Mojave Competing for Sidewalk Grant – Please take survey

Grant 20150427The Mojave Foundation is working with Kern County Roads to apply for a massive sidewalks grant in May of 2015 that would put sidewalks on every street in downtown Mojave, and connect the bike path on Oak Creek Road with K street via the overpass. The sidewalk project would be funded by CalTrans, through the “Safe Routes to School” program. This is a highly competitive grant process with hundreds of communities across the state of California applying. There are two ways you can help us increase our eligibility to win this grant:

Sidewalks - family walking(1) Write a letter to Kern County Roads indicating your support for this project. Click here for a link to an example letter. Email your letter to Kern County Roads Department Director, Bob Neath at, or mail it to 2700 “M” Street, Suite 400, Bakersfield, CA 93301

(2) fill out the survey below and help us put real data to our claims of usage. Ultimately, we recognize that this is a numbers game, and the more letters, and the more people we can point to who would utilize this infrastructure investment, the more likely we are to win the grant. Please hit “VOTE” after each question to see immediate results:

Cerro Coso College: Economics 101 in Mojave this Fall

Cerro Coso FlyerApril 24: This Fall, Cerro Coso Community College will be offering Economics 101 at Mojave High School. This is first time any college has offered Economics in Mojave, and the class will be taught by the Mojave Foundation’s very own Todd Quelet. Todd has been teaching American Government at nights for Cerro Coso in Tehachapi & Edwards AFB, but wanted to bring college-level social sciences here to Mojave. Economics 101 is designed to be a general introduction to basic economic principals – without any of the math or prerequisites. The class is geared toward high school juniors and seniors, college freshmen, and adults who want to get a basic overview of macro, micro and international economics. “I take a lot of pride in making my classes fun and engaging, and providing the students with a foundation they can with them through life.” said Todd Quelet, “I had a professor in college who inspired in me a lifetime of learning in Economics, and I hope to bring the same passion and real-world perspective to students in my own community.”

Economics 101 will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at Mojave High School from 5:30 to 6:55 pm. The semester begins August 24th and ends December 12th. Concurrent Enrollment at Cerro Coso is free for most high school students, regardless of high school; and even the books are free for students of Mojave Unified from Mojave or Cal City. Classes are only $140 for non-high school students. Call Kristin Hanle at 661-258-8644 for questions (M-Th 7:30-5:30; F 8-12), or visit the Cerro Coso website at

Scaled Composites, Northrop Grumman; Make Sizable Health & Safety investment in Mojave

Scaled-NG LogoJanuary 5: Mojave based Scaled Composites and parent company Northrop Grumman announced today a $11,250 donation to the Mojave Foundation to be used for health and safety investments in public lighting and streetlights. “This donation should allow us to reach our target of doubling the available lighting in Mojave.” said Todd Quelet, Executive Director of the Mojave Foundation. “These companies are invested here in Mojave, have been for a long time, and they have a stake in the future of this community.”

Mojave at NightToday’s announcement comes on the heels of a wave of break-ins of commercial properties in downtown Mojave, and the tragic death of another pedestrian on Mojave’s busy streets at night. The Mojave Foundation plans to use investments like these to restore much of the public lighting that was removed three years ago, and make our streets substantially safer. Southern California Edison has offered a deal to install streetlights, including poles, for only $15/month, provided customers sign a three-year contract and pay the first year up front. Today’s announcement demonstrates our partners’ resolve to protect our residents and employees from crime and traffic hazards in Mojave.

Scaled Composites, founded by Burt Rutan, has been building experimental and composite aircraft in Mojave since 1982. Scaled employs approximately 550 engineers, technicians and fabricators in Mojave, and is responsible for major projects such as the Voyager, SpaceShipOne, SpaceShipTwo, and Stratolaunch. Scaled’s President, Kevin Mickey, grew up in Mojave, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Mojave Foundation. Scaled was acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2007, a major aerospace and defense technology company headquartered in West Falls Church, Virginia.

8 Break-ins Downtown, 1 Pedestrian Killed, Streetlights Needed More than Ever

Eight businesses were broken into in Downtown Mojave during the week of December 15th, including the Water Department, Keiff & Sons Ford, Union Pacific, Stokens Donuts and El Jeffe Restaurant. Also, in November a mother of four was killed by a vehicle while crossing Highway 14 near Stater Bros, which marks the fourth pedestrian to be killed in Mojave in a year. The driver could not see the woman crossing the highway in the dark at 6pm, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Residents lament at the chronic loss of life and property in Mojave. “Nobody is going to open a business or buy a house here as long as there is a reasonable expectation of getting broken into”, says Mojave Foundation Executive Director, Todd Quelet. “Our kids are getting killed in the streets… it’s our priority health and safety issue” (referring to the tragic November 2013 killing of a local school girl while crossing Highway 58).

The Mojave Foundation has a plan to increase the available lighting downtown by installing streetlights in high crime/pedestrian areas. We have arranged a deal with Southern California Edison (SCE) to install a streetlamp and pole for existing customers for only $15 per month (provided the customer sign a 3-year contract and pay the first year upfront, which amounts to approximately $180).

Mojave at NightThe problem is that Kern County will not allow us to shine those lights in the street due to a $30,000 debt that Kern County owes to SCE, which prevents us from installing anything in the County’s right-of-way. The $30,000 debt stems from about 3 years ago when Mojave property owners were asked whether they would accept an $8 annual increase in their property taxes to keep approximately 220 streetlights in Mojave. The parcel tax measure was voted down overwhelmingly, mostly attributed Kern County officials say, by the preponderance of property owners who live outside Mojave (80 percent, according to Kern County Assessors office records). When the parcel tax measure failed Kern County submitted a work order with SCE to remove over half the lights from Mojave, but it took SCE six months to execute the work order. Meanwhile Kern County stopped paying for the lights targeted for removal and accrued the $30,000 debt, which now prevents residents from purchasing their own municipal lights.

Mojave at Night with LightsThe Mojave Foundation is determined not to let this problem prevent us from keeping our children and businesses and residents safe. We have raised enough money thus far to double the current amount of streetlights in Mojave, and we will keep working with local residents and businesses to solve this problem at the grass-roots level if necessary. We will also keep working with SCE and Kern County to resolve this debt issue so that we can restore the municipal lights that were removed three years ago, and install a closed circuit surveillance system in the downtown area for businesses who want it.

We encourage all businesses, church leaders, and residents – former and current – to weigh in on this issue. Contact Kern County and request that they resolve their debt with SCE so we can take responsibility for our own streets. You can also make a charitable donation on this website. Right now we can install a streetlight at the municipal or individual level for about $200. As always, your donation is tax-deductible, and 100% goes directly into the project, not for overhead or unrelated expenses. If you have any questions, contact Todd Quelet at

High Desert Jazz/Blues Concert in Mojave This Friday

ChaiseThe Chaise Lounge Sextet, and the Lori Andrew JazHarp Quartet will be performing live in Mojave this Friday, October 17 starting at 7pm at the Stuart Witt Event Center on the Mojave Air & Space Port. This is a FREE event, open to the public, and all ages are welcome. There will be food available for $15/plate, as well as a raffle, prizes and silent auction. All proceeds go directly to making the community safer and healthier – starting with streetlights in our downtown area.

Lori AndrewsThe Mojave Foundation is proud to work with local sponsors and corporate partners to make this event possible, including S&Y Furniture, Anthony’s Grill, TNR Hobies, and Stokens Donuts. All proceeds will go directly to installing additional streetlights in areas with high crime or pedestrian traffic, especially close to school. Mojave suffered 3 pedestrian deaths last year, and over 50 break-ins and attempted break-ins. The community has identified lighting as a strategic priority for the town, and with this concert we hope to DOUBLE the amount of available lighting in Mojave. The Mojave Foundation is a nonprofit, 501c3 organization dedicated to making Mojave a safe, beautiful, desirable place to live and do business.

Space Garden Work Day Scheduled for Thursday October 9

Time:  3pm-7pm
Where:  Legacy Park (Sabovich St. and Airport Blvd. at the Rotary Rocket)
Goals:  Incorporate manure/sawdust into garden plots and plant cover crop seeds
Please Bring:  Gloves, water, closed toe shoes.  Additionally, if you have a shovel, hoe, or wheelbarrow you could bring, that would be great!
It is completely fine if you will be joining us for only an hour or so, I know many of you work during the day.  I am so impressed with the amount of work we accomplished on our previous workday, and it was a great reminder that when we work together we can get a lot done!  (17 garden beds in 4 hours with 10 volunteers!)  I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, and I hope I’ll see you there!