Mojave residents are going door-to-door trying to pass a parcel tax measure in next month’s election that would allow Mojave to keep its high school open indefinitely. Early this year Mojave Unified School District (MUSD) was faced with closing Mojave High due to systemic budget cuts and funding shortfalls from the state of California. After much public outcry, the school board elected to keep the school open one more year through a combination of salary cuts and deficit spending. But now the money has run out and the school is faced with closing at the end of this school year.
To keep the school open indefinitely, the board has arranged for a parcel tax to be placed on the ballot this November 5th. Measure “C” would assign a $42 tax on each parcel in Mojave, and would funnel enough revenue to keep Mojave High open indefinitely. The measure would allow Mojave High to continue teach “A through G” curriculum, and keep some of the new academic programs, such as vocational, medical, and solar training. The measure would not impact residents in Cal City in any way, nor residents over 65 years old. “We’re looking for residents to help go door-to-door to help get out the message” says Paul Carol, a 4th grade teacher at Mojave elementary school, who is leading the parcel tax drive. The Mojave Foundation is not affiliated in any way with this or any political measures, but we recognize how critical a high school is to maintaining the health and vibrancy of any community.
On Sunday, September 22nd Mojave residents John Davis, Dorothy Galton and Jesse Rangel cleaned up another empty lot in our downtown area. Mr. Davis, 53, selflessly cleaned up that lot and several others over the course of the previous several weeks, and that Sunday Mrs. Galton and Mr. Rangel offered to pitch in to haul the massive pile of branches and trash to the dump. This cleanup could not have been possible without the truck and trailer, provided by Mr. Rangel at his own expense. “It’s a pleasure watching the community get cleaned up, and I’m just glad there’s people willing to help out.” The Mojave Foundation is proud to recognize Mr. Davis who has been volunteering his time cleaning up lots all over town, Mrs. Galton has been instrumental in leading several major projects cleaning and securing hazardous buildings all over town, and Mr. Rangel who has provided the equipment for several large cleanups in Mojave.
A local Mojave resident has been taking it upon himself to clean up various abandoned lots in town – for no other reason than he cares about his community and wants to make Mojave more presentable. John Davis, 52 has been out of work for months, but hasn’t wasted any time in finding selfless ways to give back to the community. “I don’t mind” says John, “Sometimes I get bored, and I just want to do something positive.”
It is little known how essential John has become to keeping our streets clean and presentable. John has personally cleaned up at least 5 lots since May, and his selfless dedication has inspired countless others to do the same. You will probably see John cleaning up around town, and if you do, stop by to say thanks – or even better, hire him to clean up a property that has been bothering YOU!
The RENEWBIZ Grant application, is now due September 20th at 4:30pm. This is good since it may trigger the first round of investment in our downtown area – particularity those on K Street & Sierra Highway, who are excellent candidates for the grant. Click here to see the grant application. Dave Rawley from Revitalize Mojave will be at the Mariah Inn at 6pm on Wednesday to help applicants with any last-minute tweaks.
On September 6, nine volunteers tore down an abandoned shack on a parcel of desert only 20 meters from Sierra Highway leading into Mojave. “This was the first thing people see when they come into town” said Dorothy Galton, who led Friday’s cleanup effort, “and sent the wrong message about Mojave.” According to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the shack was built illegally over the last several months, and then abandoned when the occupant went to a larger city several weeks ago.
After several hours, it became clear that the project was far larger than volunteers had expected – having hauled 5 pickup truck loads to the dump, and paying the fees out of their own pocket. Completing this project would not have been possible without the support of MPC Printing in Mojave, who came to the rescue with a truck and trailer, and paid the remainder of the dump fees.
This cleanup is an example of what several highly-motivated volunteers can accomplish when inspired by the prospect of making real change in their community. “It was a miracle!” said Mojave resident Joey Brown, “We started at 7 and were done by 10, and it was not an easy job. Everybody was trusting each other and communicating, and I was glad to be a part of something like that.”
The Mojave Foundation is committed to making Mojave a safer and more prosperous place to live where all our residents can take greater pride in their community. We like the spontaneous nature of projects like this because they are 100% grass-roots, and repeatable. We can apply this model of target-acquisition, planning, and rapid execution to other hazardous structures in Mojave. “This is just the beginning” said Galton. “We can do this all over town.”