January, 2011 | Issue 01
Assemblyman Cook Tours State Route 330 Collapses, Meets with Caltrans
The largest collapse occurred near Running Springs, removing a portion of the hill and taking a section of State Route 330 with it. The collapse caused the shutdown of the highway for what will likely be at least the remainder of the winter. There is worry that other sections of the highway may be unstable as well.
Assemblyman Cook expressed his concern over providing emergency services to local residents. The closure of the road may lead to delayed response times for county services, as they are forced to make a detour. Cook met with Caltrans District 8 Director Ray Wolfe and other emergency officials, before going on a site tour to survey the damage and ensure public safety. The first 6 million dollar contract to begin roadway repairs was signed several hours after Cook’s visit.
“Maintaining Highway 330 has been a long-term problem for the mountain communities,” Cook declared. “It’s a vital passage, and if we don’t act quickly, this could take years to fix if it gets caught up in the state bureaucracies.”
Cook also met with local officials from Big Bear and Running Springs on Friday, January 14. Participants at that meeting included the Mayor and other city officials from Big Bear Lake, the Presidents of the Big Bear and Running Springs Chambers of Commerce, and representatives from CalTrans. They discussed the ongoing repair effort as well as ways to mitigate the economic damage to the mountain communities. Cook vowed to push for quick action and to facilitate cooperation from the federal government.
In the District
Assemblyman Cook to Swear in New Calimesa Chamber of Commerce Officers and Board Members
Assemblyman Cook will attend the Calimesa Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner on Thursday, January 20. He will swear in the new board members at the dinner.
Jack Kramer will take over as the Calimesa Chamber of Commerce President, and 5 new members will be joining the Board of Directors: Dr. Sue Brown, Janet Gudgell, Linda Molina, Nicole Moore, and Paul Zanowic. Outgoing board members Jackie Davis and Kathleen Houlihan will also be honored for their service.
A number of individuals will recieve chamber awards at the dinner. Bill and Jackie Davis will be named co-Citizens of the Year. Additionally, the Police Officer, Volunteer Firefighter, Firefighter, Citizens Patrol Officer, and City Volunteer of the Year will also be announced.
Cook declared, “I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Calimesa Chamber Installation Dinner. I know that the chamber works extremely hard to promote local businesses and get the local economy going again. I am looking forward to working with the new board of directors in the coming year.”
Big Bear Lake and Running Springs Remain Open for Business Despite Highway 330 Collapse
Big Bear Lake and Running Springs remain open for business via three routes despite the collapse of State Route 330. Visitors can either take Route 18 to Big Bear Lake from the 210 Freeway or from the “backside” via the 15 Freeway in Victorville. Additionally, they can take Highway 38 from the I-10 in Redlands (take the Orange St. Exit, turn north, then go a few blocks to turn on to Lugonia which becomes Highway 38). Specific directions for all three routes can be found at www.bigbear.com.
Several portions of State Route 330 collapsed during last month’s storms. The largest collapse occurred near Running Springs, removing a portion of the hill and taking a section of State Route 330 with it. The highway will be shutdown at least for the remainder of the winter. There is significant concern about the viability of local businesses due to the loss of this major route into the mountains. Chamber officials emphasized that despite the loss of State Route 330, mountain businesses remained open.
Kevin Somes, the President of the Running Springs Chamber of Commerce explained, “The closure of Highway 330 adversely affects the Running Springs communities. The 330 is an important artery to our communities, and its closure has not only impacted the lives of our residents due to a longer and more congested commute to work, but also the business community as fewer visitors are traveling through our area.”
Big Bear Chamber of Commerce President Sara Russ stated, “Though Highway 330 is closed, there are three open and available routes to get to Big Bear that are easily accessible. It has been a beautiful winter season in Big Bear and we welcome everyone to come and enjoy what we have to offer at 7000 ft. We are open for business!”
Assemblyman Cook organized a meeting with community leaders from Big Bear Lake and Running Springs last Friday, January 14. Representatives from CalTrans were on hand at the meeting to provide an update on the roadway’s repair status.
protecting our veterans
Assemblyman Cook labels Governor’s CVSO Elimination “Short-Sighted”
Assemblyman Paul Cook, Chair of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, responded today to Governor Jerry Brown’s 2011-2012 budget proposal to eliminate funding for County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO):
“Earlier today, the Governor proposed the elimination of all General Fund support for the CVSO program. This is an extremely short-sighted move that serves neither state finances nor our veterans well.
“CVSOs bring in money to the state by helping veterans apply for federal benefits that are due to them. Each year, with minimal funding, these officers help thousands of veterans gain $250 million in new federal aid for California, money that goes into the state’s economy. They bring in over $100 in federal funding for every $1 that is budgeted to them, which means that it could cost the state over $800 million if the funding for CVSOs is not maintained.
“The elimination of CVSO funding will leave our veterans to fight alone with the federal bureaucracy to get the health, housing, and other benefits to which they are entitled. And if they can’t get federal benefits, the state will be on the hook to pay for their services.
“I fought hard last year to increase funding for CVSOs and will fight to prevent its elimination this year. Adopting the Governor’s proposal will not only end up costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars, but will make it far more difficult to provide the services we have promised our veterans.”
65th District Gems
Yucaipa Regional Park
Yucaipa Regional Park is a hidden gem nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. The 885 acre park is home to many outdoor activities. The park is the perfect location of picnics and outdoor gatherings, featuring grills, picnic tables and shelters, and fire rings.
Daily fishing permits are available and anglers can try their hand at catching trout, catfish, and bass. A large swimming complex offers visitors a chance to cool off and the more adventurous can conquer two different waterslides. Those looking to enjoy the water without having to actually get wet can rent pedal boats or aqua cycles and explore the lake. Camping sights tents and RV’s with full hookups are available as are several group camp sites.
For more information, visit:
or call (909)790-3127.