The High Desert Report » June 2016

Monthly Archives: June 2016


Publisher’s Message-2016

Published by:

Joseph W. Brady

By Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR

We have some very exciting information to share in this Edi­tion of the Report. But first, I wish to welcome our cur­rent, future, and long standing subscrib­ers and sponsors of the 55th Edition of The Bradco High Desert Report, the first and only economic overview of The High Desert, covering the northern portion of San Bernardino County, California.

As many of you longtime readers know, Dr. Alfred Gobar has continually supplied some of the greatest articles to The Brad­co High Desert Report since its inception in May of 1993, all the way through our 52nd Edition. Due to an 8-year battle with cancer, he was unable to prepare an article for this edition. Considering how long he has been in this battle, Dr.… Read the full article

Film General

What Happened to the Inland Empire Film Commission?

Published by:

By Dan Taylor

Many of you remember the articles by Sheri Davis of the Inland Empire Film Commission (IEFC), revealing all the juicy tidbits of information about the film industry traipsing around the High Desert looking for the perfect location for their feature film, commercial or magazine shoot. All of a sudden the Inland Empire Film Commission disappeared with little fanfare.

“What happened,” You ask? Well, the details are pretty convoluted, but basi­cally the entity housing the Film Commission decided to close that division. So how will the High Desert continue to get the filming that brings so much money to the area?

The County of San Bernardino Eco­nomic Development Agency quickly stepped in to help fill the gap. They contracted with the newly formed Dan Taylor Consulting company to pick up the pieces – in other words, they hired the author of this article.… Read the full article

General Nonprofits

High Desert Community Foundation

Published by:

By Lisa Lawrence

It is a privilege to join my colleagues and past Bradco High Desert Report article submitters Vici Nagel and Debbie A. Cannon, in discussing the current status and future outlook for nonprofit organizations in the High Desert region and the important connections with the business community.

So what are we facing? The National Council of Nonprofits says, “The top three trends for charitable nonprofits will continue to be: limited resourc­es, increased demands on nonprofits, stemming from increased needs in communities; and the growing aware­ness that every nonprofit and board member needs to be an active, vocal advocate for his/her nonprofit’s mis­sion.”

The national trend is magnified in our High Desert area. The issue of an un­derfunded Inland Empire region has been widely discussed over the past few years, particularly as it relates to foundation dollars coming into our area.… Read the full article

General Politics

Governor’s Record Budget Asks Taxpayers For Even More

Published by:

By Senator Mike Morrell

At the beginning of the year, the gov­ernor released the details of his pro­posed state budget. While the next few months will be filled with negotiations and committee hearings to hammer out the details, it is already clear that this budget continues a trend of gov­ernment growth and spending at the expense of the taxpayer – this time to the tune of a record $122.6 billion.

The governor and Democratic leaders have reiterated their belief that Cali­fornia is in good financial shape and have used this assessment to justify spending increases, though many, in­cluding the governor himself, con­tinue to warn that another recession could be just around the corner.

Yet still the governor has doubled down on calls for higher taxes.… Read the full article

General Transportation

Caltrans Achieves Major Milestones in the High Desert

Published by:

By Joy M. Schneider – Public Information Officer, Caltrans

For approximately four years, Caltrans has been actively working in the High Desert to improve and upgrade the transportation system. Rap­id growth in the region and the resulting congestion have made improvements a priority. As one of three routes in and out of Southern California, the Inter­state 15 (I-15) and Interstate 215 (I-215) interchange is a heavy goods movement corridor and recreational gateway to places like Las Vegas and the Colorado River, in addition to being a commuting route.

Two of the major projects that will ad­dress congestion and wear-and-tear on the facility are nearing the finish line, while several others continue to work to bring relief to the High Desert.

Devore Interchange Project

The $325 million I-15/I-215 Devore In­terchange Project, which began in No­vember 2012, will add a truck by-pass lane, add an additional lane in each di­rection and bring the interchange up to operational standards, as well as address the arterial highways network deficien­cies—specifically the reconnection of Route 66 (Cajon Boulevard).… Read the full article

General Water

Cadiz Inc Continues Work to Provide California Much-Needed New Water

Published by:

By Courtney Degener, Vice President, Communications & Investor Relations A part of the Cadiz team for over 12 years

The Mojave Desert’s Cadiz Valley in eastern San Bernardino County, Cali­fornia, is a hot, dry place. The sandy soil supports only sparse, low brush well adapted to the hot dry climate where summer temperatures reach up to 120 degrees. It’s just about the last place you’d go looking for water.

But in the 1980s, our Company found­ers did just that. Guided by early NASA satellite imagery, they postulated that the unique geology of the Cadiz Val­ley, which is about the size of Rhode Island, could indicate that groundwater had been collecting under the soil for millennia. We purchased land, drilled exploratory wells and, indeed, found plentiful, high-quality groundwater.… Read the full article

General Politics

Valdez appointed San Bernardino Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector

Published by:

Oscar Valdez

Oscar Valdez was appointed to the vacated elected posi­tion of Audi­tor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on February 17, 2016. Prior to his appointment, Valdez served as the Assistant Auditor-Con­troller/Treasurer/Tax Collector from May 2011 until his current appoint­ment in 2016 and was responsible for the management and oversight of the auditor, controller, and treasurer divi­sions for the County of San Bernardino. Valdez has over 20 years of accounting, auditing, budgeting, finance, and man­agement experience, 16 of which have been with San Bernardino County.

The Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector’s Office has a budget of near­ly $40 million and employs 315 county employees. The department performs the accounting, reporting, and claims of all county financial activities to ensure sound financial management.… Read the full article

General Water

MWA Offers Assistance to Small Water Providers

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By Yvonne Hester, Community Liaison Officer

As California continues to experience year five of a statewide drought, hopes of a saving El Niño continue to elude the Golden State. Here in the High Des­ert, periods of drought are part of the na­tive climate, requiring the Mojave Wa­ter Agency to continually monitor and invest in plans and programs to ensure water for today and tomorrow. Among the Agency’s newest programs is the Small Systems Assistance Program (SSAP) that has been named as a finalist for an award of excellence from the As­sociation of California Water Agencies.

During the past two decades, MWA in­vested heavily in large capital projects such as pipelines and recharge facilities, but today the focus is on optimization of resources, thanks to community in­put during the 2014 Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.… Read the full article

General Water

Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority’s Apple Valley and Hesperia Subregional Reclamation Plants Scheduled for Completion in Early 2017

Published by:

Victor Valley Wastewater Reclama­tion Authority is so much more than a wastewater treatment plant. VVWRA is more like a resource recovery facil­ity that protects public health by taking the incoming waste and transforming it into something useful. With the help of nearly $200 million in capital proj­ects, funded in part by more than $71 million in grants, along with forward thinking planning and management, VVWRA creates millions of gallons per day of clean recycled water, gener­ates sustainable green energy and pro­duces high nutrient bio-solids that are used for land application. But it wasn’t always like this. In the last ten years, VVWRA has gone from a facility that was essentially dead and facing mul­tiple water quality violations, to a plant that is recognized as a leader in both the renewable energy and wastewater industries.… Read the full article

General Politics

Building Opportunity and Time for the High Desert

Published by:

By Tim Watkins, Chief of Legislative and Public Affairs, San Bernardino Associated Governments

In the High Desert region of San Bernar­dino County, transportation continues to be a major factor in the quality of life of the people who live and work here and beyond. According to census data, near­ly 40,000 residents of the High Desert work in areas south of the Cajon Pass. This commuter demand relies heavily on a freeway corridor that also serves as a primary artery for goods movement to and from the rest of the nation, offering significant motivation to find solutions to the transportation challenges before us. As the economy continues to slowly rebound from the downturn experienced almost a decade ago, housing starts are returning to the region.… Read the full article

General Water

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Stormwater Program

Published by:

By Patty Z. Kouyoumdjian, Executive Officer

The Lahontan Regional Water Qual­ity Control Board, known as the La­hontan Water Board, is a state agency whose mission is to protect surface and groundwater uses for current and future benefit of all Californians. The board has seven members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Staff offices are located in South Lake Tahoe and Victorville.

Implementing a number of federal and state regulatory programs, board decisions directly or indirectly affect most all residents within the Lahon­tan Region. The Lahontan Region encompasses the Great Basin portion of California. It extends from Ore­gon south to the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains and eastward from the crest of the Sierra Nevadas to Nevada. Within San Bernardino County, numerous board actions are taken to protect and improve the state’s waters.… Read the full article

Air Quality General

High Desert Businesses give MDAQMD High Marks for Customer Service

Published by:

By Christie Robinson, CRE Specialist, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

In today’s economic climate, cus­tomer service can mean the differ­ence between success and failure for some businesses and organiza­tions. In January of this year, the Mojave Desert Air Quality Manage­ment District–the local air quality agency for San Bernardino County’s High Desert and Riverside County’s Palo Verde Valley–initiated a Cus­tomer Service Satisfaction Survey in an effort to provide the MDAQMD Executive Board with insights on how well staff is meeting the needs of regulated business while issuing permits, inspecting facilities and re­sponding to questions about air qual­ity rules and regulations.

The MDAQMD’s last Customer Ser­vice survey– which was conducted in 1999–produced 26 responses. The 2016 survey produced a total of 60 responses from local industry.… Read the full article

General Transportation

High Desert Corridor Final EIS/R To Be Released Late April

Published by:

By Laurie Hunter

The High Desert Corridor, in the High Desert of both San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, an east-west highway between Palmdale and north Victorville and private sector-supported rail line connecting Anaheim to Vegas, is close to being environmentally cleared for land ac­quisition and development. The final Caltrans-produced EIS (environ­mental impact statement), followed by a month-long review period, was due to be released in late April, 2016. After the Federal Government issues a Record of Decision, usually within a few months of EIS release, land acquisition of the right of way can legally begin.

High Desert Corridor Interactive Map

You can get the latest information, see where the on and off ramps are likely to be located, and see land use and public comments relating to spe­cific points by doing a web search for the HIGH DESERT CORRI­DOR INTERACTIVE MAP.… Read the full article