The High Desert Report » Blog Archives

Author Archives: Site Manager


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

Published by:

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

Published by:


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

Published by:

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.

City Updates

Adelanto – The City That’s Transforming

Published by:


Adelanto logo

By Richard Kerr, Mayor

The City of Adelanto is pleased to be a part of the 57th Edition of the High Des­ert Report. Our city continues its trans­formation from a bedroom community with limited commercial and industrial development to one that is becoming a driver of economic activity for Adelanto and the High Desert.

While the city’s burgeoning medical can­nabis industry has buoyed the economic resurgence of our city, make no mistake, Adelanto’s success is fueled by diverse activities that will strengthen our city to­day and into the future.

For example, City Council and I recog­nize that if growth is to occur, whether it’s residential, commercial, retail or in­dustrial, the city must develop a sound system of infrastructure to support the growth.

To this end, several projects will benefit residents and developers alike, includ­ing:

  • The San Bernardino County Trans­portation Authority (SBCTA), in part­nership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the City of Victorville and the City of Adelanto, is working on the Right-of-Way (ROW) and Final Design phases for the widen­ing of Highway 395 from State Route 18/Palmdale Road to Chamberlaine Way.

The $60 million widening project will increase from one to two lanes in each direction, and turn lanes and signals at various intersections will be installed within the project limits. Construction could begin as early as late 2018.

These scheduled improvements along this vital stretch of roadway through our city will relieve traffic congestion but, more importantly, create new opportunities for commercial growth that will generate tax revenues to support vital city services.

Other projects in the works include:

  • Adelanto Road and Rancho Road/Re-Pavement project—will occur from Hol­ly and Adelanto Road to Rancho Road north, from Rancho Road East to Rancho and Bellflower West. The $2 million project should commence in 2018 and be completed in early 2019.
  • Safe Routes to Schools project will see new sidewalks, ramps, traffic calm­ing treatments and pedestrian crossing flashers. The $700,000 project is a col­laboration between the cities of Adelanto and Victorville; to commence in May 2018.
  • Builder DR Horton will be widening Highway 18 and Verbena Road, which will also include a traffic signal modifi­cation. The $3 million project will com­mence in late 2018.
  • Builder Frontier Homes, whose 116 Single-Family homes are underway, has pulled grading permits and will spend $2 million for offsite improvements, includ­ing a storm drain channel and the widen­ing of Jonathan and Poppy Streets.
  • Bellflower Road at Highway 18 will be widened; the $250,000 project will include curb return and relocation of the traffic signals.
  • The long-awaited Lewis Retail proj­ect, located at Highway 395 and Mojave Drive, is in the plan-review process with Kinder Morgan, regarding the highway widening plans and existing fuel lines.
  • Although still at the discussion stage between the City of Adelanto and the County of San Bernardino, a traffic sig­nal is being considered at Mojave Drive and Bellflower Road.

In addition to the infrastructure projects, several other achievements will enable the City of Adelanto to continue along its road of fiscal prosperity and an improved quality of life for our residents. For ex­ample:

  • Korean-American Aircore Cookware has a Conditional Use Permit and de­velopment plans underway to construct a 100,000-square foot manufacturing facility at Rancho and Verbena Roads. The $45-$50 million investment includes a 100,000-square foot stainless steel fac­tory and will bring 250 full-time jobs to the High Desert.

Along with the two-and-a-half acre prop­erty, three-and-a-half and four-and-a-half acre properties have also been purchased by Aircore Cookware at the Rancho site. Aircore’s investment will bring much- needed infrastructure to the area, includ­ing road paving, water and sewer.

Aircore currently operates an 80,000- square foot facility with 100 employees in China and sells products on QVC ,along with a prototype to Starbucks.

  • Goldentree Medical Cannabis Facil­ity hosted a ribbon-cutting in October for its facility located on Yucca Road; the facility will consist of four buildings totaling 50,000 square feet. Goldentree is a closed-loop industrial company that controls every aspect of cultivation, ex­traction, marketing and distribution of the most pristine medicine for patients.

This project will generate up to $250,000 in taxes each year and the hiring of 40 employees.

  • LDS (Lifestyle Delivery Systems) and CSPA Group hosted a ribbon-cut­ting ceremony in October at its facility on Commerce Way, where they took an empty 20,000-square foot building and, using solely Adelanto talent, made sig­nificant—and costly—improvements in order to produce a revolutionary prod­uct—called cannastrips—for dispens­ing medical marijuana. The automated, state-of-the-art facility is expected to cre­ate up to 30 full-time positions, 15 part- time positions and eventually generate millions of dollars in annual tax revenue for the city.
  • The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), managed by the Califor­nia Public Utilities Commission, will provide matching funds for broadband infrastructure in unserved and under­served areas, including rural areas such as in the High Desert and Mojave region, as well as funding for adoption digital literacy programs, which help close the Digital Divide.

—after having been shuttered for three years, Adelanto increased fire protection and paramedic service 100% by adding an additional Captain, Engineer and Fire Fighter Paramedic to Station 322 on Rancho Road. There are 6,000 calls for service annually in Adelanto; increasing the staff 100% and adding an additional engine will reduce response times, and residents won’t have to wait for help to arrive from a neighboring city.

Other projects in the works that will con­tinue the city’s transformation include:

  • An ARCO Gas Station with a conve­nience store and drive-through restaurant will be built at Adelanto Road and Air Expressway, the site of the former Ad­elanto Casino;
  • A carwash, gas station and liquor store to be located at Highway 395 and Cactus Road;
  • 13-acre, 98,000-square foot commer­cial/retail shopping center located at Ver­bena and Palmdale roads.

So as you can tell, Adelanto is no longer a sleepy little town. It has awakened, and developers are continuing to discover that Adelanto is the “City with Unlimited Possibilities.”

In March of this year, Adelanto has en­tered into its first Sister City relationship with the South Korean City of Hadong. Described as a diplomatic platform to promote cooperation and direct engage­ment with its global partners on issues of mutual interest, particularly around busi­ness and commerce, tourism, education and culture, Hadong’s Mayor said that “both our cities are in rapidly developing regions and would benefit from exchang­ing development ideas on urbanization at an international level.”

I couldn’t agree more. To discover op­portunities that exist for development in Adelanto and become a part of a growing revolution, visit: or call (760) 246-2300


City Updates

Town of Apple Valley City Update

Published by:

Town of Apple Valley

By Orlando Acevedo, Economic Development Office

In the fall of 2017, the Town Council approved a hotel incentive deal, in the form of a Tran­sient Occupancy Tax reimburse­ment agreement, to attract Apple Valley’s first modern-day hotel. The deal returns a portion of the “bed tax” paid by the hotel. Project proponents submitted a development application in early 2018 to build a na­tionally recognized 100-room hotel at Jess Ranch Marketplace.

In December 2017, Apple Valley is­sued a grading permit for the highly an­ticipated Big Lots Distribution Center. Haskell, the engineering and develop­ment firm, commenced foundation work in January. The 1.3 million square foot logistics facility, the largest in the High Desert, will add 300 construction jobs to the area and up to 500 operational jobs when open in 2019.

Frontier Communities submitted a tract map application for 137 single-family homes near Bear Valley and Deep Creek Roads. The project will be reviewed by the Planning Commision in March and is expected to begin construction in the fall.

Tractor Supply Co. has submitted a de­velopment application for an 18,000-sq ft store at the northwest corner of Bear Valley Rd and Braeburn St. The project is expected to go before the Planning Commission in April.

The Town Council recently approved for Belco Development to install over­head power lines to the future Apple Valley Gateway center at the northeast corner of Interstate 15 and Dale Evans Parkway. The action effectively shaves $800,000 from off-site improvements costs. “The Council’s approval of our request to install the powerlines above ground allows the project to remain eco­nomically feasible,” said Steve Farmer, Belco’s Managing Partner. Apple Val­ley Gateway, Apple Valley’s first free­way-frontage commercial center, is a fully-entitled 10-acre, 80,480-square foot project, including retail and res­taurant spaces, fuel stations, and a pro­posed hotel.

The Village Business District Asso­ciation is tackling several major capital projects in 2018, including the paving of John Glenn Road, which will allow the Town to accept the street into its main­tenance system. These improvements will please patrons visiting Off the Grid Brewery, the Rusty Bull Roadhouse, and other nearby businesses.

New and Coming Soon

  • Yucca Loma Bridge opened in May, paving way for future development opportunities at Apple Valley and Yucca Loma Roads.
  • Mary’s Medical Center opened a 12,500-square foot Urgent Care cen­ter in January.
  • Wing Stop at Apple Valley Com­mons opened in Q4/2017.
  • 76 Gas at Apple Valley Commons is expected to open in Q2/2018.
  • 282 new housing permits were is­sued in FY2016-17, more than the last two years combined.
  • The Apple Valley Choice Energy Program launched, offering Apple Valley businesses and residents 3% lower generation rates than Edison, with higher/greener renewable con­tent.
  • Mailbox manufacturer Jayco Indus­tries celebrated their 40th year in business in Apple Valley.

For information, contact Orlando Acevedo at 760.240.7915 or via email at, or visit

City Updates

Barstow City Update

Published by:

California Barstow logo

By Gaither Loewenstein, Economic Development and Planning Manager

Barstow is continuing to build on its economic upswing over the past few years as a number of new businesses be­gan operating in 2017, with additional retail stores, hotels and service enter­prises planning to break ground or open in 2018. We are optimistic that the on­going strong economic conditions and the continuing proactive steps taken by the City Council will lead to further de­velopment in the residential and indus­trial sectors this year as well.

A new 200,000-sq. ft. Super Walmart opened in June, 2017 in the Center on Main shopping plaza, which also includes eight new retail pads available for development. Among other businesses celebrating openings in 2017 were Habit Burger, Fallas, Columbia Retail and Asics at the Outlets of Bar­stow, Mission City Community Health Network, Daylight Donuts, and Sun­set Hills Mortuary. Jersey Mike’s and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opened in early 2018, and a new 66-room Best Western Plus is nearing completion. In addition, the World Famous Outlets of Barstow are beginning construction on a 105-ft. pylon sign that will be located on the western edge of their existing parking lot. It will feature a 38 ft. by 32 ft. full-color multimedia LED display.

The City’s historic Route 66 corridor welcomed several new businesses in 2017, including Tractor Supply Company, Borrego Health Barstow Commu­nity Health Center, Entrepreneur Center Barstow, and Roy’s Café. The City also constructed eight monument signs honoring Route 66, with each sign featuring a different classic automobile. Eight bicycle racks were also installed alongside the monument signs, with each rack displaying one of the eight states in the Route 66 highway system. During 2018, the City will explore the potential of highlighting the Route 66 highway and the development of the Mojave Riv­er Valley area by establishing museums in the downtown area.

Later this year the first phase of the Shops at Spanish Trail initiative is ex­pected to begin by breaking ground on a new Marriott hotel, restaurant, and service station/convenience store. This project is located just north of the I-15 freeway at Avenue L, and proposes as much as 800,000-sq. ft. of retail, en­tertainment, personal care and health services development along the avenue during the next few years.

With regard to industrial and residential ventures, inquiries, site visits and discus­sions have continued to increase in the past year, with the likelihood that one or more development projects in Bar­stow will be announced at some point in 2018. The potential for subdivision-scale residential projects is strengthened by the City Council’s continuing initia­tive to temporarily reduce residential impact fees by 50% through December 31, 2018.

Overall, the City of Barstow expects 2018 will be an excellent year for com­mercial, residential and industrial development. The strong economy, com­bined with the city’s low land costs, fa­vorable location and builder-friendly local government, presents outstanding oppor­tunities for develop­ment in 2018 and beyond.

City Updates General

Hesperia Update – Retail Goldmine, Industrial Strength

Published by:

Hesperia logo

Lisa K. LaMere, Economic Development Management Analyst

Hesperia has added another retailer to its growing list of those who have sited their first High Desert loca­tion here. The future home of the two-story, 6,200 s.f. Shoe City is undergoing sub­stantial tenant improvements, essential­ly gutting a former florist’s location at Main Street and E Avenue. The whole family will find plenty of selections at Shoe City, including skate and athletic brands and current fashions for women, men and children.

Shoe City started more than thirty years ago in Los Angeles and has expanded into Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, with more than 35 stores in addition to an online presence. Currently, the closest Shoe City is in San Bernardino.

Mama Carpino’s, a foodie favorite of many residents in the High Desert, will open a second restaurant in Hesperia, offering a great culinary option after a movie at the Civic Plaza 12. Property has been purchased on the southwest corner of Eighth Avenue and Juniper Street for a two-phased 16,850-s.f. restaurant with a view of Civic Plaza Park. At this time, a site plan review is taking place and construction plans approvals will follow after entitlement is granted. Look for a 2019 opening.

Hesperia Food Market Photo

Starbucks has opened in Lewis Retail Center’s new High Desert Gateway West at Cataba and Main. Also planned for this location are more than 6,100 s.f. of fast casual concepts for Dickey’s, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, and Fatburger, all anticipated opening by summer. Five Star Nails and a gas station will likewise join these highly awaited eateries.

High Desert residents will enjoy the long-anticipated medical services coming to Hesperia, starting with Kaiser Permanente. The managed care giant’s purchase of approximately ten acres for 50,000-s.f. of medical office buildings (MOB) in Hesperia is welcome news. Kaiser’s MOB will be sited west of the Walmart Supercenter on Escon­dido. Another developer is planning additional medical offices on Bear Valley Road, with a new three-story, 26,520 s.f. medical office building, accompanied by 9,300-s.f. of restaurant and fast casual space.


A variety of housing choices, including commuter-friendly duplexes, affordable senior apartments, and 1- and 2-story infill homes can be found in Hesperia. The 145 single-family residence (SFR) permits issued through 2/27/18 of fiscal year 2018-19 are equal to last fiscal year.


Hesperia’s multi-family housing inventory also will increase in the near future. On the horizon are West Main Villas (100 duplexes/200 units). Muscatel will be the site of 70 apartment units and Frontier Communities is planning 160 units in their two-story apartment buildings. Olive Tree’s 93 duplexes (186 units) will be located on 3rd Avenue. Desert Hacienda on Sequoia will bring another 14 duplexes (28 units) to the city.


Hesperia’s industrial strength is being fortified by Mag Bay Yachts’ development of their manufacturing operation on Cal­iente near US Hwy. 395. Construction plans for the two-building, 50,500-s.f. project are being reviewed. In addition, an expansion of the former Heilig Mey­ers distribution center is underway. The additional 128,000-s.f. will bring the total of that facility to 616,800-s.f.

National Economic Development Week this year was May 7-12. Created by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the goal of Econom­ic Development Week is to increase awareness of local programs that create jobs and increase the quality of life, as well as to share successes.

Hesperia’s Economic Development (ED) department focuses on fostering private and public sector invest­ment within the city. The ED team is re­sponsible for:

  • Business attraction, retention and expansion efforts
  • Marketing and promotion of the city as a location of choice for business
  • Increasing the city’s workforce and senior housing stock
  • Improving the quality of life via an array of services intended to support these goals

Hesperia’s ED team has had many ac­complishments in these areas, bringing retailers such as Super Target and Wal­mart Supercenter, Marshalls, JoAnn’s, Ross and lots of eateries – many the first locations in the High Desert. Just this last fiscal year, courtesy of Hesperia’s economic development professionals, more than 258,000 s.f. of projects will have created jobs and brought property and sales tax revenue to Hesperia, all of which benefit our residents. These projects encompassed not only retail but housing, industrial, education, medical and service sectors and included Ae­merge RedPak; The Villas – a 55+ com­munity; Famous Footwear; Aldi; Planet Fitness; Leslie’s Pool Supplies; Dollar Tree; West Main Villas; and more.

For more information about these projects and other opportunities, con­tact Economic Development staff at

City Updates General

Victorville City Update – Victorville Continues to Experience Strong Growth

Published by:


By Sophie L. Smith, Interim Deputy City Manager

Victorville has con­tinued to experi­ence strong growth for the High Desert in the second half of 2017. With an in­creasing population of 119,098 residents, our city contin­ues to attract new retailers, manufac­turers, and industrial development.

In mid-February 2017, the city an­nounced that Cracker Barrel Old Country Store submitted plans to operate its first California location in Victorville. The southern-themed restaurant and gift shop becomes the newest expansion to the City’s Res­taurant Row. Cracker Barrel is situat­ed on 1.31 acres, with building space that encompasses 9,550 square feet of the 30,000-square foot expansion pre­viously announced. Of the remaining square footage, retailers such as Star­bucks, Nekter Juice, Which Which Sandwiches, Pieology, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, Café Rio, and the Habit Burger were also developed and began oper­ating toward the end of 2017. The new developments are located adjacent and south of the first BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in the Victor Valley, which opened its doors in early 2016.

Other retail announcements in 2017 included Sit’N Sleep’s grand opening of its 1,300-square foot store. located on Bear Valley Road near the Mall at Victor Valley. In May 2017, Harbor Freight Tools submitted tenant im­provement plans to occupy an existing building on the corner of La Paz Drive and Seventh Street. The Calabasas-based company moved into an exist­ing 15,000-square foot building in the shopping center anchored by the High Desert Indoor Swap Meet and the 99 Cents Only Store and opened its doors in February 2018. In October of 2017, the Victorville Planning Commission approved plans for two car washes that will be built along Bear Valley Road. The Speed Wash will be located on the southwest corner of Topaz, while a Jet Wash Express will be built at the intersection of Bear Valley and Poco­ima Roads.

On August 9 2017, Valley Hi-Toy­ota opened its new facility after a 16-month renovation and expansion to its existing dealership. The dealer­ship has expanded its previous 19,762 square foot showroom to 39,835 square feet. Toyota’s new facility features 47,643- square feet of build­ing space. Additionally, RAM Truck Center previously opened its doors on March 5, 2017, at the AutoPark at Valley Center. The 7,261-square foot facility sits on approximately 2.66 acres. The dealership offers heavy duty RAM trucks such as the 1500, 2500 and 3500 models. The brand has been named Motor Trend Magazine’s truck of the year five times. The City of Victorville’s Auto Park at Valley Center, the only auto mall in the entire Victor Valley, includes nine premier dealerships for residents.

The hotel sector is also growing. Cur­rently under construction on the west side of I-15, just south of the Nisqual­li/La Mesa interchange, is a 106-room Hilton Home 2 Suites. Further north along the 15 Freeway on Mariposa Road and across from the Southwest Gas facility, Mariposa Land Develop­ment, LLC submitted plans to build a four-story, 85-room, Hampton Inn Hotel that will be located on a 1.56-acre lot.

In June 2017, we joined forces with our development partner, Stirling Development, to celebrate the com­pletion of Distribution Center 18, a 370,023-square foot industrial facility at Southern California Logistics Air­port. Distribution Center 18, which was leased to Newell Brands and Plas­tipak, is the second, large-scale indus­trial facility to be fully leased at SCLA in just one year’s time. Between city and private development at SCLA and Foxborough, we have leasing capacity for more than 4.5 million square feet of high-desirable, industrial space in Victorville.

In December 2017, Southern Califor­nia Logistics Airport entered into a lease agreement with Karem Aircraft Inc. for space to serve as a testing area for a new aircraft rotor system for the beginning of the 2018 year. Karem, based in Lake Forest, CA, is an aircraft development and manufacturing com­pany participating in the U.S. Army Joint Multi-Role Technology Demon­stration (JMR-TD) program. Southern California Logistics Airport is one of the nation’s largest industrial airports. Its lack of commercial airline traffic, 360 days of “severe clear” weather, land capacity for expansive facilities and municipal utilities are key factors that have attracted major aerospace clients. State-of-the-art hangars of all sizes accommodate projects ranging from aircraft MRO companies to the painting of large, wide-body aircraft, including 747-800s, 777-300s and the 787 Dreamliner.

For more information about the City of Victorville, visit our website at or contact us at 760.955.5032.


Publisher’s Message-2017

Published by:

Joesph W. Brady Headshot

Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR

Having begun our first edition of the Bradco High Desert Report in May of 1993, how could we ever have thought that in 2017 we would be preparing for the 56th Edition of this publication?

First, I wish to welcome our current, future, and long-standing subscribers and sponsors of the 56th Edition of The Bradco High Desert Report, the first and only full economic overview of the High Desert region, covering the North­ern portion of San Bernardino County and,most specifically, the Cities of Ad­elanto, Barstow, Hesperia, Victorville, and the Town of Apple Valley.

For those who continuously inquire into the medical condition of our original ed­itor, Dr. Alfred Gobar, he continues “to beat cancer,” continues to work with his doctors in maintaining his lifestyle in retirement, and spending all day doing “stock trading.” We talk to Dr. Gobar frequently, and we strongly encourage those who wish to reach out to him to send an email at:

While the economy continues to im­prove within the High Desert region, we are increasingly busy on the leasing and selling side of commercial, industrial, office, and land within our region. I do apologize that we have gone nearly ten (10) months since the last edition of our last publication.

Family issues and a battle with prostate cancer have taught me a greater appre­ciation for life, my family and friends, and those who we interact with on a dai­ly basis. On a sad note, during the last ten (10) months, we have lost some ad­ditional great friends in the High Desert region that include the following:

Mr. Ernest Scott, Ms. JoAnn Kroencke, Ms. Jeannie A. Kramer, Ms. Evelyn B. Betterly, Mr. Kenneth Adams, Ms. Car­ol Jean Randall, Mr. Eugene “Gene” W. Gregory, Mr. Michael Matthew Sabicer, Ms. Janice Lynn Olson, Mr. Malvin Lee, Ms. Carol Colene and Mr. Richard Gene, just to name a few.

I think we all agree we live in a very fast-paced society anymore, and from time to time it is time to reflect on the importance of our family, our friends, our relationships, and the great opportu­nities that life has to offer.

I would like to welcome and thank many of our article suppliers who continuous­ly support our efforts to prompt the High Desert region. We are extremely excited to introduce Ontario International Air­port Authority, an article by Mr. Daniel Adamus, MPA and Chief Marketing Of­ficer of this truly exceptional economic asset located in Ontario, California.

If you have never flown in or out of On­tario, I strongly urge you to do so. Now the airport is controlled by a local entity, and I believe that reading this article will be very exciting to everyone who has any understanding of the long battle it took to gain that control.

Not only do we wish to welcome Ontar­io as a continued contributing member of the nearly 140 article suppliers that we can rely on to write articles, I wish to welcome the Executive Staff, including their CEO Mr. Kelly Fredericks. Con­gratulations to the Ontario City Council and the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, and all of the Elected Officials and Private Sector Leaders who pushed so hard for the control of this new asset.

With a special note, First District Su­pervisor Robert A. Lovingood has now become Chairman of the County of San Bernardino, the largest-sized county in the lower forty-eight (48) states. It is not often that the First District has such a leadership role, and we congratulate Mr. Lovingood and his staff for what they do in making the High Desert region a better place to live, work, and play.

Included with some of our exciting ar­ticles is an update for the Cadiz Water Project (in the Amboy, Bolo Station (area) of San Bernardino County). We also wish to welcome Mr. Brad Poiriez, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Man­agement District.

We have always been very appreciative to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Man­agement District, who has been one of our supporters from the very beginning.

We wish to re-welcome Ms. Louisa L. Miller, Business Consultant for the In­land Empire Small Business Center, which is an integral part in helping small businesses grow and understand the process of building business plans, obtaining loans, and working with the landlords in making a successful busi­ness decision.

We also wish to thank Colonel Paul Cook (RET.), our 8th Congressional District Congressman, who represents our area so well with his article.

Article suppliers include 23rd State Senatorial District Senator Mr. Mike Murrell, San Bernardino County Super­intendent of Schools Mr. Ted Alejandre, 33rd District State of California Assem­blyman Jay Obernolte.

We wish to congratulate Mr. Logan Olds, General Manager of the Victor Valley Waste Water Reclamation Au­thority, and his Board of Directors for completing the upper narrows emer­gency pipeline project, a very large and expensive undertaking.

We wish to welcome back Victor Valley Transat Authority, and the Inland Em­pire Economic Partnership, as well as an article from Mr. Bryan W. Ryman, Co-Chair of the Victor Valley Libertarian Alliance, who gives a different type of angle on government within California, as well as some potential solutions.

We appreciate the insight in this newslet­ter by Mr. Bob Dutton, our San Bernar­dino County Assessor. Our newly elect­ed State Senator Scott Wilk includes a very exciting article (albeit short), and Mr. Paul A. Courtney, a highly-respect­ed businessman within the High Desert and Barstow region, who has recently completed construction and revital­ization of a project in Barstow for his Entrepreneur Resource Center on Main Street. Congratulations, Mr. Courtney. I am proud to call you my friend.

We wish to welcome Mr. Scott Dickinson, Executive Vice President of The Browning Automotive Group, in conjunction with the great leader that he works for, Mr. Kent Browning, who is making a major financial investment in the High Desert by major redevelopment of the Valley-Hi Toyota Dealership along Valley Center Drive.

As well as congratulations to Ms. Sheri Davis of the Inland Empire Film Servic­es and her partner, Mr. Dan Taylor, for their newly formed organization.

I read a book recently that I strongly encourage all of our readers to read, the title is Big Shifts Ahead. I want to personally thank Mr. Chris Porter and Mr. John Burns, both highly recognized officials in the economic industry, for writing a book that I highly recommend anyone who is in the real estate business to read.

Lastly, I wish to thank our five (5) lo­cal Cities (Adelanto, Barstow, Hesperia, Victorville, and the Town of Apple Val­ley) for their continual support of the Bradco High Desert Report.

As Publisher of this publication, if I can be of any personal assistance in answer­ing any questions that you have, or if you have any suggestions about how we can make this publication even big­ger and better, please feel free to call me at my office at (760) 951-5111 x 101. You may call me during the days on my cell phone between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at (760) 954-4567, or email me at If you email me, please be sure to note in the subject line: Bradco High Desert Report/ “Your Comment.”

Thank you.

General Politics Transportation

“flyOntario” – Under Local Control and Looking to Grow

Published by:


By Daniel Adamus, MBA Chief Marketing Officer

Ontario, CA – On November 1, 2016, ownership of the Ontario International Airport (ONT) was transferred to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) from Los Angeles World Air­ports (LAWA, which is also the parent company of LAX). When the transfer of airport was officially commemorated in a formal ceremony the following day, FAA Administrator (and Riverside, CA, native) Michael Huerta challenged the new owners to seize this unique oppor­tunity.

“He compared us to the dog that actu­ally caught the car,” said OIAA CEO Kelly Fredericks. “Lots of dogs chase cars, but I don’t think any actually catch them. What Administrator Huerta was telling us was that the region wanted the airport under local control and now you have it. More importantly, he was ask­ing ‘now, what are you now going to do with it?’” Fredericks said.

Local Control

One of the key elements necessary for the transfer of ownership was to create an organization which could own and operate the airport in the best possible manner. To that end, the Ontario Inter­national Airport Authority was created on August 21, 2012, via a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Ber­nardino. Alan Wapner, President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners, was actively involved in the effort to return the airport to local control and believed an independent Authority would offer the best possible operational structure.

“We created the Ontario International Airport Authority to be an autonomous public entity, separate, apart and inde­pendent from the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino. The OIAA was designed to own and operate all ONT assets when the airport was re­turned to local control,” Wapner said.

“In the development of its mission, the OIAA was tasked to operate and grow the Ontario International Airport as one of the most competitive, efficient, inno­vative and customer-friendly passenger, cargo and business airports in the Unit­ed States,” Wapner said. “We believed this to be the case then, and I believe it to be more true now than ever before – the Ontario International Airport is a key economic asset serving and sup­porting not only the Inland Empire but the entire Southern California region,” he said.

The OIAA Board of Commissioners is comprised of five members. Four are appointed by Ontario City Council to include two sitting Ontario City Council Members (Alan Wapner and Jim Bow­man) and two commissioners selected as members of the business community within the airport’s market service area (Lucy Dunn and Ron Loveridge). The fifth commissioner is Curt Hagman, the sitting San Bernardino County Supervi­sor representing the District in which the airport is located.

Wapner said the board of commission­ers is tasked with developing policy, and they hired Fredericks, a seasoned and nationally acclaimed airport ex­ecutive, to serve as the Authority’s first CEO. “We as a board were very im­pressed with Kelly, his background and his achievements in the industry. We brought him in to lead the Authority in March of last year, and he has already made great strides to build his senior staff and to complete the airport transfer process with LAWA,in compliance with all regulatory requirements and with the approval of the FAA,” he said.

“Some may say that was the easy part,” Wapner added. “Now that we have the airport under local control, we must make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Kelly and his staff under­stand the responsibility before them. They also know they have not only the support of the OIAA Board of Commis­sioners but also the support and well wishes of every municipality and busi­ness entity in the entire region,” he said.

The Work Now Begins

With just over three months under their belts, Fredericks and his team have be­gun the process of assessing the massive 1,861-acre property which comprises the Ontario International Airport foot­print. The goal in these still early days is to understand “the good, the bad and the ugly,” Fredericks noted.

“We know we bought a ‘fixer-upper,’” he said. “We have to look at safety first and ensure that all of our operating sys­tems are in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations. We must take inventory, we must modify or re­write all official processes, procedures and documentation to reflect ownership by the OIAA, and we must prioritize all critical and preventive maintenance in an manner which ensures that we do not disrupt any day-to-day operations,” Fredericks said.

As part of the transfer and for the fore­seeable future, the relatively small OIAA staff is supplemented by nearly 200 former LAWA employees who will serve as a contracted labor force dur­ing the next 18-24 months identified as a “transition period.” During this time, the OIAA will have a chance to see how the airport was previously operated and to begin making changes.


Fredericks said the OIAA is evaluating all functional areas aboard the airport, and he said that employees of the for­mer airport owner may have an opportu­nity to join the OIAA in future months. “These are the folks who operated the airport before November 1st and who will continue to do so in the weeks and months following the transfer. They are our front line with our customers, pro­viding their first ‘touch-points’ with the airport and with the OIAA. We are still getting to know each other, but we have a shared focus on providing our custom­ers with the best possible travel experi­ence while they are with us at ONT,” he said. Fredericks noted that as part of the negotiated transfer of the airport, should any LAWA employee not wish to remain at ONT, they are guaranteed a position at LAX or a number of places/departments within the City of Los An­geles.

With all that said, Fredericks and his team believe they have just embarked on an incredible journey. “Ontario In­ternational is truly an amazing airport. We have two of the longest runways on the west coast; one is just shy of 2.5 miles and the other is nearly 2 miles long. With those assets and our capa­bility to operate ‘24/7’ with no restric­tions, we can handle any aircraft flying today,” he said.

ONT currently operates 62 daily flights with seven commercial airlines, private and charter flights managed by two, general aviation fixed-base operators (FBOs) as well as a number of cargo flights by a variety of international car­riers, to include UPS and FedEx. All that activity represents less than half the potential associated with the existing airport infrastructure.

“At its peak (2007-2008), Ontario han­dled more than 7.2 million passengers per year. Today we are handling just over 4.2 million passen­gers per year. Our fa­cility, as it stands, can handle nearly 10 mil­lion passengers, along with sustained cargo growth. Beyond our current two terminals (2 and 4) ,and con­sidering the potential of long-term growth, there are already existing plans for Ter­minals 3 and 5, as well as a strategy to connect all present and future terminals into a single complex,” Fredericks said.

“As we work closely with air carriers from around the world, we have no de­lusions of grandeur,” Fredericks said. We know we must work extremely hard to earn their business by striving to re­duce their operating costs at ONT while creating the best environment possible for passengers,” he said.

Fredericks said he and his staff are work­ing on a plan to “de-stealth” the airport and to re-introduce the airport as a valu­able asset to all of Southern California. “As we work to grow international air service through our development ef­forts, we must also re-introduce ONT to the region,” he said. “According to the 2015 U.S. Census, the Ontario-Riverside-San Bernardino Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) ranks 15th in the United States and is in the nation’s 2nd largest Combined Statistical Area (Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim). We have tremendous numbers in our pri­mary and secondary catchment area, but we have to get the word out about what we are trying to do so people will con­sciously think about flying from Ontario first,” he said.

Fredericks said the “de-stealthing” cam­paign will be about building attention and awareness for the airport and willbe conducted through a comprehensive, targeted marketing and promotional campaign to get the message out to the business and consumer population of the region. He said he and his team will be working to connect with business and municipal leaders, as well as civic and social groups,S to encourage travel­ers to think about flying in and out of Ontario for their next business or leisure trip.

“If we can continue to do our best to improve the customer experience, and if we can be successful with the airlines to bring new and better service to ONT, ev­eryone will win,” Fredericks said. “Pas­sengers will have an easy and stress-free experience, with increased amenities, food and shopping opportunities, just minutes from home. They will reward the investment airlines make in Ontario by filling its flights to new destinations without having to battle hours of traffic to and from other airports in the region,” he added.

Room for Future Development

One of the other amazing statistics Fred­ericks shared was the fact that of those 1,861 acres, 700 are able and available for development on or adjacent to air­side operations. “You could not build an airport of this size, with the resources and capabilities of ONT today, in this, the 2nd largest metropolitan market in the United States,” he said.

Fredericks said the OIAA is now in the final stages of a selection process to hire a firm to develop a master plan for the airport, something never done before for ONT. “The successful can­didate will assist us in creating a map to guide us through the many pathways and options related to future operations and development to ensure we have the information necessary to make the best decisions possible,” Fredericks said. “The master plan process utilizes a variety of certified professionals in a number of disciplines to assist us in determining which structures are valu­able and which should be demolished. It helps us understand where a former industrial complex aboard the airport may require environmental remediation prior to development. Major companies like GE and Lockheed operated facto­ries and facilities at ONT for decades. We must evaluate each legacy property and identify any environmental issues before any development may be consid­ered,” he said.

While Fredericks stresses the impor­tance of the master plan process, he does not see it as any type of hindrance should the right opportunity present it­self. “If the right opportunity is identi­fied with any of our existing airport ten­ants, any new airline or other potential business partner, we are not restricted in any way from taking advantage of it,” he said. Fredericks said he and his team have been fielding inquiries in a number of areas, and they are working diligently to investigate the possibilities associated with each in order to determine the next best steps for the airport.

What Can You Do to Help?

Fredericks said he wishes everyone in the region to be an extension of the OIAA Marketing Team. “I ask that ev­eryone get to know the airport, to see the things we are doing to improve the ex­perience for our customers and to make it easy to fly Ontario,” he said.

When asked how else people interested in supporting the airport can help the ef­forts of the OIAA, Kelly Fredericks of­fered the following:

  • Please use ONT – Even if you may be paying a few dollars more, demon­strating loyalty to the airport is the best way for the OIAA to recruit (and to keep) new routes from existing carriers and to encourage new airlines to begin operations at ONT.
  • Please advertise at ONT – The OIAA will soon have a new media operator to manage new, expanded advertising and merchan­dising opportunities at the airport. If you can’t adver­tise, please support those companies advertising at the airport
  • Please share your travel data–An e-mail address has been estab­lished–iflyont@flyon­–where you can send your itinerary when you do fly Ontario and as a place where you can share the flight data when you just can’t find the right connection from ONT. This informa­tion is extremely helpful for the air ser­vice development team in preparation for meetings they conduct with the vari­ous airlines.
  • Share insights and advice – If you see something of interest in your travels, share it with the authority. If you have a problem or a bad experience, you are especially asked to share those as well. Fredericks said his staff are continuous­ly working to improve the traveler expe­rience, and they want to know when any situation does not meet the customer’s expectations. He said they take com­plaints seriously and will work with all involved airport personnel, concession­aires and tenants to solve problems as soon as they are identified, so that no customer ever has that same problem again.

For more information and to learn what is happening at the Ontario International Airport, please visit the ONT website at The site is opti­mized for mobile devices, and Freder­icks said it will be a “work-in-progress” for several months as volumes of data and information are transferred from the old airport site and until such a time as the planned 18-24 transition process is complete.

General Politics

Looking Forward as We Set Priorities For the Future

Published by:

By Robert A. Lovingood, 1st District Supervisor, County of San Bernardino

As we start a new year, it’s a good time to look back at the year past and look forward as we set priorities for the fu­ture.

In 2016 we saw new business investment in the High Desert. Stirling Capital Investments announced the completion of a fully leased 447,740-square-foot industrial facility in Victorville. Arden Companies relocated to a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Victorville, creating 100 jobs. Plans are underway for a 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center, which is expected to create 400 to 500 long-term jobs in the North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan area. And in December, Clark Pacific broke ground on its new precast concrete manufacturing plant in Adelanto.

Last year, for the third year, we allo­cated county funds for “Operation Des­ert Guardian,” a three-month series of crime sweeps that ended with 376 arrests in Hesperia, Apple Valley, Adelanto, Victorville and unincorporated Victor Valley areas. We also implemented re­forms to welfare fraud policies and sup­ported a series of ongoing welfare fraud sweeps around the county. The Board of Supervisors added two additional inves­tigators to strengthen the District Attor­ney’s Cold Case Prosecution Unit. And Sheriff’s Academy Class 205 marked the very first time ever the Department had three academy classes going at the same time.

In the past year, my initiative to use in­mate work crews kicked into high gear. Inmate crews cleared more than 578 tons of trash and 7,922 tires in the First District, plus an additional 68 tons of ce­ment and nine boats at an illegal dump site near Interstate 15 and Dale Evans Parkway. The cement was recycled and the tires were used as fuel at local ce­ment plants.

As we look ahead to 2017, we will work on streamlining County Land Use Ser­vices processes to better serve the de­velopment community. Specifically, we will look to streamline the entitlement and permitting for commercial, residen­tial and industrial developments. These projects create well-paying jobs and have an astonishing economic multi­plier effect:

Each new home built creates seven well-paying jobs. Here in San Bernardino County, we are facing a housing short­age that is expected to grow to 65,000 homes within two years. A significant number of San Bernardino County rent­ers spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing. So we have an op­portunity to grow jobs and expand our regional economy.

Robert Lovingood is chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Super­visors representing the First District.

General Transportation

Caltrans Continues Work in the High Desert

Published by:


By Joy M. Schneider – Public Information Officer, Caltrans

Caltrans contin­ues work in the High Desert to improve and up­grade the trans­portation system to accommodate the rapid growth in the region. The area continues to see heavy goods movement, as well as conges­tion from commuters and recreational adventurers traveling to Las Vegas, the Colorado River and points north.

Projects at the Devore Interchange, in the Cajon Pass and throughout the High Desert will allow for a more enjoyable ride for commuters and travelers.

Devore Interchange Project

Work on the $324 million Interstate 15 (I-15)/Interstate 215 (I-215) Devore Interchange Project is complete. The project added a truck by-pass lane and an additional lane in each direction, brought the interchange up to operation­al standards, as well as addressed the ar­terial highways network deficiencies—specifically, the reconnection of Route 66 (Cajon Boulevard).

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the project was held on May 20, 2016.

I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabilitation Project

The I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabil­itation Project is nearing completion—the contractor is finishing up punch list items (minor tasks to be completed at the end of a project). The project, which is strictly pavement rehabilita­tion, will resurface and restore the pave­ment between Kenwood Avenue and the Hesperia Overhead, which will pro­vide approximately a 40-year life to the pavement through the Cajon Pass.

SR-138 Widening (West) Project

Crews continue work on the State Route (SR-138) Widening (West) Project; cur­rently they are working on the pavement on the south side of SR-138, as well as the Sheep Creek Bridge. The project is approximately 62% complete.

The project will widen SR-138 to four lanes, with a 14-foot median buffer from Phelan Road to Interstate 15. The project will also upgrade shoulders to current standards, extend drainage (as necessary) and construct a wildlife-crossing structure.

The $52.1 million project was awarded to Flatiron Construction Corp. and be­gan in February 2015. It is estimated to be completed in August 2017.

SR-138 Widening (East) Project

The SR-138 Widening (East) Project is a 2.1 mile project that will realign SR-138 from 1.9 miles east of I-15 to just west of Summit Post Office Road. It will also construct two-lane, paved sections of highway with outside shoul­ders, three wildlife crossings and an off-highway vehicle crossing.

Currently, crews are working to clear the project limits to prepare for drainage work, the temporary construction detour and new roadway.

The project is needed because the ex­isting configuration has many non-standard, steep horizontal and vertical curves and grade. There are no paved shoulders and narrow or non-existent earth shoulders, as well as few turnouts and no passing opportunities. This proj­ect will improve operational efficiency, traffic safety and will also upgrade and widen the existing lanes and shoulders to current standards.

The project is estimated to be complete in late August 2018.

SR-58 Hinkley Expressway Project

The $120 million State Route 58 (SR-58) Hinkley Expressway Project is ap­proximately 90% complete. Crews are currently paving the new roadbed for the expressway and finalizing the work on the bridges and ramps.

Ultimately, the project will widen and realign a portion of State Route 58 (SR-58) from a two-lane conventional high­way to a four-lane expressway, extend­ing from approximately 2.4 miles west of Hidden River Road to approximately 0.7 mile east of Lenwood Road, near the unincorporated community of Hinkley in San Bernardino County.

The project will include construction of two interchanges on the widened and realigned portion of SR-58: one at Hinkley Road and the other at Lenwood Road. All entrance ramps (westbound and eastbound) will have two lanes at the local road and will transition to a single lane prior to merging onto the expressway. All exit ramps will have three-way stops at the exit ramp inter­sections with the local road. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps will be included.

The project includes access to non-motorized transportation modes (e.g., pedestrian/bikes/equestrian) by provid­ing six-foot wide sidewalks, as well as standard eight-foot shoulders across the two overcrossing bridges at Lenwood and Hinkley Roads. A short length of the existing SR-58 at the east end of the project is proposed to be realigned to tie in to the Lenwood Road west­bound entrance and exit ramps. The widened and realigned ex­pressway is planned to be on a fill section (elevated sections of a roadway). All locations with large vertical surfaces (i.e., re­taining walls and bridge struc­tures) will include aesthetic/ar­chitectural treatment to prevent graffiti.

Substantial completion is esti­mated for summer 2017.

I-15 Stoddard Wells, D & E Street Interchange Project

The $74 million I-15 Stoddard Wells, D & E Street Interchange Project will construct new interchanges, bridges and ramps on I-15 at Stoddard Wells, D Street and E Street.

The project was awarded to Ames Con­struction, Inc. and began in summer 2015. It is estimated to be complete in early 2019.

Currently, crews are performing dirt hauling, surveying and utility work. Additionally, the widening of the Mo­jave River Bridge is underway.

Kramer Junction (SR-58 & US-395)

The $101 million Kramer Junction Ex­pressway Project is currently in the plan­ning phase. The project will construct a four-lane divided expressway in order to alleviate some of the congestion caused by the current lane configuration.

The project is scheduled to begin con­struction in late 2017 or early 2018.

Caltrans is committed to delivering quality projects that will enhance the transportation infrastructure in the High Desert. Providing a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability is Caltrans’ top priority.

General Water

Cadiz Water Project: Conservation and Sustainable Management of Desert Groundwater

Published by:

By Courtney Degener, Vice President, Communications & Investor Relations

A Part of the Cadiz Team for over 12 years.

Over the last two decades, California has grappled with systemic challenges to its traditional water supplies. Climat­ic extremes and more regular dry years are the new normal. The availability of reliable water to meet all of the state’s demands is a persistent public policy is­sue. We need water for our people, our environment and to sustain our way of life. In recognition of this need, in 2009 Cadiz Inc. set the objective of creating, designing, permitting and constructing an environmentally benign water proj­ect, and today we are nearing comple­tion of these objectives.

Cadiz Inc. is the largest private land­owner in the eastern Mojave Desert, where billions of gallons of water evaporate every year from the highly-saline Bristol and Cadiz dry lakes near the town of Amboy. The playas are the down-gradient end of a massive ground­water basin in a watershed the size of Rhode Island. To stop this loss, we’ve proposed to better manage the basin to provide a reliable supply and new aqui­fer storage capacity. By capturing and conserving water before it evaporates, we can create a new, sustainable annual supply for nearly 400,000 Californians.

Under our plan, conserved project water would be delivered to the Metropolitan Water District’s Colorado River Aque­duct for distribution throughout South­ern California via a pipeline that would be built in an existing railroad right-of-way. We selected this route, which is longer and costlier than a more direct pipeline route would be, because it will avoid impacts to desert lands. Construc­tion of the pipeline, wellfield and related infrastructure will create thousands of jobs for local residents and veterans, generate nearly $1 billion in economic activity, augment Southern California’s water supply reliability and take pres­sure off existing imported supplies.

Phase 2 of the project, its storage com­ponent, is particularly relevant in this very wet year. It would enable storage of imported excess flows at Cadiz, uti­lizing the aquifer’s estimated 1 million acre-feet of storage capacity. Southern California water providers could move surplus wet-year water from either the Colorado River Aqueduct or the State Water Project via an abandoned natu­ral gas pipeline from Barstow to Cadiz, which we have purchased, and store it at Cadiz until the inevitable subsequent dry years. A “programmatic” environmen­tal review of Phase 2 was completed in 2012, meaning a preliminary evaluation of the concept, and a “project” level re­view must still be completed once Phase 1 gets underway.

Although the project’s concept may sound unique, the sustainable use of groundwater in California’s managed basins and the movement of water be­tween basins is not. Californians have a history of not living where the water is, and all seven Southern California counties rely on imports from the State Water Project, the Colorado River and neighboring basins to sustain their pop­ulations. Groundwater storage is also a preferred method of capturing excess flows in wet years and is becoming more common in California and the West.

To ensure that the project is a resource that helps meet Southern California’s water management needs, the project incorporates stringent groundwater management principles in its approved Groundwater Management Plan. The County of San Bernardino, which was viewed as the superior protector of desert groundwater resources during the recent controversy over the Soda Mountain solar generating station, will enforce the plan. Data on groundwater levels will be compiled, posted for the public, and reviewed by an independent committee appointed by the county. If water levels fall below a county-desig­nated floor, or if there’s evidence of un­anticipated impacts on the desert envi­ronment, the county can adjust or even stop operations.

This Groundwater Management Plan grew out of recommendations by some of the nation’s leading hydrologists and scientists as they peer-reviewed the Cadiz EIR’s hydrological study. The study used the US Geological Survey’s newest and best computer model for desert hydrology in the Southwestern U.S., created in 2006, to estimate the aquifer system’s size (over 20 million acre-feet, about the size of Lake Mead) and how much water flows into it annu­ally (its recharge rate, found to be about 32,000 acre-feet a year). To verify the computer model’s calculation of the system’s recharge rate, we asked scien­tists from the Desert Research Institute to measure evaporation from the Bristol and Cadiz dry lakes, where all the wa­ter in the aquifer ends up, completing the water cycle. The amount of water going in should equal the amount of water evaporating out, and that is what the study verified – the volumes are the same.

The project’s EIR and Groundwater Management Plan withstood court chal­lenges over four years and emerged with no changes or additional studies ordered. With these court challenges behind us, we are working to implement the project and initiate Phase II’s water storage component so we can deliver on our promises of sustainable water sup­ply and economic benefits. Developing sustainable projects in California takes time, but when done right they can be useful for all in dry and wet years alike.

For more information, please visit: