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After Action Report

By   /   November 9, 2012  /   34 Comments

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While not much has changed on the national political scene. What has happened are lines are more deeply drawn and nerves are on edge. I’m all for a 59 day cooling off period . I want to get through the holidays with out killing my relatives if you do not mind.

On the local scene it is much brighter and a whole lot less partisan. Margo is doing the happy dance  in Yucca Valley over taking on and whipping the dog doo out of the establishment there. Now her gang must work with that same establishment to come up with alternative funding sources for that sewer problem. Good Luck.

Over here in 29… funny how the worm has turned. We could not be happier about Cora Heiser getting top votes. She managed to eek out a first place finish in a truly equally divided vote. It took 4 years and two voting cycles but I’m thinking we might well have beat the snot out of the “Good Ole Boy” Network. Well until the next time anyways. Our side has at least two years to straighten up this place and get us back on track.This is a cyclic thing, we need to not gloat and get down to work if we plan to keep this local victory.

Other races turned to be a mixed bag. Win some loose some.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say this is a sea change for local media. There has been a power shift. Citizen Journalism truly  won the day. It was the opinions and views of local citizens posted here and in other on line venues that made the difference in all elections. I came out win 3 (Heiser, Klink, Avels) – lose 2 (Imus, Derry),  but others here did better on their endorsements. I am proud to be part of that movement to citizen journalism.



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  • Published: 2 years ago on November 9, 2012
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  • Last Modified: November 9, 2012 @ 7:28 am
  • Filed Under: Opinion

About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

    Did the state mandate a sewer system in yucca or did they mandate no new septic systems. It would be wise for Yucca to defer the sewer system until there is a basin wide solution to our common ground water issues. Mean time there is the alternative of package plants for new business and state approve residential nonpolluting systems

  2. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Mark, Where have you been the last 2 to 3 years? The state has said Yucca Valley has to get a waste water treament system NOW.

    • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

      `Exactly Larry, a waste water system to the best of my limited knowledge does not mean an antiquated central sewer plant; My understanding is Yucca can’t approve new construction or replace current septic systems that would discharge sewer into the ground water. But nice spin.

      • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

        To my knowledge a new waste water treatment plant is a new central “sewer” plant by another name.

  3. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    You are both wrong!

  4. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    Yea what the heck, If someone asks a question… give em an answer!

  5. Cora Heiser has a direct mandate to rock the “Good Ole Boy’s boat. She had been handed the political capital big time.

    They’ll be much whining from the old Network of those whom have had their way and have enjoyed a disproportional amount of favors and funding.

    No more backroom planning of the likes such as “PP” which took factually took place several years before Pandora’s box was open and evil contained therein escaped and spread over the town of 29.

    Yes, evil. The evil bond debt outsiders manipulating this town for their own purposes, and the “Good Ole Boy” Network of followers that that were to directly benefit.

    It’s just going to be more difficult to continue with the old ways.

  6. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    You know… your friend Margo has worked mighty hard for you boys to still be clueless!

  7. Claude Short Claude Short says:

    Hey Larry! THE STATE DID NOT SAY THAT YUCCA VALLEY HAD TO HAVE A SEWER SYSTEM! They said we have to stop using our septic tanks. There are other systems that will cost less and will meet the State’s requirements to STOP USING OUR SEPTIC TANKS!

  8. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Read my comment again. I had “sewe”r in quotes. The state said YV can’t continue with septic tanks. What is your solution to that directive?

  9. Claude Short Claude Short says:

    Larry, sorry- I missed the quotations around “sewer.” In any case, just type ‘Non-discharge septic systems’ into your search box. You’ll get a lot of returns. Non-discharge systems will cost $15k+ depending on the system you choose. The value goes directly into YOUR property. HDWD does not get 1 penny for the system OR for monthly O&M. If you are hooked up to the HDWD system (whatever it might be) you will be giving HDWD permission to dig into your wallet as deep as they want. And, any HDWD rate-payer can tell you- they dig deeper anytime they want raises!

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      Claude, I know there are other methods of solving the problem of contaminating the water table. I was a member of the HDWB’s citizen’s advisory committee as a representative for the Association of Realtors from about 2007 to 2009/10. Dave Reynolds, Dave Mahafey amd Ramon Mendoza were on the committee at that time and all made suggestions on alternate systems. The HDWB and the Water Resources Board determined that the system under discussion was the one to install. I don’t think CT posts are going to change the final system put in place. However, this being California, a law suit against the California Water Resources Board may delay the project further. Just a thought.

  10. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    The website has been busy. This graph shows what kind of activity we had in the last few months… The site is growing exponentially.

  11. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    With the elections over, you are going to have to have your team of reporters really on top of the waste water treament problem during 2013. Then swing back to city and town elections, congessional elections and the govenor’s race in 2014. Dan, you’ve got a busy 2 years ahead of you.

  12. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    I voted for Joel and John. I hope Cora represents ALL the citizens not just Dan’s clique.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      Larry…… Let me know who these guys are in that clique? I’m thinking we should hold a meeting and learn some secret handshakes or maybe a special nod we might give one another in public.

      • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

        Didn’t you guys used to meet at the Jelly Donut?

        • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

          ah… no…. I’m more a circle K guy, if I hung my hat anywhere. I think Mark hangs at the Adobe Deli and Steve… he’s a homebody type.

          We do have that secret cave we meet in once a month to dance in our goat leggings though..

    • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

      Larry you really are a D A

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:


      Please! But to keep you happy I will say that one clique deserves another.

      I served no clique when I was in office and I do not see Cora serving any either. I also have never seen Joel serve a clique.

      Who did serve a clique was John Cole and he has paid the price for doing so. I also see more changes in 2014 when more council members that are serving a clique will again pay the price.

      If advocating for better roads, curbs, gutters, sidewalk, and simply better infrastructure that serves all the people is being in a clique then what is spending hundreds of thousands for signs and millions for a theater say about the current elected servants that are catering to a very small clique?

      The council serves for the best wishes of the majority of the people – they are not elected to be bought by influence and status that is heaped upon them by the select few.

      Come on by my house and I will teach you the secret handshake that we all have.

    • Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

      Dan’s clique? Cora received over a third of all votes cast. I didn’t know Dan was so popular.

      Cora will MOST definitely represent ALL of the citizens. That being said I imagine the artsy-fartsy crowd might start feeling abandoned when their over blown art-welfare is curtailed to fund things that will in fact benefit everyone instead of simply adding to the feel-good-about-myself trophy cases of a few.

      By the way, how you liking the SUBSTANDARD fire protection your number one, doing a great job, guy helped set the City up for.

      • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

        Nice post right up to the point that you insulted the fine men and women that serve in the county fire department, they have served the basin with professionalism that would meet and most likely surpass any set standards, just as the 29 palms water district fire department has. The union between the two should go well, at the same time saving on administration cost.

        • Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

          Mark, I was not referring to the ability of the firefighters but to the quantity.

          The “substandard” part comes in when the Council let this town go from TWO stations manned by SEVEN professional, experienced, fire fighters that are very familiar with the local area to ONE station manned by THREE fire fighters. TWO of whom are just out of the Academy and most likely not from this area. They have no real world knowledge or familiarality with the local roads. They are here on 3yr temporary contracts and will be moving on to a permanent job as soon as they can get hired some where else. So the City is serving as the training ground for these guys to learn the ropes and we will see nothing but a continuose stream of these 3yr temps.

          You are correct that the City will save on the “adminstration costs” of running an actual City Fire Dept but that is a foolish savings given the decreased coverage and potential for loss of property and life, both citizen as well as fire fighters.

          Three firemen show up on a majorly involved scene, as they dismount they find a seriously injured person outside so one immediatley starts administering aid when they are informed a wife/mother/child?? is still inside. The other two now need to decide whether to enter the dwelling to save a life without any on scene backup to cover them with a hose or to delay the attempt until Base/JT/Wonder Valley?? shows up (10/15/20/?? minutes later). Would you care to make that call??? Nor should our fireman have to.

          Also if anyone thinks this won’t affect their insurance rates once response times start to increase and saved structures start to decrease then they are sadly mistaken. This is especially true for those big box businesses the City is supposedly working diligently to attract.

          The Chief from County Fire skated around these issues by sticking to the line “that this was the best solution our money would pay for” while glossing over the effectiveness of said solution.

          • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

            Not absolutely certain but I think the closing of the Lear station was BS, it will stay open from what I hear. In yester year 29 had many on the spot volunteers just some really good minded people, never heard of them not performing. The problem is not the city not funding the fire department, the problem is having a city with its unneeded bureaucracy sucking the tax dollars that would be better spent else ware, think

            • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:


              You are so out of touch it is unreal.

              The Lear Station will close because the city will not step up to the plate of public safety.

              The city is passing their responsibility of fire protection to the county and without a contract such as they have with the Sheriff’s department.

              How can that be Mark?

              Think about it for a minute. The city has a lawful requirement to provide police and fire protection in order to be a city under California law. They pay for the police but some how and in some way LAFCO finds it appropriate for a city to dodge the fire protection requirement and pass that responsibility off to the county?


              Just saying!

            • Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

              “BS”?? Perhaps you should have been at the Council meeting then. County offered up three possible scenarios, first and most expensive kept Lear open with two paid fire fighters, next cheapest was Lear staffed by 2 paid-call volunteers and the third staffed just the Downtown station as I laid out.

              County Fire CLEARLY stated at the meeting that given the amount of funding the Water District would be turning over to County (AND WITH THE CITY REFUSING TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL FUNDING) the ONLY option that was fiscally doable was option 3, the one I laid out above. Downtown staffed by 1 experienced fire fighter and 2 boots right out of the Academy with Lear NOT STAFFED AT ALL.

              So you see, the problem is EXACTLY that the City is not funding the Fire Dept. They are dodging their DUTY to the citizens of this town that elected them. The current City Council members are happy to save money on meaningless fire protection so they will have money for those important things like Chalk Fest and sign with 14′ tall goats on a road that isn’t even the most direct route to the Park HQ. To say nothing of the $300K+ splashpark that was on their wish list this year.

              It is one thing to have a temp or two integrated into a well functioning team, it is quite another when that is all your team consists of. So while you might be satisfied with the new Fire Dept now lets see how that works out when your place is the first call-out for a new set of 3yr temps and the extra time they need to get up to speed results in a total loss or even worse.

            • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

              Steve & Steve we will have to wait and see what the final level of staffing will be, you guys have been around a while and have the ability to negotiate a transfer, rest assured that what was a starting position will not be the end position. I would put a gentleman’s wager on the lear station being staffed and open. Any takers?

              The best solution would be to take the funds now being wasted by and on city government go to higher priorities. Once again, The problem is not the city not funding the fire department, the problem is having a city with its unneeded bureaucracy sucking the tax dollars that would be better spent else ware, think

            • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

              Concur – got an extra round for me also!

            • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

              please get it done before the sky falls

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