Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weather Saturday afternoon

winter storm warning

short term forecast

National Weather Service San Diego CA

1252 pm pst sat feb 27 2010

Riverside County Mountains

now... light to moderate rain will continue through 3 pm.

isolated thunderstorms are possible.

streams will be running at bankfull locally...and

water may pond on road surfaces and in poorly drained areas.

falling and blowing snow...and areas of dense fog

will make travel difficult above 6,000 ft

where an additional two inches of snow is possible

through 3 pm.

a winter storm warning is in effect for elevations above 6000 feet.


Riverside County Mountains-

including the following locations...Pine Cove 1237 pm pst sat feb 27 2010 ..

.winter storm warning remains in effect until 10 pm pst this evening...

a winter storm warning for heavy snow remains in effect until 10 pm pst

this evening.

* elevation: all areas above 6,000 feet

* snow levels: 6000 feet.... . lowering to near 5000 feet this evening

* snow accumulations: 6 to 8 inches between 6,000 and 7,000 ft

and 8 to 12 inches above 7,000 feet.

* timing: today through early tonight.

* winds: southwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts to near 45 mph.

* visibility: near zero in snow...blowing snow and dense fog.

* impacts: heavy snow...blowing snow...strong gusty winds and

dense fog has the potential to make travel hazardous at

elevations above 6000 feet on saturday.

precautionary/preparedness actions...

a winter storm warning for heavy snow means

severe winter weather conditions are expected.

Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel

dangerous. only travel in an emergency.

if you must travel...keep an extra flashlight... food...

and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Friday, February 26, 2010

More Snow may be coming

From the national Weather Service Friday afternoon:

Winter Storm Warning

urgent - winter weather message

ational Weather Service San Diego CA
1:39 pm pst fri feb 26 2010

...winter storm warning in effect from
4 am to 10 pm pst

saturday... locally heavy snow and
gusty winds

a pacific storm will bring local heavy snow and
strong gusty
winds on saturday.

* elevation: all areas above 6,000 feet.

* snow levels: 8,000 feet tonight...lowering to
near 6,500 feet by
Saturday morning...
then to near 5,000 feet by Saturday afternoon

* snow accumulations: 6 to 8 inches between 6,000
and 7,000 feet
and 8 to 12 inches above 7,000 feet.

* timing: Saturday morning through
early Saturday night

* locations include: Big Bear Lake. Fawnskin...
Wrightwood...Pine Cove

* winds: southwest 20 to 30 mph
with gusts to near 55 mph.

* visibility: near zero in snow.
..blowing snow and dense fog.

* impacts: heavy snow...
blowing snow
...strong gusty winds
dense fog has the potential
to make travel hazardous at

elevations above 6,000 feet on

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kudos to the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce must have been a busy place today. I see the Web site ( has been significantly modified and even brought current. My congratulations to the Chamber and its membership.

I do notice a similarity with another Idyllwild community service organization, but I suppose that's just poor eyesight. Or it helped to convert the site to something already existing.

The site was down this afternoon but is now available to visit. However, we did get a print from this morning, so those nostalgic for 2007-08, we have a copy of the Web page from this morning.

Now maybe our breaking news about the new site is old to some. I don't know if an announcement was made. We apparently are not on the membership email distribution.

Which reminds me, i believe a message went out to membership today. If any of you can share it with us, that would be great. After all, we want to be aligned with the over all agenda. Of course, all you anonymous writers are welcome to comment below.

Also, since the Town Crier only gets Chamber notices sporadically, perhaps you might share the letter regarding the nominating committee. We didn't receive that one either, of course, section 4.01 B a of the bylaws may be changed by the time you read this. but it currents states:

"At the January meeting of the Board of Directors, the President shall appoint, subject to the approval of the board, a nominating committee which shall consist of at least three members, one or more of whom shall be appointed from the general membership, and direct the Secretary to notify the membership, within s days of the January board meeting, by letter containing all information pertaining to seeking nomination, including the timeline of the election process. The membership has a two-week period to respond in writing to this letter."

So if you have the letter or email, please share that with us. It's too bad that slipped Andrea's mind. Oh wait, she not the secretary. Well I suppose the Secretary has been busy, it's hard holding a position, keeping the web site current every few years and following the bylaws.

Next year, I'll put it on the community "Master" calendar to remind us all. Even that page looks shockingly familar. I don't know. At least it's current. I didn't know the Idyllwild 5 & 10 K run and fitness walk had been changed. According to the 5 & 10k Web site ( which you can access from our Home page under affliates, it is scheduled for the first Saturday, June 5.

But the Chamber does not have it on its calendar. So in the spirit of positivity, I give the Chamber credit for its calendar and freeing up a Saturday morning.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

special IFPD meeting today, Saturday

The Idyllwild Fire Protection District commission will hold a special meeting today at 5:30.

The commission will address a specific offer from Zoll Medical for the equipment, originally purchased in 2008.

In closed session, the commission will discuss the retirement of Fire Chief Steve Kunkle.

See ya there?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Idyllwild Arts President Bill Lowman announces retirement

Having just celebrated twenty-five years at the helm of Idyllwild Arts, President and Headmaster Bill Lowman announced his retirement in a Feb. 12 letter to Idyllwild Arts Foundation Board of Governors Chair Faith Raiguel.

“It is with a great sense of pride and fulfillment that I write to you and to the greater community of Idyllwild Arts, to inform you of my decision to retire as President and Headmaster effective June 30, 2011,” Lowman wrote. “It is difficult to leave the wonderful place that is Idyllwild Arts but it seems appropriate at this time in my own life; just prior to the 62nd Idyllwild Arts Summer Program and at the end of the 25th anniversary year of the Idyllwild Arts Academy.”

Raiguel said on learning of Lowman's plans, "Bill Lowman has been instrumental in Idyllwild Arts' growth for 25 years. The organization has grown and thrived under his vision, limitless energy and dedication to educating artists of all ages. His belief in creating the first boarding high school for the arts on the West Coast has allowed Idyllwild Arts to continue its reputation as a cutting edge program."

In a letter to the Idyllwild Arts community dated Feb. 19, Raiguel writes, “The excellence that is the hallmark of Idyllwild Arts, in both the Academy and the Summer Program, will be reflected in the search that the Foundation undertakes to select the next leader for the school. Employing the Head of our school and CEO of the Foundation is perhaps our greatest responsibility as a board and we have already engaged in the necessary pre-planning. We are pleased to announce that the Board has selected the firm of Educational Directions to serve as search consultants. Educational Directions are specialists in the school world, both boarding and art schools, and we are committed to a thoughtful, transparent and inclusive process that will take into consideration the views of every element of the Idyllwild Arts community. It is the board’s intention that this process is an effective, positive and strengthening experience for everyone at Idyllwild Arts.”

Educational Directions, headquartered in South Carolina, states on its web site that it conducts searches differently from other search firms: “We started the company because we disagreed with the prevailing philosophy of search firms at that time. Their philosophy was, ‘There are top, A-level candidates and they can run any school.’ From firsthand experience, we knew that wasn’t the case. Important factors such as school size, configuration, culture, specific issues, state of organizational growth, had to be considered. So from the very beginning, our company has been centered on finding leaders who fit the individual schools. On your behalf, we search for, we entice, and we discover qualified candidates for your school. We are a search firm, not a placement agency.”

Filling Lowman’s shoes will be a big job, since he and the school, its history and development over his twenty-five year tenure, are so inextricably linked. Luckily for Idyllwild and the IA community, Lowman will be in place for another year – time for a long goodbye in which Lowman’s many admirers and supporters can express their thanks for his service.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Congratulations Michael!!

Idyllwild's Michael Drell salutatorian at Hemet High School for the Class of 2010.

Michael wants to attend UCLA or Occidental College. He has a 4.35 GPA and 2,240 SAT. He is involved in Associated Student Body, mock trial, Future College Graduates Club and yearbook. He has also volunteered at Camp Ronald McDonald to help cancer patients.

Ketaki Panse is the valedictorian.

Michael is a budding photographer. He has shared photographs with the Town Crier.

And congratulations to Phil and Dianne for creating and modeling such an outstanding student.

Yea Michael!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IFPD Special Mtg Feb. 17 Agenda

Here is the agenda for tomorrow's IFPD special meeting.



~ FEBRUARY 17, 2010 ~

The meeting is held at the Idyllwild Fire Station, 54160 Maranantha Drive. (No Workshop) Meeting begins @ 5:30 PM. The Board may approve or take action on items contained in the Discussion Calendar.


ROLL CALL: Riggi – Killingsworth – Schelly – Capparelli - StigallMulhall – Coopersmith(s)


Swearing in of New Interim Fire Chief Mike Mulhall

CITIZENS COMMENTS: Citizens may comment on any matter as contained on the Special Meeting Agenda. Individual citizen’s comments will be contained to five (5) minutes each as timed by a member of the board. *Optional Request* Please state your name and address before making comment.

* * * * See action items listed separately * * * * *



The next regularly scheduled IFPD Board Meeting is Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm workshop/6:00 pm Meeting


  1. Posting of permanent Chief’s Position: Advertising and offer to accept applications for Chief’s Position. Application for this position will be accepted from within the ranks as well as outside.
  2. Final Settlement for Chief Kunkle: Amount due to Retiring Chief Kunkle for accrued sick and vacation pay. Final regular paycheck to occur with payroll processed in March 2010.
  3. PERS issues: Commissioner Schelly requested report on reason for increase in amounts paid to PERS occurring over the last several years.
  4. Breakdown of assets and value of those assets: Commissioner Schelly requested listing of individual items and their value.
  5. Board Orientation Packet: inclusion of other items
  6. Recommendation to resolve temporary staffing shortage: The filling of temporary vacancies in the staff resulting from Cpt. Mulhall’s promotion to Interim Chief.
  7. Request by the Board for date and signature on all documents by person creating them: As indicated.
  8. Posting of Office Assistant Position: Placement of advertising and job description to fill this position.
  9. Legal Billing Issue: Review of voided check and correspondence.
  10. Approve and Accept Audits: Approval and Acceptance of prior years (June 30th 2004 thru 2008) audits.
  11. IFPD Resolution #490: Credit Card information to change Chief Financial Officer to Contact Person.
  12. IFPD Resolution #114: Schedule of Offenses & Penalties Policy (proofreading corrections only)
  13. IFPD Policy #110: General Rules and Regulations Policy. Update on Status. (proofreading corrections only)
  14. Hemet Dispatch Report: (LaMont): Update of progress and discussion of costs.
  15. Employee Roster and Certification: Update on status of report.
  16. Resolution of new bank signature cards: Update signatures to include Interim Chief Mike Mulhall and remove retiring Chief Steve Kunkle.

IFPD Interim Chief

Last night, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) commission selected Capt. Mike Mulhall to be the interim fire chief until a permanent replacement for recently retired Chief Steve Kunkle is selected.

The commission also said it would be announcing the vacancy and using normal fire chief chanels (such as journals) to solicit applicants.

Mulhall is a 25-year IFPD veteran. He has served as chief during his tenure and most recently was the district's training officer.

The meeting began with several citizens offering their suggestions to the Commission. For example, Commissioner Dr. "Sweetie" Schelly's wife, Leslie, urged them to consider a person who would work with the staff, understand the district's financial issues and care for its equipment.

Pine Cove resident Jeff Smith suggested the commission postpone the decision until it could discuss its options with riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins and Hemet Fire Chief Matt Shobert.

And Nancy Borchers of Pine Cove reminded the commission that Pine Cove supports the ambulance contract through its payments and hoped the commission would select an individual who would support the contract with adequately trained and capable staff.

Stay tuned later today to see or hear about the agenda for IFPD's special meeting scheduled for 5:30 pm, tomorrow, Feb. 17 at the fire station.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

IFPD agenda for Monday, Feb. 15 @ 5:30 pm


Posted Sunday, 2-14-2010

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Idyllwild Fire Protection District

Closed Meeting Agenda

Monday, February 15, 2010

The IFPD Board of Commissioners will be meeting in closed session on Monday, 02-15-2010 at 5:30 PST. The purpose of this meeting will be to address the unanticipated retirement of Chief Steve Kunkle (2-15-2010.)

The board will be meeting to discuss the personnel issues in regards to Mr Kunkle’s departure and the appointment of an Interim Chief. The current Interim Chief is Captain Jim Reyes. A new Interim Chief may or may not be appointed at this closed session meeting depending on action taken.

In accordance with The Brown Act the result of the closed session meeting will be made public at all usual posting sites and by the local media (The Town Crier.) The “usual posting sites” are the fire department, the Post Office, Town Hall, and online at The Town Crier.

Jeannine Stigall

IFPD Board President

General rules.....



Closed meetings are the exception and permitted only if they meet defined purposes and follow special requirements (§§ 54954, 54954.2, 54954.5, 54957.7).


Special public notice and agenda requirements apply (§§ 54954, 54954.2, 54954.5, 54957.7).

All actions taken and all votes in closed session must be publicly reported orally or in writing within 24 hours (§ 54957.1(b)), and copies of any contracts or settlements approved must be made available promptly (§ 54957.1(b),(c)).


Haiti Benefit

A benefit for Haitian survivors fo the recent earthquake will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at Rainbow Inn. The Wine and Cheese reception will be 5:30 p.m. sponsored by Café Aroma followed by a one hour presentation on the Haiti Relief Effort.Dr. Richard Goldberg will be the speaker. Admission is free. Donations for Haiti relief will be appreciated and go to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hwy 74 open

This is what everyone wants to see and know. Hwy 74 from Hemet to Mountain Center opened at 4:15 p.m. today. This is the first traffic (going west — toward Hemet) across the new section.

Much thanks to CalTrans and their contractor — Skanska

I'll post more photos on my blog and more breaking news about IFPD, too. Just too much in one day for this blog.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Roads Opened (Hwy74) and closed (Thomas Mtn)

Good News: Highway 74 may open late tomorrow afternoon, according to Terri Kasinga, Public Information Officer, CalTrans Maintenance - District 8. All the work may take weeks, but the Highway will be safe for traffic sometime this weekend.

"We're hoping if everything goes perfectly, it will open 3 p.m. Saturday," she said today. "If some problems occur, it may be Sunday or Monday."

The roadwork is not complete and CalTrans will have work along the side of the road to complete the total repair and to remove the chance that water can build and wash it out again. This wok will occur over the next two to three weeks and could result in some traffic delays and road work flagging, but the Hwy 74 between Idyllwild and Hemet will still be open to use.

Oh yes, for all of you living east of Idyllwild and coming through Palm Desert, the road closure begins at Mountain Center to Hemet. Highway 74 to Mountain Center and Highway 243 from Mountain Center to Banning is totally opened. No need to turn around in Garner Valley, you can continue on to Idyllwild. Please visit tomorrow and have a nice weekend.

Now the bad news, the San Jacinto Ranger District will close Thomas Mountain (FS road 6S13) on Monday, Feb. 15. This closure is for public safety because of the road conditions and the chance of ice, mud, rock slides, washouts, flash flooding, slippery road surfaces and snow.

The closure will be in effect until further notice, pending road and weather conditions.

Firewood collection permit holders can still collect firewood at two other areas: Fern Basin and Idyllwild West (behind the Idyllwild Arts Academy). If this closure leaves firewood permit holders unable to collect all the firewood purchased, extension will be issued. Please contact the Idyllwild Ranger station for more information (909) 382-2922.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow snow snow Yes!!

We received many inches of snow last night. I'd estimate a minimum of 6 inches and maybe 8 to 9 inches just in the town center neighborhood. i haven't heard from Pine Cove or Fern Valley yet.

the really good news is the roads, including secondary streets, are all clear. Hwy 243 from the town entrance to village Center is plowed to the pavement. Some sun or temperatures above 38º will turn the thin layer of snow and crusty ice to slush. There's gravel or ashes on the road too.

Kudos to CalTrans, Riverside County transportation and all of the local plow entrepreneurs to have turn a problem into a way to live and work in winter wonderland. Is this "Only in Idyllwild".

Perhaps not, but here's an idea. The Winter Olympics start in two days. Vancouver needs snow, Idyllwild has snow. Idyllwild needs commerce, Vancouver has billions. Why not hold some of the outside snow events here!!

I'll be writing the President of this Winter Olympics with this suggestion, but for those who read this early, get your room reservations now!

Pictures will come later. Sorry!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hemet High School bus plans for Tuesday, Feb 9

Here is the latest for tomorrow's bus ride to Hemet.

For those similar to me who can't read the memo, let me put the locations and time here:

Stop Pick Up Drop off
243 @ Knotty Pine Cabins 5:17 AM 4:34 pm
243 @ Franklin 5:19 4:36
243 @ lakeview 5:21 4:39
243 @ Pine Cove Market 5:23 4:49
N. Circle @ Fern Valley Crnr 5:35 4:32
S. Circle @ John Muir Rd 5:37 4:31
S. Circle @ Daryll 5:38 4:30
Village Ctr @ Hemet Fed'l 5:42 4:27
Idyllwild Elem School 5:45 4:25
Mtn Center @ Taylor's Lodge 5:55 am 4:15 pm

These times are effective tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 9 until further notice.

Hemet High activity bus schedule

The Hemet High School late activity bus will resume this afternoon. However, the drop off times had to be changed because of the Highway 74 closure.

Late Activity Bus Stop Drop Off Time

Mountain Center @ Taylor’s Lodge 6:45 pm

Idyllwild Elementary School 6:55pm

Hwy 243 at Knotty Pine Cabins 7:00 pm

Hwy 243 at Franklin Dr 7:03 pm

Hwy 243 at Pine Cove Market 7:12 pm

The HHS Transportation Department is requesting the most current contact information and phone numbers so that the Parent Link system will help spread the word about these and future transportation changes. The Transportation Department may be reached at 7658-5100 ext 5880.

Latest Calrans — hwy repair contract

From Terri Kasinga of CalTrans, this memorandum arrived a few minutes ago.

A $1 million emergency contract will secure a contractor, who may begin work as early as Tuesday, February 9. Expect the route to remain closed for at least one week. Updates will be provided as the work progresses.

Residents in the area have been permitted to move within the closure with identification, however, they are not permitted near or through the washed-out section of SR-74.

For access to Idyllwild, motorists may still use I-10 to SR-243, SR-74 from the Palm Desert area, or SR-371 from Anza. However, the section of SR-74 from Hemet to Mountain Center will remain closed until repairs are made.

Hwy 74 repairs

CalTrans says the repairs to Highway 74 should be done within four to five days. yes, 4-5 days, according to Shelli Lombardo, public information officer, Caltrans District 8.

The plan is to issue an emergency contract and begin work shortly. Caltrans is currently in the
process of estimating repair cost and acquiring the contractor. As soon as the Town Crier has confirmation work has begun, we'll take some photos so that you can be sure also.

Riverside County Sheriff's Office already has adjusted its patrol and routines. Deputies patroling the Hill will be expected to be on the road more and less office time during this period.

The county Office of Emergency Services is also aware of the emergency and will be prepared to respond if problems expand, especially if Wednesday's weather causes any new road blocks or closures.

Here is this morning's Hazardous Weather Forecast:

late Tuesday into Wednesday...
upper level low pressure will move over southern
California bringing the possibility of isolated 
thunderstorms with brief heavy rain...
locally heavy mountain snow...and low 
snow levels down to 3000 to 3500 feet. 
This includes a possibility of 3 to 7 inches of snow.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hemet High School bus plans

Thanks to Superintendent Pendley and Trustee Bill Sanborn for providing this information for those who may have missed the parent link call or other reasons:

The Hemet Unified School district Director of Transportation, Michael Fogerty, has shared the district’s transportation plan until Highway 74 is repaired:

1) For Monday, February 8, 2010, the home to school bus servicing Hemet High School will depart the transportation facility one (1) hour prior to it's normal departure time. This bus will be re-routed via either Highway 243 or Highway 371 and will arrive to it's bus stops approximately one (1) hour earlier than normal for the morning pick ups and arrive one (1) hour later for the afternoon drop offs.

A parent link regarding these different pick up times was sent to the affected student's residences at 11:08 am on Sunday, February 7, 2010.

The message sent on Parent Link is as follows:

"Highway 74 has been closed. We anticipate the closure to continue for an extended period of time. As a result, on Monday, February 8th your student will be picked up at their bus stop approximately one hour earlier and dropped off at their bus stop approximately one hour later. A temporary schedule will be distributed to your student when they disembark from the bus on Monday. In addition, there will be no late activity bus available until further notice. If you have any questions, please contact the Transportation Department at (951) 765-5100 extension 5880. Thank you."

Additionally, there are three (3) students who ride this bus from the Cranston Ranger Station and Lypp's Ranch. These three (3) students have been notified that they will be required to utilize the Shultz and Highway 74 bus stop until further notice due to the closure of Highway 74.

This route also services HAAAT, APA and Alessandro students. Instead of transferring these students at Hemet High School onto other buses in the morning, the route bus will transport these students to these additional sites directly after delivering students to Hemet High School. I have included the administrators of these sites in this e-mail to ensure that they are aware of the road closure.

2) The late activity bus out of Hemet High will be canceled until further notice. Notification was given to parents via the parent link.

3) I will meet with my staff on the morning of February 8, 2010 to discuss any further necessary changes to the home to school bus servicing Hemet High School students. A new schedule will be created and parents will be notified of the pick up and drop off times to be in effect February 9, 2010 via a written memorandum to students as they disembark from the bus on Monday, February 8th.

4) The two (2) special education students residing in the Idyllwild and Pine Cove areas will be transported in a District vehicle to be driven by Priscilla Larsen. Ms. Larsen has more than 20 years experience driving in the Pine Cove and Idylwild area. I have notified both of the parents of these students regarding these arrangements. The drivers of the routes that these students normally ride have been notified that they will not be transporting these students. Hence, there will be no impact to these routes.

5) All drivers who utilize Highway 74 have been notified to report to work 1.5 hours earlier than normal so that they can re-route to Garner Valley and Anza via Highway 371. There will be no impact to the Anza schools due to the road closure and all Anza transportation schedules will remain the same for the students.

6) I have also identified a Mt. San Jacinto College student who is transported home on Wednesday afternoons via school bus to an address on Tollgate Rd. Every other day of the week the student is transported to and from Bautista Creek Elementary by the parent who is a teacher at that site. This student will be transported home on Wednesday afternoons by Priscilla Larsen in the District vehicle until Highway 74 is re-opened.

7) Transportation office staff will be reporting to work at 3:00 am on Monday, February 8, 2010 to ensure that all transportation runs smoothly and seamlessly.

The goal of this planning is to ensure that there is minimal impact to students, parents and site staff due to the road closure. Undoubtedly, this plan will evolve and incur changes. I will keep you informed with any new information as it becomes available.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Yes, Highway 74 closed

Here are some more of Jenny's photos of Highway 74 washout. Keenwild received nearly two inches of rain yesterday.
Publish Post

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Highway 74 closed

Highway 74 is closed from Mountain Center to Hemet until further notice due to a large piece of the highway washing away near the Cottonwood burn area. According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Mike Murawski, the incident occurred around 1:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Alternate routes are Highway 243 to Banning and Highway 371 through Anza.