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 Todd@MojaveFoundation.org

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!
-Joyce

Seeking Volunteers – to help with Jazz Concert

2014 Slaughter 300DPI 16X20The Mojave Foundation is pleased to present Mojave’s first Jazz/Blues concert on October 17th. Admission is FREE, and all proceeds go directly to make health & safety upgrades to the town, such as streetlights, community parks, and housing. But WE NEED HELP PROMOTING THIS EVENT. We need volunteers to help follow up with newspapers and radio stations, and reach out to media markets in the Antelope Valley, Bakersfield and Los Angeles. We also need help reaching out to potential donors, retailers, grocery stores, corporate partners – to coordinate door prizes and gift incentives for larger donations. Contact Marlena Balvin at The Mojave Foundation to help, at Marlena@MojaveFoundation.org or 661-749-0940.

The Mojave Foundation is bringing two world-class performing artists to the Stuart Witt Center at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, the Chaise Lounge Sextet, and the Lori Andrews Jazz Harp Quartet. Doors open at 7pm, and guests are encouraged to bring a chair. Walk-ins are welcome, but guests are encouraged to RSVP – especially if they want a meal, which will be available for $15/plate. RSVP with Steve at 661-547-5708 or qedqed@verizon.net.

Another Hazardous House Demolished in Mojave

IMG_20140929_154746_41129 October: Another hazardous building is demolished in Mojave, eliminating another blemish on the community and paving the way for future development. This building marks the 13th structure to be demolished in Mojave this year, and is the second on the 15900 block of K Street alone. This house was demolished by the owner, and eliminates the last derelict structure between Space Port Court and Mojave’s KCROP. The Mojave Foundation is proud to work with property owners and Code Compliance to eliminate blight and deterioration, and assist in demolition when necessary. Eliminating vacant derelict buildings removes one of Mojave’s biggest sources of drugs and vagrants, and makes the entire community healthier and more confident.