Category: SN4

Adelanto Community Holds Mayor’s Food Giveaway

With Easter a week away, Adelanto residents who wondered whether they’d be able to provide Easter dinner will wonder no longer. In five hours—two hours longer than scheduled—more than 324 families were served at the Glasper Center on Saturday, March 18 for the first annual Mayor’s Giveaway.

“The response was outstanding, everything went really smooth and I couldn’t be more proud of the 120 volunteers who made this event possible,” said Mayor Rich Kerr, whose vision created what he expects will become an annual tradition that future Mayors will support.

“Starting with parking, to having residents progress through the different stations, the event was executed like an efficient military operation from start to finish—it was very gratifying to see how orderly it was and everything come together without any hiccups,” said Kerr.

Volunteers, some from as far away as Santa Ana and included representatives from Curbside Ministry, Praise Chapel, Kicks Kafe Senior Club and Adelanto Growers’ Association. In addition to working the event on Saturday, these volunteers have been working for weeks to plan the giveaway. Many of the volunteers ushered families and assisted with carrying bags of groceries. Resident

Daniel Penafiel said he was “glad to able to take the time out of his day to give back, it’s only a few of hours but it can make a difference to a lot of people.”

In addition to the food giveaway, residents were able to select from several clothing bins courtesy of the nonprofit group “Swapping Mamas,” as well as receive information from a variety of booths including voter registration, taxes and health information.

“This was great, it’s too bad that it can only happen once per year,” said resident Katrina, who collected food to help her family of four.

Using cash donations totaling $2,300 representatives from four non-profits located in Adelanto used their contacts in San Bernardino County, making numerous trips to a food bank to purchase name brand food “dirt cheap” that was used in the giveaway.

“We were able to collect almost 11,000 pounds of food—3,243 bottles of water—enough to provide each family four bags of groceries,” said Kerr. There were leftover food items that were given to nonprofits in Adelanto that also assists families in need.

Mayor Pro Tem Jermaine Wright and Councilors Charley Glasper and John “Bug” Woodard were also at the event.

For more information about the food and clothing sharing event, contact Sergio Quesada of Q Marketing at 760-843-3300, or by email at:


Real Estate Symposium Offers Review of High Desert Market

The 2016 Real Estate Symposium, hosted by Coldwell Banker Commercial (CBC), kicked off with keynote speaker Fred Schmidt. As President and COO of CBC, he is a veteran commercial real estate professional with more than 30 years of experience in the industry.

Schmidt gave an overview of the national marketplace, saying that consumer spending is up in the U.S. Other factors effecting the market include soverign debt, event risks (Russian invasion), political uncertainty including the U.S. presidential election and in the U.K. over whether it will remain in the European Union.

Cheap gas prices are putting billions into consumers’ pockets, and causing a ripple effect in the commodities market.

The millennial generation, numbering 76 million, is taking a greater role in the housing market, and over the next 20-25 years their preferences will dictate the direction for commercial office space, employment and consumerism. They prefer open social areas, and a smaller overall footprint.

Baby Boomers still boast the highest spending income in the history of the world, Schmidt said, and have influence on the apartment sector as they downsize, and politics.
About 2.7 million jobs were added last year, and growth should continue as long as interest rates stay low. Primary employment sectors continue to be in the education, medicine and technology sectors.

Next to speak was economist Manfred Keil, an associate professor at Claremont McKenna College. He said the Inland Empire as a whole ranks 13th out of 383 statistical regions in the U.S. with 4.2 million people.

He stated that while the number of jobs lost have been recovered since the recession, many have been replaced with lower paying jobs than than the ones lost. The job sectors that haven’t recoverd are in manufacturing and construction, and the new jobs are in low-pay service and retail.

Home ownership was a big topic with Coldwell Banker Commercial Victorville Vice President Bob Basen, who said the rental market as increased as a result. More rental units are needed, and some of the older ones need rehabbing to attract the younger rental crowd.

Unemployment figures are as follows: Adelanto – 9.7 percent, Hesperia – 8.1%, Victorville -6.4%, Apple Valley – 6.2T and Barstow unemployment is 5.9%.

Coldwell Banker CEO Jason Lamoreaux brought up the issue of construction being done in the Cajon Pass as a major concern and the main reason that the High Desert real estate market hasn’t grown as it could. He mentioned that when home buyers, business owners and developers decide to come up to the desert on a Friday afternoon after work, and end up in a 3-hour traffic, they turn around and go back. They may not realize that is not a normal commute time, and give up on the idea of purchasing here. Once the project is finished, he believes things will pick up rapidly.

According to SANBAG president Ryan McEachron, speaking on local infrastructure projects, the ribbon cutting for the Devore Interchange Project will be held on May 20.

Apple Valley Town Manager Frank Robinson said the town’s future is bright, and the completion of the Yucca Loma Bridge which is projected to open mid-2017. This will pave the way for some great commercial and retail projects, including the Fountain retail center at Yucca Loma and Apple Valley road. The town will also break ground on a 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center that bringing with it 400 to 500 long-term jobs.

Newly hired Hesperia City Manager Nils Bensten, said that 85 single family resident permits were issued last year, a 35-percent increase over 2014. The Tapestry Project will build 16,169 housing units and about 700,000 square feet of commercial and retail buildings. Phase I could break ground by 2018.

The widening of Ranchero Road is key to the finalization of traffic flow to the Ranchero freeway interchange on the I-15.
Barstow City Manager Curt Mitchell said capital projects in his city include the replacement of the First Avenue Bridges over the BNSF railroad tracks and the Mojave River.

Retail projects coming to Barstow include the Montara Place Shopping Center, Shops at Spanish Trail and Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company.
Victorville City Manager Doug Robertson said the city will widen the Bear Valley Road bridge over the BNSF railroad tracks in late 2016 or early 2017.

Other infrastructure projects include the Mojave Riverwalk, which will offer 44 miles of bike lanes along the Mojave River from D Street to the Victor Valley College area. He says that Victorville will “hopefully” find a way to fund construction for connecting Green Tree Boulevard to the Yucca Loma Bridge project.

The city of Adelanto did not have a representative present, but Lamoreaux mentioned that industrial space is going at a very high rate due to an anomaly – the marijuana cultivation ordinance that the city council recently approved has apparently caused a gold rush of business to that area.


PHOTO: Dougal Egan of Southern California Logistic Airport speaks at symposium.

Lovingood Presents a New Life for Old Route 66

Route 66 once was the High Desert’s sole connection to the San Bernardino Valley and the Los Angeles basin. Then the 1950s ushered in Interstate 15 and the era of the freeway.

As every local commuter well knows, Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass is undergoing a major upgrade, including widening, resurfacing and new transition roads. The $324 million project is set to be complete in mid-2016.

But what most people don’t know is that segments of old Route 66 in San Bernardino County will soon have new life.

The first is a partial bypass road in the Cajon Pass.

Cajon Boulevard (as Route 66 is known in the Cajon Pass) runs from Kenwood Avenue in Devore, up the pass until a couple of miles below the Highway 138 junction. At that point, I-15 obliterated old Route 66. Building a road to reconnect Cajon Boulevard to Highway 138 would require bridging the railroad tracks and traversing a long section of Cajon Creek and would be hugely expensive. Bulldozing a new roadway might be physically possible, but environmental obstacles would be daunting.

To the south, Cajon Boulevard currently proceeds three-quarters of a mile south of Kenwood Avenue where it again dead ends into I-15. However, the I-15/I-215 Interchange project currently under construction will, based on the County’s recommendation, rebuild Cajon Boulevard from this current terminus, underneath the new interchange. It will then connect with the existing portion of Cajon Boulevard that ends just north of Devore Road. From this point, Cajon Boulevard continues south into San Bernardino.

Nearby, Caltrans is planning to straighten many of the hairpin curves on Highway 138 going east of I-15 into Summit Valley. That could start as soon as next spring. This project will improve traffic flow for those interested in using Summit Valley Road from Hesperia as an alternate to the portion of I-15 above Highway 138.

Elsewhere in in the County, Route 66 is being also being restored.
In the spring, the County will begin work on almost six miles of National Trails Highway, from the Victorville City Line to Bryman Road. This is in addition to six miles of paving work on National Trails Highway from the Victorville city limits to Bryman Road. In 2013, the County completed a four-mile resurfacing project on National Trails in the Helendale/Oro Grande area. And on Dec. 15, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution of support for the California Historic Route 66 Needles to Barstow Corridor Management Plan. It’s the first step toward seeking National Scenic Byway designation for the segment.

Out in the East Mojave, storms last year did significant damage along National Trails Highway to 40 bridges and even washed away sections of pavement, making segments of Route 66 impassable. County work crews quickly repaired 12 areas of roadway and all but three of the bridges allowing us to reopen the segment of National Trails Highway between Barstow and Cadiz Road. Repairs on the more heavily damaged bridges was recently completed, allowing us to reopen the section between Cadiz Road and Essex Road, reconnecting National Trails Highway to Interstate 40.

While freeways are essential to our transportation network, old Route 66 in San Bernardino County is seeing new life.