the “front way” which crosses over the Big Bear Dam and takes you down the mountain through Running Springs, where you can pick up Highway 330 into Highland. And while on mountain roads, remember to respect the line--and be prepared for R-2 chain restrictions by carrying snow chains with you when traveling in the mountains.

Just After Midnight, A 1.6 Magnitude Quake Rolls Through Big Bear City
We did have a small earthquake last night. At 40 minutes after midnight, the Valley had a 1.6 magnitude quake, centered one mile northwest of Big Bear City, at a depth of one kilometer.

When Done With Your Christmas Tree, Do Not Use It For Firewood
Fire officials with the San Bernardino County Fire Department advise that when you are done with your Christmas tree, promptly remove it from the house. However, do not ever burn a Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove, as the tree can burn quickly and could be explosive. For details on tree recycling opportunities for those in Big Bear Lake, you can scroll down to December 26 posting.

All 26 Lifts Open at Big Bear Mountain Resorts; Half-Day and Night Sessions Available Today

As of today, Big Bear Mountain Resorts has opened all 26 lifts at the two mountains, Bear and Snow Summit, and report excellent snow coverage on open runs. Several new runs have opened this week, including the Wall at Summit, and more runs are expected to be opened tomorrow, for the holiday weekend. Half-day sessions will also be available at both resorts today, starting at noon, and Snow Summit will offer night session skiing and riding until 9:30pm tonight.

December 27, 2007



The three sisters of Danza Azteca Xochipilli brightened Saturday's Winter Solstice Celebration
at the Discovery Center with their dances and ceremonial prayer for the Big Bear Valley.


Big Bear City Fire Department Offers CPR Training on Saturday, January 5

The Big Bear City Fire Department has six certified CPR instructors through the American Heart Association, and will be offering their first CPR class of 2008 on Saturday, January 5. If the nature of your job requires you to keep your CPR card current, or if you are just looking for a fun and informative way to learn CPR, the firefighters of Bear City Fire are here to help. The eight-hour class begins at 9am on the 5th, and is available at a cost of $40 per person. Reservations are required, by calling 585-2362, and payment is due prior to the class. For more information, you can also stop by the Big Bear City Fire Department at 301 W. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

City of Big Bear Lake Welcomes Community Input on U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement

The City of Big Bear Lake has extended the deadline to those who wish to submit input on the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, as comments from the community will now be accepted through December 31st. Members of our local Sierra Club and the Democratic Club had asked the City Council of Big Bear Lake to consider signing the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement earlier this year. City Council's Green Sustainability Efforts Committee, comprised of councilmembers Rick Herrick and Michael Karp, has since reviewed the document and presented their revisions to Council at the October 22 meeting. Before a formal adoption of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement is considered, Council has asked for public input on the revisions. A copy of the document can be obtained at the public counter at City Hall or via the city's website at www.citybigbearlake.com. The City asks that comments or suggestions be submitted in writing by December 31st to chaggerty@citybigbearlake.com, or via mail to City of Big Bear Lake, Attn: Intergovernmental/Communications Office, P.O. Box 10000, Big Bear Lake, 92315.

All Highways Open, Though Chain Restrictions Are in Place Due to Recent Snow
-- Updated
All highways to and from the Big Bear Valley are open today, however, R-2 chain restrictions are in place, due to last night's dusting of up to an inch of snow. R-2 chain restrictions are in place throughout the Big Bear Valley, as well as on Highway 38 over Onyx Summit, Highway 18, down the back way, toward Lucerne Valley, and Highway 18, down the front way, from Snow Valley. R-2 restrictions mean that you must have chains on your vehicle, unless driving a four-wheel drive with snow tires. Once again, CalTrans has implemented R-2 requirements on roads within Big Bear, as well as Highway 38 and both portions of Highway 18. When you stop to put chains on your vehicle, be sure you are safely out of the roadway, so find a turnout or safe place to pull over on the right side of the road, out of the flow of traffic. And, during winter driving conditions, Terri Kasinga of CalTrans advises, “Arrive alive. Slow down.” Update: Chain restrictions lifted on Highway 18, east of Baldwin Lake to Lucerne Valley. Update as of 10am: All chain restrictions lifted, except for Highway 18, from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley, and portions of Highway 38, over Onyx Summit and near Jenks Lake Road West. Update as of 1pm: All chain restrictions have been lifted.

Residential Trash Pickup Schedule Altered to Accommodate Holidays

Given the holidays, this week and next, residential trash pickup will be operating a day behind schedule. For those who receive trash pickup from Big Bear Disposal within the City of Big Bear Lake, expect pickup a day after your regular pickup day. Those who are regularly scheduled for Friday will be on Saturday, both this week and next. Customers within the service area of the Big Bear City Community Services District can expect normal trash pickup on Monday, December 31st, though Tuesday through Friday services will be pushed back one day and, again, the revised schedule only applies this week and next.

December 26, 2007

City of Big Bear Lake Offers Recycling of Christmas Trees at Clean Bear Site #1

When you're done with your Christmas tree, the City of Big Bear Lake encourages you to recycle it. Through January 19th, Big Bear Lake residents can bring their tree to the Clean Bear Site #1, located at 41970 Garstin Drive, for recycling. Trees should be place in the marked location on the east side of the Recycle Center and, please note, trees cannot be recycled if decorations, tinsel, ornaments, lights or tree stands are still attached. Please remove these items from the tree before recycling. Flocked trees, however, will be allowed. For more information on this program, which last year resulted in the recycling of 965 trees, please call Big Bear Disposal at 866-3942.

All Three Highways To and From the Big Bear Valley Open Without Restrictions Today

All roads to and from the Big Bear Valley are open today, and there are no chain restrictions in place (though you should always carry chains when on mountain roads during the winter season). There are three main highways that can take you on and off the mountain and, a good note to remember: east is least. There tends to be less traffic congestion on the two highways leaving from the east end of Big Bear Valley. Highway 18, “down the back way” as locals call it, takes you through Lucerne Valley and the desert communities. Highway 38 runs through Angelus Oaks and Interstate 10 can be accessed once you arrive in Mentone, at the bottom of the hill. Your other choice when leaving the mountain is Highway 18 down the “front way” which crosses over the Big Bear Dam and takes you down the mountain through Running Springs, where you can pick up Highway 330 into Highland. And while on mountain roads, remember to respect the line.

Big Bear Mountain Resorts Open 24 of 26 Lifts; New Custom-Designed Jibs at Bear
Both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resort report excellent snow coverage on open runs today, with a snow depth of 16 to 28 inches. Big Bear Mountain Resorts have 24 of 26 lifts open today. The Park at Bear now offers 42 jibs for riding, including two new custom jibs designed by the resort's professional riding team's Simon Chamberlain and Seth Huot. Snow Summit will host their annual Torchlight Parade on New Year's Eve which, if you're in Big Bear, you'll want to check out at 7pm on December 31st. For more information, you can log on to their website at www.bigbearmountainresorts.com.

Sheriff's Station Searching for Missing Person; Door-to-Door Search Being Conducted
-- Updated
The Big Bear Sheriff's Station has issued a missing persons report. On December 25 at approximately 6pm, Mary Hoag was reported missing. Hoag walked away from her vacation rental in the 41000 block of Brownie Lane in Big Bear Lake, and has not been seen since. Mary Hoag is described as a 45-year-old white female adult, approximately 5'4” tall, 140 pounds, with light brown hair and hazel eyes. She is wearing a white sweater with a hoodie, blue jeans and black boots. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is conducting a door-to-door search in the Big Bear Lake area. Those with any information regarding Mary Hoag are asked to please call the Big Bear Sheriff's Station at 909/866-0100. Update: Officials with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department have found Ms. Hoag this morning. She is reportedly doing fine.

Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency Not Meeting Today; Will Meet January 23
The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency will not hold their regularly scheduled meeting today. The next scheduled meeting of BBARWA's governing board will be held on the fourth Wednesday of next month, which is January 23. BBARWA board meetings take place at 4:30pm at their offices at 121 Palomino Drive in Big Bear City.

*Merry Christmas!
*

December 24, 2007



The full moon still glowed over Big Bear Lake on Christmas Eve morning.


BBHS Seniors Jesse Ceron and Kriss Proctor to Be Honored on Sun's 2007 All County Foobtball Team

Two Big Bear High School football players will have their moment in the Sun—both Jesse Ceron and Kriss Proctor will be honored in the San Bernardino County Sun newspaper as members of the publication's 2007 All County Football Team. The special section of the Sun comes out tomorrow, Christmas Day, and will feature linebacker Jesse Ceron as a first team selection, and Kriss Proctor as a third team offensive utility. Proctor, the Bears quarterback, has also been invited to play in the January 26 Southern California Bowl, with other all-stars from San Bernardino and Riverside counties, who will play the all-stars of Orange, San Diego and Imperial counties at CalState Fullerton. The 1:30pm game on the 26th will also be aired live on ESPNU. Tickets to the Southern California Bowl are available online at www.fightonfoundation.org.

All Roads To and From the Mountain Open Today, No Road Restrictions In Place

All roads to and from the Big Bear Valley are open today, and there are no chain restrictions in place. When CalTrans does implement road restrictions, due to snow or ice, you can expect R-2 requirements, meaning all cars must have chains on the vehicle, unless you are driving a four-wheel drive with snow tires. Still, we do not expect any chain requirements today. When you are driving on mountain roads, Gary Fernandez with the California Highway Patrol recommends, “Reduce your speed, allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and allow extra driving time.”

There's Still Time: Shopping Opportunities Available Throughout the Valley
If you still have some holiday shopping to wrap up today, the Big Bear Valley offers unique stores in the Village, as well as in Fawnskin on the North Shore of Big Bear Lake, the shops on Moonridge Road (en route to Bear Mountain Resort), the Interlaken and Lakeview Centers on Big Bear Boulevard, just east of Fox Farm Road, and continuing along on Big Bear Boulevard, beyond the Convention Center and into Big Bear City. For more information on where to go and how to get there, you can stop by the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, located at 630 Bartlett Road in the Village, or call 909/866-4607.

Twenty-three of 26 Lifts Open at Big Bear Mountain Resorts; Half-Day Sessions Available Today
'Tis the season for skiing and riding! Both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resort have reported excellent snow coverage on open runs, with a snow depth of 16 to 28 inches. Big Bear Mountain Resorts have 23 of 26 lifts open today, and both resorts will offer half-day sessions this afternoon, starting at noon.



December 21, 2007


The City of Big Bear Lake presents The Wonderelles in a free concert in the Village on
Saturday. The 1pm show is billed as a Rockin' Christmas Revue.


Nearly 200 International University Students in Big Bear to Work During Ski Season

Nearly 200 university students from Brazil, Peru, Columbia and Chile will be in Big Bear through March as part of the Council for Educational Travel's J1 Work and Travel Program, and over 100 of those students were in attendance at this week's informational welcome, hosted by Friends of the Big Bear Library. While in Big Bear, the international students, ages 18 to 22, will work at Big Bear Mountain Resorts, Alpine Slide, The Block, McDonalds and Carl's Jr. About 160 of those students, as well as an additional 20 returnees from previous seasons, are employed by BBMR's Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resorts. The ski resorts' Employee Services Director Cheryl Hightower, along with Bear Mountain's Food and Beverage Manager Steve LeCroy, visited five countries and seven job fairs in South and Central America this past September, to recruit students to participate in the program. Big Bear Mountain Resorts has invited international university students to work at the mountain for seven years now, though the Exchange Visitor Program has, on a national level, been in effect since 1961, when President Eisenhower signed the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act.

Planning Commission Continues Items Re. AJ Acosta Company and Landscaping Plan for Moonridge Y
The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake met this week, and readdressed the legal non-conforming status of the AJ Acosta Company. Though this was the second Planning Commission meeting to address this public hearing item, due to an audio problem during the December 5 meeting, testimony from both sides will be re-heard at the Commission's next meeting, to be held on January 2. As for the landscaping plan for the Walgreens, being built at 42107 Big Bear Boulevard, and the conditions for tree protection, city staff will present a revised landscaping plan at the Commission's January 16 meeting. Members of the Planning Commission made several strong recommendations with regard to replacing removed and damaged trees, and asked city staff to report on the health of the existing trees. In August of this year, 39 of the 55 trees on the property, at the Moonridge Y, had been removed to allow for the new pharmacy.

Fire Safe Council Suggests Those Suffering Economic Impact of Fires Call for Payment Adjustments
The Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council suggests that if you cannot make a payment due on your home or business loan, credit card or car payment or telephone bill, you may be able to arrange for a payment adjustment, due to the economic impact of recent fires and evacuations. When you call to ask for a payment adjustment, be sure to ask for a supervisor to explain, as Big Bear Valley may not be among those zip codes listed as a fire area. The Fire Safe Council also reminds those homeowners and businesses affected by the fires or road closures to register with FEMA by January 9, 2008. You may feel the financial impact of the fires at a later date, so be sure you are registered in the FEMA database, should you eventually need a small business loan. For detailed information, please call FEMA at 800-621-3362.

Big Bear Lake Man Arrested for Alleged Vehicle Theft in the Village Last Night
At approximately 10:45pm last night, deputies of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station responded to a report of a stolen vehicle at a restaurant in Big Bear Lake. The owner of the vehicle, who is an employee of the restaurant, stated that at the end of her shift, she started her car to warm it up, went back inside to gather her personal belongings, and when she came back out the vehicle was gone. Deputies conducted an area check and found the vehicle parked in the Bartlett public parking lot. Witnesses advised deputies that a male subject who parked the vehicle in the lot went inside a nearby saloon in the Village. Deputies made contact with the suspect, who was inside the saloon, and identified him as Darin Burnes, a 26-year-old resident of Big Bear Lake. Burnes was arrested on felony charges of vehicle theft. Suspect Burnes is being detained at West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $25,000 bail pending an arraignment hearing scheduled for December 24th. The vehicle was returned to the victim without damage.

Big Bear High School Girls Soccer Games Moved to 29 Palms This Afternoon

Today's Big Bear High School Girls Soccer Team games against 29 Palms were originally scheduled as home games but, given the snow, will now be played in 29 Palms. The BBHS Varsity Soccer game will be played at 29 Palms Middle School and our JV team will be across the street, with their game to be played on the field at Lucky Park. Both soccer games will begin at 3pm this afternoon.

Lighthouse Project Hosts Jingle Bell Run With Olympic Team's Ryan Hall This Sunday at 7am
This Sunday, December 23, The Lighthouse Project will host a Jingle Bell Run with Ryan Hall, a local running champion and, now, a U.S. Olympic Team member, and his wife Sarah, who will run trials for the women's Olympic team in June. The Jingle Bell Run, which starts at 7am Sunday from Starbucks East, in the Interlaken Center, to Starbucks West in the Village, kicks off a community spirit initiative called Move A Million Miles for Ryan in which the Lighthouse Project is challenging the community to get out and “move a million miles” between now and Ryan's August 24 Olympic race date in Beijing, China. Tim Wood, Lighthouse Project founder and sponsor, explains, “Ryan Hall's vision, determination and focus have brought his dreams of success to reality. We want to celebrate his successes with him and show our pride in his accomplishments. We felt that a great way to do this would be to encourage the community to get out and be active and really make a personal commitment to showing support for Ryan.” When asked to be a spokesperson for the Move A Million Miles for Ryan campaign, Ryan said, “I've always wondered why there aren't more runners in Big Bear, since the conditions are so beautiful and ideal for training. Anything that encourages people to be more active is great.” Sarah Hall added, “We really enjoy working with children and wanted to have some opportunities to run with them here. We really want the chance to give back to this community.” The Lighthouse Project, whose focus is a child-honoring community, will soon have details on their Move A Million Miles for Ryan campaign on their website at www.bigbearlighthouse.com. Community members are encouraged to join Ryan and Sarah Hall in Sunday's 7am Jingle Bell Run, or cheer them on along Big Bear Boulevard.

DWP's Water Supply Committee Will Hold 4pm Meeting Today

The Water Supply Committee of the Department of Water and Power will hold a meeting at 4pm today, to discuss water demand projection methodologies. The Water Supply Committee includes the Board's Vice Chairman Fred Miller, Boardmember Steve Foulkes, and the DWP's acting General Manager Bill LaHaye. The Water Supply Meeting will be held in the DWP Board Room, at 41972 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake.

R-2 Road Restrictions in Place This Morning, Though All Highways Are Open
-- Updated
Resulting from yesterday evening's dusting of snow and this morning's icy road conditions, R-2 road conditions are in place on some mountain highways. R-2 restrictions are in effect for Highway 18, down the front way, and into the western end of Big Bear Lake, as well as Highway 330 and Highway 38 including portions of the North Shore, so those driving on these roadways must have chains on the vehicle, unless driving a four-wheel drive with snow tires on all four wheels. There are no road restrictions in place for Highway 18, down the back way, to Lucerne Valley. All roads leading in and out of the Valley are open but, again, there are R-2 restrictions in place on Highway 18, down the front way, Highway 330 and Highway 38. Update as of 12:30pm: All chain restrictions have been lifted, and all roads remain open. Still, per Gary Fernandez with the California Highway Patrol, “Reduce your speed, allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and allow extra driving time.”

Community Services District Moves Forward With Establishment of CFD; Public Hearing January 21
In other news from the Big Bear City Community Services District meeting of this week, the Board of Directors moved forward with resolutions to establish a CFD, or Community Facilities District. The CFD, when formed, would accommodate future demands to finance fire protection services at the east end of the Valley by levying a special tax on those properties that will be subdivided. At the CSD meeting on January 21, there will be a public hearing for the eight property owners of the nine parcels that would make up the core CFD within the annexed area. The proposed CFD would allow for financing of future fire facilities and fire suppression services, as prompted by the Fire Master Plan, which CSD's Board of Directors adopted this year.
The CSD Board also hopes that the January 21 meeting will include survey results from their East Valley Park amenities survey, which was mailed to CSD's water customers and those with post office boxes in Sugarloaf. The first round of mailings did not include the due date of January 11, but subsequent mailings will. For their January 7 meeting, President Rick Ollila said he will have agendized an item to discuss opportunities for those within CSD's jurisdiction to comment on park amenities if not included in the mailing.

December 20, 2007


CalTrans Anticipates Busy Travel Weekend, Will Keep Inland Empire Roadways Open
In anticipation of a busy travel weekend, CalTrans has no planned lane or ramp closures on state highways within the Inland Empire, beginning tomorrow morning at 6am, and continuing through January 2 at 6pm. The Department of Transportation does want to impress upon travelers the importance of being alert and sober, and buckled up while on the road. When hitting the road this holiday season, plan ahead, take your time, and drive according to road conditions. Those traveling in or to the mountains are advised to carry chains. Terri Kasinga of CalTrans advises, “Arrive alive. Slow down.”

Collision on Highway 18 Near Crestline Last Night Results in Three Fatalities

There was a fatal accident on Highway 18 last night, and the San Bernardino County Coroner's Office has released some details on those who passed in the incident, all three of them residents of San Bernardino. At 8:44pm, a Nissan Sentra was driving southbound on Highway 18, just below Waterman Canyon Road, when, for unknown reasons, the driver lost control of the vehicle and entered the northbound lane. The Sentra was stuck by a Cadillac Escalade, which was traveling northbound on Highway 18. Three male individuals in the Sentra—ages 25, 17 and 16 years old, all residents of San Bernardino—were pronounced dead at the scene. The San Bernardino Police Department is investigating the accident, which has resulted in, now, 24 fatalities on our mountain roads this year.

Our Friends to the West Are Still Healing, from Fires Old and Recent; Support Group Available

Rim Family Services, based in Skyforest, has been contracted by San Bernardino County, and funded by FEMA, to provide outreach counseling and family services and is currently offering a support group for fire victims within their service area, from Crestline to Snow Valley, while Lutheran Social Services is the cooperative agency here in the Big Bear area. Kristine Scullin, Executive Director for Rim Family Services, tells KBHR, “We're all experiencing anxiety. You're not going crazy.” Scullin, who had to leave her home in Running Springs due to fire damage, says that at www.rimfamilyservices.org, there is disaster recovery information available to those still dealing with the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. “It is tough,” she says, “it's too close to the Old Fire. Four years later, people are still processing that one.” And, she adds, “Because the Slide Fire burned through the Running Springs area, you can't go anywhere without seeing the devastation. There's more survivors' guilt this time. People are broken hearted about their neighbors losing their homes, it's just so sad. But we are extremely grateful for the moisture we're receiving. There's a calming that comes with the rain and snow--but the next wind that blows through, or with the next helicopter or siren, people will get anxious.” In addition to being grateful for recent precipitation, Scullin did want to tell our KBHR listeners, “We love and appreciate our friends in Big Bear. That's how we heal—knowing our neighbors care about us.”

BVUSD's Director of Curriculum and Instruction Leaving District on January 2

On December 12, the Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District accepted the resignation of Laurie Bruton, the district's Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Bruton's last day with BVUSD will be January 2, as she has accepted a position of Assistant Superintendent with the Whittier City Elementary School District. Bruton has been with Bear Valley Unified since 1999, at which time she was hired as principal of Baldwin Lane Elementary School. She served in this role for two years before making the move to Big Bear High School, where she was principal for three years.

Get Those Holiday Cards in the Mail Today for Delivery by Christmas Eve

All U.S. post offices will be closed on Christmas Day, though mail service will continue up through Christmas Eve, which is next Monday. Cynthia Crane, Postmaster at the Fawnskin Post Office, tells KBHR that if cards and packages are mailed today, especially sooner rather than later, there is a chance that those items will be delivered by Christmas Eve, as it generally takes two to three days for items to arrive. When asked if she had any suggestions for postal customers, Crane tells us, “Be patient. There's a lot of mail in the mailstream.”

Join Santa Claus for the Wonderelles Rockin' Christmas Revue in the Village Saturday Afternoon

The City of Big Bear Lake extends the Music in the Mountains concert series with a special show planned for Saturday afternoon, December 22. The winter concert, which runs from 1 to 3pm, will feature the Wonderelles Rockin' Christmas Revue, including classics from the '50s and '60s. The free concert takes place at the Christmas Tree Lot in the Village, on the corner of Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive. Seating will be available (as of noon), guests are encouraged to dress warmly and, as this is a family-friendly event, no alcohol will be permitted. The Wonderelles and their backup band perform a wholesome, high-energy show, which is fully choreographed and costumed, and Santa Claus is also scheduled to make an appearance. Parking for Saturday's 1pm concert in the Village will be available at both public lots in the Village, the Bartlett Lot at the Chamber of Commerce building and the Indian Village Lot behind Mandoline Bistro.

Holiday Donations Still Being Accepted Today for County's Support Our Troops 2007 Program
The County of San Bernardino is still collecting items to send to our military personnel overseas, and those who wish to participate have until tomorrow to make a contribution to the Support Our Troops 2007 Program, created by the County's Department of Veterans Affairs with the non-profit Yellow Ribbon of America. Of the care package program, County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger says, “This will be a county-wide effort to show our support of the deployed military service members in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, they will be overseas fighting for our country instead of being home with their families during the holiday season.” Donations for the troops are being accepted at both the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District offices and the Big Bear Library. Suggested care package items include snacks, toiletries and comfort items such as magazines, playing cards, batteries, underwear, paperback books, balls and journals and, as always, letters of encouragement. Additional suggestions are posted on page 2 of www.BigBearNews.com.

Municipal Water District Holds Regular Meeting at 1pm Today
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District will hold their final regular meeting of the year at 1pm this afternoon. The MWD Board meets at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.

December 19, 2007

Discovery Center Hosts Winter Solstice Celebration, Featuring Animals and Aztec Dancers, on Saturday

The Discovery Center will host a Winter Solstice Celebration on Saturday, to celebrate the start of winter and the shortest day and longest night of the year. The Celebration, which runs from 10:30am to 3pm, will include animals and presentations from Friends of the Moonridge Zoo, a Native American artifacts exhibit and children's crafts activities, nature walks, and Aztec dancing and Native American storytelling, sponsored by EarthHEAL and All Nations Circle. Everyone is invited to participate in this free day of discovery, learning and celebration at the Discovery Center on December 22.

Six Teenagers Being Held for Alleged Burglary of Three Snowboards from Blauer Ski & Board Rentals
Yesterday at approximately 1:45pm, deputies of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station were notified by a reporting party via cell phone that Blauer Ski & Board Rentals in Big Bear Lake had been burglarized. The reporting party advised deputies that he was in his vehicle following the suspects, who were driving a black Ford pickup truck, heading in the direction of the dam. Deputies immediately began an attempt to catch up with the suspects' vehicle and contacted California Highway Patrol for additional assistance. Shortly after 2pm, the suspects' vehicle was stopped by officers of the California Highway Patrol in Arrowbear. Six subjects were found to be in the vehicle. An on-scene interview conducted by detectives of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station resulted in the recovery of three stolen snowboards from Blauer Ski & Board Rentals. Based on statements made by the suspects and the recovery of stolen merchandise from the suspects' vehicle, the six subjects were taken into custody. Three suspects, ages 18 to 19 years old, all residents of Chatsworth, California, were booked on felony charges of commercial burglary. The three adult suspects are being held at the West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $25,000 bail each, with arraignment hearings scheduled for December 20th. The three male juveniles, all age 17, are being held at Desert Juvenile Hall.

County Supervisors Are Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Protection of Native Plants

The County of San Bernardino, under the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, which includes Paul Biane, Brad Mitzelfelt, Dennis Hansberger, Josie Gonzales and Gary Ovitt, are continuing to ramp up efforts to protect the environment. In the last week, the Board allocated $30,000 to hire a consultant to assist the county in developing a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan, and approved a timetable that will see the plan completed by 2010. The county will also access the expertise of those at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands to develop a geographic information and web-based database system to identify important animals and plants, as well as wildlife corridors in the county. San Bernardino County staff are also developing guidelines to protect native species and plants and animals, as part of the approval process for development projects, by July 1st. Per Board Chairman Biane, “As the state's most environmentally diverse county, the County of San Bernardino is proud to lead the way in addressing climate change and protection of native species as we go about the business of managing growth and providing for the needs of our citizens.”

Big Bear Airport District Will Discuss Proposed Maintenance Building During 2pm Workshop
The Big Bear Airport District will hold a public workshop at 2pm this afternoon, to review and discuss the proposed airport maintenance building. The workshop will be held at the Big Bear City Airport.



This Morning's Earthquake, Centered Seven Miles Outside of Big Bear Lake, Registers a 4.0 Magnitude

You probably don't need to read about it to know that we had an earthquake early this morning. At 4:14am, an earthquake of a 4.0 magnitude and a depth of 11 kilometers rattled the Valley, and was centered seven miles south southwest of Big Bear Lake, near Angelus Oaks. A subsequent tremor, centered in the same vicinity, happened at 5:15am, at a magnitude of 1.9 and a depth of 12 kilometers. As of this morning, there are no reports of injury or damage as a result of the quakes. The four earthquakes we'd had Monday night through Tuesday afternoon were all centered three to six miles north of Big Bear City. Update: At 12:30pm today, we had a third earthquake—this one a magnitude of 1.4—centered seven miles southwest of Big Bear Lake.

Operation Breakthrough Invites Families to Join Them in First Day of Winter Ceremony
Operation Breakthrough will host their annual First Day of Winter Ceremony on Friday, December 21st at 5pm. The ceremony is an opportunity to honor those who have passed away due to alcohol or drugs, and Operation Breakthrough invites families and loved ones to attend. The First Day of Winter Ceremony will be held at Operation Breakthrough, located at 40880 Pedder Road in Big Bear Lake. Those with questions are asked to call 866-5437.

CalTrans Implements R-2 Chain Restrictions on Highway 38 and Portions of Highway 18 -- Updated
Last night's dusting of snow and precipitation has resulted in some road restrictions this morning. R-2 chain restrictions are in place on Highway 18, down the front way, from Snow Valley to the western end of Big Bear Lake, as well as on Highway 38. R-2 conditions mean that vehicles must have chains, unless a four-wheel drive with snow tires. There are no restrictions on Highway 18 through Lucerne Valley at this time, and all roads to and from the mountain are open. Update as of 11:15am: All road restrictions have been lifted.

Planning Commission to Address Tree Protection and Landscaping Plan for Walgreens Project
The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake will meet at 1:15pm this afternoon in Hofert Hall. Though the Commission is done hearing testimony, the legal non-conforming status of the A.J. Acosta Company has been continued from the December 5 meeting as a Public Hearing Item. Today's Discussion Items before the Planning Commission include the landscaping plan for the Walgreens being built at 42107 Big Bear Boulevard, at the Moonridge Y, and conditions of approval for tree protection during construction.

December 18, 2007


Local artisans gathered at United Wood Craftsmen in the Village on Saturday, for an "art walk"
within the showroom. Photographer Cathleen Calkins (from left, front), UWC owner Tamara
Bruenig, ceramist Annie Aldrich, oil painting artist Joyce Brookens, stained glass artist Tom
Horton (and, back row) photographer Scott Cordner, oil painting artist Greg Zook and jewelry
designer Christie Walker offer that many more reasons to shop locally this holiday season.

Big Bear Sheriff's Deputies Arrest Three Local Men Following Alleged Bar Brawl
Last night, three local men were arrested, and a deputy from the Big Bear Sheriff's Station injured, as the result of an alleged bar fight. To follow is the statement issued by the Big Bear Sheriff's Station this afternoon:
Shortly before 10:30pm on Monday, December 17, deputies from the Big Bear Sheriff's Station responded to a report of a fight at Murray's Saloon & Eatery in Big Bear Lake. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with three male subjects who were reported to have been fighting with other patrons inside the bar.
One of the male subjects, later identified as parolee Richard Simpson, a 23-year-old resident of Big Bear City, attempted to flee the scene. During a brief foot pursuit, Simpson punched the pursuing deputy as the deputy was attempting to take Simpson into custody, causing a cut above the deputy's eye. Simpson remained combative; however, was detained and placed under arrest after being drive-stunned with the deputy's taser. The two other subjects, identified as parolee Jason Crepeau, a 26 year-old resident of Big Bear Lake, and Doyle Pippins, a 42-year-old resident of Big Bear City, were also arrested.
Suspect Crepeau was arrested on charges of public drunkenness/disorderly conduct and felonious assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. Crepeau is being held at the West Valley Detention Center on a no-bail warrant for parole violation. Suspect Pippins was arrested on charges of public drunkenness/disorderly conduct and felonious assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. Pippins is being held in custody at the West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bail. Suspect Simpson was arrested on felony charges of battery on a peace officer and battery with serious bodily injury. Simpson is being held at the West Valley Detention Center on a no-bail warrant for parole violation. Arraignment hearings for all three suspects have been set for Wednesday, December 19th.
The injured deputy and one victim, who suffered lacerations and a chipped tooth, were treated at Bear Valley Community Hospital and released.

"Lots of Smoke" Will Be Visible Today, As Forest Service Continues Controlled Pile Burns

If you see smoke in the direction of Highway 38 near Angelus Oaks, just know that this is the result of controlled burns by the U.S. Forest Service. Hazardous fuels pile burns began last week, given the favorable weather situation, and the Forest Service tells us that they've been able to accomplish about 500 piles a day in that time. John Miller with the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that we can expect to see “lots of smoke” today, as these pile burns continue in the vicinity of Angelus Oaks. Miller notes that Forest Service crews are constantly looking at the forecast, looking at the weather and, should conditions become unfavorable or unsafe, crews will “cease and desist, mop it up and put it out.” Hazardous fuel pile burns, under the Healthy Forest Initiative, will continue seven days a week, given favorable circumstances.

The Li'l Mountain Lions of Baldwin Lane Elementary Do Their Part to Help Fire Victims
Big Bear continues to help our neighbors to the west, not just through the Mountain Aid Project Bowl-a-Thon, but also through the efforts of our Lions Club, other service organizations and now, also contributing to the effort to help those affected by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, the students of Baldwin Lane Elementary School. The school's secretary, Sue Nunes, tells KBHR that the kindergarten through sixth grade students at Baldwin Lane in Sugarloaf have pulled together to collect $139.50. As Nunes tells us, “I had kids bringing in little baggies of change from their piggy banks.”

Community Services District President Ollila Names Fellow Board Members to Civic Committees
At last night's meeting of the Board of Directors of the Community Services District, led by newly elected President Rick Ollila, the December 3rd election of Marge McDonald to Vice President was declared void, as she has already served in this capacity for a year, and this is the maximum term for CSD positions of both president and vice president. As Boardmember John Day was not present at last night's meeting, as he is recovering from a scheduled surgery (and doing well, per McDonald), votes for a new vice president resulted in a tie, so the decision will be held until CSD's next regular meeting, scheduled for January 7. Appointments were made to committees, though, as dictated by Ollila, who appointed himself and Day to three of six committees, including BBARWA, Water and Sewer, and Parks and Recreation. Jeff Newsome and McDonald were appointed to the Administrative Committee, as well as Fire/Safety JPA and Street Lighting. Ollila also named Newsome to the Solid Waste Committee with Bob Colven, who expressed his disappointment in that he was only named to one committee. Newsome agreed, telling Ollila, “Limiting him to Solid Waste is not a good use of his talents,” and suggested that Colven be included on the BBARWA committee. Ollila said that he had thought long and hard about his choices, and stands behind his committee appointments. Newsome replied, “BBARWA really is the plum assignment. I think future presidents should remove themselves from the BBARWA committee.” In his closing comments on the aforementioned decisions, Colven implored the Park and Recreation Committee to live up to their obligation to the community, by signing the MOU with the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District for the Bear City Park sooner rather than later.

Be Fire Safe This Holiday Season; Water Your Christmas Tree Every Day

The San Bernardino County Fire Department offers some holiday decoration safety tips, to ensure that you have a safe holiday season. Though your Christmas tree may be up already, be sure that electrical cords for strings of lights and decorations are not frayed or damaged and, if they are, they should be thrown away. Mini-lights produce less heat and reduce drying on a natural tree. An average natural tree can consume up to a gallon of water a day, so County Fire recommends watering your Christmas tree daily. If the water level drops below the cut end of the trunk, a seal will form and no more water will be absorbed. If you haven't already done so, be sure that your tree is away from all heat sources, such as heating vents, fireplaces, TVs or sunny windows. When you're done with your tree, remove from the house and never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace because, fire officials note, it burns too fast and is explosive.

Two Earthquakes Centered Outside Big Bear City Last Night -- Updated
We had two earthquakes in the Valley last night, both centered three to four miles north of Big Bear City. The first tremor rolled through at 10:35pm, and registered a 2.1 magnitude at a depth of five kilometers. The second quake was at 10:46pm, and was of a 1.3 magnitude at a depth of six kilometers. And, this morning, we had another earthquake, also centered just north of Big Bear City at 10:33am. This one registered a 1.5 magnitude at a depth of nine kilometers. Another update: This afternoon at 2:17pm, there was an earthquake of a 1.4 magnitude, also reaching a depth of nine kilometers, and centered five miles north of Big Bear City.

Finals Underway at BBHS; Winter Break for Students Begins on Friday
Students at Big Bear High School will begin their first of three days of finals today. Winter Break for students of the Bear Valley Unified School District begins on Friday, December 21 and will continue through Friday, January 11. School will then resume on Monday, January 14th.

County Supervisors Continue Local Emergency Related to Fire, Which Has Already Cost Over $219 Million
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will meet in regular session at 10am this morning, in the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. The Consent Calendar includes two items related to the continuation of the Local Emergency Related to Fire and Wind, as originally proclaimed on October 22, when five fires were burning in San Bernardino County, those being the Walker, Spring, Cajon, Slide and Grass Valley Fires. The County estimates total cost for these fires--including fire suppression, protective measures, property damage, and debris removal--is an estimated $219,600,000 as of December 10. In another item during the meeting, County Supervisors will authorize the Human Resources Division Manager for Special Districts to adjust salaries of those employees of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District who make less than $8 per hour, which will be the new minimum wage in California as of January 1, 2008. Currently, there are 19 extra help employees employed by the Valley's Rec and Park District who make less than the new minimum wage.

December 17, 2007




Friends of the Moonridge Zoo Hoping for 2008 Groundbreaking on New Zoo on the North Shore

At last week's meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake, Bill Treadwell made a presentation on behalf of Friends of the Moonridge Zoo and the zoo relocation project. The current Moonridge Animal Park, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2008, was accredited with the Zoological Association of America this year and is the only park in the United States that specializes in alpine wildlife. Treadwell notes that the approximately 160 animals from 80 different species are currently held within 2½ acres but, in their new location on the North Shore adjacent to the Discovery Center, will have 15 acres of Forestry Service land. This 15 acres will include space for animals, facilities and walkways, as well as special design features highlighting Big Bear's history, including the Gold Rush era, native Serrano Indians, and the Valley in the '20s and '30s—and, beyond that acreage, additional acres designated for parking and a fire break around the animal park. The park, designed by St. Louis company PGAV (the design firm responsible for the Georgia Aquarium and most Busch Gardens parks), will also be an ecologically sustainable green park. Treadwell noted, “We want to build into the forest, not on the forest.” Pending the outcome of an Environmental Impact Statement, which should be complete this month or next, Friends of the Moonridge Zoo are hoping for U.S. Forest Service permit approval in May, following public review and approval. Those behind the project are optimistic about a late summer 2008 groundbreaking on the roughly $18-20 million destination park. San Bernardino County is holding $7 million in county, state and federal funds for the zoo and, per Treadwell, Friends of the Moonridge Zoo are hoping that Assemblyman Paul Cook can foster access to Proposition 48 funds. To-date expenses have been covered by Friends of the Moonridge Zoo and a county grant.

Free Food Distribution Program at New Location Today; Regular Schedule Resumes in January
The San Bernardino County Free Food Distribution Program, which generally happens on the fourth Monday of the month, is underway this afternoon at the Lions Club meeting room off Greenway Drive, next to the Historical Museum, in Big Bear City. The food distribution program, sponsored by the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District and administered by Big Bear Lake's AARP group, continues until 2pm today. As of next month, the program will resume on the 4th Monday of the month at the Big Bear Senior Center. For more information, please contact Howard Langford at 585-5174.

U.S. Forest Service Continues Pile Burns, Reveals Ignition Source of Butler #2 Fire

In news from the U.S. Forest Service, hazardous fuels pile burns continue under the Healthy Forest Initiative. Smoke may be visible while these prescribed fires burn and, we're told, this smoke can be seen from Snow Valley and Arctic Circle this afternoon. John Miller with the U.S. Forest Service tells us today, “Projects such as this kept the Grass Valley Fire from spreading to Crestline and Twin Peaks, so we know that it has been effective.” And, as Forest Service Fire Chief Mike Dietrich noted last week, “It is important to get this work accomplished while we have favorable weather.” In other news from the Forest Service, if you didn't catch Friday's news, it has been confirmed for us that the Butler #2 Fire, which began September 14 and burned 14,039 acres, was indeed the result of the Butler Fire, which was sparked by lightning on Labor Day weekend. Miller tells KBHR, “The law enforcement investigation determined that the source of ignition of the Butler #2 Fire was the original fire. Unexpected high winds on September 13 and 14 fanned an undetected hot spot into flames and pushed the fire across the fire line.” For more detailed information on the Butler #2 Fire, and additional details regarding the investigation, you can click on the Butler #2 Fire Archive link at the top of this page.

CSD Board to Recognize Retirees Van Leuven and Oxandaboure During This Evening's Meeting
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District will hold their final regular meeting of the year, this evening at 5:30pm. During presentation items, two CSD employees will be recognized for their service, as both will be retiring as of December 28. Karen Oxandaboure, CSD's Administrative Services Manager, is retiring after 22 years with the district. Big Bear City Fire Chief Dana Van Leuven, who began his career as a paid-call firefighter with the department, is retiring after a 26-year run, and will be succeeded by current Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Willis. The salary and benefits range for the Fire Chief will be among those items addressed on the Consent Calendar during this evening's meeting, to be held at the CSD offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

Hummingbird Project Offering Winter Break Activities Scholarships and School Supplies
The Hummingbird Project is now accepting applications for their Winter Break Activities Tuition Program. Families with low to moderate incomes, whose children attend school within the Bear Valley Unified School District, are eligible to apply. Winter break activities tuition scholarships will be awarded to families on a first come, first served basis, and can be applied to selected programs offered by the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District. The Hummingbird Project will also be distributing school supplies to families in need during the final week of the school district's winter break. For more information, please stop by the Hummingbird Project's new thrift store, located at 400 West Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City, or call them at 584-8642.

December 14, 2007

Fawnskin and Big Bear City Post Offices Host Passport Day at Fawnskin P.O. Tomorrow

The Fawnskin and Big Bear City Post Offices are hosting their passport day at the Fawnskin Post Office tomorrow, from 10am to 2pm. To obtain a new passport, be sure to bring the following documentation with you: birth certificate or previous passport or naturalization papers, photo I.D. and check or cash. The fee for a U.S. passport is $67 and $30 to the post office for the application fee and, if you need a photo, an additional $15. Children under age 14 must have both parents present in order to get a passport. For more information on Saturday's passport day at the Fawnskin Post Office, located at 39132 North Shore Drive, please contact Postmaster Cynthia Crane at 866-3245.

Given Weather, Some Fire Restrictions Lifted Within San Bernardino National Forest

Weather conditions in recent weeks have prompted officials with the San Bernardino National Forest to lessen fire restrictions. This change once again allows for open campfires and charcoal fires in developed sites and at yellow post sites. Camping stoves and lanterns are also allowed with a valid California campfire permit. Recreational target shooting is also allowed once again, though only at designated sites--specifics can be accessed on the website of the San Bernardino National Forest at www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino. Deputy Forest Supervisor Max Copenhagen says, “Fire restrictions have been effective in reducing the number of human-caused fires over the last few months. I want to thank the public for complying with the restrictions and being careful during our peak fire season.”

Bear Mountain Resort Unveils Seth Huot's Custom Jib, Hosts Peanut Butter and Rail Jam Saturday
Bear Mountain Resort has something special in store for snowboarders this Saturday. The second of four jibs, custom designed by members of Big Bear Mountain Resorts professional riding team, will be unveiled tomorrow. Last weekend, Simon Chamberlain was at Bear for the debut of his custom-designed boxes and rails, and tomorrow at 9:50am Seth Huot will be on hand for the unveiling of his custom jib. After the debut, Bear Mountain hosts the Volcom Stone's Peanut Butter and Rail Jam, which is an amateur snowboarding contest. There are two age divisions--16 and under and 17 and over—in the competition, which is free to participants and offers free food and prizes. Registration for the Peanut Butter and Rail Jam begins in the Board Room at Bear Mountain at 8am, and is offered on a first-come, first served basis.


The Butler #2 Fire, as of September 15, looking west toward Big Bear Lake.

KBHR Exclusive: The Butler #2 Fire Was The Result of The Original Butler Fire

We've been asking questions for months and, today, we have our answer on the Butler #2 Fire, which started three months ago today on September 14 and burned 14,039 acres in areas west and north of the community of Fawnskin. The U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that the Butler #2 Fire, which was labeled the number one priority wildland fire in the nation, was indeed the result of the original Butler Fire, which began on Labor Day weekend. In a statement from John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service, he tells KBHR, “We have performed an exhaustive law enforcement investigation to determine the cause, and a follow-up administrative review of actions and activities on the original Butler Fire, to ensure policies and practices were appropriate to the situation. The law enforcement investigation determined that the source of ignition of the Butler #2 Fire was the original fire. Unexpected high winds on September 13 and 14 fanned an undetected hot spot into flames and pushed the fire across the fire line.” Miller adds that, with regard to the original Butler Fire, which burned 85 acres after being sparked by lightning, “We examined the incident action plan, the mop-up standards, rehabilitation standards and transition planning, and concluded that directives and standards met the prudent person test.” For more background information on the Butler #2 Fire, which cost an estimated $13 to 15 million in fire suppression efforts, you can log on to our Butler #2 Fire Archive using the above link.

MWD Advises: Do Not Go Out on the Lake Ice; Hypothermia Is a Real Threat
The Big Bear Municipal Water District, the agency that oversees Big Bear Lake, wants to be sure you know the dangers of venturing out on to the lake ice, which is never a good idea. During winter months, ice begins to form around the edges and back bays of Big Bear Lake and, eventually, the lake's entire surface may freeze over. However, due to the Valley's fluctuating temperatures, the lake ice never gets thick enough or strong enough to safely support those who walk on it. The MWD notes that it is unpredictable at best and, if you were to fall through, hypothermia is a real threat. Lake Operations Supervisor Travis Carroll tells us that the water temperature in Big Bear Lake has been in the 30s this week, so please don't jeopardize your safety, or that or rescue personnel, by going out on to the lake ice. If you see people or their pets doing so, please advise them of the dangers and call 911 in the case of emergency.

U.S. Forest Service Resumes Eagle Counts in Big Bear, Starting Tomorrow Morning
The San Bernardino mountains support the largest wintering bald eagle population in Southern California. Eagles typically arrive in our area in late November and stay through early April. The U.S. Forest Service has organized monthly winter counts since 1978, and eagles in the Big Bear basin have numbered from 10 to 40 over the past 22 years. This year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service down-listed bald eagles from endangered status to threatened status, though eagle counts will continue. The first of these to be conducted this season in Big Bear will commence tomorrow morning, with subsequent counts scheduled for January 12, February 9 and March 8. Those who wish to participate in Saturday's one-hour eagle count can join the U.S. Forest Service at the Big Bear Discovery Center on the North Shore at 8am. Volunteers need not have experience, but are asked to bring binoculars and a watch, and dress warmly. If you need more information on tomorrow's eagle count, please call Wildlife Biologist Mark Stamer at the Big Bear Ranger Station at 382-2828.

December 13, 2007


Coach Mickey Hall and the Big Bear High School Boys Cross Country Team were honored
by the City Council of Big Bear Lake at Monday evening's meeting, in recognition of the
team's second consecutive CIF State Championship Title. Hall (left, in red) noted, "What
really makes a great cross country team is great kids. I've been blessed to have a great
assistant coach in Diane Kendall and great kids from great families . . . who run fast."

Smoke May Be Visible Today as Forest Service Resumes Hazardous Fuels Pile Burns

Given the favorable change in the weather, at least inasmuch as fire season is concerned, the U.S. Forest Service will resume pile burning activities on hazardous fuels reduction projects within the forest, and some of those pile burns will begin today. John Miller with the San Bernardino National Forest tells KBHR, “Smoke and flame will be visible from Highway 38, near Angelus Oaks, and smoke may be visible from Highways 18 and 330, and from Snow Valley.” And, adds Forest Service Fire Chief Mike Dietrich, “It is important to get this work accomplished while we have favorable weather.” These fuel management activities are conducted under the Healthy Forest Initiative, to increase protection of private property and communities adjacent to Forest Service lands. Deputy Fire Management Officer Rocky Opliger, who also served as Incident Commander during September's Butler #2 Fire, assures, “Firefighters will be monitoring weather and burning conditions closely as they work to reduce fuels by implementing prescribed fire. This is an ongoing fuels management program that continues to benefit the forest and its users.”

Thank You for Your Mountain Aid Project Contributions; Pledges Can Be Turned In to The Bowling Barn
The Bowling Barn and those behind the Mountain Aid Project want to thank everyone who participated in this month's Bowl-a-Thon to benefit those directly affected by October's Slide and Grass Valley Fires. The event organizers note that those with outstanding pledge donations can bring those to the Bowling Barn, or call E.T. Russell at 800-250-5965 to make arrangements. One hundred percent of the money collected to date—which, so far, is about $24,000—has been given to the Mountain Aid Project Fund. This money will be distributed by Rebuilding Mountain Hearts and Lives, and will benefit those who need immediate assistance, such as shelter, groceries, jobs, clothing, medication and special needs. The local folks behind Mountain Aid Project, the non-profit organization of “neighbors helping neighbors”, extend many thanks to those who have made this community effort such a success.

Seventeen Lifts Open at Local Ski Resorts, More to Open By Weekend

Big Bear Mountain Resorts tells us that they have 17 lifts open at the two resorts today, with the expectation of more lifts and runs to be opened tomorrow, in time for the weekend. For detailed snow conditions at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, you can always tune in to our morning Ski and Board Report with Thad Epting, which airs on KBHR each morning at 8:45 and 9:45am.

DWP Board Will Consider Connection Limitation Exemptions On a Case-by-Case Basis
At this week's meeting of the Department of Water and Power, the Board of Commissioners addressed the possibility of exemptions to water meter connection limitations. Currently, the DWP has a maximum of 160 new connections sold each year within their service area and, per acting General Manager Bill LaHaye, this is reviewed twice each year by the Technical Review Committee for possible changes. At the December 11 meeting, the Board decided it would consider exemptions for projects that can provide DWP with significant water resources to which the agency does not currently have access—an example of this would be access to water in a hydrologic sub-basin that would otherwise be inaccessible to the DWP. The agency's Board of Commissioners, under the direction of Chairwoman Barbara Willey, instructed staff to look into each project's specifics and potential benefits, and the Board will then consider a connection limitation exemption for projects on a case-by-case basis.
In other news from the DWP meeting, Willey has spoken to several recruiting firms with regard to the hiring of a new general manager for the DWP. Of these agencies, the field has been narrowed to one, though no contract is in place yet.

American Legion Hosts Holiday Party for All Valley Children on Saturday
The Big Bear American Legion Post 584 will host their annual Holiday Party for all children in the Valley, ages 2 to 12, on Saturday, December 15. The party will be held from 11am to 1pm at the Big Bear Convention Center, at Big Bear Boulevard and Division. Hot dogs will be served during the party, and each child who attends will receive a stocking full of goodies, as well as the opportunity to visit with Santa Claus. Drawings will also be held during the party, with other gifts being distributed according to age. The American Legion asks that each child in attendance be accompanied by an adult. Those with questions regarding Saturday's Holiday Party for Big Bear children should call Lenore Dooty at 584-8992.

Sheriff's Station Notes That Applebee's Email Chain Is Fraudulent
If you are among those who have received an email chain message promising Applebee's gift certificates for forwarding the message, know that this is not legitimate. The email message promises a gift certificate and confirmation number after forwarding the message to a specific number of email addresses. The Big Bear Sheriff's Station tells us that Applebee's International, Inc. does not sponsor or endorse this activity and is unable to fulfill these requests.

December 12, 2007

Friends of the Library to Host December 19 Reception to Welcome International Students

The Big Bear Library will be hosting a reception for the international students who will be spending the winter in the Valley to work at Big Bear Mountain Resorts. Each year, approximately 200 students from Central and South America spend the ski season, during their summer break from school, to work at the resorts, earn money for college, and enjoy the opportunity to live in Southern California. The Friends of the Big Bear Library will welcome these students on Wednesday, December 19 with a two-hour reception, starting at 6pm. During the welcome to our community, members of the Big Bear Library will give the students information on library services, including English language instruction and Internet access. The Friends of the Library invite other community groups to participate, by providing brochures and giveaways that would be of interest to our foreign guests, who will be served pizza, sodas, vegetables and cookies during the reception. For more information on next Wednesday's reception, or how your group can get involved, please call Pamela Heiman at the library at 866-5571.

Lake Operations Supervisor Notes That Public Launch Ramps Are Closed, Though Boating Is Allowed

After 10 years serving on Lake Patrol, Travis Carroll, a 1990 Big Bear High School graduate, was promoted to the Big Bear Municipal Water District's Lake Operations Supervisor earlier this year. In this capacity, Carroll oversees the Lake Patrol staff of five seasonal employees, as well as the public launch ramps on the North Shore. The two public launch ramps operated by MWD are closed for the season, as of December 1, and will re-open in April, per an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service. The reason for the closure is to allow for an unhampered eagle habitat to accommodate the roughly 10 to 40 bald eagles that spend their winter in Big Bear. And though the public launch ramps are closed, Carroll tells KBHR, “You can boat year round, as long as there is no ice out there.” Lake Patrol does not patrol Big Bear Lake during the winter season, though they do keep one boat on the lake in case of emergency. The current lake level is up about one foot, given this month's rain and snow, and Carroll notes, water temperature in Big Bear Lake is just 38 degrees.

Families Can Call The Rotary Club to Arrange a Home Visit from Santa Claus
The Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake continues their annual Santa visit program this year, and parents and grandparents are encouraged to call Rotary to schedule a home visit from Santa Claus. Last year, more than 600 children in the Valley were visited, and each child received a large stocking stuffed with goodies. This year, Santa will be in Big Bear on December 20th, 21st and 22nd and you can contact the Rotary Club to arrange for a special visit to your family. To make a reservation, please call Santa's helpers at All Protection Alarm at 866-3496, the Little Green House Florist at 866-5352 or Big Bear Pharmacy at 866-2112.

Big Bear Lake's City Council Members Hold Three Elections, Opt to Share Responsibility

At the meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake on Monday evening, the annual reorganization of the council took place. Rick Herrick was unanimously voted in as the Mayor of Big Bear Lake, following a nomination from then-Mayor Bill Jahn. Jahn was named the Council's Mayor Pro Tem, following a nomination from Herrick. Traditionally, the mayor has also served as chairman of the Fire Protection District, though councilmember Michael Karp suggested that council break with tradition in order “to share the time and responsibility.” Karp was ultimately named Fire Protection District Chairman, and Jahn was named Vice Chair. In the final of three elections, the council, which also includes Liz Harris and Darrell Mulvihill, a chair and vice chair were elected to oversee the Big Bear Lake Improvement Agency which, under the direction of the City's new Redevelopment Director Lyle Haynes, will target specific community improvements in Big Bear Lake and Moonridge. Harris, who had declined a nomination to serve as vice chair of the Fire Protection District, was happy to accept the position of Improvement Agency Chairwoman, and Herrick will serve as Vice Chair.

Lighthouse Project Will Meet at 7pm This Evening
The Lighthouse Project, the non-profit group whose focus is to create a child-honoring community, will hold their final meeting of the year this evening. The 7pm meeting, to be held at the Knickerbocker Mansion, will include a planning session for the Lighthouse Project's Vision 2008 Community Summit, to be held at the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center on February 27th .

All Roads Are Open Without Restrictions, But It Is Cold Out There
All roads in and out of the Big Bear Valley are open, and there are no chain restrictions in place for our area this morning. Still, with the cold, given that it is currently 11 degrees here in Big Bear City in the 9am hour, drive with caution as roads can be icy, especially in shaded areas.

December 11, 2007




Bob Butcher to Be Celebrated in Memorial Service on Saturday Morning
Bob Butcher, a Big Bear resident for over 50 years, passed away at St. Bernardine's in San Bernardino at 4am this morning. Butcher, who has owned and operated Butcher's Block and Building Materials with wife Theela for 28 years, had also been an active member of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce and Dawnbusters Rotary. Butcher will be celebrated by his family, which also includes children Amy and Glenn, in services to be held at Calvary Chapel in the Village at 11am on Saturday, December 15. The Butcher family invites the community to join them in Saturday's service to honor Bob.

Special Season Passes Available to Local Students; Proceeds Benefit Snow Summit Race Team

Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resorts have benefited from over a foot of snow—and as much as a foot and a half of snow at the top of each resort--in the last week, and have still continued snowmaking operations, making for excellent coverage on open runs. If you have a child who is anxious to hit the slopes to ski or ride, the Snow Summit Race Team is offering a special deal on season passes, good at both Big Bear Mountain Resorts. Students age 17 and under who live in the Big Bear Valley are eligible for a FastPass season pass, which is good Sunday through Friday (excluding some holiday periods) and during all night sessions. These special season passes are available through the Snow Summit Race Team at a cost of $175 for teenagers and $125 for students 12 and under, and Big Bear Mountain Resorts will contribute a substantial portion of the proceeds to the non-profit race team. To get a local student pass, you can pick up an application form at Alpine Sports Center, Goldsmith's Board House, the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District offices, or any BVUSD school office. For more information on this FastPass deal, please call Barbara Boucher at 866-6099.

Garden Club Completes Project at Discovery Center, Plans Trip to Monet's Garden in Giverny
The “A” Garden Club of Big Bear Valley—named “A” because they're the first, if not only, garden club of Big Bear since 1991—wrapped their gardening season with two projects at the Discovery Center. Using $500 from the Jubilee Grant from the California Garden Clubs, Inc., the group spent a total of $1786 to add native plants at the DC, as well as installing a fence, birdhouse and plant identification markers. The “A” Garden Club's President Trudy Brown says of their group of about 60 members, “We're a dirt-under-the-fingernails garden club. We do our own digging and everything.” Though the group is now in their off-season until their May luncheon and subsequent second-Monday-of the-month meetings at the Discovery Center, garden tours and workshops into October, they do have a group trip planned in March. The “A” Garden Club will be taking a 10-day trip to France and Holland to see gardens, including Monet's garden in Giverny, though you don't have to be a member of the club to join them on the adventure. For more information on the trip or the “A” Garden Club of Big Bear Valley, you can leave a message for Trudy at 585-1999.

DeAnza League Honors BBHS Volleyball Players, Names Bears' Antonia Antes League MVP

The Big Bear High School Girls Varsity Volleyball Team wrapped up their league championship season with an overall record of 19-7 and a trip to the CIF Quarterfinals, after winning in Rounds 1 and 2 of CIF Playoffs. Following their victorious season, some of the Lady Bears were honored by the DeAnza League. Mary Kate Rodgers received Honorable Mention from the league; Katherine Smith and Lauren Schour were named to 2nd Team; Allix Miller and Angela Miranda received 1st Team DeAnza League honors; and, in exciting news for the Bears, the League's Most Valuable Player is Big Bear High School's Antonia Antes.

Big Bear City's Sandy Teutschman Scores a Snow Thrower in the KBHR Snowfall Sweepstakes
We did receive 9.3 inches of snow here at the KBHR studios on Sunday morning, so we have our winners in the annual KBHR Snowfall Sweepstakes. The 9.3 inches of snow accumulated here at the KBHR studios in Big Bear City at 10am on December 9, and the closest guess was off by just 30 minutes. That guess, of 9:30am, was made by Sandy Teutschman of Big Bear City, who wins a 9.5 horsepower snow thrower from Big Bear City Saw Works. Second place, with a guess of noon, goes to Fred Goldsmith, who has won an adult season ski pass from Big Bear Mountain Resorts. And, just three hours off with his guess of 7am, is Hector Pedrosa, our third place winner in the Snowfall Sweepstakes, who will receive a full cord of firewood from the A.J. Acosta Firewood and Tree Service Company. Thank you, KBHR listeners, for playing along and making your best guess in the Snowfall Sweepstakes.

More Snow This Morning; All Roads to Big Bear Are Open, R-2 on Highway 38
-- Updated
We did get some snow throughout the Valley, at least an inch or two, this morning in the 6am hour. All roads in and out of the Big Bear Valley remain open, though CalTrans has implemented R-2 restrictions on Highway 38. If taking 38, between Stanfield Cutoff and Onyx Summit, R-2 driving conditions are in place, meaning you must have chains on your vehicle, unless you are driving a four-wheel drive with snow tires on all four wheels. Update as of 11am: R-2 chain restrictions lifted, except for Onyx Summit. You will still need chains, if not in a four-wheel drive with snow tires, if taking this portion of Highway 38. The sun is out, and all roads remain open! Update as of 11:45am: All chain restrictions lifted.


Assemblyman Paul Cook and Mayor Bill Jahn

Assemblyman Cook Attends Big Bear Lake City Council Meeting; Rick Herrick Named New Mayor

Prior to last night's meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake, Assemblyman Paul Cook joined Council for dinner to discuss issues pertaining to our community, including the dam bridge replacement, Highway 18, the Moonridge Animal Park relocation and potential for fire in our wildland/urban interface. During a presentation to Assemblyman Cook by outgoing Mayor Bill Jahn during the meeting, Cook commented, “This is what it's all about. It's about you telling me about your community and what your community needs.” Cook will continue his visit in the Valley today, and encourages all those with solutions and suggestions to call his office at 790-4196. Jahn also noted during the presentation that the Assemblyman and his staff are welcome to use City Hall for their monthly field office visits to Big Bear, which will begin in January. During the reorganization portion of last night's City Council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Herrick was unanimously voted in as Big Bear Lake's new Mayor.

County Supervisors Meet Today; Big Bear's Tanya Perry to Be Re-Appointed to Commission
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will meet in regular session at 10am this morning, in the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. This morning's meeting will address debris removal services for areas of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. As the fires created an emergency situation, the County will not wait on competitive solicitation of bids for contracts for the needed equipment, services and supplies for debris removal. The consent calendar includes an item that would approved contracts with Sukut Construction, for structural and vehicle debris removal services, and Vector Engineering, to provide construction management and contract compliance services to monitor the structural debris removal process and erosion control measures. Today's meeting of the County Board of Supervisors also includes the re-appointment of Tanya Perry of Big Bear to the County's Mental Health Commission, in a term that will run through January 2011. County Supervisors meetings are available for online viewing via this link: www.sbcounty.gov/sbco/cob.

December 10, 2007

BBHS Soccer Games to Be Played in Beaumont, Rather Than Big Bear Tomorrow

Big Bear High School Girls Soccer teams, both Varsity and JV, will play Beaumont tomorrow, though, due to our snow, those games will be played at the Beaumont Sports Park rather than in Big Bear. Game time remains 3pm for both games.

Department of Water and Power to Meet Tomorrow Morning, Rather Than December 25

The Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, December 11 at 8am, as their regularly scheduled 4th Tuesday of the month meeting falls on Christmas Day. Agendized items for tomorrow morning's meeting include the Capital Improvement Projects prioritization list and discussion with regard to recruitment of a new general manager. The DWP Board meets at their offices at 41972 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake.

BVUSD's School Board Meets This Evening, Holds Regular Meeting on Wednesday
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will convene at 6:15pm this evening for a Budget Workshop Meeting. The next regular meeting of the Board will be this Wednesday, December 12, also at 6:15pm. Both meetings of the BVUSD Board of Trustees will take place at the district offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake.

Assemblyman Paul Cook in Big Bear Today, Will Be Establishing a Monthly Mobile Office in the Valley

Assemblyman Paul Cook is in Big Bear today and, during a visit to the studios of KBHR this morning, tells us that he and staff are planning to establish a mobile office in the Big Bear Valley. Though the specifics are still being finalized, starting in January, field representatives from Assemblyman Cook's office will be here once each month at a regular and specific time, and will be available to those of us within the Assemblyman's 65th District. “People can just stop by,” Assemblyman Cook tells KBHR, “and I'll try to get appointments for me.” Cook notes that he has been touring the fire areas and he is concerned about fire issues and flooding, and any community members who have concerns are welcome to call his District Office in Yucaipa at 790-4196. Stay tuned to KBHR in the noon hour, as we will be airing a portion of our conversation with Assemblyman Cook.

City Council of Big Bear Lake Will Reorganize at This Evening's Meeting at Hofert Hall
Assemblyman Cook will also be present at this evening's meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake, which begins at 6:30pm in Hofert Hall. Tonight's City Council meeting will include a council reorganization. Currently, the council of five includes Mayor Bill Jahn, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Herrick and councilmembers Darrell Mulvihill, Liz Harris and Michael Karp.

This Weekend's Snowfall Exceeds December's Monthly Average

Friday morning's rain converted to snow, which continued on into Saturday and Sunday. The result is that we have received 8 to 12 inches of snow throughout the Big Bear Valley, which is right in line with the 6 to 12 inches predicted by KBHR's weather expert Ben Brissey. At the top of our resorts, we received about 1½ feet worth of snow. The average December snowfall is about 8 inches of snow, and already we are at roughly 10 inches for this month. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resort have continued snowmaking in the last 24 hours, and report a snow depth of 16 to 28 inches at both resorts.

Highways to Big Bear Open; R-2 Restrictions In Place for Valley Roads -- Updated
All roads to and from the Big Bear Valley are open, including Highways 18, 330 and 38. R-2 road restrictions remain in place, however. During R-2 conditions, all vehicles are required to have chains, unless you are driving a four-wheel drive vehicle with snow tires on all four wheels.
Update as of 11:30am: All roads in to Big Bear are open and, per CalTrans today, there are no longer any restrictions on Highway 18, down the front way, or Highway 330. There are R-2 restrictions on Highway 18, down the back way, to the Mitsubishi Plant, as well as R-2 conditions on Highway 38. Though the sun is out and road conditions are improving, R-2 restrictions do remain in place for portions of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City, per CalTrans. Though some R-2 controls were lifted at the west end of the Valley earlier this morning, many portions of the Valley still require adherence to R-2 restrictions, which means chains must be on your vehicle unless you have a four-wheel drive with snow tires.
As of this afternoon, CalTrans has lifted all chain restrictions to/from the Big Bear Valley.

Javier Fregoso Sworn In as Big Bear Lake Post Office's New Postmaster
The Big Bear Lake Post Office has a new postmaster. On Friday, Postmaster Javier Fregoso was sworn in by Linda Crawford, Senior Operations Manager with the U.S. Postal Service out of San Bernardino. The 13 employees of the Big Bear Lake Post Office celebrated their new postmaster with a cake following the swearing in ceremony. Fregoso has spent his entire 3½ year career with the U.S. Postal Service at the Big Bear Lake Post Office, and has been Officer in Charge since former Postmaster Michelle Wolfe left in March of 2006. Though Fregoso had been promoted this past April, he only received the postmaster title when sworn in on December 7. Postmaster Fregoso tells KBHR, “I am happy to be promoted, and look forward to working with the community.”

Rec and Park Advisory Commission to Do Walk-Through at The Ranch at 3:45pm -- Updated
The Advisory Commission of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will meet this afternoon at 3:45pm. The commission will first meet at The Ranch, recently acquired by the Park District and formerly known as the Tennis Ranch in Erwin Lake, for a walk-through of the property. The Advisory Commission's meeting will follow at 4pm, in the dining hall at The Ranch. Questions regarding today's walk-through can be addressed to the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District at 866-9700.
Update: Reese Troublefield of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District has let us know that today's walking tour of The Ranch will not happen at 3:45pm as originally planned, as there is much snow on the property. The workshop of the Advisory Commission of the Rec and Park District will continue as planned for 4pm today in the dining hall of The Ranch in Erwin Lake.

December 7, 2007


Snow and Santa are expected in Big Bear this weekend!
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the Village on both Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm.

Try a New Route To/From the Mountain, as Highway 18 Will Remain Closed Through Storm
-- Updated
Highway 18, from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley, is closed as of this morning, due to rock slides in the Arctic Circle area. Terri Kasinga of CalTrans tells KBHR, “Highway 18 is definitely going to stay closed for the duration of the storm.” The two other routes to and from the Big Bear Valley, Highway 18 through Lucerne Valley and Highway 38, are open. Those driving up the mountain can access Highway 38 by taking Interstate 10 to Orange Street, then go north to Lugonia Street and turn right. Lugonia turns into Highway 38 in Mentone and will bring you to Big Bear via Angelus Oaks. CalTrans officials note that other state highways within the Inland Empire are subject to closures through the current storm, so you can tune to KBHR at 93.3 FM for updated mountain road information. During the winter season, all motorists are advised to carry snow chains when traveling on mountain roads As of 2:15pm, R-2 chain restrictions are in place on Highway 330, from the upper passing lane, to Highway 18 at Snow Valley (though the road is closed at this point, which does not allow for access to Big Bear). R-2 conditions mean that chains are required on all vehicles, except four-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires. Four-wheel drive vehicles must carry chains. As of 5pm, R-2 restrictions have been added for the west end of Big Bear Valley.

Local Girl Hana Beaman Joins Bear Mountain's Professional Riding Team
Big Bear Mountain Resorts has announced that Transworld's Female Rider of the Year Hana Beaman has just joined their 2007-2008 professional riding team, which also includes snowboard veterans J.P. Walker, Seth Huot, Laurie Heiskari and Simon Chamberlain and up-and-comers Nima Jalali, Chris Bradshaw and Zak Hale. Twenty-five year old Beaman, who is a 2000 Big Bear High School graduate, says, “I learned to ride at Bear Mountain [and] it's a great feeling to come back home. Bear Mountain has a history of supporting and embracing snowboarders. They are always looking to what's new, and allow the team to experiment in a creative environment that I think will really help me grow as a rider.” Part of what's new at Bear Mountain includes a Simon Chamberlain custom-designed jib, which will be unveiled at The Scene on Saturday. Chamberlain will be on scene at The Scene, for the unveiling of his custom boxes and rails, and will be riding and signing autographs. Other members of Bear Mountain's professional riding team have also designed custom jibs, and these will be opened later this season.

Planning Commission Approves December 22 Concert, Continues Acosta Item to December 19
At Wednesday's meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake, two of the three public hearing items were approved, including the request to construct three attached residential dwellings on the parcel at 651 Main Street, which is zoned Multiple Family Residential. The other approved item is to allow for a major special event, which will be held on Saturday, December 22 in the Village. The special event will be a free afternoon concert by the Wonderelles, who will present a rockin' Christmas revue including music from the '50s and '60s. The third of the public hearing items was with regard to the legal non-conforming status that allows the operation of the AJ Acosta Company for firewood processing and tree service at 42112 Big Bear Boulevard. Parties from both sides of the issue were heard and the Planning Commission is done taking testimony, and will continue this item at their meeting scheduled for December 19.

The Storm Is Here; Snow Starting to Fall in Some Areas of the Valley
-- Updated
We are receiving the precipitation we needed, and have already gotten over a third inch of rain (as of 9am) this morning, though that rain is turning to snow in some portions of the Valley. There are also strong wind gusts with today's storm; one gust reached as much as 56 miles per hour at 7:21 this morning. As of this afternoon, it is officially snowing in Big Bear! Recorded precipitation today, as of 3pm, is at .36 inches.

Highway 18, from Snow Valley to Big Bear Dam, Is Closed; Other Routes Open

Highway 18 is closed, from Snow Valley to the Big Bear Dam, as of this morning, due to rock slides in the Arctic Circle area. Highway 38 was closed this morning due to a tree down in the roadway, about six miles up the highway from Angelus Oaks, but CalTrans has quickly cleared that tree from the roadway, and 38 has been re-opened. So, Highway 18 is closed from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley. Highway 38 is open, and Highway 18 through Lucerne Valley is open, so you can use both of these routes to and from the Big Bear Valley. There are no chain restrictions yet in place on either of these highways (as of 3pm), though all those traveling in the mountains during the winter season are advised to carry chains.

Big Bear Mountain Resorts Closed, Will Re-Open Saturday -- Updated
Both Big Bear Mountain Resorts are closed today and, the latest update, will remain closed. Both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit expect to be open for skiing and riding tomorrow, Saturday. Think snow!

Crews on Scene in Burn Areas to Ready for Flooding, and Respond If Needed
The Burned Area Emergency Response Team of the San Bernardino National Forest and the County of San Bernardino's Public Works Department and Flood Control District have been readying for the storm. In recent days, crews have been installing sandbag diversions, cleaning storm drains of debris, and installing temporary concrete barriers to protect roads and homes within the 40 square miles of burn area resulting from the Slide, Grass Valley and Butler #2 Fires. John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that given the aforementioned teams and crews from CalTrans, “There are roughly 100 personnel assigned to this weather event in the San Bernardino mountains, so in case there is severe flooding, this work force will be there to respond to the incident. Crews will be on patrol during the storms, while also checking and cleaning drains, and will also be able to respond immediately.” San Bernardino National Forest Fire Chief Mike Dietrich assures, “Protecting lives and property during this storm event is our top priority.”

Sandbags Available to Those in Fawnskin Area
Those in the Fawnskin are who need sandbags to avoid potential flooding, may pick those up at any of our three fire stations. Please note, however, that these no-cost sandbags are intended for flooding issues only.

December 6, 2007


The calm before the storm: Big Bear Lake as of Wednesday afternoon.

CalTrans Suggests Alternate Routes to Big Bear, Should Highway 18 Be Closed Due to Severe Weather

In anticipation of this week's predicted storm, CalTrans is advising motorists that Highway 18, up the front way, may be closed if severe weather results in mudslides and falling rocks on Arctic Circle. When and if Highway 18 is closed, this closure will likely be from Snow Valley to the Big Bear Dam. If you are planning a trip on or off the mountain, CalTrans suggests planning to take Highway 18, down the back way, through Lucerne Valley or Highway 38. Those driving up the mountain can access Highway 38 by taking Interstate 10 to Orange Street, then go north to Lugonia Street and turn right, and Lugonia turns into Highway 38 and will bring you to Big Bear via Angelus Oaks. CalTrans officials note that other state highways within the Inland Empire are subject to closures into the weekend, so you can stay tuned to KBHR 93.3 FM for updated road information. During the winter season, all motorists are advised to carry snow chains when traveling on mountain roads.

Ten Bears Awarded DeAnza League Football Honors

The Big Bear High School Bears Varsity Football Team made it all the way to Round 2 in CIF Playoffs and ended their season with an 8-3 record. And though these accomplishments were a team effort, some players were singled out for honors within the DeAnza League. Those who were recognized for league honors include Kriss Proctor for Honorable Mention; Vince Bauer, Tory Brydges, Willy Kelsey and Sutton Burnard to 2nd Team DeAnza League; Kevin McCutcheon, Max Dobis, Chris Amburgey and Mike Aspiotes named to 1st Team; and Defensive Most Valuable League Player honors to the Bears' Jesse Ceron.

Kiwanis Conducts Final Interviews for Gifts 4 Kids Program This Sunday
This weekend will be the last of the opportunities for families to interview for the Kiwanis Gifts 4 Kids program. If you or a family you know could benefit from the program, which offers toys and gift certificates for shoes and clothes to low-income families with children, the Kiwanis Club invites parents and guardians to visit them at the Masonic Lodge on Summit Boulevard in Big Bear Lake this Sunday, December 9, from 2 to 5pm. No appointment is necessary for the interview, which is the last opportunity prior to the distribution of Gifts 4 Kids on December 15. The Kiwanis Club of Big Bear Valley is also selling Christmas trees in the Interlaken Center, and all proceeds will go toward the club's projects, which include BBHS graduate scholarships, Mountain Fun Day, Medic Alert programs for seniors and the Gifts 4 Kids program.

Big Bear High School Hosts Financial Aid Night at 6:30pm

This evening, Big Bear High School juniors and seniors and their parents are invited to an informational Financial Aid Night in the BBHS Media Center. The 6:30pm meeting will provide families information on how to finance post-high school education.

The U. S. Postal Service Recommends Sending Your Holiday Packages Sooner Rather Than Later
The U.S. Postal Service anticipates delivery of 20 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, so you are encouraged to send your items sooner than later to be assured of delivery in time for the holiday. The postal service advises mailing packages earlier in the day, so your mail is sorted and on its way quickly. When sending packages, be sure to print addresses clearly and, the postal service suggests, in all caps. Include all elements of the address including directional information for streets; include to and from info on the package, and only on one side with no extra writing; and never guess a zip code. It is better to send something with no zip rather than the incorrect one, but you can call 1-800-ASK-USPS or log on to www.usps.com to get correct zip code information. If you're mailing cards to overseas military personnel with APO/FPO zip codes, those should be sent by December 11 to ensure delivery prior to Christmas.

Minimum Day for BBMS and Elementaries Today; Winter Break Begins December 21

Today is a minimum day for students of Big Bear Middle School and the four elementary schools within the Bear Valley Unified School District. All students within the district will begin their winter break on Friday, December 21, and will have three weeks off before returning to school on Monday, January 14.

Municipal Water District Board to Meet at 1pm This Afternoon

The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District will hold their regular meeting today at 1pm. The MWD Board meets at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.

December 5, 2007

Healthcare District Holds Human Resources Committee Meeting at 8am Tomorrow

The Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will hold a special Human Resources Committee Meeting tomorrow, Thursday, at 8am. Tomorrow morning's meeting will take place in the conference room of Bear Valley Community Hospital.

Chamber Hosts Power Breakfast Tomorrow Morning; Celebrates 60th Birthday on Tuesday Evening

Tomorrow is the first Thursday of the month, and that signals the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce Power Breakfast. Featured speakers at tomorrow's 7am breakfast are Ted and Heather Devito of Power My Health and Tracey Drabant, Energy Resource Manager of Bear Valley Electric. Coffee and networking begin at 6:45am at Northwoods Resort in the Village, and cost is $12 for Chamber members and $15 for guests. Tomorrow's Power Breakfast will include a ribbon ceremony to welcome new Chamber businesses Citibank, Cynthia Erdelyi Investigators, California Comedy Traffic School, Lyle Lyndquist of Realty Executives and Louis G. Weiner Photography. The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce will also be celebrating their 60th birthday with a Networking After Hours Event at the Best Western Big Bear Chateau on Tuesday, December 11 at 5pm. Cost for this event is $10, and will include appetizers, a free raffle and birthday cake.

Big Bear High School Students in Winter Concert at PAC This Evening

The Big Bear High School Performing Arts Department presents their Winter Concert at the Performing Arts Center in Big Bear Lake this evening. The 7:30pm performance will include the BBHS Concert Band, the Concert Choir, Jazz Band and selected soloists. Admission price to this evening's Winter Concert is just $5 and tickets are available through the PAC box office, after 1pm, at 866-4970, or at the door this evening.

Fawnskin Meeting on Flooding Issues; Flood Insurance Available Through Federal Government
As a precautionary measure, the County of San Bernardino Office of Emergency Services has issued some Flood Evacuation Dos and Don'ts. Here are some suggestions of what to do in the case of a flood evacuation: Do drive calmly with your headlights on, Do obey law enforcement if told to evacuate, Do keep your gas tank at least half full, Do lock your home and leave a note telling others when you left and where you're going. Now here is what not to do in the case of flooding: Don't use off-road shortcuts, Don't attempt to drive across creeks or flooded roads as just a foot of water can float many vehicles, Don't walk through moving water or allow children to play near it, and Don't stop to collect your belongings if officials indicate you should leave immediately. If you're concerned about flooding to your home or business, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services and FEMA note that only flood insurance protects against flood loss, and policies are available from the National Flood Insurance Program, which you can access at www.floodsmart.gov. (Please note that there is a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance coverage to begin. California property owners pay an average annual premium of $628 for NFIP insurance for $231,000 of flood insurance coverage.) Details on the potential flood threat to Fawnskin, given the Butler #2 burn areas, will be presented at this evening's community meeting at the Discovery Center, to be hosted by County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger and the San Bernardino County Department of Public Works and Flood Control District. This community meeting begins at 6:30pm.

Community Services District to Send Park Amenities Survey to East Valley Residents

In anticipation of the eventual Big Bear City Park, to be developed on Paradise Way by the Big Bear City Community Services District and the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, the CSD Board of Directors addressed means of getting community input on park amenities during their meeting this Monday, December 3. After considerable public input with regard to this, and the expenditures involved to do so, the Board opted to go with a mailed survey. New President Rick Ollila made the first motion to spend an estimated $4300 to mail a survey, to be returned on a postage-paid postcard, to CSD's water customers, as well as those in Sugarloaf with P.O. Boxes who are East Valley residents, though receive their water from the Department of Water and Power. Board member Jeff Newsome was concerned that this mailing list would not include all residents within CSD's jurisdiction, including those who receive their mail via general delivery. Ollila noted, “We're simply trying to get a wider opinion base than we have now, getting the most bang for our buck.” The proposed mailing to roughly 6,600 households was approved by Ollila, John Day and Marge McDonald and will go forward, despite the concerns of Newsome and Bob Colven. Those who do receive the park survey will be asked to prioritize their wish list of potential amenities from among the following: baseball field, soccer field, skateboard park, tennis court, volleyball court, basketball court, playground, picnic table area, BarBQs, dog park, equestrian trail, BMX park, nature interpretive trail and community pool.

Bear City Park Property to Be Addressed by Airport District Board at Today's Meeting
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Airport District will hold their regular meeting at 2pm today. During the meeting, a presentation will be made by the San Bernardino County Recreation and Parks, and Real Estate Services, with regard to the status of the former Bear City Park. The presentation will be followed by Board discussion and possible action. In new business, the reorganization of the Board of Directors is among agendized items. The Airport District meets in the Big Bear Airport Pilots Lounge in the Big Bear City Airport.

Big Bear Lake's Planning Commission Will Meet in Hofert Hall This Afternoon
The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold their meeting in Hofert Hall at 1:15pm today. One of three public hearing items will be with regard to a proposed winter concert in the Village on December 22.


Firefighters from the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, Big Bear City Fire Department and County Fire's
Fawnskin Station bowled to raise funds for those who lost their homes in the Slide and Grass Valley Fires,
during Sunday's Mountain Aid Project Bowl-a-Thon. Thank you, firefighters, for going above and beyond!
More photos from the Bowl-a-Thon are posted on www.bigbearnews.com.


December 4, 2007

Big Bear Lake Fire Department Hosts CPR Class This Saturday

The Big Bear Lake Fire Department will host a CPR class on Saturday, December 8. Firefighter paramedics will teach attendees how to perform one-rescuer adult, child, and infant CPR, as well as the basics of the automatic external defibrillator, or AED. This Saturday's class will be from 9am to 5pm at the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, at 41090 Big Bear Boulevard. Class size is limited so reserve your seat with a $30 per person fee, which must be paid prior to the class. Attendees will receive American Heart Association reference materials. Separate classes are also available for small groups. For more information on the CPR class, call the Big Bear Lake Fire Department at 866-7566.

Services for Dr. Leonard Holguin Scheduled for Friday Morning at St. Joseph's

Dr. Leonard Holguin, a longtime resident of the Valley and a former board member of the Big Bear City Community Services District and past president of Dawnbusters Rotary, passed away at his home on Sunday evening, December 2. A viewing is scheduled for Thursday from 5:30 to 7pm at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, with a funeral mass set for Friday, December 7 at 11am. A reception will follow at the church, on the North Shore.

CSD Board Elects Rick Ollila as President, McDonald Re-Elected as Vice President

At last night's meeting of the Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District, the Board of John Day, Bob Colven, Marge McDonald, Jeff Newsome and Rick Ollila elected a new president. Just as President John Day announced that the Election of Officers would commence, McDonald nominated Ollila for president, and Day seconded the motion and called for a vote, though Newsome had questioned whether another nomination could be introduced before the vote. That answer was no, and Ollila was named CSD's new president, having garnered the votes of Day, McDonald and himself. McDonald was re-elected to Vice President following a nomination by Ollila, a second by Day, and a yes vote from these two and herself. Following the votes, Ollila and Day traded seats and outgoing President Day noted, “Now Rick, the important thing is the employee suggestion box,” and handed him the keys. In the subsequent portion of the meeting, Colven read an anonymous suggestion from the box, which said, “Stop acting like children. The park makes sense. Do it.” During closing comments, McDonald noted that she had initially suggested the suggestion box and hoped that future ideas would provide “worthwhile reading” from CSD employees who would sign their name.

Fire Victims to Benefit from Bowl-a-Thon's $24,000 in Pledges, Slide Fire Benefit Jam on Saturday
The pledges and contributions continue to come in for the Mountain Aid Project Bowl-a-Thon, which included 24 teams, five bands, and a slew of raffle prizes donated by local businesses. As of this morning, $24,000 has been collected, to benefit those who lost their homes in the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. Two of those fire victims, a mother and daughter who lost their home in Running Springs, have since moved to Big Bear and even participated in the Bowl-a-Thon with the two teams from the Running Springs Chamber of Commerce. If you missed out on the two rounds of the Bowl-a-Thon on Sunday yet would still like to contribute to the effort, the Mountain Aid Project fund is set up at First Mountain Bank, and all donations will go directly to those in need, via the Blue Jay-based non-profit Rebuilding Mountain Hearts and Lives. This group will also distribute funds raised at this weekend's Slide Fire Benefit Jam, to be held from 10am to 8pm at Snow Valley Ski Resort on Saturday, December 8. At least 10 groups and entertainers will be performing, and admission is free to the event, which will also include a firefighter auction and an adopt-a-family-for-the-holidays registry. For more information on the Slide Fire Benefit Jam, please call 867-6333.

Despite Precipitation, Root Fires Continue to Burn in Areas of Slide and Grass Valley Fires

Though we did receive measurable precipitation in the form of rain on Friday and snow on Saturday, this was not enough to completely extinguish the root fires that continue to smolder in the burn areas of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. According to John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service, “We received an average of two inches of precipitation across the San Bernardino mountains, which gave us a soil penetration of four to six inches. To put that in perspective, we're having to dig down six feet on some root fires, because they're still burning.” Miller notes that on the roughly 40 square miles of burn area, including Butler #2, it will still take a substantial snowfall, or a series of rainstorms, so that the precipitation will penetrate deep into the soil. As for the cause of the fires—the Butler #2 which began on September 14 and the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, which began on October 22—Miller says the U.S. Forest Service has not yet released that information. But, he tells KBHR, “Investigators have a general sense of the point of origin for each of these three fires, but to release that information could possibly compromise the investigation.”

San Bernardino County Supervisors to Meet This Morning; You Can View The Meeting Online
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will meet in regular session at 10am this morning, in the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. At issue for Big Bear during this morning's meeting is a Consent Calendar item to establish a through highway on Pine Lane at its intersection with Alpinview Drive. Pine Lane runs parallel to Maple Lane and Highway 38 in Big Bear City and today's County Supervisor vote would also include a stop sign on Alpinview if the road extension is approved. County Supervisors meetings are available for online viewing via this link: www.sbcounty.gov/sbco/cob.

December 3, 2007

Homicide Investigators Seek Information in Saturday's Death of Local Woman

In a statement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department: On Saturday, December 1 at about 9:30am, the Big Bear Sheriff's Station received a call of a person down in the 41000 block of Big Bear Boulevard. Deputies responded and located a female who was deceased near a vehicle. Through investigation, Deputies from the Big Bear Station identified the female as Linda Huber, 55 years of age, from Big Bear. Deputies believed the incident was suspicious and were unable to determine a cause of death. The Big Bear Station requested the Specialized Investigations Division, Homicide Detail, respond and assist in the investigation. The Homicide Detail is conducting a death investigation and with the assistance of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Coroners Division, an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Anyone who may have information is asked to contact Detective Rick Bessinger or Sergeant Tony DeCecio of the Homicide Detail at 909/387-3589. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call WE TIP at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Icy Road Conditions Contribute to Death of Sugarloaf Woman on Highway 38 This Morning
This morning's accident on Highway 38 did result in a fatality, the 21st on our mountain roads this year. At approximately 7:34am, Jenifer Frances Moore, a 47-year-old resident of Sugarloaf, was a passenger in a gold Ford Explorer traveling westbound on Highway 38 in the Barton Flats area. The driver hit a section of ice, lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. Moore was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:44am. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.


Miss Big Bear Katie Bumstead (third from left) was the first to strike the pins in the Bowl-a-Thon,
coordinated by Billy Martin, E.T. Russell and Bowling Barn owner Bill Ross.
More photos will be posted on the Tuesday evening edition of www.BigBearNews.com.

Mountain Aid Project Bowl-a-Thon Raises Over $20,000 for Mountain Fire Victims

Yesterday's Mountain Aid Project Bowl-a-Thon, hosted by the Bowling Barn, featured 24 teams bowling to raise money for those who lost their homes in October's Slide and Grass Valley Fires in the communities of Running Springs, Green Valley Lake and Lake Arrowhead. According to Bill Ross and Billy Martin of the Bowling Barn, who coordinated the event with E.T. Russell, the community-wide event raised, so far, nearly $21,000, and pledge money continues to come in. The KBHR Radio team brought in over $5300, thanks to pledges from our listeners, and the Big Bear City Fire Department, which bowled in both the 2 and 5pm tournaments, brought in $2700 in their Fill the Boot Drive. Great job, Big Bear, in supporting our neighbors to the west!
The KBHR Team thanks those individuals and businesses who generously donated to the Mountain Aid Project on behalf of our bowling team: Kent and Lori Holmes, Kat Sawyer Insurance, Gloria Rose, Mama Bears Vitamins, Lisa Flora, Intermountain Insulation, Nottingham's Restaurant, Community Market, Unreal Furnishings, Sonora Cantina, Bear City Glass, Karen Wilkinson, Mike and Helaine Cross of Piano Man Productions, Martin Storage, David and Catherine, Helen and Linda, Vintage Peacock, the Olsen Family, Burback's Auto Electric and Rebuilding, Paul Carpenter, Wally Weber of Big Bear Parasail, Ark Books and Gifts, Big Bear Vacations, Rusty and Susie Barnes, Terry, Jackie and Steve of Mountain Motor Cars, Mandoline Bistro, Ben Brissey, Karen Coke, Big Bear Paint Center, Sam Enterprises, Greg and Cathy of Mill Creek Trading Company, Alpenglow, Big Bear Lake Medical Group, the Peppercorn Grill Restaurant, Gloria Meade, Bernie Krueger, Bear Valley Carpet Cleaning and several donors who wish to remain anonymous. Thank you!

Community Services District to Elect New President At This Evening's Meeting
Tonight's meeting of the Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District will include the election of officers for the coming year. John Day has been CSD's President and Marge McDonald has been Vice President on the board that also includes Rick Ollila, Bob Colven and Jeff Newsome. When asked by a member of the public at CSD's last meeting, on November 19, whether or not he enjoyed being President, Day responded, “Believe it or not, I have enjoyed it.” The CSD Board will convene for this evening's regular meeting at 5:30pm at their offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

DWP May Receive Federal Appropriations for Pipeline Replacement

Before Bill LaHaye, acting General Manager of the Department of Water and Power, attended last week's Fall 2007 Association of California Water Agencies Conference, the DWP Board of Commissioners and staff held a special meeting on Monday, November 26. The Board convened for the presentation made by DWP's lobbyist Hal Furman of the The Furman Group, who was in Big Bear Lake from Washington D.C. LaHaye tells KBHR that Furman is pursuing federal appropriations on behalf of DWP, and reported during his Power Point presentation that both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have thus far approved DWP's proposal. Per LaHaye, “This doesn't mean we have the money in our pocket, we're just moving forward and that is good news.” This round, he adds, DWP is hoping for three-quarters of a million dollars for pipeline replacement. Speaking of replacement, LaHaye tells us that the DWP will soon be flying the position of General Manager, from which Jerry Gruber resigned on November 12. LaHaye says, “I will probably be applying for it.”

Highway 38 Closed Due to Accident Involving Possible Fatality This Morning

Highway 38 is closed in both directions as of about 8:30am this morning. A CalTrans official tells us that there was a single vehicle rollover, and a possible fatality on Highway 38 in the vicinity of the South Fork Campground, south of Onyx Summit. CalTrans expects that the that the road will be re-opened in the 10 o'clock hour. All other highways into Big Bear Valley are open.

Valley's Power Went Out Last Night Due to Underground Cable Failure

The power went out, Valley-wide, at midnight, per Bear Valley Electric's Operations Manager Ken Markling. He tells us that customers in the Fawnskin area were without power for three hours and that other blocks of customers had their power restored prior to 3am. The cause of the power outage was due to an underground cable failure which, Markling notes, “was particularly difficult to find in the middle of the night.” Bear Valley Electric has since redirected power to bypass that cable, and will be at work today to restore it. As for downed signals, which may still be flashing along Big Bear Boulevard, those are operated by CalTrans and do revert to battery backup. An official at CalTrans tells us this morning that crews are at work to restore the traffic signals, if that has not yet already happened.

BBARWA Hosts Cannibal Solids Reduction Process Dedication at 1pm Today

The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency welcomes the public to view the most recent upgrade to the treatment plant, at 121 Palomino Drive in Big Bear City. Today at 1pm, BBARWA will host the Cannibal Solids Reduction Process Dedication. This new, cutting edge technology will reduce the volume of sludge produced during the treatment process by approximately 85%. With the current process, the plant would generate on average 5,800 tons per year over the next 20 years, which equates to 300 truckloads per year. The Cannibal process will reduce this amount to 700 tons per year, which equates to 40 truckloads per year over the next 20 years, thus reducing the amount of truck traffic on our mountain roads. Estimated savings of approximately $10 million over the next 20 years is anticipated by implementing this cutting edge technology. The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency is the largest of the three installations in California and one of twelve units in the United States.


Happy December! The snow falls on December 1st.

November 30, 2007



This photo from Green Valley Lake this week illustrates why we are doing the Bowl-a-Thon
on Sunday, to benefit those who lost their homes in October's Slide and Grass Valley Fires.
Thank you, Big Bear, for your generous pledges of support.


BBMS Students Had Their Hearing This Morning; Results Will Not Be Made Public

The two 12-year-old female students of Big Bear Middle School who were arrested earlier this week for charges of criminal threats and conspiracy did have their detention hearing this morning. However, in our conversation with an official in the office of the Juvenile District Attorney of San Bernardino County, the results of that hearing will not be made public due to confidentiality laws mandated by the state of California. The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District, still in attendance at the California School Boards Association Annual Education Conference in San Diego, will determine if the two students will be allowed to return to Big Bear Middle School.

Valley's Three New Sirens To Be Tested Saturday At Noon

You can expect to hear the short blast of sirens in the Valley tomorrow at noon. Big Bear's three new sirens, located at Big Bear Lake City Hall, the Big Bear City Fire Department and on the property of Baldwin Lane Elementary, will be tested on the first Saturday of each month. In the event of a real emergency, the community is asked to tune in to KBHR at 93.3 FM or Channel 6 for details, rather than placing a call to the fire departments or the Sheriff's station. This Saturday will be the first of the siren tests, and these will be conducted at noon on the first Saturday of every month. Were there to be a real emergency, the sirens would sound for an extended period of time and, again, that would be your signal to tune in to KBHR for emergency information.

Highway 18, From The Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley, Closed Due to Rain and Slides
-- Updated
Today's rain, currently registering an inch of precipitation here in Big Bear City (as of 3pm), has resulted in the closure of Highway 18 and Flash Flood Warnings for burn areas of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. CalTrans official Terri Kasinga tells us that, this morning, there was a notable slide in the Arctic Circle portion of Highway 18, so it is now closed from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley. The KBHR team was on the scene this morning and though there was not a major rockslide, there are rocks and debris, resulting from past fires, in the roadway. Jeff Newsome of the California Highway Patrol did call KBHR since that time to tell us he saw a rock “the size of a La-Z-Boy” on Arctic Circle. All other roadways into the Big Bear Valley are open at this time, though we do have reports of rock slides on Highways 38 and 330. On Highway 38, there are just small rock slides and, on Highway 330, there are a few slides resulting from the burn areas and CalTrans crews are currently at work to clean those up in an effort to keep the roadway open. Kasinga offers this advice to Valley residents considering a trip off the mountain, “Stay home and off the roads. Try to avoid being on the roadway right now for safety precautions. The smartest thing you can do is stay home.” Just to recap, Highway 18 through Lucerne Valley is open, Highways 38 and 330 are open, though drivers are advised to be mindful of rock slides, and Highway 18, from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley, is closed and will remain closed until at least noon on Saturday.

Sandbags Available to Those in Fawnskin Concerned About Potential Flooding
There is the potential for mud slides in the Fawnskin area, resulting from today's rain and September's Butler #2 Fire. Those who need sandbags to avoid potential flooding, may pick those up at any of our three fire stations. Please note, however, that these no-cost sandbags are intended for flooding issues only.

Mountain Agencies Take to the Lanes in Support of Fire Victims; Bowl-a-Thon Is On Sunday

This Sunday's Mountain Aid Project Bowl-a-Thon, to benefit those who lost their homes in October's Slide and Grass Valley Fires, gets underway at 2pm at Big Bear's Bowling Barn, at 40625 Lakeview Drive. Teams from local fire and law enforcement agencies, Chambers of Commerce from the mountain communities, service groups and the media will take to the lanes, while five local bands, including Damn Good Question and the Holcomb Valley Boys, take turns performing in the Alley Oops Lounge. Everyone is invited to come cheer on the bowlers or, if you have a team of four, there is still space for those who wish to participate in the second round bowl-a-thon at 5pm. Bill Ross, owner of the Bowling Barn, is making sure that all Bowl-a-Thon funds directed to the Mountain Aid Project account at First Mountain Bank will be distributed directly to fire victims by the non-profit group Rebuilding Mountain Hearts and Lives. If you would need more information, or want to sign up for the 5pm bowl-a-thon, please call the Bowling Barn at 878-2695.

Snow Summit Open Today; Bear Mountain Closed, Just for Friday
Bear Mountain will be closed today, for one day only, though Snow Summit Resort is open. Both ski and snowboard resorts will be open Saturday. For information on ticket prices and open runs, you can log on to their website at www.bigbearmountainresorts.com.

Chamber Board Discusses Local Concerns With Senator Ashburn, Over Breakfast in Bear City
State Senator Roy Ashburn, who represents California's 18th District that includes the east end of the Valley, was in Big Bear yesterday and joined the Board of Directors of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce for breakfast at the Barnstorm Restaurant. In this meeting, the Chamber Board met with Senator Ashburn to discuss keeping all the roads into Big Bear open and accessible by providing additional funds to CalTrans, preventing “wilderness areas” inside the Valley to help with fire prevention and suppression efforts, getting the valley-wide Emergency Operations Center additional funds for completion, and ensuring that the Senator was aware of the importance of widening Big Bear Boulevard through Big Bear City to help ease future traffic concerns. According to the Chamber's Executive Director Sara Russ, the Senator was very interested to hear the Chamber's concerns and was able to provide useful guidance in locating possible solutions. Senator Ashburn encouraged the Chamber to work with San Bernardino County regarding the road situation and that, if state funds were available, he would do what he could to direct them toward our area. Russ tells KBHR, “The Chamber takes our role to represent the interests of our members to government seriously and we felt that meeting with Senator Ashburn was key to representing Big Bear's businesses, especially those on the east end. The Senator actively listened to our concerns and offered several suggestions for solutions. Overall we were very happy with the meeting and its outcome.” The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce is the only valley-wide business organization in the community, and their efforts are directed toward promoting and strengthening our local economy.

The Valley Receives Some Long-Awaited Precipitation -- Updated
The big news of the day: it has been raining in the Big Bear Valley! As of this morning (at roughly 9am), we have received just about fifteen hundredths of an inch of rain here at the studios of KBHR in Big Bear City. This rain season's tally, which dates to July 1st, is now up to just over three and a half inches of precipitation. As of 5pm Friday, today's rain tally is up to one and a half inches of precipitation, making the anuual (since July 1) total now just under five inches. In the Onyx Summit area, we're told it has been snowing this afternoon.

November 29, 2007


There Are Still Some Spaces Available for Big Bear's Biggest Loser, Which Begins in January

Nearly 40 people were in attendance for the first meeting of the Big Bear's Biggest Loser program, which is a weight loss, nutrition and fitness program that kicks off on January 7. The new program, co-sponsored by the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District and Power My Health, is loosely based on the NBC show The Biggest Loser, and will feature prizes to those who lose the most weight over the three-month program though, unlike the TV series, fitness coaches Ted and Heather Devito assure that no one will be voted off Big Bear's Biggest Loser. There are still some spaces available, and applications can be picked up at the Rec and Park District offices, who will be charging just $50 to join. The program will feature Monday evening fitness and nutrition counseling and weigh-ins and Wednesday evening workout sessions. Those who wish to participate in Big Bear's Biggest Loser will need to get a physical release from their doctor but can reserve their space by completing the application in the meantime as there will only be room for 50 participants in the program. Those with questions are asked to call Rec and Park at 866-9700 or Heather at Power My Health, in the Wellness Center at 41930 Garstin Drive, at 866-8618.

BBMS Principal Says "The Kids Are Not In a Panic" Following Two Student Arrests

In light of this week's arrest of two 12-year-old female students at Big Bear Middle School, both of whom were arrested on charges of criminal threats and conspiracy and are currently being held at Central Juvenile Hall in San Bernardino, BBMS Principal Julie Chamberlin tells KBHR, “The kids are not in a panic, not at all, and we do have counselors on campus available to them. We have at least two extra counselors and, if we get backed up, the district office will provide more. Students with concerns are being helped.” The school, which includes the Valley's 7th and 8th grade students, has received many phone calls regarding the arrests from concerned parents and, we're told, those in the community who do not have children attending BBMS. When asked about this, Chamberlin says, “We have been dealing with parents, yes. It is under investigation, and they're minors, so we can't tell other parents about them. But we are taking measures to ensure we are doing everything we can. Classes are going on as normal. We're doing what we do.” On November 7, BBMS hosted the Rachel's Challenge assembly, which focuses on motivating others in a positive way, and is said to reduce bullying as a result. Chamberlin notes that, since the assembly, “We're building a spirit of community, which has been very positive on campus. Teachers are talking to kids as part of the Rachel's Challenge program.” As for whether or not the two arrested students will be allowed to return to school following the outcome of Friday's detention hearing with the County, Chamberlin says, “That decision is the Board's decision.”

Fawnskin and Big Bear City Post Offices Partner for Passport Day on December 15

By summer of 2008, the Department of Homeland Security may be requiring a U.S. Passport for those returning home via land from Canada or Mexico, though this decision is still pending. In the meantime, you can ready yourself for international travel by getting your passport now. The Fawnskin and Big Bear City Post Offices will be hosting a passport event at the Fawnskin Post Office on Saturday, December 15, from 10am to 2pm. To obtain a new passport, be sure to bring the following documentation with you: birth certificate or previous passport or naturalization papers, photo I.D. and check or cash. The fee for a U.S. passport is $67 and $30 to the post office for the application fee and, if you need a photo, an additional $15. Children under age 14 must have both parents present in order to get a passport. For more information on December 15th's passport day at the Fawnskin Post Office, located at 39132 North Shore Drive, please contact Postmaster Cynthia Crane at 866-3245.

Supervisor Hansberger to Address Fawnskin Flooding Issues in December 5 Meeting at the DC
The San Bernardino County Department of Public Works and Flood Control District, along with County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, will hold a community meeting for Fawnskin residents on Wednesday, December 5 at 6:30pm. The purpose of the meeting, to be held at the Discovery Center, will be to discuss flooding issues resulting from September's Butler #2 Fire. Fawnskin and other communities below the burn area are susceptible to flash flooding, debris flow and mudslides, and county staff will outline the preventative actions taken to date, as well as report on alternatives for potential future protective measures. Information on the post-fire flood risk is available on the County's website at www.sbcounty.gov/floodinfo.

Soroptomists Accepting Applications for Two Awards to Benefit Local Women
The Soroptomists International of Big Bear Valley are currently taking applications for two of their annual awards, the Women's Opportunity Award and the Violet Richardson Award, both of which will be presented in May. The Women's Opportunity Award is given to a head-of-household woman seeking financial assistance to attend an undergraduate degree program or a vocational training program. The Violet Richardson Award is given to a young woman between the ages of 14 and 17 who is caring, compassionate, creative and, most of all, committed to making the world a better place. The Violet Richardson Award will go to a young woman who has had significant and noteworthy accomplishments as a volunteer. Applications for each of the Soroptomists awards are available at the Big Bear Library, the office of Dr. Katheryn Poole, DOVES, Spencer Realty in Boulder Bay, from Cheri Wood at the hospital, or by calling Judy Harris at 866-7591. The Soroptomists ask that applications be returned by December 15.


The crowd braved the cold to celebrate in the Village's tree lighting ceremony on Friday.


November 28, 2007


Champion runner Ryan Hall (center), a 2001 BBHS graduate, was present at Monday night's City Council
meeting, to receive a plaque from Mayor Bill Jahn, honoring Hall's inclusion in the 2008 Olympics. Hall's
dad, Mickey (left) was among those on hand to celebrate Ryan's achievement. Ryan told the crowd,
"Ten years ago, my dad and I went on a 15-mile run around the lake, and I've been training ever since."
Mickey is the coach of the Bears Cross Country Team, which just took the Division IV State
Championship last weekend.

Another 3.1 Magnitude Quake Centered Outside Big Bear City This Week
We've had another couple earthquakes in our area, both of them centered 24 miles northeast of Big Bear City. At 7:51 this morning, one of those quakes registered a 3.1 magnitude at a depth of 39 kilometers and, last night at 10:56pm, in roughly the same vicinity, there was a small quake of just 1.1 magnitude.

Two 12-Year-Old Female Students at Big Bear Middle School Arrested, Being Held at Juvenile Hall

Two 12-year-old female students were arrested on charges of criminal threats and conspiracy at Big Bear Middle School Monday afternoon. To follow is the statement issued by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department this afternoon:
"Shortly before 4pm on Monday, November 26, Deputies from the Big Bear Sheriff's Station responded to a report of a school crime at Big Bear Middle School. A preliminary investigation of the matter revealed that school administrators had been notified that some students were making criminal threats toward other students. Investigators obtained a list of approximately 46 names of students and school faculty that was confiscated by school officials.
The investigation led to the arrest of two 12-year-old female juveniles who are enrolled at Big Bear Middle School. It was determined through the investigation that the suspects were possibly planning to cause harm to those individuals named on the list. The juvenile suspects were arrested on charges of criminal threats and conspiracy, and will remain in the custody of Central Juvenile Hall in San Bernardino pending a detention hearing scheduled for Friday, November 30.
Additionally, the juveniles have been suspended from Big Bear Middle School pending an adminstrative hearing with the Bear Valley Unified School District. The juvenile suspects will not be allowed to return to campus until final determination of the matter is made by the School District's Board of Trustees.
All reports of criminal threats are taken seriously by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The Detective Bureau of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station continues to investigate the matter with the full cooperation of the Big Bear Middle School and Bear Valley Unified School District. Anyone with further information regarding this matter is requested to contact the Big Bear Sheriff's Station at 866-0100."

An official at the District Offices of Bear Valley Unified School District tells KBHR that this press release was sent home with all students of Big Bear Middle School today, and was also distributed to all staff within the school district. Though Superintendent Carole Ferraud is off the hill, attending the California School Boards Association Annual Education Conference in San Diego, she has been in close contact with the Big Bear Sheriff's Station and BBMS administration today. Parents who have questions or concerns regarding yesterday's arrests may call Shelley Black, Executive Secretary to the Superintendent, at 866-4631.

BBARWA Holds Meeting This Afternoon; Will Address Potential Land Lease at Lucerne Disposal Site

The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency will hold their regular meeting at 4:30pm today, at their offices at 121 Palomino Drive in Big Bear City. Among new business items to be addressed this afternoon is a third party request to obtain a land lease at BBARWA's Lucerne Valley Disposal Site for a solar energy project. To address the potential ramifications, which involves Bear Valley Electric working to comply with state mandated requirements to provide 20% of their energy through renewable sources by 2010, BBARWA's Chair Liz Harris has appointed Don Eads and Rick Herrick to an ad-hoc Renewable Energy Committee to assist with investigations of the various options for BVES.

The Lighthouse Project Working to Make Big Bear A Child-Honoring Community

At this week's meeting of the City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake, Beth Gardner and BVUSD Superintendent Carole Ferraud made a presentation on behalf of the Lighthouse Project, which is a Big Bear-based non-profit group whose focus is to create a child-honoring community. In addition to planning a February 27th Vision 2008 Summit at the Performing Arts Center, the group is inviting the community to attend their December 12 meeting at the Knickerbocker Mansion. In the meantime, The Lighthouse Project is working to give young people a voice, and has already implemented the Peace Builders Program at Big Bear Elementary School. Members of the Big Bear High School Bears Football Team have been involved as mentors in the Peace Builders program, and two of those student athletes, Kriss Proctor and Kevin McCutcheon, were among those to address City Council on Monday evening. Proctor said, “Our goal is to make Peace Builders cool. We believe if enough kids get involved, we can make a change. What have you done for a child lately?” For details on what you can do for children in our community, check out the group's website at www.bigbearlighthouse.com.

School Board Attending Education Conference in San Diego Today
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District is off the mountain today. The Board, which includes Ken Turney, Debra Sarkisian, Julann Warren, Phil Hamilton, Larry Poland and Superintendent Carole Ferraud, is attending the California School Boards Association Annual Education Conference in San Diego, and will be there today through December 1st. While there, the group will be attending conference workshops.

Public Input on U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement Due to City This Week
If you plan to submit input on the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to the City of Big Bear Lake, this is your last week to do so. Members of our local Sierra Club and the Democratic Club had asked the City Council of Big Bear Lake to consider signing the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement earlier this year. City Council's Green Sustainability Efforts Committee, comprised of councilmembers Rick Herrick and Michael Karp, has since reviewed the document and presented their revisions to Council at the October 22 meeting. Before a formal adoption of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement is considered, Council has asked for public input on the revisions. A copy of the document can be obtained at the public counter at City Hall or via the city's website at www.citybigbearlake.com. The City asks that comments or suggestions be submitted in writing by December 1st to chaggerty@citybigbearlake.com, or via mail to City of Big Bear Lake, Attn: Intergovernmental/Communications Office, P.O. Box 10000, Big Bear Lake, 92315.


Art Harriman entertained the many revelers at Friday's holiday tree lighting in the Village.

November 27, 2007


Department of Water and Power Announces General Manager Jerry Gruber's Resignation

Jerry Gruber is officially leaving his post as the Department of Water and Power's General Manager, though Bill LaHaye has been acting General Manager since the DWP Board placed Gruber on administrative leave on September 28. To follow is a statement from Barbara Willey, Chairwoman of the DWP Board of Commissioners, issued today:
It is with regret that the DWP Board of Commissioners accepts Mr. Jerome Gruber's resignation, effective November 12, 2007.
Jerome was General Manager of the Department of Water and Power [for] what would be four years this January 2008. During that time, the Financial Plan, the Capital Improvement Plan, and the first DWP Master Plan were implemented.
During Mr. Gruber's tenure, wells have been rehabilitated, new wells have been drilled, and considerable water pipeline has been replaced. The DWP was awarded the “Clair Hill Award” for conservation achievements and the Theodore Roosevelt Award for major accomplishments with conservation efforts, while Mr. Gruber was General Manager.
These improvements will enhance the Big Bear Valley's fire flow capabilities to ensure fire safety, more capacity and additional water.
Jerome is choosing to enrich his career, moving in an upward direction with new challenges.
The DWP will miss his energy and his forward thinking. We wish Jerome the best in his new endeavors, and future position.

Transient Private Home Rental Enforcement Ordinance Could Be in Place in January

Big Bear Lake's Transient Private Home Rental Enforcement Ordinance took another step toward adoption at last night's City Council meeting. The proposed ordinance, which includes tiered enforcement that must be adhered to by rental owners and/or management agents, has been in the works since April, since which time Council's TPHR committee members Bill Jahn and Michael Karp and city staff have developed the ordinance with a cross-section of the community that includes agents, lodge owners, citizens-at-large, and those representing interests on both sides of the issue. Additional input was received at Council's October 22 meeting, and the Planning Commission has since unanimously supported adoption of the ordinance at their November 7 meeting. City Manager Jeff Mathieu, at last night's meeting, noted, “I think the new ordinance will be a substantial enhancement to our existing TPHR monitoring effort, which is currently without code enforcement tools.” A second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Council's December 10 meeting and, if adopted, the TPHR ordinance would be effective 30 days later, in time for three-day holiday weekends, which bring with them substantial private home renters. Per Mathieu, the TPHR ordinance should bring about “peaceful, quiet, clean neighborhoods.”

New Emergency Notification Sirens to Be Tested This Saturday at Noon
The Big Bear Valley has three new sirens, purchased with funds from a grant, that will be used for valley-wide emergency notifications. The sirens, located at City Hall in Big Bear Lake, the Big Bear City Fire Department and on the property of Baldwin Lane Elementary School, will be tested with a short blast at noon on the first Saturday of each month, starting December 1st. In the event of a real emergency, the full siren cycle would run for an extended period of time. Though the sirens may not be heard Valley-wide, it will substantially increase communication efforts in the event of a real emergency, during which time you can tune to KBHR at 93.3 FM or Channel 6 for details. The community should note that when the sirens sound, whether during the first-Saturday-at-noon drill or otherwise, calls should not be placed to our fire stations or the Sheriff's Department. When you hear the sirens—again, first scheduled for this Saturday at noon and then again on January 5--please tune to KBHR for details.

Make Your New Year's Resolution: You Could Be Big Bear's Biggest Loser

Could you be Big Bear's Biggest Loser? The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District has partnered with Power My Health to host a fitness and nutrition program, loosely based on the TV series The Biggest Loser, in which participants compete to lose weight. Big Bear's Biggest Loser will feature a 12-week program, including fitness classes, weekly support and nutrition meetings, starting on January 7. The cost for the entire program will be just $50, and will include monthly prize incentives, as well as a grand prize to the winningest male and female losers. Those in the Big Bear Valley who need and want to lose weight are invited to an informational meeting, to be held this Wednesday, November 28 at 6pm at the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District offices on Park Avenue in Big Bear Lake. Applications to Big Bear's Biggest Loser are available at Rec and Park, as well as at the Wellness Center next to the library on Garstin Drive. For more information on the program, please contact Heather Salzer Devito at Power My Health at 866-8618.

Good Driving by Mountain Drivers Results in Good News
Some good news, from the holiday weekend: drivers on our mountain roads did a good job and, we are happy to report, there were no fatalities in our area during the busiest travel season of the year. As the California Highway Patrol told us last week, they are giving thanks for drivers who play by the rules and make our roads a safer place. Per Arrowhead CHP Commander Lieutenant Rick Sanders, it is always a good idea to “drive safe, drive sober, and buckle up.”

FEMA Grant Will Allow for Communication Upgrades for Big Bear City Fire Department
Fire Chief Dana Van Leuven of the Big Bear City Fire Department announced to the Community Services District Board at last week's meeting, that the fire department received approval on a FEMA grant, which will allow for upgrades to the agency's communications system, including new radios to replace older technology, as well as alpha-numeric pagers to include off-duty personnel. The grant for $151,000 was written by Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Willis and will only require 5% matching funds from Bear City Fire, amounting to $7,550. Van Leuven noted, “This grant will allow us to take one big, huge step.” The big, huge step will provide the funds for the fire department to complete upgrades to the radio system, which had been partially implemented in the '80s and '90s and, per Willis, will provide Bear City Fire with the capability to communicate with all responding agencies during a large-scale event. With the new improvements, Willis tells KBHR, “It's a complete overhaul of our radio system.”

Unwrapped Toys Sought for Holiday Toy Drive, Sponsored by Sheriff's Station and the Elks Lodge
The Big Bear Sheriff's Station is again partnering with the Big Bear Elks Lodge to provide food and toys to families in need this holiday season. If you would like to contribute to the effort, you can donate a new, unwrapped toy to the Sheriff's Station, at 477 Summit Boulevard in Big Bear Lake, by December 18. Those with questions about the Holiday Toy Drive are asked to call Tiffany Swantek at 866-0103.


Over $6 million was spent on new snowmaking equipment last year, allowing for snow early
in the season here at Snow Summit, and at Bear Mountain as well.

November 26, 2007

Big Bear Lake's City Council to Meet at 6:30pm This Evening

The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold their first regular meeting of the month this evening, as their November 12 meeting was adjourned in observance of Veterans Day. Tonight's 6:30pm meeting in Hofert Hall will include recognition to Ryan Hall, who qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics after winning the Olympic Trials Marathon in New York earlier this month. Council's meeting also includes agenda items relating to the Transient Private Home Rental regulations and a status report on the proposed Native Brush and Shrub Reduction Ordinance.

Signs-Ups for Rec and Park Ski and Snowboard Lessons Take Place Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will host ski and snowboard program sign-ups on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Parents are reminded that if you sign up your child through November 29, the cost for ski and board lessons is $60 per session, with the price per program being lifted to $70 per session after Thursday. Ski and board lesson sign-ups take place at the Rec and Park District Office at the west end of Park Avenue in Big Bear Lake from 8am to 4:30pm. For more information on these and other programs offered by Rec and Park, please call 866-9700.

Big Bear City CSD Board Initiates Water Master Plan Update
As the Water Master Plan used by the Big Bear City Community Services District has not been updated since 1991, the Board of Directors moved to send out RFPs (or Request for Proposals) for an updated Water Master Plan at their November 19 meeting. CSD had submitted RFPs last December but, of the eight consulting firms approached, only one returned with a bid, at a cost of $247,573.65. The bid has since expired, so the CSD Board moved to pursue RFPs once again. At issue at last Monday's meeting was whether or not to, in the RFP, include two items that would address and analyze the effects of reclaimed water, as urged by Board member Rick Ollila. CSD's Jeff Newsome noted that to include these two additional items on an already expired bid would cost CSD additional funds when the budget allows for $250,000 to be spent on water plan consulting fees and, additionally, Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency does not use reclaimed water near CSD wells. Per Newsome early in the discussion, “It is not appropriate to spend one dime on threats that are not present.” In a spirit of cooperation, the ultimate decision by the CSD Board was to submit two RFPs, one for the Water Master Plan and a second that would include the two items that address water safety with regard to reclaimed water by BBARWA. However, per BBARWA's Steve Schindler, groundwater recharge studies concluded in April 2006, and reclaimed water is not, and has not been, in the vicinity of CSD wells. CSD's Board has directed staff to submit RFPs on December 4, with a bid deadline of February 1.

Valley Earthquake of 3.1 Magnitude on Sunday Afternoon
If you thought you felt an earthquake yesterday afternoon, we did have one centered eight miles east southeast of Big Bear City at 12:30pm. Sunday's quake registered a 3.1 magnitude at a depth of 14 kilometers.

CalTrans Spends Over $7 Million on Road Restoration, Resulting from Inland Empire Fires

CalTrans continues work to restore state highways, which were affected by the recent wildfires in the Inland Empire. Over $7 million in emergency projects has been established to restore areas of Highways 330, 18 and 71, and Interstates 15 and 215. Some of the work includes repairs to burnt guardrails, debris removal, slope stabilization, erosion control with hydro-seed, and drain cleaning. CalTrans tells us that their goal is to finish the emergency repairs in January 2008. CalTrans maintenance crews will be patrolling state highways during inclement weather to monitor roads and slopes in the event of flooding or slides. As winter weather approaches, please be mindful of the CalTrans crews working along roadways and, as always, slow for the cone zone.

Bears Cross Country Team Takes Division IV Championship Again

The Big Bear High School Boys Cross Country Team made an impressive run in the state finals in Fresno on Saturday, with each of the Bears 10 runners finishing among the top 38. Berto Solis took third, which contributed to the Bears repeat championship in the Division IV CIF State Cross Country Championships.

Varsity Football Wraps Up 8-3 Season in Round 2 of CIF Playoffs
The Bears Varsity Football Team ended their season on Friday, with a loss to Citrus Hill in Round 2 of CIF Playoffs at Minder Field. The Big Bear High School Bears held Citrus Hill to a score of 10-7, though the number-one ranked Citrus Hill had been averaging 50 points per game. Bears Football ended their season with an 8-3 record.

DWP Board to Hold Special Meeting at 11am Today; No Meeting Tomorrow
The Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power will hold a special meeting in open session at 11am today. The meeting's one agendized item is the presentation by Hal Furman of the Furman Group, who will give an update on federal appropriations. The DWP Board meets at their offices at 41972 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake. The DWP Board will not hold their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday at 8am, but will convene for their next regular meeting on Tuesday, December 11 at 8am.

Ski and Boarding Season Is On at Big Bear Mountain Resorts
The slopes are open! Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resorts opened on Saturday, and snowmaking will continue so additional runs can be opened at both resorts. In the meantime, special early season ticket prices of $25 for adults, $20 for young adults (ages 13 to 21), and $10 for children (ages 7 to 12) are available at both Summit and Bear through December 1st. Children age 6 and under ski free when with an adult.



November 24, 2007


Big Bear Boys Are State Champions
The Big Bear High School Boys Cross Country Team took the CIF Division IV State Championship Saturday, November 24 in Fresno.

November 23, 2007

There's Snow In Big Bear!
Big Bear Mountain Resorts will open Saturday, November 24 for the 2007/2008 winter season. Snow Summit will open for skiing and snowboarding with Chair 8 accessing the beginners area only. Bear Mountain will open with Chairs 5 and 7 accessing Inspiration for beginners and Central Park with a few terrain features for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Good snowmaking conditions are expected to continue through the weekend and, with these favorable conditions, more runs and lifts will open at BBMR in the very near future.

November 21, 2007

At This Time of Giving Thanks, Our Gratitude Goes to Firefighters and Their Families

As we enter into the Thanksgiving weekend, we want to extend our thanks to the countless fire personnel who have worked tirelessly to spare our community from wildfires in recent months. These crews will also be positioned throughout the mountain over the holiday weekend as a precautionary measure, so our additional thanks to the families of these firefighters this Thanksgiving holiday.

No Need to Shop Off the Hill This Holiday Season When You Can Buy in Big Bear

The holiday shopping season kicks off this weekend and, no need to venture off the hill when you can shop locally. The Big Bear Valley offers unique stores in the Village; as well as in Fawnskin on the North Shore of Big Bear Lake; the shops on Moonridge Road (en route to the golf course and Bear Mountain Resort); and the Interlaken and Lakeview Centers on Big Bear Boulevard, just east of Fox Farm Road; and continuing along on Big Bear Boulevard, beyond the Convention Center and into Big Bear City. For more information on where to shop and how to get there, you can stop by the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, located at 630 Bartlett Road in the Village, or call 866-4607.

Healthcare District to Hold Business Meeting at 9am Monday Morning
The Board of Directors of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will hold a business meeting on Monday morning, November 26. The open session portion of the meeting will begin at 9am, and will be held in the MWD conference room at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Rec and Park Advisory Commission Approves Park Development MOU With CSD

The Advisory Commission of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District met at the Senior Center last night, and agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding with the Community Services District to develop a community park on CSD's property on Paradise Way in Big Bear City. This version of the MOU was the one including legal counsel's amendments agreed upon by the CSD Board at their November 5 meeting. The Rec and Park Commissioners also formed a Park Design Sub-Committee, which will include Don Allen, Kathy Poole and Jennifer McCullar—the committee has tentatively scheduled a park design workshop for December 10.
Last night's Commission meeting also included public input regarding the new skatepark at Sugarloaf Park. Two teens and a father with a young son thanked the commission for the addition of the skatepark, which opened on October 20. Pastor Don Foor of Community Church by the Lake, which provides the building for Rec and Park's Teen Center, noted that teens are still welcome to skate in their church parking lot, as the skateboarders have been respectful of the church facilities. Pastor Foor encouraged the Advisory Commission to consider developing at least two more skateparks in the Valley.

Big Bear City's Tree Lighting Ceremony to Take Place at Bear City Fire Department on Saturday
The community and all Valley visitors are invited to join the festivities for Big Bear City's annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, November 24 at the Big Bear City Fire Department, located at 301 W. Big Bear Boulevard. The holiday event kicks off at 5pm, and sponsors, including the Big Bear City Fire Department, the Community Services District, the Sugarloaf Property Owners Association, AARP and the Big Bear Valley Historical Society, will provide hot coffee and cider, and families are asked to bring a plate of cookies to share. The official tree lighting takes place at 5:30pm, and will be followed by a special appearance by Santa Claus.

Pre-Sale Tickets to Bears Football Game Available at BBHS Today, During School Lunch Periods

Today is the last day to get your pre-sale tickets to Friday afternoon's Bears Football CIF game, in which they'll take on Citrus Hill in Round 2 of CIF Playoffs. Big Bear High School will have the tickets on sale, $8 for adults and $5 for students with ID, during school lunch periods, from 11:30am to 1:15pm. The football game will be played at 1pm Friday on Minder Field at Big Bear Middle School.

California Highway Patrol Reminds: Drive Safe, Drive Sober, and Buckle Up
The California Highway Patrol says they are giving thanks this holiday season for drivers who play by the rules and help make our roads a safer place. “Our message is simple,” says Arrowhead CHP Commander Lieutenant Rick Sanders, “drive safe, drive sober, and buckle up.” The California Highway Patrol tells us that every available officer will be on the road during the MEP, or Maximum Enforcement Period, from today through Sunday, November 25. During last year's Thanksgiving MEP, 42 people died in 4,768 collisions within California—and more than half of those who lost their lives were not wearing seatbelts. Local CHP Officer Gary Fernandez also reminds, “Be prepared for traffic tie-ups, especially on the Wednesday before or the Sunday after Thanksgiving.” Also, be mindful of weather conditions and, in our case, mountain roads. Adds Fernandez, “Many crashes are caused by driving too fast for current conditions.”

Last Day for Seniors to Reserve Flu Shot for Monday's Clinic
Flu shots are available to Big Bear seniors next Monday, November 26, from 10am to noon. Cost for the flu shot will be just $5 and is available to those age 55 and over. The two-hour flu shot opportunity will be offered at the Big Bear Senior Center, though parking will be available only at the Convention Center—the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will provide shuttle service to and from the two facilities. Seniors who want to participate in the November 26 $5 flu shot clinic are asked to drop by the Senior Center today or call 584-0323 to reserve your shot.

Big Bear City Fire Department Offers One-Day First Aid Class on December 1
The Big Bear City Fire Department will offer a First Aid training class on Saturday, December 1. The class will be held from 9am to 5pm at the Big Bear City Community Services District, located at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City. Cost for the one-day first aid class is $40 due prior to December 1, and reservations are required by calling Deanne Johanson at the Big Bear City Fire Department at 585-2362.


Let it snow! Snow Play Mountain, at Big Bear Lake's east end, gets a head start on the winter season.

November 20, 2007


Free MARTA Trolley Will Shuttle Festival-Goers to Friday's Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Village

The City of Big Bear Lake kicks off the holiday season with Santa's grand entrance and the tree lighting ceremony in the Village on Friday, November 23. The holiday festivities begin at 4:30pm, and continue on until 9pm. For those who don't want to deal with parking, though there are two public lots in the Village, the MARTA Holiday Trolley will be offering free rides to and from the Village. Pickups begin at the MARTA stop in Sugarloaf at 3:30pm, Erwin Lake at 3:40, Gold Mountain at 3:48, Big Tree at 3:54, Rite Aid at 4pm, Bear Mountain at 4:08pm and Boulder Bay at 4:20 for arrival in the Village, just before the festivities begin at 4:30pm. The free Holiday Trolley will embark on the return trip at 8:45pm. For more information, please call MARTA at 878-5200.

Bears Cross Country Team to Run in State Finals in Fresno This Weekend
The Big Bear High School Bears continue to make their mark in CIF competition this month. The De Anza League champion Boys Varsity Cross Country team of 10 will be competing in the state finals in Fresno this weekend, following a cross-country meet at Mt. Sac last weekend, in which the Bears placed second, and Sara Chatham took 11th overall in the women's individual competition. Berto Solis took individual honors as the champion in Saturday's CIF Cross County Championship. Coach Mickey Hall says that five days of smoke during the fires slowed the team some but, now, he tells KBHR, “We're getting back together and we're really excited for state, and excited to see if we can win a second state championship in a row.”

Regional Traffic Advisory Committee Convenes at 9am Wednesday
The Regional Traffic Advisory Committee will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 21 at 9am. RTAC meetings are held in the Chamber of Commerce offices at 630 Bartlett Road in the Village.

Planning Commission Will Not Meet Tomorrow; Next Meeting December 5
The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake will not hold their regularly scheduled meeting this Wednesday, November 21. The next meeting of the Planning Commission, which now includes David Caretto, Anne Zimmerman, Craig Smith, Rick Hackney and Rich Lambert, is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5 at 1:15pm.

In Anticipation of Winds, Fire Crews "Hoping for the Best and Preparing for the Worst"

Big Bear City Fire Chief Dana Van Leuven made a presentation at last night's Community Services District meeting, and reiterated that fire agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, San Bernardino County Fire, CalFire and the Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City Fire Departments, have readied all resources in anticipation of winds over the holiday weekend. Winds may be possible in our area on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and, given that, all fire suppression resources and personnel are prepared, including crews stationed at the Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino and two helitankers and a spotter plane that will be positioned in Big Bear. Per Van Leuven, “We're hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst.”

CalTrans Advises to Plan Ahead for Holiday Travel This Weekend
CalTrans tells us that there are no planned lane closures in the Inland Empire over the holiday traveling period, from 6am Wednesday through Monday, November 26 at 6pm. CalTrans suggests that you factor in additional travel time, especially if driving on major routes such as Interstate 15 to Nevada or Interstate 10 to Arizona—and also suggests that you pack extra water, snacks and medications, should travel delays take longer than planned. And, three points from CalTrans before you hit the road: 1. Drinking and driving will only cost you money, or possibly your life or that of someone else, 2. Aggressive driving is the cause of 54% of all car collisions, and 3. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among Americans under age 34. Please plan ahead this holiday season, and drive safely and courteously.

Lions Club Accepting Donations of Housewares for Families Affected by Slide and Grass Valley Fires
The Lions Club of Big Bear has been on the scene, assisting those affected by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. Since the first week of evacuations, the Lions have been at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds, and the overflow evacuation site at 40th and Waterman in San Bernardino, handing out toothbrushes and diapers—and even served over 1,000 meals, with the help of Big Bear's Taste of Bear Catering. The Lions Club International has already donated $15,000 in cash to those who've lost their homes and now our local Lions are working with the Arrowbear Lions Club to collect and distribute items that affected families have requested. Mel Niez of the Lions tells KBHR, “Our Arrowbear Lions Club had a meeting with FEMA and the victims themselves.” From that meeting, the following needs have been requested: small appliances such as clothes irons and toaster ovens, pots and pans, blankets and bedding, pillows, dishes, silverware, cooking utensils, towels, clocks and flashlights. Donations are being accepted at the home of Mel and her husband Don Niez, the Lions' District Governor for 47 clubs in San Bernardino County and beyond—donations can be left at 442 East Country Club, just east of Paradise, in Big Bear City, or you can call the Lions at 585-7121 to arrange for pickup of items.

November 19, 2007

School Board to Meet in Closed Session Tomorrow

The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District has scheduled a closed session meeting for Tuesday, November 20 at 12:30pm. The one agendized item for the special board meeting indicates that the Board will meet with its negotiators concerning BVEA negotiations. The closed session meeting of the BVUSD Board takes place at the school district offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake.

Local Fire Crews and State Agencies Prepare for Anticipated Winds Over Thanksgiving Weekend

In anticipation of a wind event over the Thanksgiving holiday, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Mills of the Big Bear Lake Fire Department wants Bear Valley citizens to know that the San Bernardino County Fire Chiefs Association, in conjunction with CalFire, the State Office of Emergency Services, the U.S. Forest Service, and the San Bernardino County Fire Department, have begun preliminary planning for pre-staging resources. Mills says that additional strike teams of engines, crews, dozers and management teams will be pre-positioned throughout Southern California. Fire suppression aircraft are also being relocated from across the United States into Southern California. Both CalFire and the San Bernardino County Fire Department have gone to special staffing requirements to increase personnel availability. Planning sessions began last week and will continue into today to coordinate the location of staging areas for all of the incoming firefighting resources. Assistant Fire Chief Mills notes that this is a precautionary measure only and that the Bear Valley fire departments are continuing to work toward keeping our Valley safe.

Bears Football Victorious Over Rio Hondo; Round 2 in CIF Competition at Home This Friday
The Big Bear High School Bears Football team won their first game in CIF Playoffs this weekend, taking victory over Arcadia's Rio Hondo High School in a score of 21-7. The Bears move on to Round 2 in CIF competition, with a home game scheduled for this Friday, November 23 vs. Citrus Hill. The Bears had lost to Citrus Hill in a last-second field goal in September so, Coach Dave Griffiths says, “We're glad we have an opportunity at a second shot. We're looking forward to everyone coming out and supporting us.” Tickets to the 1pm game at Minder Field are available at the high school this week, during lunch hours from 11:30am to 1:15pm. CIF ticket prices are $8 for adults, and $5 for students with ID.
In other Bears CIF news, BBHS tennis player Emily Kamphaus was suffering from an injury, and unable to compete in Saturday's individuals competition in Montclair.

Li'l Bears of Youth Football Freshman Team Win Super Bowl, AVYF Championship; Cheer Scores, Too
The li'l Bears of Big Bear Youth Football had three teams in Super Bowl competition in Kern Valley this weekend, vying for the championship within the Antelope Valley Youth Football League. Our freshman team of 8 to 10-year-old Bears beat out Bishop 27-0 in their Super Bowl and are now the champions in their division. The Big Bear Youth Football sophomores, ages 10 to 12, lost to Mojave 12-0 in their Super Bowl, and our seniors, ages 12 to 14, played in their first AVYF Super Bowl and also lost to a Mojave team in a score of 7-0. But the Youth Football Bears had quite the cheering section, with the freshman cheering squad taking 1st in cheer, and the junior and senior cheerleaders taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. Congratulations to all the Bears—the future continues to look bright for Bears Football!

City of Big Bear Lake Continues Curbside Chipping Service to Further Defensible Space

The City of Big Bear Lake is extending the curbside chipping program. Those who have cleared vegetation and native brush from their property can call the Chipper Request Line at 752-2805 to request curbside chipping. When calling, please be sure to leave your name, address and phone number, so city staff can get back to you to arrange for chipping. Please note that the following materials will not be accepted: rootballs, limbs or tree trunks larger than 8” in diameter, construction materials, and bagged materials such as pine needles, weeds and leaves. To coordinate pick up of needles, weeds and leaves, please call Big Bear Disposal at 866-3942. And, again, if you missed the first two rounds of the chipper truck, or have continued to clear defensible space around your property and need that vegetation chipped and hauled away, you can call Big Bear Lake's Chipper Request Line at 752-2805.

CSD Board to Hold Regular Meeting at 5:30pm This Evening
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District will hold their regular meeting at 5:30pm today. Among items listed under Old Business are the Well #8 Fluoride Blendline, the Van Dusen Transmission Main Rehabilitation, and the Water Master Plan Update. The CSD Board meets at their offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

Healthcare District Finance Committee Meeting at 7:30am Tomorrow
The Finance Committee of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will meet in open session at 7:30am tomorrow. The meeting will take place in the Hospital Conference Room at 41870 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Fire Personnel Find Deceased Man in Lake Arrowhead Home Fire Sunday Morning
Over the weekend, there was a home fire in Lake Arrowhead. At about 5am on Sunday, November 18, fire personnel responded to a structure fire at a home in the 28000 block of Cedar Drive in Lake Arrowhead, per the County of San Bernardino Coroner's Office. After the fire was extinguished, fire personnel began to clean up the scene when, later at 8am, the body of a 70-year-old man was found deceased inside the burned residence. The deceased has been named as Jon Larren Martinelli. An autopsy will be conducted by the coroner's office to determine Mr. Martinelli's cause of death, while fire personnel continue their investigation into the house fire.

November 16, 2007



The sun'll come out this weekend, as "Annie" makes its debut at the Big Bear Lake Performing
Arts Center. In production for over a year, the musical has an 11-show run, from November
16 through December 2. For ticket information, log on to www.bigbeartheater.org.

The MOM Project Hosts New Single Parent Support Group, Starting Monday Evening

The MOM Project is starting up a new support group for single parents. The focus of the group, which begins on November 19, is to allow single parents to connect with others for support and empowerment, while exchanging ideas on how to deal with the challenges of raising children alone. The first meeting of the Single Parent Support Group will be held on Monday evening, November 19 and will then meet on the third Monday of each month at the MOM Project, located in the Rural Health Clinic in Big Bear City. Parents are asked to call 585-5607 for meeting time specifics and to sign up for the Single Parent Support Group.

Bears Continue On in CIF Football and Tennis Competitions; Directions to Football Game in Arcadia

Big Bear High School athletes continue on in CIF competition this weekend. The Varsity Bears Football team takes on Rio Hondo Prepatory High School in the first round of CIF Playoffs at 7:30pm in Arcadia this evening. Tickets to the football game will be available at BBHS until 1:15pm today, and will also be available at the game this evening. Per BBHS, to get to Rio Hondo High, located at 5150 Farna Avenue in Arcadia, take the 210 Freeway west. From the 210, get on the 605 Freeway south to the first exit, which will be Live Oak (Arrow Highway). Go west/right on Live Oak to Farna Avenue (which is the same as 4th Avenue; the name changes at Live Oak). Farna Avenue will be the second left after the streetlight at 6th Avenue. Rio Hondo is the second school on Farna, so drive to the end of the street.
Tomorrow, Emily Kamphaus will be representing the Big Bear High School Tennis team in the CIF Individuals Playoffs in a tournament at the Montclair Tennis Club. Go Bears!

Search and Rescue Readies for Busy Winter Season, Welcomes New Volunteers
During this week's distribution of checks to local organizations by the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club, Bear Valley Search and Rescue was among those to benefit. Jim Lyon accepted the donation on behalf of Search and Rescue's team of roughly 20 volunteers, and noted that the funds would go toward the purchase of another two snowmobiles, and a trailer, for use during search missions in the winter months, when they tend to be called on more frequently. Search and Rescue is often called upon to look for lost skiers, hikers and those with Alzheimers who've lost their way. During his thank you to the Car Club at Monday's meeting, Lyon noted, “There is nothing more rewarding than going out in the middle of the night, at 2am, and finding a lost snowboarder.” And, he added, “If the pagers go off, we'll be there—it doesn't matter what time, day or night.” In a subsequent conversation, Lyon tells KBHR, “Search and Rescue is always looking for people interested in giving to the community, who enjoy being outdoors.” Those interested in joining the team are asked to call Search and Rescue's Vice Commander Summer Jones at 633-8218.

Forest Care Program Credited for Saving a Home in the Grass Valley Fire

Thanks to the Forest Care thinning program offered through CalFire and the San Bernardino National Forest Association, at least one home was spared in the Grass Valley Fire. According to Lake Arrowhead homeowner Bill Kingston, “Forest Care got rid of all those low limbs and cleared over 100 trees off my property that would have provided tremendous fuels for the fire had they still been standing. There's no doubt in my mind that I would have lost the home if it wasn't for the forest thinning program. My neighbor down the street, the first home down from me, is level to the ground, the home is gone. It's really disheartening to see my neighbors without homes.” It cost Kingston roughly $700 to remove 225 small trees from his half-acre lot; the remainder of the $2600 bill was paid through Forest Care, which reimburses landowners up to 75% of the cost of thinning their properties to reduce hazardous fuels. “These forests are severely overcrowded,” Forest Care Director Shawna Meyer says. “Finally residents are beginning to understand that we must take action to reduce the buildup of fuels on our lands. It's just not enough anymore to cheer the Forest Service and other land management agencies for their fuels reduction efforts; private citizens are starting to realize that they themselves are responsible if they allow fuels to build up on their properties.” If you would like to arrange for a Forest Care staff member to talk to your group or club, or to schedule an appointment, call 888/883-THIN or visit them online at www.sbnfa.org.

Kiwanis to Interview Families In Need This Sunday for Their Holiday Gifts 4 Kids Program
The Kiwanis Club of Big Bear Valley will once again be distributing toys and gift certificates for shoes and clothes to families in need this holiday season. The Gifts 4 Kids program is geared toward low-income households with children up through age 12. If you or a family you know could benefit from the Gifts 4 Kids program this Christmas, the Kiwanis Club will be conducting interviews of parents and guardians at the Masonic Lodge on Summit Boulevard in Big Bear Lake. No appointment is needed for interviews, which will take place from 2 to 5pm this Sunday, November 18, as well as November 25, December 2 and December 9. The Kiwanis Club will distribute gifts at the Masonic Lodge on Thursday, December 15 from 9am to 5pm.

State Schools Chief to Meet With Parents and Students at Rim of the World High School Today
Today, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell will be visiting the mountain. At 10:45am, the state schools chief will be at Rim of the World High School, as their school district was one of the hardest hit by October's wildfires. Though no school facilities were lost due to the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, Rim of the World schools were closed on October 22, the day the fires began, and only re-opened to students as of this Tuesday. During O'Connell's visit to Rim of the World High, he will meet with parents, students and school officials. That meeting, again, takes place at 10:45am today, at 27400 Highway 18 in Lake Arrowhead.


The Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club gifted over $18,000 to local charities and organizations
this year, and 17 of those checks were presented at the Discovery Center this week. Among
those giving and receiving on Monday: Ralph Haussman and Dennis Moore of the Sheriff's
Citizens on Patrol program, Cliff Fowler and Shed Conklin of the Antique Car Club, Bill
Douglas on behalf of Kiwanis Mountain Fun Day, and Steve Hirschler, representing the
Steven G. Mihaylo Foundation.

November 15, 2007



The Big Bear Youth Football seniors team of Bears ages 12-14 celebrate Saturday night's victory
over Kern Valley 21-18. This Saturday, the BBYF seniors advance to their first Super Bowl of
the Antelope Valley Youth Football League, where they will take on Mojave for the championship.
For more photos, see page 2 of www.BigBearNews.com.

Local Civic, Media and Firefighting Agencies to Participate in Benefit Bowl-a-Thon on December 2
Due to the tremendous loss of homes in communities of Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs and Green Valley Lake, the Bowling Barn is hosting a Bowl-a-Thon on Sunday, December 2, with all proceeds to benefit our mountain neighbors who suffered losses in the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. The 2pm Bowl-a-Thon will feature teams from the Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, Running Springs and Big Bear Chambers of Commerce; the Big Bear City Community Services District; the City of Big Bear Lake; Fire Departments from Big Bear City, Fawnskin and Big Bear Lake; the Big Bear Sheriff's Station and Citizens on Patrol; the Big Bear Resort Association; and KBHR Radio, The Grizzly and Channel 6. The event will include a performance by the Mountain Fifes and Drums Corps from Lake Arrowhead, and the entire community is invited to come cheer on the teams. Due to demand, the Bowling Barn will also host a second-round Bowl-a-Thon at 5pm on the 2nd, and you can sign up your team by calling Dennis or Billy at 878-BOWL (2695). Those who wish to contribute can sponsor a team, or are welcome to make a donation either at the Bowling Barn or through First Mountain Bank's Mountain Aid Project account.

Student Talent Show at North Shore Elementary This Evening
North Shore Elementary School hosts their student Talent Show this evening, and the entire community is invited to come and cheer on the Eagles on the stage at the North Shore auditorium. Tickets to the 6pm show are $5 and are available at the school office this afternoon, or at the door this evening.

Recycling Even One Can Saves Energy; Big Bear High School Students Are Doing Their Part to Recycle
Today is California Recycles Day, so do what you can to reduce, reuse and recycle. Did you know that recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours? Energy saved from recycling one ton of aluminum is equal to the amount of electricity that the average home uses over 10 years. So far this year, the recycling campaign at Big Bear High School has resulted in enough recycled aluminum to power one home for a year. If you have cans or bottles to recycle, the Clean Bear Site at 41930 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake offers reimbursement, and is open Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Millions Already Distributed in SBA Loans; Application Deadline Open Until December 24

The U.S. Small Business Administration has already approved over $21 million in low-interest disaster loans to those in Southern California affected by October's wildfires. Bruce Thompson, Regional Administrator for SBA, reminds, “Low-interest federal disaster loans from SBA are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by the wildfires.” Small businesses can also take advantage of Economic Injury Disaster Loans. No appointment is necessary if you want to talk to an SBA representative in person, now available at the Robert Hootman Community Center at 2929 Running Springs School Road in Running Springs or, still, at the Disaster Recovery Center at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino. Both centers are open Monday through Friday, from 9am to 7pm, and on Saturdays, from 9am to 4pm. Before registering with SBA, though, please call FEMA first at 800-621-3362. More information is available from SBA, online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance or by calling 800-659-2955. Please note that the deadline to apply for SBA loans is December 24, and July 24 for Economic Injury Loans.

Board of Municipal Water District Meets at 1pm This Afternoon
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District will hold their regular meeting today at 1pm. Among items on the Board's business agenda is the consideration of a proposal by Christensen Associates, Inc. to conduct engineering studies for resurfacing the face of the Big Bear Dam. MWD's Board meets at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Free Mountain Thanksgiving Offered at Azteca Grill on Thanksgiving Day
The Azteca Grill and Restaurant, along with Elevations Day Spa and Vons, will be offering a complimentary "Mountain Thanksgiving" dinner with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day. Azteca Grill's owners Rosa and Arturo Arellano invite all those who would otherwise spend Thanksgiving alone to join them for a free dinner, from 3 to 6pm—or until all the food is gobbled up. The Arellanos are asking for, but not requiring, donations to the Rebuilding Mountain Hearts and Lives program, which benefits our neighbors affected by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. All are invited to spend their Thanksgiving at Azteca Grill, located at 40199 Big Bear Boulevard just west of Red Ant Hill. To reserve your place for the Mountain Thanksgiving or to help, please call Azteca Grill at 866-2350.

November 14, 2007

Two Months Later, Cause of Butler #2 Fire Remains Under Investigation

Today is the two-month anniversary of the Butler #2 Fire, which began on September 14 and burned 14,039 acres in areas west and north of the community of Fawnskin. At the time, the Butler #2 Fire was labeled the number one priority wildfire incident in the nation, and, to date, cost for fire suppression efforts remains at an estimated $13 to 15 million, which will be paid for by the National Fire Fund. The cause of the Butler #2 Fire has not yet been released and, in a conversation with John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service today, he says, “All three fires are currently under investigation by the U.S. Forest Service.” The other fires being referenced are the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, both of which started on October 22. Crews continue mop up and rehabilitation efforts on the burn areas of these fires, as well as on Butler #2.

Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club Gifts Over $18,000 to Local Groups

This week, 17 local charities and organizations benefited from the fundraising and generosity of the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club which, using proceeds from August's 18th annual Fun Run, has gifted $18,650 to Big Bear groups this year. The Antique Car Club which, per President Cliff Fowler, “was founded in '82 by a bunch of gearheads” handed out checks to the following at Monday evening's meeting: Bear Mountain Dog Rescue, Bear Valley Community Hospital Auxiliary, Big Bear Valley Historical Society, Bear Valley Search and Rescue, Bear Valley Trauma Recovery, Big Bear Diabetes Support Network, Citizens on Patrol of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station, Civil Air Patrol, the Discovery Center, Dobis Vocational Scholarship, Fuzzy House Slipper Gang Service Dog Training, Hummingbird Project, Miss Big Bear scholarships, Kiwanis Mountain Fun Day, Steven G. Mihaylo Foundation, AAUW's Tech Trek and Operation Breakthrough. In a series of grateful thank yous from recipients, Fun Run funds will be used toward new hospital beds, school supplies, completion of the Emergency Operations Center and, for Dobis scholarship recipient Thomas Bonde, vocational training to become a mechanic after graduation from Big Bear High School.

Roadway Repair Continues on Highway 330 This Week
CalTrans crews are continuing with their rehabilitation work on Highway 330 and, per CalTrans official Terri Kasinga today, repair work along the roadway will continue for another week or so. Monday through Saturday, from 7am to 5pm, crews are repairing guard rails, resetting road signs, repairing drainage and removing fallen trees, resulting from the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. Highway 330 remains open and traffic control will be implemented when needed, but, again, just a reminder to use a reduced speed and be mindful of foot crews along the roadway.

DeAnza League Champion BBHS Girls Volleyball Team Wraps Up Season in CIF Quarterfinals
Congratulations to the Big Bear High School Girls Volleyball team, who made it all the way to the CIF Quarterfinals this season after taking the DeAnza League title for the first time in 10 years. The team of 16 finished up their third round of playoffs within a week's time in games against Woodcrest Christian on Saturday, and wrapped up their season with scores of 25-13, 25-22 and 25-10.

Big Bear Lake's City Council Working to Keep Highway 18 Open and Safe

The City of Big Bear Lake is working with CalTrans to ensure that slope rehabilitation efforts will continue on Highway 18. Prompted by slope damage resulting from the Butler and Butler #2 Fires and the need for interim and permanent barriers, Mayor Bill Jahn, on behalf of City Council, sent a letter to Michael Perovich, CalTrans District Director for our area. A portion of that letter reads: “The U.S. Forest Service continues with its rehabilitation and remediation efforts, but it is expected that, during the upcoming winter months, rains will cause rock and debris to come down from the upslope. It appears logical to have an interim barrier erected before the winter season is upon us and a permanent barrier designed and funded over the coming year. With a project of that magnitude, we would anticipate installation could take place in fall 2008. Extra efforts are also needed to keep upslope culverts and drainage systems free of fire debris before, during and after storm events.” Other points stressed in Mayor Jahn's letter are the importance of Highway 18, as both a business and evacuation route, and the proposal of “No Snow Play” signs in turnouts along Arctic Circle, in order to keep berms intact to block debris and turnouts available for emergencies. In a subsequent conversation with KBHR, Mayor Jahn says, “We are continuing to work with CalTrans, the Governor's office and our state leaders to keep Highway 18 open.”

CSD's Park Committee Will Address Methods of Public Input for East Valley Park
The Park and Recreation Committee of the Big Bear City Community Services District will convene on Thursday, November 15 at 2pm. The committee, which consists of CSD's President John Day and Board member Rick Ollila, will address methods for obtaining public input on the design and amenities to be included in the East Valley Park. The CSD Park and Recreation Committee meeting will be held at CSD's offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

MOM Project Offers Free Class to Parents: "No Thanks, I Just Had a Banana"
If your child has experienced bullying, the MOM Project is offering a free class for parents and teachers. The new class, titled “No Thanks, I Just Had a Banana,” provides parents techniques which can help children deal with bullies effectively and gently, and can also help you help your child with self-esteem. The “No Thanks, I Had a Banana” program will be offered on Monday, November 26 at 6pm at the MOM Project, located in the Rural Health Clinic at 816 W. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City. For more information on this and other programs offered by the MOM Project, please call 585-5607.


The community had an opportunity to thank veterans, following a moving Veterans Day
ceremony at Veterans Park on 11/11 at 11am. Big Bear Lake's Mayor Bill Jahn, also
a veteran, encouraged those present to give veterans our respect and gratitude.

November 13, 2007

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Thursday Is California Recycles Day
Thursday, November 15 is California Recycles Day, and the California Integrated Waste Management Board is asking everyone to take the pledge to reduce, reuse and recycle. Big Bear Lake is one of 16 Zero Waste Communities in San Bernardino County and the website, www.zerowastecommunities.org, has tips on how and where you can recycle, including suggestions on how to limit your junk mail.
Big Bear Disposal's Clean Bear Site at 41930 Garstin Drive offers recycling to the entire Valley, and those who recycle beverage containers, such as cans and bottles, can receive cash for their recyclables. Paper products can also be left in the recycling bins at the Clean Bear Site. However, please note that though California Recycles Day is on Thursday, our local recycling center is closed on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Those who are permanent residents receiving curbside trash pickup within the City of Big Bear Lake can call Big Bear Disposal for a recycling bin at 866-3952, and the Big Bear City Community Services District also offers recycling of cans, plastics and glass to East Valley residents. Small bins are available to permanent residents by calling CSD at 585-2565.

Healthcare District Holds Two Morning Meetings This Week
The Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will hold a Planning and Facilities Committee meeting tomorrow morning at 7am and, on Thursday, will hold a Human Resources Committee meeting at 8am. Both meetings of the Healthcare District will be held in the Hospital Conference Room at 41870 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Bears Youth Football Teams Headed to AVYF "Super Bowl" Championships on Saturday
Bears football teams have had a winning week. Big Bear Youth Football, which plays within the Antelope Valley Youth Football League that includes teams from Mammoth, Bishop, Kern Valley, Trona, California City, Boron, Mojave, Apple Valley and Rim of the World, has three teams advancing to the league's final games in Kern Valley this weekend. Of the three Big Bear Youth Football teams that played in conference playoffs at Meadow Park this weekend, all three teams are headed to the AVYF Super Bowl. The freshman team of players ages 8 to 10 won Kern Valley 14-0; the sophomores ages 10 to 12 won California City 18-0 and; in the final minutes of Saturday night's game, the Youth Football seniors, ages 12 to 14, beat Kern Valley 21-18. Saturday night's game victory was especially exciting for the seniors team as, in 20 years of Big Bear Youth Football, this will be li'l Bears first trip to the Super Bowl, where they will take on Mojave for the AVYF championship.

Local Public Input Sought on U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement

Earlier this year, members of our local Sierra Club and the Democratic Club asked the City Council of Big Bear Lake to consider signing the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. City Council's Green Sustainability Efforts Committee, comprised of councilmembers Rick Herrick and Michael Karp, have since reviewed the document and presented their revisions, to make the document more applicable to our community and unique needs, to Council at the October 22 meeting. Before a formal adoption of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement is considered, Council is asking for public input on the revisions. A copy of the document can be obtained at the public counter at City Hall or via the city's website at www.citybigbearlake.com. The City asks that comments or suggestions be submitted in writing by December 1 to chaggerty@citybigbearlake.com, or via mail to City of Big Bear Lake, Attn: Intergovernmental/Communications Office, P.O. Box 10000, Big Bear Lake, 92315.

School Board Has Two Meetings Scheduled for This Week
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District has two meetings scheduled for this week. The regular Board Meeting takes place on Wednesday, November 14 at 6:15pm, and will include a staff presentation by Big Bear Elementary School Principal Sharon Congdon. The Board will first convene this evening, however, in closed session at 6pm, to address two student personnel items. Both meetings of the School Board will take place at the BVUSD District Offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake.

All Nations Circle Hosts Big Bear's First Storytelling Tellabration on Saturday
Tellabration is a national community storytelling celebration which, for 19 years, has been held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in communities throughout the country. This year, Big Bear will host a Tellabration, being billed as a storytelling concert, on Saturday, November 17. Sponsored by the All Nations Circle of Big Bear Valley, the three-hour event begins at 2pm, and will feature local storytellers Jim Cogan, John Three Hawks and Loryn Longbrake, at the Whispering Pines Clubhouse at 391 Montclair, off Highway 38, in Big Bear City. Tickets to Tellabration are $15 for a family of three or more, or $7 per ticket, $5 for seniors, and free for children 5 and under, with all proceeds to benefit the Native American Scholarship Fund, which last year distributed scholarships of $500 each to six students.

November 12, 2007






Veterans Honored in Local Ceremony at Big Bear Lake's Veterans Park Yesterday
Thank you to the men and women of Big Bear Valley and beyond who have served in our armed forces, both in times of conflict and peace. Yesterday, our local veterans were honored during a Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Park, during which Big Bear Lake's Mayor Bill Jahn encouraged all of us to give veterans our respect and gratitude. Retired U.S. Marine William Alley also addressed the crowd, on behalf of the US. Marine Corps Big Bear Valley Detachment 1038, and said of our veterans, “All gave something, and some gave all.” Please, if you see a veteran today or any day, be sure to thank them for their service and sacrifice.

JV Bears Football Takes DeAnza League Title; Varsity Bears Win, Advance to CIF Playoffs
The Big Bear High School football teams wrapped up their regular season and won their home games against Yucca Valley on Saturday. Reigning DeAnza League Champions on the varsity squad beat out Yucca in a score of 33-18 and, with their 7-2 season, will advance to CIF playoffs this week. The Bears first game will be played this Friday, November 16 at 7:30pm at Rio Hondo Prep in Arcadia. Coach Dave Griffiths tells KBHR that pre-sale tickets to Friday's CIF game will be available at Big Bear High School, as of tomorrow. The JV Bears took Saturday's game 31-0, and, per Griffiths, “They won the DeAnza League title with the win.” Congratulations, Bears!

Discovery Center Open Friday Through Tuesday on Winter Hours Schedule
As of this week, the U.S. Forest Service will implement the winter hours schedule for the Discovery Center on the North Shore. The Discovery Center will be open Friday through Tuesday, and through the winter months, will be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. If you happened to have received your Big Bear Valley Residents' Rewards reminder card in the mail in recent weeks, locals day at the Adventure Outpost store will now be on Saturdays, rather than on Thursdays, as noted on the mailing. The Residents' Rewards program entitles locals to 25% off one item, excluding maps and books, in the gift store, and also features a monthly giveaway, in which locals can win an annual Adventure Pass. Again, this program will now be on Saturdays, and the Discovery Center will now be open Friday through Tuesday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The Mill Creek Ranger Station will also have reduced winter hours, and will now be open Thursday through Monday, from 8am to 4:30pm. For more information on the winter hours or the Residents' Reward program, please contact the Discovery Center at 382-2790.

Angelus Oaks Fire and CHP Respond to Fatal Collision on Highway 38 Saturday Morning -- Updated

Highway 38 was closed for a few hours on Saturday, due to a collision that ultimately resulted in the 20th fatality on mountain roads in our area this year. On November 10, at 11:17am, a 55 year-old resident of Palm Desert was traveling east bound on his 2005 Suzuki 650 motorcycle on Highway 38 near South Fork Camp Road, in the vicinity of Angelus Oaks, when he lost control of the motorcycle and fell sliding into the westbound lane, striking the front of a 2001 Nissan Maxima. The Angelus Oaks Fire Department responded to the scene and the rider was pronounced dead at 11:40am. The identity of the man is being withheld pending notification of his family. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident As of Tuesday, the San Bernardino County Coroner's Office has named the individual on the motorcycle: Terry Dennis Hawkins.

New Speed Limit for Fawnskin's Rim of the World Drive
The County of San Bernardino's Board of Supervisors has, in the interest of public safety, established a safe speed limit of 25mph on Rim of the World Drive in Fawnskin. The action was prompted by a request from a local fire chief, per the Board's statement, and a subsequent traffic engineering investigation by the County's Public Works Department. Our Third District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger says, “Traffic safety is always a concern, particularly on mountain roads. Thanks to local participation, these safety issues can be addressed as they are identified.” Rim of the World Drive, which veers northwest from downtown Fawnskin, is a primarily residential street. The County's Public Works Department will install the new 25mph street signs within the next two weeks.

Schools, Postal Service and City Hall Closed in Observance of Veterans Day
In observance of Veterans Day, there wil not be school for students of the Bear Valley Unified School District today. Also, the Big Bear Lake Civic Center will be closed in observance of Veterans Day today. City Hall will re-open tomorrow morning, November 13 at 8am. And all U.S. Post Offices are closed today—you may still pick up your mail, though window service is unavailable, due to today's Veterans Day observance.



November 9, 2007



Governor Schwarzenegger, joined by Lewis Murray of the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber
of Commerce and Sara Russ of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, made a surprise stop in the
mountains Wednesday, to announce that the mountain communities are open for business. Big Bear,
Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs are open, as is the San Bernardino National Forest!


Anniversary of U.S. Marine Corps to Be Saluted in Celebration at B's on Sunday

The Marine Corps League Big Bear Valley Detachment 1038 will be celebrating the 232nd anniversary of the November 10th founding of the U.S. Marine Corps with a birthday party at B's Backyard BarBQ on Sunday, November 11. The festivities, which will include a birthday cake cutting by the oldest and youngest Marines present, will begin at 5:30pm, with the ceremony portion scheduled for 6:30pm. The entire community in invited to join in the U.S. Marine Corps celebration at B's on Sunday evening.

Big Bear Youth Football Hosts Playoff Games at Meadow Park on Saturday
Three teams of the Big Bear Youth Football League are in the second round of junior football playoffs within the Antelope Valley Youth Football League. This round of tournament play will be at home, at Meadow Park in Big Bear Lake, with the first of three games scheduled for noon on Saturday. The little Bears freshman team of 8 to 10 year olds play Kern Valley in a noon game at the park, the undefeated sophomore team of 10 to 12 year olds play California City at 2pm, and the Youth Football's seniors, ages 12 to 14, take on Kern Valley in a Meadow Park game scheduled for 6pm Saturday. Attendance is free, the snack bar will be open, and all are invited to come down to the park and cheer on the little Bears of Big Bear Youth Football.

Comet Holmes Should Be Visible This Weekend, Though 151 Million Miles From Big Bear
If you look into the night sky, toward the northeast, you may be able to see Comet Holmes which, as of October 24, erupted and expanded, and is now visible without a telescope. Comet Holmes is named for amateur English astronomer Edwin Holmes who first spotted the comet 115 years ago in 1892. Though Comet Holmes does not have a tail, its cloud of gas and dust, illuminated by the sun, is said to have grown as big as the planet Jupiter. Though the comet is roughly 151 million miles from Earth, you should be able to see it located among the stars of the constellation Perseus, about halfway up in the northeast part of the sky especially around 8pm, through at least mid-November.

Local Veterans to Be Honored at Veterans Park at 11am on 11/11

Since President Eisenhower's proclamation in 1954, Veterans Day has been a national holiday each November 11 to honor all those in the military who have served our country, in times of both conflict and peace. Big Bear's veterans will be honored in an 11am ceremony on Sunday, November 11 at Veterans Park, on Big Bear Boulevard at Knickerbocker. The entire community is invited to the event, being hosted by the City of Big Bear Lake and American Legion Post 584, and all veterans who attend will be included in Sunday's Veterans Day ceremonies. As they will not be stateside to participate in this weekend's festivities, we would like to acknowledge Big Bear's military personnel who are currently serving overseas: Army Sergeant Gilbert Paiz, Army PFC Dominic Solomon, Marine Lance Corporal Anthony Rasmussen, Army Sergeant Selena Knowlton, Army Specialist Ruben Moody and Army PFC John Whalen. Thank you to all veterans who have served our country.

Firefighters Continue Hot Spot Suppression; Forest Re-Opened for Weekend and Sunday's Free Day
Aggressive hot spot suppression continues on both the Slide and Grass Valley Fires today. Marc Peebles of the Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 tells KBHR that infrared flyovers of the burn areas continue—helicopters with infrared sensors, to detect hot spots, flew over the 1,247 acre burn zone of the Grass Valley Fire on Thursday, and infrared flights over the Slide Fire's 12,759 acres will be going on today. Over 580 firefighters remain assigned to the two fires, both of which began October 22 and have since been 100% contained. Still, no answer yet on how these two fires, which started within three hours of each other, began. Per Peebles today, “The cause of both fires remains under investigation by the U.S. Forest Service.”
The San Bernardino National Forest has been re-opened, as of Thursday, though the burn areas do remain closed to visitors. This Sunday, the U.S. Forest Service offers another Free Day in the Forest, meaning an Adventure Pass is not needed to enjoy the forest on November 11. For more information on Free Day in the Forest, restrictions, wood permits or closures, please contact the Discovery Center at 382-2790, or you can log on to the website of the San Bernardino National Forest at www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino.

Lady Bears Advance to CIF Volleyball Quarterfinals After Last Night's Victory
-- Updated
Another round of congratulations goes to the Big Bear High School Girls Volleyball team, who will now be advancing to the CIF Quarterfinals after last night's victory. In four games against Burbank's formerly undefeated Bellarmine Jefferson High School, the Lady Bears won three of four games in scores of 23-25, 25-20, 25-20 and 25-14. The girls next game will be played on Saturday at 7pm at Woodcrest Christian High School, located at 18401 Van Buren Boulevard in Riverside. Head Coach Sonia Groover tells KBHR, “Although we are not going to be in 'Our House' tomorrow, fans are encouraged to drive out to Riverside to help encourage and motivate our girls. Let's show Woodcrest Christian how dedicated the Big Bear community is!” CIF admission prices still apply—cost for tomorrow's game will be $7 for adults, and $5 for students with ID. The BBHS Varsity Girls Volleyball team includes Nicole Filia, Allix Miller, Amanda Stewart, Antonia Antes, Katherine Smith, Lauren Schour, Angela Miranda, Natalie Powell, Kylie Reid, Candace Teale, Taylor Davies, Carolan McCollough, Mary Kate Rodgers, Jennifer Lindsey, Hannah Wallin, Gabriella Cardenas, and coaches Sonia Groover, Chelsee Hughes and Kaycee Martin.

Bears Football Finishes Regular Season With Home Games and Special Parent-Honoring Ceremony
Big Bear High School Bears Football wraps up their regular season with home games at Minder Field on Saturday, though game times are changed this round. Junior Varsity Bears Football kicks off at 9:15am, and the 6-2 Varsity Bears take to the field at noon, following a special ceremony on the field, during which BBHS seniors from the team will honor their parents before taking on Yucca Valley.

CSD's Board of Directors Approves Restructuring of Customer Service Department
As the Big Bear City Community Services District's Administrative Services Manager Karyn Oxandaboure will, after 22 years with the agency, be retiring at December's end, the CSD staff is readying a restructure of the customer service staff in a thorough yet cost-effective way. The proposed restructuring, to take effect after Oxandaboure's December 28 departure, reduces the department from five to four, yet two positions, that of Utility Billing Specialist and Administrative Specialist, would absorb additional responsibilities that include customer service and secretary to the board duties, respectively. At November 5's meeting of CSD's Board of Directors, the reorganization was approved, and will subsequently result in an annual cost savings of $119,000 to the agency.

CATS Brings "Annie" to the PAC Stage For An 11-Show Run, Starting Next Friday
Tickets are now on sale for the Community Theater Arts Society's production of "Annie," which will have an 11-show run at the Performing Arts Center, from November 16 through December 2. The musical, which has been in pre-production for a year, will star both Tori Waner and Alyson Abbott as Annie and Ty Warren and Jim Weyant as Daddy Warbucks. The show's Director Karen Sargent Rachels says, “I've paired them up, and Alyson and Ty will perform half the shows, and Tori and Jim the other half. All four have so many friends in the Valley, many will want to see both pairs do this show! All of them are absolutely wonderful, and bring different dimensions to the production.” Tickets for the CATS production of "Annie," and cast specifics, are available online at www.bigbeartheater.org or the PAC box office at 866-4970.

November 8, 2007

Local Sheriff's Deputies Involved in Investigation of Riverside-Area Kidnapping and Subsequent Suicide

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputies have been investigating the death of a 41-year-old Riverside man in the 100 block of Sunset Lane in Sugarloaf, since his alleged kidnapping victim (whose name remains confidential) notified authorities Wednesday morning. Here are the details from a statement issued by the Big Bear Sheriff's Station today:
On Wednesday, November 7, Riverside Sheriff's Department investigators were investigating a kidnapping in their jurisdiction. They obtained information that the suspect, Sipriano Estrada, had kidnapped his ex-wife. They located Estrada's vehicle and inside the vehicle they found directions to his ex-wife's new residence. Her residence was checked and she and her vehicle were missing.
On November 7 at approximately 9am, Big Bear Deputies were notified of a female victim of an assault. The victim was able to escape from the suspect and ran to a nearby fire station. The victim took deputies to a cabin in the Sugarloaf area where the assault occurred. Deputies attempted to make contact with the suspect. They located the suspect deceased inside the residence.
The Sheriff's Homicide Detail was requested to respond to Sugarloaf to conduct a suspicious death investigation. Investigators determined the suspect had committed suicide. Riverside investigators were notified of Sipriano Estrada's death.

Burn Areas of Slide and Grass Valley Fires Under Patrol Day and Night as Smoldering Continues

Today's report from Incident Command, which is the Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team 3, is that over 450 firefighters remain at work on the burn areas of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. Team 3's Marc Peebles, who also happens to be a Battalion Chief with the San Bernardino County Fire Department, tells KBHR, “Everything is still in heavy mop up stages, both on the Grass Valley and Slide Fires. Crews continue to patrol both the fires areas, day and night. Some of our staff are focusing on refurbishing scars of dozer lines and hand lines.” Though both fires are 100% contained, which means there is a strong fire line completely around it, neither the Slide or Grass Valley Fire is yet fully controlled, which is why smoldering may be visible. Officials say that firefighters continue to mop up more than a football field's length away from homes and businesses, and the fires will not be completely out until we get significant precipitation. Peebles adds, “There are still a few hot spots, deep within the interior of both fires, and crews are working those fuels.”

Running Springs Celebrates Halloween With Trick or Treating This Saturday
The Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Running Springs merchants will host a special afternoon for children in their area this Saturday. From 2 to 5pm on November 10, there will be trick or treating in downtown Running Springs for those who were evacuated during the Halloween holiday. All children in the mountain communities are invited to Saturday afternoon's Halloween in Running Springs.

CSD Board Takes Another Step Forward in Big Bear City Park Development Process

In this week's Board of Directors meeting of the Big Bear City Community Services District, progress toward a community park on Paradise Way in Big Bear City took another step forward. At the October 1st meeting of the CSD Board, staff was directed to have legal counsel of Best Best & Krieger amend the draft Memorandum of Understanding between CSD and the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District to jointly develop a Big Bear City Park on CSD's property. In the meantime, the Advisory Commission of Rec and Park had unanimously approved the draft MOU. At CSD's November 5 meeting, the Board, in a vote of 4 to 1, accepted legal counsel's suggested changes, none of which alter the components of the original draft MOU. The revised MOU now goes back to the Advisory Commission of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, which will have the MOU agendized for their next meeting, scheduled for November 20. CSD's General Manager Mike Mayer tells KBHR that he is optimistic about having both agencies sign the Memorandum of Understanding in the near future.

San Bernardino National Forest Re-Opens to Public Today
The U.S. Forest Service has lifted the temporary emergency closure of the San Bernardino National Forest, effective today. The forest is now open to visitors, though areas directly affected by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires--including Green Valley Campground, Fisherman's Group Campground and Tent Peg Group Campground--do remain closed, as do areas that were closed prior to October 23's temporary emergency closure. Forest visitors are reminded that the fire danger level remains critical due to drought conditions, so wood and charcoal fires are not allowed anywhere in the forest. As always, no fireworks, no recreational target shooting expect for in developed sites, and smoking is allowed only in enclosed buildings or vehicles. For specific road closures and restrictions, please call the Discovery Center at 382-2790, or you can log on to the website of the San Bernardino National Forest at www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino.

CIF Volleyball and Battle of the Bands at BBHS This Evening; No School for Students Friday or Monday
There is a full evening scheduled for the Big Bear High School gym. At 5pm, the DeAnza League champion Girls Volleyball team hosts Bellarmine Jefferson for Round 2 in CIF Playoffs. Admission prices for the CIF volleyball game are $7 for adults, and $5 for students with ID.
Later, at 9:30pm, the Class of 2008 hosts the Battle of the Bands, which features eight bands of BBHS students, and some alumni, rocking their way to the $200 grand prize, provided by Sonora Cantina. Battle of the Bands is a fundraiser for this year's seniors, with proceeds to benefit the Class of 2008's senior gift. Ticket prices for Battle of the Bands are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children.
This evening's events are separate and, again, Lady Bears volleyball begins at 5pm, and the Battle of the Bands kicks off at 9:30pm. Though the evening may run late, students have Friday off from school to accommodate a Buy Back Day (teachers will be in session), and district-wide, BVUSD schools will be closed on Monday, November 12 in observance of Veterans Day.
And, just a reminder, today is a minimum day for students of Big Bear Middle School and all three elementaries.


Time for Change: The Fawnskin Mayoral Race is underway, and you can cast your quarter
to vote for Betty Conroy, Gene Cyr or Cynthia Crane. Through December, most Fawnskin
businesses--including all restaurants, the market and the Moose Lodge--have voting
boxes. Proceeds from the mayoral fundraiser will benefit local charities.

November 7, 2007


Lady Bears Win First Round in CIF Volleyball Playoffs -- Updated

The Big Bear High School Girls Volleyball Team has made it to Round 2 in the CIF playoffs, having beat Montclair Prep in all three games, held last night in the BBHS gym. The Lady Bears swept the competition 25-14, 25-23 and 25-11. Head coach Sonia Groover says her team of 16 has made it their goal to get through Round 2, in games that will be played tomorrow against Burbank's undefeated Bellarmine Jefferson High School. In a conversation with KBHR, Groover says, “The girls have worked really hard to be where they are, and they really appreciate the support.” The Lady Bears Round 2 playoff games will be held on Thursday and, after winning the CIF coin toss earlier today, will be a home game at Big Bear High School. The game is now scheduled for 5pm, and CIF admission prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students with ID. Congratulations to DeAnza League champions Nicole Filia, Allix Miller, Amanda Stewart, Antonia Antes, Katherine Smith, Lauren Schour, Angela Miranda, Natalie Powell, Kylie Reid, Candace Teale, Taylor Davies, Carolan McCollough, Mary Kate Rodgers, Jennifer Lindsey, Hannah Wallin, Gabriella Cardenas, and their coaches Sonia Groover, Chelsee Hughes and Kaycee Martin!

$5 Flu Shots Available to Seniors on Monday, November 26
Flu shots will be available to Big Bear seniors on Monday, November 26, from 10am to noon. Cost for the flu shot will be just $5 and is available to those age 55 and over. The two-hour flu shot opportunity will be offered at the Big Bear Senior Center, though parking will be available only at the Convention Center—the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will provide shuttle service to and from the two facilities. Seniors who want to participate in the November 26 $5 flu shot clinic are asked to drop by the Senior Center or call 584-0323 to reserve your shot.

Airport District Board to Meet at 3pm Today
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Airport District will hold their regular meeting today at 3pm in the Big Bear City Airport Pilots Lounge. Among new business items, the Board will consider moving the Maintenance Building Project from development committee to a Board of Directors workshop. This afternoon's Managers Report, presented by Garry Dokter, will include an update on activities in support of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires.

Over 600 Firefighters Continue Work on Slide and Grass Valley Fires; Forest Remains Closed

In news from Incident Command on the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, which is now being overseen by Southern California Incident Management Team 3, over 600 firefighting personnel remain assigned to the two fires. Within both burn zones, crews continue to monitor fire conditions and respond to 911 calls while continuing mop up operations. Firefighters keep looking for and extinguishing smoke and smoldering debris in residential areas. Nine hand crews are making repairs to any damage to the land created by fire suppression activities during the fire response. Other crews on scene include three helicopters, 13 water tenders, and 38 engines. The cause of both fires remains under investigation. Meanwhile, utility companies are still at work to restore services to the areas affected by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. Incident Command also notes that the San Bernardino National Forest does remain closed to the public until severe fire conditions ease.

Local Agencies Partner to Specifically Help Those Affected by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires
During the fall fires of 2003, the Big Bear-based Lutheran Social Services partnered with a small grassroots agency in the Blue Jay area, called Rebuilding Mountain Hearts and Lives, or RMHL. RMHL has, in the past four years, dealt hands-on with the rebuilding of homes, and now the two agencies are partnering again to help those affected by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. In a statement, they noted that when the immediate disaster becomes old news and the fundraisers have come and gone, those in the mountains will still be faced with rebuilding homes as winter approaches. To that end, Lutheran Social Services and Rebuilding Mountain Hearts and Lives are spearheading a donation drive to specifically benefit those who suffered losses in the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. When specific goods are requested, the two agencies say they'll put out the call—but, for now, they are asking for monetary help for our mountain neighbors. If you would like to contribute a tax deductible donation, it can be sent to Lutheran Social Services at P.O. Box 1927, Big Bear Lake, 92315, and it is asked that you please indicate “for survivors of Slide and Grass Valley Fires.” For more information, please call Lutheran Social Services at 866-5070, or RMHL at 337-9922.

CSD Holds Water Committee Meeting at 10am This Morning
The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold a special meeting of the Water Committee today at 10am. The open session meeting will be held at CSD's offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.


Healthy-minded individuals gathered for Saturday's Grand Opening of the Wellness Center
at 41930 Garstin Drive: Hosts Ted and Heather Devito of Power My Health, Daniel Morello
of Mountain Mobile Massage, Dee Senter of Intuitive Designs, and René Fulkerson of
Equada Outfitters, with food from Sol Food Market.


November 6, 2007


Big Bear Lake's Proposed Transient Private Home Rental Ordinance to Get Another Review
At this week's Planning Commission meeting, scheduled for tomorrow at 1:15pm in Hofert Hall, the commission will address a Development Code Amendment, to include the enforcement of Transient Private Home Rentals as reviewed by the City Council of Big Bear Lake at their October 22 meeting. Since April of this year, councilmembers Bill Jahn and Michael Karp have overseen a TPHR Enforcement Ordinance committee which has met, so far, three times to recommend provisions for inclusion in an ordinance. City Manager Jeff Mathieu noted that the committee “is a cross section of the community that worked really hard” to ultimately bring “peace and quiet and tranquility to our neighborhoods.” The Planning Commission will review the proposed ordinance which includes, among other things, a mandatory 24/7 complaint response program, in-person check-in that would include signed acknowledgement of city regulations, parking restrictions, mandated local TPHR management, and tiered enforcement. After review and input by the Planning Commission, the Transient Private Home Rental Ordinance will be presented to City Council for possible adoption, and will subsequently be reviewed by the City's legal counsel through the process.

Sheriff's Department Reminds Drivers and Pedestrians to Use Extra Caution
In light of the end of Daylight Savings Time, and the fact that it is nearly dark at 5pm, the Big Bear Sheriff's Station is alerting drivers to be extra cautious. Each Fall and Spring, as the sunrise and sunset change angles, the sudden one-hour Daylight Savings time shift makes a barely noticeable change that can surprise even the most seasoned traveler. Many drivers familiar with their normal routes find that within days after the time change they are staring directly into a blinding morning or afternoon sun--a dangerous driving situation, which can be magnified even more if your windshield is dirty. Please use care when the sun is low in the sky. Drive safely, clean your vehicle's windows when you stop for fuel, and keep your washer fluid reservoir full at all times. Drivers are reminded to watch for pedestrians along school bus routes, intersections, transit stops and shopping centers. Use extra caution when backing out of driveways and driving around in parking lots. Additionally, the Sheriff's Station would like to provide the following general tips for pedestrian safety: See and be seen--drivers need to see you to avoid you; make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets; wear bright colors or reflective clothing at night; turn down the volume on headphones when attempting to cross the street; and walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.

Caretto, Zimmerman and Lambert To Take Oath as Planning Commissioners Tomorrow

The City Council of Big Bear Lake has appointed David Caretto, Anne Zimmerman and Richard Lambert to serve on the Planning Commission. Caretto and Zimmerman, both incumbents, will each serve a four-year term on the Commission, through June 30, 2011. Lambert will complete the unexpired term of former commissioner Tim Brigham, through June 30, 2009.
Caretto has served on the Commission since 2006 and has over 33 years experience in public service, including the role of General Manager with the South Orange County Wastewater Agency, prior to his retirement in 2005. Caretto has also served as the City Manager and Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency and Housing Authority for the City of Irwindale.
Zimmerman, who has also served on the commission since 2006, is a Big Bear High School graduate, former Rotary Club President and a local attorney at law, having received degrees from both USC and Loyola Law School.
Lambert, the newest member to the Commission, has been a resident of Big Bear for over 20 years and is the owner of Big Bear Pharmacy. Lambert received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from USC, and belongs to the California and Inland Empire Pharmacists Associations, as well as the Bear Valley Youth Foundation.
Caretto, Zimmerman and Lambert will take the official oath of office, under the direction of Mayor Bill Jahn, at the next Planning Commission meeting, which will be this Wednesday at 1:15pm in Hofert Hall.

Students of Rim of the World Unified School District Return to School Next Tuesday
Though none of the schools within the Rim of the World Unified School District suffered burn damage as a result of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, school facilities remain closed as professional cleaning crews are at work, dealing with ash, soot and odor contamination. Per Rim's interim superintendent, Ron Peavy, school offices are currently closed, and Rim's School Board has determined that school will resume for students next Tuesday, November 13, which will also allow for the Veterans Day holiday to be observed on Monday the 12th. All certificated and classified staff of the Rim of the World School District will convene on Wednesday, November 7 for a 9am meeting at the Rim High School gym.

BBHS Girls Volleyball Takes DeAnza League Title; CIF Playoffs Begin at Home Tonight
The Big Bear High School Girls Varsity Volleyball team has secured top honors in the DeAnza League, as the Lady Bears are co-champs alongside 29 Palms. Head Coach Sonia Groover tells KBHR that this DeAnza League title is the first for BBHS Girls Volleyball in 10 years. The first of their CIF playoffs will be in a home game, scheduled for this evening at 7pm in the BBHS gym, where they will take on Montclair Prep. Admission prices for the CIF volleyball game are $7 for adults, and $5 for students with ID. The entire community is invited to cheer on the champion Lady Bears in the BBHS gym this evening.

November 5, 2007


Parent Portion of "Rachel's Challenge" Moved to Wednesday Evening at BBHS

Tomorrow, Tuesday, the Associated Student Body of Big Bear High School will be bringing a special assembly, titled “Rachel's Challenge,” to students, though the parent portion has been moved to Wednesday evening. Rachel Scott was the first of 13 victims to die in the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. Rachel's father, Darrell Scott, founded the Rachel's Challenge Organization, which offers one-hour presentations to students around the country, with a focus on motivating others in a positive way. The assembly is followed by a workshop for teachers and student leaders. The teachings of Rachel's Challenge are said to assist in reducing bullying and preventing suicides. Big Bear High School students will attend the Rachel's Challenge assembly tomorrow at 10am, and parents and community members are welcomed to an hour-long evening presentation, which will be in the BBHS gym, now on Wednesday at 6:30pm. Those with questions are asked to call Sue Reynolds at the high school at 585-6892.

Free Lecture on Bipolar Disorder and Depression, at Big Bear Library Tomorrow at 6:30pm

The Friends of the Big Bear Library will host a free lecture by Dr. James Stout, author and consultant on bipolar disorder and depression, tomorrow evening, November 6 at 6:30pm at the Big Bear Library, located at 41930 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake. The community is invited to Dr. Stout's free talk, titled “Depression and Bipolar Disorder: Surviving, Recovering and Rebuilding.” It is interesting to note that Stout, who is also a Presbyterian minister, was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 1989, and has since found his own path to recovery. This information will be presented at Tuesday's 6:30 program. For more information, please call the library at 866-5571.

Over 1,000 Firefighters Still at Work Within Burn Zones of Slide and Grass Valley Fires

Over 1,000 firefighters remain assigned to the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, which began two weeks ago today, on Monday morning, October 22. On the Grass Valley Fire, areas disturbed by dozer activity are being stabilized and repaired. Crews continue to monitor the current fire perimeter for potential fire activity and mop up hot spots with the burn zone of 1,247 acres. On the Slide Fire, crews are monitoring fire conditions and responding to 911 calls while continuing mop up operations. Firefighters will be moving through residential areas looking for and extinguishing smoke and smoldering debris within the burn zone's 12,759 acres. Utility companies continue to work to restore service to the fire area, and Southern California Edison will complete marking of snags that threaten power lines and continue with tree felling operations. As of 4pm today, a Southern California Incident Management Team 3 will assume command of both fires, which are 100% contained, though not yet controlled. All roads remain open, though CalTrans crews will be doing roadway repair on Highway 330, Monday through Saturday from 7am to 5pm, and drivers are reminded to “slow for the cone zone.”

Women of Wisdom Reschedule Women's Wellness Weekend for November 30-December 2
October's Women of Wisdom retreat was one of the local activities postponed due to the threat of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. The Women's Wellness Weekend has since been rescheduled and will now be held November 30 through December 2, and will still take place at the Presbyterian Conference Center in Big Bear Lake. The three-day conference, titled “Your Life is Now: Honor, Embrace, Rejoice,” features three keynote speakers and eight workshop leaders, with a focus on spirituality. Registration for the Women's Wellness Weekend has been re-opened and those who wish to attend can register online at www.womenofwisdomCA.com, or by calling 585-8786.

Ryan Hall Finishes Olympic Team Trials Marathon in Record 2:09:02

Over the weekend, Ryan Hall, a 2001 Big Bear High School graduate, won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in New York, with a trials record of 2 hours, 9 minutes and 2 seconds, and will go on to compete in the 2008 Olympics next summer in Beijing. Hall, who grew up in Big Bear Lake and graduated from Stanford in 2006, is now 25 years old and has been called the next great U.S. marathoner, having become the first American to run a half-marathon in under one hour in January of this year. Now he can be called an Olympian.
This Saturday's marathon was marked by tragedy however, when Hall's good friend and occasional training partner, Ryan Shay, collapsed at the five-and-a-half-mile mark and subsequently died. Their paths crossed one last time on the marathon course as Shay was being rushed to the hospital. The ambulance carrying Shay drove past Hall, who was at the front of the pack of runners. Hall heard the news of Shay's death about an hour after he won. “I was just shocked when I heard,” Hall told the New York Times, “It's hard to believe a dream comes true and that I lost a friend today.” The two Ryans were close friends and supported each other with the dream of making the Olympic team, with Hall calling Shay one of his biggest inspirations. Hall has recently been honored by Runner's World magazine, as one of 2007's Heroes of Running, in the December issue currently on newsstands.

Repair Work Underway on Highway 330, Though All Roads to Big Bear Open
The Slide and Grass Valley Fires are both 100% contained, all evacuations have been lifted, and the roads, including Highway 18 down the front way, are open. However, CalTrans has started repair work on Highway 330 resulting from the fires, and crews will be working along the roadway, Monday through Saturday, from 7am to 5pm. Traffic control will be implemented when needed but, in the meantime, 330 will remain open while crews are repairing guard rails, resetting road signs, repairing drainage and removing fallen trees. Drivers are advised to use a reduced speed and be mindful of foot crews along Highway 330.

Big Bear City Community Services District to Re-Address Park MOU at This Evening's Meeting
The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold their regular meeting this evening at 5:30pm, at their offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City. Among items on the agenda is the recommended approval of the Memorandum of Understanding between CSD and the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District to develop a park on CSD's Paradise Way property. CSD's legal counsel has reviewed the draft MOU and their modified draft will be presented before CSD's Board for approval. Other items on the agenda include the revised hours of work policy and, in new business, a reorganization of CSD's customer service staff in anticipation of the December retirement of the agency's Administrative Service Manager.

November 3, 2007


The Alpine Pedal Path along Big Bear Lake's North Shore, as well as the Discovery Center,
Juniper Point and Serrano Campground, are open despite closures in the San Bernardino
National Forest this weekend.

BBHS Graduate Ryan Hall Will Compete in 2008 Olympics
Ryan Hall, distance-running standout at Big Bear High School, pulled away to win the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in New York Saturday and will compete in the Olympics next summer in Bejing. Ryan, who grew up in Big Bear Lake is now 25 years old, has been called the next great U.S. marathoner. Now he can be called an Olympian. The marathon Saturday was marked by tragedy however, when Hall's good friend and occasional training partner, Ryan Shay, collapsed at the five-and-a-half-mile mark and died. Their paths crossed one last time on the marathon course as Shay was being rushed to the hospital. The ambulance carrying Shay drove past Hall, who was at the front of the pack of runners. Hall heard the news of Shay's death about an hour after he won. Shay and Hall were close friends and supported each other with the dream of making the Olympic team. Hall called Shay one of his biggest inspirations.

Repair Work Resulting from Fires Begins On State Route 330
CalTrans has begun repairing damage from the recent fires on State Route 330. SR-330 will be closed in both directions, from Highland Avenue in San Bernardino to Running Springs, on Sunday, November 4 from 9am to 1pm for emergency infrastructure repairs. Highway 330 is scheduled to reopen on Sunday at 1pm. Repair work will continue Monday through Saturday, from 7am to 5pm, until repairs are completed. Crews are repairing guardrails, resetting road signs, repairing drainage and removing fallen trees. Beginning Monday, November 5, traffic control will be implemented when needed, however, be prepared for ground crews around and on the road. Please drive carefully and watch out for foot crews working in the area.

November 2, 2007


Highway 18 re-opens! Cars were lined up at the Big Bear Dam on Friday at noon, in anticipation
of the re-opening of Highway 18, which had been closed for nearly two weeks due to the Slide
and Grass Valley Fires.


Fawnskin Structure Fire Quickly Contained This Afternoon, Thanks to All Valley Agencies

At approximately 1:10pm this afternoon, smoke was visible on the North Shore (see photo below), and firefighting agencies and law enforcement personnel were quick to respond. The fire, as it turns out, was a single structure fire. A garage on Raccoon Drive on the east side of Fawnskin was on fire and San Bernardino County Fire out of Fawnskin, Big Bear Lake Fire Department, Big Bear City Fire Department, the U.S. Forest Service, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and two helicopters, stationed at the Big Bear City Airport, all quickly responded to the scene, and contained the fire.



U. S. Forest Service Readies for Fire Potential Given This Weekend's Santa Ana Winds
In light of this weekend's potential for fire, given Santa Ana winds, the U.S. Forest Service has all fire suppression forces ready to respond to new fire starts. Ed Hollenshead, the Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Regional Director for Fire and Aviation, says, “By holding firefighters and aircraft in Southern California through the weekend, I am confident we will be able to immediately respond to any new fire starts and we can ensure fires remain contained during the expected winds this weekend.” All fire stations within the San Bernardino National Forest will be fully staffed 24 hours a day and, the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR, approximately 1,000 firefighters will remain on scene in the burn areas of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. San Bernardino National Forest Fire Chief Mike Dietrich adds, “Immediate initial attack is our priority. Quickly suppressing new fire starts can keep our efforts focused on the Grass Valley and Slide Fires and prevent any new large fires.” The Forest Service also plans additional patrol efforts and will be on high alert for arsonists and other suspicious activities. Per our San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Jeanne Wade Evans, “It's a time for everyone to be vigilant.”

"Rachel's Challenge" Assembly Comes to BBHS on Tuesday; Evening Presentation for Parents
On Tuesday, November 6, the Associated Student Body of Big Bear High School will be bringing a special assembly, titled “Rachel's Challenge”, to students, after having had to reschedule the assembly during the Butler #2 Fire evacuation. Rachel Scott was the first of 13 victims to die in the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. Rachel's father, Darrell Scott, founded the Rachel's Challenge Organization, which offers one-hour presentations to students around the country, with a focus on motivating others in a positive way. The assembly is followed by a workshop for teachers and student leaders. The teachings of Rachel's Challenge are said to assist in reducing bullying and preventing suicides. Big Bear High School students will attend the Rachel's Challenge assembly on Tuesday at 10am, and parents and community members are welcomed to an hour-long evening presentation, which will be in the BBHS gym at 6:30pm. Those with questions are asked to call Sue Reynolds at the high school at 585-6892.

Tomorrow: Change Your Clocks, Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

This weekend we make the transition from Daylight Savings Time, so remember to “fall back” Saturday night by setting your clocks and watches back one hour. The Big Bear Lake Fire Department also suggest that you take this time to not just change your clocks, but change your batteries on all smoke alarms in your home. Nationwide, an average of three children die per day in home fires, and 80% percent of those occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Fire Prevention Officer Michelle Caldwell of the Big Bear Lake Fire Department says, “The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10pm and 6am, when most families are sleeping. Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them extra seconds they need to get out safely.” In addition, Caldwell suggests that the bonus hour we get this weekend, as we turn back our clocks, is an hour that families can use to test smoke alarms and practice a home fire escape plan. For more information about fire safety, you can log on to the National Fire Protection Association's website at www.nfpa.org, or contact any of our three local fire departments: Big Bear Lake Fire at 866-7566, Big Bear City Fire at 585-2362, or the Fawnskin station of San Bernardino County Fire at 866-4878.

Dr. Stout to Speak on Bipolar Disorder and Depression at Friends of the Big Bear Library Event
The Friends of the Big Bear Library were among the organizations that had to cancel an event due to the evacuations during the Butler #2 Fire in September. They have since announced that Dr. James Stout, author, lecturer and consultant on bipolar disorder and depression, will make his presentation on Tuesday evening, November 6 at 6:30pm at the Big Bear Library, located at 41930 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake. The community is invited to Dr. Stout's free lecture, titled “Depression and Bipolar Disorder: Surviving, Recovering and Rebuilding.” It is interesting to note that Stout, who is also a Presbyterian minister, was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 1989, and has since found his own path to recovery. This information will be presented at Tuesday's 6:30 program. For more information, please call the library at 866-5571.

Highway 18 Re-Opens at Noon Today; Drivers Urged to Reduce Speed for Firefighter Safety
Highway 18, including the portion from the Big Bear Dam to Running Springs, will be re-opened to all traffic as of noon today, per Incident Command, the County of San Bernardino and the California Highway Patrol. Though the road is open, John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR, “Motorists can expect the possibility of short delays in the Snow Valley area, due to firefighting efforts along the roadway.” At this time, the passing lane at Snow Valley is closed, as there was fire backing all the way down to the roadway resulting from the Slide Fire. Miller adds, “There may be flagging west of Snow Valley, so drivers are asked to reduce their speed for firefighter safety.” Highway 330 was re-opened yesterday morning, so all roadways into the Big Bear Valley will be accessible as of noon today.

Last of Mandatory Evacuation Orders Being Lifted; Green Valley Lake Residents Allowed to Return
Residents of Green Valley Lake who have not yet had the opportunity to return home, will be able to do so today. Now that the Slide Fire is 100% contained and utility restoration is underway, those who have properties listed as damaged or destroyed on the county assessor's website at www.sbassessor.org will be allowed entry this morning, following a briefing to be held at the Arrowbear Fire Department, located at 2365 Fir Drive at Highway 18. After attending the briefing, these residents of Green Valley Lake will be allowed first access through noon today. Please note that proof of residency will be required, and the county recommends that those on the organized site visit wear sturdy shoes, eye protection, canvas gloves and long sleeves and long pants. The County Department of Public Health will provide plastic bags for salvaged belongings, rubber gloves and facemasks. All other residents and business owners in Green Valley Lake will be allowed to return to the area as of noon, as the mandatory evacuation order will be lifted at that time. We want to remind that though utility companies have been working 'round the clock to restore service, residents should be prepared to be without power for up to two weeks. Information on assistance resources is available to recent evacuees by calling 211.

Recovery Resources Still Available, Six Days a Week, at National Orange Show in San Bernardino
The Federal Emergency Local Assistance Center, which has been at the Dome at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino since just after the Grass Valley and Slide Fires broke out on Monday morning, October 22 will, as of noon today, be converted into a Disaster Recovery Center, housing both Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and the Office of Emergency Services. The County wants those in need to know that services will continue to be available at the National Orange Show, Monday through Friday, from 7am to 7pm, and on Saturdays from 9am to 4pm. FEMA will also establish an office in the mountains, once the county secures a location. In the meantime, the county's website at www.sbcounty.gov will provide web links for all agencies offering services to those affected by the fires.


Ten-year-old Jacquie Cummings stopped by the KBHR booth during Halloween in the Village
to visit her award-winning jack-o'-lantern, which scored her a $50 gift certificate from Kmart.

November 1, 2007


Some BBHS students had Pac Man fever during last night's Halloween in the Village

Burned Structure Tally Includes 518 Homes; Firefighters Go Above and Beyond

The San Bernardino County Assessor's Office reports that 520 structures were damaged or destroyed as a result of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires and yet only two of those were businesses: a hardware store and a real estate office in the downtown area of Green Valley Lake, as we reported last Thursday. That said, the other 518 structures destroyed or damaged were homes, and this information has been confirmed for us by Incident Command this week. Fire officials also confirm that no school facilities within the Rim of the World School District were burned during the two fires. Given this, there are well over 500 individuals and families who will have to rebuild their homes and replace their belongings—though not every item is replaceable. John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service tells us that an elderly woman returned to her home in Running Springs during yesterday's organized site visit, and was alone, digging through the burned debris in search of her family heirloom jewelry. The U.S. Forest Service crew of Engine 16 from Fawnskin was in the area, and took to helping this woman and, all told, picked through the burned debris with her until they found the jewelry. For this, and countless other heroic, kind and brave gestures, we want to say thank you to all the firefighters.

Economic Injury Loans Available to Small Businesses From Federal Government at 4% Interest

Those who have suffered losses resulting from the Slide and Grass Valley Fires are potentially eligible for grants from FEMA or loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Two federal representatives from SBA, Greg Dawson and Charmagne Husmann, were in Big Bear this morning, to address members of the business community who may have suffered economic injury due to recent road, forest and lake closures, prompted by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires. Husmann tells KBHR, “We want to make sure people can get all the federal help that's available.” Those whose properties have been physically damaged have until December 24, 2007 to apply for assistance, and small business owners suffering economic injury or in need of working capital may apply for SBA loans through July 24, 2008, though Husmann recommends applying sooner than later. “We have the loans,” she says, “which are designed for long-term or permanent recovery. We do an individual analysis to determine people's ability to repay these low interest government loans, up to 30 years.” These federal-direct loans available for businesses, non-profits and companies with economic injury are available at 4% interest. Those interested in applying, can visit the SBA center at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino through Saturday, or can contact SBA at 800-659-2955, or online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Before contacting SBA though, all are asked to first contact FEMA at 800-621-3362.

Hwy 18 Re-Opens Friday, Financial Assistance Available, Town Meeting in Arrowhead -- Update as of Noon
Here is the news you've all been waiting for—not only are both the Slide and Grass Valley Fires now 100% contained but, per Incident Command and the County of San Bernardino, Highway 18 will be completely reopened to all traffic as of noon tomorrow, November 2. Highway 330 was reopened to traffic as of 6am this morning.
Though both fires are fully contained, we do want to make the distinction that they are not fully controlled, as we learned on the Butler #2 Fire. In a conversation with Tom Kempton, stationed at Incident Command at Snow Valley, he says, “Homeowners will probably see smoke from stumps until it gets wet enough to put this out.” Fire officials do note that those in the vicinity of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires should contact fire personnel in their area if they are concerned about smoldering materials near their homes. In the meantime, over 1,600 firefighters remain in the area, to continue putting out hot spots and doing mop-up work within the burn zones.
The last of the mandatory evacuation orders will be lifted tomorrow, as of noon, for residents of Green Valley Lake. Prior to re-entry, there will be an organized site visit for these residents tomorrow morning, from 9am to noon, beginning with a briefing at the Arrowbear Fire Station, located at 2365 Fir Drive, on the corner of Fir and Highway 18. As with other site visits this week, only those whose properties listed on the county assessor's website at www.sbassessor.org will be included in the 9am briefing. All others will be allowed to return to Green Valley Lake, without restrictions, as of noon tomorrow. The county assessor's website also includes new information today, which outlines the estimated monetary damage incurred by home loss within the Slide and Grass Valley Fires--at current count, the total cost of rebuilding damaged or destroyed structures is over $155 million.
For those who have incurred losses resulting from the fires, two representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration were in Big Bear this morning to outline how low interest loans can be obtained. Charmagne Husmann and Greg Dawson first spoke at this morning's Big Bear Chamber of Commerce Power Breakfast, then stopped by the KBHR studios to outline assistance opportunities. For perspective's sake, of last week's wildfires in Southern California, Husmann notes, “This is really big. This is the biggest disaster since Katrina.” Those who have suffered physical damage to their property should first register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362. The next step, which also applies to small business owners who have suffered economic injury (even here in Big Bear, due to road, forest and lake closures), should then file an application with SBA at 800-659-2955 or online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. We will bring you more information on these low interest loans in a future broadcast and will post on our website but, for now, know that help is available. Notes Husmann, “This is federal taxpayer dollars at work.”
Those within the Slide and Grass Valley Fire areas are invited to this evening's Town Hall Meeting, hosted by the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce, at 6pm. The purpose of the town meeting is to educate the community with regard to available resources and, specifically, what these resources can provide. All individuals and families who have suffered a loss, whether structural, financial or business related, are encouraged to attend the 6pm meeting, to be held at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa Grand Ballroom, located at 27984 Highway 189 in Lake Arrowhead. In the meantime, the LAC Chamber wants everyone to know that Lake Arrowhead Village remains undamaged by the fires.

San Bernardino National Forest to Remain Closed Until We Get Rain or Snow

The San Bernardino National Forest does remain closed, not just as a result of the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, but also in anticipation of more Santa Ana winds this weekend. John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR, “Closing the forest is a preventative measure because it's a fact that most fires are human caused, and by that I don't necessarily mean arson.” The U.S. Forest Service has already pre-positioned crews throughout Southern California's forested areas, as an added preventative measure, should Santa Ana winds kick up this weekend. Though the Big Bear area's Serrano Campground, Alpine Pedal Path and Juniper Point are open, Miller notes, “We are not going to reopen the forest until we get a significant amount of rain or snow.”

Good News: Slide Fire Is Now 100% Contained; Highway 330 Re-Opened -- Update as of 9am
We have more good news to report on the fires, both of which started 10 days ago, on Monday morning, October 22. As of last night, the Slide Fire, which burned 12,759 acres in the areas of Green Valley Lake, Running Springs and Arrowbear, is 100% contained. As of 6am this morning, the mandatory evacuation order for residents of Running Springs and Arrowbear has been lifted. Residents of Green Valley Lake will be able to return home at noon on Friday, November 2, as Incident Command has scheduled a lifting of this, the last of the mandatory evacuation orders. However, residents in these communities may be without power for up to another two weeks, per Southern California Edison. Despite this, John Miller with the U.S. Forest Service, tells KBHR, “Southern California Edison is doing an outstanding job, working 'round the clock, to restore service.”
The Grass Valley Fire is also 100% contained, and utility crews are still at work in the area to continue restoration of the utilities to these communities, which includes areas in and around Twin Peaks and Lake Arrowhead. Those who live in neighborhoods within the 1,247 burned acres of the Grass Valley Fire are under a voluntary evacuation.
As of this morning, at 6am, the road closure on Highway 330 has been lifted, per a statement released by the County of San Bernardino. Also, as of this morning, the Highway 18 closure has been moved to the east, from Heaps Peak to Green Valley Lake Road. For those traveling from Big Bear, the closure of Highway 18 does remain in effect from Green Valley Lake Road to the Big Bear Dam.

October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween! Here are some of the pumpkins that visited the KBHR studios in our first-ever
jack-o'-lantern contest. Winners will be on display at Halloween in the Village.

No Scheduled Re-Open Dates for Highways 330 and 18 -- Update as of 5pm
Though evacuees were allowed an organized site visit to Running Springs and Arrowbear today, Highway 330 and Highway 18, from the Big Bear Dam to the Running Springs area, do remain closed. All officials that we spoke with today told us that re-open dates have yet to be scheduled for these highways. John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service noted that, as a result of the Grass Valley and Slide Fires, “Highway 330 did get some damage, and CalTrans is [presently] working on that.” As for Highway 18, there has still been continued smoldering in the 13 Turns area, between Snow Valley Ski Area and Green Valley Lake Road. Tom Kempton with Incident Command on the Slide Fire tells KBHR this afternoon that Highway 18 is closed “for the safety of fire and utility crews.” We will be sure to let you know as soon as the roads are safe and open but, for now, please continue to use Highway 18, through Lucerne Valley, and Highway 38 when leaving the mountain.
Current containment totals on the fires are 100% for the Grass Valley Fire, and 97% for the Slide Fire, though Incident Command, now stationed at Snow Valley Ski Area, has expected that full containment might be achieved by today's end.

Village Streets to Be Closed to Automobiles from 4 to 9pm for Halloween in the Village

Halloween in the Village, which offers safe trick-or-treating to all Valley families thanks to over 60 local service groups and Village merchants, kicks off at 5pm this evening. Village streets will be closed to automobile traffic from 4 to 9pm to accommodate the festivities, though parking will be available at both the Bartlett Public lot, behind the Visitors Center, and at the Indian Village lot, behind Mandoline Bistro restaurant. The City of Big Bear Lake reminds that young children should be accompanied by an adult and dogs, though welcome, must be on a leash during Halloween in the Village. Those who wish to participate in the children's costume contest should stop by Café Mambo on Village Drive between 5 and 7pm to have their photo taken, and costumed pets can be entered in their own costume contest, sponsored by the Lions Club and the Unique Dog Boutique, at the booth on the corner of Village Drive and Pine Knot Avenue. Those who choose to trick or treat in other areas of the Valley are reminded to dress warmly, carry a flashlight, be mindful of automobile traffic, and make sure your children aren't entirely clothed in dark colors, so that they are safely visible.

County Assessor Reports 451 Structures Lost Due to Slide and Grass Valley Fires, 67 Damaged
The San Bernardino County Assessor's office has continued to update burned structure information on their website at www.sbassessor.org and have now included properties from Running Springs affected by the Slide Fire. The current assessment is as follows: In Lake Arrowhead areas, 178 structures have been destroyed; 22 are listed as damaged; for the Green Valley Lake area, 100 structures are listed as destroyed, 10 damaged; and in neighborhoods of Running Springs and Smiley Park, 173 structures are reported destroyed and 35 damaged. Additional information may continue to come in but, for now, the tally stands at 451 structures lost to the Grass Valley and Slide Fires, and 67 structures damaged.

Big Bear Lake Resort Association Offers Accommodations to Evacuees
Those who are seeking accommodations in the mountains can call the Big Bear Lake Resort Association, as the RA has set up the Grass and Slide Fires Evacuation Assistance Program. Participating lodges in Big Bear have donated over 50 rooms, and some lodges are offering free stays up to November 18. Those who have lost their homes or are still under evacuation orders can reserve up to a seven-night stay by calling 800-4-BIG BEAR, though the Resort Association asks that proof of residency be faxed or emailed at the time of booking. Evacuees who are in Big Bear can also stop by the Big Bear Visitor Center with this information, from 9am to 5pm, at 630 Bartlett Road in the Village of Big Bear Lake.

Owners of Small Businesses Affected by Fires Invited to Chamber Power Breakfast Tomorrow
The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce will also be addressing the fire situation during their first-Thursday-of-the-month Power Breakfast, which takes place at Northwoods Resort in the Village tomorrow morning. Sara Russ, Executive Director of the Big Bear Chamber, tells KBHR that they have arranged for tomorrow's guest speaker to now be a representative from the U.S. Small Business Administration. During the Power Breakfast, information will be presented on different types of loans and other assistance available to small businesses in our area that have been affected by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires either directly through property, structure, inventory or equipment loss, or indirectly from loss of business due to road closures and forest and lake closures. The Chamber Power Breakfast is $12 for Chamber members, $15 for guests. Coffee service and networking begin at 6:45am, and breakfast begins at 7am. For more information, please call the Chamber at 866-4607.

Two Earthquakes Roll Through Big Bear Area in Last 24 Hours
If you thought you felt some tremblers in the last 24 hours, the Big Bear Valley did have two earthquakes. At 4:55am this morning, a 1.1 magnitude quake was centered just two miles north of Big Bear Lake at a depth of four kilometers, and yesterday at noon there was another 1.1 magnitude quake, reaching a depth of nine kilometers just five miles northwest of Big Bear City. Monday night just before 10pm, a 2.1 magnitude quake was centered 24 miles northeast of Big Bear City, and Monday at about 9am, just north of Big Bear Lake, we had a 1.6 quake, per the U.S. Geological Survey.

School Districts, Including BVUSD, Will Not Have to Make Up School Days Lost Due to Fires

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell issued a statement detailing fiscal relief for those school districts affected by the wildfires. “Many schools had to close down directly because of the wildfires and indirectly because of damage caused by the related smoke, wind and sand,” O'Connell said. “In non-emergency situations, this can result in a loss of school funding. My staff is working closely with local education agencies to help them fill out the appropriate form so they can get fiscal relief. Then I will authorize Average Daily Attendance credit to these schools so they will not lose funding, nor be required to make up lost instructional days and minutes.” The Bear Valley Unified School District is included in this fiscal relief, and the school district tells KBHR that the three school days lost, two resulting from smoke last week and one in September due to the Butler #2 Fire evacuation, will not have to be made up. Just a note, though, if school is canceled due to snow this season, those days will be made up during BVUSD's calendared snow makeup days, so families are reminded not to plan on having those days off from school.
Those students in the Rim of the World School District, as well as others in California, who have lost their homes, will also be eligible for benefits. O'Connell's press release also states, “Students who have lost their homes can be immediately classified as 'homeless', and get free meals at schools or at congregate feeding centers.” Families in the affected burn areas may also be relieved to hear that O'Connell says, “There is already a law in place if a student becomes homeless as a result of a disaster and has to enroll in another school, families and schools won't have to worry about not having the students' proper school and medical records, immunizations, or proof of residency to temporarily enroll in another school.” Still, there has been no report of loss of school facilities in the Slide and Grass Valley Fires.

Evacuation Order Lifted for Grass Valley; Slide Fire Now 97% Contained -- Update as of 9am
The Grass Valley Fire is at 100% containment and, as of this morning, the mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for those in the areas of Twin Peaks, Lake Arrowhead and Grass Valley. Firefighting crews have continued to patrol the area overnight, to monitor and extinguish hot spots. Incident Command reports that 176 firefighting personnel remain assigned to the Grass Valley Fire, which burned a total of 1,247 acres.
As of last night, the Slide Fire has been upgraded to 97% containment over the 12,759 burned acres, and over 1,400 personnel remain on scene. Fire officials tell us that continuing mild weather conditions have contributed to significant progress, though steep terrain and snags are slowing crews doing mop-up in the large residential areas, which includes the communities of Running Springs, Green Valley Lake and Arrowbear. Utility companies are still at work to restore services for these residents, and those of whom have properties listed on the county assessor's website (www.sbassessor.org) will be allowed to tour their homes during today's organized site visit. Today's site visit for residents of Running Springs and Arrowbear will begin at Rim of the World High School, where evacuees will first attend a briefing before being issued a pass to tour the burned areas. As of tomorrow morning at 6am, the mandatory evacuation order will be lifted for Running Springs and Arrowbear. The site visit and re-entry for those in Green Valley Lake is still in the planning stages, per yesterday's information from San Bernardino County officials.


Brittania Heuther's "Thank You Firefighters" jack-o'-lantern, which ultimately took first place
in our adult category of the KBHR pumpkin carving contest, earning her a $100 gift
certificate to Mandoline Bistro restaurant.

October 30, 2007

City Council Opts to Continue With Big Bear Lake's Snow Berm Reduction Program
At last week's City Council meeting, councilmembers addressed whether or not to continue with the City of Big Bear Lake's snow berm reduction program, which was initiated in February 1990 as a volunteer program to assist the elderly and those with disabilities. Since 1995, city staff has been involved in the city-wide berm reduction—not berm elimination, but reduction—program, which contributes to the city's expenditure of roughly $500,000-600,000 annually on snow removal. Per City Manager Jeff Mathieu at October 22's meeting, “Our primary mission is to clear the streets. We are way, way beyond other communities in terms of what we provide, and we're proud of that.” Since the snow berm reduction policy has never been officially adopted by the City Council, city staff presented three options during the agendized discussion/action item: to discontinue with berm reduction (which allows for driveways to be maneuverable in a two-wheel drive vehicle with chains, specifically for the elderly and those with disabilities, then for “second-homeowners or visitors who arrive in the middle of the night that encounter an ice berm in their driveway”); to maintain the program yet adopt as Council policy; or, third, to initiate a berm elimination program, yet charge a fee. All told, City Council unanimously opted to maintain the program, after receiving reports from city staff, including Director of Public Works David Lawrence. City staff will now draft a Snow Berm Reduction Policy to present before City Council. Due to last winter's minimal snowfall, snow removal cost the city a considerably less $322,655 for winter 2006/2007.

This Friday: Bears Play Football in Desert Hot Springs, BBMS Hosts Festival of Fall Fun -- Updated
The Bear Valley Unified School District has not yet rescheduled last Saturday's Big Bear High School football games, that were to be played against 29 Palms. (Update: Per BBHS, these games will be ruled "no contest.") In the meantime, the Bears have away games scheduled for this Friday. The Junior Varsity team will play Desert Hot Springs at 4:45pm and the Varsity Bears team goes up against the Desert Hot Springs football team at 7:30pm.
Those who don't travel to the Bears football games are invited, along with the rest of the community, to attend Big Bear Middle School's Festival of Fall Fun on Friday evening, November 2. The two-hour event, which begins at 5pm at BBMS, located at 41275 Big Bear Boulevard, will include fall crafts, games, pony rides and the 8th grade's spooky Hall of Doom. Cost for admission to the middle school's Festival of Fall Fun is $5 for students and $7 for adults. Food will also be available, at an additional cost.

October 29, 2007

Amburgey Returns to Principal Post, as North Shore Elementary's Interim Principal
In news from this side of the Dam: Kevin Amburgey is back in the principal's seat, only this round, he is serving as interim principal at North Shore Elementary School. In response to principal Tim Larson's appointment to the district's new Director of Special Programs position on October 17, last week the Board asked Amburgey to oversee activities at North Shore Elementary, where he has been a classroom teacher for the last two years. Prior to that, Amburgey had been principal at Big Bear Elementary School, but had opted to return to the classroom in 2005. Today is Amburgey's first day as North Shore's interim principal.

Big Bear Prepares for Halloween, Including Wednesday's Halloween in the Village
With all due respect to those affected by the fires, the Big Bear Valley is preparing for Halloween festivities, with October 31st just two days away. On Wednesday, Village merchants host the annual Halloween in the Village in Big Bear Lake, from 5pm to 8pm. As of 4pm on Halloween, Village streets will be closed to vehicle traffic to allow for safe trick-or-treating, and streets will reopen at 9pm. During Halloween in the Village, Café Mambo on Village Drive will host the costume contest from 5 to 7pm, and there will be two age categories for prizes. The Lions Club and Kenai's Korner the Unique Dog Boutique will host the Dog Costume Contest at 6pm, at the Lions Club booth on the corner of Village and Pine Knot–-please note that all dogs in the Village must be leashed. KBHR Radio is hosting a jack-o'-lantern contest with our gift certificate prizes of $100 at Mandoline Bistro, $75 at LeRoys and $50 at Kmart to be announced during Halloween in the Village from the KBHR booth at Mandoline's. We know you don't want to carry your pumpkin around during trick-or-treating, so bring it by the KBHR studios this week, and we'll take a photo—please be sure to bring your carved pumpkins into KBHR, here at the Big Bear City Airport building, by 5pm Tuesday to be entered. (For full details, check out our KBHR Promotions page, on this website.)
Also in the Village, from 5 to 8pm, Calvary Chapel will host their annual Fall Festival, in the gym at Big Bear Elementary School, just a block east of Pine Knot.
On your way to or from Halloween in the Village, the Soroptomists invite everyone to have a scary good time at their Halls of Horror Haunted House, which is still intact, due to popular demand. The Halls of Horror at Snow Play Mountain will be open on Wednesday, from 6 to 9:30pm, and cost is $5.
And everyone is invited to kick off their Halloween with the Moonridge Animal Park's Boo in the Zoo event, which begins at 3:30pm. For more information on the zoo's Halloween festivities, please call 878-4200.

No Reportable Action Taken During This Morning's DWP Board Meeting
The Board of Directors of the Department of Water and Power met in closed session this morning to address one agenda item, listed as Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release. After meeting for roughly three hours, DWP staff tells KBHR that there was no reportable action taken this morning. The Board will tentatively meet again on this matter, though no specifics have been set at this time

October 22 - October 30, 2007 -- please see Slide and Grass Valley Fires Archive


October 22, 2007

City Council to Address Snow Berm Reduction Program at This Evening's Meeting
The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold their regular meeting this evening at 6:30pm. Councilmembers will consider the appointment of those selected to serve on the Planning Commission—these three include current commissioners Anne Zimmerman and David Caretto, for new four-year terms, and Richard Lambert, to fill the unexpired term vacated by Tim Brigham, which runs through June of 2009. Council will also consider alternatives related to the Snow Berm Reduction Program, inasmuch as whether or not to continue and, if so, if a fee should be initiated for snow berm reduction service. Also, during the meeting to be held in Hofert Hall at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard, the Transient Private Home Rental Enforcement Ordinance will be addressed.

School Board to Consider Interim Principal Appointment at Special Meeting Today
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will be meeting in open session at 12:30pm this afternoon. The agenda is directed toward the appointment of an interim principal for North Shore Elementary School. Last Wednesday, the Board named the school's current principal, Tim Larson, to the district's newly created position of Director of Special Programs. This afternoon's special meeting of the Board will be held at the BVUSD offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake.


Have you picked your perfect pumpkin? 'Tis the season--especially as KBHR will be offering a jack-o'-lantern contest
in celebration of Halloween in the Village. Tune in to 93.3FM this week for details.

October 21, 2007

Small Vegetation Fire Results in Highway 18 Closure
At about 4:15pm Sunday afternoon, a vegetation fire was reported near Bear Springs Road, just north of Highway 18, and southwest of Lake Arrowhead. The fire did not threaten any homes and was located in the canyon on the east side of Bear Springs Road. Terri Kasinga of Caltrans tells KBHR that SR-18, from Rim Forest to Daley Canyon Road, was closed because of the fire. By 6pm, fire crews were already doing mop-up work and the highway was re-opened.


October 19, 2007



It was just last Friday that Jason Rice, Recreation Supervisor with Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, received the
truckload of skatepark features at Sugarloaf Park--by this Saturday, the 31 design features will be installed and ready for skaters.

Village Advisory Committee to Address Newsracks and Street Closures on Monday Morning
The Village Advisory Committee of the City of Big Bear Lake will meet on Monday at 8am. Among discussion/action items on the agenda are the economic analysis of the Village L street closure and the newsrack ordinance. The Village Advisory Committee meets in Hofert Hall at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake.

Soroptomist International's Fundraising Efforts Benefit Community Organizations

Yesterday, the ladies of Soroptomist International of Big Bear Valley held their annual luncheon for Distribution of Service Funds. The ongoing service and fundraising efforts of Soroptomists have resulted in the distribution of over $135,000, this year alone, to local charities and organizations, including Camp Girl Power, the mammogram program, the senior nutrition program of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, and academic programs at our local schools. Soroptomists' President Kim Voigt tells KBHR, “It is our honor to be able to give to these organizations, which do a great job of benefiting our community.” Next on the Soroptomists' fundraising calendar is their Halls of Horror Haunted House at Snow Play on October 27 and 28, and the Home for the Holidays Dinner and Auction, scheduled for November 5 at Northwoods. Those interested in attending this ladies night out may call Soroptomist Jan LaBarre at 878-3377 for details.

Late Start for Big Bear High School on Monday
Monday is a late start day for students of Big Bear High School, with classes beginning at 9:13am. And, next week, BBHS will recognize Red Ribbon Week, and will feature a speaker series on the dangers of drug abuse during lunch periods.

County-Wide Support Our Troops Program to Send Care Packages for the Holidays

At this week's meeting of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, the Support Our Troops 2007 program, created by the County's Department of Veterans Affairs with the non-profit Yellow Ribbon of America, was unanimously endorsed. Our Third District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger says of the care package program, “This will be a county-wide effort to show our support of the deployed military service members in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, they will be overseas fighting for our country instead of being home with their families during the holiday season.” The County Department of Veterans Affairs will be collecting items for care packages for our troops through December 21, and there will be two drop-off locations within Big Bear: The Big Bear Library at 41930 Garstin Drive and Supervisor Hansberger's office at 477 Summit Boulevard, both in Big Bear Lake. Suggested care package items include snacks, toiletries and comfort items, such as magazines, playing cards, batteries, underwear, paperback books, balls and journals. Here are some additional suggestions for donation: gum, instant beverage packets, beef jerky, pens and stationery, CDs and DVDs, socks, sports bras, chapstick, handi-wipes, foot powder, contact lens cleaner, sunglasses, vitamins, brown or green t-shirts, disposable cameras, hackie sacks, Ziploc bags and, as always, letters of encouragement.

Habitat for Humanity Home Dedication This Sunday
The Habitat for Humanity home, the third built in our community, will be dedicated on Sunday, October 21 at 1:30pm, after having been postponed due to the Butler #2 Fire. The new house, located at 45415 5th Street off North Shore Drive in Baldwin Lake, is now home to the Wagner family. David and Serina Wagner and their children, 6-year-old Isaiah and one-year-old Isabel, moved in to their home in June thanks to Habitat for Humanity, which is a Christian organization dedicated to the building of community through the building of homes. The community is invited to share in the dedication of the Wagner family's new home this Sunday. For more information on the ceremony or the Habitat for Humanity program, please contact Don Strongman at 866-5683.

Assistant Fire Chief Willis to Lead BBC Fire Dept. After Chief Van Leuven's Retirement

During a closed session meeting this week, the Board of the Big Bear City Community Services District named a successor to Fire Chief Dana Van Leuven, who will be retiring on December 28, after 26 years with the agency. Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Willis who, like Chief Van Leuven, got his start as a paid-call firefighter, will take the helm of the Big Bear City Fire Department, effective December 29. In a conversation with Willis, who joined the Fire Department in 1984, after graduating from Big Bear High School, he tells KBHR, “Chief Van Leuven and previous chiefs have taken a lot of time to mentor me. With the growth of the department, I've had the opportunity to learn an awful lot and, with the various positions I've held, I have been able to influence a lot of the programs we have today, including the Neighborhood Chipper Program. I'm most proud of the employees that work in the department, and the community support that the fire department receives is overwhelming. There's an awful lot of opportunity for the community and the department to grow in coming years and a lot of that information is contained in the recently accepted Master Plan for the Big Bear City Fire Department. The employees and I look forward to the challenge of implementing some of the recommendations contained within.” In addition to being proud of the team at the Big Bear City Fire Department, Willis is also proud of his family, which includes wife Sotera and three sons, Brandon (18), Jordon (12) and Kadon (7).

County Offers $5 Flu Shots; Hosts Clinic at Senior Center on October 24
The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health recommends flu shots for those age 60 and over, and notes that those with chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma, are at a higher risk for contracting the flu, as are pregnant women, infants, and children under age six. The County also recommends that healthcare workers and caregivers, day care providers and teachers get a flu shot this season. The Department of Public Health is sponsoring low-cost flu clinics throughout the county, at a cost of just $5 per flu shot. Until November 20, these clinics will be available, with a Bear Valley flu clinic scheduled for Wednesday, October 24. Flu shots will be available at the Big Bear Senior Center in Big Bear Lake from 10am to noon on this day. For more information, please call 1-800-722-4794, or you can visit the county website at www.sbcounty.gov/dph for additional flu clinic times and locations.

October 18, 2007

Overturned Cement Truck Results in Temporary Closure of Highway 18
At approximately 4pm on Thursday afternoon, a cement truck overturned resulting in a complete closure of Highway 18 from Baldwin Road to the cement plant near Lucerne Valley. The accident occurred at the bottom of the hill, past the Mitsubishi plant just above Camp Rock Road. We have unconfirmed information that authorities were able to move the truck enough to open one lane of the highway as of 5:45pm. As of 6:10pm, additional heavy equipment is being moved into the area which may cause temporary closures.


Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were treated to a ride through the Village on a firetruck, driven by Engineer Lance Swafford,
after helping the Big Bear Lake Fire Department during their Fire Prevention Week Open House on Saturday.

Skatepark Opens Saturday, and Will Be Open Dawn to Dusk Each Day

The long-awaited skatepark at Sugarloaf Park will be open to the public this weekend, with the Grand Opening scheduled for a 10am ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday. Before enjoying the 31 skatepark design features, though, skaters should be aware of some rules, as presented by the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, in an effort to make for a safe and courteous skating environment. Rule #1 is that all skaters are to wear properly fitted safety equipment--including helmet, elbow and knee pads—at all times. The skatepark is intended for those on skateboards, rollerskates and inline skates only, and all are reminded to skate within their ability and in control, while being aware of and respectful of others. No food or drinks will be allowed in the skating area and, within and around the skatepark, smoking is prohibited (and, it should go without saying, no drugs or alcohol). Hours of operation will be from dawn to dusk each day, and the entire community is invited to enjoy the skatepark. Problems or safety concerns should be addressed to Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District by calling 866-9700.

North Shore Principal Tim Larson Named BVUSD's Director of Special Programs

During last night's closed session meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District, the district's first Director of Special Programs was selected. In open session during the general meeting, the Board announced that Tim Larson, current principal at North Shore Elementary School, would assume the district position, with a start date yet to be announced. Larson, who is a 1981 Big Bear High School graduate and actually attended North Shore in 4th grade, tells KBHR, “I am so anxious to work within our district in this capacity.” But, in making the move to the BVUSD offices from elementary school, Larson says he will very much miss the students.

Got a Quarter? You Can Vote for Fawnskin's Next Mayor
The annual Fawnskin Mayoral Race has begun! As is tradition in the community of Fawnskin, the town on the North Shore selects its Mayor based on which candidate brings in the most votes, which are cast one quarter at a time. Last year's Mayoral Fundraiser collected $7800 in quarters, with that large chunk of change, if you will, ultimately being distributed by the North Shore Improvement Association to local charities. This year's candidates for Mayor—Fawnskin Postmaster Cynthia Crane, Moose Lodge bartender Betty Conroy, and incumbent Gene Cyr--will host a fundraising horseshoe tournament at the Moose Lodge this weekend. To participate in Saturday's noon tournament, donation is $20, and you can sign up by calling Cynthia at 228-4781. The 50-50 payback tournament will be followed by a Halloween party and potluck at the Moose Lodge.

Reminder: Kids Headed Home Early Today

Today is a minimum day for students of Big Bear Middle School and the Valley's three elementaries.

Employers May File for EDD Payroll Extension, Due to Butler #2 Fire
The California Employment Development Department has announced that employers within San Bernardino County who were directly affected by recent wildfires may request up to a 60-day extension to file state payroll reports and deposit state payroll taxes with the EDD without penalty or interest. Employers must send EDD a detailed letter stating reason for delay, along with the previously unfiled report and payment. For more information on this process, you can visit the Employment Development Department online at www.edd.ca.gov or call their Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886.

Bear Backers Giving Away $10,000 in Fundraiser to Support BBHS Athletics
The Bear Backers, the parent group which supports Big Bear High School athletics, are holding their 6th annual $10,000 Giveaway as a fundraiser for the teams and athletes of BBHS. The Bear Backers are selling just 200 tickets at a $100 tax-deductible donation each, making the odds of winning one out of 50. There will be four winners, with four drawings on four nights. Drawing #1, for $1000, will be this Saturday at 7pm at Sandy's Sports Bar; the second drawing, for $1500, will be at B's Backyard BBQ on the 27th; with subsequent drawings, for $2500 and $5000, at Nottingham's and La Montaña on the first Saturdays in November. Winners need not be present to win, and tickets, while available, can be purchased by calling Margaret Snyder at 866-7881, or Estelle Hooker at BBHS at 585-6892. The $10,000 giveaway will raise $10,000 for the BBHS Bears.

October 17, 2007


Traffic Accident on Highway 18, Toward Lucerne Valley, as of 1:20pm

We have a report of a traffic collision on Highway 18 toward the Lucerne Valley. The accident, which may involve a vehicle over the roadway, is just east of Baldwin Lake in the vicinity of Johnsons Grade. Emergency vehicles are en route, though the road is reportedly still open at this time. Please drive with caution if headed in that direction.

One Step Closer to Bear City Park: Rec and Park Commission Approves Draft MOU With CSD

At last night's meeting of the Advisory Commission of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, it was their turn to address the draft Memorandum of Understanding with the Big Bear City Community Services District, to develop a community park on Paradise Way in Big Bear City. At CSD's October 1 meeting, the CSD Board had, with a couple amendments, approved the draft that was written by Rec and Park Director Reese Troublefield and CSD General Manager Mike Mayer. The draft MOU, as reported earlier, would allow for Rec and Park to lease CSD's five acres of property on Paradise Way for 40 years in order to construct a Big Bear City Park which would be maintained by Rec and Park and paid for, in part, with one million dollars in Proposition 12 funds. Troublefield noted, “We do have until March 2009 to spend that money now, not 2008.” This time frame would allow for an environmental impact study to be done (with Rec and Park funds) while the two agencies develop a mutually agreeable park concept, as the draft MOU includes a stipulation that the project will be completed within two years of the completion of the EIS, which is to be initiated within 30 days of the signing of the MOU's final draft, which will ultimately be signed by CSD President John Day and County Special Districts Director Tom Sutton. Rec and Park Advisory Commissioner Katheryn Poole was the first to move toward approval of the draft MOU, though some of her fellow commissioners were concerned about leasing, rather than ultimately owning, the property. To that end, CSD's Mike Mayer said, “The Board is adamant about ownership, but also open to negotiating terms of the lease.” In the end, the Rec and Park commissioners unanimously approved the draft MOU, meaning that the Bear City Park on Paradise Way is still on track, including details that include a land swap of CSD's Erwin Lake Park property for Rec and Park's property beneath the Sugarloaf Fire Station. Given this, Troublefield noted, “I really think both sides are in a win-win situation.”

MWD's Board of Directors to Meet Thursday at 1pm
The Big Bear Municipal Water District will hold their regular meeting of their Board of Directors on Thursday at 1pm. The MWD Board meets at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.

75 Firefighting Personnel Still at Work on Fire Suppression and Mop Up of Butler #2 Fire

Firefighting personnel continue with their fire suppression efforts on the now month-and-three-days old Butler #2 Fire. San Bernardino National Forest Battalion Chief Steve Seltzner, who's overseeing Incident Command at the Big Bear Discovery Center, tells KBHR that 75 firefighting personnel remain on scene, and busy with intense work within the 14,039 acre burn zone. In addition to 2 to 4 engine crews on mop-up work, personnel include the Big Bear Hot Shots, Vista Grande Hot Shots from the San Jacinto Ranger District, and the Mojave Greens, a Type 2 team from Victor Valley Community College, which is stationed in Big Bear year round. Seltzner reports that there are still hot spots within the fire's perimeter, despite some rain over the weekend. “It certainly helped,” he says of the 1/10 to 2/10" of rain, “but it wasn't adequate enough to be all consuming. You can't let it fool you that it penetrated areas of heat, but we're very thankful for it. What we need the public to know is that there still may be smoke, until we get some measurable precipitation.” Battalion Chief Seltzner, whose work with the Forest Service has him primarily in the Big Bear area year round, adds, “It's been a long summer. We need some snow.”

City of Big Bear Lake Addresses General Plan Housing Element in Public Meeting Thursday
The City of Big Bear Lake will hold a community meeting on Thursday, to address the City's 2008-2014 General Plan Housing Element update. The 6pm meeting, to be held in Hofert Hall at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard, is open to the community, as public participation is encouraged. Information will be provided about the Housing Element certification process, in addition to the program's goals, policies and programs related to the development, maintenance and improvement of the City's housing stock, with particular attention to be focused on affordable housing. Those with questions on the Housing Element may call the City of Big Bear Lake's Planning Division at 866-5831 and/or attend Thursday's 6pm meeting.

School Board to Meet This Evening; Agenda Includes Construction Committee Update
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will meet at 6:15pm this evening, at their offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake. The Board will first convene in closed session, to interview candidates for the Director of Special Programs position. Following the closed session, the Board's general meeting will follow, and the agenda includes a construction committee update, to review progress on Big Bear High School and Big Bear Middle School. The open session of the general meeting will be followed by another closed session, during which time the Trustees will consider public employee appointment of an Elementary Principal. Bear Valley Unified School District's calendar includes a minimum day for students of BBMS and all three elementaries tomorrow, and a late start day for BBHS on Monday.


Katie Bumstead has been crowned Miss Big Bear 2008. The 16-year-old Big Bear High School senior was escorted by her hero,
dad David Bumstead, who is a BBHS teacher and alum. More info on Saturday's pageant at the PAC is available at www.bigbearnews.com.

October 16, 2007


Wind Gusts Could Reach 30mph in Our Mountains Today
-- Updated
We can expect gusty winds today, as the National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for our area through 10pm. Wind gusts could reach as high as 30 miles per hour into this evening (and we've already had gusts up to 28 miles per hour at the KBHR studios in Big Bear City this afternoon), so those driving high-profile vehicles are advised to use extra caution.

Regional Traffic Advisory Committee Meets Tomorrow Morning
The Regional Traffic Advisory Committee will hold their meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, at 9am. RTAC meets at the Chamber of Commerce offices at 630 Bartlett Road in the Village.

Governor Approves New Driving and Dialing Restrictions to Take Effect Next Year

As of last week, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that would prohibit California motorists under the age of 18 from using cell phones or text messaging while driving a car. The California Highway Patrol has recently collected data that proves that wireless telephone use is a leading cause of distracted driver related crashes in California, so the CHP will launch a public education campaign to coincide with the new law, which takes effect on July 1, 2008. This date will also mark the effective date of another cell phone law, passed earlier, which prohibits motorists of any age from using a hand-held phone. For both new laws, the base fine for a first offense is $20, with subsequent violations to result in a $50 ticket. In the meantime, the CHP stresses that operating a motor vehicle requires the full attention of the driver and both hands on the wheel.

Blood Donation Opportunities: Thursday at CSD, Next Friday the 26th at Stater Bros.
For those of you interested in giving the Gift of Life, the Bloodmobile has two visits scheduled for the Valley. This Thursday, October 18, the Big Bear City Community Services District will sponsor a Blood Drive at their offices, at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City, from noon to 4:30pm. And, next Friday, October 26, Stater Bros. will host the Bloodmobile, from 11am to 4pm, and all those who donate on this date will receive a free Yoplait Smoothie. Dr. Joseph Dunn, who oversees the Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, says, “The demand for blood never stops. In fact, right here in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, we need to collect at least 400 donations daily to ensure that patients in hospitals get the lifesaving treatments they need.” Those who do donate blood, either at CSD this Thursday, or at Stater Bros. next week, will receive a free mini-physical as part of the donation process. Please remember photo ID when you donate, and plan about an hour for the process. To schedule an appointment, you may call 1-800-879-4484.

Forest Service Helicopters Resume Defensible Space Measures on Big Bear's South Side

The U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that additional helicopters are expected in our area this week, though these will be used to continue clearing defensible space rather than on fire suppression efforts for the Butler #2 Fire (though aircraft are still assigned to the fire suppression efforts). Contract crews are continuing to remove slash and debris piles on the south side of Big Bear, just east of the Village. A portion of this work will involve the use of helicopters to assist in removing the piles and logs. This material will be chipped and/or hauled away. Residents can plan on helicopters in the area through this week and beyond, during daylight hours as weather and winds permit. This is part of an ongoing fuels reduction project by the San Bernardino National Forest.

Bear City Park MOU With CSD to Be Reviewed by Recreation and Park District Commission Today
The Advisory Commission of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will meet at 5:30pm this evening. The meeting's general staff reports will also include a special report from Phil Hamilton on the trails coalition. The Advisory Commission will also review the Memorandum of Understanding with the Big Bear City Community Services District, to build a public park on CSD's Paradise Way property. Once reviewed, the commission will recommend approval of the MOU by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. CSD's Board agreed to the MOU at their meeting on October 1. The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District holds their meeting at the Big Bear Senior Center in Big Bear Lake.

October 15, 2007


County Supervisors to Continue Bark Beetle Emergency During Tomorrow Morning's Meeting

The Board of Supervisors of the County of San Bernardino will hold their regular meeting tomorrow at 10am at the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. The Supervisors' Consent Calendar includes the continuation of the Local Bark Beetle Emergency Proclamation, first issued by the County on September 24, 2002. A county staff report on the Bark Beetle Emergency states that Board-approved recommendations, such as tree removal, continue to be implemented, and that work continues in conjunction with the Mountain Area Safety Task Force and Fire Safe Councils.


Miss Big Bear and her court: (from left) Amber Shalmi, Jennifer Field, Miss Big Bear Katie Bumstead, Erika Rojas and Sarah Gannon.

Katie Bumstead Crowned Miss Big Bear 2008 at Saturday's Pageant at the PAC

After two months of rehearsals, the 21 contestants in the Miss Big Bear pageant took to the stage at the Performing Arts Center on Saturday, all of the delegates in gowns designed by California and Main and escorted by their heroes for their fashion show under the direction of pageant director Teresa Ritenour. Reigning Miss Big Bears Ilana Zuckerman and Shantelle Davidson, both home from college, said their good-byes before our new Miss Big Bear was named. To the delight of an enthusiastic crowd, the new Miss Big Bear is Katie Bumstead, a 16-year-old senior at Big Bear High School. During the evening gown competition, Katie was escorted on to the stage by her hero, dad David Bumstead. First runner-up to Miss Big Bear is Erika Rojas, recently named Big Bear High's Homecoming Queen, second runner-up is Sarah Gannon, and Jennifer Field and Amber Shalmi round out Miss Big Bear's court for 2008. Thanks to Big Bear Cool Cabins, each of the top three contestants will receive scholarships, with Bumstead bringing home $2500. Other awards presented during the pageant include Most Photogenic to Jessica Burton, Miss Congeniality to Tiffany Boscarino, and Spirit of Miss Big Bear to Katie Bumstead.


Team Bumstead: Miss Big Bear was cheered on by (from left) uncle Mike, aunt Kristin, brother Tyler, dad David, Katie,
grandmother Sharon, sister Samantha, grandfather Martin, cousin Kayleigh, aunt Melody and cousin Kelsey.

Fatality on Highway 18 Sunday, as Another Vehicle Goes Over the Side
Yesterday afternoon, another fatality was suffered on our mountain highways. At 3:45pm on Sunday, David Lee Gabele, a 78-year-old resident of Chino, was driving his Harley Davidson northbound on Highway 18 in the Running Springs area, when his motorcycle went over the side of the roadway. Paramedics responded to the scene, per the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Coroner, and pronounced Gabele as deceased. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, which has resulted in the 19th fatality on mountain roads in our area this year.

Two Meetings Scheduled to Address Moon Camp Development on the North Shore
This Saturday, October 20 at 2pm, there will be a public meeting to review and discuss the proposed domestic well for a potential 50-lot development, referred to as the Moon Camp subdivision. Staff of the Department of Water and Power, which operates the Fawnskin water system, will make a presentation at the October 20 meeting, to be held at the Fawnskin Fire Department. Michael Perry, consultant on the project (and former City Manager for Big Bear Lake) tells KBHR that the new well will be over 1,000 feet from any existing well in the area, which is east of Fawnskin along Highway 38 on the North Shore.
In a subsequent meeting, the Fawnskin Chamber of Commerce will host a meeting to discuss the proposed Moon Camp development on Thursday, October 25 at 6pm. The two-hour meeting, to be held at the old schoolhouse at Miller Park on Chickasaw in Fawnskin, will feature speakers Tim Wood and Michael Perry. The two will address the number of structures, as well as style and amenities, planned for the Moon Camp subdivision. All members of the Fawnskin Chamber of Commerce, as well as others in the community, are invited to attend. For more information, please call Jim Dooley, President of the Fawnskin Chamber of Commerce, at 866-3414.

CSD Board to Discuss Appointment of New Fire Chief to Succeed Van Leuven

The Big Bear City Community Services District will meet this evening at 5:30pm. During the open session portion of their regular meeting, Bruce Caldwell of Emergency Services Consulting will outline a Fire Protection Master Plan to the CSD Board. In a closed session to follow, the Board will discuss the appointment of a new Fire Chief for the Big Bear City Fire Department. Fire Chief Dana Van Leuven, who joined the agency as a paid-call firefighter in June of 1981, and subsequently joined Bear City Fire full-time in March of 1985, has scheduled his retirement for December's end. The CSD Board meets at their offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

City Council to Interview Candidates for Planning Commission Tomorrow
The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold a special meeting at 1pm on Tuesday, October 16, in order to interview candidates for the City's Planning Commission. There are currently three open seats on the Commission, which is responsible for decisions related to land use, such as zoning, development and environmental ordinances. The application process had been open through September 14, to all registered voters and full-time residents in Big Bear Lake.



October 12, 2007


KBHR's Sabrina congratulates Snowfall Sweepstakes grand prize winner Nancy Freedland of Big Bear City, now the happy new
owner of a snowblower from Big Bear City Saw Works. Nancy placed her winning Snowfall entry at Butcher's Block and Building
Materials. Listen to KBHR next week, to find out where you can enter this year's sweepstakes.

Young Eagles Program Offers Free Flights to Youth, Ages 8 to 18, on Saturday
The Big Bear Airport Pilots Association will sponsor the Young Eagles program tomorrow, October 13. Young Eagles is a free flight program for youth ages 8 to 18 years old, and is held at 9am on the second Saturday of every month. Each child will be given a pre-flight review of flying, a flight in an airplane, and a certificate. No reservations are necessary, though a parent must sign a waiver of liability prior to the flight. For more information on the Young Eagles program at the Big Bear City Airport, call Roger Schmidt at 585-0266.

Nearly a Month Later, Fire Suppression Efforts Continue on Butler #2 Fire

It's been nearly a month since the Butler #2 Fire began, back on September 14, and yet the cause of the blaze still remains under investigation. Incident Command is now stationed at the Big Bear Discovery Center, and is under the leadership of San Bernardino National Forest Battalion Chief Steve Seltzner, who had been the Incident Commander on the original Butler Fire over Labor Day weekend. Seltzner, who tells us that Big Bear is his primary area year round, says that over 100 fire personnel remain at work on fire suppression efforts on the Butler #2 Fire—those crews include two Forest Service hot shot crews, one Type 2 fire crew, one helitanker capable of water drops of 2,000 gallons, a Type 2 helicopter stationed at Heaps Peak, and, two to four Forest Service engines. Seltzner tells KBHR, “We are still actively involved in fire suppression efforts, and we still have a substantial commitment.” This week, infrared flyovers have continued, as aircraft continue to seek out hot spots within the fire's perimeter, though those hot spots are now several hundred feet with the perimeter of the 14,039 acre blaze. Seltzner further explains, “There are real extreme drought conditions, and the impact it's having on vegetation is substantial. It is so dry, we're having fires in root systems. The helicopter with infrared capabilities we've used extensively, but it doesn't always show the hot spots. We know we can't let our guard down, because there are hot spots we don't know about. We have large trees that are still burning because it is so dry out there.” That said, the Butler #2 Fire is not yet controlled, though it has been 100% contained since September 20. Estimated costs for fire suppression to date are now in the $13-15 million range, though costs will increase as information continues to come in from independent contractors who assisted in fire suppression efforts.

Historical Society Finishes Up Museum Season, Elects New Board Members
The Big Bear Valley Historical Society wraps up their season at the Historical Museum this weekend, before winterizing projects begin on the cabins and artifacts. Both Saturday and Sunday, the museum off Greenway Drive in Big Bear City, is open from 10am to 4pm, and cost is just $3, and free for those 14 and under. The Historical Society's President Gloria Meade encourages everyone to come visit our community museum this weekend. “Come and learn all the history of Big Bear,” Meade says, “and you can see it and feel it at the museum. Kids get to pan for gold for free, and we have a wonderful blacksmith demonstration.”
Meade continues as the Historical Society's President, after this week's Board of Directors elections. Kim Sweet is the Society's new Vice President, taking over for her husband Tim, while both Sweets remain on as the museum's curators. Jerry Hanna assumed a Director position held by longtime Board member Neil Nickle. Other continuing members on the Historical Society's Board include Director Emory Drury, 2nd VP Richard Woolf, Secretary Lela Grime and Treasurer Marilyn Lake. For more information on the museum and the activities of the Big Bear Valley Historical Society, you can visit their website at www.bigbearhistory.org.

Highway 18 Is Scheduled to Remain Open, per CalTrans

Due to slope damage resulting from the Butler #2 Fire, particularly in the Arctic Circle area of Highway 18, CalTrans had applied for emergency contracts to fund slope rehabilitation. However, this work has not yet been approved or scheduled. In light of this, and other, unrelated information suggesting that Highway 18 will be closed for an extended period, a CalTrans official tells KBHR that that is not the case. Terri Kasinga of CalTrans says, “Officially, we have no plans to close Highway 18 at this time. In the event of inclement weather or slide concerns, we will close it. But, right now, there are no plans to close Highway 18.”

All Valley Women Invited to Seventh Annual Women of Wisdom Conference at October's End
The Women of Wisdom Conference returns to Big Bear October 26 through 28th. The seventh annual weekend retreat, to be held at the Presbyterian Conference Center, is themed “Your Life Is Now, Honor, Embrace, Rejoice” and begins with dinner and keynote speaker Loryn Longbrake on Friday evening, the 26th. Throughout the weekend, the Women of Wisdom Conference will feature speakers, such as Chandra Smith and Karen Mehringer, a number of workshops, and a special Saturday night ceremony featuring dance, meditation and song. All Valley women, including girls as young as 13 years old, are invited to participate in the weekend. Registration information is available online at www.womenofwisdomCA.com, or by calling 585-8786.


The Lions Club team of (from left) Jim Strickland, Dave Horn, Barbara Horn and Bob Collins cooked up
the award-winning chili at Tuesday's Chilly Chili Evening, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. The Lions
team, which also included Susie Collins, also cooked up corn and chile pancakes to counter the chilly evening.

October 11, 2007


Healthcare District to Hold Finance Committee Meeting Monday Morning
The Board of Directors of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will hold a Finance Committee meeting on Monday, October 15 at 7:30am. The Healthcare District Board meets in the conference room of Bear Valley Community Hospital at 41870 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Traffic Accident on North Shore, West of Fawnskin -- Updated

At 2:40pm, we reported a traffic collision near the Big Bear Dam, originally thought to be on Highway 18. Updated information indicates that the 2:36pm accident is actually on Highway 38, in the vicinity of North Shore Landing, just east of Pine Oak Lane on the North Shore. The California Highway Patrol is on scene, and the road does remain open. No injuries have been reported.

U.S. Forest Service Lifts Some Restrictions Resulting From Butler #2 Fire
The Mountaintop Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest has updated the closures for roads and trails resulting from the Butler #2 Fire. The following Forest Service roads are closed: 3N14, from 3N12 to 3N16 at Big Pine Flat; 2N13 from Green Valley to Fawnskin; and all roads within the burn area except for 3N16. Closed trails are Grays Peak, Hanna Flat, and the Pacific Crest Trail from 2N09 to 3N16. Closed camping areas are Hanna Flat Campground, Big Pine Flat Campground, Ironwood Campground, Grays Peak Group Camp, Big Pine Flat Equestrian Camp, and all Yellow Post sites within the fire area. As of today, October 11, the following have been reopened: Horse Springs Campground at the north of the Mountaintop District; Forest road 3N14, the Coxey Truck Trail, is open to Big Pine Flat, and can be accessed from Central Road near Hesperia; 4N16 is open, and can be accessed from High Road near Lucerne Valley. Holcomb Valley Road, or 3N16, is also open, from Baldwin Lake to Green Valley Lake Road. For more information on closures, please contact the Discovery Center at 382-2790, or visit the U.S. Forest Service website at www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino.

Local Man Identified as Driver in Yesterday's Fatal Highway 38 Accident
The San Bernardino County Coroner has identified the individual whose car was found over the side of Highway 38, just east of Angelus Oaks, yesterday afternoon. Stanley Watkins, a 53-year-old resident of Sugarloaf, had been reported missing by his wife yesterday morning when he had failed to return home from work. Subsequent reports indicate that Watkins had been driving home when his 2007 GMC truck left the roadway and rolled about 40 feet down the mountainside, three-to-four miles east of Angelus Oaks. A San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy from Yucaipa, the division which covers the Angelus Oaks area, had located Watkins's truck around 2:30pm on Wednesday. The California Department of Forestry and California Highway Patrol responded to the scene, and pronounced Watkins as deceased at that time. CHP is investigating the accident which, per other sources, is the 18th fatality on mountain roads in our area this year.

Skatepark Features at Sugarlof Park to Be Installed Today; Grand Opening on the 20th
The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District has announced that construction on the skatepark portion of Sugarloaf Park is scheduled to begin today, Thursday. The project, which includes 31 design features from American Ramp Company, selected based on input from local skaters, is scheduled to be complete in about a week's time as Rec and Park has scheduled the park's grand opening for Saturday, October 20. The Sugarloaf Park rehabilitation project includes not only the skatepark, but also upgraded tennis and basketball courts and improved landscaping. The Sugarloaf Park ribbon-cutting ceremony on the 20th will begin at 10am.

DWP Board Holds Special Meeting Re. Well Contracts
The Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power will hold a special meeting in open session at 2pm today. The agenda includes the awarding of contracts for the Cherokee Well and Lakeplant Well #6. The DWP Board meets at their offices at 41972 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Southwest Gas Kicks Off 10th Annual Winter Coat Drive
The Employee Volunteer Team of Southwest Gas announces that their 10th annual Winter Coat Drive is underway. Through November 6, coats can be dropped off at any of the following locations during regular business hours: Kmart, Bear Valley Electric, Department of Water and Power, Starbucks in the Interlaken Center, Big Bear City Community Services District and Stater Bros. Cecelia Neale, coat drive coordinator, says, “With winter weather approaching, the coat drive is one way the community comes together to lend a helping hand to those in need. The coats for children are really appreciated this time of year. The individuals and businesses that donate to this event make things a bit easier for those who benefit from the coat drive.” The Employee Volunteer Team of Southwest Gas will be helped in their coat drive by Big Bear Cleaners, who will provide dry cleaning services, and Valley seniors, who will assist with coat distribution on Wednesday, November 7, at the Southwest Gas offices at 40844 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake, from 9am to 5pm.


Gloria Loucif and Margo Penardi, both on the Board of Directors for DOVES, gratefully received donations of children's books from the contestants
in the Miss Big Bear Pageant. Contestant Samantha Bebek first proposed the idea to contribute to DOVES, which provides domestic violence
education and services to Valley families. The Miss Big Bear Pageant is this Saturday at the PAC.

October 10, 2007


KBHR's Snowfall Sweepstakes Winners Named Today
Congratulations to the winners in last year's KBHR Snowfall Sweepstakes! Third place in our random drawing goes to Sid and Brad Callaway of Big Bear City, who've won a cord of firewood from the A.J. Acosta Firewood and Tree Service Company; second place winner Jennie Shaw of Big Bear Lake scores a season ski pass at Big Bear Mountain Resorts; and our grand prize winner, Nancy Freedland of Big Bear City, is the new owner of a 9.5 horsepower snow thrower from Big Bear City Saw Works. Be sure to enter this year's Snowfall Sweepstakes because, snow or not, we at 93.3FM will be giving away the prizes. Oh, and think snow!

Single Vehicle Accident Results in Fatality Off Highway 38 -- Updated 3:30pm

The California Highway Patrol has confirmed a single vehicle accident on Highway 38 this afternoon. One car did go over the side of the roadway, just a few miles east of Angelus Oaks on Highway 38. CHP confirms that there is one fatality, and the coroner has been on the scene. We're told that the road will remain open, though there may be emergency vehicles on the highway.

City Starts Paving Project on Edgemoor Road

The City of Big Bear Lake continues with paving projects throughout the city, with repaving already complete on both Menlo Drive and Park Avenue. This week, paving begins on Edgemoor Road, from Big Bear Boulevard to Lakeview Drive, at the west end of the Valley. Weather permitting, the City expects paving to take approximately two weeks. Edgemoor will remain open to traffic during the project and delays, if any, will be minimal.

Tuesday's Enviromental Film Festival Moves to Alley Oops Lounge
The show goes on for the Sierra Club Big Bear Group—in this case, the show is the Environmental Film Festival, scheduled for next Tuesday evening. As the Discovery Center's meeting room is being used for Incident Command on the Butler #2 Fire, the Sierra Club will be bringing the film fest to the Alley Oops Lounge at the Bowling Barn. A $2 donation is requested, and healthy snacks will be available at the Environmental Film Festival, which begins at 5:30pm. The first of the six films will be shown at 5:45pm sharp. The 90-minute feature, Earth to America, with Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Jack Black will begin at 7:30pm. For more info on the Sierra Club's Environmental Film Festival, to be held at the Bowling Barn, call Christie Walker at 866-5006.

Lions Club Takes Home Top Chili Honors During Chamber's Chilly Chili Evening
At last night's Chamber of Commerce mixer, billed as a Chilly Chili Evening, 13 different local chilis were offered to the crowd, which got to vote for their favorite. The winning No Rules Chili was cooked up by the 2005 Chili Champs of the Big Bear Lions Club, which included the team of Dave and Barbara Horn, Bob and Susie Collins, and Jim Strickland. Second place chili, by vote, was from Taste of Bear Catering and third went to B's Backyard BBQ. The Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the award-winning Lions Club chili in the 2008 Old Miners Days Chili Cook-Off. The Lions Club will continue cooking into the weekend as they will be providing food at each of the fire stations during Fire Prevention Week Open Houses this Saturday.

MAST Launches New Website Focused on Fire Safety and Emergency Planning

The Mountain Area Safety Taskforce, or MAST, has launched a new website at www.calmast.org, to provide a comprehensive fire-safety information resource for residents and property owners in the San Bernardino County mountains. Calmast.org's theme is “A Thinner Forest Is a Healthy Forest and a Healthy Forest Is a Fire-Retardant Forest,” and the website's primary elements focus on fire prevention and emergency planning. According to San Bernardino County Fire's Assistant Chief Peter Brierty, “This website is a one-stop shop for anyone looking for fire-safety information related to the San Bernardino County mountains. This is a resource tool to help the people who live, work and play in our mountains become more informed and play an active role in our effort to prevent catastrophic wildfires.” The specific San Bernardino County section of the MAST website also offers information on the Bark Beetle Emergency Outreach Program. The site's Emergency Planning section contains checklists for preparing an emergency plan.

DOVES Sponsors Local Activities to Spotlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, DOVES, which stands for Domestic Violence Education and Services, is sponsoring a poster contest. Under the spotlight of Teen Dating Violence, DOVES is inviting all students of Big Bear Middle School, Big Bear High School and Chautauqua High School to participate, with prize incentives that include ski and snowboard passes, a bowling party, pizza party and movie tickets. Students need only submit their poster entries to their school principal by Wednesday, October 17. DOVES will continue their Domestic Violence Awareness in October with a Candlelight Walk in the Village on Friday the 26th. The community is invited to meet in the Village Square at 5pm, to honor victims of domestic violence, in a walk that will end at Community Church by the Lake, for snacks, a presentation on Teen Violence, and the poster awards. For more information on these events, and how you can support a violence-free community, call DOVES at 866-1546, or stop by their Outreach Center at 41943 Big Bear Boulevard.

Mountain Resident Sought for MARTA's Board of Directors
The Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority, which provides fixed route, dial-a-ride, and off the mountain public transit to over 50,000 residents in the San Bernardino Mountains, is seeking a mountain resident to join MARTA's Board of Directors. Current Board members are Liz Harris and Bill Jahn of Big Bear Lake, David Leach of Suagarloaf and Lex Sensenbrenner of Crestline. Those interested in serving a two-year term, which would include MARTA meetings on the third Monday afternoon of every month, can submit a letter of intent and pertinent qualifications to MARTA's Secretary to the Board. Please address letters to BettyAnn Merrill c/o MARTA, P.O. Box 1501, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315. There is no deadline to apply for the MARTA Board, as the position will remain open until filled.

October 9, 2007

Healing Arts Fair, Including Food and Presentations, Open to Public on Wednesday
A Healing Arts Fair is coming to the mountaintop tomorrow, and is being co-hosted by the Mountain Healing Arts Association and the Flames of Faith Center for Conscious Living. On Wednesday, October 10, the community is invited to come find out about leading-edge healing methods, including chiropractic care, corrective wellness services, massage, hypnosis, yoga, energy healing and other healing arts available here in Big Bear. The two-hour event begins at 5:30pm, and will include food, information and presentations, and discount coupons. The Healing Arts Fair takes place at Flames of Faith, located at the Black Forest Lodge at 41135 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake.

Menlo Drive in Moonridge Reopened to Thru Traffic

The City of Big Bear Lake reports that the repaving on Menlo Drive in Moonridge is now complete, and the road has been reopened to traffic. The three-year project, which included slope stabilization and repair, is nearly complete, though the contractor will be finishing up some remaining work on Menlo Drive, with an expectation of full completion before October's end.

21 Vie for Miss Big Bear Crown This Weekend
After two months of rehearsals, the 21 contestants in the Miss Big Bear Pageant will take to the stage at the Performing Arts Center this Saturday, October 13. The contestants are all local girls and high school seniors, who've maintained a 3.0 GPA and good citizenship. Pageant coordinator Teresa Ritenour tells KBHR that scholarships will be awarded, thanks to the generous donations made by those in the Big Bear Valley. Those participating in the pageant, and vying for the title of Miss Big Bear, currently held by Ilana Zuckerman and Shantelle Davidson, are Samantha Bebek , Tiffany Boscarino, Katie Bumstead, Jessica Burton, Ashley Cawley, Dani Estes, Jennifer Field, Aimee Fritch, Sarah Gannon, Keely Hansen, Bonnie Leslie, Jessica Nunes, Daisy Ojeda, Carolyn Player, Lucinda Pyles, Amber Parle, Erika Rojas, Amber Shalmi, Ashley Stewart, Emily Uthus and Amanda Weber. A limited number of tickets to Saturday's 5pm pageant are still available, at $25 each, by calling 585-1737.


Neighborhood Chipping Programs in the City of Big Bear Lake have resulted in 460 tons of chipping material.

Fire Chief Morley Reports Neighborhood Chipping Programs "Still Going Strong"

John Morley, Fire Chief of the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, tells KBHR that over 460 tons of chipping material has been culled from the Neighborhood Chipping Programs in the City of Big Bear Lake. Morley wants to thank those who have participated in this program to create defensible space and reports, “We're still going strong.” A bulk of that chipping material will be shared with Bear Mountain and Snow Summit Resorts, Morley says, to be used on the base of the mountains before the snow falls. The City's chipping program continues in Big Bear Lake Area 5, in the Moonridge neighborhoods near the golf course, through Sunday, and then the chipping truck will revisit Boulder Bay neighborhoods, and all those west of Tamarack and Delamar, from October 15 through 28. The Big Bear Lake Fire Department, as well as the Big Bear City Fire Department and County Fire's station #49 in Fawnskin, will host their open houses this Saturday, in recognition of Fire Prevention Week, and Morley says, “We'd like everyone to come down.”

Chamber Hosts a Chilly Chili Evening in the Village
The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce only has two more mixers scheduled for the season, and the next of those will be this evening. Tonight's mixer, being billed as a Chilly Chili Evening, will feature chili from 13 different Chamber-member businesses, including the new Azteca Grill, Grizzly's Bear Belly Deli and Sweet Basil, as well as the 2005 Chamber Chili Champs from the Big Bear Lions Club. Other highlights of the mixer, which begins at 5pm at the Chamber building at 630 Bartlett Road, include corn bread from Log Cabin Restaurant, music from Dave Graham of Damn Good Question and, as always, Chamber's Chinese Auction and opportunity drawing. All are invited to attend the Chilly Chili Evening, just remember your business cards and a coat, in case it's chilly.

Practice Your Fire Plan Program for Families This Evening
In support of Fire Prevention Week, the North Shore Christian Nursery School is offering a family program titled Practice Your Fire Plan this evening. Parents are encouraged to bring children, so that the entire family can learn the importance of having, and practicing, an escape plan. The 6:30pm Fire Safety Open House will include refreshments, games and prizes. For more information, or to RSVP, please call Patrice Carlisle at 585-4484. North Shore Christian Nursery School is located at the United Methodist Church at 1001 Holden Avenue in Big Bear City.

October 8, 2007

Still Hot Spots Within Butler #2 Fire's Perimeter; 85 Personnel on Scene Today

Crews are still stationed in our area in support of rehabilitation and mop up efforts on the Butler #2 Fire. Randy Clauson, Division Chief with the Mountaintop District of the San Bernardino National Forest, tells KBHR that 85 fire personnel are still on scene today, with Incident Command headquartered at the Big Bear Discovery Center. Those crews include three hot shot crews, four engines, and two helicopters, stationed at the Big Bear Airport. Due to Friday's winds, the infrared flyover to detect hot spots within the fire's perimeter was postponed until today. Clauson says that, over the weekend, there were still some hot spots within the perimeter of Butler #2's 14,039 acres, though those hot spots were well within the interior of the burn zone. Most areas within the burn perimeter do remain closed to the public, though the Big Pine Flat area was reopened last week. However, to access this area, guests must approach from the Lucerne Valley area.

Fishermen Reel In Over 2700 Pounds of Fish, a Truck and a Boat in This Weekend's Troutfest

At this weekend's Troutfest, co-hosted by Western Outdoor News and the Big Bear Municipal Water District, anglers reeled in plenty of fish—and prizes. Dave Duenas of Rialto brought in over 16 pounds of fish for the heaviest overall weight in the two-day event, which scored him a prize package worth $1700. Tammie Horner of Victorville reeled in nearly 12 pounds of trout, earning her top honors in the women's division. Top anglers in the children's category were Brad Pifer of La Mesa and Landis Hamman of Glendora, both of whom received prize packages, including fishing gear, worth $750. Bill Hutcheson of Western Outdoor News tells KBHR that junior anglers also received a host of prizes, including 50 loaded tackle boxes and mountain bikes (donated by our local Kmart), in a random drawing. And, the big news of the weekend, the tagged fish worth a brand new Toyota Tundra (courtesy of Toyota of San Bernardino) was reeled in by 18-year-old Adrean Flores of El Monte--and, believe it or not, Adrean says this is the first fish he'd ever caught in his life. The tagged fish, which resulted in a Crestliner boat and Mercury engine, went to James Haubert of Fontana. Local fisherman Dave Essex from Fawnskin brought in the biggest single fish, which weighed 5.99 pounds, and earned him a $750 prize package—plus he earned the opportunity to pick a random envelope, which happened to contain $1000. All told, the annual Troutfest was sold out—in fact, about 150 fishermen had to be turned away--and resulted in $15,000 for the MWD to use for the fish planting program in Big Bear Lake.

Meetings Moved from Discovery Center: Computer Club, Historical Society, Sierra Club Relocate
As the Incident Command team on the Butler #2 Fire is now stationed at the Big Bear Discovery Center, some community meetings have been relocated this week. Tomorrow, the Big Bear Computer Club will hold their regularly scheduled 5:30pm meeting at the Municipal Water District, located at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake. The Computer Club's October 9 meeting will feature presenters from Cyber Defender, with tips on safe surfing on the Internet and identity protection. For more info on the Computer Club's free meeting, please call Yomar Cleary at 878-5622.
The Big Bear Valley Historical Society has also moved their meeting, from the Discovery Center to the clubhouse of the Whispering Pines Estates Mobile Home Park, located at 391 Montclair Drive in Big Bear City, off Highway 38. The Historical Society's Wednesday meeting, at 7pm, will feature museum curators Kim and Tim Sweet speaking on the Future Plans for the Big Bear Museum. The Historical Society will also hold their annual elections, for the 2008 Board of Directors, at Wednesday's free meeting. For more information on Wednesday's program, please call Andrew Amerson at 866-0630.
The Sierra Club Big Bear Group, which also meets at the Discovery Center, will still hold their Environmental Film Festival on the 16th, though the new location has not yet been announced.

Fire Prevention Week Culminates With Open Houses at Fire Stations on Saturday

In honor of Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, our local fire stations will be hosting open house events on Saturday, October 13. Families are encouraged to bring their children for hands-on activities and fire station tours; there will also be fire safety info on hand, as well as Sparky the Fire Dog. The Big Bear Lions Club will provide a pancake breakfast at the Big Bear City Fire Department from 9am to noon; hot dogs will be available at the Big Bear Lake Fire Department from 10am to 2pm, and dessert will be served at the Fawnskin Fire Station from 2 to 5pm. For more information on how you can honor Fire Prevention Week, log on to www.firepreventionweek.org. And, while we're at it, our thanks again to our firefighting heroes.

Big Bear Lake's City Council to Meet This Evening
The City Council of Big Bear Lake will be meeting in Hofert Hall at 6:30pm. During this evening's meeting, presentations will include the introduction of the City's new Redevelopment Director Lyle Haynes and recognition to Susan Conley for her service to the Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners from March 2001 to August 2007. Firefighter/paramedic Jeff Schwing who, in June of this year, was named a Medical Unit Leader for a Type 2 Incident Management Team, will be honored with a service pin for his five years with the Big Bear Lake Fire Department.

Make a Shelter Pooch Your Pet During Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
October is not only the month of Domestic Violence Awareness, National Arts and Humanities, Breast Cancer Awareness, and Dental Hygiene, it is also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. The San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Program encourages those who plan to get a new pet to consider adopting a dog from a local shelter. Big Bear's Animal Shelter, located on North Shore Drive at Stanfield Cutoff has a number of animals ready for adoption. Ginger Miller at the shelter tells KBHR, “We have got some cool dogs, and cats too. Right now, we've got quite a few little dogs.” If you want to adopt one of these animals, the Big Bear Animal Shelter is open from 10am to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and, on Wednesday, is open from noon to 7pm. For more information, you can call 866-4943, or view animals from county shelters online at www.sbcounty.gov/acc.


Prosit! Oktoberfest is underway at the Convention Center this weekend, including Locals Night on October 5.

October 5, 2007


Crew chief and mechanic Nate Sheffer and CH54B helicopter co-pilot Jeff Hueser are on the team from Corvallis, Oregon,
who have been stationed here since September 15. To date, they have made 169 water drops (of 2,400 gallons each) on the Butler #2 Fire.

Big Pine Flat Area Reopened to Public; Closure Was Due to Butler #2 Fire
The San Bernardino National Forest has lifted the forest area closure north of Big Pine Flat, which has been closed due to the Butler #2 Fire. John Miller with the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that though this area is now open, is must be accessed from Lucerne Valley, off either High Road or Bowen Ranch Road.

Volunteers Welcome to Join Forest Service and Cahuilla Indians for Pine Nut Harvesting
If you missed out on local volunteering opportunities with the San Bernardino National Forest last Saturday during Public Lands Day, another outdoor adventure is scheduled for this weekend. The Parry Pinyon Pine Protection Project is already underway, but volunteers are welcome to join the effort tomorrow. Daniel McCarthy, the San Bernardino National Forest's Tribal Relations Program Manager, tells KBHR, “People are welcome to come. This is an opportunity to meet and work with tribal people and participate in pine nut harvesting.” On Saturday, crews will be clearing vegetation and harvesting pine nuts on the Ramona Indian Reservation. Volunteers can meet up with McCarthy at Highway 371 and Anza at Bautista Canyon Road at 8:30am. Local tribes will provide Saturday evening's dinner, so volunteers just need to bring work gloves and a hat, as well as drinks. For more information, you can call Daniel McCarthy at 379-9332.

National Weather Service Issues Wind Advisory for San Bernardino Mountains -- Updated
We are in for some big winds from the southwest today. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the San Bernardino Mountains, with possible gusts as high as 55 miles per hour, through 9pm this evening. Gusts at the KBHR studios in Big Bear City have already been as much as 47 miles an hour this morning. Those driving high profile vehicles should use extra caution today.

Esperanza Fire's Engine Crew 57 to Be Honored at National Memorial Weekend
Fallen firefighters will be honored this weekend, at the 26th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, to be held October 6 and 7 in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Eighty-seven firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2006, including the five Forest Service employees on Engine Crew 57 during the Esperanza Fire, will be recognized. The Engine 57 Crew from the San Jacinto Ranger District—Mark Loutzenhiser, Jason McKay, Jess McLean, Daniel Hoover Najera and Pablo Cerda—lost their lives on October 26 when their engine was overrun by flames. On Sunday, American flags will be flown at half-mast to recognize these fire heroes. For more information, you can log on to www.firehero.org. Fire Prevention Week is October 7 through 13.

Families Welcome at Tonight's Oktoberfest Locals Night Celebration
The 37th annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest is underway, each Saturday and Sunday this month. And tonight, for one Friday night, it's Local's Night at the 'fest, which takes place at the Convention Center. Burgermeister Hans Bandows, who, along with his family, has been bringing Oktoberfest to Big Bear for 37 years, says that this Locals Night will be the first to include the kids. “Oktoberfest is a family celebration,” he says, “and we've had so many requests from our local community to bring their families. We look forward to celebrating this year's Locals Night with all of our friends and family.” Tonight's activities include the log sawing, stein holding and Safe Slam beer drinking contests, live music from Germany's Treppensteiger Band, and performances from the Big Bear Lake Polka Tots and Big Bear's Joyful Noise Cloggers. Doors open at 6pm this evening, and admission is just $2, and free for children under 12. All of this evening's admission proceeds will benefit the Big Bear Valley Historical Society, so do your part for history—join your friends and neighbors at Oktoberfest tonight. You know you want to Chicken Dance.

Increased Fire Restrictions in Our National Forest, Effective Today
Beginning today, October 5, no open campfires or charcoal fires will be allowed anywhere on the San Bernardino National Forest. Forest officials are raising the fire restriction level due to forecasted Santa Ana winds and recent wildfire activity. At this time, the forest remains open with the exception of a temporary area closure surrounding the Butler #2 Fire zone. Forest officials continually assess conditions during fire season and raise restrictions when conditions warrant further vigilance and increased wildfire prevention activities. Current fire restrictions, including those implemented earlier this summer, are: no open campfires or charcoal fires anywhere on the forest; target shooting is permitted only at developed shooting ranges, including the Big Bear Sportsman's Club; smoking is limited to enclosed vehicles, developed recreation sites, and areas cleared of vegetation three feet in diameter; an approved spark arrestor is required for any internal combustion engine operated off state or county highways or designated forest roads--these include chainsaws, generators, motorcycles, and off-highway vehicles; welding or operating a torch with an open flame is not allowed; and fireworks are never allowed. For more information on these restrictions within the National Forest, please call 382-2600.

Hansberger Seeks Fawnskin Resident for Advisory Commission
County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger is seeking individuals interested in serving on the Advisory Commission for County Service for Area 53-B, which covers Fawnskin, to fill the commission vacancy left by the departure of Rob Shepherd. This Special District Advisory Commission was created by the Board of Supervisors to review and comment on matters concerning the fire and sewer services provided by the District. The Advisory Commission position is voluntary with no compensation, save for authorized expenses incurred in connection with the performance of duties as a member of the commission. The selected applicant, who must be a registered voter and resident of Fawnskin, would serve the remainder of Shepherd's term, which runs through January 31, 2010. Applications, which are due by October 31, are available to Fawnskin residents by calling 866-0140.

October 4, 2007

Lane Closure on Highway 38 Expected to Be Lifted Around 3pm
There is a vehicle overturned in the roadway on Highway 38 in the Onyx Summit area, as of approximately 12:45 this afternoon. One lane of the highway is open. The California Highway Patrol tells us that they have personnel on scene, in addition to CalTrans, fire personnel and an ambulance. The lane closure is expected to last until around 3pm, though traffic is being allowed to pass on the one open lane.

Helitack Crews Still on Scene for Butler #2 Fire
During the peak of Butler #2 Fire, as many as 23 helicopters were stationed in our area for fire suppression efforts, taking water from Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency. Today, there are three aircraft stationed at the Big Bear Airport on stand-by, and ready for IA, or initial attack, when and if another fire is sparked. One of those aircraft, a CH54B helicopter has made 169 water drops since arriving here from Corvallis, Oregon on September 15. Helicopters will remain in the area Friday, as winds are expected, and aircraft capable of mapping hot zones using infrared technology is scheduled for additional flyovers tomorrow. As for the helitack crew involved in Monday's vehicular drop 400' over the side of Arctic Circle, Rocco Terracciano, today's helicopter manager with the San Bernardino National Forest (and also a Fawnskin resident), tells KBHR that all eight are doing OK, and were in attendance at yesterday's debriefing at the helicopter base at Heaps Peak.


Helitack crew Jeff Heuser, Nate Scheffer and the Forest Service's Rocco Terracciano with the CH54B at the Big Bear Airport.

Environmental Film Festival, Habit for Humanity Dedication, Moon Camp Well Meeting Rescheduled
Three community events that were postponed due to the Butler #2 Fire and Fawnskin evacuation in September have been rescheduled. The Sierra Club will now offer the Environmental Film Festival on Tuesday, October 16. The entire community is invited to join them at the Discovery Center, starting at 5:30pm, for five short films and a feature presentation, titled Earth to America, which celebrates life on Earth and addresses global warming. This film, which begins at 7:30pm, features the comic talents of Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Jack Black. Requested donation is $2, healthy snacks will be available, and guests are encouraged to bring a comfy chair. More information is available from Christie Walker at 866-5006.
The dedication of Habitat for Humanity's third Valley home will now be held on Sunday, October 21. The dedication begins at 1:30pm at the new home of the Wagner family, located at 45415 5th Street in Baldwin Lake. For more information, you can contact Don Strongman at 866-5683.
And, rescheduled for Saturday, October 20th at 2pm, there will be a public meeting to review and discuss the proposed domestic well for a potential 50-lot development, referred to as the Moon Camp Subdivision. The proposed subdivision, situated just east of Fawnskin off Highway 38, would include a domestic well, though consultant (and former City Manager) Michael Perry notes that the new well would be over 1,000 feet from the nearest existing well. Staff of the Department of Water and Power, which operates the Fawnskin water system, will make a presentation at the October 20 meeting, to be held at the Fawnskin Fire Department.

MWD Board Holds Their Meeting at 1pm Today
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District is holding their regularly scheduled meeting at 1pm today, at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Lyle Haynes Joins City of Big Bear Lake as Redevelopment Director

The City of Big Bear Lake created the position of Redevelopment Director this year, and, as of Monday, that position has been assumed by Lyle Haynes, who has over 17 years of experience in redevelopment, public property management and leasing, economic development, and affordable housing. Prior to joining the City of Big Bear Lake this week, Haynes had most recently served as the Economic Development Services Director for Los Angeles World Airports. In his new role as Big Bear Lake's Redevelopment Director, Haynes will work closely with the City's Improvement Agency, and will also focus on affordable housing developments. Three days on the job, Haynes says, “So far, so good.” Right now, he is working on understanding aspects of the city and will spend the first couple weeks talking to people, so he'll know which needs to address. “I'm extremely happy,” he tells KBHR, “and very pleased to serve in this capacity with this management. Jeff Mathieu is a very good, strong city manager. Once I met with him, I knew this would be a great place to come.” Haynes is enjoying being in Big Bear, as he and wife Terry have been regular visitors to the Valley. While their son completes his senior year of high school in the Temecula area, Haynes will commute, though he and his wife look forward to settling here permanently.


Kent Stalcup and other local golfers were joined by PGA pro Dave Stockton for the 9th annual Kyle Hagmann Memorial
Golf Tournament at Bear Mountain.

Kyle Hagmann Memorial Golf Tournament Benefits BBHS Seniors and Project GHB
PGA professional Dave Stockton was among the duffers to participate in the 9th annual Kyle Hagmann Memorial Golf Tournament at Bear Mountain Golf Course in September, which raised over $7000 for local high school scholarships through the Steven G. Mihaylo Big Bear High School Education Foundation. A donation from the proceeds of the tournament and auction, featuring autographed items from Stockton, was also made to Project GHB, a non-profit which promotes awareness about the dangers of the drug GHB. Kyle Hagmann, a 1996 BBHS graduate, lost his life in April of '99 when he unknowingly ingested GHB while attending California Lutheran University. Of the 14 teams in the Kyle Hagmann Memorial Golf Tournament, first place went to the team of (below, from left) Bob Leterneau, John Petrocelli, Dave Bleininger and Sean Bock.

First Aid and CPR Classes Offered by Our Fire Departments This Saturday
Two of our fire departments will be offering classes this Saturday. The Big Bear City Fire Department will offer First Aid training at the Big Bear City Community Services District offices, beginning at 9am for a cost of $40 per person. To make a reservation for this full-day class, please call Deanne Johanson at the Big Bear City Fire Department at 585-2362. Also beginning at 9am Saturday, the Big Bear Lake Fire Department conducts a CPR training class. This class is at a cost of $30 and includes American Heart Association reference materials. To sign-up for Big Bear Lake Fire's Saturday class offering, please call 866-7566.

October 3, 2007


Free Mammogram Screenings Offered During October -- Tune In for Details

During the month of October, women without health insurance in the Big Bear Valley will be eligible for free or low-cost mammogram screenings, thanks to Soroptomists International and the Bear Valley Community Hospital. Cheri Wood of the hospital will be sharing more details on the mammogram program on “Tuned In on the Bear” with Kat Sawyer in the 5 o'clock hour. You'll want to tune in to 93.3 FM so you can hear from Cheri, as well as the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce's new Executive Director Sara Russ, and Big Bear historian Mark Durban.

Grant Doesn't Come Through for Boulder Bay Park Upgrade

In hopes of making upgrades to the Boulder Bay Park, the City of Big Bear Lake had applied for a Land and Water Conservation Fund Program grant, through the State Parks and Recreation Department, back in April. As the Boulder Bay facility, which currently includes bathrooms, picnic tables and a parking lot, is the first/last stop at the west end of the Valley on Highway 18, hopes had been to add a pavilion with additional tables. The grant application also outlined plans for a non-motorized boat ramp, for kayak access, and a 40' x 10' fishing dock, as well as improved irrigation and landscape features. However, city staff has received word that the grant was, well, not granted. Still, plans continue, as city staff will research other sources of alternative funding so that upgrades might still be possible for the Boulder Bay Park. The original plan, which also included a xeriscape demonstration garden and a non-swim beach area, would have cost approximately $448,000, with half of those funds to have been reimbursed by the grant.

Dick Kun and Vincent Arias to Speak at Tomorrow Morning's Chamber Breakfast
The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce hosts their first-Thursday-of-the-month Power Breakfast at Northwoods Resort tomorrow morning. Featured Chamber speakers at the 7am breakfast will be Dick Kun of Big Bear Mountain Resorts and Vincent Arias of Cedar Lake Camp. Cost for the Power Breakfast is $12 for Chamber members, $15 for guests. Coffee service begins at 6:45am, so get up early, bring your business cards, and join the Chamber for breakfast at Northwoods in the Village.


Cause of Butler #2 Fire Is Still Under Investigation
The U.S. Forest Service still has not released the cause of the Butler #2 Fire, which was first spotted on Friday afternoon, September 14. That said, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. As for speculation that the blaze is related to the marijuana grow detected in the area on September 24, John Miller of the Forest Service tells KBHR, “That's completely unrelated. The fire's point of origin was up on Butler ridge, and the marijuana grow was east of that, at a lower elevation.”

CSD Board Agrees to Build a Big Bear City Park with the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District
A community park will be coming to Big Bear City. At Monday evening's meeting of the Big Bear City Community Services District, a Memorandum of Understanding between CSD and the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District was approved by the CSD Board. The approved MOU means that the two agencies will jointly develop a community park on the five acres of land owned by CSD on Paradise Way, which is land outside of the proposed critical habitat of the San Bernardino Bluegrass. Reese Troublefield, Director of the Rec and Park, and CSD's General Manager Mike Mayer worked to develop the MOU, which, as part of the agreement, includes a $1 million commitment from the County of San Bernardino (this being Proposition 12 funds that County Supervisor Hansberger originally designated for the Meadow Park pool facility). The full proceeds from the eventual sale of the Big Bear City Park on Greenway Drive will also go toward the development of the park on Paradise Way. Other points of the agreement between the two agencies include the following: CSD will deed to BBVRPD the Erwin Lake Park; CSD will purchase the property of Well #9 (which is said to account for 10% of CSD's water supply) from BBVRPD at fair market value; CSD will also obtain the title to the property beneath the Sugarloaf Fire Station, as well as the adjacent property (but not the Sugarloaf Park) needed for an expansion of the fire station. As for the eventual East Valley park design, the MOU notes that both parties will develop mutually agreeable park concept and amenities. CSD will retain ownership of the property, but will lease the land to Rec and Park for 40 years. A final stipulation in the agreement between the agencies is that, once the California Environmental Quality Act requirements are met, the park on Paradise Way will be completed within two years. So, all is a go, once the MOU is approved by the Advisory Commission of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, which next meets on October 16.


Joe and Laura Landaker were joined by Jessica Pfister (center), widow of Sergeant Travis Pfister, for the Seven Stars
Foundation Jared Landaker Memorial Run for Freedom to honor their son and six other soldiers on Saturday.

October 2, 2007

Planning Commission to Receive Presentation from SCAG at Wednesday's Meeting

The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold their next meeting tomorrow, October 3. This week's agenda includes just two discussion items, one of which is the conditioning of street improvements. The Commission will also receive a presentation from the Southern California Association of Governments, or SCAG, which is the nation's largest regional planning agency and represents the counties of San Bernardino, Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside. SCAG is currently meeting with organizations throughout Southern California to formulate a formal Regional Comprehensive Plan for challenges such as transportation, air quality, housing, growth, hazardous waste and water quality. The Planning Commission's Wednesday afternoon meeting will be held in Hofert Hall at 1:15pm.

Less Than 100 Spaces Left for This Weekend's Troutfest 2007
The Big Bear Lake Troutfest returns this weekend. The annual event, scheduled for October 6 and 7, will feature some big prizes this year--tagged fish could reel you in a brand new Toyota Tundra or, thanks to Big Bear Sporting Goods, $10,000 in cash! Kids who participate have an opportunity to win one of two bikes being donated by Kmart. Over 900 participants have already signed up for the big event featuring big prizes, but late registration will be available on Friday, for an additional $15 fee. There are less than 100 spaces available, so, if you still want in, you can sign up at the offices of the Big Bear Municipal Water District, located at 40524 Lakeview Drive, on Friday, from noon to 9pm. Cost for adult anglers is $75 plus the late fee, children under 16 are $50 plus late fee. The fishing competition for Troutfest 2007 begins this Saturday morning at 6am.

Butler #2 Fire Crew Survives 400' Drop With Only Minor Injuries; Highway 18 Reopened
The U.S. Forest Service confirms that the eight helicopter crew members that were involved in yesterday morning's vehicular accident off Highway 18 have all been treated for their injuries. Six of the eight only suffered minor injuries, and were treated and released from Bear Valley Community Hospital yesterday. The other two members of the crew, one of whom suffered a dislocated shoulder, and the other, who was first thought to have a dislocated pelvis but didn't, were both kept overnight at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for observation, after having been airlifted there yesterday. Despite the severity of the accident, none of the fire personnel suffered any broken bones.
The Forest Service crew buggy had been en route to the Big Bear Airport, where the crew was to resume duties on the Butler #2 Fire scene. Though the California Highway Patrol is conducting an investigation, preliminary reports suggest that the vehicle had rounded a right curve on Arctic Circle, hit a guardrail and lost control before dropping 400 feet over the embankment at approximately 9:44am. Highway 18 had been closed until 7pm last night, to allow for helicopters to land in the Arctic Circle area, to transport the wounded. Crews were also called in to pull the vehicle, in two pieces, back up the embankment near Glory Ridge. At this time, the names of the crew members have not yet been released by the San Bernardino National Forest, the agency currently overseeing rehabilitation efforts on the Butler #2 Fire.

Broadway's "Annie" Comes to Big Bear; First Rehearsal This Sunday
The Community Arts Theater Society will be bringing the full-length Broadway musical “Annie” to the Performing Arts Center, for a two-week run starting November 16. The title role will be shared between Tori Waner and Alyson Abbott under the direction of Karen Sargent Rachels. Though the primary roles have been cast, CATS invites community members interested in participating, on stage or as crew, to their “Annie” orientation and first rehearsal, set for this Sunday. If you would like to join the production, CATS will meet at the Masonic Lodge at 2pm this Sunday, the 7th. For more information, please contact Beth Gardner at 866-7091. Tickets for the production are also available, by calling the PAC box office at 866-4970, or by going online to www.bigbeartheater.org.

Airport Board Will Meet at 2pm This Afternoon
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Airport District will be meeting in open session at 2pm today. The meeting's report from Manager Garry Dokter will include notice of activities in support of fire suppression on the Butler #2 Fire. The Airport Board meets in the Big Bear Airport Pilots Lounge at 501 West Valley Boulevard in Big Bear City.

October 1, 2007


Highway 18 Closed Due to Butler #2 Crew Fire Vehicle Over Side of Arctic Circle -- Updated
The California Highway Patrol has had Highway 18 closed since about 10am this morning. Just before that time, a U.S. Forest Service vehicle (not CalFire as earlier noted), carrying a helitack crew of seven, rolled over the side of the roadway, and two of those fire personnel are reportedly in critical, though not life-threatening, condition. The injured two have been airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. The vehicle is said to be at least 400 feet over the side of Arctic Circle near Glory Ridge. Three ambulances from the Big Bear City Fire Department, and one from Running Springs, have been on scene. Three helicopters have also been assisting in the emergency effort, which accounts for the road closure. Again, Highway 18 is now closed in both directions, from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley, due to an accident involving a fire crew. California Highway Patrol is having all southbound traffic turn around, as Highway 18, down the front way, remains closed. According to the latest report from the CHP, the closure will remain in effect until at least 4pm this afternoon. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
Another update as of 3:45pm: We have since received information from officials with the San Bernardino National Forest. Their reports indicate that there were eight helicopter crew members in the vehicle. All eight are said to be alert and responding. Two members of the fire crew were airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. The other six are being treated at Bear Valley Community Hospital. Names and status of medical conditions have not been released at this time. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and, now, tells us that Highway 18, from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley, will not be reopened until at least 5pm.
Update as of 5pm: Highway 18 down the front way is still closed, and has been since just after a Forest Service vehicle with a helitack crew of eight went over the roadway at 9:44am. The California Highway Patrol is currently investigating the accident. As of 4:30pm, cables are being lowered down the embankment, to retrieve the cab and chassis portion of the Forest Service vehicle, which is why the Arctic Circle area remains closed.
At this time, all eight helicopter crew members, who had been on their way to work at the Big Bear Airport as part of the Butler #2 Fire crew, are doing OK. Six crewmembers suffered minor injuries and cuts after their vehicle went 400 feet over the embankment near Glory Ridge. These six have been treated and are or will soon be released from Bear Valley Community Hospital. The other two fire crew personnel had been airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. One of them dislocated a shoulder, and will be released from the hospital today. The other of the more seriously injured firefighters suffered a dislocated pelvis and will remain in the hospital overnight.
As for the roadway, the most current report from CHP is that Highway 18, from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley, will not be reopened until at least 6pm, so commuters should plan to take Highway 38 or 18 through Lucerne Valley.
Update as of 5:45pm: Highway 18 will remain closed until 7pm this evening, per a conversation we just had with an official from the California Highway Patrol.
Update as of 6:30pm:
The latest update on the Forest Service-vehicle-over the-embankment incident today is good news. The firefighter thought to have a dislocated pelvis, it turns out, did not dislocate it. However, due to the severity of the impact, this helitack crew member will spend the night at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center to be monitored for internal injuries. As a precautionary measure, the firefighter with the dislocated shoulder will also remain in the hospital, also at ARMC in Colton, until tomorrow. The other six crew members have been treated and released from Bear Valley Community Hospital. The California Highway Patrol continues their investigation at this hour but, still, plans to reopen Highway 18 around 7pm this evening.

Community Services District to Meet at 5:30pm Today

The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold their regular meeting at 5:30pm this evening. Among items under new business, the CSD Board will address the endangered San Bernardino Bluegrass, found on the CSD property off the North Shore, where the agency had proposed a park development. CSD meets at their offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

Family, Friends and U.S. Marines Join Landaker Family for Saturday's Memorial Run

Nearly 400 runners, in addition to about 200 volunteers and spectators, came out to Snow Summit Ski Area to support the Landaker family in the first Seven Stars Foundation Jared Landaker Memorial Run for Freedom on Saturday morning. Big Bear's 1st Lieutenant Landaker was one of seven military personnel whose helicopter was shot down in Iraq in February, and some family members of those other fallen soldiers joined Jared's parents, Joe and Laura, for this weekend's event, which has so far raised $5000 for the Wounded Warriors Foundation. Others in attendance included Jared's cousins from the Landaker and Clifton families, many of Jared's fellow U.S. Marines from Camp Pendleton, former classmates from Big Bear High School and the University of La Verne, and at least one of his Iraq pen pals from a 5th grade class in Poway. U.S. Marines were also on hand to present Joe and Laura Landaker with an Air Medal, and commendation honoring Jared, from President Bush. Many family members and friends of Landaker wore specially designed shirts to honor him on the Memorial Run, including one version worn by his father and others with a quote from Jared that read “Heroes: Anyone who has put their lives on the line serving this country.” Among those who won awards in their divisions were retired U.S. Marine Jerry Kenney of Big Bear, who, having spent much time in the hospital this year, completed the 5K using a cane and took first place in the 65-69 age group, and Marine Sergeant Aaron Botenhagan of Big Bear City, who took first in the 5K for men ages 20-24. Overall winners in the 5K were Kimberly Smith and Roy Smith of Big Bear, and top two in the 10K honors went to David Dolezal and Rosalva Bonilla of Big Bear.


Joe Landaker congratulates Sgt. Botenhagen; Jared's CH-46 Crew remembered; and Laura Landaker presents Big Bear 10K winner Rosalva Bonilla with a commemorative
Seven Stars quilt, handmade by Susan Botenhagen.


Schools Begin Two-Week Fall Break Today

Bear Valley Unified School District today begins their first day of Fall Break, which runs through October 12. Classes resume on Monday, October 15.

County Supervisors Expected to Lift Emergency Proclamation Re. Butler #2 Fire
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will meet in open session tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10am, in the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. At the meeting, supervisors are expected to terminate the Local Emergency Proclamation, which was issued on September 15, as a result of the Butler #2 Fire. Board Chairman Paul Biane, serving as the County's Director of Emergency Services, had made the proclamation, just 25 hours after the blaze began. Following the proclamation, the County's Emergency Operations Center was activated that day, Saturday. The County's Flood Area Task Force coordinated flood preparations, in addition to positioning portable electronic message boards and five fixed signs in the Fawnskin area, warning of potential mud slides. The County also activated the Telephone Emergency Notification System (or “reverse 911”) on September 21, and distributed flood awareness information to Fawnskin residents, as well as coordinated with the American Red Cross to predetermine evacuation staging areas and shelter sites. The County's Emergency Proclamation resulted in a State of Emergency, declared by Governor Schwarzenegger, on Saturday evening, September 15.

October 1 Signals Rideshare Week
Commuters, just so you know, October 1st-5th is Rideshare Week in the Inland Empire.

Three Teens Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Alpine Slide's Go-Carts
Last week, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department arrested three local teenagers for alleged burglary. In a statement from the Sheriff's Department, the following was outlined:
Shortly after midnight on September 1, Deputy S. Wijnhamer of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station was returning to the Valley from a crime sweep in the City of Chino when he spotted a white male driving a red go-cart traveling westbound against traffic on Big Bear Blvd. While conducting an area check, the deputy located two go-carts with their motors running abandoned in the street on the 40,000 block of Highland Avenue in Big Bear Lake. A third go-cart was located at the Hillcrest Lodge.
It was determined that unknown suspects broke into a wooden garage at the Alpine Slide, stole three go-carts, and lit a 28-gallon gas tank on fire. The suspects also broke into the garage of an abandoned house at the rear of the property.
After an extensive investigation and receiving several tips from the community, on September 22, Deputy S. Wijnhamer identified and arrested David Ferguson, an 18-year-old male resident of Big Bear Lake, on felony burglary charges. Suspect Ferguson is being held at West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $15,000 bail. A court hearing for Ferguson has been set for October 9.
Also in connection with the burglary at Alpine Slide, a 17-year-old-male juvenile suspect was arrested on September 26 without incident on charges of burglary, arson, and conspiracy. Additionally, a 16-year-old male juvenile suspect was arrested on September 27, following a foot pursuit in the Erwin Lake area, and charged with burglary, arson, and conspiracy, as well as resisting arrest.

Chipping Truck Visits Moonridge-Area Neighborhoods, Starting Today
Neighborhood Chipping Programs are still underway in the City of Big Bear Lake. Public Works crews from the City will be revisiting Area 5 today, Monday, through October 14. Area 5 for the City of Big Bear Lake is Moonridge areas near the golf course, roughly bordered by Clubview Drive to the west and Menlo Road and Wolf Road to the east. If you live in this zone, this is your second opportunity to create defensible space by clearing brush, tree limbs and dead vegetation, and leaving it curbside for pick up. Please remember, no tree trunks larger than 8” in diameter, and no pine needles, construction materials or rootballs for the chipping truck. If you need more information, you can log on to www.thinisin.org, or call the City of Big Bear Lake's chipping information line at 752-2805.


A bobcat enjoys the wide open space at Bear Mountain Resort this week.

September 28, 2007



Big Bear earned the Great American City trophy and, this week, a Great American City resolution from the County Board of Supervisors.
Those on hand to receive Supervisor Hansberger's commendation were (from left) Owen Miller of the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club,
Sara Russ of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, and Car Clubbers Cliff Fowler, Emilee Johnston and Cal Roe.

County and 66ers Baseball Team Host Recovery Happens Rally in San Bernardino

Tomorrow, the County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health, Alcohol and Drug Services is hosting a Recovery Happens Rally, in conjunction with the Inland Empire 66ers Minor League Baseball Team. The family event at the Arrowhead Credit Union Baseball Park begins at 4:30pm, and will include free food, pony rides and a petting zoo, live entertainment, educational and resource giveaways, and a fireworks display. Parking is also free at the ballpark, located at 280 South E Street in San Bernardino. For more information on the communities-in-recovery celebration, you can call 800/722-9866.

San Bernardino National Forest Directs Continued Rehab Efforts on the Butler #2 Fire

Over 200 fire personnel from the U.S. Forest Service remain on scene on the Butler #2 Fire. Incident Commander David Kelly of the San Bernardino National Forest's Mountain Top District tells KBHR, “Work is going well. We're now mopping up 400 to 500 feet within the perimeter. Work is continuing at a normal pace for a fire this size.” Aircraft with infrared technology continues to patrol for hot spots within the perimeter of the blaze's 14,039 acres, and these flyovers will continue into Monday. Kelly anticipates that hand crews have another two weeks or so of hard work on rehabilitation and mop-up efforts, but personnel will continue to be in the area for another month, or as long as deemed necessary.
John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that the Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response Team is still working on their assessment, which should be ready for presentation to the Forest Service early next week. In the meantime, all Forest Service roads and trails within the burn area's perimeter do remain closed. Decisions on lifting these restrictions may be available prior to General Deer Season, which runs October 13 through November 12.


The KBHR Team flew over the Butler #2 Fire zone on Thursday, and saw evidence of a couple hot spots within the burn area's perimeter.

DWP Board Names La Haye Interim General Manager -- Updated
As a result of this morning's closed session meeting of the Board of Directors of the Department of Water and Power, a statement was issued, indicating that Bill La Haye will be the agency's Interim General Manager. Jerry Gruber, who holds the title of DWP's General Manager, has been assigned to administrative leave by the DWP Board of Directors. We have since spoken to La Haye, who has most recently served as the DWP's Water Resource Manager and, before that, Assistant General Manager and has been with the agency since 2003. When asked when Gruber might return, La Haye told KBHR, “That's undetermined at this point. Jerry's on leave, and that's really all I can tell you.” In the meantime, La Haye assures that all services and normal operations will continue at the Department of Water and Power, though the hiring of a Financial Analyst, currently being filled by Conservation Specialist Jennifer McCullar, will be on temporary hold for now. “We have all our bases covered,” La Haye noted. “We're just cruisin' along.”
La Haye, a Big Bear Lake resident, has worked at the DWP in various positions since 2003. Some of his past duties have included managing the DWP's Water Conservation Program, coordinating the agency's website, overseeing advertising programs and numerous special projects. La Haye holds a Bachelor's Degree in Geology and a Master's Degree in Wildlife Biology.

All Invited to Participate in Forest Service Planting in Cactus Flats Area
In celebration of National Public Lands Day this Saturday, which constitutes a Free Day in the Forest, volunteers from the San Bernardino National Forest's Mountain Top District will be restoring an area in Cactus Flats with the expertise of the Greenthumbs Forest Service Nursery. Local volunteers are invited to roll up their sleeves and participate in a day of planting, which will get started with a 9am caravan from the Discovery Center. Those who join in the effort are reminded to bring a hat and sunscreen, and lunch will be provided by Subway, Big Bear. Those who participate will also receive a free day pass good any day next year at public land sites, including National Parks. The Greenthumbs Nursery, which is referred to as small but fully functional, has helped with the restoration of hundreds of acres of disturbed sites utilizing locally collected and grown native seeds and plants. For more information on Saturday's volunteer opportunity in Cactus Flats, please call Stacy Gorin, the Discovery Center's Naturalist, at 382-2794.

School Board Meets Today; Two-Week Fall Break Begins Monday
The Board of Trustees of Bear Valley Unified School District will be meeting in open session today, Friday, at noon. Among business items on today's agenda is an item to award the lead paint and asbestos abatement bid for Big Bear Middle School. The School Board will meet at their offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake. Today is the last of minimum days for students of Big Bear Middle School and the three elementaries, to allow for parent-teacher conferences this afternoon. Fall Break for all students of Bear Valley Unified School District begins next Monday, and continues through October 12th.

Landaker Memorial Run Through Lower Moonridge Tomorrow Morning
The Jared Landaker Memorial Run for Freedom event will launch from Snow Summit Ski Area tomorrow morning, and proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warriors Foundation and local scholarships for Big Bear High School seniors. Those who wish to participate can still register online at www.active.com for the 10K, 5K, or one-mile community walk. On-site registration begins tomorrow morning at 6:30am, with the first of the races to start at 8am. The run and walk will be followed by an awards ceremony at Summit, and a balloon release to honor and remember those who, like Big Bear High School graduate Landaker, gave their lives in service to our country. To accommodate the event, some roads in lower Moonridge will be closed Saturday morning, and those streets include Willow, Poplar, LaPlacida, Falcon, Elm and Switzerland. For more information on the Jared Landaker Memorial Run, hosted by his family, you can call Walters Events at 338-3897.

September 27, 2007

This Saturday Is a Free Day in the Forest for National Public Lands Day
This Saturday, September 29 is one of three National Public Lands Days offered by the San Bernardino National Forest this year. This constitutes a Free Day in the Forest, and no Adventure Pass is required for use in recreation areas or day-use sites this Saturday. Our Forest Supervisor Jeanne Wade Evans says, “National Public Lands Day is a great opportunity to get outdoors and appreciate the open spaces here in Southern California.” Before you head out in the woods, please note that forestry trails and roads within the Butler #2 Fire area remain closed this week, and fees are still charged for campgrounds and reservation sites. For detailed information, you can call the Discovery Center at 382-2790. The next Free Day in the Forest will be offered on Veterans Day, November 11th.

County Establishes Homeless Partnership This Week
At this week's meeting of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, supervisors formed the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership, and created four staff positions to develop solution-oriented programs and policy initiatives. Per the county, a census conducted this year showed just over 7,300 homeless people in the county, which is an increase of almost 40% in the last four years. The leading causes of homelessness within the county are said to be loss of a job, substance abuse, family upheaval, and housing issues. Though the county created a Homeless Coalition in 1992, the new partnership will include representatives from a number of public and private organizations, including city and school administrators, businesses, hospitals, faith-based organizations and the county's Housing Authority. In a statement, Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Biane said, “This partnership brings everyone to the table to find solutions. We're reaching out to our schools, our non-profits, our businesses, our churches, our homeless population and other stakeholders to help develop programs than can and will make a difference in people's lives.”

Local Bands Come Together in Benefit for Carol Bradley
Friends of Carol Bradley, longtime employee of the Teddy Bear Restaurant, will be holding a fundraiser on her behalf this Saturday to help her since losing her daughter Renea in a car accident on September 3rd. The 3:30pm benefit will feature performances by local bands 151 and Shot Collar and comedian Robert Nash. Donations of $5 are requested at the event, which will take place at 1025 Kickapoo Drive in Baldwin Lake. For more information, or to volunteer your help, please call Keith at The Shack at 866-2323. Food will also be available at the fundraiser for Carol Bradley, and guests are encouraged to bring chairs, and reminded to dress warmly.

Two-Vehicle Collision on Arctic Circle -- as of Noon

We have just gotten a report of a two-vehicle collision in the Arctic Circle area near Glory Ridge on Highway 18. No injuries have yet been reported, and the California Highway Patrol reports that the vehicles are a black Dodge Charger and a silver Ford Escort. Both cars are said to be on the side of the road, and CHP is on scene. Please be reminded to drive slowly and cautiously in the Arctic Circle area, especially in light of Butler #2 Fire rehabilitation efforts on the roadway.


Marijuana Grow Found Within Butler #2 Fire's Perimeter

In other news from the Butler #2 Fire scene, there was some vegetation spared in the Butler Peak area—only that vegetation was 4,467 illegal marijuana plants. Earlier this week, while fire crews were cutting a fire line in the vicinity of the Butler Peak Lookout Tower and Arctic Circle, personnel noticed some irrigation tubing. This was reported to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, which prompted a helicopter flyover of the area by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Marijuana Eradication Team from the Narcotics Division. Deputies found the nearly 4,500 marijuana plants unburned. There was evidence that part of the grow had been harvested among the plants, which were all considered mature and budding, and clearly ready for harvest, per Jodi Miller of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Miller also told KBHR that these plants have an estimated street value of $3500 each, bringing the total to over $15 million dollars. There was evidence that people had been living in the vicinity of the marijuana grow, though no suspects were found when deputies searched the area on foot on Monday. Miller noted that this same thing happened last year, when a large marijuana grow was detected within the perimeter of the Sawtooth Fire.

Chamber Stresses Roadway Accessibility to Senator Dutton
While Senator Bob Dutton was in Big Bear this week, the Board of Directors of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce also had an opportunity to speak with him. In the interest of the Valley's business community, Chamber members stressed the importance of our roadways, especially Highway 18 or “the front way”. Having learned to ski in Big Bear, Dutton is said to consider our community near and dear to his heart. “Highway 18 is of critical importance to me,” Dutton noted, and told the Chamber that he would forward our roadway concerns to CalTrans and the Governor's office. Brent Tregaskis, past Chairman of the Chamber Board (and General Manager of Bear Mountain Resort) commented, “Though we advertise the three highways into the community, it is Highway 18 that, if closed, causes the greatest economic hardship for the community.” The Chamber notes that they will continue to lobby at local, state and federal levels to keep all roads into the Valley open and accessible.

September 26, 2007



The morning view of Fawnskin from Meadow Park's Ski Beach area, which will be addressed at a Rec and Park meeting at 5pm Wednesday.

Curbside Chipping Available to Big Bear Lake Area 4 Residents
Neighborhood Chipping Programs are still underway in the City of Big Bear Lake. Public Works crews from the City will be visiting Area 4 through September 30. Area 4 for the City of Big Bear Lake is neighborhoods south of Highway 18/Big Bear Boulevard and Moonridge Road, east of Paine Road and west of portions of Clubview Drive. If you live in this zone, this is your second opportunity to create defensible space by clearing brush, tree limbs and dead vegetation, and leaving it curbside for pick up. Please remember, no tree trunks larger than 8” in diameter, and no pine needles, construction materials or rootballs for the chipping truck. If you need more information, you can log on to www.thinisin.org, or call the City of Big Bear Lake's chipping information line at 752-2805.

National Burn Area Emergency Response Team Assesses Butler #2 Fire Scene

Rehabilitation efforts are underway in the area of the Butler #2 Fire. The Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response Team (or BAER) arrived in our area on Sunday, and are making an assessment on the burn severity, fire effects, and rehabilitation needs for cultural and natural resources and infrastructure. Once the assessment is complete, the BAER Team will initiate short-term emergency stabilization and rehab measures. The BAER Team is made up of five national team members from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Geological Service, as well as other specialists from the local Forest Service, CalTrans and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The team will focus on the potential for accelerated erosion and runoff, and will also address the following: hydrology, soil science, archaeology, geology, engineering, geography, wildlife biology, forestry and plant biology. The primary objectives in rehabilitation efforts are to protect life, property and resources, and to reduce further resource damage that may be caused by flooding as a direct result of the Butler #2 Fire.

Our "Great American City" Recognized at County Board of Supervisors Meeting
At yesterday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, Big Bear Valley was recognized as the Great American City, an honor we earned for our hospitality during the Great American Race pitstop in July. County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger said, “I am honored today to present this resolution in recognition of the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club for their efforts in welcoming and cheering on the drivers during the race. Big Bear Valley truly is a Great American City—the friendly people, the beautiful scenery, and the timeless history that inhabits the area make it an extraordinary place.”
Cliff Fowler of the Antique Car Club and Sara Russ of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce were on hand to receive the resolution which, Fowler tells us, is big and beautiful and is now on display at the Chamber offices. Our Big Bear representatives presented all of the County Supervisors with Great American City hats, following a Power Point presentation which made the point Good Hospitality = Good Economy. Fowler tells KBHR that the entire thing “was really special.”

BBARWA to Hold Two Meetings This Week
The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency will hold their regular meeting at 4:30pm today, and will also hold a special meeting of the Governing Board tomorrow, Thursday, at 9am. BBARWA meets at their offices at 121 Palomino Drive in Big Bear City.

School Board Meets at 6:15pm Today
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will meet in open session this evening at 6:15pm. The BVUSD Board meets at their District Office, located at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake.

Council Talks Transportation With Senator; Gets Details on New Dam Bridge
On Monday, prior to the meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake, councilmembers Bill Jahn, Rick Herrick, Liz Harris, Michael Karp and Darrell Mulvihill were given the opportunity to speak with State Senator Bob Dutton. Council was able to discuss transportation, including the Big Bear Lake Dam Bridge and Highway 18, with the Senator, who is also a member of the Senate's Transportation and Housing Committee, among others. Our council stressed the importance of our roadways, not just for economic reasons related to tourism, but also for public safety inasmuch as evacuations are concerned.
Senator Dutton was also present for Council's meeting which, during the discussion items, included the Power Point presentation on the Big Bear Lake Dam Bridge replacement project by a CalTrans representative. As presented by CalTrans Senior Design Engineer John Bumps, the $56 million project will be fully funded by CalTrans, with design elements expected to be completed by Friday, before it goes to bid. Mayor Bill Jahn tells KBHR that the replacement project is scheduled to begin in autumn of 2008, and the road will be open during construction. The new Big Bear Lake Dam Bridge will include a sidewalk to the east, and a bike lane to the west and, once the new bridge is built, CalTrans will remove the existing roadway. Mayor Jahn says, “We are excited to hear that the project is going to move forward and we look forward to working with CalTrans during the construction phase. It's a good looking bridge, too.” And, Jahn adds, “CalTrans assured us they'll have the road open.” The new bridge's western abutment will be 207 feet west of the original, which was built in 1924.

Forestry Roads to Remain Closed Within Perimeter of Butler #2 Fire
In ongoing news on the Butler #2 Fire, the San Bernardino National Forest has about 220 Forest Service personnel on scene, and those teams are continuing rehabilitation and mop up efforts, and patrolling for isolated hot spots within the fire area. Fire personnel will remain in the area through Friday or Saturday, or as long as deemed necessary.
Fire crews remain in the Arctic Circle area of Highway 18 today, so please drive slowly through this area. The Forest Service also reminds that all forestry roads and trails within the 14,039 acres of the Butler #2 Fire area do remain closed through at least this week.


Children at the Big Bear Library's Friday afternoon Story Time offer their thanks to our firefighting heroes.

September 25, 2007

Butler #2 Fire Update as of 5pm

The San Bernardino National Forest assumed command of the Butler #2 Fire today, which is now day #12 on the incident. Though 100% containment was achieved on Thursday, John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service reminds, “The fire is not out.” Containment within the perimeter lines is one thing, a 100% controlled fire is another. That said, crews will remain on scene through Friday or Saturday, or as long as deemed necessary, though weather conditions have been favorable in recent days. Though there were approximately 280 firefighting personnel on the Butler #2 Fire this morning, that number is now at about 220. Miller tells KBHR that that number will hold for at least the next couple days, as crews do rehabilitation and mop up, and patrol for isolated hot spots within the 14,039 acres.
Fire crews were on Arctic Circle today, so motorists are reminded to drive slowly and cautiously on this portion on Highway 18, today and in coming days.

Bear Mountain's Tregaskis Appointed to Resort Association Board

The Big Bear Lake Resort Association has appointed Brent Tregaskis, General Manager for Bear Mountain Resort and past President of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, to serve as an at-large Director on the Resort Association Board. Tregaskis replace Larry Cummings, who resigned from the board after selling his business. In a statement from Tregaskis, who will serve the remainder of Cummings's term through October 2008, he says, “I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Resort Association Board. They've really done positive things for the business community in Big Bear. Since its inception, the Resort Association has given Big Bear a chance to compete for tourist dollars with other towns like Mammoth, Oceanside and Catalina.” Tregaskis will serve at his first RA board meeting on Thursday, September 27th.

Highway 18: Open Through Arctic Circle, Closed Through Arrowhead Today -- Updated
Highway 18 is open to all traffic in our area, though intermittent delays may arise if helicopters are needed for fire suppression in the Arctic Circle area. John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service tells us, as of noon, that crews are presently working at the west end of Arctic Circle, so drivers are urged to approach cautiously and slowly.
There will be a full closure of Highway 18 in the Lake Arrowhead area, starting this morning. The Narrows, between Cedar Sidehill Viaduct and Crest Forest Drive, will be closed until 2pm today, for geological testing and highway maintenance. Those traveling down the front way will still be able to get to Highland, by taking Highway 330 at Running Springs. So, to alleviate any confusion, if you hear mention of Highway 18 being closed, just know that it is in the Lake Arrowhead portion of the roadway.

Sheriff's Station Cautions Residents to Be Wary of Door-to-Door Salesmen
The Big Bear Sheriff's Station is advising residents to be wary of those selling items in residential neighbourhoods. Here is their statement, released today: On Sunday, Deputies from the Big Bear Sheriff's Station responded to a call for an area check in the vicinity of Park Avenue and Thrush Road in Big Bear Lake regarding two subjects selling magazine subscriptions door to door. Two individuals matching the descriptions were located and interviewed.
Deputies ascertained that the subjects worked for Love Technologies, Inc., based out of Long Beach, which is a subsidiary of Face to Face Technologies, Inc., based out of Evergreen, Colorado. The business does not have the proper permits to sell magazine subscriptions door to door in the Big Bear City or County areas. The individuals going door to door use the story of selling the subscriptions with the goal of winning a pleasure trip abroad. They tout it as a points contest between other members of their group. Additionally, the individuals use the guise of selling the subscriptions for the benefit of military men and women serving overseas.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department cautions citizens of the Big Bear Valley to be wary of door-to-door salesmen. Always ask to see proper photo identification, preferably a California driver's license or a California identification card. In addition, ask to see paperwork listing the business license, address, and phone number. If you see any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, please call the Big Bear Sheriff's Station at 866-0100.

Shoreline Cleanup Results in Record Numbers in Record Time
Though lakeside cleanup crews were called in early due to the smoke and activity of the Butler #2 Fire on Saturday, September 15, the 8th annual Big Bear Lake Shoreline Cleanup was still the most successful to date. Event organizer Alan Sharp of Big Bear Marina reports that “a record turnout” of 285 volunteers removed 1,225 pounds of trash and 275 pounds of recyclables from 16 miles of shoreline surrounding Big Bear Lake and Baker Pond. Among those who contributed to the efforts were groups from Big Bear Elementary School, Baldwin Lane Elementary School, North Shore Elementary School, Big Bear Middle School, Civil Air Patrol Squadron 6750, Big Bear Valley Cub Scout Pack #87, Operation Breakthrough Alumni, the Big Bear Municipal Water District, and 120 or so students from the AVID program at Ray Wiltsey Middle School in Ontario. Volunteers covered the shoreline in their cleanup efforts in celebration of the 23rd annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. But, by 11:30am, Sharp tells KBHR, “We wrapped it up early, and called everyone off the North Shore.” So, though this year's shoreline cleanup was completed in record time, there was also a record total of trash and recyclables collected along the lake. Sharp says, “We appreciate the efforts of everyone who came out to help us. The birds, fish and mammals that call Big Bear Lake 'home' thank all who participated in making this the largest cleanup effort ever on Big Bear Lake.”

San Bernardino National Forest Assumes Control of Butler #2 Fire Today
Progress is looking good on the Butler #2 Fire which is 100% contained, though still not 100% controlled—meaning some spot fires do continue to burn with the perimeter of the 14,039 acres of burn area. Aircraft with infrared technology did continue flights over the area yesterday. A few hot spots were found, per Incident Command's Pete Jankowski today, though those few burns were well within containment lines, as much as 1,000 to 2,500 feet. With mop up efforts continuing, crews are able to go deeper into the burn area to eliminate those flare-ups.
As of this morning, 280 firefighting personnel are still on scene and, as of 10am today, command will be transferred back to the San Bernardino National Forest. All crews presently on scene are from the local and surrounding forests of the U.S. Forest Service.

Minimum Days Begin at BBMS and BVUSD's Three Elementaries
In school news, Superintendent Carole Ferraud and the Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District have rescheduled their visit to North Shore Elementary, and will be on campus and doing classroom tours today, starting at 9:15am. Starting today and through week's end, Bear Valley Unified School District will have minimum days for students at the three elementaries and Big Bear Middle School. Minimum days, September 25 through 28, are to allow for parent-teacher conferences at Baldwin Lane Elementary, Big Bear Elementary, North Shore Elementary, and BBMS. And, if you can believe it, October begins next week and with it comes a two-week Fall Break for BVUSD, from October 1st through 12th.

September 24, 2007


Moonlight Hike Launches from Polique Canyon at 9pm

In anticipation of this week's full moon on September 26, Ted Devito of PowerMyHealth.com will be leading a moonlight hike, starting at 9pm this evening. This evening's group will be meeting at the bottom of Polique Canyon Road on the North Shore, before launching on a meandering, hour-long hike to watch the moon rise over Big Bear Lake. All levels are invited on this free excursion, though please be sure to wear hiking shoes and warm clothes, and bring a flashlight and water. For more information on tonight's moonlight hike, you can call Ted at 909/910-1810.

Butler #2 Fire Update as of 3pm
Over 400 firefighting personnel remain on scene in our area today, as crews continue rehabilitation efforts and monitor for hot spots within the 14,039 acres of the Butler #2 Fire. These efforts continue under the leadership of California Interagency Incident Management Team 4, though management of Butler #2 will be assumed by the San Bernardino National Forest as of 10am tomorrow. Among the cooperating agencies, named by Incident Command today, are CalFire, the San Bernardino County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Big Bear City Fire Department, Big Bear Lake Fire Deparment, CalTrans, and the U.S. Forest Service. And, having been to Fawnskin this afternoon, the community on the North Shore is bustling and seemingly back to normal. Cynthia Crane, Postmaster at the Fawnskin Post Office, encourages others in the Valley to come on over, buy some stamps, and enjoy some time on the peaceful North Shore.

Information on Highway 18 Closures
Highway 18 is completely open to all traffic, though intermittent delays may arise if helicopters are needed for fire suppression in the Arctic Circle area. There will be a full closure of Highway 18 in the Lake Arrowhead area, starting tomorrow. The Narrows, between Cedar Sidehill Viaduct and Crest Forest Drive, will be closed from 8am to 2pm Tuesday, for geological testing and highway maintenance. Those traveling down the front way will still be able to get to Highland, by taking Highway 330 at Running Springs. So, to alleviate any confusion, if you hear mention of Highway 18 being closed tomorrow, just know that it is in the Lake Arrowhead portion of the roadway.

Public Invited to Ski Beach Design Workshop on Wednesday
The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will hold a Ski Beach Design Workshop on Wednesday, September 26 at the District Office at Meadow Park, beginning with a walk-through of the property at 5pm. The workshop will follow at 5:30pm, at which time Rec and Park staff will accept input from the public on possible amenities and programming ideas. The public input session will be followed by staff input and commission discussion. A draft design concept will be presented to the public at the October meeting of the Advisory Committee. Please contact the District Office at 866-9700 with any questions.
Reese Troublefield of the Rec and Park District has also let us know that the Advisory Commission meeting, initially scheduled for last week and then rescheduled for this Thursday, will not be meeting on the 27th after all, due to lack of a quorum.

Butler #2 Fire Update as of Noon

Four hundred and thirteen fire personnel remain on scene on the Butler #2 Fire today, under the leadership of the California Interagency Incident Management Team 4. There are still isolated areas that may continue to smolder and burn, such as individual trees, within the perimeter of the 14,039 acres of burn area. Information Officer Pete Jankowski tells KBHR that, yesterday, aircraft with infrared technology capabilities did fly around the area, assuring that there were no hot spots within a couple hundred feet of Butler #2's perimeter. Aircraft will continue to patrol the area, which accounts for the delays on Arctic Circle through noon today. It is not expected that helicopters will need to be in this area tomorrow, so CalTrans has not issued any delay advisories for Highway 18 beyond this afternoon. However, drivers can expect intermittent closures if helicopter activity is necessary for fire suppression.
The to-date total cost for fire suppression efforts on the Butler #2 Fire is currently at $13,790,035. For comparison's sake, initial costs for fire suppression on the original Butler Fire, just after 100% containment of the blaze's 85 acres burned, was $1.4 million.

Planning Commission Approves One Public Hearing Item, Denies the Other
Though many public meeting were canceled last week due to the fire, the Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake did meet last Wednesday afternoon. The first of two public hearing items, to double the size of Johnny's Ski and Board House rental shop located at 39769 Big Bear Boulevard, just east of the Civic Center and owned by Ronald Cotta, was approved.
The second item, a planning appeal applied for by Larry Cooke of Pine Knot Concessions, was denied. Cooke had applied for a Conditional Use Permit in March, to construct two buildings, including a 384-space indoor boat rack facility on Sandalwood Drive off Fox Farm Road. The Planning Commission upheld a city staff recommendation, indicating that Cooke's application remains incomplete. Fees for Pine Knot Concessions remain on city books, should Cooke continue the application process to build the two buildings totaling over 58,000 square feet. The property, located just north of the Fox Farm Medical Center, is currently being used as a boat and boat trailer storage yard.

CalTrans Presents Big Bear Lake Dam Bridge Project to City Council
The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold their regularly scheduled meeting this evening, at 6:30pm in Hofert Hall. During the Discussion Items, a Power Point presentation on the Big Bear Lake Dam Bridge Replacement Project will be presented by CalTrans Senior Design Engineer John Bumps. California State Senator Bob Dutton is also expected at this evening's City Council meeting.

Healthcare District to Meet at DWP Offices This Evening
The Board of Directors of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will meet in open session on Monday, September 24 at 6pm. The Healthcare District will hold their meeting in the conference room of the Department of Water and Power on Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Butler #2 Fire Update as of 9am
The Butler #2 Fire, which began on Friday afternoon, September 14, is 100% contained, though crews remain on scene today, continuing rehabilitation efforts on the 14,039 acres of the burn zone. To date, fire suppression costs for the fire are over $13 million, and the cause of the fire still remains under investigation. Butler #2 Fire's helibase manager Rocco Terracciano tells KBHR this morning that four helicopters for fire suppression, including a sky crane, will remain in our area until at least Friday.
As of last night at 8pm, Highway 18 was reopened to traffic from the Big Bear Dam to Green Valley Lake, which includes Arctic Circle. CalTrans will continue clean up work on the roadway so, though open, you can expect drive delays of up to half an hour from 7am to noon. CalTrans has also noted that Highway 18, down the front way, may be subject to closure during rain or snow.
Our thanks again to the thousands of personnel who suppressed the Butler #2 Fire which, for days, had been ranked the number one priority wildland fire incident in the nation. Thanks also to Jamie Wolcott, the ladies at the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce—Sara, Carrie, Shelly and Kat—and the volunteers at the Emergency Operations Center, including those with the Fire Safe Council, for coordinating efforts to deliver supplies to firefighters stationed at Incident Command at Snow Valley Ski Area.

Reports from September 14 - September 23 available on Butler #2 Fire Archive

September 14, 2007

Final Day to Apply for Open Seats on the Planning Commission
The City of Big Bear Lake's Planning Commission has three open seats, and today is the final day for applicants to submit an application, for possible appointment by the City Council. The Commission meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month, and is responsible for decisions related to land use, such as zoning, development and environmental ordinances. Applicants must be full-time residents in the City of Big Bear Lake and registered voters. The deadline to apply is 5pm today, and applications are available from the City Clerk in the Civic Center, or online at www.citybigbearlake.com.

Big Bear Lake Shoreline Cleanup Scheduled for Saturday, 9am to Noon
Tomorrow is the 23rd annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, and our community will be tackling the shoreline of Big Bear Lake for the 8th annual Big Bear Lake Shoreline Cleanup Day. Last year, 279 volunteers removed 1190 pounds of trash and 210 pounds of recyclable material from 14 miles of shoreline along Big Bear Lake and Baker Pond. This year's campaign, titled Shore Could Use Your Help, will run from 9am to noon on Saturday, and the California Coastal Commission will provide cleanup supplies. If you, your coworkers, service group or family can volunteer, please contact Alan Sharp at Big Bear Marina at 866-3218, or sign up and receive materials for clean-up at North Shore Marina, west of Fawnskin, beginning at 9am tomorrow.

37th Annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest Kicks Off on Saturday
The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest kicks off at the Convention Center this weekend. Hans Bandows started Oktoberfest in Big Bear 37 years ago. He returns once again to serve as honorary Burgermeister at the 37th annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest opening tomorrow, Saturday, September 15 for seven consecutive weekends. Join in the traditional Oktoberfest activities including the log sawing competition, stein holding matches and the queen stein-carrying contest, as well as traditional Bavarian songs, polka dances and the famous “Chicken Dance”. The band, Die Treppensteiger, from Southern Germany will perform each week of Oktoberfest. Enjoy real German food and beer including a Jagermeister Happy Hour from 5-6pm each Saturday of the festival. Oktoberfest is held at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center, located on Big Bear Boulevard at Division, and is open Saturdays from 12 noon to 12 midnight and Sundays from 12 noon to 5pm. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.bigbearevents.com.

September 13, 2007


Local band 151 rocked the Class of 1987's 20-Year Reunion with original songs such as "Our Town." The band is comprised
of BBHS alumni--(from left) Glen Monroe '87, Chris Worthington '88, Sean Matlock '92, Keith Worthington '87
(and drummer Alex Bartha)--and they will be back in studio soon. For more info, log on to MySpace.com/151Live.


Applicants Sought for County's Mental Health Advisory Commission

County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger is seeking applicants interested in serving on the County's Advisory Commission for Mental Health. The Mental Health Commission advises the County Board of Supervisors and the Mental Health Director as to any aspect of the local mental health program. Positions are voluntary, and members serve without compensation except for authorized expenses incurred in connection with the performance of duties as a member of the commission. The selected applicant would fill the vacancy left by Dr. Stephen Morrow, in a term that runs through January 31, 2010. All applicants must be residents of San Bernardino County, and not an employee of the county or state mental health service. If interested in applying, the deadline is September 30, and applications are available by calling 387-4855.

Oldies Group The Ravelers Play Free Concert at Veterans Park on Saturday
The City of Big Bear Lake has offered a summer-long series of free concerts, titled “Music in the Mountains,” and the final show comes to Veteran's Park this Saturday. The Ravelers, an oldies group familiar to Inland Empire audiences for their annual appearance at the Route 66 Rendezvous, will take to the stage, lakeside, at 2pm. The free concert is a family-friendly event, and attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the afternoon of music. Parking is available at the First Mountain Bank parking lot (across the street, at Big Bear Boulevard and Knickerbocker) after 1pm or at the Bartlett Road public lot.

Sierra Club Hosts Environmental Film Festival Next Tuesday

The Sierra Club Big Bear Group will be offering a one-evening film festival next week, only theirs will have an environmental slant. On Tuesday, September 18 at 5:30pm, six films will be shown, from an animated short to a 90-minute feature, titled Earth to America, which stars Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Jack Black. The Sierra Club's first Environmental Film Festival will be held at the Discovery Center, and cost is just $2. Moviegoers can bring their own beach chairs, and healthy snacks will be available. For more information, you can log on to www.sierraclubbigbeargroup.org or call Christie Walker at 866-5006.

New Regional Forester to Oversee California's National Forests
The U.S. Forest Service has announced that Randy Moore has been selected to lead the Pacific Southwest Region, or Region 5, which covers the 18 National Forests in California, including the San Bernardino National Forest, under the direction of Forest Supervisor Jeanne Wade Evans. Moore will replace outgoing Regional Forester Bernie Weingardt, who will be retiring. As leader of the Forest Service's California forests, Moore will be stationed in Vallejo, and will relocate from the East Coast, where he has been Regional Forester for the Eastern Region since May of 2002. Moore began his career at the North Dakota State Conservationist Office, has extensive experience in natural resource management, and has spent considerable time in our area—Moore led the investigation team on the Esperanza Fire of 2006. A reporting date for our new Regional Forester has not yet been scheduled.

County Mental Health Forum Comes to Big Bear

Earlier this week, we told you about community meetings, sponsored by the County of San Bernardino's Department of Behavioral Health, to address the Mental Health Services Act, otherwise known as Proposition 63. Prevention and Early Intervention Public Forums were held in Victorville and Crestline this week and, now, a forum has been added in our community. The one-hour Bear Valley forum will be held on Monday, September 17 at 2:30pm, at the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District conference room at Meadow Park. The public is invited to attend and express their opinions about the mental health needs in Big Bear. The forum will particularly address prevention and early intervention services. If you need more information about Monday afternoon's Mental Health Forum, please call Eileen Hofer at 866-5070 x202.

Park Avenue Blocked Off From Eureka to Georgia
Those trying to access Meadow Park should know that Park Avenue is inaccessible from Eureka to Georgia today, as roadwork is underway. The street reconstruction and drainage improvement project, being done by Bear Valley Paving, is expected to be completed by mid-October.

DC to Issue Rainchecks for Rained-Out Desperado Concert

Though the Discovery Center has a no-return, rain or shine, ticket policy, they will be extending rainchecks for the Labor Day Desperado concert, which was canceled due to safety issues related to rain and lightning, as the September 3 concert was scheduled for the outdoor amphitheater. Ticket holders are invited to present their Desperado ticket for admission to the first show of the Discovery Center's 2008 concert series, though the line-up has not yet been announced. Those with questions regarding the rainchecks are welcome to call the Discovery Center at 382-2818.


Big Bear High School's Class of 1987 reunited at Northwoods on Saturday for their 20-Year Reunion

September 12, 2007

Rec and Park Advisory Commitee Opening for East Valley

County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger has opened the application process for those interested in serving with the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District. At this time, the Advisory Committee has one opening, to fill the vacancy left by Keith Johnson's departure on August 23. The selected candidate would finish Johnson's term, which expires on January 31, 2008. The Rec and Park Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives of various areas throughout the Valley, and the current opening would be available to individuals who reside in the Erwin Lake and Lake Williams neighborhoods. The position is voluntary, and members serve without compensation, save for authorized expenses incurred in connection with the performance of duties as a member of the commission. Registered voters of the aforementioned neighborhoods are welcome to apply for the seat on the Advisory Committee, by calling Supervisor Hansberger's office for an application at 866-0140. Applications must be completed and returned no later than September 30.

Big Bear Lake Troutfest Set for October 6 & 7
The Big Bear Lake Troutfest is just four weekends away. The annual event, scheduled for October 6 and 7, will feature some big prizes this year--tagged fish could reel you in a brand new Toyota Tundra or, thanks to Big Bear Sporting Goods, $10,000 in cash. Kids who participate have an opportunity to win one of two bikes being donated by Kmart. For more details on Troutfest 2007, cosponsored by the Big Bear Municipal Water District, tune to 93.3FM for Kat Sawyer's “Tuned In on the Bear” in the 5 o'clock hour.

Forest Service Invites Community Input Re. Recreation Sites
The San Bernardino National Forest is inviting community input as they evaluate plans for developed recreation sites. Forest Recreation Officer Fran Colwell says, “Most of the developed sites on the forest were built 30-50 years ago, and we're finding that a few of these sites just fall short in meeting today's visitors' needs, either in design, amenities or location.” Four of these sites may have their constructed features removed so that their general forest character is restored—of these, three are within our Mountaintop Ranger District: Crest Park Picnic Site, Tent Peg Group Camp and Big Pine Group Campground. Forest Supervisor Jeanne Wade Evans notes, “We know that many sites have special importance or memories for people, so we encourage public input.” If you would like to participate in the discussion, the Mountaintop District will be addressed on Thursday, September 20 in a 4pm Open House in Skyforest at 28104 Highway 18. Comments can also be forwarded to the Forest Service via email: Comments-pacificsouthwest-san-bernardino@fs.fed.us -- please specify RFA (for Recreational Facilities Analysis) in the subject line.

Airport Board to Meet This Afternoon
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Airport District will meet this afternoon at 2pm. During the meeting, to be held in the Airport Pilots Lounge in Big Bear City, Cliff Fowler, President of the Big Bear Antique Car Club, will be recognized for his role in our being named the Great American City during the Great American Race's pitstop at the airport in July. The Board will also discuss actions taken by the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District with regard to the Big Bear City Park parcels, though, as agendized, no action will be taken by the Airport Board during this session.

Big Bear Lake's Reduction Ordinance Moves Forward, But Has Not Been Adopted

At Monday evening's meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake, Council reviewed the proposed Native Brush and Shrub Reduction Ordinance, which was presented in its first reading, since trees were removed from the ordinance formerly addressed as the Vegetation Reduction Ordinance. The focus of the ordinance is to reduce and/or remove native brush and juniper shrubs and, when implemented, will be phased in in two zones. The first of these zones covers empty lots and all City of Big Bear Lake residences and businesses south of Highway 18, as they are closest to the wildland/urban interface and pose the greatest threat to the health and safety of the community (at least inasmuch as wildfire is concerned). The second phase would address Zone 2, which would be the remaining lots north of Highway 18/Big Bear Boulevard. Before the proposed ordinance can be adopted, city staff will make some minor changes in existing verbage, as directed by Council, to present for a second reading. The ordinance will also be reviewed by legal counsel under the California Environmental Quality Act process. Council members Harris, Herrick and Jahn voted in favor of moving forward, Karp dissented, and Mulvihill was not present. The second reading of the ordinance would not go before City Council, and potential adoption, until at least November, given the CEQA process and legal review.

Rec and Park's Advisory Commission Welcomes Public Comment During Meetings
The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will welcome public comment at the beginning of each meeting, starting with their next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday at 5:30pm at the Senior Center. In a statement from Rec and Park's Reese Troublefield, he says, “The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will amend its regular agenda schedule, beginning with the September 18 th meeting, to include a public comment section prior to the agenda for non-agendized items, and the opportunity for members of the public to speak on agendized items after the staff report and prior to commission discussion and/or action. This action has been taken as a result of public and Advisory Commission input, and consultation with San Bernardino County Special Districts and County Counsel. Please contact the District office at 866-9700 with questions or concerns.”

Reduced Access to Park Avenue in Big Bear Lake Today
The rehabilitation and repaving project on Park Avenue is in progress today. If trying to access Park Avenue or Meadow Park, know that Park Avenue is inaccessible from Eureka, Conklin and Georgia as of this morning.

September 11, 2007



BBHS senior Erika Rojas, escorted by her dad Gabriel, was crowned Homecoming Queen during Saturday's festivities at Minder Field.


Before Erika Rojas was crowned Queen by the Class of 2007 Homecoming Queen Katie Wormsbecker (in green), the crown was
in the hands of “Indiana Jones”, in a play on the Jungle Safari theme for Homecoming 2007.

Our Local Patriot to Be Honored on Highway 38
In light of today being Patriot Day, we have some good news with regard to the State Assembly bill to honor Lieutenant Jared Landaker on a portion of Highway 38. The bill, which was initiated by the Landakers' long-time Big Bear neighbors, Clay and Linda Hodson, was officially introduced to the state legislature by Assemblyman Paul Cook this summer. On July 9, the bill passed in the Assembly in a vote of 76-0, and, in the last week or so, passed in the State Senate in a vote of 39-0. Landaker's father Joe tells KBHR that, next, Cook's office will contact CalTrans to determine size and cost of the sign to recognize his son, who was shot down with six other U.S. Marines while in Iraq in February. Once cost to produce the sign is determined, private funds will pay for it. Those who would like to contribute may make a donation to the Jared Landaker Memorial Fund at First Mountain Bank in the Interlaken Center. On behalf of the Landaker family, Joe tells us, “Laura and I want to thank the community, especially KBHR, The Grizzly and BigBearNews.com, for helping us to make this happen.”

Bear City Resident Arrested for Felony Charges of Attempted Assault With a Deadly Weapon
Shortly before 11am on September 8, Big Bear Sheriff's Deputies responded to a follow-up call on a reported assault with a deadly weapon that occurred on September 7 on Swan Road in Big Bear Lake. The victim had reported that while he was sweeping his easement and driveway, a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed passed in front of his residence. When the victim yelled at the suspect to slow down, the suspect turned his vehicle around and attempted to run the victim over and drove away. The suspect returned again and was told by the victim to leave. The victim sighted the same vehicle at Meadow Park the next day and notified the Big Bear Sheriff's Station of its location. Upon arrival, Deputies interviewed the suspect and owner of the vehicle, Randolph Fritchle, a 39-year-old resident of Big Bear City. Fritchle was subsequently arrested on felony charges of attempted assault with a deadly weapon. Fritchle is being held in custody at West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bail. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

San Bernardino Mountains Drug Bust in Lytle Creek, Not Big Bear

The San Bernardino Mountains have made the news, due to a marijuana bust that resulted in a shootout between officers of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and suspects camped out in a marijuana grove on Monday. The marijuana grove was located in a steep canyon not in our community, but in the Lytle Creek area (near Mt. Baldy and west of the Cajon Pass), and was discovered by a helicopter. When Drug Task Force Officers hiked into the grove, they came under the fire of automatic weapons and, in returning fire, killed one of the suspects, whose name has not yet been released. No officers were injured during yesterday morning's marijuana bust, which resulted in the confiscation of 3,000 plants. The search for the two remaining suspects, dressed in camouflage, was called off last night.

Arts Council Presents Final Encore Series Concert on Saturday
On Saturday, the Arts Council of Big Bear Valley is presenting the season's last concert of the Encore Series, in which classical music performances are shared in private homes, and followed by a champagne reception. The September 15 concert features critically acclaimed flutist Mary Palchak and harpist Brian Noel, who is currently principal harp with the Rio Hondo Symphony in Whittier. Jack and Ellyn Williams will host this public event at 41849 Marina Court in Big Bear Lake at 4pm. Tickets are $25, $15 for students, and reservations and directions are available by calling 585-5916 or 838-8122. 

Local Driver Survives 200' Drop Over Highway 18
Yesterday evening, a car went over the side of Highway 18, en route to Lucerne Valley, but the driver, 25-year-old Caleb Williams is OK and back at work in Big Bear City today. The California Highway Patrol confirms that Williams's Ford Focus went over the side of the road at about 5:50pm yesterday, and Williams, once recovered, was cited for an unsafe turn. In a conversation with Williams, he tells us that his car went about 200 feet over the side. He says, “As I was rolling, I was OK, but then I felt the roof hit my head and rolled a few more times after that. I was wondering when it was going to end.” When it did end, an off-duty paramedic, who had been driving by, and others stopped to help Williams, who was treated for a head wound and able to return home. As for his Ford, he says, “It's at some junkyard somewhere by now.” Officer Gary Fernandez of the CHP tells KBHR that unsafe speeds on unsafe turns often result in such collisions. Fernandez advises, “Stay focused on driving and watch speeds on unforgiving mountain roads.” Our thanks to Caleb for sharing his story, so that others may learn a lesson from his experience—or, as he puts it, “Hopefully I'll take a lesson from myself.”



Habitat for Humanity to Dedicate Third Valley Home

The Habitat for Humanity home, the third built in our community, will be dedicated on Sunday, September 16 at 3:30pm. The new house, located at 45415 5th Street off North Shore Drive in Baldwin Lake, is now home to the Wagner family. David and Serina Wagner and their children, 6-year-old Isaiah and 11-month-old Isabel, moved in to their home in June thanks to Habitat for Humanity, which is a Christian organization dedicated to the building of community through the building of homes. The community is invited to share in the dedication of the Wagners new home this Sunday. For more information on the ceremony or the Habitat for Humanity program, please contact Don Strongman at 866-5683.

September 10, 2007


Touchdown, Bears! The defending CIF champions won Saturday's homecoming game against Aquinas 28-9.

Family of Landon Orcutt Extends Heartfelt Thanks to Big Bear Community

The family of Landon Orcutt, the young man whose remains were found near the Big Bear Dam on Thursday, came by the KBHR studios this afternoon, to thank the Big Bear community for our help since Landon went missing in July 2006. Orcutt's parents, Mark and Gretchen, of Grand Junction, Colorado and his twin brother, 23-year-old Michael, stationed at the U.S. Air Force base in Anchorage, Alaska, had already planned to be in Big Bear this past weekend, to search for clues for Landon. As his mother tells us, “We would like to thank the community for everything that everyone has done for us, to help promote the searches and getting the information out there. And, also, the generosity from everyone in the community has touched our hearts. We almost feel like Big Bear is home now, in a strange kind of way. The hospitality up here is incredible.” The family also wants to acknowledge search party organizers, Mike and Bridget Melson of Trinity Search and Rescue out of Pleasanton, and the San Bernardino County Coroner's Office, which is continuing their investigation into Orcutt's death, presumably at his own hand (see story of September 7). Landon's mother adds, “The San Bernardino Coroner Dave Van Norman has been our godsend. We've been in touch with him a lot, dealing with certain aspects of the case, and he was up here the whole weekend. He and his wife Caroline are just absolutely wonderful.” The Orcutt family is headed home tomorrow, and will plan a memorial service for Landon for next week. Before leaving, Landon's father Mark added, “We're going to come back to Big Bear. It holds a special place in our hearts now.”

County Forums in Victorville and Crestline to Address Mental Health Programs
The County of San Bernardino will be hosting community meetings to address the Mental Health Services Act, also known as Proposition 63, in a Prevention and Early Intervention Public Forum. Though the Department of Behavioral Health has not scheduled a forum for the Big Bear Valley, those interested in how mental health will be addressed in California, in addition to county response to individual and community trauma, interventions and resources, are invited to other meetings. This evening at 6pm, one of these forums will be held in Victorville at the Performance Education Resource Center at 17270 Bear Valley Road. The next meeting in our general area will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, at Lake Gregory Regional Park in Crestline at 6pm. For more information, you can contact Program Manager Lisa McGinnis at 421-4639.

School Board Heads to Forest Falls Tomorrow Morning

The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will be taking another field trip tomorrow. The Trustees, Ken Turney, Debra Sarkisian, Phil Hamilton, Larry Poland, Julann Warren and Superintendent Carole Ferraud, will be visiting Fallsvale Elementary School in Forest Falls. Fallsvale is one of four elementaries in the Bear Valley Unified School District, and serves 46 students in kindergarten through 6th grades, under the direction of Principal Andie McLinn, who also teaches the 3rd-6th grade class. The School Board's 9am visit to Fallsvale tomorrow will include a school tour and visits to the school's two classrooms.

This Evening, City Council Reports on Trip to League of California Cities Conference
City Council members from the City of Big Bear Lake participated in the annual League of California Cities conference in Sacramento this past week. Council members Liz Harris, Rick Herrick, Michael Karp and Mayor Bill Jahn, along with City Manager Jeff Mathieu and the City's COO, Kathleen Smith, attended the four-day event, which included lectures and workshops on climate change, infrastructure, and economic development. The group from Big Bear also had opportunity to exchange ideas with other cities, including Apple Valley, Long Beach, Colton and San Bernardino, and also met with Assemblyman Paul Cook, during which time our city council members brought up many issues, including the Big Bear Dam bridge, our roads and Valley infrastructure. Details from the League of California Cities conference will be presented at this evening's City Council meeting, which will be in Hofert Hall at 6:30pm.

Bears Win Again; Rojas Named Homecoming Queen

At this weekend's homecoming festivities, the Big Bear High School Bears varsity football team, and defending CIF champions, defeated Aquinas 28-9, while the frosh/soph team took victory 42-0. BBHS senior Erika Rojas, escorted by her dad Gabriel, was crowned homecoming queen on a court that included Jessica Burton, Brittany Caldwell, Jennifer Field and Sarah Gannon. During Saturday's events at Minder Field, the #15 jersey of Lieutenant Jared Landaker, a 1999 Big Bear High School graduate, was retired.

Airport Board to Meet This Morning Re. Maintenance Building

The Big Bear Airport District's Development Committee will hold a special meeting at 10am this morning. The meeting, to be held at the Big Bear Airport in Big Bear City, will address the maintenance building, as progress with Consultant Kevin McHugh with regard to survey, utilities, bid package specifications and potential vendors will be discussed.

September 7, 2007


The BBHS Bears, defending CIF champions, return to Minder Field for Saturday's Homecoming Game. (Photo courtesy of Sandie Proctor)

Search for Landon Orcutt Called Off; Young Man's Remains Found Yesterday
You may have heard us mention that family and friends of Landon Orcutt, the (then) 21-year-old who has been missing since last summer, were planning a search for him in Big Bear this weekend. However, in a statement from the Big Bear Sheriff's Department, which follows, Orcutt's body was just found: Shortly after 1pm on September 6, a resident of Big Bear brought skeletal remains into the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Big Bear Station. The reporting party discovered the remains while hiking on a trail with his dog on U.S. Forest Service land off Highway 18, east of the Big Bear Dam. The Big Bear Station requested the Sheriff's Homicide Detail to assist in the investigation. The reporting party took Sheriff's Department personnel back to the area where the remains were found and a cursory search of the area was conducted. Additional remains were recovered and further searches of the area are being planned utilizing Search and Rescue members from the Big Bear Station. Through dental records, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Coroner Division has confirmed the skeletal remains as belonging to Landon Orcutt, reported missing to the Big Bear Sheriff's Station in July 2006. An autopsy will be conducted by the Sheriff's Coroner Division to assist investigators in determining the cause of death.
Orcutt was not from the Big Bear area, but had been missing since July 2, 2006, when he left a message for his church pastor saying that he was going to Big Bear with the intention of taking his own life (per a statement from Trinity Search and Rescue, the group organizing this weekend's search). Orcutt's empty vehicle was found five days later in the Village area. In a conversation with one of the search party organizers this afternoon, she noted that the Orcutt family is both sad and relieved.

Defending CIF Champions Host Homecoming Game Against Aquinas

Homecoming festivities for Big Bear High School will take place this weekend, with football games against Aquinas on Saturday at Minder Field. The junior varsity Bears play at 10:45am, and the Defending CIF Champions on the varsity squad will take to the field at 1:30pm. Big Bear High School's Homecoming Queen will be crowned during halftime of the varsity game. The court includes BBHS seniors Jessica Burton, Brittany Caldwell, Jennifer Field, Sarah Gannon, and Erika Rojas. Later, Saturday evening, the Class of 1997 will celebrate their 10-year reunion at Mandarin Garden Restaurant in Big Bear City, while the 20-year reunion for the Class of 1987 is held at Northwoods Resort in the Village. Go Bears!
P.S. Late start day for Big Bear High School students on Monday. School begins at 9:13am.

Skatepark Grand Opening Projected for October 20

The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District reviewed the proposals of three different skate design companies for the Sugarloaf Skatepark, after receiving input from local skaters. The American Ramp Company has since been selected for the project, which will include 31 design features, including a 5' half pipe, a 24' long planter, and a number of grindboxes and quarter pipes. The pricetag for the skatepark features is $99,000, though $92,000 of that has already been designated with funds from a Community Development Block Grant, issued by the county with state funds. Reese Troublefield of the Rec and Park says, “Our entire staff is excited about the project going forward, and we are projecting Saturday, October 20th as the grand opening to offer the Sugarloaf Skatepark, tennis court, basketball court, and overall renovation of the west end of the park to the entire community.” We have since confirmed that the Grand Opening will be on the 20th at 10am.

Reduction Ordinance Will Be Addressed by City Council at Monday Meeting

The Vegetation Reduction Ordinance is back on the agenda. Since removing the tree issue for the time being, the City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake will revisit what is now being referred to as the Native Brush and Shrub Reduction Ordinance at their next meeting, scheduled for Monday, September 10 at 6:30pm. The proposed ordinance will be addressed as a Discussion Item on the agenda. City Council will hold their Monday evening meeting in the Hofert Hall.

Suppression of Butler Fire Totals $1.4 Million -- So Far
Initial reports from the U.S. Forest Service indicate that cost of suppressing the Butler Fire, which was contained to 85 acres, is $1.4 million dollars. John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that, due to the wildland/urban interface in the San Bernardino National Forest, there is a full suppression policy. The $1.4 million dollar pricetag for this week's full suppression will be covered by the National Fire Fund, and not from the local forest. In a conversation with Miller, he also noted, “The Big Bear Lake Fire Department, Big Bear City Fire Department, San Bernardino County Fire, California Highway Patrol, CalTrans and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Big Bear Office did an outstanding job supporting not only the fire itself, but assuring the motoring public had safe and open alternate routes during the highway closure. On Sunday, Battalion Chief Marc Peebles of the San Bernardino County Fire Department hiked into a lightning caused fire in the Big Pines Flats area and directed suppression of that fire--that should demonstrate the high level of cooperation in the San Bernardino Mountains.”

Roadwork Continues on Highway 38 Through Mentone

Though the summer-long Highway 38 project in Mentone was completed by CalTrans last week, a safety improvement project is now underway in the area. If you're commuting through Mentone, know that there will be lane closures and flagging between Wabash Avenue and Crafton Avenue through September. Work hours are Monday through Saturday, 7am to 5pm, as new sidewalks and wider shoulders are added to this portion of Highway 38.


Laura Janes, the Artist in Residence at DeBenneville Pines Camp in Barton Flats, is this month's Featured Artist at Serenity Place Gallery.
Janes's acrylic on canvas paintings, as well as works from other local artists, are on display through September 28, which will be the Village gallery's final day.

September 6, 2007


Kids Encouraged to Bring Their Parents to Family Fun Night on Monday

The 8th annual Community Family Fun Night will be this Monday, September 10 at Meadow Park in Big Bear Lake. All families are invited to the event, which runs from 3:30 to 7pm. The free Fun Night is aimed at providing fun activities for children to share with their parents, as well as making available information on the Valley's services and opportunities. In addition to free refreshments, Family Fun Night will have a climbing wall, a bounce castle, book raffle, and animals from the zoo. There will also be firefighting equipment, antique cars, an ambulance and a police car on display, as well as information on bike safety, health insurance, sporting and scouts opportunities. Family Fun Night is sponsored by the Bear Valley Healthy Start Collaborative, as well as the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, the Bear Valley Unified School District, and local service clubs and others in the local business community. Kids are encouraged to bring their parents to Meadow Park for this fun, informative evening.

CalTrans Roadside Work on North Shore This Afternoon

If you're headed toward Fawnskin this afternoon, CalTrans is doing some roadside work on the North Shore, just east of Juniper Point. There are minimal delays as only one lane is open on the North Shore, on a short distance between the East Boat Launch Ramp and the Ranger Station.

John Wayne Film to Screen Under the Stars Next Thursday

At this morning's Chamber of Commerce Power Breakfast, Gloria Meade, President of the Big Bear Valley Historical Society, invited the community to a special event next Thursday, September 13 at the Discovery Center. To kick-off the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, there will be a screening under the stars featuring the 1941 film The Shepherd of the Hills. The film, which stars John Wayne in his first Technicolor picture, was filmed almost entirely in Big Bear, and local luminary Mac McAllister will host this special, one-time event. The Historical Museum's curator Kim Sweet will also be on hand to provide historical insights during the screening of the film, to be shown in its original, uncut version. The film will begin at 7pm in the outdoor amphitheater at the Discovery Center, and cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children, and concessions will be available from the volunteers of the Big Bear Valley Historical Society.

New Businesses Have Been Targets of Phone Solicitation Scam

The Big Bear Sheriff's Station has received reports that telephone solicitors are contacting business owners within the Valley to request donations for "their local police department." Be advised that these solicitations are part of a scam that appears to be targeted at new business owners. The callers have been reported to be very aggressive in their solicitations, using false identities, providing phony 800 telephone numbers, and offering to have donation checks picked up by courier service. Should you receive a telephone solicitation for a monetary donation to benefit your local law enforcement agency, protect yourself from becoming a victim of a fraudulent scam. Legitimate organizations soliciting donations on behalf of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department can be easily verified by contacting Tiffany Swantek at the Big Bear Station at 866-0103.

Planning Commission Approves Condominium Project, Factors in Trees

At yesterday afternoon's Planning Commission meeting, commissioners approved the rezoning on Paine Road, just south of the Village, to allow for the development of 70 condominium units proposed by Unique Mountain Development. The Commission will recommend to City Council to adopt the Mitigated Negative Declaration, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act, which, per city staff reports, would not adversely affect the environment or water supply. The development is being approved at a reduced density, with 70 condominiums on approximately eight acres rather than the 82 units proposed in August, which will also allow for an additional 11 trees to remain intact. The Commission did add one conditional item to the zone change: that the developer hire a certified arborist to manage the tree removal process. City Council will likely address the development during one of their October meetings.
The Commission also approved a rezoning request for 41067 Big Bear Boulevard, at Main Street, to convert an existing two-story residence into office space. This project, submitted by John Acosta of Mountain Architecture, was approved 3-0. Commissioners present at the September 5 meeting were David Caretto, Anne Zimmerman and Craig Smith.

Big Bear High School Teacher Jim Fipps Named County Teacher of the Year

At this morning's Chamber of Commerce Power Breakfast, Bear Valley Unified School District's Superintendent Carole Ferraud was one of the guest speakers. She made the announcement this morning that Big Bear High School teacher Jim Fipps, who teaches drama and video production, has just been named Teacher of the Year for all of San Bernardino County! Ferraud's day will also include school site visits with the Board of Trustees of Bear Valley Unified. Though originally scheduled to visit classrooms at North Shore Elementary School, the Board will visit Chautauqua High School at 11:15 am, and then Big Bear High School at noon. The tour of North Shore has been rescheduled for October 25th.

Municipal Water District to Consider Upgrades to Dam Security Surveillance
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District will meet today at 1pm. The only business item on the agenda is the consideration to approve bid proposals for security and SCADA, which stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, upgrades for the Big Bear Dam. So far, the Municipal Water District has received two bids for equipment that would allow for upgrades in camera surveillance, remote video and security monitoring control of the dam outlet works. The upgrade would provide round-the-clock monitoring of the dam from MWD's administrative offices. The meeting of the Municipal Water District's Board will be held at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.


The sun sets on Big Bear Lake's Labor Day weekend.

September 5, 2007

Butler Fire 100% Contained; Crews to Remain On Scene

The Butler Fire is 100% contained as of yesterday evening, though the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that fire crews will remain on scene for at least the next three days, including patrol of the fire area during the night shifts. While on scene, day crews will continue mop-up work and slope rehabilitation in the Arctic Circle area off Highway 18. In total, the Butler Fire, which was sparked by lightning at approximately 12:30pm on Saturday, burned 85 acres. Thanks to the efforts of firefighters from U.S. Forest Service, CalFire, San Bernardino County Fire, the Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City Fire Departments, and the Arrowbear Fire Department, no residential evacuations were given as a result of the fire, though it burned just three miles southwest of Fawnskin. Butler Peak Lookout, Forestry roads 2N13 and 2N13C, Gray's Peak Group Camp, and Yellow Post campsites in the area will remain closed until further notice.

Highway 18 Reopened As Scheduled
Highway 18, from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley Ski Area, was reopened to all traffic at 7pm last night. The reason for its initial closure, in addition to fire suppression, was due to public safety. There had been burning material from the Butler Fire on Highway 18 but, now, it is safe and it is open. Motorists are still advised to drive at reduced speeds as there may be residual debris in the roadway.

School Board to Meet This Evening, Visit Schools Tomorrow
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will hold their meeting this evening at 6:15pm. One of the items to be addressed is the Coordinator of Pupil Services position. Margaret Snyder had served in this role until her resignation from the District in August. The Board will consider eliminating this position, which is 205 days per year, and creating a 220-day position for a Director of Special Programs. If approved by the Board this evening, the District will fly this position, as with other openings for BVUSD, on www.edjoin.org. The School Board will convene again tomorrow morning, as they continue their school site visits. Thursday's agenda includes Board visits to North Shore Elementary School at 9:15am and Chautauqua High School at 11:15am. The Board had also planned to tour Big Bear High School, under the direction of new principal Michael Ghelber, though this will be rescheduled for a later date. In the meantime, the community is invited to this evening's School Board meeting, to be held at the BVUSD offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake.

City of Big Bear Lake Facilities to Receive Free Energy Conservation Assessment

Big Bear Lake's City Council, at the recommendation of the Green Sustainability Efforts Committee, comprised of council members Michael Karp and Rick Herrick, have approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Johnson Controls, a consulting firm that specializes in sustainable design and energy-efficient green building measures. The company, which approached the City, will offer a no-cost assessment of energy conservation measures for city facilities including City Hall, the Performing Arts Center, the Public Works Yard, the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, as well as the City's traffic and street lighting. Johnson Controls' assessment is expected to take several months, and their findings will be reported to the Green Sustainability Efforts Committee. Should a viable project be proposed, the committee will present this information to City Council.

Planning Commission Continues Discussion on Condominium Development

The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake will meet in Hofert Hall this afternoon at 1:15pm. One of today's public hearing items will readdress the zone change requested by Unique Mountain Development, in order to build 70 condominium units on approximately eight acres on Paine Road in the Village area. At the Commission's August 15 meeting, the four commissioners present had asked the applicant to reduce unit density on the project, which was originally proposed with 82 condominiums in 26 buildings.
There are currently three open positions on the Planning Commission, so registered voters who reside in the City of Big Bear Lake can submit an application if interested in serving. Applications are available online at www.citybigbearlake.com, or from the City Clerk at the Civic Center, and are due by September 14.

September 4, 2007

Containment On Schedule; Butler Peak Lookout Tower Survives Blaze

As of this afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that they still expect to have the Butler Fire fully contained by 6pm this evening. Nearly 250 personnel have been on scene since first sunlight this morning, and are continuing to reinforce the containment lines on the 85-acre fire, as well as doing mop-up work, and beginning rehabilitation efforts to the slopes off Highway 18 in the Arctic Circle area, where the Butler Fire has been burning since a lightning strike sparked the fire on Saturday at about 12:30pm. In other good news from the fire scene, John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service tells us that, though the Butler Fire was named for Butler Peak, the Butler Peak Lookout Tower did survive the blaze. “As a matter of fact,” Miller says, “while the fire was in progress, they reported another fire at Big Pine Flats from the Butler Peak Tower.” The Big Pine Flats fire on Sunday was one of four additional fires that was started by lightning. All four, including one at Snow Summit, were quickly contained by fire personnel.

Full Containment of Butler Fire Expected by 6pm

The latest information from the U.S. Forest Service, as of mid-day, is that the Butler Fire is now 95% contained, thanks to the efforts of as many as 300 fire personnel and rain on the fire zone both yesterday and Sunday. The crews have managed to keep the burn area of timber and chaparral to 85 acres, despite the steep and rugged terrain off Highway 18, three miles southwest of Fawnskin. Fire officials had earlier estimated the size of the fire at 150 acres, and revised the acreage to 85 after accurate GPS mapping. At present, fire crews are reinforcing containment lines, doing mop-up of the area, and beginning rehabilitation efforts. There are currently 247 personnel on scene, as well as one helicopter, 15 fire engines, 5 handcrews, and 3 water tenders. Humidity levels at the Butler Fire zone are at 78% with winds at just 1-2 miles per hour. The Forest Service anticipates full containment of the Butler Fire by 6pm this evening.

Scroll down for Labor Day weekend photos, as well as full details, from the Butler Fire.

Neighborhood Chipping Underway in Big Bear Lake Area 3
And, in light of our present fire season, just a reminder that Neighborhood Chipping Programs are still underway in the City of Big Bear Lake. Public Works crews from the City will be visiting Area 3 through September 17. Area 3 for the City of Big Bear Lake is neighborhoods west of Paine Road and east of Delamar and Tamarack. If you live in this zone, this is your second opportunity to create defensible space by clearing brush, tree limbs and dead vegetation, and leaving it curbside for pick up. Please remember, no tree trunks larger than 8” in diameter, and no pine needles, construction materials or rootballs for the chipping truck.

False Alarm at the Hospital This Morning

All is well at the hospital. Just before 10am this morning, there was a false alarm at the Bear Valley Community Hospital. Vi Colunga, the hospital's CEO, tells KBHR that, occasionally, power outages have triggered the alarm system, though fire drills are customary procedure at the hospital. When the alarm sounded this morning, Colunga says, “We followed routine. The Big Bear Lake Fire Department came, and our staff followed standard protocol. Everything is great and back to normal operations at the hospital.”

Menlo Drive Roadwork to Begin in Moonridge This Week
In July, the City Council of Big Bear Lake approved a rehabilitation project for Menlo Drive in the Moonridge area. The project will include slope stabilization and repair, and work by contractor Condon Johnson and Associates is scheduled to begin as early as today, September 4, or this week. During work, which is should be complete by October's end, Menlo Drive will be closed to traffic except for residents of Menlo Drive. Other traffic will be detoured to Sheephorn Road.

Park Avenue Improvements Scheduled Through Mid-October
The street reconstruction and drainage improvement project on Park Avenue, approved by the City Council of Big Bear Lake on August 13, is also scheduled to begin this week. Bear Valley Paving has been contracted to do the work on Park Avenue, from Eureka to Knight. Traffic will still be able to access Meadow Park, though short delays can be expected on weekdays through the project's completion, which is anticipated by mid-October.

School Board to Visit BBMS and Big Bear Elementary Today
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District, including Superintendent Carole Ferraud, will be visiting two school sites today. At 8:30am, the board will visit Big Bear Middle School, and at 10:30am, they will tour Big Bear Elementary School. Both site visits will include classroom tours.

Butler Fire Update as of 9am Tuesday, 9/04/07
: The latest information from the U.S. Forest Service regarding the Butler Fire is that it is now 95% contained, thanks to the efforts of 300 fire personnel and rain on the fire zone both yesterday and Sunday. The crews have managed to keep the burn area to 85 acres, despite the steep and rugged terrain off Highway 18, three miles southwest of Fawnskin. Fire officials had earlier estimated the size of the fire at 150 acres, and revised the acreage to 85 after accurate GPS mapping. The Forest Service anticipates full containment of the Butler Fire by 6pm this evening.
Highway 18 down the front way, from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley Ski Area, will remain closed until 7pm this evening, in addition to a closure on Forestry roads 2N13 and 2N13C. Fire crews and equipment will continue to mop up and patrol the fire area on Arctic Circle during daylight hours. Commuters are reminded of reduced speeds and possible debris along the roadway, which may cause traffic delays. In a statement from John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service, motorists are advised to exercise caution while navigating our mountain roads as thunderstorm activity and rains may cause sudden and unexpected hazardous road conditions. Dennis Cross of the Southern California Incident Management Team 2 asks that we tell you, our KBHR listeners, “We appreciate your patience and understanding during the road closure.”

September 1-3, 2007

Road Update as of 5:30pm Monday, 9/03/07
: The big issue on the mountaintop has been traffic in recent hours. Highway 18, down the front way, will remain closed through Tuesday evening to allow for public safety as burning material, and rock and debris, are possible due to the Butler Fire off Arctic Circle. If you are trying to leave the Valley, head east as Highway 18 through Lucerne and Highway 38 through Mentone are both open. There has been significant traffic on Big Bear Boulevard—to avert this, you can cross over to the North Shore, by making a left-hand turn onto Stanfield Cutoff at the east end of Big Bear Lake, then turn right to head east. Both North Shore Drive, on the north shore, and Big Bear Boulevard will take you to Highways 18 and 38. We do have reports of bumper-to-bumper traffic on Highway 38 at this time, though the California Highway Patrol says there are no adverse conditions to report. The San Bernardino County Fire Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department report that the roadway is clear on Highway 38, though we have recently confirmed a mudslide at 4:20, just three miles south of Angelus Oaks. Cal Trans did clear that area, and two vehicles will remain on 38 for clearing as needed. A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for the San Bernardino Mountains through 7pm this evening, so please exercise caution while navigating the mountain road as thunderstorm activity and rains may cause sudden and unexpected hazardous road conditions. Reports from the Yucaipa Sheriff's Department indicate that there is heavy rain in their area in the last half hour so, again, drive with caution.

Butler Fire Update as of 5pm Monday, 9/03/07: As for the Butler Fire, the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that containment is still at 45% at this time, with 85 acres having burned in steep terrain and in spot fires just south of Highway 18. There has been some rain at the location today and that, coupled with over half an inch of rain yesterday afternoon, is helping the 300 fire personnel with fire suppression efforts. The Butler Fire, which began as a result of a lightning strike Saturday afternoon, still does not pose any immediate threat to the Big Bear Valley, despite the Saturday evacuation of Grays Peak Group Camp and four Yellow Post campsites. John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service says that the biggest factor at this time is to mitigate the rolling debris coming down the slope onto the highway. It is not safe for crews to attack the fire after sundown, given the extremely steep and rugged terrain, so fire suppression efforts, including helicopter drops, will resume at first sunlight.

Apologies for the website update delay. Our server has been down, as a result of a power grid overload in the Los Angeles area on Monday afternoon.

Butler Fire Update as of 9am Monday, 9/03/07
: The Butler Fire, which began Saturday afternoon around 12:30pm due to a lightning strike, has been upgraded to 45% containment. The fire is situated in steep terrain in the Butler Peak area off Highway 18 at Arctic Circle, which is just west of the Big Bear Valley and three miles southwest of Fawnskin. As of this morning, the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that they have remapped the area and the current assessment is that 85 acres have burned, including Saturday afternoon spot fires south of Highway 18. Robin Prince of the U.S. Forest Service says, “Things went well yesterday. The rain was helpful and there were not significant winds to cause flare ups to the fire.” Crews from the U.S. Forest Service, CalFire, San Bernardino County Fire, the Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City Fire Departments, and the Arrowbear Fire Department remain on scene, including personnel from the California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and CalTrans. Approximately 300 personnel are at work to aggressively suppress the Butler Fire, and water drops will continue this morning. Helicopters will be taking water from the west end of Big Bear Lake, so boaters are advised to head east on the lake to allow for safe helicopter activity. There have been no evacuations to residential areas, though Grays Peak Group Camp and four Yellow Post campsites were evacuated on Saturday. At this time, there is no immediate threat to the Big Bear Valley.
However, Highway 18 remains closed from the Big Bear Dam to Snow Valley, and will remain closed to traffic through late Tuesday evening. All drivers are advised to head east when leaving the mountain: both Highway 18 through Lucerne and Highway 38 through Mentone are open. Highway 38 was closed for a short time on Sunday, due to mud and rock slides, but CalTrans has made an extra effort to clean the roadway, and it is open to all traffic. Motorists are advised to exercise caution while navigating mountain roads, as thunderstorm activity and rains may cause sudden and unexpected road conditions. Again, to leave the mountain, please access Highway 38 and Highway 18 east through Lucerne.
Thunderstorms on Sunday did result in four other small fires in the Big Bear area: two near the Big Pine Flats area, one near Castle Rock, and a fourth near Snow Summit. Each of those four fires was quickly contained yesterday.

Butler Fire Update as of 6pm Sunday, 9/2/07
:
The Butler Fire started in the San Bernardino National Forest near Butler Peak at approximately 12:30pm on Saturday due to a thunderstorm. The fire quickly grew to over 100 acres due to extremely strong and erratic winds from a passing thunderstorm, which caused to the fire to cross over Highway 18. Firefighters in the air and on the ground made an aggressive attack, slowing the fire's spread. The fire is located in extremely steep terrain 2 miles west of the Big Bear Dam. There are no evacuations to any residential areas at this time. Three-hundred fifty personnel are assigned to the fire, including five helicopters and 4 airtankers, 15 engines, 12 handcrews, 6 dozers and 6 water tenders. John Miller of the U.S. Forest service told KBHR news that the size of the fire has remained about 125 acres. A thunderstorm passed over the fire area early this afternoon and actually helped the situation. The additional rainfall helped knock down some of the hot spots. They anticipate the containment to rise significantly from the 5% containment that is now being reported. Because of the fire, SR-18 remains closed from Snow Valley Ski Area to the Big Bear Dam. There is a significant safety concern for firefighters and motorists due to the amount of debris, which includes rocks and trees that have come down onto the roadway. Thunderstorms this afternoon resulted in four other small fires that were quickly knocked down by firecrews. There were two fires near the Big Pine Flats area, one near Snow Summit, and one near Castle Rock. Heavy rain earlier today also caused several mud & rockslides on Highway 38, one was located about 3 miles south of Angelus Oaks. SR-38 was closed for a short period of time in both directions, but quickly re-opened. Caltrans is making an extra effort to keep Route 38, and Route 18 from Big Bear to Lucerne Valley, open to accommodate the large amount of heavy holiday traffic.



Butler Fire Update as of 3:40pm 9/2/07:
Rain in the west end of the Big Bear Valley is helping firefighters' efforts. The fire does not appear to be extinguished as hot spots still smolder even under the heavy down fall of local thunderstorms. According to John Miller of the Forest Service, the fire has consumed 125 acres. Highway 18 remains closed until possibly some time Tuesday.

Butler Fire Update as of 8:30am 9/2/07: The Butler fire is 5% contained and has consumed 150 acres. Humidity is high and currently the winds are light although the firefighters are concerned about thunderstorm activity today and the erratic winds related to such storms. There are 5 helicopters and 10 fixed wing aircraft assigned to this fire. Highway 18 remains closed between Snow Valley and the Big Bear Dam.

As of 7:30pm 9/01/07: The Butler Fire, which began as a result of a lightning strike at approximately 12:40pm Saturday afternoon, continues to burn off Highway 18 near Butler Peak, just outside the west end of Big Bear Valley. The fire has burned approximately 100 acres, and Highway 18 is closed, from the Big Bear Dam to Running Springs, for fire suppression. Three hundred firefighters have been on scene, with crews from the U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry, San Bernardino County Fire, and the Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake Fire Departments. Helicopters have been using water from the west end of Big Bear Lake to suppress the fire, and helicopter drops will resume at first sunlight on Sunday. The Butler Fire continues to burn three miles west of Fawnskin, though the fire has not grown significantly, despite spot fires on the south side of Highway 18. There is increased fire activity within the fire's perimeter, which accounts for the increased smoke. There have been evacuations from Grays Peak Group Camp and four Yellow Post Sites, but there is no immediate threat to the Big Bear Valley. Tonight's high humidity and decreased winds, as well as a possibility for monsoonal flow and thunderstorms on Sunday are aiding firefighters in suppressing the fire. Again, the Butler Fire has burned about 100 acres, and Highway 18 remains closed, potentially through Tuesday, from the Big Bear Dam to Running Springs.

As of 5pm, helicopter crews--including two CDF helicopters and two heavy-lift helicopters--are using water from Big Bear Lake for suppression of spot fires south of Highway 18 in the Arctic Circle area. Three-hundred fire personnel are on scene, including crews from the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry. Preliminary reports from USFS indicate that Highway 18 may be closed to traffic through Tuesday. (Alternate routes out of the Valley are Highway 18 through Lucerne and Highway 38 through Mentone.)

As of 4pm, approximately 100 acres have burned in the Butler Fire. Six to 10 more helicopters are en route to the staging area at the Big Bear Airport.

BREAKING NEWS as of Saturday, 9/1/07 @ 2:35pm: The fire at the west end of Big Bear Valley is being called the Butler Fire, which began at approximately 12:40pm. As of 2:20pm, the fire has consumed approximately 50 acres and is being described as moderate spread. The Butler Peak fire lookout has been evacuated and Highway 18 between Snow Valley and the Big Bear Dam is closed. There is no immediate threat to the Big Bear Valley, although the fire is burning approximately 3 miles west of Fawnskin. Fire crews responding so far include 12 fire crews, 4 air tankers, 3 helicopters and a number of bulldozers with more assistance being called to the incident. In addition, there are a couple of small spot fires being reported on the hillsides south of the Big Bear Valley and fire crews are responding to them. The cause of all the fires are believed to be lightning strikes due to earlier thunderstorms today.


Saturday afternoon: Fire crews are staging at the Big Bear Airport for the arrival of helicopters fighting the Butler Fire.

August 31, 2007


Lightning Causes Small Fire Off Highway 38 -- as of 5pm

There is a small fire off Highway 38, just north of the Hart Bar Campground, which started at 4pm. The U.S. Forest Service tells us that two engines are on scene, County Fire Engine 15 and U.S. Forest Service Engine 19. An official tells us that they will be able to handle this, presumably quickly, as it is a single tree fire. The fire resulted from a lightning strike, and rain is following that lightning, per the Forest Service. Flames are visible from Highway 38, though the road remains open at this time.

Flash Flood Warning Issued by National Weather Service

The National Weather Service does have a Flash Flood Warning in effect for the San Bernardino Mountains through 8pm this evening. The Baldwin Lake area received about an inch of rain in just one hour this afternoon. Please use caution when driving as, again, flash flooding is possible today.


Friday afternoon flooding is the result of heavy rain in Baldwin Lake.

Sergeant Donnie Hunter of Big Bear to Receive Bronze Star from Gov. Schwarzenegger
Big Bear's Sergeant Donnie Hunter of the U.S. Army/National Guard will be traveling to Sacramento next Wednesday, with his wife Natalie, for an audience with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. On September 5, Hunter, also a former U.S. Marine, will receive the Bronze Star with a V Device for Valor. Last October, while stationed in Iraq, Sergeant Hunter was in a spotter vehicle when he and fellow military personnel were hit by explosives, which resulted in injuries to his neck and hand, broken ribs, a swollen heart and severe burns, according to his wife. Despite the extensive injuries, he engaged in combat while being mindful of the safety of civilians in the immediate vicinity. Sergeant Hunter was awarded a Purple Heart upon his return to the U.S. in December, and remains in active duty in Los Alamitos, where he runs a weapons and combat convoy simulator. Of his awards, wife Natalie tells KBHR, “I believe that my husband is a real-life hero, and I am so proud.”

Marijuana Bust: Deputies Find 350 Plants in Big Bear City
Shortly before 3pm yesterday afternoon, Deputies of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station and Detectives from the Narcotics Division of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department served a search warrant at a residence in the 600 block of Barrett Way in Big Bear City. The search resulted in the discovery of a highly sophisticated and elaborate marijuana grow that included approximately 350 marijuana plants, as well as grow equipment, including lights, filters, fans, dehumidifiers, and Carbon Dioxide. In addition to the marijuana cultivation, a large amount of cash, marijuana packaged individually for sale, concentrated cannabis, paraphernalia, and packaging was found. The owner of the residence, 21-year-old Adam Hoffman, was arrested on felony charges of cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. Currently, Hoffman is being held in custody at the Big Bear Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail. An arraignment hearing in the matter has been set for September 4. The combined efforts of Big Bear Sheriff's Station Deputies and San Bernardino County Narcotics Detectives resulting in the arrest of Hoffman has prevented drug sales in the estimated potential amount of $1 million.



CalFire Urges Safety First Over Labor Day Weekend

As we enter into Labor Day weekend, CalFire reminds everyone to put safety first, whether camping, boating or BBQing. CalFire's San Bernardino Unit Chief Tom O' Keefe says, “This is a very dangerous time. People need to very careful about what they do in or near the wildland.” Adding to that, Fire Prevention Battalion Chief Doug Lannon reminds, “People who negligently cause a fire can be held liable for the cost of suppressing the fire.” To that end, here are just a few safety tips for the holiday weekend and always: if camping, keep lanterns and open flames outside of tents; extinguish smoking materials before going to sleep; campfires, where allowed, should be cleared of pine needles and debris within a 10-foot perimeter; when BBQing, position the grill away from siding, out from under eaves and overhanging branches; and, CalFire recommends, declare the entire grill area a “kid-free zone” until the grill has completely cooled off. CalFire says they and all other public agencies want you to enjoy this Labor Day weekend, so please think about where you are and what you are doing—it could save a life.

City Council Purchases Hybrid Truck, Establishes New Committee
At this week's City Council meeting, Council approved the purchase of a new Hybrid GMC Sierra Truck to be used by the City of Big Bear Lake's Public Works Department. The truck will be purchased with funds received from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. These funds are received on an annual basis and are used to promote alternative fuel methods, including the purchase of fleet vehicles that help reduce emissions.
Council also established a standing committee on Education and Human Services. The new committee, to be overseen by councilmembers Liz Harris and Michael Karp, will foster college-level education opportunities and provide assistance to socio-economically challenged members of the community. The first Education and Human Services Committee meeting has not yet been scheduled.

Closures, Etc. Due to Holiday Weekend
In light of the coming holiday weekend, the Big Bear City Community Services District will not hold their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, September 3, but will next meet at 5:30pm on Monday, September 17. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has also adjourned their upcoming meeting for Tuesday, September 4. And the Big Bear Lake Civic Center will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day. City Hall will reopen on Tuesday, September 4 at 8am.



Have You Seen This Woman?
Deputies of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station are looking for the woman (in the above photo) for questioning. She was last seen in the Big Bear Lake area on August 27, 2007. The subject is described as a white female adult, mid-20s to early 30s, approximately 5'4” tall, 150 lbs., with short auburn hair. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of this person is asked to contact the Big Bear Sheriff's Station at 909/866-0100.

August 30, 2007



Singer/songwriter Dave Osti, the artist behind such KBHR tunes as "The Thorn" and "Malibu", stopped by our studios last week
to tell us about his upcoming show at the Eastside Book Café. Osti will perform at the Bear City hot spot on Saturday, September
1 for a one-hour set at 7pm.

Drivers Advised to Use Caution on Highway 330
As of 5pm, we have an update on road conditions. At present, there is heavy rain down the front way. We have reports of flooding and debris in the road, from the lower passing lane on Highway 330 and up, beyond Running Springs. Drivers are advised to take caution. Again, flooding and heavy rains on Highway 330 at this time.

Deputies Investigating Reported Marijuana Grow -- Updated

As of 3pm: Five Big Bear Sheriff's Department Deputies are currently on scene in Big Bear City. Deputies have a search warrant and are investigating a residence on Barrett Way, where there is reportedly a marijuana grove of over 200 plants. At this time, one suspect has been detained, and additional information will be forthcoming.
As of 5pm: Deputies are still conducting their investigation. Once the on-scene investigation is completed this evening, the plants will be taken to the Sheriff's Department's Crime Lab in San Bernardino for analysis.

Lieutenant Landaker's Legacy Continues

The Seven Stars Foundation was named for the seven U.S. Marines shot down in Iraq on the 7th of February, prompted by the poem “Seven Stars,” written by Lieutenant Jared Landaker's cousin Layne Clifton. Landaker's family formed the Seven Stars Foundation, which was recently granted non-profit status, and the first big event they've planned is the September 29th 5K and 10K, which will benefit the Wounded Warriors Charity and scholarships for Big Bear High School seniors. Early registration fee for the 5K and 10K, which begin at Snow Summit, is $25, and just $15 to participate in the one-mile community walk. Those who opt not to walk or run are still invited to the Seven Stars Foundation Jared Landaker Memorial Run for Freedom, as there will be live music, food, an expo area and a raffle. For more information on the event or to register, you can log on to www.active.com. As for the State Assembly Bill to honor Landaker on a portion of Highway 38, as of yesterday, the bill graduated to a third reading in the State Senate, so the honor looks likely.

Outdoor Water Restrictions in Place for Saturday and Sunday

Over the coming Labor Day weekend, the Department of Water and Power is implementing water restrictions. On both Saturday and Sunday, DWP customers are not to do any outdoor watering. Per DWP's General Manager Jerry Gruber, “We expect a huge amount of people here this weekend. We hope everyone will use water wisely, so we would have enough water for fire suppression [if needed].” So, again, customers of the Department of Water and Power are to refrain from outdoor watering on Saturday and Sunday.

Volunteers Sought for September 15 Shoreline Cleanup

Saturday, September 15 has been named the 23rd annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, and our community will be tackling the shoreline of Big Bear Lake for the 8th annual Big Bear Lake Shoreline Cleanup Day. Last year, 279 volunteers removed 1190 pounds of trash and 210 pounds of recyclable material from 14 miles of shoreline along Big Bear Lake and Baker Pond, thanks to groups from our three local elementaries, BBMS, Civil Air Patrol, the Kiwanis Key Club of BBHS, Girls Scout Troop #744 from San Bernardino, Operation Breakthrough, the Municipal Water District, and Ray Wiltsey Middle School from Ontario. This year's campaign, titled Shore Could Use Your Help, will run from 9am to noon on the 15th, and the California Coastal Commission will provide cleanup supplies. If you, your coworkers, service group or family can volunteer, please contact Alan Sharp at Big Bear Marina at 866-3218, because we Shore Could Use Your Help.

DWP's Organizational Restructuring Moves Forward

At this week's meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power, the agency's organizational restructuring was approved. First, the position of Assistant General Manager was eliminated. This is the position held by Scott Heule from 2003 until his move to the Municipal Water District at May's end, since which time Bill LaHaye has been acting Assistant General Manager. LaHaye will now assume the newly created position of Water Resources Manager. The third of DWP's position changes is the reclassification of the Principal Admininstrative Analyst's position to Financial Analyst. Jennifer McCullar has been serving in this position in recent months, though DWP will fly it this week through the City of Big Bear Lake. That said, McCullar is eligible for the Financial Analyst position, though other candidates will be considered. If McCullar is not awarded the position going forward, she will resume her role as DWP's Conservation Specialist, according to General Manager Jerry Gruber.

Rolston Released from Custody This Week
Richard Rolston is no longer in custody, but has been released on his own recognizance. Rolston had been arrested by Sheriff's Deputies on August 5 during a traffic stop when methamphetamine was allegedly found in his vehicle, and had since pleaded not guilty during his arraignment. At Rolston's pre-preliminary hearing on August 27, he entered a guilty plea for the violation of HS 11379 for transportation of narcotics. Rolston is currently on probation and on parole and, under Proposition 36, is mandated to receive outpatient treatment at Operation Breakthrough. Per the District Attorney's office, Rolston's sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 12, during which time he will receive the formal terms and conditions from the court.

Reunion Weekend Scheduled for BBHS Class of 1997
Big Bear High School's Class of 1997 will be celebrating their 10-year reunion on Homecoming weekend. There will be an informal gathering at 8pm on Friday the 7th at Nottingham's, and then the 10-year reunion will be on Saturday, September 8 after the football game against Aquinas. Saturday's event will begin at 7pm at Mandarin Garden Restaurant, and RSVPs are requested by calling Amy Shaffer at 557-8880, or emailing bbhsclassof1997@yahoo.com. The Class of '97 will finish off their reunion weekend with a family picnic at Meadow Park on Sunday at noon.

August 29, 2007



Yesterday evening's Chamber of Commerce mixer featured a special treat: the operation of the five-stamp mill at the Big Bear Valley Historical
Society Museum. Museum curator Kim Sweet and Ruth Core, wife of Valley historian Tom Core, were among those who enjoyed the presentation.

Operation Breakthrough Gets Six Month Funds Extension from County

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved an extension of time and funds in a contract with the Valley's Operation Breakthrough for Nonresidential Drug Court Program Services, at their meeting on Tuesday. In a statement from our District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, he said, “This extension was essential to ensure that the Big Bear participants will continue to receive drug court substance abuse treatment.” The Board's action extends the program for six months and will provide sufficient time for a Request for Proposals process to be completed and a new contract approved based on the proposals submitted. Operation Breakthrough's Program Director De Price tells KBHR, “We are pleased as punch to continue our services with local people.” Operation Breakthrough offers substance abuse rehabilitation on a sliding fee scale, and can be accessed by calling 866-5437.

School Board to Visit Baldwin Lane Elementary on Thursday
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will be taking a field trip tomorrow. The Trustees, Ken Turney, Debra Sarkisian, Phil Hamilton, Larry Poland, Julann Warren and Superintendent Carole Ferraud, will be visiting Baldwin Lane Elementary School. Their 9:30am visit to the elementary, under the direction of new principal Rosamaria Murillo, will include a school tour and classroom visits.

Highway 38 Roadwork in Mentone Scheduled for Completion Tomorrow
The County's Public Works Department announces that the improvements to Highway 38 at Wabash Avenue in Mentone are scheduled for completion tomorrow. The improved roadway, including right and left turn lanes and a traffic signal, will presumably make for a safer drive and increased travel times to and from the mountain and, per the County, improved air quality as traffic will spend less time idling at the former four-way stop sign. Supervisor Dennis Hansberger welcomes the public to travel through the intersection congestion free on August 30th , beginning at 2pm.

Governor Applauds County's New 'Go Green' Measures

At this week's meeting of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, four Green County San Bernardino programs were approved. New county buildings and renovations of existing county buildings will now be required to comply with the silver standards of LEED, or the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Priority plan processing will be provided to homebuilders who use California Green Builder standards to build energy-efficient and water-saving homes. Building permit fees will be waived for residents and business owners who install solar or wind energy systems, tankless water heaters, and highly energy-efficient air-conditioning and heating systems. And, fourth of these new programs, the county will create a website, www.greencountysb.com to provide info on how to “go green” and take advantage of Green County San Bernardino programs. California's Attorney General Jerry Brown, who had filed a since-dismissed lawsuit against the county in April, commended the new measures. In a statement, Brown said, “It is great that San Bernardino County has embraced so many worthwhile initiatives to make the county more sustainable.” Even Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement in response to Tuesday's moves: “I would like to congratulate the county of San Bernardino for announcing its Green County San Bernardino program. The county's local leaders are demonstrating environmental leadership.”

CSD to Address Draft of USGS Groundwater Basin Report

The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold a special meeting today, August 29. The focus of the meeting will be to address the draft report of the United States Geological Survey. Per CSD's Water Superintendent Tim Moran, the report is on the geo-hydrology of the Big Bear groundwater basin, and defines its depth and structure, as well as the quantity of water recharged to the basin. The original draft of the USGS report was released in April, and CSD will review before adding comment or correction for the report's final draft. Moran noted that the Department of Water and Power had GeoScience review the draft on August 20, and CSD will also discuss that report during the 2pm meeting. CSD meets at their offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

Park Avenue to Undergo Repaving, Beginning Tuesday

The street reconstruction and drainage improvement project on Park Avenue, approved by the City Council of Big Bear Lake on August 13, is scheduled to begin on or about Tuesday, September 4. Bear Valley Paving has been contracted to do the work on Park Avenue, from Eureka to Knight. Traffic will still be able to access Meadow Park, though short delays can be expected on weekdays through the project's completion, which is anticipated by mid-October.


Just-in-Time Skydivers were part of the flying high highlights during Saturday's Air Fair at the airport. Photo courtesy of Cal Roe.

August 28, 2007


Airport's Master Plan Study Committee Meets Wednesday

The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Airport District will convene tomorrow, August 29 at 2pm for a special meeting of the Master Plan Study Committee. The study committee also includes representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, CalTrans, and the Department of Aeronautics, as well as local government and law enforcement agencies, environmental consultants, and airport advisors. The Big Bear Airport District will have consultants from The Barnard Dunkelberg & Company present the draft of the Master Plan. The public session of the special meeting will open at 5pm and, in the meantime, the draft of the airport's Master Plan is available for review at the office of the Airport General Manager during normal business hours. The Big Bear Airport District will hold tomorrow's meeting in the Big Bear Airport Pilots Lounge in Big Bear City.

Serenity Place Gallery to Host Final Artist Reception

Serenity Place Gallery will host their First Saturday Artist of the Month Reception this weekend, featuring the paintings of local artist Laura Janes. For nearly every month since the Gallery opened at their first location in Big Bear City in November 2004, and, in the last year at their new location in the Village, owners Cindy Jones and Louis Weiner have hosted the first Saturday event—however, this week's will be their last. As Jones told KBHR, “With regret, Serenity Place Gallery is closing its doors on September 28. We would like to sincerely thank all of you who have supported Serenity Place in the last three years. Your patronage, encouragement and blessings will not be forgotten.” So, as Serenity Place Gallery comes to a close, the community will have through September's end to visit their collection of local art and crafts at 40729 Village Drive. The reception featuring the work of Laura Janes will run from 6 to 9pm on Saturday, September 1st.

Neighborhood Chipping Continues in Big Bear Lake Area 2 Through Weekend
Neighborhood chipping continues in Big Bear Lake Area 2 this week. Through September 2, Public Works crews from the City of Big Bear Lake will be taking curbside piles of dead vegetation and turning it in to woodchips for reuse. Area 2 for the City of Big Bear Lake covers Eagle Point, and neighborhoods north of Big Bear Boulevard from Stanfield Cutoff to Paine Road. If you need more information, you can log on to www.thinisin.org for an area map, or call the City of Big Bear Lake's chipping information line at 752-2805.

Bilingual Poll Workers Needed
The County of San Bernardino's Registrar of Voters is seeking bilingual poll workers for the upcoming General Election, to be held on November 6. No experience is needed as training will be provided. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, registered voters and fluent in both English and Spanish. Those who qualify can earn $145 as an Inspector or $110 as a Clerk on Election Day, and $15 will be paid for the two-hour training class. Those interested in serving in the desert and mountain areas, as well as Ontario, Chino or Rancho Cucamonga, should call Election Services at 909/387-8300 by October 22.

City Council Approves New Stop Signs, DWP Commissioners

At last night's Big Bear Lake City Council meeting, Council appointed two new commissioners to the Board of the Department of Water and Power. A term of four years, through June 30, 2011, was granted to Steve Foulkes. Foulkes, an asset manager and a 45-year resident of the Valley, is a former City Council member, who has also served on the BBARWA and DWP Boards, in addition to working at the Municipal Water District for 10 years. Robert Tarras was also appointed as a DWP commissioner and will complete the unexpired term vacated by Bill Speyers through June 30, 2009. Tarras, a certified public accountant, is a controller at Snow Summit and has lived in Big Bear Lake for over 20 years.
Council also approved the installation of two new stop signs in Big Bear Lake, as proposed by City Engineer David Lawrence as a result of community suggestion. The first of two stop signs will be placed at the east end of Meadow Park at the intersection of Eureka Drive and Park Avenue. The other stop sign will be at the intersection of Crystal Lake Road and Avalon Road, in the southern section of the Fox Farm area.

Chamber Mixer at Historical Museum and Lions Club in Bear City
This evening, the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce Mixer will be hosted by the Big Bear Lions Club, the Big Bear Valley Historical Society Museum, Taste of Bear Catering, Kat Sawyer Insurance and Four Paws and Tail. The two-hour mixer begins at 5pm, and will include food by Taste of Bear, a Chinese Auction, and an opportunity drawing. Chamber members and guests are welcome to the event, which will be held in Big Bear City, off Greenway Drive, at the Museum and the Lions Club building.

Flagging on Highway 38 Through Thursday

Through this Thursday, August 30, CalTrans will be doing pavement repairs on Highway 38 in the Angelus Oaks area. From 8:30am to 2:30pm, there will be flagging and potential delays on a less-than-one-mile portion of Highway 38 down the back way.

Yard Sale Permits Required in City of Big Bear Lake
The City of Big Bear Lake requires that those holding yard sales, during the holiday weekend or any time, obtain a No-Fee Permit. Yard sale permit applications are available at the public counter in the Civic Center, located at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. In addition, the City requests that you do not post yard sale signs on power poles or street sign and traffic poles. Be kind to the environment and do not post signs on trees–doing so could cause potential damage. For more information, call the Community Services Department at 866-5831.


Crowds at the Big Bear Airport's Air Fair appreciated aircraft in new ways during Saturday's rainstorm. Photo courtesy of Craig Anderson.

August 27, 2007

County to Address Climate Change Issues in Three Agenda Items

The Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County will meet in open session at 10am tomorrow. The discussion calendar on the board's agenda includes three items that would further the County's new commitment to address climate change issues: to waive building permit fees for the installation of solar energy systems and highly energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems; to establish the San Bernardino County Green Builder Program, including incentives for residential construction; and to establish a county website as a resource on environmentally friendly buildings, landscapes and lifestyles. The County Board of Supervisors meets in the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. The Board will not meet on Tuesday, September 4, but will hold their next regular meeting (after tomorrow) on September 11.

DWP Board Meets Tuesday at 8am
The Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power will meet in open session at 8am tomorrow. The Board's consent calendar includes the agency's organization restructuring, and the authorization to bid on two new wells. The DWP Board of Commissioners meets at their offices at 41972 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake. The two new commissioners, scheduled to be appointed by the City Council of Big Bear Lake this evening, will not join the DWP Board until September.

MaryLu Drake to Be Celebrated at Memorial Mass on September 8
A memorial mass for MaryLu Drake, who passed due to cancer on August 19, will be celebrated on Saturday, September 8. The 9am mass will be at Our Lady of the Desert Catholic Church, located on Corwin Road off Highway 18, in Apple Valley, with a reception to follow. Drake was a resident of Fawnskin for over 30 years, during which time she had been a kindergarten teacher at North Shore Elementary, and a member of the National Ski Patrol. Drake is the wife of Judge Robert Drake, and mother to LeighAnne and Neal, and grandmother to Jordan and Mikaela. The Drakes' oldest son Paul, who would have celebrated his 20-year class reunion from Big Bear High School on the 8th, passed away due to cancer in 1996. In lieu of flowers, the Drake family has requested that donations be made to St. Mary's Medical Center in Apple Valley.

KTLA Morning Show Broadcasts Live from Big Bear Tomorrow

The KTLA Morning Show will feature Big Bear on their program tomorrow, which airs on TV's Channel 5 from 6 to 10am. At the invitation of the Big Bear Lake Resort Association, KTLA's weatherman Mark Kriski will be broadcasting live from Big Bear. The morning's program will also feature an 8:15am segment on some local restaurants and shops, as well as the Moonridge Animal Park. And, at 9:20am, lake activities will be featured, as the KTLA crew will be stationed at Lagonita Lodge for coverage of Big Bear Lake. So, if you want to see some familiar places and faces on television tomorrow, you can tune in to the KTLA Morning Show.

Reckless Motorcyclists Keep CHP Busy on Sunday
Yesterday afternoon just before 4pm, two motorcyclists from San Bernardino were arrested by California Highway Patrol officers for driving excessive speeds on the southbound portion of Highway 330. Officer Wally Wood pursued the motorcyclists after seeing them cross the double yellow lines to pass 30 to 40 vehicles, then passed other vehicles on the right hand side, ultimately traveling at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The motorcyclists drove recklessly for eight miles before CHP officers detained them with a roadblock just north of the highway's first passing lane near the City Creek Fire Station.
CHP also reports two serious motorcycle accidents yesterday, one on Highway 18 just north of San Bernardino, and another on Highway 18, just south of the Dam, resulting in major injuries as a result of three motorcycles driving in the wrong lane. The latter incident, at about 3:30pm, resulted in lane closures on Arctic Circle yesterday afternoon.

City Council to Meet at 6:30pm This Evening
The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold their regular meeting this evening at 6:30pm in the Performing Arts Center. The consent calendar includes the possible purchase of a GMC Sierra Hybird Truck, and the authorization to have City Manager Jeff Mathieu oversee an assessment to determine the viability of specific energy conservation measures for city facilities. Council will also consider adding two stop signs on city streets: one on Crystal Lake Road at the intersection of Avalon Road, and another on Eureka Drive at Park Avenue. The work-in-progress Vegetation Reduction Ordinance is not agendized as part of this evening's City Council meeting.

Sara Russ Named Chamber's Executive Director

The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce has announced the hiring of a new Executive Director, to fill the position vacated by Jeri Boone in March. Sara (Foulkes) Russ, the Director of the Big Bear Valley Event Resource Office for the last two years, will be the Chamber's new Executive Director as of September 4, following Labor Day weekend. Russ, a 1999 Big Bear High School graduate, said in a statement, “I am honored and excited at being selected for this position and look forward to working closely with the Board, Chamber membership and staff.” Russ will continue the basic functions of the Events Office until a new person is hired. Since Boone's departure from the Chamber, Ken Brengle of the Resort Association has overseen those duties.

New Blue Star Moms Chapter for Military Families
Ken and Robin O'Hare are hosting an organizational meeting for a new chapter of Blue Star Moms, which is a national organization for mothers, and family members, of military personnel. This new chapter of Blue Star Moms will include the mountain and high desert areas, and will begin with a BBQ potluck on Sunday, September 9 at 3pm. The O'Hare's son, John, is serving as a combat MP with the U.S. Army, and is currently on his second tour in Iraq, where he has been stationed since May of 2006. For more information on Blue Star Moms or directions to the September 9 meeting, please contact the O'Hares at 585-2447.

Lake Arrowhead Youth Loses Life on Highway 18 Last Night
The San Bernardino County Coroner's Office reports a fatality, resulting from a single vehicle collision off Highway 18 last night. At approximately 11:40pm, California Highway Patrol and paramedics found a Kia Rio that had rolled into a dirt ravine on Highway 18, east of Kuffel Canyon Road. The car's passenger, 17-year-old Ethan Camenson of Lake Arrowhead, was pronounced dead at the scene. The collision is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol.

August 25, 2007

Lightning Causes Problems
At about 1pm Saturday afternoon, a thunderstorm moved through the east end of the Valley causing some problems. In addition to some street flooding, there was a power failure here in the Valley that was caused by a lightning strike at Bear Valley Electric's substation on Palomino Drive. Ken Markling, the Operations Manager at Bear Valley Electric, told KBHR News that power was quickly restored once they isolated the problem, and all residents had service again by late afternoon. The U.S. Forest Service reported two lightning strikes that were quickly brought under control in the Lake Williams area.

August 24, 2007

Big Bear Youth Football Kicks Off Home Season at Minder Field

Big Bear Youth Football begins their series of home games this weekend, with five games scheduled at Minder Field at BBMS tomorrow. The local football league of players ages 6 to 14 years old started their season last week at the Mammoth Kick-Off Bowl, and this weekend they take on teams from the Rim of the World Football League. The first game on Saturday starts at 8:45am, and will be played by the rookies, ages 6, 7 and 8. By 4pm, the “seniors” division, ages 13 and 14, kick off at Minder Field. Games are free, and the entire community is welcome to come out and cheer for the red, black and white.

Village Advisory Committee Meets 8am Monday

The City of Big Bear Lake's Village Advisory Committee will meet on Monday, August 27 at 8am. The Committee, which also includes City Council members Liz Harris and Michael Karp, will address newsracks and signage in the Village during the meeting, to be held in Hofert Hall in the Civic Center.

Welcome Bounce Bash for BBMS Students This Evening
Big Bear Middle School hosts their annual Welcome Back Bounce Bash this evening for the school's 7th and 8th grade students. The Bash, which runs from 5 to 7pm, will include plenty of bounce equipment on the lower field, as well as a DJ and dancing. Cost to students is just $5, and Principal Julie Chamberlin reminds, “Anybody who has a $5 bill, gets to go to the front of the line.”

Sheriff's Deputies Still Seeking Information on Madrigal's Whereabouts

Deputies of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station are still actively searching for suspect Francisco Baltazar Madrigal, a 23-year-old Hispanic male from Big Bear City. Madrigal is wanted in connection with a robbery and assault with a deadly weapon that occurred on July 20, 2007. Madrigal is 5'4” tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. A warrant in the amount of $250,000 for his arrest is currently issued against Madrigal. Anyone having information on the current whereabouts of Francisco Baltazar Madrigal is requested to contact the Big Bear Sheriff's Station at 866-0100.


Rec and Park Commissioner Johnson Phones In His Resignation

Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District Commissioner Keith Johnson resigned from the agency's Advisory Commission, effective August 23. In a phone message from Salt Lake City, Johnson, who represents Erwin Lake and Lake Williams portions of the Valley, stated that he regrets to leave the commission, but must put work priorities ahead of other commitments. Johnson added that, upon his return to Big Bear, he would tender a letter of resignation, and thanked district staff and fellow commissioners for their efforts. The open position on the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District's commission will be filled by the County's Third District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger via the standard recruitment process, per the agency's Director Reese Troublefield.

Rolston Remains In Custody
Richard Rolston, who was arrested for transportation of narcotics while on parole, is currently in custody at West Valley Detention Center. Rolston, age 48, of Big Bear City had been stopped by San Bernardino County Sheriffs Deputies for a vehicle code violation on August 15, and was subsequently found to be in possession of methamphetamine. At his arraignment hearing last week, Rolston pleaded not guilty to all counts. His bail has been set at $45,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 29.

Eagle Point Neighborhoods and Others to Be Visited By Chipping Truck

Neighborhood chipping resumed in Big Bear Lake Area 2 this week. Through September 2, Public Works crews from the City of Big Bear Lake will be taking curbside piles of dead vegetation and turning it in to woodchips for reuse, using the Big Bear Lake Fire Department's chipping truck and other equipment being rented with funds from the Healthy Urban Fire Initiative Grant. Area 2 for the City of Big Bear Lake covers Eagle Point, and neighborhoods north of Big Bear Boulevard from Stanfield Cutoff to Paine Road. David Yegge, Fuels Technician for the Big Bear Lake Fire Department says, “The neighborhood chipping programs are helping people help themselves create defensible space.” If you need more information, you can log on to www.thinisin.org/downloads/ChippingProgram.pdf for an area map, or call the City of Big Bear Lake's chipping information line at 752-2805.

Shaffer Retires Today After 34 Years With Southwest Gas
Southwest Gas Corporation has just announced the retirement of Gary Shaffer, field supervisor for the Big Bear District Office, effective today, August 24. In his 34 years with Southwest Gas, Shaffer has been an equipment operator, field mechanic, welder and field supervisor, in addition to a stint in Las Vegas, during which time he was an operations staff supervisor. The company's Vice President of the Southern California Division Luis Frisby says of Shaffer, “Gary has made significant contributions to Southwest Gas and has made a lasting impression on his colleagues. On behalf of all Southwesters, I wish him all the best for the future. He will be missed.” True, Shaffer will be missed, but he won't be that far away. In a statement, he says, “My plans are to retire in Big Bear and continue to enjoy the beauty of this community for years to come. I have had a long and fulfilling career at Southwest Gas, and wish to express my heartfelt thanks to my colleagues for their support throughout the years.”

August 23, 2007


Reggae band One Dread made their local debut at July's Fawnskin Chamber of Commerce Mixer, hosted by North Shore Trading Company
and Amangela's. Starting this evening, Chris, Rito and Ryan (from left) will bring reggae to the Roadhouse in Sugarloaf on Thursdays.

Fire and Law Enforcement Agencies Urge Evacuation Preparedness

The Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council, which is a non-profit agency run by local volunteers, hosted last night's Fire Situation Status meeting at Hofert Hall, which was attended by approximately 70 members of the community. The meeting, moderated by the Council's President Denise Proffer, featured presentations by 15 officials from different fire and law enforcement agencies, and all within two hours' time. Members of the U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire and San Bernardino County Fire Department spoke of forest thinning and hazardous fuel removal efforts in our community, with George Corley of County Fire announcing, “One of our milestones is that we've removed our millionth dead tree.” Many of the agencies stressed the importance of evacuation readiness and cooperation. Proffer noted that everyone should have contact phone numbers off the hill, be ready to leave within 15 minutes notice, and keep supplies enough to sustain yourself for at least 72 hours. Big Bear Sheriff's Department Captain Lee Watkins, told the audience, “Let me assure you, when we order an evacuation, there's a reason and it is a public safety reason. Please don't be stubborn. When you hear it on KBHR, be prepared to leave.” Adding to that advice, Sergeant Marshall Morton of the California Highway Patrol advises, “Always have half a tank of fuel ready to go, and have a plan that doesn't rely on cell phones.” Please note that an evacuation is not pending as a result of smoke in our community.

Back to School Night at Baldwin Lane Elementary
Baldwin Lane Elementary School, under the direction of new principal Rosamaria Murillo as of this week, hosts their Back to School Night at 6:30pm this evening. The East Valley elementary also hosts their Book Fair this week.

Airport Hosts Air Fair on Saturday

This Saturday, the Big Bear Airport hosts their Air Fair 2007, starting with the $6 Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at 7am. The Wings Over Big Bear, Honoring Those Who Serve event officially kicks off with a 9:45am presentation by the Mountain Fifes and Drums Corps. Opening ceremonies at 10am will feature Colors by Civil Air Patrol, the sky jump with the American Flag by Just in Time Skydrivers, and a dedication to Bob McNutt. The day's festivities, which run until 3pm, will be highlighted by the display of over 100 new and vintage aircraft, including a P-38 Lightning, a B-25 Mitchell, a P-51 Mustang, and the world debut of Jet Alliance's new Eclipse 5000 Jet. Admission to the Air Fair is just $1, free for children under 5, and the airport's event will also include antique cars, a climbing wall and an inflatable obstacle course, and an awards presentation at 1:15pm.

Arrest Made for Theft of Food and Liquor from Log Cabin Restaurant
The Big Bear Sheriff's Department has issued a release regarding the arrest of Gary Foose for commercial burglary. Shortly before 8am yesterday, Big Bear Sheriffs Deputies responded to a call of a burglary at Log Cabin Restaurant in Big Bear Lake. Upon arrival, deputies were informed by the business owner that some time during the night, someone had broken into the restaurant and stolen food and liquor. An investigation revealed that the suspect entered the location through a window, leaving two distinct footprints. The circumstances of the burglary matched those of a prior burglary that occurred in May 2007 at the same location. Based on that information, deputies interviewed Gary Foose, a 31-year-old resident of Big Bear Lake, who was convicted of misdemeanor charges in connection with the prior burglary. A subsequent search of the suspect's residence revealed boots belonging to Foose with tread patterns matching the footprints left at Log Cabin Restaurant. As a result, Gary Foose was arrested on felony charges for commercial burglary and booked into the Big Bear jail. Foose is being held in custody in lieu of $25,000 bail. An arraignment hearing in the matter has been set for Friday, August 24.

Smoke: "No Threat to Our Valley"

The smoke lingering in the Valley is not a result of a fire in the Big Bear area, as reported here yesterday. In a statement from the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, they reiterated the following: “The Snow Fire began about 12 noon on August 21 at the top of Mt. San Jacinto in the Snow Creek area of Riverside County in steep and rugged wilderness terrain. The fire is burning in heavy brush and timber at a slow to moderate rate of speed. It is approximately 20% contained and no communities are threatened at this time. Cause of the fire is still under investigation. Smoke from this fire is drifting into the Big Bear Valley. Your local fire departments want to get the word out that there is no threat to our Valley. Persons with known allergies may wish to take precautions and stay indoors and/or contact their physician.”

Next Draft of Vegetation Reduction Ordinance Will Not Include Trees
At Tuesday's evening's City Council workshop regarding the proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance, no action was taken. However, after additional public input, City Council recommended to staff to come back with a revised ordinance at Council's September 10 or 24 meeting, for further discussion and possible first reading. The next draft will focus on low-slung vegetation and native brush, such as manzanita, and will not include restrictions on trees. In the revised language of the ordinance, Council recommended that native brush be 15 feet from a structure, rather than 10 feet as originally proposed. Remaining portions of parcels would still be held to the requirements for vegetation reduction measures. At a later date, city staff will present a conceptual report on the tree issue, after factoring in further input. So, at this time, no Vegetation Reduction Ordinance has been implemented by the City Council of Big Bear Lake.


Big Bear Youth Football is 120+ players strong this season. The players, ages 6-14 years old (here, in the Old Miners Day Parade
earlier this month), kicked off their season at last weekend's Mammoth Kick-Off Bowl. Home games will be played at Minder
Field and Meadow Park. On Saturday, games begin at 8:45am against Rim teams, at Minder Field at BBMS.

August 22, 2007

San Bernardino County to Adopt Policy to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In the closed session portion of yesterday's meeting of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, a settlement was made to avert the lawsuit filed by State Attorney General Gerald Brown in April regarding the county's greenhouse gas emissions. In a statement from Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Gary Ovitt, he noted, “Only a handful of counties and cities have formally addressed climate change issues, and San Bernardino County will lead the way in implementation of strategies and steps to enhance our future and serve as a model for others. The county is also very pleased that our General Plan will remain in effect, and that the county won't have to spend taxpayer money on further litigation.” The agreement includes an amendment to the General Plan within 30 months to add a policy outlining the county's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a projection of emissions through 2020, to be accompanied by mitigation measures. San Bernardino County, the largest county by acreage in the lower 48 states, has already purchased a fleet of hybrid vehicles, with plans to obtain more; as well as replacing highway boards run by diesel and electricity with solar-powered units. In a statement from Attorney General Brown, he said, “San Bernardino County now sets the pace for how local government can adopt powerful measures to combat oil dependency and climate disruption. This landmark agreement establishes one of the first greenhouse gas reduction plans in California. It is a model that I encourage other cities and counties to adopt.”

There Is No Fire in the Big Bear Area

Despite the smoke lingering over the Valley, we have confirmed with local fire agencies, including the California Department of Forestry, the San Bernardino County Fire Department, and the U.S. Forest Service, that there is no fire in the Big Bear area. The smoke is blowing into the Valley from the Snow Fire, which began at Mt. San Jacinto yesterday at noon, and is burning through heavy brush and timber. Smoke could also be drifting our way from the Zaca Fire in the Los Padres National Forest, in the Santa Barbara area. So, just to reiterate, there is no fire in the Big Bear area.

Town Meeting Tonight on Big Bear Valley Fire Situation Status
If you want to know how local agencies would respond in the event of fire in the Valley, this will be addressed at this evening's town meeting, hosted by the Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council. The meeting is at 6:30pm in Hofert Hall, which is located in the City of Big Bear Lake's Civic Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. Representatives from the Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake Fire Departments, CalFire, the California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Fire, the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department, and the U.S. Forest Service will make presentations, which will be followed by a public question and answer session.

BVUSD School Board Meets at 6:15pm
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will meet in open session at 6:15 pm this evening, and the meeting will include a presentation on the Lighthouse Project. Upcoming events on the school district's calendar include Big Bear High School Homecoming on Saturday, September 8 and Family Fun Night at Meadow Park on Monday, September 10. Pending calendar approval, parent conferences for the elementary schools and Big Bear Middle School will be held September 25-28. The BVUSD Board meets at their offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake.

Fundraiser for Rhonda Lewis at B's This Friday
Friends of Rhonda Lewis, a 15-year resident of the Valley, will host a fundraiser for her medical expenses, resulting from a motorcycle accident on Big Bear Boulevard on the evening of August 2nd, when she was run over by another vehicle. Since the accident, Lewis has been recovering from multiple injuries in ICU at Loma Linda University Medical Center and has been unable to work, as a teacher's aide for the school district and a waitress at B's Backyard BBQ (while also a full-time student working toward her teaching credential). The dinner fundraiser for Rhonda and her family, including John, Josh, Tonya and Megan, will be at B's Backyard BBQ on Friday, August 24 at 6pm. Tickets are $15 for adults, and can be purchased at B's, Sandy's Sports Bar and BJ's Restaurant. For more information on the fundraiser and opportunity drawing, as well as the Lewis Family Fund at First Mountain Bank, you can call Mimi Doan at 838-9287.

CSD Hopes to Initiate Completion of Civil Air Patrol Headquarters
At this week's meeting of the Big Bear City Community Services District, the directors also discussed the completion of the Civil Air Patrol headquarters, located at the east end of the Big Bear Airport. Marge McDonald initiated the conversation, telling those present, “It's time that we completed this building, since it is the home of Mountain Mutual Aid, and our Incident Command Post.” The CSD Board agreed that Big Bear City Fire Department's Assistant Chief Jeff Willis would approach member agencies of the Mountain Mutual Aid Association, to raise funds for the building's completion. The estimated $40,000 project would be funded through Friends of the Disaster Center, which is a non-profit that oversees the headquarters of Civil Air Patrol. A portion of the overall cost, which mainly covers materials, would go toward an on-demand generator, which would run on natural gas. CSD has given Willis a timeframe that extends until November, at which time they will discuss funding options to cover the balance. McDonald suggested that additional funds could be used from the Fire Department Building Fund. CSD moved not to convene for their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, September 3, as it is Labor Day.

BBARWA Meets at 4:30pm
The regular meeting of the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency will be held today at 4:30 pm. BBARWA meets at their offices at 121 Palomino Drive in Big Bear City.

Seniors Healthy Aging Fair Open to All San Bernardino County Seniors
San Bernardino County will be hosting the 5th annual Celebrating Seniors Day Healthy Aging Fair on Wednesday, September 12. The event begins at 9am and will be held at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino. The day will include free health screenings, entertainment and the opportunity to meet with elected officials, as well as over 80 service providers and vendors. Seniors throughout San Bernardino County are invited, though RSVPs are required by calling 1-800-510-2020 by August 27. Transportation is also available—we checked, they will come to Big Bear—so you can request a ride to the Orange Show for the Seniors Healthy Fair.


Local artist Barbara Jordan was one of over 60 artists with work on display at this weekend's Art on the Lake, sponsored by the
Arts Council of Big Bear Valley. Jordan is a 2007 semi-finalist for the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year for her photograph
“Winter Storm”. For more photos from Art on the Lake, including “Winter Storm”, log on to www.bigbearnews.com.

August 21, 2007


Two Events at Big Bear Middle School This Week

Big Bear Middle School is hosting a Back to School Night for parents of 7th and 8th graders this evening. The 6:30pm event begins with a general assembly in the gym and, from there, Principal Julie Chamberlin tells KBHR, “then parents go from period to period, and do the schedule their kids do—except they'll have an extra minute for their passing period. It's very fun.” This Friday, the school hosts their annual Welcome Back Bounce Bash, which features plenty of bounce equipment on the lower field, as well as a DJ and dancing, and pizza, soda, popcorn and cotton candy for purchase. The Bounce Bash, which is from 5 to 7pm, is open only to Big Bear Middle School students, and cost is $5 per student. And, Chamberlin adds, “Anybody who has a $5 bill, gets to go to the front of the line.” Other things happening at BBMS include a new Art Club and Chess Club, and the continuance of Youth Act, under the direction of teacher Dena Arbaugh. The Youth Act program takes money from recycled cans and bottles, and students have used those funds for activities such as baking cookies with seniors, and, along with ASB, planting flowers on campus.

Suspect Francisco Baltazar Madrigal Wanted by Sheriff's Deputies
Deputies of the Big Bear Sheriff's Station are actively searching for suspect Francisco Baltazar Madrigal, a 23-year-old Hispanic male from Big Bear City. Madrigal is wanted in connection with a robbery and assault with a deadly weapon that occurred on July 20, 2007. Madrigal is 5'4” tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. A warrant in the amount of $250,000 for his arrest is currently issued against Madrigal. Anyone having information on the current whereabouts of Francisco Baltazar Madrigal is requested to contact the Big Bear Sheriff's Station at 866-0100.


CSD Does Not Embrace Rec and Park Proposal for Paradise Way Park

At last night's meeting of the Big Bear City Community Services District, the development of an East Valley Park was again addressed. Reese Troublefield, Director of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, presented a thorough park design, which would accommodate the five acres owned by CSD on Paradise Way. Because Rec and Park would not purchase, but potentially lease the land from CSD, Troublefield pointed out that more funds would be available for park development. “We can accomplish much, much more together,” Troublefield noted. “The Park District is going to build a park in Big Bear City, but if we have to buy the land, it will diminish the amenities. I know that Supervisor Hansberger is committed to using the money earmarked for the pool for an East Valley Park.” Troublefield's design proposal included a regulation soccer field, playground and skatepark areas, basketball and tennis courts, picnic shelter and bathrooms, and a wooded walkway and grass area that would retain existing trees on the Paradise Way property. His suggestions were met with an abrupt no from CSD's Marge McDonald, who wants the park to include a baseball field. “I have no faith in Parks and Rec,” McDonald said. “We were doing very well on our own. I would never agree to a lease. I don't like your project.” In response, CSD's Bob Colven said, “I'll take the converse side, and I'm willing to give [Reese] a chance. He can provide the funds. I like his idea; this concept presents multiple activities.” After much debate, the CSD Board moved to explore the possibilities of working with the Park District to put a park in the east end of the Valley. President John Day, Rick Olilla and Colven agreed, McDonald did not, and CSD's Jeff Newsome was not present at the meeting.

Though There's Smoke, No Fire In Our Area At This Time -- as of 10am

If you're concerned about the smoke at the west end of the Valley, we've been in contact with fire agencies, and there is no fire to report in the Big Bear Valley. The smoke is presumably drifting our way from the Zaca Fire in the Los Padres National Forest, which, as of this morning, has burned 220,000 acres since it began on July 4. Again, there is no fire to report in our community. For details on the Jacoby Canyon Fire of earlier this week, scroll down to the news reports of August 20.

Fire Safe Council's Community Meeting Is Tomorrow

The Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council will hold a community meeting tomorrow, August 22, to provide an update on the Big Bear Valley Fire Situation for 2007. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm at Hofert Hall in the Civic Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. A presentation will be made by the following agencies: the Big Bear City Fire Department, the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, CalFire, the California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Fire, U.S. Forest Service, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff, Big Bear Station. A public question and answer session will follow. This is your opportunity to find out about potential for wildfire and how it will be addressed in Bear Valley, so plan to join the Fire Safe Council at Wednesday's community meeting.

Rec and Park's Advisory Commission Meets at Senior Center Today

The Advisory Commission of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will hold their regular meeting today at 5:30pm. The meeting will include reports from the Recreation, Maintenance, Facilities and Zoo departments. A couple notes from the agenda: Crissy Cox has been promoted to Director of the Teen Center; the Sugarloaf Park rehabilitation project is underway; and two fallow deer have joined the Moonridge Animal Park, one male and one female have been born at the facility. Rec and Park's Advisory Commission meets at the Big Bear Senior Center.

Mountain Healing Arts Sponsors Free Health Screenings Saturday

Mountain Healing Arts will sponsor free health screenings on Saturday, August 25. Everyone is welcome to this open house at the Holistic Wellness Center of Pramann Chiropractic, at 136 W. County Club Boulevard, next to the Big Bear City Post Office. The health screenings will be based on the Six Steps of Wellness, and will address structural balance and alignment, electromagnetic sensitivities, nutritional balance, mind/body balance, detoxification needs, and allergy and sensitivity evaluations. Dr. Pramann says, “We will have stations set up for each type of screening and individuals can sign up for whichever stations they would like. Plus, if anyone wants to bring the printed results of their traditional medicine blood, urine or hair analysis, we have a software system to analyze these results in intricate detail to provide information on any potential health issues.” If you need more information, you can call 585-2400, otherwise you can just plan to drop by Pramann Chiropractic for a free health screening this Saturday.

August 20, 2007

Family Offers $3000 Reward Pertaining to August 6 Incident

The family of the young man found with injuries in the Village on the morning of August 7 have issued a $3000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of those responsible for his injuries, in a case still under investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department. To follow is a statement issued by the family, which was received by KBHR today: “The facts of this case are that the victim is a 23-year-old male from the Los Angeles area, who was camping in Big Bear. He was not a part of any film crew; just there to enjoy the area. He was camping at the Serrano Campground and had visited the Hot Spot Bar on the evening of Monday, August 6th. He had met a local girl later in the evening at the Hot Spot and she suggested that they go over to Murray's Saloon, which they did. At some point after midnight, the victim exited Murray's Saloon to get a breath of fresh air. He exited the building to the right and was assaulted from behind, on the side of Murray's. All evidence suggests that he was hit over the head from behind. He did not suffer an aneurysm or a seizure, as rumor has it. The amount of damage and injury done to his head would not be possible from an individual just falling to the ground. This individual is not a troublemaker and is a decent young man. All accounts from all the witnesses at both The Hot Spot and Murray's Saloon indicate that there were no fights that night and that he was getting along with everybody in the bars. Currently, the victim remains in a coma in critical condition in a Los Angeles-area hospital.” In a subsequent email, the man's cousin expressed his thanks to the Big Bear community for our support. The Big Bear Sheriffs Station asks that if you have any first-hand knowledge of the incident, which they have not yet labeled as a crime, that you call 909/866-0100.

County Scheduled to Approve Tennis Ranch Purchase

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meet tomorrow, and the consent calendar includes the appraisal approval and purchase of the Big Bear Sports Ranch, also known as the Tennis Ranch in Erwin Lake. The purchase of the ranch, for use by the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, would include 13 plus acres and eight buildings, as well as an athletic field, a roller hockey rink, two outdoor basketball courts, nine tennis courts, and a 45' by 17' outdoor swimming pool. Price for the facility is $2.5 million, and will be purchased with Proposition 12 County Allocation Funds and Proposition 12 Per Capita Allocation Funds. Additional costs associated with escrow and title will be paid with funds from the BBV Recreation and Park District budget, and will not result in local cost, per the Board's agenda. Should the property be acquired, Rec and Park plans to contract with the current owner to continue summer camp operations as a source of revenue to offset maintenance and operating costs. The County Board of Supervisors meets at 10am tomorrow in the County Government Center in San Bernardino.

Back to School Night at BBHS Starts at 6:30pm

This evening, Big Bear High School will host their Back to School Night. Parents and students are welcome, and the evening will begin with a 6:30pm presentation in the high school gym.

City Council's Vegetation Reduction Ordinance Workshop Tomorrow at PAC
The Big Bear Lake City Council will hold a Special Workshop tomorrow, August 21 at 6:30 p.m. to continue discussion on the proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance. To encourage public participation and accommodate those who attend, the meeting will be held in the Performing Arts Center, located at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. At their regular meeting on August 13, the Council tackled several issues regarding fire protection, vegetation reduction and creating defensible space. Over 200 members of the public attended and provided valuable input and recommendations for the Council to consider. Although significant background was presented for why the proposed ordinance is needed, the upcoming Workshop on Tuesday will center on the “nuts and bolts” of the ordinance itself. This provides the full Council an opportunity to convene as an entire body, rather than focus solely on recommendations from the Defensible Space Ad-Hoc Committee. No formal action on the Vegetation Reduction Ordinance has occurred, nor will any on August 21.

Last Week's Lightning Sparks Yesterday's Jacoby Canyon Fire

The U.S. Forest Service confirms reports of a fire yesterday afternoon. Batallion Chief Betty Ashe tells KBHR that around noon yesterday, the Forest Service received a call regarding a brush fire in Jacoby Canyon, which is just west of Highway 18 between Cactus Flats and the dump. The entire fire, which was sparked by lightning earlier in the week, was within about a quarter acre of land and very spotty, with the largest portion covering about a 50' by 50' patch. The U.S. Forest Service contained the fire yesterday with assistance from crews of the California Department of Forestry, County Fire, and the Bureau of Land Management, with both the Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake Fire Departments on standby. Helicopters were used to drop water taken from the Mitsubishi Plant and the pond at the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency. Batallion Chief Ashe says, “We also had smokejumpers ready to go, but the wind was too erratic.” Though the fire has been contained, Ashe says that “Engine 19 out of Lucerne, with Helicopter 534 supporting, are still working the fire today.”

Sawmill Estates to Be Addressed at County Supervisors Meeting

The Board of Supervisors of the County of San Bernardino will meet in open session at 10am tomorrow, August 21. The Board is scheduled to approve a request for proposals for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Sawmill Estates development project in Big Bear City. Sawmill Estates, as proposed, would consist of 242 single-family homes on 245½ acres. The project is not scheduled for approval during this meeting, but the authorization to move forward with an EIR, with costs to be charged to the project developer. The Board of Supervisors meets at the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino.

Troublefield to Present at This Evening's CSD Meeting
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District will meet in open session at 5:30pm this evening. The Board will continue the discussion of an East Valley Park on CSD's Paradise Way property, and Reese Troublefield, Director of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, is scheduled to give a presentation. The CSD Board meets at their offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

Public Input Sought Re. Off-Highway Vehicle Volunteer Program
The San Bernardino Nation Forest Association, which is a non-profit that works in partnership with the Forest Service, is applying for state grant funding from the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Resources Division to help fund its Off-Highway Vehicle volunteer program. The Off-Highway Vehicle, or OHV, volunteer program consists of 300 volunteers who devote over 25,000 hours annually to help preserve public lands in and around the San Bernardino National Forest, including the maintenance of OHV trails. The SBNFA is requesting funding for the OHV volunteer program to be used to help fund volunteer coordination, supplies and projects and, through September 10, is hoping to seek input and comments from the public before applying for the grant. To submit your input as to how funds from OHV green stickers and state gas taxes could benefit the OHV volunteer program, please email Ben VonDielingen at bvondielingen@fs.fed.us. For more information on the San Bernardino National Forest Association, you can visit their website at www.sbnfa.org.

August 17, 2007



Happy Fred on his Sled: Thanks to the Soroptomists Wo-Man About Town Event (including the Incredibles Team of Scott Towsley and
George Crezee), raffle winner Fred Wright of Grand Terrace had the ride of his life, as he rode his new, custom-built Sled from Big Bear
Choppers down the hill on Saturday. "And I rode again all day on Sunday," said Fred. (Photo courtesy of Lorie Judd of Soroptomists.)

Staff at Baldwin Lane Implementing Respect, Responsibility, and Kindess Coins

Positive change is already underway at Baldwin Lane Elementary School, though their new principal Rosamaria Murillo won't be on campus full time until Monday as she has been finishing out her existing contract as an Assistant Principal with Los Angeles Unified School District. In the meantime, kindergarten teacher Jeanette Haston has been named “teacher in charge” with day-to-day assistance from Dr. Laurie Bruton, our district's Director of Curriculum and Instruction, who was principal of BBHS prior to Dr. Rick Jameson. Haston says, “We're doing great.” This summer, staff at Baldwin Lane decided to implement a new positive behavior plan, which rewards the school's kindergarten through sixth grade students with Kindness Coins. The school year at Baldwin Lane began with a student assembly which outlined the new plan. This month, students are focusing on Respect, and Kindness Coins are being distributed by all staff—including janitors, bus drivers, and noon duty aides, Haston says—to students who model positive behavior. The top three coin-collecting classes each month will receive the honor of the Manner Banner, and one student from each class at every grade level will be honored with a place on the new Honor Wall. In September, students will focus on Responsibility. Haston reports, “It has been a positive start to the school year. We're off to a great start.” Baldwin Lane Elementary will hold a Book Fair next week, and will host their Back to School Night, with Principal Murillo, at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 23, which is also Picture Day.

Vegetation Reduction Ordinance to Be Revisited at August 21 Meeting

The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake invites the community to join them in a special workshop next Tuesday to revisit the proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance, which is not yet a done deal, but a work in progress. As currently proposed and addressed on August 13, the ordinance would require the following of property owners in the City of Big Bear Lake: thin native brush by limiting plants or groups of plants to 10 feet in diameter; remove juniper plants within 10 feet of a structure; limb up all evergreen conifer trees 1/3 of their height; create space between brush under evergreen conifer trees of three times the height of the brush to the lowest tree limbs; remove evergreen conifer trees 8 inches or less in diameter that are located within 15 feet of another; and store woodpiles more than 15 feet away from a structure. Public participation is again encouraged, and in anticipation of community input, the meeting will be held in the Performing Arts Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. So, if you live or own property in the City of Big Bear Lake, you are invited to join City Council at the Tuesday, August 21st meeting which will begin at 6:30pm.

Monday Is Late Start Day and Back to School Night for BBHS
On Monday, August 20, Big Bear High School will host their Back to School Night. Parents and students are welcome, and the evening will begin with a 6:30pm presentation in the high school gym. Monday the 20 th will also be a late start day for all Big Bear High School students. First period will begin at 9:13am, and school buses will run two hours later than normal.

Local Input to Result in "Amazing" Skatepark in Sugarloaf
The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District is excited about the proposals they have received for skatepark features, which they plan to begin installing at Sugarloaf Park by October 1st. After receiving proposals from three different companies, using design input from local skaters, Rec and Park has narrowed skatepark options to design plans from two of those companies, American Ramp Company and Spohn Ranch. Reese Troublefield, Director of Rec and Park, tells KBHR today that the price will be $99,000 and change for both choices, though $92,000 of that has already been designated with funds from a Community Development Block Grant, issued by the county with state funds. “It will take $99,000 to get what we want,” Troublefield notes, “and we will use Park District funds to augment the difference.” Skaters should be pleased with their new skatepark, which could potentially include a 5' half pipe, a 24' long planter, and a number of grindboxes and quarter pipes, while the other proposal offers a mini ramp and a wedge, both 5' tall and 16' wide and two different free-standing grind rails, among many other options. As Lorie Judd at Rec and Park says, given either choice, “The skatepark will be amazing. It's big and bad and the kids are going to love it.” Rec and Park plans to award the contract next week, and Troublefield adds that there's more in store: “I really see us going from no skatepark to another one in 18 months. To have a park at each end of the Valley would sure solve our skating needs and I really see that as a great chance of happening.” Information will be forthcoming as to funding for a second skatepark but, for now, local skaters can look forward to skating in Sugarloaf Park as soon as November.

Healthcare District to Address Pay Increase for Staff

The Board of Directors of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will hold a business meeting on Monday, August 20, with open session beginning at 9am. During the meeting, employees Natalie Hofmans, Doris Fulton and Melissa Staricka will be recognized for their years of service to the hospital. Financial aspects of a potential dental clinic in the Valley will also be presented. The Board will also hear a recommendation for a 2% across-the-board pay increase for the hospital district's non-bargaining staff. Human Resources Director Ros Gravell tells us that the bargaining staff, which are those employees covered under the union, already received a 2% raise, effective July 1st. The Healthcare District's Board of Directors will meet in the conference room of the Department of Water and Power on Garstin Drive.

College Classes Begin at BBHS Next Tuesday
Classes through San Bernardino Valley College begin at Big Bear High School next Tuesday, August 21. The current curriculum allows for students to earn an AA degree in two to three years without leaving the mountain. General Education courses, such as English, Math and History, are available, as well as more specialized classes, such as Business Administration, Computer Technology, Real Estate and Escrow, and Child Development. To register for full semester and eight-week courses being offered in the Valley, simply log on to www.valleycollege.edu to download an application.

August 16, 2007


Kevin Alsop of Big Bear City took home a Top 25 Award for his 1950 Mercury Lead Sled in this weekend's 18th annual Fun Run.
Lynn and Cliff Fowler of the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club presented the award to Alsop, in his first car show with his Merc.
(Photo courtesy of Cal Roe.)

Bear City Paving Projects Now Slated for September
In July, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved nearly $300,000 worth of pothole repair and repaving projects on five streets in the Big Bear City area—those being Brewer Way, Gilroy Drive, Malabar Way, Marlowe Drive and Robinhood Boulevard. Though work was scheduled to begin mid-August, the County's Public Works Department reports the work will likely begin in two to three weeks, while some utility issues are addressed in the meantime. The project was originally scheduled to take about two weeks, once work commences.

Bowling Barn Seeks Finalists in Big Bear's Got Talent
The Bowling Barn has announced that the last night to qualify for the finals in Big Bear's Got Talent will be this Monday, August 20. To date, there are 12 acts of varying talents lined up for the finals, scheduled for August 27 and 28. Winners in the Big Bear's Got Talent competition will receive $500 and the opportunity to do a show at the Bowling Barn. All kinds of acts are invited to participate in the competition, and Bowling Barn owner Bill Ross tells KBHR, “It has been a fun and exciting competition. Come out and have a good time—any act, any age is welcome.” You need not pre-register, acts can simply show up at the Bowling Barn on Monday at 7pm.

Planning Commission Approves Three Event Requests

At yesterday afternoon's Planning Commission meeting, the four commissioners granted approval to all three events agendized as public hearing items. That said, the following are a go: The Big Bear Cowboy Gathering activities at the Performing Arts Center on September 22 and 23; The Friends of the Moonridge Zoo's Run for the Grizzlies behind Chad's Place and in the Bartlett Parking Lot in the Village on September 8; and the Seven Stars Run for Freedom Jared Landaker Memorial Event at Snow Summit Ski Resort and on adjacent streets in lower Moonridge on September 29. With regard to the condominium project proposed by Unique Mountain Development for Paine Road, this item will be continued to the next meeting of the Planning Commission, scheduled for September 5. Commissioners have asked the applicant to come back with a revised site plan with reduced unit density. As proposed yesterday, the development included 82 condominiums in 26 buildings on approximately 8 acres.

Parents and Kids Invited to a Free Afternoon at the Zoo

Parents of children zero to five years old are invited to this afternoon's Helping Kids Grow event at the Moonridge Animal Park. First 5 of San Bernardino, and a number of local family-focused agencies, are sponsoring this event, which features a free visit to the zoo from noon to 4:30pm. The afternoon's festivities will include an animal presentation at noon, a feeding tour at 3pm, and the opportunity to win one of a number of prizes, including a baby stroller and children's books.

Rolston in Custody at Big Bear Jail
Richard Rolston, the former Big Bear City paramedic and former Director of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District Board, was arrested for transportation of narcotics yesterday, per the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department. At approximately 1:40pm on August 15, parolee Richard Rolston of Big Bear City was contacted by Sheriffs Deputies during a traffic stop at Division and Big Bear Boulevard for a vehicle code violation. Rolston, age 48, was suspected of being under the influence at the time of the stop. A search of the vehicle was conducted and Rolston was found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine. In addition to a parole hold, Rolston was booked at the Big Bear jail for transportation of narcotics. As a parolee, Rolston is being held in custody on a no bail warrant. An arraignment hearing is set for tomorrow, August 17.

August 15, 2007

Minimum Day for BBMS and Elementaries Tomorrow

Parents, just a reminder that tomorrow, Thursday, is a minimum day for students at Big Bear Middle School, Baldwin Lane Elementary, Big Bear Elementary and North Shore Elementary School.

Court Ruling Will Help BBARWA Cut Costs

Steve Schindler, General Manager of the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency, tells KBHR that Kern County's Measure E, regarding the ban of bio-solids imported from Southern California, was recently invalidated in U.S. District Court. “While this was a major victory for Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and other counties utilizing sites within Kern County for bio-solids disposal,” Schindler says, “it will also assist the Big Bear Valley in our efforts to safely and sanely dispose of bio-solids. Since the ban took effect, BBARWA was forced to compete with the much larger agencies for disposal space at the Corona and Redlands sites. Since we cannot compete with the much larger agencies willing to spend over $12 million per year for bio-solids disposal, BBARWA was forced into a position of hauling our excess bio-solids to a site in Arizona in 2006 and 2007. This long-range hauling effectively doubled the disposal costs to approximately $200 per ton. This ruling, along with BBARWA's construction of the Solids Reduction Project, will result in significant long-term savings for the Big Bear community.” In other developments, Schindler notes that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and the California Integrated Waste Management Board issued permits for a new composting facility near Hinkley, to be overseen by an Apple Valley-based company, which will provide BBARWA with a much needed alternative disposal option for bio-solids.

Arts Council Will Accept Student Submissions Through Friday
The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley is encouraging the arts for children in the community. In addition to sponsoring arts programs in our schools, the Art Council will feature a student art gallery during this weekend's Art on the Lake, which will be at the Marina Resort at 40770 Lakeview Drive, on Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Student artwork is still being accepted, and the deadline to drop off drawings and paintings to the Gallery, at 40750 Village Drive, has been extended until Friday. Art on the Lake will also offer Arts Camp for kids this weekend, with plenty of painting supplies available, so kids can paint while parents enjoy the offerings of 62 artists in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, photography, glass and ceramics.

National Forest Service at Work on Fuel Reduction
-- Updated
Jeanne Wade Evans, who has been the supervisor of the San Bernardino National Forest since January 2006, reports that the Big Bear Shaded Fuel Break is 90% complete, with a roughly 300 feet wide clearance around the community of Big Bear Lake, and parts of Big Bear City including the Sugarloaf area. When helicopters are free from fighting fire in the fall, there will be a few days of work to complete. “We're doing the actual work,” she tells KBHR, “and at the same time, we're planning for next year and long-term projects so we can mitigate the effects of fire.” The threat of fire, she notes, is always present, “as long as you have fuel, dry conditions and sources of ignition, whether lightning or human caused.” The fuel reduction has also, with the help of CalTrans and the National Resource Conservation Service, included Highways 18 and 38 to allow for safer evacuation routes, when and if those are needed. The Forest Service also reports that the Big Bear Skyline project is in progress. Most of the larger dead tress have been removed and SBNF is putting out to contract the small diameter green tree thinning and chipping. There is some thinning and masticating going on now with contractors and partners, including the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.

Volunteers Sought for Citizens on Patrol Academy
The Big Bear Sheriffs Station is recruiting volunteers for the Citizens on Patrol program. COP volunteers assist Sheriffs Deputies as the eyes and ears of the Valley by patrolling neighborhoods, conducting vacation checks, helping with traffic control and community events, and assisting with other duties. The Sheriffs Station will be conducting interviews in September, and holding the next COP Academy in October. Volunteers need only be 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, possess a valid ID, and pass a background check. Volunteers will be trained, and are asked to attend monthly meetings and volunteer a minimum of 17 hours per month. For more information on the COP program, call Tiffany Swantek at the Sheriffs Station at 866-0103, or COP Commander Ralph Haussmann at 866-3332.

Free Children's Info Fair at Zoo Tomorrow

Parents with children 0 to 5 years old are invited to a special event at the Moonridge Animal Park tomorrow. In conjunction with First 5 of San Bernardino and a number of local agencies, including the MOM Project, Lutheran Social Services and DOVES, the Animal Park will host a free information fair on Helping Kids Grow. The August 16 event, which runs from noon to 4:30pm, is a free afternoon in the animal park. Agencies will be distributing information following the noon animal presentation. There will also be a feeding tour at 3pm, and the opportunity to win a baby stroller, children's books and a teddy bear. Bill Treadwell, Vice President of Friends of the Moonridge Zoo, tells KBHR, “We are looking forward to reaching out to the community this way, and encouraging healthy families.” Other agencies contributing to tomorrow's event include the Big Bear City Fire Department, First Baptist Church, Healthy Start, Hummingbird Project, McDonalds Learning Center, North Shore Christian School, Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, and the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department.

Applicants to Planning Commission Have Until September 14
This afternoon's Planning Commission meeting at 1:15pm will be held with only four commissioners present as, mentioned earlier, Commissioner Tim Brigham withdrew as he no longer lives within the City of Big Bear Lake. At Monday evening's City Council meeting, Council did approve the extension for applicants to the Planning Commission. Residents and registered voters in the City of Big Bear Lake have until September 14 to apply for one of three open seats on the Commission. For more information, you can log on to the city's website at www.citybigbearlake.com, or visit the City Clerk at the Civic Center, located at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard.

Fire Safe Council's Community Meeting Is Next Wednesday
The Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council will hold a community meeting on Wednesday, August 22 to provide an update on the Big Bear Valley Fire Situation for 2007. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm at Hofert Hall in the Civic Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. A presentation will be made by the following agencies: the Big Bear City Fire Department, the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, CalFire, the California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Fire, U.S. Forest Service, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff, Big Bear Station. A public question and answer session will follow. This is your opportunity to find out about potential for wildfire and how it will be addressed in Bear Valley, so plan to join the Fire Safe Council at the August 22nd community meeting.

Another Earthquake Yesterday

We did have an earthquake on Tuesday. This one was of a magnitude of 2.6 at 9:01am, and was centered three miles north of Big Bear City, at a depth of five kilometers.


Nearly 500 antique and specialty cars participated in Saturday's 18th annual Fun Run 'round the Lake, sponsored by the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club.

August 14, 2007

Two Car Clubbers Passed Away Over Fun Run Weekend

This weekend's Fun Run, sponsored by the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club, was a huge success, with 495 cars involved in the car show in the Village and lake cruise around Big Bear Lake. A final tally, in terms of proceeds to benefit Valley charities, is not yet available, but a sampling of car enthusiast websites notes that the 18th annual Fun Run is the car show of Southern California. One of the fun highlights of Saturday was the addition of a prototype police car, a Dodge Hemi Charger on loan from Victorville Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. Cliff Fowler, President of the Car Club, got to drive the police car, sirens and all, behind the lead car in the Fun Run, which was the 1923 Ford T Bucket driven by Karl and Marianne Grossman. In other news from the weekend, two gentlemen from car clubs off the mountain, died while here for the Fun Run. Tony Montegna, age 65 from Ramona and a member of the Over the Hill Gang from San Diego, was found by his wife in his motel room Friday night, and was transported to Bear Valley Community Hospital, where he passed away. On Saturday morning, the 30-plus members of his Over the Hill Gang Car Club got up to accept Montegna's Best Special Interest Award for his 1933 Rockney. Over Saturday night, 64-year-old Thousand Oaks resident Edward Shekter died in his hotel room, per the San Bernardino County Coroners Office. Shekter, a member of the Simi Valley Cruisin' Society, won a Top 25 Award for his '57 Thunderbird. One of the consolations for Shekter's family and fellow car clubbers, Fowler tells KBHR, “He died knowing his car had won, doing what he loved best.”

RTAC Meets Wednesday Morning
The Regional Traffic Advisory Committee meets tomorrow morning, August 15, at 9am. RTAC meetings are held in the Chamber of Commerce offices on Bartlett Road.

After Five Hour Meeting, Council Moves for Another Draft of Vegetation Ordinance

Last night's City Council meeting at the Performing Arts Center addressed the City of Big Bear Lake's proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance, which would set precedence for defensible space in an urban environment. Big Bear Lake Fire Chief John Morley made a presentation before Council, and pointed out that the primary factors influencing wildland fire are weather, topography and fuel. Being that fuel is the one controllable aspect of preventative fire safety he noted that to avoid evacuation and catastrophic fire, Morley says, “Clearly keeping things status quo is not going to get us there. We need to be proactive. Sooner or later, there's going to need to be some level of enforcement.” During the five hour meeting, 25 members of the community expressed their concerns, ranging from “this ordinance is unconstitutionally vague, pleases stay out of our lives” and “we are over-regulated as it is” to “how can we ask our firefighters to risk their lives, if we won't create defensible space?” After hearing public comment, city staff addressed four components of the ordinance brought up by the community. Those include analysis of the aesthetic and economic impact; the balance of private property rights versus public health, safety and welfare; guidelines as opposed to rules with regard to trees; and slope consideration inasmuch as vegetation density and new construction is concerned. Council moved to not approve the ordinance as written, with Mayor Pro Tem Rick Herrick addressing his fellow constituents by saying, “We really have to take the time to do this right. I still think this should be staged in over time, then I think we have a better chance to implement and get the cooperation of the community.” All told, Mayor Bill Jahn asked legal counsel to craft a revised ordinance, while addressing the California Environmental Quality Act, given Council's general consensus to move forward. The new draft of the Vegetation Reduction Ordinance has been scheduled for presentation as a workshop item at a special meeting of the City Council to be held on Tuesday, August 21st at 6:30pm at the PAC.

MWD Board Moves Meeting to 9am Thursday

The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District will hold their meeting on Thursday, August 16, but will meet at 9am instead of their regular 1pm start time. Among business items on the agenda, the MWD Board will consider approval of a proposal for jetty repairs at the East Ramp, Meadow Park, and the boulders to block the road at the conservation easement at Bear Loop. The Municipal Water District meets at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Other Issues Addressed By Big Bear Lake's City Council
Though the proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance consumed the bulk of last night's City Council meeting, as intended, a few other items were addressed. City Council did approve use of city roads for the September 29 Seven Stars Run for Freedom Jared Landaker Memorial Run, and also awarded the street reconstruction project on Park Avenue to Bear Valley Paving. Council also agreed to extend the Planning Commission application deadline to September 14, to allow for additional applicants now that three positions need to be filled, given the recent withdrawal of Commissioner Tim Brigham. Prior to the Vegetation Ordinance discussion, two members of the public addressed Council on other issues. Marge McDonald, Board member of the Community Services District, asked if City Council might consider a plan to find funding for a hospital retrofit, which Valley voters declined to fund through Measure B. And community member Deborah Martinez questioned the addition of another pharmacy, that being Walgreens, at the expense of “all those beautiful trees” in the Moonridge Y section of Big Bear Lake. Martinez's comments were met with applause from the audience, though plans for the new pharmacy will continue to move forward.

August 13, 2007

Motorcycle Accident Results in Fatality

The San Bernardino County Coroners Office has confirmed a fatality, resulting from a motorcycle accident on the North Shore at approximately 8:30pm last night. Thirty-six-year-old Brett Callahan of Ventura was riding a 1995 Suzuki 350, headed east bound on North Shore Drive in Big Bear City when he lost control of the motorcycle and came to rest on the dirt shoulder. Callahan was pronounced dead at the scene, and his passenger (whose name has been withheld) was taken to Bear Valley Community Hospital. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

CSD Continues the Discussion Re. Paradise Way Park

The Park and Recreation Committee of the Big Bear City Community Services District will hold a 3pm meeting on Tuesday, August 14 to discuss park design of the property owned by CSD on Paradise Way. Inasmuch as an East Valley park is concerned, Reese Troublefield, Director of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, is on the agenda to present at CSD's regular meeting, scheduled for Monday, August 20. Both meetings of the Community Services District will be held at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

Astronomical Society Draws Crowd for Meteor Shower
The Big Bear Astronomical Society reports that over 40 people attended last night's Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing Party in Erwin Lake, including stargazers from off the mountain. Paul Little Coyote was among those in attendance, and he brought his Lightbridge Telescope to share with other party-goers. The Astronomical Society may also sponsor an outing to view the lunar eclipse on Wednesday, August 29. For more information, you can attend their regular meeting, scheduled for tomorrow, August 14, at 8pm at the StarGazers Inn, located at 717 Jeffries Road (behind BBMS) in Big Bear Lake. For more information on the Astronomical Society, call 878-4496.

BBHS Names Homecoming Court Today
Big Bear High School today announced the Homecoming Court for the Class of 2008. This year's court includes Jessica Burton, Brittany Caldwell, Jennifer Field, Sarah Gannon, and Erika Rojas. The Homecoming Queen will be named during half-time of the September 8 varsity football game against Aquinas, on Homecoming weekend. As mentioned last week, reigning Big Bear High School homecoming queen Katie Wormsbecker went on to be named California's Homecoming Queen, and was just named to the top ten in the America's Homecoming Queen scholarship pageant.

Pending City Approval, Jared Landaker Memorial Event Planned for September 29

Family and friends of Lieutenant Jared Landaker have planned a memorial 10K run, scheduled for Saturday, September 29. The Seven Stars Foundation Run for Freedom would include 5K and 10K runs and a one-mile walk, and would involve City of Big Bear Lake and U.S. Forest Service roads east of Snow Summit Ski Resort. Moonridge-area streets affected would be Elm, Willow, Poplar, Falcon and La Placida, and a full yet temporary closure of Switzerland Drive. Organizers of the event hope to have live music and exhibits at Snow Summit, as well as a visit from two CH46 military helicopters (which is the kind Jared flew in Iraq), with proceeds of the day to benefit the Wounded Warriors Foundation through the Lieutenant Jared Landaker Memorial Fund at First Mountain Bank. Before the event is a go, it will first go before the City Council of Big Bear Lake at this evening's 6:30pm meeting at the Performing Arts Center, as well as the Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake, which meets in Hofert Hall on Wednesday, August 15 at 1:15pm. (If you want to register for the run, cost is $25 and registration is available online at www.active.com.)

Art on the Lake Accepting Student Submissions Through Wednesday

The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley will once again be bringing Art on the Lake to the big white tent at the Marina Resort. The eighth annual event, which returns to Big Bear Lake on August 18 and 19, features 62 artists this year, in mediums including ceramics, photography, glass, jewelry, sculpture, and, of course, painting. Featured artists are from California and beyond, with our local artists, including Barbara Jordan, Annie Aldrich, George and Terry Carver, well represented as well. In fact, Art on the Lake will have a student art gallery, displaying work from Big Bear students. Submissions are still being accepted from Valley students, and all artwork should be dropped off at the Gallery at 40750 Village Drive by Wednesday. Children are also invited to join Art Camp, from 10am to 3pm, this weekend--art supplies will be available so that kids can create their own painting to take home. A percentage of all sales from Art on the Lake will go to the Arts Council, which supports various arts programs in our community and schools. Art on the Lake, at 40770 Lakeview Drive, will be open 10am to 5pm Saturday, and 10am to 4pm Sunday. The event is free, food and drink will be available, and parking is available nearby in the Bartlett lot.

Two Chamber of Commerce Mixers for August

The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce hosts two networking mixers this month. Tomorrow, August 14, Chamber members and guests are invited to Castle Wood Cottages, which is located at 547 Main Street, off Big Bear Boulevard between Alden and Knight. The two-hour mixer, which begins at 5pm, will be co-hosted by the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, the Big Bear Discovery Center, BigBear.Net, Big Bear Off-Road Adventures, Outlaws BBQ and Pleasure Point Marina. As with all Chamber mixers, there will be free food, raffle prizes, and a Chinese Auction. Later this month, on August 28th, the Chamber mixer will be hosted by the Lions Club and the Big Bear Valley Historical Society Museum, both of which are located off Greenway Drive (and Tom Core Drive) at the former Big Bear City Park.

Tonight's City Council Addresses Fire-Related Issues and Others

This evening's City Council meeting will be held in the Performing Arts Center, as the community is invited to participate in the discussion regarding the proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance. The meeting's agenda will focus on fire-related issues, and city staff will be available to answer questions from attendees. Vital information and visual aides regarding the Vegetation Ordinance will be available, so all those with a vested interest, be it residents or business owners in the City of Big Bear Lake, are encouraged to attend the 6:30pm meeting. Big Bear Lake Fire Department Chief John Morley will also be present, and will clarify specifics of clear-cutting, as well as other defensible space issues. Tonight's meeting will not address the Wood Shake Shingle Ordinance, which Council will revisit at a future meeting. However, issues other than the Vegetation Ordinance will be addressed. The consent calendar includes a request for use of City streets for the Seven Stars Run for Freedom Jared Landaker Memorial Event, planned for September 29. Council will also consider awarding the paving contract for Park Avenue drainage improvement and reconstruction to Bear Valley Paving. If you live or work in the City of Big Bear Lake, your attendance is encouraged at this evening's City Council meeting which will be at 6:30pm in the Performing Arts Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard.

Commuters: Night Closures on I-15

If your commute takes you on Interstate 15, the Mojave Drive interchange in Victorville will be closed at night this week. To allow for bridge demolition at Mojave Drive, CalTrans will have full freeway closure on I-15, both north and southbound lanes, on August 13, 14, 15 and 16, from 8pm to 5:30am. Beyond the nighttime closures, there will be intermittent lane and ramp closures during the day on both I-15 and Mojave Drive in Victorville.

August 10, 2007



The vibrant, whimsical mosaics of local artist Jeannie Houston-Antes (left) are featured at Serenity Place Gallery, owned by Cindy Jones (right)
and photographer Louis Weiner. The Gallery, located in the Village, includes artwork and gifts by local artisans, and will be open during this weekend's Fun Run.

Big Bear Dam Bridge Deemed "Safe" Despite 37.7 Rating

In response to the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, CalTrans released bridge status information and ratings on all California bridges yesterday. Bridges are rated on a sufficiency rating of 0 to 100 (100 being best), and those rated 50 or less and designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are then eligible for federal replacement funding—however, a CalTrans statement says that a low suffiency rating does not mean that a bridge is in need of immediate repair. Per the CalTrans report issued yesterday, the Big Bear Lake Dam bridge rated a 37.7, which puts it in a comparable rating with other San Bernardino County bridges, most of which scored a 39.1. The report notes that the deck, which references the roadway over the dam, is structurally deficient. Terri Kasinga of CalTrans tells KBHR, “Just because the [dam] bridge got that rating, it could be facial stuff, such as cracked pavement and paint peeling. There are no concerns that the bridge will fail. The dam bridge is safe, and is not the type of bridge that failed in Minnesota. If there was a concern or structural problems, it would be addressed as an emergency project, which we just did on I-40.” Kasinga further reassures that “CalTrans would never leave anything unsafe. The dam bridge has been inspected and it is safe.” Work on the Big Bear Dam bridge was originally on the books in 1996 for repair in 1998 or 1999, then 2003/2004 and, per CalTrans, is now scheduled for spring 2009, rather than late 2008, due to weather and snow.

Planning Commission to Address Condominium Project
The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake has a full agenda for their upcoming meeting, scheduled for August 15 at 1:15pm. On the agenda is the public hearing item with regard to the condominium development on Paine Road, just outside the Village. The applicant is requesting approval to develop 82 condominium units in 26 buildings on eight acres. Jim Miller, the City's Director of Building and Planning, tells us that the development is unique in that the condominiums are three and four bedroom units. The Commission meeting will also address special event permits for the Big Bear Cowboy Gathering (September 22-23), Friends of the Moonridge Zoo's Run for the Grizzlies (September 8), and the Seven Stars Run for Freedom Jared Landaker Memorial Event (September 29).

Village L Closed to Cars This Weekend... to Accommodate Cars

Access to the Village will be limited to cars this weekend, as the 18th annual Fun Run will have the Village L, on Pine Knot and Village Drive, closed to accommodate the 500 specialty cars on display. The entire community is invited to walk through the Village, to check out the antique, classic and specialty cars, which will be readied for a 9am Show and Shine on Saturday. Residents should be aware that these 500 vehicles will be making a lake loop, headed west out of the Village and rounding the Dam and the North Shore, beginning at 3:45pm on Saturday. The Fun Run's Lake Cruise will be followed by a 6pm '50s theme Street Dance in the Village's Bartlett parking lot. The free event will feature live entertainment by local band Damn Good Question, as well as dance and hula hoop contests. Proceeds from Saturday evening's festivities, co-sponsored by the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce and the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club, will benefit Christmas in the Village.

Free Airplane Flights for Kids Saturday
The Big Bear Airport Pilots Association will sponsor the Young Eagles program tomorrow, August 11. Young Eagles is a free flight program for youth ages 8 to 18 years old, and is held at 9am on the second Saturday of every month. Each child will be given a pre-flight review of flying, a flight in an airplane, and a certificate. No reservations are necessary, though a parent must sign a waiver of liability prior to the flight. For more information on the Young Eagles program at the Big Bear City Airport, call Roger Schmidt at 585-0266.

Art on the Lake Returns Next Weekend
The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley will once again be bringing Art on the Lake to the big white tent at the Marina Resort. The eighth annual event, which returns to Big Bear Lake on August 18 and 19, features 62 artists this year, in mediums including ceramics, photography, glass, jewelry, sculpture, and, of course, painting. Featured artists are from California and beyond, with our local artists, including Barbara Jordan, Annie Aldrich, George and Terry Carver, well represented as well. In fact, Art on the Lake will have a student art gallery, displaying work from Big Bear students. A percentage of all sales will go to the Arts Council, which supports various arts programs in our community and schools. Art on the Lake, at 40770 Lakeview Drive, will be open 10am to 5pm next Saturday, and 10am to 4pm next Sunday. The event is free, food and drink will be available, and parking is available nearby in the Bartlett lot.

August 9, 2007



Mrs. Nicol Erdmier and the first grade students in her class at Big Bear Elementary School are among those implementing the Peace Builders
program, which promotes peaceful, respectful and responsible behavior. BBES hosts their Back to School Night this evening.

Seymour to Be Honored at Film Festival

Since its inception in 2000, the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival has been held on the second weekend following Labor Day, and this year will be the festival's 8th annual and the first under the direction of Ty Warren, a Big Bear High School (and Harvard) graduate who is now an executive for Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Films. Warren notes that Big Bear's film festival is “filmmaker friendly” and “because we are more intimate than similar festivals, we offer excellent networking opportunities for innovative newcomers to the business.” Beyond networking, the Big Bear International Film Festival, which is run by volunteers, offers film screenings, informational seminars and awards presentations. This year a Community Appreciation Award will be given to Ron Seymour of Channel 6's Round Town with Ron. Of the honor, to be presented September 14 at the PAC, Seymour tells KBHR, “I don't do this for the recognition. I do it for the love of the people and this Valley. I love this Valley.” For more information on the Film Festival, log on to www.bigbearlakefilmfestival.com.

Accident on Highway 18, Near Lucerne, as of 3:45pm
If you're headed toward Highway 18, down the back way to Lucerne, we are just receiving preliminary reports of a head-on collision. Per the California Highway Patrol, the accident is just north of the switchbacks on Highway 18, and an ambulance is responding to the incident. Presumably, you can anticipate delays if headed in that direction.

City of Big Bear Lake Continues Curbside Chipping Program
Neighborhood chipping continues in Big Bear Lake Area 1 this week. Through August 19, Public Works crews from the City of Big Bear Lake will be taking curbside piles of dead vegetation and turning it in to woodchips for reuse, using the Big Bear Lake Fire Department's chipping truck and other equipment being rented with funds from the Healthy Urban Fire Initiative Grant. Area 1 for the City of Big Bear Lake covers neighborhoods west of Division, and east of the Boulevard and Moonridge Road. If you need more information, you can log on to http://www.thinisin.org/downloads/ChippingProgram.pdf for an area map, or call the City of Big Bear Lake's chipping information line at 752-2805.

Back to School Nights at 6pm for BBES and NSES

Parents, just a reminder that both Big Bear Elementary School and North Shore Elementary School will be hosting Back to School Nights this evening. Big Bear Elementary will begin with a 6pm presentation in the gym, and North Shore Elementary asks parents to arrive in time for 6:00 and 6:30pm classroom presentations.

City's New Director of Building and Planning Busy and Happy on the Job

Today is the one-month anniversary of the City of Big Bear Lake's new Director of Building and Planning, Jim Miller. Asked how his new job is going, Miller tells KBHR, “It's great. I love Big Bear, it is fantastic up here.” Compared to his last role, as Director of Building and Safety for Riverside County, he says, “I've been in the field more times in the last four weeks than in four years with the County. It's really hands-on.” As for projects in the City's Building and Planning Department, Miller reports, “We've got a lot of projects coming into town, including several new commercial projects. We are putting those before the Planning Commission.” One of the projects already underway is the Walgreens Pharmacy, which will be at the Moonridge Y on the Boulevard. When asked if the project is going forward, Miller says, “Absolutely. They were just creating too much dust [during tree removal], so we sent staff to put water on it.” In about 30 days time, crews will begin working on forms and fittings for the new Walgreens.

New Moon and Perseid Meteor Shower This Sunday

There will be a new moon this Sunday, August 12, which means that minimal moonlight will make for dark skies—these circumstances will allow for good viewing of the Perseid Meteor Shower, expected late Sunday through dawn on Monday. To best view the meteor shower, a clear view of the northeast horizon, away from lights, is recommended. To that end, the Big Bear Valley Astronomical Society will host their annual Perseid Meteor Shower Picnic at Erwin Lake Park on Sunday, beginning at 6pm. The Park is located at 1140 Hatchery Lane, and offers picnic tables, BBQs and playground equipment. All are invited to this family outing, and are invited to come early and stay late to enjoy the meteor shower. For more information, please call the StarGazers Inn at 878-4496.

Fred to Get Sled from Soroptomists Fundraiser

The chopper that was raffled off earlier this year in the Soroptomists' Man About Town event has been customized and will be picked up by the winner, Fred Wright of Grand Terrace, this weekend. Lorie Judd, co-chair of the winning Man About Town team of George Crezee and Scott Towsley, tells KBHR that the Sled Chopper, which Soroptomists purchased at cost from Big Bear Choppers, has been customized just for Fred, and his Sled is orange with flames. “Fred is just the nicest guy,” Judd says. “He bought the $100 raffle ticket when he was at the Big Bear Choppers Ride the Mountain event with his son. Fred owns five bikes, but had always wanted a chopper, and he is just thrilled beyond belief.” In fact, he has already had a custom license plate ordered to go with his new chopper, which reads '100 BUKS'. The Soroptomists raised over $106,000 in their spring Man About Town campaign, and all proceeds have gone to the Soroptomists Youth Foundation.

Renaissance Village Moves to Fawnskin's Pedersen's Sawmill

After a year's absence, the jousting tournaments return to the Renaissance Faire, at their new location at Pedersen's Sawmill in Fawnskin. Event founder Lynda McGinnis says, “We are excited about the change of location this year, because the new site is more compact with a more intimate village than ever before.” A Renaissance Village will be recreated at the sawmill site, located at 39115 Rim of the World Drive (which is just beyond the Fawnskin Firehouse), and will be open this weekend and next, from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays and 10am to 6pm on Sundays. One of the highlights of the Faire is said to be Argus the Shipbuilder, who will be teaching festival-goers the language of the Queen Elizabeth era. For more info on the Renaissance Faire, which runs August 11, 12, 18 and 19, you can call 1-800-4-BIG-BEAR or log on to www.bigbear.com.

August 8, 2007



Members of the Mojave Greens showed up in full force for Tuesday evening's National Night Out, along the lake at Meadow Park.
The fire crew, many of them students of fire at Victor Valley College, have spent their summer with the U.S. Forest Service, fighting fires and creating fire breaks in Bear Valley.

Big Bear Elementary Implements Praise-Based Curriculum

Big Bear Elementary School has taken a new approach to student behavior this school year, with a program called Peace Builders. The research-validated violence prevention youth program puts an emphasis on peaceful, respectful and responsible behavior. The program, which BBES Principal Sharon Congdon introduced to her staff in June in collaboration with Beth Gardner of the Lighthouse Project, is implemented with principles such as Give Up Put Downs, Right Wrongs, and Praise People. According to Congdon, “All classrooms have Praise Boards for the posting of Praise Notes that are designed to 'catch' people, students and staff alike, doing good things on behalf of the school culture and climate.” The Peace Builders program includes curriculum and environmental tools designed to shift the school climate to a peaceful, productive and safe place for children and faculty. The Lighthouse Project, which brought the Peace Builders program to Big Bear Elementary, is a local grass-roots group focused on making Big Bear a child-honoring community. Parents will be welcome at the group's next meeting, which will be held in October.

Special Guest for Fun Run Revealed on Today's "Tuned In on the Bear"
This weekend's Fun Run, featuring 500 antique, classic and specialty cars, will take over the Village on Saturday, according to event organizer Cliff Fowler of the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club. “We barricade the streets at 4:30am, and the Village L is completely closed off on Saturday,” Fowler tells KBHR. “At first daylight, we stripe and number the spaces, and then the cars are permitted in at 7am, and the show and shine will start at 9am. It has been the biggest weekend of the year for Village merchants over a three-day period.” Fowler, one of those responsible for bringing the Great American Race through Big Bear, has much more planned for Fun Run, including a Saturday night dance and a special celebrity guest. For more info, stay tuned to 93.3 FM as Cliff Fowler will be one of Kat Sawyer's guests on “Tuned In on the Bear”, which airs in the 5 o'clock hour.


Katie Wormsbecker, at BBHS graduation in June

BBHS Homecoming Queen Kaitlyn Wormsbecker Receives National Honor

Big Bear High School's reigning Homecoming Queen, 2007 graduate Kaitlyn Wormsbecker, was selected to participate in the America's Homecoming Queen scholarship pageant, which promotes education and community service, and the Leaders of Tomorrow. In March, Kaitlyn went to the state-level competition, and earned the title of California's Homecoming Queen. Last week, she participated in the national round at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Katie tells KBHR, “The girls I met were amazing. I had so much fun.” The six-day trip, which included a number of personal interviews, resulted in another honor for our Homecoming Queen—Katie was selected as one of the Top Ten honorees in America's Homecoming Queen pageant, which began in 1981. Katie, who lives in Big Bear Lake with her mom Mary Wormsbecker, will be making the move to Cal State Fullerton later this month--though the pageant has invited her to participate one more time, alongside her fellow Homecoming Queens at the Liberty Bowl half-time show in Memphis, Tennessee in December.

City Council's Monday Meeting Moves to PAC

The August 13th Community Meeting, hosted by the City Council of Big Bear Lake, will instead be held in the Performing Arts Center, as community participation is expected and encouraged. The focus of this Council meeting will pertain to fire-related issues, including the proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance, which was discussed at Council's July 23rd meeting. Attendees will receive vital information, details, and visual aids to help better understand the proposed ordinance regarding clearing and thinning vegetation, and how to best implement practices in your yard. City staff, including Big Bear Lake Fire Department Chief John Morley, will be on hand for questions and to clarify residents' concerns, including the misconception of “clear-cutting”. The agenda for the meeting will no longer revisit the Wood Shake Shingle Ordinance, which will be readdressed at a future Council meeting. Residents, business owners and second-home owners are encouraged to attend next Monday's council meeting which, again, will now be held in the Performing Arts Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard at 6:30pm.

Injury at Murray's Not Necessarily Result of Foul Play

San Bernardino County Sheriffs Deputies did conduct an investigation at Murray's Bar in the Village yesterday, though no official information has yet been released. A man was airlifted from the scene for medical treatment yesterday, and his condition was listed as critical. We can tell you that there was not a homicide or a stabbing incident, and an official from the Sheriff's Department tells KBHR that, at this time, “we are not sure that it is a crime scene.”

Back to School Nights Scheduled for BVUSD Schools

The Board of Trustees of Bear Valley Unified School District will meet in open session at 6:15pm today, at their offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake. The district calendar includes Back to School Nights for both North Shore Elementary School and Big Bear Elementary School tomorrow, August 9. Back to School Night for Big Bear Middle School is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21, and Baldwin Lane Elementary, under the direction of new principal Rosamaria Murillo, will hold their Back to School Night on Thursday, August 23.

You, Too, Can Join the Community Emergency Response Team
In the event of a local emergency, be it fire or earthquake, the Valley's Community Emergency Response Team is trained to respond to disaster while our local fire agencies respond to major situations. Since 1998, Big Bear's CERT program has had over 100 graduates, who are now prepared to respond not if, but when, an emergency occurs. If you would like to join this team of local volunteers, the Big Bear Valley Fire Departments will offer CERT training, which is a series of classes scheduled to begin on September 17. The series of five courses, four hours each, provides hands-on training in Emergency Preparedness, Medical Aid, Fire Suppression and light Search and Rescue. These classes are open to all residents of Big Bear Valley, and cost for training is only $10 for all five sessions. Class size is limited, so please call Deanne Johanson at the Big Bear City Fire Department to register soon, at 585-2362.

CSD's Park and Rec Committee to Discuss Potential Park Design
The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold a meeting of their Park and Recreation Committee this morning at 10am, to discuss park design for a potential park on Paradise. The meeting takes place at the CSD offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.


Pre-parade Sunday morning, Old Miners Day Parade Deputy Chair Neil Nickle humors Noel Blanc, who was one of the morning's float judges.
Meanwhile, Miss Big Bear Shantelle Davidson, toting her tiara in a box, arrives early to meet her driver Stan O'Dell and fellow Miss Big Bear
Ilana Zuckerman. (For more photos from the parade, log on to www.bigbearnews.com.)

August 7, 2007

Sheriffs Deputies Investigating Incident at Murray's

San Bernardino County Sheriffs Deputies are on scene at Murray's Bar in the Village. Since this morning, deputies have been investigating an incident which, so far, has resulted in one male being airlifted out for medical treatment. He is said to be in critical condition, though his name has not been released at this time. The investigation is ongoing (as of 3pm), so may we suggest that you stear clear of the area for the time being.

Lieutenant Landaker to Be Honored at Two Local Events

In a conversation with Joe Landaker, he says that his son Jared will be honored in two community events scheduled for coming weeks. On Saturday, August 25, our local hero Lieutenant Jared Landaker will be honored in the 8th annual Big Bear Valley Firemen's Association Golf Tournament, which benefits Bear Valley youth programs. Deanne Johanson of the Bear City Fire Department tells KBHR, “Some of our firefighters went to Big Bear High School with Jared and knew him well, and they wanted to honor him.” Tee-off for the Jared Landaker Memorial Tournament is 9am at Bear Mountain Golf Course, and teams of four can register for $100 per player by calling Big Bear City Fire at 585-2362 or Dwayne and Kathy Lindquist at 585-1525. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided, and Redlands Ford will give away a car to the player who gets the first hole-in-one!
Joe Landaker also noted that his wife Laura, and her brother Mark, have been working to coordinate the Seven Stars Run for Freedom Jared Landaker Memorial Run. Pending Planning Commission approval at their August 15 meeting, the 5K and 10K event is scheduled for Saturday, September 29 at Snow Summit, and will benefit the Wounded Warriors Foundation. For more information on this event, you can log on to www.active.com.

Water Delivery to Be Addressed at Lucerne Community Meeting -- Updated
Our neighbors in Lucerne have faced some water issues this week, after State Health Department officials have been cracking down on water haulers who are without licenses and permits. To address this issue, and to assure that water sources will continue, a community meeting will be held at the Lucerne Community Center at 5pm today. If you live in unincorporated areas and have water hauled to you, this meeting may be of interest, as Dan Avera, Chief of Environmental Health for San Bernardino County, and others will be present. First District County Supervisor Mitzelfelt's Chief of Staff Paula Nowicki tells KBHR that the State Health Department is working on a quick turnaround for water hauler permit applications, so that water supply will continue to those who depend on water haulers. As of this afternoon, an official source has confirmed that a state representative from Sacramento will be present at the meeting.

Community Meeting on Our Fire Situation Set for August 22

The Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council will hold a community meeting on Wednesday, August 22 to provide an update on the Big Bear Valley Fire Situation for 2007. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm at Hofert Hall in the Civic Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. A presentation will be made by the following agencies: the Big Bear City Fire Department, the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, CalFire, the California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Fire, U.S. Forest Service, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff, Big Bear Station. A public question and answer session will follow. This is your opportunity to find out about potential for wildfire and how it will be addressed in Bear Valley, so plan to join the Fire Safe Council at the August 22nd community meeting.

Fun Run Comes to the Village on Saturday
The Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club has another fun event planned for the Valley, this weekend it's the 18th annual Fun Run. Cliff Fowler, the Club's President, tells KBHR they expect “500 antique, classic and custom cars, street rods and all kinds of special interest vehicles.” The cars will be lined up in the Village for a 9am show and shine on Saturday, before the cars cruise on their fun run, which is a loop around Big Bear Lake. Fowler says that, at 3:45pm, the 500 cars will drive “out of the Village, through Boulder Bay, across the Dam, and through Fawnskin. After the lake cruise is over, there will be a street dance in the Bartlett parking lot Saturday night, from 6pm on. Then Sunday is the awards ceremony in the Village, promptly at 9am. The cars will drive through, and bleachers will be set up for the public.” The added bonus of Fun Run, Fowler adds, “All of the proceeds taken from Fun Run are donated to numerous—usually between 25 and 30--Valley charities.”


The Chambermaids' float won for Best Overall in Sunday's 58th annual Old Miners Days Parade

August 6, 2007


Peace! The Peace Coalition and Flames of Faith organized 46 locals and 33 kayaks to form the peace sign on Big Bear Lake
Wednesday morning. Photo courtesy of Louis Weiner Photography.

Curbside Chipping Resumes in Area 1 This Week
Neighborhood chipping resumes in Big Bear Lake Area 1 this week. Starting today, August 6, and through August 19, Public Works crews from the City of Big Bear Lake will be taking curbside piles of dead vegetation and turning it in to woodchips for reuse, using the Big Bear Lake Fire Department's chipping truck and other equipment being rented with funds from the Healthy Urban Fire Initiative Grant. Area 1 for the City of Big Bear Lake covers neighborhoods west of Division, and east of the Boulevard and Moonridge Road. If you need more information, you can log on to http://www.thinisin.org/downloads/ChippingProgram.pdf for an area map, or call the City of Big Bear Lake's chipping information line at 752-2805.

National Night Out Event at Meadow Park Tuesday
Communities throughout the Inland Empire will be hosting National Night Out tomorrow, August 7. In fact, the County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to issue a proclamation, at tomorrow's meeting, to San Bernardino County Sheriff Gary Penrod naming August 7 as “National Night Out in San Bernardino County.” The family events, including the one planned for Big Bear at Meadow Park, are intended to strengthen neighborhood pride, and heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. Our local National Night Out is an annual event, and this year's festivities, which run from 4 to 8pm, will give kids and their parents an opportunity to meet local law enforcement and fire personnel, as well as McGruff the Crime Dog. The event at Meadow Park will also include antique cars and choppers on display, a kite demonstration, a bounce house and games, including a children's scavenger hunt, and a visit from the Bloodmobile for those who want to donate blood. Burgers, hot dogs and Mexican food will be available for purchase, but otherwise this community event, sponsored by the Big Bear Sheriff's Department, is a free evening for the entire Valley. So, save the date, and plan on joining your neighbors for National Night Out tomorrow at 4pm at Meadow Park.

Two CSD Meetings This Week
The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold their regular meeting today at 5:30pm. Among items under CSD's new business is discussion of the Bear Valley Community Hospital retrofit. And CSD's Park and Recreation Committee meets on Wednesday, August 8 at 10am to discuss design of a potential park on Paradise. Both CSD meetings will be held at their offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.

Board of Supervisors to Meet Tomorrow in San Bernardino
The Board of Supervisors of the County of San Bernardino will meet in open session tomorrow at 10am. On the agenda is the proposed continuance of the Emergency Proclamation, originally made in September 2002, relating to the Bark Beetle infestation and severe drought. The Board will also review the proposed Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority budget of nearly $2.5 million for fiscal year 2007-2008. The County Board of Supervisors meets August 7 in the County Government Center in San Bernardino.

Lazy Days of Summer Wrap Up With 58th Annual Parade

Months' worth of Old Miners Days and this year's theme “Lazy Days of Summer” culminated with yesterday's 58th annual Old Miners Day Parade down Big Bear Boulevard, which featured about 130 entries, including Grand Marshal Sheriff Gary Penrod on horseback, a flyover by two Navy Fighter Falcons, Celebrity Grand Marshal Shrek, and a number of floats, marching bands, equestrian units, and nearly 180 boys and girls from Big Bear Youth Football. Sweepstakes winners in the float competition were the Chambermaids, with their float depicting the Lazy Days of Summer, complete with a hammock, fishing poles, and a pitcher of margaritas. Best Theme prize went to the Big Bear Valley Historical Society's float, and First Place Service Group float went to the Lions Club. Other winning entries included 1st Place Civic float to the Cowboy Gathering, 2nd Place to the Pirate Ship of the Renaissance Faire, and 3rd to the Big Bear Airport. Thank you to the Old Miners Association, including Parade Chair Sara Russ and Deputy Chair Neil Nickle, among many others, for a fun afternoon and a great parade.

Planning Commission Discusses Senior Housing Adjacent to Senior Center
At last week's meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake, just two issues were addressed. The Commissioners discussed the City Council's proposed Vegetation Ordinance, and will forward their input to the Council for consideration at the August 13 th Council meeting. The Planning Commission also reviewed the request to change zoning from single to multiple-family residential on the nearly three acres at 42515 Big Bear Boulevard. No action was taken as this was a workshop item, yet the Commission did like the senior component of the project, as the developer hopes to build condominiums for seniors on the property, which is adjacent to the Senior Center. Though provided as introductory information, the opportunity for senior ownership of the condominiums, as opposed to renting, was a positive. Commission proposed that the entire complex be handicap accessible, and have asked city staff to look into merging the site's driveway with that of the Senior Center. City staff has been directed to approach CalTrans to see about the possibility of a traffic light at that location. Ed Wallace, President of the Sierra Club Big Bear Group, did suggest a full Environmental Impact Report be done, as the proposed project is adjacent to the habitat of American Bald Eagles and flying squirrels. Wallace also noted the impact on water supply and evacuation traffic, if additional housing was approved. All told, no decision was made on the rezoning, but the Commission will reconvene with the developer at a future Planning Commission meeting.

Over $3000 Raised in Stars and Pars Tournament
The third annual Stars and Pars Golf Tournament, on August 1st at Bear Mountain Golf Course, was won by the team of Mark Dobis, Craig Dobis, Kenny Proctor and Don Collins. The tournament hosted by the Friends of the Disaster Center raised over $3000 to help finish the Civil Air Patrol headquarters building at the airport.

August 3, 2007

Big Bear Boulevard Getting Prepped for Parade

If you run across Public Work crews or lane closures on Big Bear Boulevard this afternoon, the City of Big Bear Lake is in the process of finishing up preparations for Sunday's parade. Among work done this week, crews have been capping man holes on the Boulevard to make them level with the street surface, which will make it easier and safer for Old Miners Day Parade floats and equestrian units. And, just a reminder, the Boulevard will be closed from 11am to 3pm along the parade route (from China Gardens to Paine Road) on Sunday.

Proposed Vegetation Ordinance to Be Addressed at August 13 Meeting
At the August 13th meeting of the City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake, the community is invited to participate in the discussion, as the focus of the meeting will pertain to fire-related issues. At the July 23 meeting of the Council, a Vegetation Ordinance was proposed, in an effort to improve upon defensible space efforts. The present draft of the ordinance would require the following of property owners: thin and/or remove native brush by limiting the size of individual plants, or groups of plants, to no more than 10 feet in diameter; remove Juniper plants that reside within 10 feet of a structure or deck; limb up all Evergreen Conifer trees 1/3 of their height to a maximum of 6 feet from the ground; create a space between brush under Evergreen Conifer trees of 3 times the height of the brush to the lowest tree limbs; Evergreen Conifer trees 8 inches or less in diameter shall not be located within 15 feet of another Evergreen Conifer tree; and, woodpile storage shall not be located within 15 feet of a structure or deck. The Vegetation Reduction Ordinance has not yet been adopted by Council, which is why residents and business owners in Big Bear Lake are encouraged to attend the meeting and provide input, as well as receive information and visual aids from city staff. The August 13th City Council meeting will begin at 6:30pm in the Civic Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard.

Teen Center Open to 6th, 7th, 8th Grade Students
The Teen Center reopened on Monday, following a new paint job provided by Community Church by the Lake. The Center, located on Big Bear Boulevard at Knickerbocker, is open to all 6th , 7th , and 8th grade students, offering them a free, safe and fun place to hang out from 2-6pm on school days. Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, which operates the center with assistance from Community Church, the Soroptomists, Big Bear Choppers and the Lighthouse Project, reports that as many as 30 students a day have dropped in this week, though it is only the first week of school. Parents need only complete a permission slip for children to attend the Teen Center, which is overseen by 3-4 adults each session and offers computers for homework, state-of-the-art video games including Guitar Hero, magazines, and snacks available for purchase. The Teen Center will also host their first-ever field trip, for only $10 per teen--the group will spend the day in Huntington Beach on Saturday August 18. For more information, stop by the Teen Center or call Rec and Park at 866-9700.

Sand Fire in Foothills Contained Last Night

Yesterday evening, firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, CalFire, and the City of San Bernardino battled a blaze in the foothills northeast of San Bernardino, in the vicinity of Highways 18 and 330 and Arrowhead, now referred to as the Sand Fire. The fire, the cause of which is still being investigated, burned 100 acres worth of light grass and chaparral. The fire was reported at 4:20 yesterday afternoon, and was contained at midnight, thanks to the efforts of 130 firefighters, 21 fire engines, nine hand crews, one fire dozer, four air tankers, and two helicopters, among others. An official from the U.S. Forest Service tells KBHR that firefighters continued to extinguish hot spots within the fire perimeter through last night, and fire personnel will remain on scene today.

County Is Selling Rock from Area Landfills
Rock is available for purchase, per the San Bernardino County Solid Waste Management Division. Available August 16, over 97,000 cubic yards of rock from the Apple Valley, Hinkley, Phelan, Twentynine Palms and Yermo Landfills, will be available at a cost of $1.50 per cubic yard. The rock will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, once a complete application packet is submitted. Applications and additional information are available online at sbcounty.gov/wsd or by calling 909/386-8701.

Final Festivities for Old Miners' "Lazy Days of Summer"
This weekend's 58th annual Old Miners Day Parade, on August 5th, will start at 12:30pm on Big Bear Boulevard at Summit Boulevard. The community is encouraged to come out early, as the Boulevard will be closed, from China Gardens to Paine Road, starting at 11am on Sunday. Highlights of the parade, per event organizer Sara Russ, will include Celebrity Grand Marshal Shrek and Grand Marshal Sheriff Gary Penrod, who is planning to ride his horse in the parade. At 1pm, the Old Miners Association has a special treat: the flyover of two Naval F-16 Fighter Falcons over the parade route. Other events this weekend, to celebrate the close of this summer's Old Miners festivities, include Square Dancing at Big Bear Middle School at 7:30pm on both Friday and Saturday, and a 9am Horseshoe Pitching Contest at B's Backyard BBQ on Saturday. For details on these events, log on to www.oldminers.org.

August 2, 2007


Trees are being cleared at the Moonridge Y (as of Wednesday evening) to allow space for a new Walgreens Pharmacy. Plans allow for 16 of the 55 trees to remain.

Lake Level Is Dropping About Two Inches A Week

The lack of precipitation in Big Bear Valley is evident by looking at Big Bear Lake. The lake level at the dam, as of this week, is 66' 11”, which means it is down 5' 5” from capacity. At this same time last year, the lake was at a level of 71' 3”, which made it only 13” below capacity. To date, precipitation for this year, per Municipal Water District records, is just over 7”, which is the lowest measurement recorded since 2002, when 15” of precipitation hit the Valley. For comparison's sake, Big Bear's biggest year for snow and rain was in 1884, the year official record-keeping began, when we received over 94” of precipitation, making the monthly average in 1884 more than we've received for the to-date total for all of 2007! Vicki Sheppard of MWD tells KBHR that the lake is losing capacity due to evaporation. Weekly records indicate that, she says, “It appears to be evaporating about two inches a week.”

Memorial Funds for Snoke and Padilla at First Mountain Bank

Big Bear lost two longtime residents this weekend, and memorial funds have been established for both at First Mountain Bank. Richard Padilla, husband of Debbie Padilla and a resident of the Valley for nearly 20 years, passed away on Sunday, due to natural causes. A memorial service has been planned for this Saturday at 9am at Calvary Chapel. The Richard Padilla Memorial Fund at First Mountain Bank will help to cover funeral costs.
And, as reported earlier this week, Big Bear High School graduate, DJ and award-winning snowboarder Shawn Snoke, the son of Glenn and Christy Snoke, will be honored by friends at a fundraiser at Chad's this Sunday. The afternoon event, from 1 to 6pm, is not a memorial service, but a fundraiser, which will include a performance by Band of Brothers. As the Band tells KBHR, “We would appreciate everyone that can be there to help raise money for Shawn's funeral expenses. We will miss Shawn greatly—he was a great DJ and friend of our band.”

CalTrans Yet to Schedule Follow-Up Work on Hwy 18
CalTrans completed Highway 18 repaving projects, on both the front and back grades, in July. However, three additional days of work are still planned for the repaving project that covered Highway 18 from Snow Valley to Arrowbear. A CalTrans official tells KBHR that, as of today, they are still waiting on the budget to be signed, to then request additional money to make some minor repairs to the area before the job is considered complete. If, in the next two to three weeks, the budget is not signed, the resident engineer may close the job and have maintenance crews do the work at a later date, again pending funding. So, for the time being, no additional work is scheduled for Highway 18.

Forty-Six Locals and 33 Kayaks Make for One Spectacular Peace Sign

Yesterday's Peace Symbol on the Lake, formed by kayaks, “went really great,” according to Reverend Jean Sweet, who organized the event on behalf of the Peace Coalition and Flames of Faith Spiritual Center (whose August theme is “Peace Has Many Names, and One of Them Is Mine”). Rev. Jean tells KBHR, “We had 33 kayaks and 46 people and I would say at least half of those people had not been in a kayak before—it was like herding kittens on a lake!” The photo, taken by local photographer Louis Weiner in a plane flown by Rick Herrick, will be used in posters, calendars and bookmarks, with some of the proceeds to go toward the creation of a National Peace Department. The morning event, which was followed by a vegetarian picnic lunch, did bring people together, many of whom had never met before. “We made new friends, all in the name of peace,” Rev. Jean adds, “and Captain John was just the sweetest—he opened his entire marina to us, and shared all his boats.” For information on other Flames of Faith events, log on to www.flamesoffaith.com.

City Council Invites Community to August 13 Meeting Re. Fire Issues

At the next meeting of the City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake, community participation is encouraged and welcomed. The meeting scheduled for Monday, August 13th will tackle several issues regarding fire protection, vegetation reduction and creating defensible space. City Council and city staff are asking that residents, second-homeowners, visitors, the business community, and those with a vested interest, to attend this Council meeting. The agenda will focus primarily on fire-related issues. Attendees will receive vital information, details, and visual aids to help better understand proposed ordinances regarding clearing and thinning vegetation and how to best implement practices in your yard. Staff will be on hand for questions and to clarify residents' concerns, including the misconception of “clear-cutting”. City Council will also discuss adoption of a revised Wood Shake Shingle Ordinance and future adoption of a Vegetation Ordinance. The August 13 meeting will begin at 6:30pm at the Civic Center at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard.

Municipal Water District's Board to Meet at 1pm
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District will meet in open session today at 1pm. The Board meets at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Airport District Meets Friday Morning
The Personnel Committee of the Big Bear Airport District will hold a special meeting tomorrow, August 3rd at 9am. One of the items on the agenda is a discussion of possible employee reimbursement for flight training. The Airport Board meets at the in the Airport Pilots Lounge at 501 West Valley Boulevard in Big Bear City.

Reminder: No Cell Phones Allowed in Big Bear Courthouse
Security personnel at the Big Bear Courthouse want to remind the public once again that a metal detector is in place at the Summit Boulevard entrance. Since May 17, the county building, like all others in San Bernardino County, has x-ray machines, like those in airports, for security purposes. Those entering the building, even to visit the County Building and Safety Office, Assessor's Office, and Public Health Clinic, will need to pass through security, which is manned by local, state-licensed security guards. Courthouse visitors should also know that no cameras, tape recorders or cell phones are permitted in the building, per state and federal “right to privacy” laws—nor can you bring in anything considered a potential weapon, including nail files and pocket knives. Please allow ample time for security checks when you visit the county building, and know that there are fines and penalties for trying to bypass security.


Todd Bennett of Baldwin Lake is the happy winner of a 5-day Mexican Riviera Cruise, presented by KBHR Radio's Cathy Herrick.
Todd entered to win the cruise, which he will be sharing with his wife Christine, at KBHR's live broadcast from the Grand Reopening of Vons on Saturday.

August 1, 2007

More Special Guests Announced for Old Miners Day Parade

This weekend's 58th annual Old Miners Day Parade will feature some special guests. In addition to Grand Marshal Sheriff Gary Penrod and Celebrity Grand Marshal Shrek, Sara Russ of the Big Bear Event Resource Office tells us that--this just in--two F-16 Fighter Falcons will also be a part of Sunday's parade! The two planes, referred to by pilots as Vipers, will fly over the parade route, and will be flown by two U.S. Navy pilots, out of the Naval Air Station in Fallon, Nevada.
The Old Miners Parade begins at 12:30pm on the 5th, and will parade down Big Bear Boulevard, from Summit Boulevard to Paine Road. Due to the parade, the Boulevard will be closed from 11am to 3pm on Sunday. Detours will be in place, from China Gardens to Paine Road, though you can expect delays.
And, speaking of the parade, if you'd like to hear some history on its 58 years in Big Bear, local historian Mark Durban will be joining Kat Sawyer on “Tuned in On the Bear”, which airs on KBHR today in the 5 o'clock hour.

Chamber Breakfast Tomorrow at Northwoods
Tomorrow morning, the Chamber of Commerce hosts their monthly Power Breakfast at Northwoods in the Village. This month's breakfast will be the first to feature two Chamber-member speakers, rather than a keynote business speaker. Kris Washam of CruiseOne and Michael Contreras of Village Printing will be addressing the crowd, so be sure to arrive by 7am for the Power Breakfast. Cost is $10 for Chamber members and $15 for guests. Coffee and networking begin at 6:45am.

Another Earthquake Recorded This Morning

We have a report of another earthquake, this one centered six miles north of Big Bear City. The 10:20am quake, which registered a 2.0 magnitude, went to a depth of 9 kilometers. This is the sixth quake recorded in the Valley in the last week, though this morning's 2.0 quake is the biggest of those.

Second Arrest Made in Smith's Murder

The San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department has just issued a release, naming a second person involved in the murder of Big Bear City resident Mark Douglas Smith, age 46. You may recall that Smith's body was found in a Yucaipa ravine off Avenue E last Monday morning, July 23, following a Sunday night party in the 34000 block of Avenue E in Yucaipa, per homicide investigators from the Yucaipa Sheriffs Department. On July 25, Aaron Alan Dixon, 18, of Yucaipa was questioned and subsequently booked for murder, and is now being held at Central Detention Center. A second arrest was made yesterday, and Kelly Lucien McLeod, a 19-year-old from Yucaipa, has also been booked for murder and is currently at West Valley Detention Center. Yucaipa homicide investigators are still seeking additional information in the case of Smith's death, and those with any information are encouraged to call Detective Rick Bessinger or Sergeant Tony DeCecio at 909/387-3589. Anonymous tips may also be left at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Discovery Center Celebrates Gala Results
Denis Thomas, Director of the Big Bear Discovery Center, tells KBHR that this weekend's Gala 2007, featuring Asleep at the Wheel, was a huge success. The annual gala, which raises funds for the Discovery Center's educational programs and tours, brought in about $170,000. Thomas reports that this is the initial figure, and once expenses are deducted, a final figure should be available in a few weeks. Still, the current tally, Thomas notes, “will go a long way to help fund our programming needs.” And, he adds, “I have received many phone calls and emails from attendees that this year's Gala was the best run and most fun that most can remember.” So, congratulations to the volunteers of the Discovery Center on a successful gala, and an added congratulations to Roger Vititow, winner of the Yamaha Rhino.

Chipping Dates Continue for Big Bear Lake Neighborhoods -- Updated
The continued chipping in the City of Big Bear Lake is part of the City's overall plan to make our community fire safe. This second wave of neighborhood chipping visits will be implemented by the City's Public Works Department. City employees will be chipping dead brush, vegetation and tree limbs using the Big Bear Lake Fire Department's chipping truck, as well as other equipment that is being rented using funds from the Healthy Urban Fire Initiative Grant. David Lawrence, the City's Public Works Director and City Engineer, tells KBHR that additional equipment includes another chipper, as well as a skiploader, trailer and trucks. As the chipping trucks revisit Area 6, which are areas west of Tamarack and Delamar, through Sunday, Lawrence says that some of the chipping will be done in an alternate location. “We are trying to be considerate,” he says, keeping in mind the safety of crews and the public in heavily wooded areas on narrow streets, as well as trying to eliminate noise in residential neighborhoods. Additional chipping dates are scheduled through October, with the next round hitting Area 1, which is west of Division and east of the Boulevard and Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake, from August 6-19. If you need more information, you can log on to www.thinisin.org, or call the City of Big Bear Lake's chipping information line at 752-2805.

Catz Play at Saturday's Music in the Mountains Concert
If you missed Catz in the Hatz as the Grand Marshals in Saturday's Doo Dah Parade, or their performance at the Fawnskin Festival on Sunday, the Catz will be back on August 4th. In the third of four free concerts hosted by the City of Big Bear Lake, Catz in the Hatz will play Saturday's Music in the Mountains Concert Series at Veteran's Park. Showtime is 2-4pm for the free concert, though guests are encouraged to come early, bring a picnic basket, and enjoy the jazz by the lake.


Angela Sue Yeaton makes her parade debut as Miss Clementine in Saturday's Doo Dah Parade

July 31, 2007


New Bus Stop Added for BBES

The Transportation Department of Bear Valley Unified School District reports that all is going smoothly, two days into the school year. So far, only two changes have been made to the school bus routes, which service the three elementaries, BBMS and BBHS. The changes to note affect Big Bear Elementary School students: Bus #3, the Orange Bus, will add one stop on the southwest corner of Eagle and Swallow, with morning pickup scheduled for 8:30am. The Orange Bus will also make a stop at First Baptist Church on the Boulevard, though this stop will only be made in the afternoon. For complete school bus schedules, log on to www.bigbearnews.com.

Memorial Fund Established for Shawn Snoke
Friends of Shawn Snoke will be holding a fundraiser this weekend to cover the funeral expenses of the longtime local, who died over the weekend. From 1 to 6pm this Sunday, August 5, Snoke's friends will meet at Chad's in the Village, and Band of Brothers is scheduled to perform. The 35-year-old, who has long been known in the community as an avid snowboarder, having competed in the first Amateur National Snowboarding Championships in 1995 and having worked for Simms Snowboards and Marker Bindings, is the son of Glenn and Christy Snoke. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date, but if you would like to contribute to the fundraiser, a Shawn C. Snoke Memorial Fund has been established at First Mountain Bank.

Valley Invited to National Night Out on August 7

Communities throughout the Inland Empire will be hosting National Night Out next Tuesday, August 7. In fact, the County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to issue a proclamation to San Bernardino County Sheriff Gary Penrod naming August 7 as “National Night Out in San Bernardino County.” The family events, including the one planned for Big Bear at Meadow Park, are intended to strengthen neighborhood pride, and heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. Our local National Night Out is an annual event, and this year's festivities, which run from 4 to 8pm, will give kids and their parents an opportunity to meet local law enforcement and fire personnel, as well as McGruff the Crime Dog. The event at Meadow Park will also include antique cars and choppers on display, a kite demonstration, a bounce house and games, including a children's scavenger hunt, and a visit from the Bloodmobile for those who want to donate blood. Burgers, hot dogs and Mexican food will be available for purchase, but otherwise this community event, sponsored by the Big Bear Sheriff's Department, is a free evening for the entire Valley. So, save the date, and plan on joining your neighbors for National Night Out on August 7 at Meadow Park.

58th Annual Old Miners Day Parade This Sunday
Miss Clementine Angela Sue Yeaton and Little Miss Clementine Joelle Davis, on her pony Matilda, made their parade debuts in the Old Miners Doo Dah Parade in Fawnskin this Saturday. This weekend, though, our darling Clementines will be in for a much longer route—the 58th annual Old Miners Day Parade will run along Big Bear Boulevard, from Summit Boulevard to Paine Road on Sunday, August 5th. Neal Hertzmann, President of the Old Miners Association reports, “The community is in for a real treat and this parade is going to be better than ever. We are very excited to have two Grand Marshals this year, Sheriff Gary Penrod and Shrek.” Shrek, the green ogre from the films of the same name, will be making his Big Bear debut as our Celebrity Grand Marshal, thanks to the efforts of Ty Warren, President of September's Big Bear International Film Festival. So, if you want to be sure to see Miss Clementine, Sheriff Gary Penrod or Shrek, be sure to get a seat along the parade route before the 12:30 start time. Big Bear Boulevard will be closed to traffic from China Gardens to Paine Road from 11am to 3pm on Sunday.

Planning Commission to Address Rezoning Request

The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake will meet in open session in Hofert Hall tomorrow, August 1 at 1:15pm. The agenda only includes one Discussion/Action Item, which is a carryover from the Commission's July 18th meeting, and is a request for rezoning of a single-family residential property. In 2003, the developer first applied for a zone change for the nearly three-acres at 42515 Big Bear Boulevard, which is the property just west of the Senior Center. Four years later, the development plans have been submitted, requesting rezoning to multiple family residential, to allow for the building of 35 condominium units said to be for senior housing.
Three of the five seats on the Planning Commission will be appointed by the City Council of Big Bear Lake in coming weeks. Terms for both Commissioners David Caretto and Anne Zimmerman expired at June's end (though there is the potential for either to be reappointed), and Commissioner Tim Brigham's seat is to be filled, as a new home purchase moves him out of the City of Big Bear Lake. Commissioners Rick Hackney and Craig Smith serve on the Planning Commission through June 30, 2009, when their terms expire.


The North Shore Improvement Association's float was one of nearly 40 entries in this weekend's fun and funny Doo Dah Parade in Fawnskin

July 30, 2007

Baby Broomers, "Hairy" Potter, and Flatlanders Dazzle at Doo Dah

The Old Miners Doo Dah Parade through Fawnskin featured plenty of fun and funny entries on Saturday morning, but only three acts of the nearly 40 took home trophies. The title of Best Overall went to the Baby Broomers, which featured local baby boomers in diapers doing a broom routine; Best Adult Group trophy went to Community Theater Arts Society and their chorus of girls singing songs from “Annie”; and Best Children's Award was won by part-time Fawnskin resident Will Harper as “Hairy Potter”—his Doo Dah version was hairy and clad in pots. Doo Dah organizer Kathy Murphy of Fawnskin tells KBHR that the second place ribbon went to Cooler Moose, featuring members of the Moose Lodge riding motorized coolers; third place went to the Friends of Fawnskin, who came as the Fans of Fawnskin; and the goofy Flatlanders from Orange County took home the Doo Dah's fourth place ribbon.

Three Local Pies Take Honors at Fawnskin Festival
Other awards of July 28 included the Apple Pie Contest at the afternoon's Fawnskin Festival. Emily Parker of the Moose Lodge tells KBHR that this year the Women of the Moose invited members of the Lions Club to do the judging. The first place apple pie title and plaque was awarded to Shannon Njavro of Orange County, and local ladies rounded out the top four: Debi Burton of Fawnskin won second place for her apple pie, third went to Kathy London of Fawnskin, and Sugarloaf's Kim Dando took home fourth. Parker reports that the pies were very good, and, after judging, “pie slices sold out within the hour.”

County Supervisors Will Not Meet Tomorrow
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will not hold their regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, July 31. The Board's next scheduled meeting in open session will be Tuesday, August 7 at 10am in San Bernardino.

Reunion Reunites to Benefit Hospital Foundation

The Big Bear Performing Arts Center hosts Reunion, formerly known as the Lettermen, in two concerts to benefit the Bear Valley Hospital Foundation. On August 10th and 11th, Reunion will headline two concerts, which will include Marilyn King of the King Sisters, 12-year-old piano prodigy Shawn Wright, and Master of Ceremonies John Grandi. Tickets for the 7pm benefit concerts are still available through the PAC box office at 866-4970, and ticket prices range from $30 to $50 for prime seating.

New BVEA Cabinet, New Principals for 2007-2008 School Year

Teachers of Bear Valley Unified School District have their contract in place as they begin this school year, thanks to the efforts of the cabinet of ten elected Bear Valley Education Association representatives, who just completed their terms earlier this month. Outgoing President, high school math teacher Alan Caldwell, tells KBHR that the BVEA board, who worked to secure a 5% raise for certificated staff in this school year, deserve a thanks for their commitment. “This particular BVEA cabinet had been intact for four years,” Caldwell says, “and that's a really long time. These people have been through challenging times, and they deserve recognition.” Those teachers who served on the BVEA board were the negotiating team of Caldwell, Scott Waner, Scott Hird and Chris Leong, and other members of the cabinet were Karen Powell, Bonnie Hathorn, Debbie Davis, David Bumstead, Pam Reames and Mike Harrison. Big Bear High School teacher Bumstead and Big Bear Elementary School teacher Reames will continue on the BVEA board for another year, as treasurer and secretary, respectively, and will be joined by newly elected cabinet members: President Jim Fipps, Vice President Cynthia Hubbard, Negotiator Charlie Peterson, Insurance Chair Robin O'Hare, Membership Chair Karen Geiger and Social Chair Lisa Hahn.
This school year also marks the first in Bear Valley Unified for new Big Bear High School Principal Michael Ghelber and Baldwin Lane Elementary School Principal Rosamaria Murillo.

This Wednesday's Glow-Ball Golf to Benefit Civil Air Patrol

The Third Annual Stars and Pars Golf Tournament is scheduled for this Wednesday evening, August 1st, and there is still space available for two more teams. The Stars and Pars tournament at Bear Mountain Golf Course is Big Bear's only glow-ball golf, with the second nine holes following dinner to include special glow-in-the-dark balls, light sticks lining the course, and flashlights for navigation. Funds raised at the Stars and Pars tournament will help to complete the Civil Air Patrol headquarters at the airport. The Civil Air Patrol building is used for squadron meetings and the youth cadet program, and is also available to emergency agencies for training and emergency missions. For more information on Wednesday's Stars and Pars Tournament, which begins at 5:45pm for the first nine holes, please call Jim Gundred at 584-9195, or you can pick up an entry form at Bear Mountain Golf Course.

Big Bear's All Star Baseball Team Completes Season
Big Bear's All Star Baseball Team went to three post-season tournaments (further than any previous Big Bear Pony League team before them), after the thirteen players completed regular play in the Big Bear Pony League for 13 to 14-year-olds. In their third and final tournament, the Regional Tournament in Palmdale, Big Bear's All Stars took fifth out of eight, with the first of their three games resulting in a loss to Arizona's championship team. All told, Coach Ken Seaman, who coached Big Bear's team with Craig Hightower and Marcel Westplat, tells KBHR, “All in all it was a great run, and very exciting for the future of Big Bear baseball.” Now that baseball season is complete, some of the All Stars have segued to the Big Bear High School football team as incoming freshman.

Information Still Sought in Smith's Death

The San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department is still seeking information in the death of Big Bear resident Mark Smith, whose body was found in a Yucaipa ravine last Monday morning. Aaron Alan Dixon of Yucaipa has been booked for murder and is currently being held at Central Detention Center. Other persons of interest are still being sought, and those with any information are asked to call Yucaipa homicide investigators at 909/387-3589, or you may leave an anonymous tip at 1-800-78-crime.

Chamber Power Breakfast Slated for This Thursday
The month of August rolls around this week, and the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce will host their first Thursday of the month Power Breakfast at Northwoods in the Village. This month's breakfast will feature Chamber member business speakers Cruise One and Village Printing. Coffee and networking begin at 6:45am this Thursday, August 2, and breakfast will be served from 7am to 9am. Cost for the Chamber Power Breakfast is $10 for members, and $15 for guests. For more information, please contact Kat Sawyer at 584-1066.


Congratulations, Big Bear! We are the Great American City! At Thursday's luncheon at Nottinghams, Bill Ewing (right) of the Great American Race presented our community with the Great American City trophy, and a check for $5000 for the Big Bear Library. Pictured, from left: Sara Russ of the Big Bear Event Resource Office, Pam Heiman of the Big Bear Library, Cliff Fowler of the Antique Car Club, Catherine Sandstrom of KBHR and Bill Ewing, CEO of Rally Partners.

July 27, 2007


CSD Opts Not to Have a Citizens Advisory Board to Park and Rec Committee

At this week's special meeting of the Park and Recreation Committee of the Big Bear City Community Services District, it was decided that a Citizens Advisory Board would not be implemented. Per CSD General Manager Mike Mayer, “Board member Rick Ollila recommended that the District's Park and Recreation Standing Board Committee function as all other district standing committees, whereby meetings are noticed and everyone is invited to provide their input, thereby simplifying the communication process between the community and the board committee.” Mayer also tells KBHR that at the meeting he presented the board with a letter from Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District Director Reese Troublefield, outlining a preliminary plan for east Big Bear Valley park development. Troublefield is scheduled to present the plan at CSD's August 20th meeting.

Flash Flood Watch to Accompany Potential for Thunderstorms

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the Valley through 7pm this evening. Though our weather expert Ben Brissey expects that high clouds will hinder any thunderstorm development, there is a possibility of heavy rainfall for the Big Bear area and, again, a Flash Flood Watch is in place.

Big Bear's "Spirit and Enthusiasm" Earns Trophy and $5000 Check
Bill Ewing, CEO of the Great American Race and part-time Big Bear resident, joined members of the community including the Big Bear Antique Car Club, to present us with the Great American City trophy, which we earned by being the friendliest city on the race's cross county roadtrip, which included a pitstop at the Big Bear Airport on Friday the 13th. At an awards luncheon at Nottingham's yesterday, Cliff Fowler, President of the Antique Car Club, thanked our local race sponsors: The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, the Resort Association, the City of Big Bear Lake, County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, Stater Bros. Market and KBHR Radio.
Ewing noted that in 25 years of the Great American Race, the drivers of the antique and classic cars have made pitstops in over 900 communities. Of the community pitstops, Ewing says, “The racers truly remember those days. That's what they talk about.” Given our honor as the Great American City, Ewing told the crowd, “Big Bear clearly outshined with spirit and enthusiasm.” In addition to the Great American City eagle trophy presented to Cliff Fowler on behalf of Big Bear, Ewing presented a $5000 check to Big Bear Library's Branch Manager Pamela Heiman.

Ready for School? Read On...
School begins on Monday for students of Bear Valley Unified School District. Big Bear High School students should know that, due to construction, the main entrance to the high school will not be accessible. Parents dropping off students need to do so at the south end of the student parking lot until the school's front steps are completed and students can enter safely. The staff at BBHS thanks students and parents for their patience and cooperation during construction time.
And if your kids will be taking the bus to school, you can access this year's school bus routes and pickup times on www.bigbearnews.com. And, parents, Rainbow Kids Club is still accepting applications for before and after-school care, and it is preferred that parents pre-register at the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District offices at 866-9700. The Hummingbird Project has also been distributing school supplies to families in need—when you visit them at 805 West Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City, please be prepared to show proof of income.

Information Still Sought in Murder Investigation
The San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department is still seeking information in the death of Big Bear resident Mark Smith, whose body was found in a Yucaipa ravine on Monday morning. Aaron Alan Dixon of Yucaipa has been booked for murder and is currently being held at Central Detention Center. Other persons of interest are still being sought, and those with any information are asked to call Yucaipa homicide investigators at 909/387-3589, or you may leave an anonymous tip at 1-800-78-CRIME. (More information is posted below.)

Community Contributes to Sugarloaf Skatepark Design

Reese Troublefield, Director of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, reports that Wednesday's skatepark design meeting went exactly as he'd hoped, with a great turnout from local skateboarders and parents, with as many as 40 community members present. “It was an awesome meeting,” he tells KBHR, “the older guys were really cool about keeping the kids and beginners in mind.” Rec and Park has $92,000 to spend through a Community Development Block Grant, administered by the county with state funds. The grant specifies that the monies be spent in Sugarloaf, so Rec and Park will use the $92,000 on skate equipment, though the overall Sugarloaf Park update will cost around $150,000 once surfaces are refinished, trees and picnic benches are added, and basketball backboards, goals and retaining walls are installed. As for skatepark design, Rec and Park will receive a design concept proposal from American Ramp Company next week, using input from Wednesday's meeting. “Skaters in Big Bear are more interested in plaza features,” Troublefield notes, “rather than pipe features, although we will have both.” And, he adds, “November 1st is the deadline we set for ourselves, and it may be [complete] before this.”

War Widows to Benefit from Bear Mountain Golf Tournament
If you're looking for an opportunity to support our soldiers and their families, Bear Mountain Golf Course will be hosting their first ever War Widows Charity Golf Tournament next Friday, August 3. The tournament is full, though hole sponsorships are still available. All proceeds will benefit the United Warrior Survivor Foundation, a non-profit that provides care for the widows of special operations personnel who have lost their lives since September 11, 2001. For more information or to make a contribution, please call Sue McManus at 585-0604.


Li'l Chili Cook-Off attendees Lowen Baird and Joaquin Fulkerson were all about the big red firetruck at Saturday's festivities.
Firefighter/Paramedic Tony Picciano of the Big Bear Lake Fire Department let the boys check out the truck--just after
he swooped the two out of harm's way when a car started backing in their direction.

July 26, 2007

Yucaipa 18-Year-Old Booked for Smith's Murder

The San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department has just released an update to the homicide investigation concerning the death of Mark Douglas Smith of Big Bear, whose body was found in a Yucaipa ravine on Monday morning. On Wednesday, homicide investigators received information that Aaron Alan Dixon, an 18-year-old from Yucaipa, was involved in Smith's murder. At the conclusion of an interview with Dixon, sheriffs investigators booked him at Central Detention Center for PC 187/ Murder. Investigators learned that there was a party Sunday evening in the 34000 block of Avenue E in Yucaipa, and Smith and Dixon were involved in a physical fight. Smith's body was found Monday morning on the dirt extension of Avenue E with blunt force trauma to the head. The murder investigation continues, with homicide investigators looking at other “persons of interest.” Those with any information are encouraged to call Detective Rick Bessinger or Sergeant Tony DeCecio at 909/387-3589, or you may leave an anonymous tip at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Gala On for Saturday; Discovery Center Closed for Weekend
The Discovery Center's Gala 2007 is this Saturday evening, and will feature the Kings of Texas Swing, Asleep at the Wheel. The event, which opens at 5:30pm, features silent auction, micro-brew tasting and world-class BBQ, and prizes to those who show up in the Best “Bling-n-Boots.” Tickets for the annual gala, which supports the Discovery Center's educational programs and tours, are still available by calling 382-2790 or online at www.bigbeardiscoverycenter.com.
Due to this weekend's Gala, the Discovery Center will be closed to the general public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. During this time, guests are encouraged to instead visit the Ranger Station, ¼ mile east of the DC, for visitor information. This weekend only, the ranger station will be open from 8:30am to 4:30pm for hiking information, Adventure Passes, and fuel wood permits.

Rainbow Kids Club Still Accepting Students for Coming School Year

School starts on Monday, and if you need before or after-school care for your children, Rainbow Kids Club is still accepting applications. Rainbow Kids offers childcare at all three elementary school sites, and extended programs for kindergarten students. Parents need to pre-register, and can do so by picking up a registration packet from the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District offices on Park Avenue in Big Bear Lake. Financial assistance is also available—low to moderate income families can apply for a Soroptomist Grant, which covers 50% of childcare costs. There is also a state-funded Latchkey Grant, which can cover up to the full cost of Rainbow Kids Club. When you go to Rec and Park for a Latchkey Grant application, you will need to bring a month's worth of paystubs for all adults in the household, complete an employment verification form, and schedule an interview. These applications are also available in Spanish. For more information on Rainbow Kids and financial assistance for the coming school year, call Rebekah Romero at Rec and Park at 866-9700.

Bear Sighting at Home in Moonridge

We have a report that a bear has been in residential neighborhoods in the Moonridge area. The bear reportedly ripped a locked door off a metal shed to access the trashcans at a home on Villa Grove Avenue. The California Department of Fish and Game has been contacted. As with last week's mountain lion attack at Camp Oakes, residents are advised to secure lids on trashcans, keep small livestock in covered pens, and eliminate any food sources that may draw wild animals to your neighborhood.

CSD's Park and Rec Committee Meets at 4:30pm
The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold a special Park and Recreation Committee meeting today at 4:30pm. During the open session meeting, CSD will address the plan for the Citizens Advisory Board, as well as discuss park design for a potential community park on Paradise. CSD will continue to accept letters of intent from those interested in serving on a Citizens Advisory Board to the Park and Recreation Committee. Letters can be delivered to the CSD offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard through Tuesday, July 31st.

Allow Time for Security Checks at County Building

Security personnel at the Big Bear Courthouse want to remind the public that a metal detector is in place at the Summit Boulevard entrance. As of May 17, our courthouse and the Needles Court joined the rest of the courts of San Bernardino County by installing x-ray machines, like those in airports, for security purposes. Those entering the building, even to visit the County Building and Safety Office, Assessor's Office, and Public Health Clinic, will need to pass through security, which is manned by local, state-licensed security guards. Courthouse visitors should also know that no cameras, tape recorders or cell phones are permitted in the building, per state and federal “right to privacy” laws—nor can you bring in anything considered a potential weapon, including nail files and pocket knives. Please allow ample time for security checks when you visit the county building, and know that there are fines and penalties for trying to bypass security.

First Aid Training Offered By Big Bear City Fire Department
The Big Bear City Fire Department will offer a First Aid training class on Saturday, August 4. Class will be held at the Community Services District offices at 139 E. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City, from 9am to 5pm. Reservations are required, and cost is $40 per person, due and payable prior to the August 4 class. For more information, or to sign up for the First Aid class, please call Deanne Johanson at the Big Bear City Fire Department at 585-2362.


Southwest Gas employees, with the help of Tom Sakai and employees of TSL Landscaping, spent a Saturday re-landscaping the grounds of the 17-bed DOVES shelter. Plants and soil
were donated by Hunter's Nursery, the AJ Acosta Company donated a truckload of mulch, and Southwest Gas contributed materials through their "Warming Home & Hearts" program.

July 25, 2007

Fawnskin Chamber Welcomes Community on Thursday

Tomorrow, the Fawnskin Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual mixer, and the entire community is invited to come join them on the North Shore. The 5pm event will feature food, including vegetarian fare, from Fawnskin's newest restaurant, Amangela's Café, and the debut of local reggae band One Dread. The two-hour event will be hosted by the North Shore Trading Company, which is located just next door to the Fawnskin Post Office.

Join the Lighthouse Project for Love and Logic

The Lighthouse Project, which is a non-profit to benefit the children of our community, will host a meeting tomorrow at 7pm. Brian Adams of the MOM Project will speak at Thursday's meeting at the Knickerbocker Mansion, and will be sharing tools from the Love and Logic parenting course. All those interested in making Big Bear a child honoring community are invited to the free meeting sponsored by the Lighthouse Project.

DWP Explains the New Commercial Water Fees

At this week's meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake, council made a unanimous decision to implement increased commercial water rate fees over a two-year period. The increase will affect only commercial customers of the Department of Water and Power. Diane Muir, Administrative Manager of the DWP, explains that commercial accounts will convert from a tiered rate system to a flat rate system. Muir tells KBHR, “All usage (both indoor and outdoor) will be charged at one flat rate of $3.22 [per ccf] beginning in September 2007, and in two years, September 2009, the commercial rates will increase to $4.37 per ccf. There is one exception: excessive outdoor water usage. Beginning September 2008, excessive water use for outdoor irrigation will have a penalty tier of $9.77.  For the next twelve months, DWP will work with our high water use customer.  They will be given a water budget, and the DWP will help them work within the budget. This way, when the penalty phase is implemented, they will know how much water they can use for their irrigation in order to avoid the penalty tier.” To further clarify, the water measurement of one “ccf” equals 748 gallons of water.

Tiffany and Susie Join Kat on "the Bear"
On this afternoon's “Tuned In on the Bear” with Kat Sawyer, today's guests are Tiffany Swantek of the Big Bear Sheriffs Station, talking about the upcoming community celebration, National Night Out, on August 7; and Susie Lerma of Sol Food Market, who will share some healthy eating tips on the benefits of organic and locally grown produce. So stay tuned to 93.3 FM for “Tuned In” in the 5 o'clock hour. Kat's program also rebroadcasts on Sundays at 7am.

Six Earthquakes in 24 Hours

We've had three additional quakes since yesterday's three were reported, bringing us to six quakes in less than 24 hours, and all of them centered three miles north of Big Bear City. At 4:24pm yesterday afternoon, we had a 1.3 magnitude quake at a depth of 5 kilometers. This morning at 2:45am and 6:11am we had another two, reaching magnitudes of 2.1 and 1.6, with the latter reaching a depth of 6 kilometers.

Rec and Park Hosts Skatepark Design Meeting Today
The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will hold their skatepark design meeting at 3pm today. The agency has earmarked $92,000 to purchase and install skateboard ramps at Sugarloaf Park, and the project is scheduled for completion by November 1st. Representatives from the American Ramp Company will be present at this afternoon's meeting at the Rec and Park offices on Park Avenue, and community members who have already signed up with Rec and Park, as announced earlier, will be able to present input. For more information on the project, call Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District at 866-9700.

BBARWA, BVUSD and BVCHD Also Scheduled to Meet
The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency will hold their regular meeting at 4:30pm today. BBARWA meets at their offices at 121 Palomino Drive in Big Bear City.
The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will meet in open session at 6:15pm today, at their offices at 42271 Moonridge Road. BVUSD's calendar includes an All District Summit at Northwoods Resort tomorrow, prior to the opening of the school year, which begins next Monday. School bus route schedules are available online, and can be accessed at www.bigbearnews.com.
The Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will hold a special Human Resources Committee meeting on Thursday morning at 7am in the Hospital Conference Room.

Body of Local Man Found in Yucaipa Ravine
On Monday at 10am, the Yucaipa Sheriff's Department received a call from a hiker, who had found a man's body in a ravine. San Bernardino County Sheriffs noticed that the victim had trauma to his head, and the paramedics were called—upon their arrival, they pronounced the man as deceased, and Homicide Detail was called in to investigate. The County Coroner's Office is conducting an autopsy to determine cause of death. The name of the deceased has since been released, and he has been identified as a resident of Big Bear. The victim is 46-year-old Mark Douglas Smith. Officials have notified his family, and the County is asking for those with any information to please call Detective Rick Bessinger or Sergeant Tony DeCecio at 909/387-3589 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, you may call We Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Kids Bicycle Roundup This Morning
The Big Bear Sheriff's Station is hosting their first-ever Bicycle Safety Roundup today. All Valley kids are invited to this free event, which runs from 9am to noon. Bring your bike, have it registered and inspected for safety, and receive a free bike helmet. The Sheriff's Station will also be sharing important bicycle safety awareness tips. The Bicycle Roundup, which takes place at the Sheriff's Station at 477 Summit Boulevard, is also sponsored by Big Bear Choppers, K-Mart, the Optimist Club of Big Bear Lake, and the Alpine Sports Center.


Sam's Pirate Chili of Sugarloaf took home the People's Choice honors at Saturday's Old Miners Chili Cook-Off

July 24, 2007


Chipper Truck Will Revisit Big Bear Lake Neighborhoods

The Big Bear Lake Fire Department has scheduled additional neighborhood chipping dates, to accommodate the bulk of dead brush, vegetation and trees that residents have left curbside. If you haven't yet cleared your property to create defensible space, please note the additional dates that the chipper truck will be coming to your neighborhood. Through August 5, chipping will resume in Big Bear Lake Area 6, which covers areas west of Delamar and Tamarack. Area 1, west of Division and east of the Boulevard and Moonridge Road, will be revisited from August 6-19, with other neighborhoods scheduled through October. See the updated mailer in your P.O. box, or log on to www.thinisin.org, then click on Chipper Days, for more information.
The Big Bear City Fire Department, which is chipping on the east end of the Valley, has completed the Moonridge and Sugarloaf areas. Bear City Fire reports that they were able to target high-density areas of Sugarloaf, upper Moonridge and Big Bear City areas south of the Boulevard, and should be finishing up this week. The Big Bear City Fire Department wants to thank the community for the overwhelming response to Chipper Days, which helps to make our community more fire safe.

Three Earthquakes Today
-- Updated
If you thought you felt some shaking, we experienced two earthquakes this morning. Both quakes were centered three miles north of Big Bear City. The first, at 10:33am, reached a magnitude of 1.6. The second quake, 20 seconds later, at 10:34 was of a magnitude of 2.9. Both of this morning's quakes reached a depth of 5 kilometers.
At 1:31 this afternoon, we had a 1.9 magnitude quake, which was also three miles north of Big Bear City and at a depth of 5 kilometers.

City Council Addresses Water Rates and Vegetation Ordinance

Last night's Big Bear Lake City Council meeting opened with some community presentations. The youth exchange group from our Sister City of Abtenau, Austria presented Mayor Bill Jahn with a gift of some artwork; Bill Speyers, former city councilman and mayor, was recognized for his service on the Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners; and Cliff Fowler was honored for being instrumental in bringing the Great American Race through Big Bear. Fowler thanked the community for the honor and effort, and presented Great American City hats to the council on behalf of the Big Bear Antique Car Club.
In city business, council approved the contract renewal with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The City pays $2.1 million annually to have County Sheriffs provide policing services for the City of Big Bear Lake.
The big topic of the evening was the discussion/action item with regard to the DWP's rate increases to commercial water customers. Though DWP had recommended two increases over 18 months, City Council unanimously approved two rate increases phased in over two years. Commercial customers will see their first increase on September 1, 2007, with a second rate increase scheduled for September 1, 2009. The Council also approved a top tier rate, effective September 2008, of $9.77 per ccf. DWP will work with their commercial and institutional customers to assist them in water conservation, so that top tier increases should not affect them.
City Council is forging into new territory with the proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance. Fire Chief John Morley gave an afternoon tour of the Valley and potential for wildfire to members of the council and community, though only one member of the public attended. Comments following the tour will be incorporated into a third draft of the ordinance, which will be written by ad hoc committee members Liz Harris and Bill Jahn, including input from City Manager Jeff Mathieu and Chief Morley. The third draft of the Vegetation Reduction Ordinance is tentatively scheduled to be presented at the council's August 13 meeting.

Chili Cook-Off Winners Move On to World Championships

The winners have taken home their trophies for the Old Miners Chili Cook-Off, with first place teams now eligible for the International Chili Society's World Championship Chili Cook-Off in Omaha, Nebraska later this year. First place, and $500, for Red Chili went to Ken and Jan Brown's Poontang Chili. Chili Verde honors, and $500, went to Jodi Wiseman for her Coyote Jodi Chili, and Daniel Placencia's Cowboy Chili Salsa took first place in the salsa category.
Local chili cooks took home public vote honors: Sam's Pirate Chili from Sugarloaf won People's Choice; Best Local Chili was cooked up by Cherokee County Chili Company out of Big Bear City; the Perpetual Merchant Trophy went to Susie and Bob Collins's Western Devils Barn Burner Chili, and Best First Time Cook honors went to Jon Fulp of Santa Clarita for his Six String Chili.

Chamber Mixer at Lakefront Lodge This Evening
This month's Big Bear Chamber of Commerce Mixer will be today at 5pm. This round of networking is sponsored by Chamber member businesses Big Bear Lakefront Lodge, B's Backyard BBQ, Holloway's Marina and RV Park, and the Time Bandit Pirate Ship. The two-hour event will be at the Big Bear Lakefront Lodge, located at 40360 Lakeview Drive, and will feature food and an opportunity drawing. For more information, please contact Kat Sawyer at 584-1066.


Kids of all ages enjoyed Sunday's Old Miners Children's Event at Sugarloaf Park. Sarge Miskell, the "top dog" of crowd control,
Mark Gaines of the Old Miners Association, and Bill Douglass of the Optimist Club, were among those instrumental in the
day's festivities, which included wheelbarrow races and watermelon eating contests.

July 23, 2007


Grocery Workers Will Not Be Striking

Southern California grocery workers have finally come to an agreement with Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons stores, eliminating the threat of another grocery employees strike. Sandra Lloyd-Jones, a spokesperson for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, says, “This contract is a huge victory for grocery workers. We wanted to eliminate the two-tier wage structure; we wanted wage increases for workers who haven't had a wage increase in five years; and we wanted to improve the benefits of health care coverage. We met all of these goals.” The new, four-year contract will be valid through March 6, 2011, with wages retroactive to March 5, 2007.

Full Slate for Today's City Council Meeting

The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake will meet in Hofert Hall this evening at 6:30pm. Today's presentations will include the introduction of the youth exchange group from our Sister City of Abtenau, Austria. Cliff Fowler, President of the Antique Car Club of Big Bear, will also be recognized for organizing the Great American Race pitstop in Big Bear, that led to our being named the Great American City. The proposed commercial water fee increase is also on the agenda for council vote—this is the second ordinance submitted by the Department of Water and Power, and would allow for the rate increase to commercial customers to be implemented in two increases over 18 months. The second draft of the City's vegetation reduction ordinance will also be presented at this evening's City Council meeting.

Motorcycle Fatality on Baldwin Lake Road

We have a report of a motorcyclist fatality over the weekend. On Sunday, at 1:10pm, a 46-year-old Pomona resident was riding a 2005 Suzuki GSX600 on Highway 18, just north of Baldwin Lake Road. The victim, Harry Hadj, had entered a curve, crossed the double yellow line, and struck a Ford Taurus head on. Mr. Hadj was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:13pm yesterday, and the California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

County Plans More Repaving for Bear City
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will meet in open session on Tuesday, July 24 at 10am. Of interest to Big Bear is a public works item on the agenda to approve the paving contract for additional repaving of some Big Bear City streets, as originally specified at the County's May 15th meeting. The repaving and repair of potholes is schedule for mid-August on the following streets: Brewer Way, Gilroy Drive, Malabar Way, Marlowe Drive and Robinhood Boulevard. The County Supervisors meet in the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. The Board will not meet on Tuesday, July 31.

DWP Board to Meet; Still Seeking Commissioners
The Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power will meet tomorrow, July 24 at 8am. If you would like to be involved in the process at future meetings, the City of Big Bear Lake is still seeking to fill two vacancies on the DWP commission. Applications are available online at www.citybigbearlake.com, and must be completed and returned by August 1st.

Mountain Lion Remains Elusive
The mountain lion responsible for the attack on a goat at the YMCA camp on July 15 has not been caught. Jeff Darling, Executive Director of the YMCA Camp near Onyx Summit, tells KBHR, “The California Department of Fish and Game pulled out Thursday, after trying to pick up the scent of the cat. They had dogs tracking all week, but there was no trace of the mountain lion, so they felt it was safe to move on.” Things are back to normal at Camp Oakes, with a little over 300 children from the Long Beach area at the YMCA camp this week.

Dog Licensing Clinic at Sugarloaf Park Today, 6-7pm
All dogs four months and older in San Bernardino County are required by law to be vaccinated, and licensed through the San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Program. The County is offering a licensing clinic and rabies vaccinations, and will visit the Valley today. At 6pm, you can take your dog to Sugarloaf Park to obtain a license. Rabies vaccinations are available for $6, cash only; and dog licenses are $15 for altered dogs, $9 for dogs of senior citizens, and, as of this month, $96 for unaltered dogs. Cats can also be vaccinated at this clinic, though they must be brought in a carrier to avoid problems. For more information, you can call 1-800-472-5609.


Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District has bequeathed the Scout Hut, located at Meadow Park, to the Big Bear Valley Historical Society Museum,
for the sake of preservation. Museum Curator Kim Sweet estimates that the log cabin dates 1900-1918.

July 20, 2007

Earn A College Degree in Big Bear

Big Bear residents can now earn a collegiate AA degree without driving down the hill. San Bernardino Valley College will offer classes on the Big Bear High School campus, Tuesdays through Thursdays, beginning August 21. Big Bear Lake City Councilwoman Liz Harris, who has been instrumental in improving local curriculum, tells KBHR, “You can now get an AA degree in two to three years without leaving the mountain. It's very affordable, and community college accepts non-high school graduates.” So, if you're hoping to earn a degree, or just want to continue learning, Valley College offers courses such as Business Administration, Computer Technology, Real Estate and Escrow, American Sign Language, Spanish, Child Development and general ed courses such as English, Math, Geography and History. You do have to complete an application, though students do not have to wait on acceptance—simply log on to www.valleycollege.edu to enroll for full semester and eight-week courses.

Mountain Lion Responsible for Two Attacks Not Yet Tracked

The California Department of Fish and Game tells KBHR that they still have not tracked down the mountain lion responsible for killing the goat at YMCA's Camp Oakes near Onyx Summit early Sunday morning. Fish and Game have set traps for the large mountain lion since the incident, and have had as many as four personnel stationed at Camp Oakes this week. As of today, there are two Fish and Game biologists on scene, as well as an animal tracking specialist from Federal Wildlife Services. Harry Morse of the California Department of Fish and Game tells KBHR, “There is no indication that they have even found a track that matched this mountain lion. We're trying to find an animal that moves over a large area.” The traps set at Camp Oakes did catch a two-year-old North American Black Bear early Monday morning, but it was released as it was not causing any human safety issues. Morse did tell us that if they do indeed catch the mountain lion, “Under these circumstances for this particular animal, we would humanely euthanize it. The paw print matches that of another incident where a dog was attacked in Lake Arrowhead, and the mountain lion was very bold.”
Residents of the Valley are advised to secure lids on trash cans, and keep small animals and livestock in covered pens to discourage visits from mountain lions and other predators—or, as Morse puts it, “Do not link them with easy food sources.”

Healthcare District to Meet Sunday Morning
The Bear Valley Community Healthcare District has scheduled a special Planning and Facilities Committee meeting this weekend. A tour of Bear Valley Community Hospital is the meeting's agenda item, and the Board will convene in the Hospital Conference Room on Sunday, July 22, at 10am.

Rosamaria Murillo Named Principal for Baldwin Lane

A new principal has been named for Baldwin Lane Elementary. The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District have just announced the hiring of Rosamaria Murillo, who will assume the position vacated by Brian Martinez in early June. Murillo comes to Big Bear from Los Angeles Unified School District, where she most recently served as Assistant Principal and Elementary Instructional Specialist at Graham Elementary School. Her credentials include a Masters in Education from UCLA, National Board Teacher Certification, as well as having served as a math coach, a representative to the teachers union, a committee member to the State Department of Education, and the honor of Latina Teacher of the Year for Los Angeles. Murillo and her husband, Saul, will be relocating to Bear Valley for the new school year, which begins July 30 for students.

July 19, 2007

Workshop Item Held Due to Planning Commission Absences

At yesterday's meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake, the parcel rezoning at 41221 Lahonton Drive at Jeffries was approved. The new zoning from single to multiple family residential will allow for three small-size family homes to be constructed, and these will be regulated by an affordable housing agreement. As part of the approval, the commission mandated that the front siding of the homes be consistent with the rest of the neighborhood. As far as the workshop item to discuss rezoning of the property at 42515 Big Bear Boulevard, to allow for 35 condominiums for senior housing adjacent to the Senior Center, this was held for the August 1st meeting. Because the full commission was not present at the meeting, due to the absence of Commissioners Smith and Zimmerman, those present felt it would be beneficial to wait until the full Planning Commission was in attendance.

Big Bear's Baseball Stars Take 2nd in Tournament
Big Bear's All Star Baseball team continues to do us proud, having won three of their four games at the Section Tournament in Bakersfield last weekend. Our team of 13 and 14-year-olds won their first two games against Palm Springs and Palmdale in mercy scores, then went on to win Quartz Hill in a score of 14-8. Though the Big Bear All Stars lost their fourth and final game to Bakersfield's home team late Sunday night, Big Bear took second place overall in the Championship Tournament. This weekend, the Big Bear All Stars head to Palmdale for the Regional Tournament, with games scheduled Friday through Sunday.


The Big Bear All-Star Baseball Team, Pony Division: (front, from left) Jake Passmore, Rex Seaman, TJ Follett, Artie Valenzuela, Brandon Hightower, Jesse Siep, Zak Planz and Chris Thomas;
(back row) Manager Craig Hightower, Coach Kenny Seaman, Cody Jackson, Joe Sylvester, Dylan Helme, Cody Ogg, Tyler Westplat and Coach Marcel Westplat.

Tennis Ranch Purchase to Go Before County Board

At this week's meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, Cassy Benson was elected to serve as the Committee's Chairwoman for the coming year, and Donald Allen will serve as Vice Chair. During the meeting at the Senior Center, it was announced that purchase of the Tennis Ranch in Erwin Lake will go before the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and, if approved, escrow will open.

Mountain Lion Takes Goat From YMCA Camp

On Sunday morning before the sun came up, a mountain lion ventured into the YMCA's Camp Oakes near Onyx Summit. At about 5am, the camp's wrangler Sherri Wilson went out to feed the 30 horses and other livestock and noticed some tracks leading from the goat pen. Alan Holstrup, President of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, which owns Camp Oakes, tells KBHR that the tracks led to a half-eaten goat carcass, which had been dragged about 100 yards to the campfire area. The California Department of Fish and Game arrived soon thereafter and determined that the tracks were those of a mountain lion with a heel pad of 2.6 inches, which makes for a very large cat. The approximately 300 children at the camp were moved to another indoor sleeping facility, further from the canyon. “The kids are safe,” Holstrup says, “and didn't mind the move out of the cabins.” The small animals have also been moved as a precautionary measure, and are now off-site from Camp Oakes, which sees as many as 10,000 campers each year. As for the mountain lion, it remains to be seen, though Fish and Game have set traps each night since Sunday, with personnel on watch every day since Sunday's pre-dawn incident.
Some of our listeners in the east end of the Valley have seen mountain lions, bears and burros in recent weeks, so be sure to secure lids on your trash cans so they don't have a reason to visit your neighborhood.

Highway 18 Repaving Not Quite Done -- Updated
CalTrans called this morning to let us know that, in fact, they still have a couple more days worth of work to do on Highway 18 down the back way. Though work was reportedly complete, it is now estimated that the repaving project will be done early next week. Flagging will continue on the two-mile portion of Highway 18 to Lucerne. On the front grade of Highway 18, the repaving near Snow Valley is complete. However, CalTrans tells KBHR that pending budget approval, crews will return to do approximately three days worth of follow-up work, with those dates yet to be scheduled.

Old Miners Hosts Four Events This Weekend
In addition to this weekend's Calcutta Dinner and Auction at B's Backyard BBQ on Friday, and the Chili Cook-Off in the Village on Saturday, the Old Miners Association has two other events planned for this weekend. On Saturday, the Friends of the Library hosts History Alive Chautauqua. The evening's presentation features traditional Chinese storyteller Charlie Chin in a storytelling reenactment of famous Chinese herbalist Yee Fung Cheung from the Gold Rush era. Admission is free to the 7pm event at Summit Christian Fellowship on Garstin, and will be followed by a reception across the street at the Big Bear Library.
On Sunday, Sugarloaf Park will be the setting for an afternoon of children's events, including watermelon eating contests, sack races, free food and giveaways. Admission is also free to Sunday's event, which takes place from 1 to 4pm. If you need more information or want to volunteer for Sunday's children's event at Sugarloaf Park, please call Mark Gaines at 866-7076.

MWD Board Meets Today
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District will meet in open session today at 1pm at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive.

Sheriff's Station Sponsors Free Bicycle Roundup on Wednesday
The Big Bear Sheriff's Station will be hosting their first-ever Bicycle Safety Roundup next Wednesday, July 25. All Valley kids are invited to this free event, which runs from 9am to noon. Bring your bike, have it registered and inspected for safety, and receive a free bike helmet. The Sheriff's station will also be sharing important bicycle safety awareness tips. The Bicycle Roundup, which takes place at the Sheriff's station at 477 Summit Boulevard, is also sponsored by Big Bear Choppers, K-Mart, the Optimist Club of Big Bear Lake, and the Alpine Sports Center.


The garden of Jim and Peggy Otterstrom was featured on last weekend's 5th annual Xeriscape Garden Tour, hosted by the Sierra Club.
Native and drought-tolerant plants, as well as a solar-powered fountain and meandering paths lined by native rocks, make a colorful and cozy yard.

July 18, 2007

CSD Will Form Citizens Advisory Board for Parks

At Monday's meeting of the Big Bear City Community Services District, discussions continued with regard to CSD's Park and Recreation Committee. At the agency's June 18 meeting, CSD President John Day had designated the Park and Recreation Committee as a standing committee, rather than an ad hoc, or temporary, committee. CSD addressed members of the public to determine what role community members might assume, and it was moved that a Citizens Advisory Board would be formed to provide input to the standing Park and Recreation Committee. As President, Day has the jurisdiction to appoint community members to the advisory board, though he instead asked that those interested in serving submit letters of interest. That said, CSD will accept letters of interest for the Citizens Advisory Board through July 31st. Those selected, and no set number has yet been established, would serve CSD in a non-voting capacity.
Monday's meeting also included a statement from Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District Director Reese Troublefield, indicating that Rec and Park is very much interested in having a park on Paradise in Big Bear City, and Troublefield would present a proposal at a future CSD meeting after discussion with the Advisory Committee of the Big Bear Valley Rec and Park. Per CSD General Manager Mike Mayer, CSD owns the potential park land on Paradise, and would consider a long-term lease for a park though CSD would ultimately retain ownership of the property.

Details on Arts on the Lake, Chili Cook-Off on Today's "Tuned In"

In just a month, the Arts Council of Big Bear Lake will host Arts on the Lake at the Marina Resort. Gail McCarthy, Executive Director of the Arts Council, will be talking about the event, which takes place the weekend of August 18 and 19, on this afternoon's “Tuned In on the Bear” with Kat Sawyer. Be sure to stay tuned to 93.3FM in the 5 o'clock hour for details, as well as a conversation with Sara Russ of Big Bear Lake's Event Resource Office. Sara will be talking to Kat about the Old Miners Days festivities, including the Chili Cook-Off, which comes to the Village this weekend.

School Resumes on Monday, July 30

School resumes for students of Bear Valley Unified School District in just 12 days, on Monday, July 30. If you or a family you know are in need of school supplies, the Hummingbird Project will be distributing backpacks, pencils and folders, as well as dictionaries and thesauruses to the older students. Low and moderate income families can stop by the Hummingbird Project at 805 West Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City, starting tomorrow—please be prepared to show proof of income on your visit. And all families will want to check the new bus routes for the coming school year, and those are now available online at www.bigbearnews.com.

Fawnskin Features Parades, Kayaks, Music and Apple Pies in Coming Weeks

If you need a reason to head to Fawnskin, the Valley's gem on the North Shore, there are a number of events coming up. This Saturday, July 21, the North Shore Trading Company hosts their annual Demo Days from 10am to 4pm. For a nominal fee, you can tour about Grout Bay in a new canoe or kayak. The event, located just next door to the Fawnskin Post Office, will also include giveaways.
Next Thursday, July 26, the Fawnskin Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual mixer, also at North Shore Trading Company, and featuring food from Fawnskin's newest restaurant, Amangela's Café. The entire community is invited to visit Fawnskin for next Thursday's 5pm mixer featuring food and live entertainment.
The big party for the North Shore kicks off next weekend, July 28 and 29, for the Fawnskin Festival at Don Conroy Memorial Park. The Old Miners Days Doo Dah Parade rolls through Fawnskin at 10am on Saturday. At noon, the Festival kicks off with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Posse Color Guard, followed by an afternoon featuring the annual Apple Pie Contest hosted by the Women of the Moose, music by the Holcomb Valley Boys, and animals from the Moonridge Zoo. Highlights scheduled for Sunday include a patriotic ceremony saluting our military at 9am, and the precious dog show and parade, and entertainment by Catz in the Hatz. For more info or to get involved in the Fawnskin Festival, you can call 1-800-250-5965.

Affordable Housing Pending Planning Commission Rezoning

The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake is scheduled to meet this afternoon. Among public hearing items to be addressed is the rezoning request for a parcel at 41221 Lahonton Drive—if the rezoning is approved, the owner plans to build three small family homes to be regulated by an affordable housing agreement to benefit three Big Bear families. The Planning Commission meets in Hofert Hall at 1:15pm.

The Elks Lodge Honors Our Fire Personnel

Last night, the Big Bear Elks Lodge hosted an appreciation dinner for Big Bear Valley's firefighters. The evening's program featured a presentation by Big Bear City Fire Department's Chief Dana Van Leuven. During the talk, he pointed out the incredible cooperation among Big Bear's four fire agencies: the Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City Fire Departments, San Bernardino County Fire including the Fawnskin firehouse, and the U.S. Forest Service. Chief Van Leuven also pointed out that the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce, or MAST, was formed prior to the 2003 evacuation, and that our evacuation plan is an example being used nationwide. You can help our fire agencies by taking advantage of the Neighborhood Chipping Programs, which are currently underway in portions of Moonridge and Big Bear City. Kudos to the Elks for honoring our fire personnel, who put their lives on the line to keep our community safe.


Big Bear is the Great American City! The drivers and navigators of the antique and classic cars in the cross-country rally voted us the friendliest among their 43 pitstops. The Greatest City title also comes with a $5000 check for our library. Thank you to everyone in the Valley who contributed to this community-wide honor. For the full story, log on to www.bigbearnews.com.

July 17, 2007


Jordan Romero Makes His Third Summit Before 11th Birthday

We got news from Russia today, that 11-year-old Jordan Romero made it to the top of Europe's highest peak, at over 18,000 feet, just before his birthday last Thursday. With barely a day to spare, Jordan and his dad Paul made it to the summit of Russia's Mt. Elbrus while Jordan was still 10. After reaching the top of the peak in conditions that dipped to -10° with wind gusts up to 80 miles an hour, Jordan shouted, “Three down, five to go! I can't believe we did this today.” With a goal of being the youngest person to ascend the seven summits of the world's continents by his 16th birthday, Jordan has already conquered the tallest peaks of Africa and Australia. After completing his trek, Jordan called his mom LeighAnne Drake on his birthday--even though it was 2:45 in the morning, Big Bear time.

Winning Driver Says Big Bear Was One of His Favorites

We have been named the Great American City because Big Bear went out of our way to extend welcomes and cheers to the drivers in the Great American Race, which rolled through town on Friday. Of the 72 cars that left Concord, North Carolina, only 57 completed the race, given long stretches of desert terrain and mountain roads, with our own Onyx Summit being the highest point in the cross-country trek. The three winning cars, as it turns out, were all Fords. The 1928 Ford Model A Boattail Speedster, driven by five-time Great American Race veteran Bob LaBine of Phoenix, Arizona, and navigated by his nephew, 15-year-old Charlie Wheeler of Lone Tree, Colorado, won the race, and $25,000 for the team. In a statement, winner LaBine said, “Big Bear was one of my favorite towns. It was great traveling up the roads and seeing so many people greeting you with signs.”

Planning Commission Meets Wednesday Afternoon
The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Wednesday, at 1:15pm. The workshop item on the agenda is with regard to rezoning of a single family residential property. In 2003, the developer first applied for a zone change for the nearly three-acres at 42515 Big Bear Boulevard, which is the property just west of the Senior Center. Four years later, the development plans have been submitted, requesting rezoning to multiple family residential, to allow for the building of 35 condominium units said to be for senior housing. The Planning Commission meets in Hofert Hall.

MAST Hosts Community Meeting
The Mill Creek Canyon Fire Safe Council and the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce are hosting a community meeting on Thursday, July 19. The meeting will provide vital info to mountain residents regarding the devastating effects on the forest, caused by years of drought and bark beetle infestation. Representatives from MAST will outline what is being done to solve the issues, and will be available for questions from homeowners. In a statement from County Fire Chief Pat Dennen, he noted, “We are grateful for the support we are receiving from the communities and look forward to meeting with community members.” The Community Meeting is at 6:30pm this Thursday, at Valley of the Falls Community Center at 41303 Valley of the Falls Drive in Forest Falls.

Chipping Trucks in Bear City & Moonridge Today
The neighborhood chipping truck is in Big Bear City today. As of Monday, the Big Bear City Fire Department started removing piles of dead vegetation and tree limbs from portions of Bear City, south of Big Bear Boulevard, between Division and Shore Drive. If you live in this neighborhood, be sure to get your chipping material curbside before the chipping truck makes its way down your street. The Big Bear Lake Fire Department will continue chipping in Area 5, which covers portions of Moonridge surrounding the golf course, through this Sunday.

Great American City: "That's What Big Bear Is All About"

The drivers and navigators in the 25th annual Great American Race have honored Big Bear with the title of the Great American City! Thanks to everyone's efforts and enthusiasm along the race route, we won this title over the over-40 other cross-country pitstops from Concord, North Carolina to Anaheim, California. Cliff Fowler, who as President of the Big Bear Antique Car Club, helped organize the event, says, “I'm emotionally double-parked. I was so honored that thousands of people in town came out for this once-in-a-lifetime event. That's what Big Bear is all about.” In addition to the title of Great American City, Big Bear will receive a check for $5000 for our library. Pamela Heiman, Big Bear Library Branch Manager, tells KBHR, “I think our community deserves a big, huge hug! One of the owners of the Race, and he didn't know who I was, said it was just incredible; it was a very impressive showing.” Heiman says that the library is due for a remodel, according to the County, and some new portable shelving is now on the wish list.

Rec and Park Earmarks $92,000 for Sugarloaf Skatepark
The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District has earmarked $92,000 to purchase and install ramps from the American Ramp Company to construct a skatepark at Sugarloaf Park. Though the details of the proposed skatepark will not be addressed at today's 5:30pm meeting of the Rec and Park Advisory Committee at the Senior Center, you can still call to be involved in the design meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, July 25. The skatepark project is scheduled for completion by November 1st and those who want to be contribute input should call 866-9700 prior to next week's 3pm meeting at the Park District offices.

July 16, 2007




We Are the Great American City

Congratulations, Big Bear! We have been named the Great American City in the Great American Race. At this weekend's awards ceremony in Anaheim, the drivers of the Great American Race named Big Bear the Great American City out of their 43 cross-country pitstops, from Concord, North Carolina to Anaheim, California. Mike Ewing, the Race's Director of Communications, spoke with KBHR this morning and tells us, “It was a tough call, because we had some terrific cities. Everyone really liked Big Bear because the streets were lined with people up and down the mountain. It reminded the drivers of what the race used to be like.” In addition to the honor of being named the Great American City, Big Bear will also receive a $5000 check for our library.

Top Three Cars in Great American Race Are Fords
Seventy-two cars left Concord, North Carolina on June 30th for the 25th annual Great American Race, but after 4,000 miles, including desert terrain and the race's highest point, which is our own Onyx Summit, only 57 antique and classic cars made it all the way to Anaheim this weekend, with all three top cars being Fords. The winning car in the 14-day cross-country trek is a 1928 Ford Model A Boattail Speedster, driven by five-time Great American Race veteran Bob LaBine of Phoenix, Arizona, and navigated by his nephew, 15-year-old Charlie Wheeler of Lone Tree, Colorado. Along with the first place title in the Great American Race, the winning duo also received $25,000. Second place went to Bill Harper and Larry Blair on Hendersonville, North Carolina in their 1932 Ford Hi-Boy, and third went to last year's winners, Dave Reeder and 14-year-old Sawyer Stone in a 1932 Ford V-8 Coupe.

Library Manager Says Our Community Deserves a Big, Huge Hug
By now, you probably know that we have been named the Great American City by the drivers and navigators who rolled through Big Bear on Friday in the 25th annual Great American Race—and, with the title, comes $5000 for our library. Big Bear Library Branch Manager Pamela Heiman, who took the day off to participate in the fun and check out the race route, tells KBHR, “I think our community deserves a big, huge hug! You started at one end at Highway 18 with Rotary, then at Onyx Summit, there was the Chamber and Friends of the Library, and then the airport was amazing, thanks to Cliff Fowler, Shed Conklin, and all the people in the Antique Car Club. You name it, everybody was out there--it was the community as a whole. One of the owners of the Race, and he didn't know who I was, said it was just incredible; it was a very impressive showing.” When asked how the library might spend the check, Heiman said, “We're about to go through a remodel—new paint job and carpet, according to the County—and we're going to need some portable shelving.” No word yet on when the check presentation will be, but we know our local library can put it to good use.



July 16, 2007


School Board to Select Baldwin Lane Principal

The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will meet in closed session on Tuesday, July 17, at the district offices in Big Bear Lake. Tomorrow's 6:15pm meeting has been scheduled to interview candidates for the administrative position at Baldwin Lane Elementary. In June, the Trustees named Michael Ghelber to the principal position at Big Bear High School for the coming school year, which begins July 30th. With the new school year just two weeks away, BVUSD has also released the new bus schedules, which you can access at www.bigbearnews.com.

Over 500 Participate in Saturday's Free Xeriscape Tour

The 5th Annual Xeriscape Garden Tour, hosted by the Sierra Club Big Bear Group, featured eight gardens this year, including three in the Sugarloaf area. Christie Walker, one of the event's nine committee members, tells KBHR that over 500 people participated in Saturday's event, which featured the xeriscape gardens of Lucy Griley, Daniel and Virginia Percifull, Jim and Peggy Otterstrom, Mike and Sarah Welker, Joseph and Victoria Donchi, Lisa Hoover, Kent and Linda Stalcup, and Linda Burgess, who has also authored the book One Mile Closer to Heaven: Gardening in Big Bear Valley. If you missed the tour, or need more info on gardening with drought-tolerant and native plants, you can check out the websites of the Sierra Club and the Department of Water and Power for photos and details at www.sierraclubbigbeargroup.org and www.bbldwp.com.

Rec and Park Advisory Committee Meets Tuesday

The Advisory Commission of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will hold their regular meeting tomorrow, July 17, at 5:30pm. One of the items to be addressed will be the relocation of the Scout Hut, currently at the east end of Meadow Park, to the northern parcel of the former Big Bear City Park. The Scout Hut, which looks like a log cabin, is said to be from the 1900-1918 period, and is being moved for the sake of preservation. Its new home will be just west of the blacksmith building at the site of the Big Bear Valley Historical Society Museum. Tomorrow's meeting of the Rec and Park Commission will take place at the Senior Center in Big Bear Lake.

Archaelogy School Heads to Holcomb Valley
The second annual Applied Archaeology Field School will be making a five week visit to Holcomb Valley starting today. The San Bernardino National Forest and Cal State Dominguez Hills have partnered to bring students to the Valley to study topography, archaelogy and cultural resource management. This year the students will begin excavating at Clapboard Town, a gold mining settlement that dates to the 1860s. Local Serrano and Cahuilla tribal members will join in the educational experience.

Neighborhood Chipping Program Comes to Big Bear City Today
Neighborhood chipping programs are your opportunity to remove dry vegetation to clear defensible space around your property. The chipping trucks of our local fire departments will come to your curb and turn tree limbs and brush into wood chips for reuse. The Big Bear Lake Fire Department's chipping truck will be visiting neighborhoods in Area 5 through this Sunday, July 22. Area 5 for the City of Big Bear Lake covers portions of Moonridge surrounding the golf course, and west to Menlo Drive and Wolf Road. If you need more information (or an area map), log on to www.thinisin.org, then click on Chipper Days.
The Big Bear City Fire Department will offer free chipping in portions of Bear City starting today, July 16. The Bear City chipping truck will visit neighborhoods in Big Bear City, south of Big Bear Boulevard, between Division and Shore Drive. The Bear City Fire Department will also pick up your bagged pine needles, weeds and leaves. When leaving your material curbside, please remember no root balls, tree trunks larger than 8” in diameter or construction materials.

Community Meetings Scheduled

The MARTA Board of Directors will hold a regular meeting this afternoon, July 16. Open session starts at 1pm in the City of Big Bear Lake Training Room at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. The Board meets on the third Monday of each month. After today's meeting, the next MARTA meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 20 at 1pm at 621 Forest Shade Road in Crestline.
The Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power has announced a Special Meeting that will start at 2pm this afternoon. Commercial water rates are on the agenda. After business owners and the City Council expressed opposition to the proposed rate schedule, the DWP revised the commercial rate structure. The Board is expected to take action on the issue at today's meeting, which takes place in the DWP Board Room at 41972 Garstin Road in Big Bear Lake.
The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold a regular meeting this evening. At 5:30pm, the meeting will call to order at the CSD offices at 139 East Big Bear Boulevard.
The Planning & Facilities Committee of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will meet at 7am on Tuesday, July 17 in the Hospital Conference Room.
The Board of Supervisors of the County of San Bernardino will hold their regularly scheduled meeting tomorrow, July 17. Closed session begins at 9am and public session follows at 10am. The Board of Supervisors meets at the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino.


Greetings from Big Bear Lake! Thirteen Big Bear families are hosting thirteen Austrians for nearly three weeks in the Sister City Summer Exchange Program. Here, the 26 friends
reunite for the first time since last summer in Abtenau, Austria at a July 12 lakeside welcome BBQ at the Anderson family home. (For more on the program, log on to www.bigbearnews.com.)

July 13, 2007


Free Flights for Children This Weekend Through Young Eagles

The Big Bear Airport Pilots Association will sponsor the Young Eagles program tomorrow, July 14th. Young Eagles is a free flight program for youth ages 8 to 18 years old, and is held at 9am on the second Saturday of every month. Each child will be given a pre-flight review of flying, a flight in an airplane, and a certificate. No reservations are necessary, though a parent must sign a waiver of liability prior to the flight. For more information on the Young Eagles program at the Big Bear City Airport, call Roger Schmidt at 585-0266.

Big Bear's All Stars Head to Bakersfield for Section Tournament

Congratulations to Big Bear Youth Baseball's All Star Team. The Pony Division team, ages 13 and 14, won another round of games in a series at Brulte Park in Running Springs last weekend. The All Stars beat out Palmdale 10-0 and 16-12, and won Greenfield 11-10. Though they lost one game to Quartz Hill, Big Bear's All Stars have been invited to the section tournament in Bakersfield this weekend. The first of their series of games will begin at 7:30pm this evening.

House Fire on Wren in Big Bear Lake This Morning

If you heard sirens this morning, emergency personnel have responded to two calls. At 8:43am, the Big Bear Lake Fire Department received a dispatch regarding a house fire on Wren near Park Avenue. By 8:47am, fire personnel were on the scene. Captain Rick Flint tells KBHR that “It took us longer to get in the front door than it did to put out the fire.” The house is maintained by Big Bear Cool Cabins, but was last occupied by the owners. The house caught fire because an area rug was left on the floor furnace, and the thermostat was not turned off, according to fire investigators.

CHP Closes North Bound Lane of Hwy 18 -- Updated
Other sirens you may have heard were due to California Highway Patrol and fire personnel responding to a traffic call on Highway 18 at Lakeview Point on Arctic Circle, which is much further east of Green Valley Lake than originally indicated. A Nissan with three passengers went 75 feet over the side of the road, and CHP shut down the north bound lane to recover the vehicle, with the assistance of the fire crews of the Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, and Fawnskin Fire Departments and the U.S. Forest Service. Big Bear Lake Assistant Fire Chief Mark Mills tells KBHR that only minor injuries were sustained by the car's three passengers. One adult female was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, and one adult male and a child were taken to the Bear Valley Community Hospital via ambulance. Highway 18 is now open in both directions.

The Great American Race Rolls Through Big Bear Today

Today's the day the Great American Race rolls through Big Bear, and offers us the opportunity to be named the Great American City! The nearly 100 antique and classic cars left Laughlin, Nevada this morning, and by 3pm, they should start rolling in to the Big Bear Airport. You still have plenty of time to line the race route to welcome the drivers, and should we be named friendliest city in their cross-county rally, we will win $5000 for the Big Bear Library. Here's another recap of the Great American Race route, so you can get out their and cheer: The drivers will pick up Highway 18 at the Cushenberry Grade (off the back way), and will turn left to drive around the east end of Baldwin Lake, before hooking up with Shay Road, and continuing west down Big Bear Boulevard, until they turn in to the Big Bear Airport at Big Tree Drive. After their pitstop, the racers will exit the airport and head east on Big Bear Boulevard, and will take Highway 38 over Onyx Summit on their way to Pomona. Go, Big Bear!

Airport Board Votes on Purchase of Bear City Park -- Updated
Turns out the debate over the Big Bear City Park property is not yet a done deal. At yesterday's meeting of the Board of Directors of the Big Bear Airport District, the Board again addressed the issue of purchase of the four parcels of land east of the airport, owned by San Bernardino County and formerly used as the Bear City Park. In the original appraisal provided by the County of San Bernardino, all four parcels of land, including the north parcel, which is home to the Historical Museum, were given a pricetag of $1.5 million, with a theoretical highest and best use appraisal. In a June 21 appraisal, initiated by the Airport District, the land including improvements was valued at $1.4 million, assuming highest and best use. After much debate, Board member Butch Waymire made a motion that the Airport District should not purchase the land, three parcels of which have been labeled RPZ for Runway Protection Zone. In a Board vote on the decision, George Berge and Waymire voted yes, meaning they did not want the Airport District to purchase the former park. President Jay Obernolte, Russ Lowery and Gary Steube voted no on the motion. That said, the latter three board members were open to looking at the next step in the process. The Board concluded the matter by planning to schedule a closed session meeting to further consider choices related to ownership of the four parcels.
All told, the fate of the Big Bear Valley Historical Society Museum remains in limbo, as their building is situated on the northernmost parcel, the one that has not been labeled RPZ. After the vote, Museum Curator Kim Sweet commented, “Quite frankly, I think the county should deed us the property.” At present, the Historical Society tells KBHR that they lease the land from the County for $1 a year, and have done so for 23 years.

Let's Welcome Our Friends from Abtenau, Austria
This week, Big Bear welcomes thirteen young Austrians in a summer exchange program with our Sister City of Abtenau, Austria. Last year, we sent thirteen youth, ages 11 to 13, from Big Bear to spend nearly three weeks in Austria, and for the next few weeks, the families of those kids will be returning the favor. While the Austrians are here, they will go to the beach and Sea World, and a number of families have side trips planned, to Hollywood, Las Vegas, Disneyland, and the Big Bear All Stars' baseball tournament in Bakersfield. The Sister City affiliation dates back to 1984, when Linda and Norm Reinik, Loren and Ilse Trautloff and Arra Moon first went to Abentau to campaign for sisterhood, with the first student trip taking place in 1989—it was then that Big Bear Lake sent the Snow Summit Junior Race Team to Austria for a friendly Sister City Winter Olympics.


Even the deer agree, it's so hot you could just go jump in the lake!
This is the spike-horn buck that Lake Patrol ushered back to shore on the Fourth of July.

July 12, 2007


Memorial Scheduled for 39-Year Valley Resident Richard "Dick" Morgan

Long time resident Dick Morgan passed away in his sleep on Tuesday evening, July 10, at his home in Big Bear. Dick Morgan was a 39-year resident of the Valley and served on a number of boards, including Director of the Big Bear City Community Services District and the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency. Through the years, Dick worked for Pleasure Point Marina, Rebel Ridge Ski Area, Magic Mountain, Allison Asphalt, Bear Valley Paving, and Ken Willis Construction prior to opening his own shop, Custom Marine Repair in Big Bear City. A memorial service will be held at the Mountain Meadows Senior Apartments in the Village on Pine Knot on Sunday, July 29 at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Dick's name at First Mountain Bank.

Big Bear Dam Is Secure, In Spite of Two Earthquakes

There were two small earthquakes on Wednesday morning, both of them centered about three miles west of the City of Big Bear Lake. The earthquakes were of a local magnitude of 1.0 and at a depth of 2.9 miles, and happened at 1:42 and 8:42am. We called the Municipal Water District to see if there was any damage to the Big Bear Dam, given the proximity, and Lake Manager Mike Stephenson tells us they've already checked it out, as they always do. Damkeeper Jim Weber is alerted by an earthquake alarm system, and made an immediate check of the dam's stability after the 1:42am quake, and was on scene for the second quake seven hours later. For your peace of mind, you can know that MWD does a routine inspection of the dam every Monday morning, earthquake or not.

Jury Trial Scheduled for Al Sparks

Al Sparks, Jr. is headed back to court. You may remember that Sparks was arrested for felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury, following an argument at Murray's in November of 2006. Sparks remains in custody at West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $150,000 bail for allegedly hitting a local mechanic with his truck following an altercation in the bar. Sparks will have a pre-trial hearing in Barstow on Friday, July 13 at 8:30am, with a jury trial scheduled for July 23. (The victim was treated at Loma Linda University Medical Center for major injuries following the incident. His current condition is unknown.)



Tuesday evening: the calm after the "storm".

July 11, 2007

Portion of Highway 38 May Honor Lieutenant Landaker

Our 65th District Assemblyman Paul Cook introduced a resolution to the California State Assembly this week to declare a portion of Highway 38 in memory of Lieutenant Jared Landaker. Landaker is the 1999 Big Bear High School graduate who lost his life in Iraq on February 7. While trying to rescue injured Marines, the week before he was scheduled to return home, Landaker and six other Marines were killed when an air missile hit their helicopter. Assemblyman Cook's resolution to honor Landaker on a 10-mile portion of Highway 38 passed with an Assembly vote of 72-0 on Monday. In a statement from Assemblyman Cook, he says, “Lieutenant Jared M. Landaker gave his life protecting this country and doing his duty. As a Marine pilot, his job was to go into harm's way to protect and save lives—there are few tasks more noble than this. By naming this stretch of highway for Lieutenant Landaker, we will be commemorating his life and the ideals he personified as a Marine and citizen.” The resolution will next be heard in a State Senate policy committee.

Upcoming Kayaking Events, Including Demo Days
If you're into kayaking, there are a number of events coming up. On Tuesday, July 17, the Sierra Club will host a 5:30pm kayaking and canoeing trip from Captain John's Marina in Fawnskin, followed by a sunset potluck; The Mountain Top Hiking Club will sponsor a moonlight kayak on Big Bear Lake under the full moon on Saturday, July 28; and on Wednesday, August 1st at 9am, Flames of Faith and the Peace Coalition will take to the lake to form a peace symbol with kayaks, in hopes of getting an aerial photo. If you'd like to be included in the fun, perhaps you want to get your own kayak. If so, the North Shore Trading Company will host their third annual Demo Days, featuring kayaks and canoes, on Saturday, July 21st. For more info on this event, tune in to 93.3 FM as Kat Sawyer will talk to Jim Dooley about Demo Days on “Tuned In on the Bear” in the 5 o'clock hour.

School Board to Meet This Evening

The Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District will meet in open session this evening. The regular board meeting agenda will include a number of general function items pertaining to the upcoming school year, including approval of school bus routes and new textbook orders. During the meeting, there will also be an update on the Big Bear High School construction, and former Superintendent Ron Peavy will give a presentation on construction plans for Big Bear Middle School. The school board meeting will be at 6:15pm this evening at the BVUSD offices at 42271 Moonridge Road.

County Supervisor Addresses Mountains' Deer Population
At yesterday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, our Third District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger brought up the issue of deer population. Hansberger addressed those present, saying, “It has been brought to my attention by several mountain residents that the deer population in the mountains have decreased significantly. There is a significant concern that deer are a rare sighting in the mountains, and yet the State Department of Fish and Game continues to issue deer hunting licenses each year.” Hansberger subsequently requested that the County Fish and Game Commission work with the State Department of Fish and Game to conduct an analysis of the deer population in our mountains. Also from Hansberger: “It is important to determine the population of the current deer herd to see if the speculation is correct and determine if it is necessary to suspend further deer hunting licenses for this area.”

Paving Projects Approved for Moonridge, Big Bear City

At yesterday morning's meeting of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, paving projects for Big Bear Valley were approved. Pothole repair and repaving will be done on Butte Avenue, Colusa Drive, Sun Crest Court and Trinity Court in Moonridge, and on Angeles Boulevard, Barker Boulevard, Bufflehead Drive, Fairway Boulevard, Mountain View Boulevard and Teal Drive in the Big Bear City area. Third District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger tells voters, “In 1989, voters first approved Measure I, our half-cent sales tax for transportation–-and this is being done with that money. I think it's important for our residents to know they are seeing the benefits from Measure I.” The repaving portions will be done with a rubberized asphalt concrete which is made, in part, from recycled tires. The County says that work is scheduled to begin by the end of this month, and should be completed by the end of August 2007.


At last night's Chamber of Commerce Mixer hosted by the Community Arts Theater Society, Get the Burger and No Name Pizza,
members of CATS entertained the crowd (while guests enjoyed burgers and pizza!).

July 10, 2007

City Council Addresses Two Wildfire Related Ordinances

The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake met in Hofert Hall yesterday evening. At issue were two new ordinances, the purpose of both being to slow the advancement of wildfire in Big Bear Valley. Council opted not to pass the proposed Vegetation Reduction Ordinance, but have sent it back to the ad hoc committee of Mayor Bill Jahn and Councilwoman Liz Harris for another draft. The draft read last night includes the restriction of certain high-fuel landscaping flora, such as Juniper shrubs, Cypress and Spruce trees, due to their potential for intense fire. A revised version of the vegetation ordinance may be ready for the July 23rd Council meeting, though the City Attorney noted that the ordinance could be passed without a first or second reading, in the event of an emergency.
The Council's proposed Shake Shingle Roof Replacement Ordinance was passed 4 to 1, as Mayor Pro Tem Rick Herrick noted that details of the ordinance needed another draft. One of the issues with the current ordinance is the lack of distinction between a structure's roof and siding, in cases of homes such as gambrels. At present, the ordinance is linked to the close of escrow, which members of the real estate industry found problematic. In its current form, the Roof Ordinance would mandate that houses purchased in the City of Big Bear Lake would have fire-retardant roofing, which has proven to be nearly four times more effective at preventing structural ignition than shake shingles. By 2012, all shake shingle roofs in the City of Big Bear Lake will need to be replaced.

Emergency Sirens to Test on Wednesday

Tomorrow afternoon, local fire agencies will be testing the siren alert system. At approximately 3pm, you may hear very loud sirens coming from Baldwin Lane in Sugarloaf, the Big Bear City Fire Department, and Big Bear Lake City Hall. No action will be required of the community during the test. In the case of a real emergency, sirens would sound through the Valley. At that time, you can tune in to KBHR for emergency info. You can also register on the Secure Cops Alert Network, or SCAN, for emergency notification online at www.scanusa.com.

Let's Line the Route for the Great American Race
When the Great American Race rolls through Big Bear on Friday, we will have an opportunity to be named the Great American City. Nearly 100 antique and classic cars will make their pitstop at the Big Bear Airport in their cross-country rally, and we want to make the drivers feel welcome. The community is encouraged to line the route with signs and banners prior to their arrival at the airport at approximately 3pm. So, here's the route, where you will want to assemble your cheering section: The drivers will pick up Highway 18 at the Cushenberry Grade (off the back way), and will turn left to drive around the east end of Baldwin Lake, before hooking up with Shay Road, and continuing west down Big Bear Boulevard, until they turn in to the Big Bear Airport at Big Tree. After their pitstop, the racers will exit the airport and head east on Big Bear Boulevard, and will take Highway 38 over Onyx Summit on their way to Pomona. If we win the title of Great American City, we will also score a check for $5000 for our local library.

Airport District Board to Meet Thursday
The Big Bear Airport District will hold a meeting of their Board of Directors on Thursday, July 12. The agenda includes items on the Big Bear City Park appraisal, and details on the Wings Over Big Bear Air Fair scheduled for Saturday, August 25. The Airport District meeting will be held in the Pilots Lounge at the Big Bear Airport, Thursday, at 2pm.

Burgers, Pizza and CATS at Today's Chamber Mixer

The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce will hold this month's mixer in Big Bear City this evening. The two-hour event begins at 5pm, and will be hosted by the Community Arts Theater Society, Get the Burger and No Name Pizza. Parking will be available at the Convention Center, and, if you don't want to make the half-block walk, the CATS cart will shuttle guests to the drop-off location at 1114 Aeroplane Boulevard. This evening's mixer will feature entertainment from CATS, as well as food and raffle prizes. For more information or to join the Chamber, call Kat Sawyer at 584-1066.

July 9, 2007

County Supervisors to Approve Repaving of Big Bear Roads

The Board of Supervisors of the County of San Bernardino will meet tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10am. The agenda includes the election of Chairman and Vice Chairman to a number of county entities, including the Big Bear Recreation and Park District. The Board is also slated to approve the paving contract with Ortiz Asphalt Paving, to repair potholes and repave on a number of streets, including Butte Drive and Colusa Drive in Moonridge, and Angeles and Barker Boulevards in Big Bear City. All repaving work will be scheduled for completion by the end of August. The County Supervisors meet in the County Government Center in San Bernardino.

Forest Service Warns of Fire Danger in Our Mountains

U.S. Forest Service tells us that this year in the San Bernardino National Forest is different—the temperatures are hotter, the forest is drier, and extreme caution and safety must be exercised to avoid wildfires. Fire investigator Ron Huxman says, “Most wildfire are human caused, and most times it's accidental. But there's no room for error and accidents when the forest is dry.” Huxman also warns that illegal campfires, fireworks, discarded cigarettes, faulty spark arrestors and even target shooting can lead to devastating wildfires, as “just a small spark can set the forest ablaze.” So, please be careful out there and know that anyone who causes a wildfire, accidental or otherwise, could be liable for all costs associated with suppressing the fire.

10-Year-Old Jordan Romero to Climb Europe's Highest Peak
Big Bear sixth grader Jordan Romero is in Russia this week, with plans to conquer his third mountain peak in as many continents, with an ultimate goal of being the youngest person to ascend the world's seven summits. Last year, Jordan climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa with his dad, Paul Romero. On his spring break, he made it to the top of Australia's highest peak, and this week, just as he turns 11 years old on Thursday, Jordan will be hiking through the snow to reach Russia's highest peak, Mt. Elbrus at 18,510 feet. When he's not conquering summits, Jordan lives in Big Bear City with his mom, LeighAnne Drake, a younger sister, and a number of pets including reptiles, which are his favorite.

Highway 18 Repaving Begins on the "Front Way"

The Highway 18 paving project down the front way begins today. Repaving will be from Keller Peak Road, near Arrowbear, to Snow Valley. You can expect delays, as there will be flagging Monday through Thursday from 7am to 4pm, and on Fridays from 7am to noon. CalTrans anticipates that the repaving should be done by the end of July.

New Director of Building and Planning Starts Today

The City of Big Bear Lake has appointed a new Director of Building and Planning. Jim Miller will be joining the City in his new post today, July 9, and will be introduced at this evening's City Council meeting at 6:30pm in Hofert Hall. In his new role, Miller will serve as department head for both the Building & Safety and Planning divisions, and, as part of the City's management team, will work closely with the Planning Commission on long-term development goals. Miller has been in city and county government--with regard to planning, building, housing, public works, economic development and code enforcement--for 23 years, and most recently served as the Director of Building and Safety for Riverside County.

New Restrictions in the Forest, Effective Tomorrow

Due to the unusually hot and dry weather and recent wildfire activity, San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Jeanne Wade Evans has announced additional fire restrictions, which take effect Tuesday, July 10. Under the restrictions, no open campfires or charcoal fires are allowed outside of designated recreation sites, such as campgrounds and picnic sites. Fires will no longer be permitted at yellow post sites. Target shooting in the San Bernardino mountains will only be permitted at developed shooting ranges, including the Lytle Creek Firing Range, Big Bear Sportsman's Club, and Lake Arrowhead Fish and Game Conservation Club Target Range. Target shooting restrictions will not impact the use of a firearm while legally hunting. The Forest Service will not be closing any areas to the public at this time, but is encouraging visitors to use extra caution. For more information about Allowable Activities, call the forest information number at 909/382-2600.

July 6, 2007


DWP to Install New Pipes in Lower Moonridge

Starting Monday, July 9, the Department of Water and Power will undertake a major pipeline replacement project in lower Moonridge. The new pipe is 8” in diameter and replaces old pipes only 1" and 2" 'round in order to improve fire flow and upgrade the infrastructure. Streets that will be affected in lower Moonridge are Elm Street, Peregrine Avenue and La Placida Avenue, with work taking place 8am to 5pm, and scheduled to continue into October.

First 5 Allows Another 3 for MOM Project

The MOM Project, which stands for Mothers on the Mountain, received a grant from First 5 San Bernardino in June, which will allow the non-profit facility to continue for another three years. Formed in July 2001 under the umbrella of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District, the MOM Project is housed in the Rural Health Clinic at 816 W. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City, and includes a resource center. The resources include information for parents of children ages 0-5, as well as an educational toy library, a library for moms and dads, and free computer access. The MOM Project is open Monday through Friday, 10am to 7pm, and offers classes on Saturdays as well. Some of the classes include Early Pregnancy, Mommy & Me, Love and Logic Parenting, Kindergarten Readiness and Team Dad. To celebrate their next three years, Director Marilyn Vecchio and staff are hosting an open house on July 6 at 6pm, and will offer food, crafts and storytime for the kids, and door prizes for the parents. For more information on the MOM Project, call 585-5607.

Lucerne Valley's 400-Acre Fire Contained Last Night

Yesterday's fire in Lucerne Valley, now dubbed the Meridian Fire, has been contained. At approximately 3pm yesterday, lightning struck power lines near a cement plant (though not the Mitsubishi plant). The lightning strike resulted in the burning of approximately 400 acres before fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and County Fire, including Fawnskin, contained the fire around 9pm last night.
“Just a small spark can set the forest ablaze,” fire investigator Ron Huxman said in a previous statement from the U.S. Forest Service. So, please use extreme caution in our wooded community.

Water Restrictions In Effect Friday and Saturday

The Department of Water and Power's water use restriction is in effect for today and tomorrow. The restriction is to assure adequate water supply, should it be needed for fire suppression. All DWP customers are to adhere to the outdoor watering restriction, and can resume outdoor watering on Sunday. During Stage II conservation efforts, which remain in effect through November, outside watering is to be done before 9am or after 6pm. Also, please no hosing down of sidewalks or driveways.

Bowling Barn Hosts Big Bear's Got Talent
On Monday, July 9, the Bowling Barn debuts Big Bear's Got Talent. If you have a talent--be it singing, dancing, juggling, whatever--you are welcome to participate in the competition. There is no age limit, and each act will have five minutes to strut their stuff. Big Bear's Got Talent will continue beyond Monday's 7pm show, so you still have time to sign up, by calling the Bowling Barn at 878-2695. The ultimate winner in the competition will receive $500 and the opportunity to do a full-length show at the Bowling Barn.

Two Vacancies on DWP Board

The City of Big Bear Lake is now looking to fill two vacancies on the Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners, and has extended the deadline to August 1st. Applicants must be registered voters and full time residents of Big Bear Lake. Responsibilities of commissioners include decisions related to water conservation, supply, generation, distribution and sale of water and related services. The Board meets on the fourth Tuesday morning of each month. One full-term appointment to the Board will run through June 30, 2011. The second opening is to fill the position vacated by Commissioner Bill Speyers, and the new appointee would fulfill his term, which runs through the end of June 2009. If you are interested in applying for a seat on the DWP Board, contact the City at 866-5831, or download an application, available online at www.citybigbearlake.com.

July 5, 2007

Sirens Headed Off the Mountain (as of 5pm)

If you've seen smoke and heard sirens, there is a fire, but it is in the Lucerne Valley. At this time, the fire is said to be burning about 10 acres, and fire crews from County Fire, the Fawnskin Fire Department, and the U.S. Forest Service are reportedly assisting, which is why you may have heard sirens. According to an official, we do not anticipate that the fire in Lucerne presents a threat to the Bear Valley.

Old Miners Host Chili Cook-Off on July 21

The next of Old Miners Days big events will be the annual Chili Cook-Off in the Village on Saturday, July 21. The day's festivities will include two western bands, over 100 booths, children's events, Miss Chili Pepper and Mr. Hot Sauce, and plenty of chili. If you want to stir up some chili for the Cook-Off, entrance fees are $35 for red chili, $20 for green chili, and $10 for salsa, with cash prizes ranging from $50 to $500. Winners in the Chili Cook-Off will advance to the world championships of the International Chili Society. For more information on participating in the Chili Cook-Off, which starts at 10am on the 21st, call Tom Benson at 909/878-4042 or log on to www.oldminers.org.

Oh Deer! A Fourth of July Story from the Lake...

If you're boating on the lake today, be sure to steer clear of other vessels—and watch out for antlers! Lake Manager Mike Stephenson tells KBHR that a deer tried to cross the lake yesterday. The spike-horn buck entered the water near Gray's Landing on the North Shore and was headed for the South Shore, though Lake Patrol ushered it back to land because of the holiday boat traffic. Stephenson says, “It's really hard to discourage them, and he was persistent. We got a call an hour later that he tried again.” So, if you're out there on the water, watch out for deer swimming across Big Bear Lake.

Make Your Neighborhood Fire Safe, Like Sugarloaf

Neighborhood chipping programs are your opportunity to remove dry brush and vegetation to clear defensible space around your property. The chipping trucks of our local fire departments will come to your curb and turn tree limbs and dead material into wood chips for reuse. The Big Bear Lake Fire Department's chipping truck will be visiting neighborhoods in Area 4 through this Sunday, July 8. Area 4 covers Big Bear Lake areas south of Big Bear Boulevard and Moonridge Road, east of Paine and west of Clubview Drive. If you need more information, log on to www.thinisin.org, then click on Chipper Days.
The Big Bear City Fire Department will offer free chipping in portions of Bear City on July 16. This gives you over a week to put your tree limbs and dead brush curbside if you live in Big Bear City, south of Big Bear Boulevard, between Division and Shore Drive. The Bear City Fire Department will also pick up your bagged pine needles, weeds and leaves. When leaving your material curbside, please remember no root balls, tree trunks larger than 8” in diameter or construction materials.
The Big Bear City Fire Department reports that their goal was to remove 30 tons of vegetation in the Sugarloaf area, and over 100 tons of fire fuel made it to the curb—so, good job, Sugarloaf! County crews are still removing chipping material from the Moonridge area, because of the neighborhood's strong response to the program.

More Repaving Scheduled for Highway 18

In addition to the two-mile paving project on Highway 18, just east of Baldwin Lake, CalTrans has scheduled another repaving project for the state route. Starting Monday, July 9, repaving will begin on the portion of Highway 18 on the “front way” from Keller Peak Road, near Arrowbear, to Snow Valley. The work will take place Monday through Thursday, from 7am to 4pm. On Fridays, there will be flagging from 7am to noon. Delays are expected, though there will not be flagging on the portion of Highway 18 in the four-lane section. Both Highway 18 repaving projects are scheduled for completion this month.
If you're driving down the hill today, remember: east is least. If you're trying to avoid congestion on the mountain roads, you might want to consider taking Highway 38 at the east end of the Valley, which will drop you off in Redlands, with access to Interstate 10.

No MWD Meeting Today
The Big Bear Municipal Water District will not hold their regularly scheduled meeting today. The Board of Directors of MWD will hold their next meeting on Thursday, July 19 at 1pm.

July 4, 2007



Happy Independence Day! The Mountain Fifes and Drums of Lake Arrowhead are keeping our heritage alive year round, with performances
at the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Virginia and, most recently, here at Meadow Park on July 1st. For more information on the
local group of fifers and drummers, ages 10-18, log on to www.mountainfifesanddrums.org.

Marine Corporal Shelby to Be Home in Time for Fireworks

Bear Valley has sent 16 of our sons and daughters to Iraq as members of our country's military. Today, we are excited to welcome home Marine Corporal Matthew Shelby, who returns to Big Bear this evening, the Fourth of July, to be reunited with his family, wife Kelly, daughter Fayth, and son Matthew Jr. Welcome home, Corporal Shelby!

You Know You Want to Be in the Parade

If you'll be in Big Bear at July's end, the Valley's biggest smallest parade is looking for people to participate. Anything goes in the Doo Dah Parade, which takes place in Fawnskin on July 28. Individuals, service clubs and community groups are invited to be in the three block parade, and cost is only $10 per group, and free for children's groups. For more information on the always fun Doo Dah Parade, please call Kathy Murphy at 866-5784.

Power Breakfast Tomorrow Morning

The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce will hold the monthly Power Breakfast tomorrow, Thursday, at Northwoods Resort in the Village. Featured speakers will be Mayor Bill Jahn of the City of Big Bear Lake and Tiffany Swantek, Public Information Officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department. Coffee and networking begin at 6:45am, and breakfast will be served at 7am. Cost for the Power Breakfast is $10 for Chamber members, and $15 for guests. If you need more information, please contact Kat Sawyer at 584-1066.

Drink Water to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

The San Bernardino County Public Health Department has issued a heat warning. Though it is cooler up here in the mountains, you should still take precautions against heat stroke. Be sure to drink plenty of water today, and know that caffeine, alcohol and sugar can contribute to heat exhaustion. Also, be sure to wear sunscreen and monitor those around you who may be at risk: infants, seniors, and those who are overweight or on medication. Warning signs of heat stroke include dizziness, nausea, rapid pulse, and headache.

Fireworks Over Big Bear Lake Tonight

Happy Independence Day! Big Bear will celebrate the Fourth of July with a fireworks celebration over the lake tonight. Patriotic music will be synchronized to the fireworks here on KBHR so keep your radio tuned to 93.3 FM. Also, we want to remind you that personal fireworks and sparklers are not allowed in the San Bernardino mountains, due to the high potential for wildfire in our mountain community.

The Great American Race Comes to Big Bear

The Great American Race, which started in Concord, North Carolina on June 30th, rolls through Big Bear next week. The 25th annual cross-county race of antique and classic cars will make a pit stop in Big Bear, at the airport, on Friday, July 13. At approximately 3pm, the drivers will stop in Big Bear City after coming up Highway 18 from Lucerne Valley. The community is encouraged to come out and cheer for the racers, and make them feel welcome in our Valley, before they head down Highway 38 on their way to Pomona. The pitstop voted the friendliest by the drivers will win the title of Great American City and a check of $5000 for the library. So, make signs, give a cheer, and welcome the Great American racers to our Valley on Friday the 13th.


At Saturday's Old Miners Days Picnic at the Lake, Angela Sue Yeaton was named Miss Clementine 2007. From left, 2nd runner-up Kelli Homan,
Miss Clementine Angela Sue, and 3rd runner-up Samantha Bebek. (For more photos from the first Old Miners event, log on to www.bigbearnews.com.)
The 58th annual Old Miners Parade down Big Bear Boulevard will be on Sunday, August 5.

July 3, 2007


Big Bear All-Star Baseball Team Wins First Double-Header

Congratulations to the Big Bear All Star Baseball Team. In their first double-header this weekend, against Palm Springs, the team of 13 won both games! The All Star team, which represents Big Bear Youth Baseball's Pony Division, ages 13 and 14, did Big Bear proud in their two home games at Meadow Park—in the first, they won 22-3 and the second game, won 15-5. The boys will play again this weekend, at Brulte Park, just between Arrowbear and Running Springs, on Highway 18. Game times will be Friday at 5pm, and Saturday at 11am.

Take Extra Precautions for Fire Season

In light of our dry season and potential for wildfire, please do your part to create defensible space around your property. (More info is available at www.thinisin.org.) Also, do not set off fireworks, use care as you extinguish cigarettes, and know that campfires are only permitted in designated fire rings in campgrounds, picnic grounds and Yellow Post sites.

Water Restrictions in Place -- Updated

The Department of Water and Power has issued a three-day water use restriction. This is to allow water supplies to remain high during the busy holiday season to assure adequate water supplies for fire suppression, as our current risk for wildland fire is high at this time, given lack of rainfall and high temperatures. The three-day water use restriction is for all DWP customers on Wednesday, July 4, Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th. If you need to do outdoor watering, DWP asks that you do so today, Thursday or Sunday.
At present, we are in Stage II water conservation, which means that watering is to be done before 9am or after 6pm, and should be done on odd or even dates as they correspond to your address. Also, please no hosing down of driveways and sidewalks. Stage II will remain in effect for the duration of the 2007 irrigation season, which lasts until November 15.

Free Xeriscape Garden Tour on July 14
If you need ideas on how to maintain a yard under the aforementioned conditions, the DWP has partnered with the Sierra Club Big Bear Group to present the 5th annual Xeriscape Garden Tour. This free tour will be on Saturday, July 14, and will show you how to have a beautiful, colorful garden while conserving water. The self-guided tour is from 9am to noon, and begins at Eminger's Mountain Nursery, where you can pick up a tour booklet and map. For more information on the July 14 Xeriscape tour, call Christie Walker at 866-5006.

Skatepark Slated for Sugarloaf

The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District will hold a skatepark design meeting on Wednesday, July 25th. Representatives from American Ramp Company will be on hand to present the design options, and skaters will be able to have direct input on the designs which will shape the final project, scheduled for completion at Sugarloaf Park by November 1. If you want to be involved in the design of a local skatepark, you must call to register with the Park District office at 866-9700 prior to the meeting. The public is welcome at the July 25th meeting, which will be at 3pm at the Rec and Park offices on Park Avenue in Big Bear Lake, but the list of design participants will be limited. Skaters are encouraged to RSVP soon to be part of the process.

Please Don't Feed the Burros
The U.S. Forest service is asking for the community's help in protecting wild burros. Burros have once again been spotted in Big Bear's residential neighborhoods and, recently, several have been injured and killed along Highway 38, according to the Forest Service. You can help by not providing food or water for the burros, and by securing lids on trash cans. If you do spot wild burros in your neighborhood, please call Robin Eliason with the Forest Service at 909/382-2832.

July 2, 2007

Accident on Hwy 18 at Arctic Circle as of 11:45am

There is an accident on Highway 18, down the front way, on Arctic Circle. Though the road is not closed, you can expect delays as there appears to have been an accident involving two motorcycles and one vehicle. Emergency crews are on the scene, and an airship will be landing at Glory Ridge off Arctic Circle. Drivers are advised to use an alternate route, though the road is open. As of 1:30pm, injured parties were airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

Free Composting Class Offered on July 28
The City of Big Bear Lake will host a free master composting class on Saturday, July 28. The eight-hour class begins at 9am and will include information on greencycling options, uses for fresh mulch, container gardening, and native plants. The free class is open to all residents of the Valley, and early registrants will receive a free composting bin. To sign up for the July 28 composting class, call the City at 866-5831, extension 138.

Two Vegetation Fires on North Shore Sunday

The U.S. Forest Service extinguished two vegetation fires yesterday, July 1. The first fire, on the North Shore between the Discovery Center and Cougar Crest Trail yesterday morning, was just down the road from the Forest Service station, and only burned a 10' x 10' patch of vegetation before being contained by the crew of Engine 16. A vegetation fire yesterday afternoon, just east of North Shore Elementary School, burned about 20' x 20' before being contained by the firefighting crews of U.S. Forest Service Engine 16, County Fire Engine 49, and Big Bear City Fire Department's Engine 291. The cause of both fires remains under investigation.
A U.S. Forest Service official stresses that creating defensible space around your property should be a top priority. Because of extreme fire conditions, fireworks are illegal in the San Bernardino mountains. Please also use care as you extinguish cigarettes, and know that campfires are only permitted in designated fire rings in campgrounds, picnic grounds and Yellow Post sites.

Big Bear's Karaoke Star Takes 2nd in Nationals
Over 50,000 vocalists competed in the International Bowling Karaoke Superstar III competition. Jim Graft, who won the western region semi-finals at the Bowling Barn in Big Bear Lake, went on to take second place in the finals at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last week. Jim, who was a crowd-pleaser with his rendition of Sinatra's “My Way”, won $2000 for his second place victory. Mia Dorr from Wisconsin took first place and a recording contract.

Meetings Canceled Due to Holiday
The Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District will not hold their regular board meeting this evening, in light of the holiday week. The CSD Board will hold their next meeting on Monday, July 16.
The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake has also canceled their meeting of this week, for July 4. The Planning Commission will next meet on Wednesday, July 18.
The Regional Traffic Advisory Comittee will not be meeting in July, but will meet at 630 Bartlett Road on August 15 at 9am.

Fireworks Over the Lake July 4th
Big Bear's Independence Day celebration will be on Wednesday, July 4 with fireworks over the lake, with patriotic music synchronized to the fireworks here on 93.3 FM.

Angela Sue Yeaton Named Miss Clementine

Saturday's Old Miners Days Picnic at the Lake at B's Backyard BarBQ was a fun day in the sun, and included the Miss Clementine Pageant. Third runner-up for Miss Clemtine is Samantha Bebek, 2nd runner-up is Kelli Homan, and the title of Miss Clementine 2007 goes to Angela Sue Yeaton. Angela is a home-schooled 16-year-old who lives in the the Whispering Forest area of Bear Valley. The next Old Miners Days events are the Calcutta Dinner at B's Backyard BarBQ on July 20, and the annual Chili Cook-Off in the Village on July 21.

CHP Issues Safe Driving Challenge for the Holiday

California Highway Patrol Commissioner Mike Brown has issued a challenge to the state's motorists for this Independence Day holiday: one entire day with no traffic fatalities throughout the state. Since 1968, when record keeping began, there have been only three days when death took a holiday from California roadways. The most recent fatality free day was September 12, 2000. The goal is to have no traffic fatalities on the Fourth of July. Law enforcement can't do it alone. Drivers have to do their part. Don't speed. Don't drink and drive. Wear your seat belt, and be sure children are in proper child safety seats. Motorists are also asked to report suspected drunk drivers by calling 9-1-1 with a description of the vehicle and its location. Commissioner Brown is reminding everyone to “Drive as though your life depends upon it. Because it does.” Please be careful and courteous this Fourth of July.

Civic Center Closed for Independence Day
The Big Bear Lake Civic Center will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. City Hall will re-open on Thursday, July 5 at 8am.


Big Bear will celebrate Independence Day with fireworks over the lake on Wednesday, July 4. Tune in to KBHR 93.3 FM for music
synchronized to the fireworks display. (Photo courtesy of Erv Nichols)

June 29, 2007


Recreation and Park District Prioritizes Projects

At yesterdays' meeting of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District Advisory Commission, the committee addressed plans for future projects. Rec and Park District Manager Reese Troublefield issued a statement this afternoon noting that “Staff is excited about the opportunity to begin immediately toward the goal of upgrading parks valley-wide, while continuing to create future revenue aimed at annual improvements.” Some of those improvements at the top of the advisory commission's list include a dog run in Erwin Lake, the replacement of aviary netting at the zoo, resurfacing of basketball court and new backboard at Miller Park in Fawnskin, a non-motorized launch ramp at Ski Beach, horseshoe court renovation and ADA access at the Senior Center, and, for the Sugarloaf Park, extended walkways, as well as a cement dugout and lower spectator area at the baseball field.

American Bald Eagles Alive and Well, and in Big Bear

Yesterday, the American Bald Eagle was removed from the Federal List of Endangered Species. Of the 9,700 breeding pairs, eight American Bald Eagles spent their winter in the Big Bear Valley. Robin Eliason, Biologist for the San Bernardino National Forest, tells KBHR that two of those eagles did not migrate north for the summer, but are here in Big Bear. Of the two birds, she says, “We have one adult with a juvenile, which looks like an adult eagle but doesn't yet have the completely white head and white tail. If they stay all summer, that's a guess that they may become resident birds and perhaps nest here. This is the best sign of nesting that we've had.” Three seasons ago, the Valley had 15-20 bald eagles here for the winter, but Eliason says that number may have come down due to development, which reduces habitat quality. Though off the Endangered Species List, eagles will continue to be protected under the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940. (In the winter months, the Discovery Center hosts eagle tours, and volunteers are always needed to assist in American Bald Eagle counts. Call 909/382-2790 for additional information.)

Fireworks Celebration on Wednesday, July 4

Big Bear Lake will hold the Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, July 4. The fireworks over the lake will be synchronized to music being played on KBHR. So, be sure to tune your radio to 93.3 FM while you enjoy the fireworks. Please note that personal fireworks or sparklers are not allowed in the San Bernardino mountains, due to extreme fire risk.

California's Cell Phone Law Effective Next July
There has been talk about California's new cell phone law that goes into effect on July 1. Governor Schwarzenegger did sign legislation that would prohibit the use of handheld mobile phones while driving, however this law does not go into effect until July 1, 2008. When it does kick in, violators will receive a $20 fine for a first offense, and a fine of $50 for subsequent offenses. Though the cell phone law doesn't take effect for a year, it's never too early to get in the practice of putting down the phone while you drive.


Since graduating from Big Bear High School, Justin Senter and Christina Simcox married each other and, this last month, both
graduated from Cal State University Long Beach. And, big news for the Senters, this week they moved to Mauritania, a country
in northwest Africa, to serve in the Peace Corps for two years! To learn more about their adventure, log on to www.web.mac.com/jcinthepc. 

June 28, 2007

Flagging on Highway 18 This Saturday

CalTrans has announced that work on the Highway 18 paving project east of Baldwin Lake will continue into Saturday, June 30. The contractor will be repaving from 6am to 6pm this Saturday, and there will be minimal delays and flagging during this time, on a two-mile strip from Cactus Road to Snubbing Post Grade Road. The good news is that striping will begin on July 9, and the project is now scheduled for completion by mid-July.

Closed Session Meeting at DWP Tomorrow
The Department of Water and Power will hold a closed session meeting tomorrow morning at 9am. The special meeting of the Board of Commissioners will address the public employee performance evaluation of General Manager Jerome Gruber.

Fire Hazard Map to Get First Update Since the '80s

CalFire, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, will hold a public hearing on Friday, June 29. During the 6pm meeting at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, CalFire will introduce a proposed update to the fire hazard severity zone map. The map, which has not been updated since the '80s, identifies hazards and determines legal requirements affecting property owners, including building construction standards. A large format of the map will be on display at the meeting, and can also be accessed at www.fire.ca.gov. The public will be able to comment on the fire hazard map at tomorrow's hearing, and via email. CalFire will review and respond to all public comment before the map is adopted or revised.

Free Dead Tree Removal--If You Call in June

Do you have a dead tree on your property? The Natural Resources Conservation Service will remove hazardous dead trees for free, however the government program requires that all trees for removal be reported by the end of this month. The County of San Bernardino implements the program locally, and trees that have been reported and inspected will have a white ring and a number painted on them. For removal of dead trees on private lands, you can call 909/867-1240, and phone lines are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm. When you call today or tomorrow, in order to meet the deadline, have your address handy and, if available, your parcel number as well.

Big Bear Lake Yard Sales Require No-Fee Permit
The City of Big Bear Lake requires that those holding yard sales, during the holiday week or any time, obtain a No-Fee Permit. Yard sale permit applications are available at the public counter in the Civic Center, located at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard. In addition, the City requests that you do not post yard sale signs on power poles or street sign and traffic poles. Be kind to the environment and do not post signs on trees–doing so could cause potential damage. For more information, call the Community Services Department at 866-5831.

New Principal Named for Big Bear High School

The Bear Valley Unified School District announces that a new principal for Big Bear High School was hired, as of last night's meeting of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Michael Ghelber will be joining the Big Bear High School staff for the coming school year, which begins July 30. Ghelber comes to us from Desert Sands Unified School District, where he was most recently the Assistant Principal of Indio High School, a role in which he oversaw curriculum and instruction. Ghelber has also been a football coach of an undefeated team, and has received Teacher of the Year honors. Ghelber will be relocating to the Valley with his wife Susan, 11-year-old daughter Hailey and 10-year-old son Brett. Welcome, Ghelber family!

Hansberger Is Not Expected at Today's Rec & Park Workshop
The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District Advisory Commission will hold a workshop at 4:30pm today. The Commission will address future projects, and discuss the $1 million grant that County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger has potentially earmarked for the Valley—though this money is not necessarily designated for Rec and Park use, even if initially intended for the aquatic facility at Meadow Park. This afternoon's meeting at the Senior Center in Big Bear Lake will allow for public comment at the beginning of the meeting, though Supervisor Hansberger is not expected to attend.


CATS presents Guys and Dolls at the Performing Arts Center with a 10-performance run. Locals can enjoy a special discount preview of the musical tonight
(Thursday, June 28) at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the PAC box office or online at www.bigbeartheater.org.

June 27, 2007

Emergency Test Calls Made Today
Did you get a call from the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce today? An official from the County of San Bernardino tells KBHR that the emergency test calls, scheduled for this week, were made today. The Telephone Emergency Notification System calls provide a pre-recorded message which, in the event of a real disaster, would alert individuals to important emergency information. Approximately 45,000 calls were made to phone numbers in the mountain communities, from Mt. Baldy to Forest Falls, using telephone numbers provided by local telephone companies.

Traffic Signal to Come to Maple Lane and Highway 38
At this week's meeting of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, CalTrans and the county reached agreement to jointly fund the Maple Lane signal. The project is estimated to cost $1.6 million, and will include the traffic signal at Maple Lane and Highway 38, as well as curbs, gutter and sidewalk at the busy intersection, just north of Big Bear High School. (The county's portion of the project will be funded with gas tax funds from the fiscal year 2007/2008 transportation budget.)

Be Evacuation Ready--Just In Case
San Bernardino County's Mountain Area Safety Taskforce reminds Valley residents to be prepared to evacuate in case of fire. Because wildfire can spread faster than you can drive, everyone should be ready to go within four to six hours notice. MAST recommends an evacuation checklist and that your items, including the four Ps, are organized to go: The four Ps include Pictures, Papers including personal documents and insurance info, Prescriptions, and Pets, including their food and water. You'll also want to remember your eyeglasses, jewelry, and a battery-powered radio, as you can always tune in to KBHR 93.3 FM for updated info in the event of an emergency.

DWP to Forward Commercial Rate Increase Recommendations to City Council

At yesterday's meeting of the Department of Water and Power, the Board of Commissioners addressed the proposed water rate increase for commercial customers. After receiving considerable public input, at the June 11 City Council meeting and in subsequent telephone calls and emails, DWP has noted that the community would prefer a phased approach to the increase. That said, the Board of Commissioners approved two staff recommendations: 1) to eliminate the excessive outdoor water usage rate, and charge all commercial usage at one tiered rate. 2) to phase in the proposed commercial rate increases over the next 18 months, starting September 1 with a 50% increase, with phase 2 to take effect March 1, 2009. These recommendations will be presented to the City Council of Big Bear Lake for a first reading at their July 9 meeting. Yesterday's DWP meeting was also the last as Board Commissioner for Vice Chairwoman Susan Conley, whose second four-year term expires at the end of this month.

County Courts Move Within San Bernardino

The County of San Bernardino has announced that the Court Executive Office and Civil Division Court will be relocating from the historic San Bernardino County Courthouse to the newly renovated building at 303 West Third Street in San Bernardino. The move will be effective this Monday, July 2. The Family Law, Child Support, Criminal and Traffic Departments will remain at the historic courthouse at 351 North Arrowhead Avenue.

Repaving on Highway 18, Including the "Front Way"

In addition to the two-mile paving project on Highway 18, just east of Baldwin Lake, CalTrans has scheduled another repaving project for the state route. Starting Monday, July 9, repaving will begin on the portion of Highway 18 from Keller Peak Road, near Arrowbear, to Snow Valley. The work will take place Monday through Thursday, from 7am to 4pm. On Fridays, there will be flagging from 7am to noon. Delays are expected, though there will not be flagging on the portion of Highway 18 in the four-lane section. Both Highway 18 repaving projects are scheduled for completion by the end of July.


Believe it: The Fawnskin Market is open! Owner Mike, who opened the store on Thursday, tells KBHR that the Fawnskin Market
will be open from 7am to 9pm, seven days a week.

June 26, 2007

Public Meetings Scheduled for Wednesday, June 27

The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold a 1:15pm meeting in Hofert Hall, during which they will conduct a workshop on a proposed 82-unit condominium development in the 600 and 700 blocks of Paine Road.
The Personnel Committee of the Big Bear Airport District will continue their special meeting of Monday, with a continued meeting at 2pm.
Also tomorrow, the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency will meet at their offices at 122 Palomino Drive in Big Bear City for their regular meeting at 4:30pm.

City Council Reviews Draft of New Roof Ordinance; Reports on Green Efforts

During last night's meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake, the council had their first reading of a proposed Fire Code ordinance, since determining that fire protection requirements beyond the California Fire Code are needed in our community. The new ordinance, originally drafted by Fire Chief John Morley and Fuel Technician David Yegge of the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, would mandate fire-retardant roof coverings, thereby eliminating shake shingle roofs in the City of Big Bear Lake. In its first draft, the Fire Protection Code would dictate that home buyers would have six months from close of escrow to comply with the fire-safe upgrades. The Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council has provided data that suggests that non-flammable roofing is 3.68 times more effective at preventing structural ignition in wildland fire situations. Before the new ordinance is approved, city staff will take input from realtors and roofers to be incorporated into the second draft of the ordinance, to be brought to City Council at their next meeting on July 9.
A status report on the city's Green Sustainability Efforts was presented by committee members Councilman Michael Karp and Mayor Pro Tem Rick Herrick. After consideration of public input, the following measures have been or are being implemented in the City of Big Bear Lake: expanded recycling, including recycled asphalt on street projects, and, through a grant, putting recycling containers in all private home rentals; encouraging lodges to have guests reuse towels and conserve water; working on a Valley-wide trails coalition to improve bike paths; the purchase of two hybrid vehicles for the city fleet; increased publicity for xeriscape gardening; use of alternative energy such as solar; use of high-efficiency lightbulbs in city facilities; working with Big Bear Disposal to have restaurants separate food and recycling materials for composting; as well as the fire department's neighborhood chipping programs for re-use of vegetation. In the coming months, City Council will vote whether to adopt the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.

Come Visit Us at This Evening's Chamber Mixer
This evening, the June Chamber of Commerce Mixer takes place in the airport building in Big Bear City. Your hosts for this evening's free networking opportunity are the Barnstorm Restaurant, the Big Bear Airport District, and KBHR Radio—so, if you want to see where it all happens, come on over to 501 W. Valley Boulevard from 5 to 7pm, and bring your business cards.

DWP Board to Meet This Morning

The Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power will meet this morning. Among items on the consent calendar, the board will address a new service fee refund to the as-yet-unbuilt Hilton Hotel Gardens. The board will also discuss community input relating to Proposition 218, which dictates consistent commercial water rates. The DWP meeting takes place at 8am at their offices at 41972 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake.

Six BBMS Students Get College Preview at Tech Trek

The American Association of University Women will be sending six local girls to science camp as part of the Tech Trek program sponsored by AAUW of California. The six students, Maya Swinehart, Lindsay Westover, Lauren McKinley, Cara Burks, Cori Burks and Meghan Block, were nominated by their teachers at Big Bear Middle School, and the Big Bear branch of AAUW made final selections. While at Tech Trek Camp at UC San Diego in July, the 8th grade girls will get a preview of college life, while studying science and math, and taking field trips led by science professionals. To support the Tech Trek program or find out more about AAUW, call Gayle Cox at 584-1567.


Cody Jackson pitches for the Dodgers of Big Bear Youth Baseball

June 25, 2007

County Supervisors to Vote on Maple Lane Signal

The Board of Supervisors of the County of San Bernardino will meet in open session tomorrow at 10am. At issue for Bear Valley will be the proposed traffic signal at Maple Lane. County staff has recommended a traffic signal, as well as curbs, gutter and sidewalk be installed at Maple Lane at Highway 38. The Board of Supervisors will vote on this recommendation, and the next step would be to advertise for bids on the project. The County Supervisors meeting will be held at the County Government Center in San Bernardino.

County Offers Dog Licensing Clinic Tomorrow

All dogs four months and older in San Bernardino County are required by law to be vaccinated, and licensed through the San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Program. The County is offering licensing clinics and rabies vaccinations, and will visit Big Bear tomorrow. From 6:30pm to 7:30pm tomorrow, you can take your dog to Meadow Park in Big Bear Lake to obtain a license. Rabies vaccinations are available for $6, cash only; and dog licenses are $15 for altered dogs, $9 for dogs of senior citizens, and $60 for unaltered dogs. Starting in July, cost to license a dog will increase to $96 annually. Cats can also be vaccinated at this clinic, though they must be brought in a carrier to avoid problems. The County will make their next stop in the Valley on Monday, July 23, when licensing will be available at Sugarloaf Park at 6pm. For more information, you can call 1-800-472-5609.

City Council to Meet at 6:30pm

The City Council of the City of Big Bear Lake will hold their regular meeting this evening. Though the council's last meeting included discussion of the increased fees for Department of Water and Power's commercial customers, this item has been withdrawn as an action item for tonight's meeting. The consent calendar does include council consideration of forming an ad hoc committee on Defensible Space with regard to Fire Protection. The City Council will meet in Hofert Hall at 6:30pm.

Two Big Bear Lake Firefighters Honored with IMT Appointments
Two members of the Big Bear Lake Fire Department have received appointments to Incident Management Teams, in the event of a large scale disaster. After intense training, Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Schwing has been appointed as a Medical Unit Leader for Type 2 Incident Management, which would deploy regional teams of 20 to 35, in which case Schwing would manage major medical emergencies. Fellow firefighter Engineer Kevin McElfish has received a Type 3 IMT appointment as an Air Group Supervisor, to oversee helicopter operations. In the event of local or national emergency, both Schwing and McElfish would only get a two-hour notice, with the expectation of a 14 to 30-day deployment.

Jim Graft to Represent Big Bear Area at Karaoke Finals
The finals of the International Bowling Karaoke Superstar III competition will take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this evening. The Bowling Barn hosted a regional semi-final, and the Big Bear area will be represented by Jim Graft at the finals. If you'd like to check out the competition or vote online, go to www.karaokelivetv.com for the performances, which begin at 6pm. Graft will be competing for $5000, a recording contract, and the opportunity to open for LeAnn Rimes in concert.

Airport Board to Meet This Afternoon

A special meeting of the Big Bear Airport District's Board of Directors has been scheduled for 2pm today, with a special meeting of the Personnel Commission to take place at 3pm. Both meetings will take place in the Pilots Lounge of the Big Bear City Airport.

Miss Big Bear Pageant Extends Deadline
The Miss Big Bear Pageant has extended the application deadline to July 31. All senior girls from the Class of 2008 are eligible, provided they have at least a 3.0 grade average and maintain good citizenship. The pageant is scheduled for October 13 at the Performing Arts Center, and pageant practices will begin August 8. For more information or an application, please call Teresa Ritenour at 585-1737. Reigning Miss Big Bear is recent BBHS graduate Shantelle Davidson.


The Pirate Ship sets sail from Holloway's Marina each day. Ahoy!

June 22, 2007

MAST to Make Emergency Test Calls Next Week

The Mountain Area Safety Taskforce will conduct a test of the Telephone Emergency Notification System, or TENS, next week. The test call will be made to nearly 45,000 phone numbers in the mountain communities, from Mt. Baldy to Forest Falls. The TENS system will leave a pre-recorded message in the event of an emergency, such as wildland fire. In the event of a real emergency, San Bernardino County would make these calls, but realizes not everyone will be home to intercept the message—so the county will also alert residents door-to-door, post emergency crews in threatened areas, and host community meetings to provide emergency information. In the case of emergency, you can always tune in to KBHR 93.3 FM for updated information. For the time being, just know that the county will make emergency test calls sometime in the week of June 25.

CalTrans to Repave Highway 18, East of Baldwin Lake

CalTrans will be at work to restore deteriorating pavement on Highway 18 next week. The two-mile project will be on the back grade of 18, just east of Baldwin Lake Road, between Cactus Road and Snubbing Post Grade Road, which CalTrans tells us is about six miles east of Highway 38. During the repaving, which begins on Monday, June 25, delays are expected to be minimal, but there will be flagging from 6am to 6pm Monday through Friday. The repaving project on State Route 18 is scheduled for completion by the end of July, if not sooner.

Additional Chipping Dates Set for Big Bear Lake and Upper Moonridge
If you live in upper Moonridge, now is the time to start thinning your brush and vegetation, to create defensible space around your home. The Big Bear City Fire Department will bring the chipping truck to the upper Moonridge area from Monday, June 25 through June 29. Vegetation should be placed curbside by Monday, and Bear City Fire will also pick up your bagged pine needles, weeds and leaves. Please do not leave large root balls, construction materials, or trunks larger than 8” in diameter for the chipping truck.
Area 4 of the Chipping Program for the City of Big Bear Lake will be visited by the Big Bear Lake Fire Department's chipping truck starting Sunday, June 24, and will continue through July 8. Area 4 covers Big Bear Lake areas south of Big Bear Boulevard and Moonridge Road, east of Paine and west of Clubview Drive. For more information on the City's chipping program, log on to www.thinisin.org, then click on Chipper Days. Get chipping everybody, so our community can be as safe as possible in the event of a wildland fire.

Big Bear Still Has Access to $1 Million Earmarked for Pool
-- Updated
San Bernardino County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger announced yesterday that he is interested in keeping the previously earmarked $1 million dollar grant award for local use in Big Bear. This was the money that had been previously intended for the proposed aquatic facility at Meadow Park. Per the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, Hansberger has made no determination as to use on a specific project. This money will presumably be discussed at the next Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District Advisory Commission Workshop, which is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, June 28 at 4:30pm at the Senior Center in Big Bear Lake. Public comment will be welcome at the beginning of the meeting, and we will be sure to keep you updated as to the confirmed meeting time.
The 4:30pm meeting start time has been confirmed for Thursday, June 28.

Street Paving in Village Scheduled for Completion Today
The street paving project in the Village should be completed today, per the City of Big Bear Lake. In the meantime, the west end of Village Drive will be closed from Paine to Cottage, as the resurfacing of the street continues. All Village businesses will remain open, detours are in place, and Village Drive will definitely be open for the weekend.

CPR Training Available from Big Bear City Fire Department
In 2006, over 100 people in Bear Valley received their CPR certification—and now you have an opportunity to join the club. The Big Bear City Fire Department has six certified CPR instructors through the American Heart Association, and will offer another CPR training course on Saturday, July 7. The full day class begins at 9am, and cost is only $40 per person. To register for the class, or to arrange for a group class of 10 or more at your location, call Deanne Johanson at the Bear City Fire Department at 585-2362, or stop by the fire department at 301 W. Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear City.


Chef Cobi Kim of the Cancer Project joined Susie Lerma of Sol Food Market for the first in a series of free healthy cooking classes,
held in the historic Miller House in Fawnskin. For more information, log on to www.thecancerproject.org, or visit Sol Food in Big Bear City.

June 21, 2007 -- Happy Summer!


Bears of 1987 to Celebrate 20-Year Reunion September 8

Big Bear High School's Class of 1987 will celebrate their 20-year reunion on Saturday, September 8. The event begins at 6pm at Northwoods Resort in the Village, and will feature cocktail hour, dinner, DJ and dancing for only $50, if purchased in June. To reserve your space at the reunion, call Kindal Voss at Northwoods at 866-3121. For what it's worth, BBHS's Class of 1987 is the only class to have attended two years at the old high school, which is now BBMS, and two years at the present high school, which opened when they were juniors.

Planning Commission Gives 2008 Marathon a Go

At this week's meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake, the marathon proposed by HBT Events was approved. Of the four commissioners present at Wednesday's meeting, unanimous approval was granted to the Valley-wide marathon, which will take place on Saturday, September 6, following Labor Day weekend, in 2008.
The Planning Commission also received input on the workshop item regarding a 26-lot subdivision on the corner of Talmadge Lane and Mill Creek Road. During public comments, some were concerned about traffic flow from the development, and a member of the Sierra Club brought up water issues and asked that the commission address potential endangered species on the 6.69 acre property.

Missing Redlands Man Found in Car Near Onyx Summit

Shortly before 8pm last night, Big Bear Sheriff's Deputies responded to a call of an unresponsive male subject in the driver's seat of a white Chevrolet SUV on a fire road near Onyx Summit off State Highway 38 in Big Bear City. When deputies arrived on scene, they found the sole male subject inside the vehicle. The male was deceased and the apparent cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The suspect is a white male adult from Redlands, who had been reported missing by family members to the Riverside Police Department. The subject's name is being withheld, pending notification to the family. The San Bernardino Sheriff's Coroner will be conducting any further investigation.

Chamber of Commerce Installs New Officers at 60th Annual Dinner
This week, the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce hosted its 60th annual Installation Dinner. During the dinner at Northwoods, County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger swore in the following community members to the Chamber's Board of Directors: Chairman of the Board Bill Young of Realty Executives, Past Chairman of the Board Brent Tregaskis of Big Bear Mountain Resorts, Vice Chair of Finance Hank Peralez of Countrywide Home Loans, Vice Chair of Public Policy & Economic Development Alan Sharp of Big Bear Marina, Vice Chair of Membership Ken Dally of Paper Clip Stationers; and new board members Tom Benson of Premier Properties Sotheby's International, Alan Cutler of Big Bear Choppers, Patrick Lane of Century 21, Marcus Dietz of Big Bear Today, Lauren Hood of Edward Jones Investments, Chuck Lindeen of Chuck's Home Inspections, and Chambermaids President Gail Dick. Returning board members on the Chamber include Loren Hafen of Holloway's Marina, Sandra Gray of Bear Valley Electric, and Larbi Loucif of Prudential Properties. For information on joining the Chamber, call Kat Sawyer at 584-1066.

Big Bear's MS Walk Raises Over $98,850

Two months later, the results are in for the MS Walk. The April 21 event, to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, raised over $98,850! Congratulations Big Bear, and event organizers Dave and Loni Emig, for going above and beyond the goal of $85,000 for the MS Walk. Top pledge-generating teams include the Moose Lodge and Grizzly Manor, both bringing in well over $10,000 each.

83 Marijuana Plants Found in Sugarloaf Residence
Yesterday at approximately 7:19pm, the Big Bear Sheriff's Station Multi Enforcement Team responded to a tip from a citizen informant of a possible marijuana grow in the 800 block of Spruce Lane in Sugarloaf. When deputies arrived at the residence, they found the front door wide open and noticed the suspect asleep on the couch with marijuana in plain view. Sheriff's Deputies secured the residence and obtained a search warrant for the premises. The suspect Steven Wick, a 24-year-old white male adult, is a resident of Eureka, California.
Deputies conducted a search of the residence and discovered an elaborate indoor marijuana grow, with approximately 83 marijuana plants. In conjunction with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Narcotic Unit, deputies also recovered marijuana packaged for sales, a large quantity of hashish, and a short barreled pistol grip shotgun. Suspect Wick was arrested and booked at Central Detention Center for felony cultivation of marijuana for sales, in addition to weapons charges.

MWD Board to Acknowledge Sheila Hamilton Today
The Municipal Water District will hold their meeting of the Board of Directors today at 1pm. During the meeting, outgoing General Manager Sheila Hamilton will be acknowledged for her 21 years of service to the agency. The MWD Board meeting takes place at their offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake.


Who's fishing in Baker Pond? The Municipal Water District continues to round up carp from both the pond and Big Bear Lake,
in hopes of removing 100,000 pounds of the fish, which threaten the ecological balance of our waters. The carp will ultimately
leave the mountain to be used for pet food.

June 20, 2007



This property at the corner of Mill Creek Road and Talmadge Lane will be up for discussion at Wednesday's 1:15pm meeting of the
Planning Commission. The 6.69 acre lot at the top of Red Ant Hill is the site of a proposed 26 lot subdivision.

Murder Investigation on Little Arctic Circle

There is police activity near the Dam and on Little Arctic Circle. A murder investigation is being conducted by the San Bernardino Police Department. Around 2am last night, an employee of a Highland restaurant left work, and was later found with a fatal gunshot wound. The San Bernardino Police Department tells KBHR that persons of interest and the victim's car were traced to Big Bear, which is why police are currently on scene. At this time, all lanes of traffic are open, and more information will be forthcoming.

Lighthouse Project Meets to Make Big Bear Better for Youth

This evening there will be a meeting of the Lighthouse Project, which is a local non-profit organization whose purpose is to build a child-honoring community. The Bear Valley group, which was formed last summer, is headed by Beth Gardner and Tim Wood, who will host the 7pm meeting in the conference room of the Knickerbocker Mansion at the top of Knickerbocker in Big Bear Lake. The meeting is expected to last an hour, and those interested in making Big Bear better for our kids are welcome to attend—and, you should know, there is no commitment or financial contribution attached to those who attend this evening's Lighthouse Project meeting.

Fireworks to Be on Wednesday, July 4

Though Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year, the City of Big Bear Lake will host the fireworks celebration on July 4. The Rotary Club will also host their annual Old Fashioned July 4 BarBQ at the Marina Resort, featuring food, activities, live entertainment, and front row seats for the fireworks over the lake. The Rotary event sells out annually, but tickets are currently available at the Marina Resort at 40770 Lakeview Drive, as well as Big Bear Pharmacy, Bear City Glass, and Shelli's Hallmark in the Interlaken Center.

Carp Round-Up Continues

Though the Municipal Water District's 4th annual Carp Round-Up netted over 7,000 pound of carp from Big Bear Lake, MWD is still at work to round up some more. If you're wondering about those boats in Baker Pond, an outside agency has been hired to remove additional carp from both the pond and Big Bear Lake. Lake Manager Mike Stephenson tells KBHR that they hope to remove 100,000 pounds of carp, and the fish will be taken to a location off the mountain to be used as pet food. The project commenced on June 11, the day after the Carp Round-Up, and is anticipated to take 20 to 30 days. By Monday, the group will tackle the remaining carp in the lake.

Chambermaids Golf Tournament June 25

The Chambermaids of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce will hold their 8th annual golf tournament next week. The fundraiser takes place on Monday, June 25 at Bear Mountain Golf Course, and proceeds will be used to support valley-wide projects. For information on the Chambermaids tournament, please call Gail Dick at 866-0090.

Village Street Paving Done by Friday
The street paving project in the Village should be completed this week, per the City of Big Bear Lake. In the meantime, the west end of Village Drive will be closed from Paine to Cottage, as the resurfacing of the street continues. All Village businesses will remain open, detours are in place, and Village Drive will definitely be open for the weekend.

Redlands Courthouse Closed
The Superior Court of San Bernardino County announces that effective immediately the Redlands District Courthouse is closed until further notice, while environmental concerns are dealt with. It is anticipated that the closure will last two to four weeks. In the interim, all documents normally filed in the Redlands Courthouse should be filed at the San Bernardino Courthouse, located at 351 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino.

Healthcare District Meets This Morning
The Board of Directors of the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will hold a finance committee meeting this morning. The Board meets at 8am in the hospital conference room.

June 19, 2007


Fastlane Ski and Board Shop relocated to Moonridge Road, from the Moonridge Y, to make room for a new Walgreens. Trees at
the Moonridge Y are also slated for removal—39 trees will be removed, and only 16 will be left intact, to allow for the new pharmacy.

No Burning Allowed, per CalFire
Because of the extreme potential for wildland fire, CalFire (The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) has established a Burning Permit Suspension, effective this week. In addition, the use of campfires is restricted to campfire facilities within established campgrounds. The burn suspension applies to San Bernardino, Inyo and Mono counties, and will remain in effect indefinitely.

JazzTrax Festival This Weekend

The third annual JazzTrax Summer Music Festival returns to the mountaintop this weekend. The three-day event begins with a 7pm concert at the Discovery Center on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the festival moves to the outdoor amphitheater at the top of Snow Summit. The chairlift will open at 10am, and the concerts start at noon on the 23rd and 24th. Headliners for the three-day festival include Paul Brown, Mindi Abair and Nick Braun. Tickets are still available by calling 866-trax (8729) or online at www.jazztrax.com.

RTAC Meeting Tomorrow Morning
The Regional Traffic Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow, June 20, at 9am at the Chamber of Commerce offices in the Village.

Fire Near Lake Arrowhead Contained Last Night

The U.S. Forest Service reports that a fire three miles northeast of Lake Arrowhead was contained at midnight last night. The Rouse Meadows Fire was reported yesterday at 6pm, and burned in light grass and chaparral. One hundred and thirty firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, San Bernardino County Fire and CalFire, as well as two retardant air tankers, contained the fire within six hours. Thirty acres total were burned, and cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Planning Commission to Discuss Marathon and Residential Subdivision
The Planning Commission of the City of Big Bear Lake will meet tomorrow afternoon. The Commission will discuss the proposed Valley marathon during public hearing items. This will be the third meeting at which the marathon, tentatively scheduled for September 6, 2008, will be addressed, as portions of the 26.2 mile route have been changed. The marathon, which will include a 5K run, a bike/hand cycle tour, half-marathon, and kids fun run, would cover city, county and state roads.
The Commission will also include a workshop item regarding the proposed 26-lot residential subdivision at Mill Creek Road and Talmadge Lane. This is the public's opportunity to provide input on proposed changes to the property at the top of Red Ant Hill.
The Planning Commission meets at 1:15pm in Hofert Hall on Wednesday.

Summer Solstice Celebration on Thursday

This Thursday, June 21 marks the Summer Solstice, indicating the longest day and shortest night of the year, and the start of summer. A Big Bear Summer Solstice event has been planned at the Discovery Center, and will feature activities and exhibits sponsored by the All Nations Circle, Friends of the Moonridge Zoo and the Moonridge Animal Park. The full-day festivities run from 10am to 3pm and the event is free. Happy summer!

County Board of Supervisors Meets at 10am
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meets in the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. The Board meeting is available for viewing online—log on to http://www.sbcounty.gov/sbco/cob/default.htm (then click on County Vision on the left).

June 18, 2007


The Class of 2007 is Big Bear's 75th graduating group of seniors, the 21st class to graduate from the current Big Bear High School,
and the first to graduate from the field. Congratulations Bears!

As of This Afternoon, All Ballots Have Been Counted
The pool ballot count is in! Jeff Rigney, Deputy Chief of Special Districts of Operations for San Bernardino County, tells KBHR that of the just over 29,800 ballots mailed on the proposed Valley pool, all 13,490 returned ballots have been counted. Seventy-six percent of residential property owners voted against the assessment, and 24% voted in favor of the pool. That said, there will not be an aquatic facility at Meadow Park as planned by the Big Bear Recreation and Park District. The results will be presented to the County Board of Supervisors at their 10am meeting tomorrow.

Photography Presentation at Sierra Club Meeting Tuesday
Erv Nichols, former Sierra Club Big Bear Group Chair and employee of the Discovery Center, will be the featured presenter at Tuesday's meeting of the Sierra Club. Nichols returns to Big Bear to present the story of this life in photography, from college days in the darkroom to the latest in digital photography. The Sierra Club meeting begins at 6:30pm, June 19, at the Discovery Center, and refreshments will be served. Guests are encouraged to bring items for recycling, including cans, bottles, empty ink jet cartridges and cell phones. For more information, contact Christie Walker at 866-5006.

Don't You Want to Doo Dah? Join the Parade

The Valley's biggest smallest parade is looking for community members to participate. Anything goes in the Doo Dah Parade, which takes place in Fawnskin on July 28. Individuals, service clubs and community groups are invited to be in the three block parade, and cost is only $10 per group, and free for children's groups. For more information, please call Kathy Murphy at 866-5784.

School Board to Meet; Attend Achievement Conference

The Board of Trustees of Bear Valley Unified School District will meet today, before attending an Achievement Conference in Indian Wells on June 20. The closed session portion of this evening's meeting begins at 6pm, and will include presentation of candidates for the Assistant Principal position of Fallsvale Elementary. During the open session, which begins at 6:30pm, the Board will adopt the budget for the 2007-2008 school year. The School Board will meet at the school district offices at 42271 Moonridge Road in Big Bear Lake.

West Nile Virus Reported in San Bernardino County

The County of San Bernardino's Department of Public Health has issued a statement reporting the first positive test for West Nile Virus in San Bernardino County for 2007. The West Nile Virus, or WNV, was verified in a dead bird, an American Kestrel, found on Inland Center Drive in San Bernardino. Surrounding counties, including Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, Imperial and Kern, have all reported positive WNV results earlier this season.
West Nile is transmitted to people by mosquitoes, and those persons infected usually have a mild illness or no symptoms. Those most at risk are people over age 50 and those with compromised immune systems. The County recommends following the 5Ds to reduce the risk: Drain or Dump all standing water; Dawn and Dusk are times to avoid being outside with mosquitoes; Dress in long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose and light colored; DEET-containing insect repellent should be applied; and Doors, as in make sure your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. To report dead birds, as they may contain West Nile Virus, call 1-877-WNV-BIRD or go online to www.westnile.ca.gov.

Celebration of Life for Carol Antes

Carol Antes, wife of Gary Antes, passed away last Friday. Her family will hold a Celebration of Life for Carol on Wednesday, June 20 at 2pm at B's Backyard BBQ in Big Bear Lake. In lieu of flowers, the Antes family has established a Carol Rose Memorial Fund at First Mountain Bank.

Pool Ballot Tally to Be Announced at Tomorrow's County Board Meeting

As of Friday evening, 11,039 ballots of the nearly 30,000 mailed have been counted. To date, 75% of residential property owners are opposed to the assessment for the Valley pool, and 25% are in favor. Official results of the Meadow Park pool are scheduled to be presented at the meeting of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County tomorrow. The Board meets at 10am at the County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino.
During the meeting, Big Bear's Sheila Hamilton will be recognized for her 21 years of service to the Municipal Water District. Hamilton is the outgoing General Manager of MWD, whose position was assumed by Scott Heule on June 1.

CSD Meets This Evening
The Big Bear City Community Services District will hold their regular meeting tonight at 139 East Big Bear Boulevard. CSD's Consent Calendar includes a resolution to have delinquent trash collectetion, sewer use and water service charges collected on the tax roll. The CSD meeting starts at 5:30pm.

June 15, 2007


Chad Hall and Katie Wormsbecker were among the 215 graduates at Thursday's graduation
ceremony at Big Bear High School. For more photos, check out www.bigbearnews.com.

Parasailing Age Minimum Reduced

The minimum age for parasailing in Big Bear Lake has been lowered from 18 years old to seven years old. The new regulations are due in part to Big Bear Parasail at Pine Knot Landing meeting all of the requirements for membership in the Professional Association of Parasail Operators, the governing authority that regulates the parasailing industry. In addition to passing all of the PAPO's guidelines, Municipal Water District's Lake Manager Mike Stephenson recommended to the MWD Board of Directors to reduce the age limit, citing Big Bear Parasail's excellent safety record of over 10,000 accident-free flights since 1994. The MWD unanimously passed the new age limit at its last board meeting. The new regulation states the minimum age for parasailing on Big Bear Lake is now seven years old. All children under 12 years of age must fly in tandem with an older parasailer, and all minors must have a liability release signed by a parent or guardian.

Fire Season Addressed at County Supervisors Meeting

At this week's meeting of the County of San Bernardino, the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce addressed the Board of Supervisors, per the request of our Third District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger. The Mountain Area Safety Taskforce, known as MAST, was formed in 2002 and is a coalition of local, state and federal government agencies, private companies and volunteer organizations in San Bernardino County concerned with public safety. At the June 12 meeting, County Fire's Assistant Chief Peter Brierty said, “We consider the San Bernardino Mountains to have been in a continuous fire season since 2006 because of the lack of rainfall. There is good news though. Over the last several years, the County has made considerable progress in making our mountain communities safer than ever.” Some of that progress includes the removal of hundreds of thousands of highly flammable dead trees killed by bark beetles, and millions of tons of fuels around homes and communities. The Board of Supervisors has also funded full staffing at county stations—seasonal firefighters have been on staff since April 1. Also, open burning restrictions are scheduled to begin, county-wide, as of June 18.
You can do your part by taking advantage of neighborhood chipping programs of the Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City Fire Departments, and by reading the MAST brochure sent to your mailbox. Supervisor Hansberger says, “The brochures have been distributed. Read it, believe it, and take action. We really can't protect properties that haven't taken the time to protect themselves.”

Bear City Woman Loses Life in Hwy 38 Accident

Yesterday's two-car accident on Highway 38 at Onyx Summit resulted in one fatality. The California Highway Patrol reports that Sharon Ann Weber, a 53-year-old resident of Big Bear City, a passenger in one of the two vehicles, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 9:58am. The driver of Weber's vehicle, a minor from Big Bear City, was transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center. The driver of the other vehicle, a 76-year-old resident of Vallejo, was taken to Bear Valley Community Hospital. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.

Fifty Percent of Valley Pool Ballots Counted
After two days of ballot counting on the Valley pool assessment, 50% of returned ballots have been tallied. The count so far is 81% opposed and 19% in favor of the aquatic facility at Meadow Park. The County of San Bernardino anticipated that counting of the ballots would take 3-4 days, with an official tally to be presented at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, June 19.

Flagging on Hwy 18 through Arrowhead Area
CalTrans has announced that the repaving project on Highway 18 through the Arrowhead area will continue through July. The project will cover Highway 18 from State Route 189 to State Route 330. CalTrans work and flagging will take place from 6am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, until the rubberized asphalt paving project is complete. California Highway Patrol will be present to assist with traffic control, but drivers are encouraged to use Highway 330 as an alternate route.

McCord and Tilford Named Valedictorians for BBHS
Congratulations to the Class of 2007, the new graduates of Big Bear High School! Yesterday's graduation ceremony featured speeches by the Class of 2007's valedictorians Karrie McCord, who has attended Bear Valley schools since starting at Co-Op in the Pines, and Matthew Tilford, who said “As a class, we will show that there is greatness in this Valley, and in this world.” (For more photos of the BBHS and BBMS graduations, log on to www.bigbearnews.com.)


Karen Mehringer returned to Big Bear to celebrate the release of her book Sail Into Your Dreams at a
book launch party at Gold Mountain Manor. Sherry McDaniel (top) and Loryn Longbrake (right) were
among the many guests who enjoyed Karen's presentation, followed by a drum circle, Wednesday
evening. Karen's book is available via www.SailIntoYourDreams.com.

June 14, 2007

Deceased in Hwy 38 Accident Was From Big Bear; Road Reopened

As of about 10:30am this morning, Highway 38 at Onyx Summit was closed in both directions, due to a two-vehicle accident. The California Highway Patrol tells KBHR that there is one confirmed fatality as a result of the accident, and that the deceased is a resident of Big Bear. The driver of that vehicle is also a resident of Big Bear and is currently being treated at Bear Valley Community Hospital. The names of both driver and passenger have not yet been released. As of approximately 1:45 pm, all lanes of Highway 38 were reopened.

Water Conservation Required, So Try Xeriscape

As this is our driest year to date, the Department of Water and Power has upheld the Stage II conservation measures for the duration of the 2007 irrigation season, which lasts until November 15. Stage II policy does not allow for the planting of new turf, and watering is to be done before 9am or after 6pm. If you need ideas on how to maintain a yard under these conditions, the DWP has partnered with the Sierra Club Big Bear Group to present the 5th annual Xeriscape Garden Tour. This free tour will be on Saturday, July 14, and will show you how to have a beautiful, colorful garden while conserving water. The self-guided tour is from 9am to noon, and begins at Eminger's Mountain Nursery, where you can pick up a tour booklet and map. For more information on the July 14 Xeriscape Garden Tour, call Christie Walker at 866-5006.

This Just In: Highway 38 Closed

Highway 38 at Onyx Summit is closed in both directions. California Highway Patrol tells KBHR that there was a two-vehicle accident, with one confirmed fatality. Emergency crews are on the scene, and Highway 38 will be closed for 1½ to 2 hours as of 11am.


Congratulations to the graduates of Big Bear Middle School, who had their Promotion Ceremony on the BBMS field on Tuesday afternoon. Happy summer!

Preliminary Ballot Count Suggests No Pool As Planned

After the first day of ballot counting on the Valley pool assessment, 2600 votes have been tallied. The count so far is 71 percent opposed and 29 percent in favor of the aquatic facility at Meadow Park. The County of San Bernardino anticipated that counting of the ballots would take 3-4 days, with an official tally to be presented at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, June 19.

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