The High Desert Report » July 9, 2018

Daily Archives: July 9, 2018


While Honoring our Fallen Leaders, the High Desert Must Develop a New Generation of Leadership

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By Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR

I have lived in the High Desert for 30 years, having moved to Victorville on May 13, 1988. During that period of time, I have attended over 160 funerals. All of these individuals were very im­portant people, both to their families and to their communities in the High Des­ert. At the recent funeral of Mr. Harley “Bud” Biggs, the former Plant Manager for Mitsubishi Cement, a poem was pre­sented that speaks to what we accom­plish in our lives and how we might be remembered:

The Dash
by Linda Ellis ™

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

Copyright 1996-2018,
Inspire Kindness, LLC

I originally read “The Dash” a few years ago while attending a funeral for the husband of a great friend of mine, Mr. Bill Nelson, who had suddenly passed away. His wife, Judith Ricker-Nelson, had placed a copy of “The Dash” on each table in yellow, and I couldn’t help but take a copy of it. I have since read it many, many times.

Some of the leaders who have made a great impression on me as a resident and a business owner here in the High Desert region, helping to propel me to become involved in efforts to make this a better place to live, work and play, include:

  • Ms. Mary Scarpa – Member of In­corporation Committee of Adelanto, Former Council Member, Former Mayor
  • Mr. Rob Turner – Former Educator, Former Council Member, Former Mayor of Town of Apple Valley
  • Mr. David Berch – Former Contel Communications Executive
  • Mr. Raymond Goodspeed – Former Founder of Goodspeed Distributing
  • Mr. Lee “Mr. Red Cross” Tucker was a Volunteer with the Apple Valley Chamber of Chamber of Commerce and many other orga­nizations. He gave a tremendous amount of time to the Red Cross and helped create The Red Cross Economic Summit, which ultimate­ly raised over $300,000 in 13 Eco­nomic Summits that were held (the majority were held at Victor Valley Community College District).
  • Mr. William Arthur “Bill” Porter – Former President of Porter Real Es­tate, One of the Founders of the Mo­jave Water Agency, a True Leader
  • Mr. Robert S. Bath – Founder, Ad­vance Disposal
  • Mr. Thomas Graning Jr. – High Desert Opportunity Founder and Three-time President of the HDO, a former Associate of Shear Realty and a Former Commercial Associ­ate of The Bradco Companies
  • Mr. Gene Selig – Former High Des­ert resident
  • Ms. Anna Sugi – Former CEO, Choice Medical Group
  • Mr. James B. Tatum – Home Build­er (Narcissa Homes). He and his fa­ther, Clyde, built well over 14,000 homes between the Victor Valley and the Antelope Valley. I am al­ways proud to say that it was Mr. James P. Tatum and his family who helped found Joseph W. Brady, Inc., dba The Bradco Companies
  • Mr. Ernie Gommel “Mr. Lucerne Valley.” Co-Owner of the Lucerne Valley Market, a “Mover and Shak­er” in Lucerne Valley
  • Mr. Warren Baker – Former High Desert Governmental Affairs Ex­pert (Victor Valley Association of Realtors and the High Desert Con­struction Industries Association)
  • Ms. Jean Deblasis – Former Vic­torville Councilmember, Mayor, al­ways referred to as Ms. Victorville
  • Mr. Ken Chambers – Former Presi­dent, Sunland Ford
  • Mr. Bob Greiner – Founder Greiner Buick Pontiac GMC
  • Mr. Bruce Kitchen – Former Hesperia Mayor, former Council Member
  • Ms. Carollee Stater – Former VVC Trustee, Former Librarian, Former Volunteer
  • Mr. Craig Sundgren – Former Own­er, Cubit Engineering
  • Mr. Anton “Tony” Hackbarth – For­mer Co-Founder, Del Taco
  • Mr. Robert G. Segona – Former Town of Apple Valley Coun­cilmember/Mayor
  • Mr. Willie Davis Pringle – Former VVC Coach, Staff Member, and Legend
  • Mr. Gene “Pinky” Pinkerton – For­mer Chicago Title Executive/High Desert Opportunity Volunteer
  • Mr. Michael Yannone – Former Southwest Portland Cement Execu­tive
  • Mr. Robert Russell Gaines Sr. – Former African American Chamber of Commerce Executive Founder/Founder, California African Ameri­can Chamber of Commerce
  • Mr. Brad Orchard – Former KVVQ Radio Partner and Announcer
  • Mr. Stephen J. Flannery – Former Book Company Executive
  • Mr. Chuck Love – Former Media Executive, Love Publications
  • Mr. Robin Pellissier – Former Val­ley High Toyota/ Honda Owner
  • Mr. Charles C. Moore – Former Victor Valley Association of RE­ALTORS ® President
  • Ms. Barbara Mae Veale – Former Lucerne Valley Resident and Lu­cerne Valley Leader
  • Ms. Sharon Runner – Former State Assemblyman and State Senator
  • Mr. Chuck Hanson – Former Apple Valley Leader
  • Mr. Malvin Lee Wessel – Former City of Barstow Mayor, Coun­cilmember and Founder of the Bar­stow Rodeo
  • Mr. Eugene “Gene” W. Gregory – Former City of Victorville Chamber Executive Director
  • Ms. Carol Jean Randall – Former Alliance Management Group/Lee & Associates Executive
  • Mr. Harley “Bud” Biggs – Former Plant Manager – Mitsubishi Cement and Former Board Member and President of the Center for Educa­tion
  • Mr. Jack Hall – Former Developer, Investor and Property Manager of nearly 900± homes in the High Des­ert region
  • Mr. Dick Pearson, Former Civic Leader, Member of many commit­tees, Former Council Member, For­mer Founder of the Town of Apple Valley, former Mayor
  • Ms. Mary Vance, Former Partner of Vance Homes
  • Mayor Russ Blewett, Hesperia City Council
  • Mr. William J. Krueger, Faculty Member, Barstow Community Col­lege
  • Mr. Jack Fales, Air Force Veteran, Longtime Realtor, and Community Leader

As individuals involved in the High Desert region, we owe it to our current and future residents to help try to iden­tify those people we believe have the willingness and ability to take a leader­ship role. We need younger people to become involved in shaping the future direction of the High Desert region. We need everyone, no matter their age, oc­cupation or status, to realize that this is our valley, and it is up to us to make the High Desert a better place to live, work and play. By developing the next gen­eration of leadership, we can ensure that our economy continues to thrive and our communities become healthier, happier and more livable.

General Politics

Enrique Arcilla Receives $1,000 Scholarship

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By Brian Ryman, Vice Chair
Victor Valley Libertarian Alliance

On Tuesday, May 15th, the Victor Valley Libertarian Alliance held its inaugural Brushfire of Freedom Award dinner for best essay on a liberty-based theme. In addition to the dinner, the award recipient received a medallion created especially for this event and a cashier’s check for $1000. The VVLA plans to make this an annual event to promote and encourage scholarship among high school students in the High Desert region of Southern California.

This year’s contest winner is Enrique Arcilla of Granite Hills High School for his essay, “Overreach, the Constitution, and Theft of Legislative Power: Tyran­ny Sprouts Anew.“ The essay question was “Has the U.S. Constitution been successful in restraining federal govern­ment overreach?” Enrique’s essay was judged to be the best of 26 excellent submissions.

Enrique Arcilla is no stranger to essay competitions. Two years ago, at the age of 15, he won a contest sponsored by the Mojave Water Agency and has participated in several others since. He says that competing in essay contests has caused him to delve into topics and gain a greater understanding of the issues surrounding them. He plans to continue this inquisitive approach as he embarks upon studies in international development and economics at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, next year. His winning essay is posted on the Victor Valley Libertarian Alliance Fa­cebook page.


The Victor Valley Libertarian Alliance is an activist group who seeks to better the lives of people with a combination of political education and positive community action. It has taken as its mission the advancement of personal liberty through voluntary individual action as well as political means. In addition to the annual essay contest, they will be hosting desert cleanup activities where volunteers get together to pick up trash left in our desert community.


Because it seeks to increase and broaden the scope of its activities – as well as expand its scholarship to more students, the Victor Valley Libertarian Alliance is exploring the idea of shared corporate sponsorship for future events and drives. Please contact them at: VVLib­ or if you would like to support these endeavors in your community.

The VVLA encourages you to become a part of positive change. They meet the third Tuesday of every month for dinner and business. The meeting location and meeting topics are posted on their Fa­cebook group. Anyone wanting to participate in a group seeking to advance individual liberty in a civil society or who simply wants to learn more about the libertarian movement is welcome to attend.


Tapestry Update

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By John Ohanian

The housing crisis continues to worsen in the State of California. Recent reports indicate that the state has fallen behind in housing production by over 3,500,000 housing units. As a result, the median house price in California has risen to over $540,000. Business development continues to move at a significant pace and job creation continues to exceed ev­eryone’s expectations. It’s time that the Mojave River Valley starts to benefit from all of these economic factors.

The Tapestry project is the first step in bringing the benefits of the national eco­nomic growth and addressing the need for reasonably priced housing to the Mojave River Valley. After a little over six years of processing and litigation, the hurdles have been cleared and the Tapestry community is close to becom­ing a reality.

Tapestry will bring the varied housing stock that employers say has been miss­ing from the Mojave River Valley and it will bring these varied housing types to a community that will address the needs and wants of today’s home buyers. The community will include all housing types from starter homes to executive homes as well as an active adult hous­ing element. These homes will be built around a system of parks, schools, trails and amenities that will be second to none and will provide the active lifestyle that makes for a successful community.

The current plan for development calls for completion of the technical studies and improvement plans within the next 12 months with construction starting shortly thereafter. Installation of the master improvements will take an addi­tional 12 to 18 months and houses will require 6 to 12 months. The plan is for the first homes to be delivered in 2020 or early 2021. Completion of the com­munity will take about 20 years.

Now for an editorial comment…Legis­lators lament the cost of housing in Cal­ifornia and its impact on the economy of the state. Every day we read stories about people moving out of California or delaying their household formation because of the cost of shelter. Tapestry is a case study on this topic. It took over six years and countless millions of dol­lars to get this project approved.

The community was designed as one of the first in the State to require solar on every building in the community. It is designed with a state-of-the-art water re-use system that will irrigate all pub­lic landscape areas and at least half of the private residences with non-potable water. It has over three times as many parks as mandated by the state guide­lines and has almost 50% of the acreage set aside as open space. Despite all of these features, the project was sued un­der the California Environmental Qual­ity Control Act (CEQA) and delayed even after an exhaustive public approval process. Lawsuits and delays result in a more costly project and impact the af­fordability of the houses. This process is repeated every day throughout the state. Projects face extensive delays and as a result supply remains constrained.

The laws of supply and demand remain true; with restricted supply comes up­ward pressure on the value of that which is in short supply. It’s time to reassess CEQA in California and make some long overdue reforms. We can begin to address the affordability crisis in Cali­fornia and work to make this an even better place for our future generations by restoring fairness to the process.