Everything is not fine in 29.
The errant meteor that slammed into Chelyabinsk created a shock wave explosion that caused most of the damage. There are about 500,000 near-Earth objects the same size as the Chelyabinsk meteor. Less than 1 percent have been discovered by NASA.
Altogether the Chelyabinsk shock-wave damaged more than 4,000 buildings, 1000 people injured, including 200 children.
If a large near-Earth object hit in our area the base would be on lockdown, and Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley would be overloaded with emergency call for engines and firefighters.
On February 12 this month the water district was left with a “sink or swim” problem presented by the city. City officially took a position to “stay out of water board business.”
The intended consequences is that the city will not fund or help fund a struggling fire department. Consequently, the water district has the responsibility to make safe the residents of Twentnine Palms.
The is a catch. It’s “Catch-22. ” Although the water board oversees the fire department they cannot directly fund the fire department.
The effect of insufficient funding and digressing to three firefighters (one engine) will create “a zone danger” within the borders of Twentynine Palms.
Natural occurring events reminds us that we are not in control of events we have no control over: high-energy solar flares, near-Earth space objects, flooding, errant storm cells, or earthquakes and day-to-day emergencies.
There is even expected danger if larger structures catch fire like schools, shopping centers or hotels. It may be “the business of the water department” — but common sense tells us it’s also the business of the city.
The water board has to shoulder all these responsibilities and find funding for the fire department. Things are much different than they were about fifty years ago when the water district was first formed.
Being prepared for emergencies and day-to-day public safety is the business of the city.
The city should reconsider its policy to stay out of water district business.