Mojave Fly-In Attracts Worldwide Attention

Fly-in racerApril 19-20: Over 1,500 people and 500 planes descended on the Mojave Air & Space Port this Saturday and Sunday to participate in what organizers are calling one of the most unique events in Aviation history. The Mojave Experimental Fly-In (click here for link) featured nine speed record attempts, an awards dinner, and planes from all over the world flying in to participate. Seven new speed records were set by five separate airplanes. “There have never been more records set by more airplanes at any event in the history of aviation record setting.” Says event organizer, Elliot Seguin.

Fly-in planeThe purpose of the event was to highlight and promote experimental aviators, an the unique place Mojave holds as a mecca for home-builders and innovation. “The last renaissance of experimental aviation was spearheaded by Burt Rutan in Mojave during the 80’s” says Seguin, a senior Scaled Composites engineer, “I believe we are seeing the dawn of another renaissance.” Mojave is uniquely positioned to attract this type of testing and building, and the Mojave Air & Space Port relies on the engineers and enthusiasts to continue pushing the limits here as much as the experimental pilots and designers rely on Mojave to keep the culture of innovation fresh and relevant.

The core of the event is Cathy Hansen’s Plane Crazy Saturday, which is a monthly event put on by the Mojave Transportation Museum (click here for link). The fly-in hopes to be an annual outgrowth of plane crazy Saturday and was originally designed by local Mojave residents, Seguin and Hansen, to help Mojave companies like Scaled Composites find engineers.

The Awards Dinner featured 150 guests, and featured local rock band “Shame and Glory”, as well as NASA Flight Director & Kittplanes Editor, Paul Dye, who spoke about taking risks in flight testing. Five individuals were recognized during the dinner for their contributions to flight testing, building, designing and experimentation.

For more information, pictures, a list of records, and video of Tom Aberle’s 3km speed record attempt, visit the Mojave Experamental Fly-In website at http://www.MojaveFlyIn.com.

Graffiti Removal in Full Swing

Graffiti - ShastaApril 18: Kern County General Services was in Mojave to provide free paint, brushes and supplies to the Mojave Foundation, and to support the grass-roots efforts that have sprung up in recent weeks all over town. Facilities and Maintenance Manager, Carl Brewer, and Warehouse Manager, Karl Hunt presented the materials to the Foundation, and discussed our main graffiti priorities. But the highlight of the day came when Jay used his power sprayer attached to his truck to erase some of the largest graffiti in a matter of seconds. “The hardest part is cleaning the hoses at the end of the day” says Jay, a retired Maintenance manager from Apple Valley. “It takes longer for me to write up the paperwork.”

Graffiti - L StKern County General Services can remove most graffiti upon receiving a request from the property owner. Any resident can request to have the graffiti removed, but must first have the property owner sign a consent form (also available in Spanish). General Services is usually in Mojave several times per month, and can usually match the color of the paint fairly closely. Residents can mail the completed consent form to 610 E 18th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305, or take a picture of the completed form on their phone and email the form to Leon@MojaveFoundation.org.

Leon & PaintThe recent momentum behind graffiti removal in Mojave was due to the initiative of a local resident, Leon Ryder, a retired school teacher, who took it upon himself to tackle some of the worst graffiti in his neighborhood – on his own time, using his own paint. Leon sparked a miniature revolution in Mojave, and has inspired a myriad of other residents and business owners to do the same. The Mojave Foundation is proud to partner with Leon, and excited about recent donations of paint from Kern County and other local residents.

We also appreciate the support from Kern County General Services and recognize that dollar-for-dollar, Graffiti Removal is one of the best ways to reduce crime and increase public safety. Removing graffiti sends a message to gangs and vagrants that the residents take pride in our community, and we think there is a direct correlation between clean streets and safe streets. We look forward to partnering with Kern County General Services, where The Foundation can eliminate highly visible graffiti quickly and efficiently, while coordinating with the county to knock out larger jobs more efficiently. We are also looking for volunteers to help with graffiti removal, clean-ups, and a door-to-door campaign to collect pre-approved consent forms from property owners. To help out, please see our VOLUNTEER page.

Blood Drive – Tuesday, May 13

MASP Blood DriveHouchin has scheduled their next blood drive here at the Mojave Air and Space Port on Tuesday, May 13. They will be at the Voyager Café parking lot from 9 am to 4 pm. Appointments are every ten minutes starting at 9. Please call Tenina Pezzini at 661-824-2433 or email at tenina@mojaveairport.com to schedule a time slot to donate or if you have any questions.

Please remember to bring a picture ID, be free of all cold or flu symptoms, wait at least 1 year after any tattoos, and be at least 16 years old and 110 lbs. Thank you for your participation!

Coin Wash Burglarized – Closed Until Caught

CoinWash Male Tatoo neckApril 14: The Mojave Coin wash was burglarized twice last week – once on Saturday April 5th, and again on Monday April 7th, and will be closed until the suspect is brought to justice. Both burglaries were carried out by the same male pictured here, as captured by surveillance video, and occurred in broad daylight around 11:30 a.m. The suspect was seen on video beating the coin dispenser with a crow bar for about 17 minutes on Saturday, stealing approximately $245 worth of coins. The suspect returned again on Monday and continued to beat one of the washer machines late in the morning until it yielded $160 worth of coins.

CoinWash Male Tatoo armThe suspect appears in the surveillance video to have light or Caucasian skin, in his 20s, shaved head or buzz cut, muscular build, and tattoos on his forearms, hands and neck. He was wearing a light blue polo shirt with black horizontal stripes and sun glasses over his head, and changed into a white long-sleeved shirt, and again into a black hoodie. During the burglary he carried a reddish backpack with plaid pattern, buttoned in the front. The suspect was also seen interacting with passers-by outside the store and is believed to either live in Mojave, or at least know people who live in Mojave.

CoinWash Female+BackpackThe suspect also had some help. There was a female in the coin wash acting as a lookout. She is described as being Caucasian, in her 20s, with red hair, thin, and wearing a pink-ish shirt with a floral pattern. There was also a secondary lookout stationed outside the Coin Wash, who was either African-American or Hispanic, on a bicycle, in dark clothing.

CoinWash Male Black Hoodie

The Coin Wash, a Mojave landmark, will be closed until the suspects are caught. The owner of the Coin Wash and Mojave Chamber of Commerce are offering a $1500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any of these individuals. Residents are asked to contact the Sheriff with any information at 661-824-7130, or the owner of the Coin Wash, Christy, at 661-803-7982.

The Mojave Foundation takes this theft personally, and considers it an assault on our residents who rely on this coin wash for their children and families, and our businesses who have invested in our community. We will work tirelessly to bring these suspects to justice, and encourage all residents to volunteer with our local Sheriff’s office through in our Citizen Service Unit (CSU). We are also fundraising for a community surveillance system and street lights centered on the intersection of K Street and Inyo. Anyone interested in supporting our efforts can make a tax-deductible donation on our website, or click here to fill out an application for CSU.

Curb & Gutter Begins in Mojave

Curb & Gutter MachineApril 7: Projects have begun all over our downtown area to install curbs and gutters. The project will include curbs and drainage systems to dispose of storm water, but will not include sidewalks. The project, sponsored by Kern County, is expected to cost about $550,000, according to the Kern County project page, and will include over 260 cubic yards of concrete, and will involve excavating 930 cubic yards of dirt and asphalt. The bid available online reserves 22 cubic yards of cement for sidewalks, but the workers on site are not scheduled to install sidewalks at this time, despite the fact that only 1 out of 14 streets in our downtown area have navigable sidewalks. To see the bid online click here.

Miss Mojave – Merysa Rangel

Merysa RangelMarch 22: Our new Miss Mojave, Merysa Rangel, was crowned Saturday March 22nd at Mojave Elementary School. Rhaylene Joaquin is our new Little Miss Mojave, and our new Junior Miss Mojave is Ana Marquiz. The Mojave Foundation would like to congratulate all the young ladies and contestants for representing Mojave with such grace and poise, especially former Miss Mojave, Hailee Reinke, recently profiled in the AV Press as one of the future leaders of the Antelope Valley to watch for.

Demolition on K St – Revitalization Begins

15946 K St demolitionMarch 24: Another demolition occurred on K Street, marking the sixth hazardous structure in Mojave to be demolished by Kern County Code Compliance since November. The building on the 15900 block of K Street was one of the most widely-known trouble spots, frequently used by vagrants and drug users passing through Mojave. It was also an obstruction for future development, lowering property values as the property steadily continued to deteriorate over the years. The house suffered water damage caused by a hole in the roof, and sustained substantial fire damage after a homeless man started a fire in the property two years ago.

?????????????????????The abandoned building next door is also targeted for demolition, and should come down by April, breathing new life into a strategically significant block with incredible potential. Located in the center of our downtown area between Inyo and Cerro Gordo, these buildings are straddled by Spaceport Court on one side, a highly reputable apartment complex, and KCROP on the other, a county-sponsored organization providing custom teaching and vocational programs. With these two hazardous structures removed, Mojave can finally start having serious discussions about developing these areas, and putting new homes or businesses in those spaces.

Code Compliance, historically limited in budget and resources, was recently injected with additional funding by District-2 Supervisor, Zack Scrivner, and the department has dramatically increased their scope and efficacy in unincorporated areas like Mojave. Demolitions, cleanups, and boarding of abandoned structures are still charged to the property owner in the form of a lien, but at least now the most urgently blighted structures can be removed quickly when they pose a danger to the public. The Mojave Foundation is grateful to Supervisor Scrivner and the leadership and staff at Code Compliance, and is proud to help coordinate with the county to make this possible.