August 28: In May 2014 Kern County Roads submitted a grant proposal to CalTrans to install sidewalks along northern Hwy-14 near Stater Bros. The Active Transportation (ATP) grant was ultimately denied by CalTrans, according to Bob Neath, Engineering Manager at Kern County Roads. However, The Mojave Foundation submitted a larger sidewalk grant to Kern County Roads in May, which Mr. Neath intends to submit to CalTrans in 2015. The grant, titled “Sidewalks to School” is expected to top $1.4 million, and include 27,000 linear feet of sidewalks, spanning the entire downtown area and part of Mojave Gardens. The grant application intends to take advantage of California’s “Safe Routes to School” program, which is a special category within CalTrans’ ATP which gives special preference to municipal infrastructure project that enhance public safety for children. “We think we have a really good shot at this grant”, said Mr. Neath at Thursday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Mariah Inn in Mojave. “Our Stater Bros sidewalk application missed the cut-off by one this year, so we think that this ‘Sidewalks-to-School’ grant is really competitive.”
Three pedestrians were killed by vehicles in Mojave in 2013, one of which was a 16-year-old girl crossing the road on her way to school. The Mojave Foundation worked with Kern County Roads and Southern California Edison to install a flashing cross-walk at this intersection, but we feel that the problem of pedestrian safety is systemic, and can only be solved with a comprehensive municipal investment in sidewalks and streetlights. We are currently fundraising for a municipal lighting project, and we look forward to working with Kern County Roads to bring sidewalks to Mojave’s streets as rapidly as possible. To see the full grant The Mojave Foundation submitted to Kern County Roads, click here: Part-1, Part-2, Graphics.
Kern County Planning department is making available again the RENEWBIZ grant in 2014, available to businesses in Mojave for exterior improvements. The grant is available to all businesses and nonprofit organizations in Mojave’s “visioning” area downtown. The grants are awarded up to $10,000, and businesses can apply for multiple grants. Eligible projects could include: signs, painting, landscaping, awnings, fencing, windows, façade improvements, and infrastructure upgrades.
Many businesses in Mojave have already received grants awarded in 2013, including T&R Hobbies and the thrift shop building on Sierra Highway, and the Assemblies of God church on M Street. Last year, Kern County awarded grants to 100% of the applicants from Mojave, and The Mojave Foundation strongly encourages business owners to fill out the application this year. The Chamber of Commerce will be offering workshops on how to fill out the grant application. Email the Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
20 August 2014
The Mojave Foundation hosted it’s first community garden meeting at the site of the first ever community garden on an active Space Port. Organizer Joyce Nash, of the Mojave Foundation, welcomed the future gardeners at the 1300 square foot space that will be divided into 10-12 gardening plots for gardeners to grow items of their choosing.
“Where else on the planet can gardeners grow their fruits and vegetables in the shadow of a Rotary Rocket? Or with SpaceShipTwo flying overhead?” commented Marlena Rowley.
“Mojave is a community that strives to be a safe, beautiful and desirable place to LIVE and WORK,” says Nash, “with the realization that The Mojave Foundation will provide direction and attract support for the garden project from long term Mojave residents and airport employees.”
To become involved with the planning of Mojave’s community garden project feel free to leave a comment or call The Mojave Foundation office at 661-749-0940.
It’s that time again. September 2 (only 2 weeks away) Houchin Blood bank in Bakersfield will be hosting another blood drive at the Mojave Air & Space Port. Appointments are every ten minutes between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. Kern County is in desperate need for blood donors right now, so please take a few minutes out of your day to help save a life. Everybody who donates will be entered to win a $500 gift card to the Valley Plaza Mall in Bakersfield! If you are interested in donating please call or email Tenina at 661-824-2433 or Tenina@MojaveAirport.com. She will schedule you for an appointment or add you to the walk-in list. If you are unable to donate, please pass this information on to somebody who may be interested and willing.
August 15: Almost 9 months after the tragic death of Mojave’s own Raven Night, Kern County broke ground on a cross walk across Hwy-58, linking the Mojave Gardens neighborhood with downtown Mojave and the school district. Kern County Roads is taking the lead on the project, in partnership with Southern California Edison (SCE). The project will include four flashing beacons – one on the south side of the highway, one on the north side, and two in the middle; and will include a curb ramp and pedestrian island for safety in the median.
Raven Night, 16, was killed by a vehicle on November 18th while crossing the Barstow Highway on foot on her way to school. Her death is a vivid reminder of the need to prioritize the health and safety of our children above all else. A memorial has remained in her memory along the fence at the site of the incident, and local residents have come out spontaneously to help walk children safely across the highway. The Mojave Foundation appreciates the recent upgrades to the crosswalk along Hwy-58, but we are adamantly focused on improving the pedestrian safety of our children throughout Mojave – to include sidewalks and streetlights throughout our downtown area. A complete overhaul of Mojave’s pedestrian safety infrastructure would be a fitting memorial to such an outstanding young lady.
August 14: Recurrent Energy has rescinded their application for a Conditional Use Permit and Zoning change for the 262 acre Yakima solar project west of Sierra Highway. This means that Recurrent is no longer trying to put a solar project on that site. Recurrent may pursue sites elsewhere in Mojave, but according to Recurrent: “We will explore this in accordance with the needs and wishes of the community”.
The Mojave Foundation is an avid supporter of solar energy in Mojave, but we were greatly concerned about the project’s proposed location, and and the potential for dust and respiratory diseases. We consider this development a huge “win” for Mojave, and the health and safety of our residents; and we look forward to helping companies invest in Mojave while working in harmony with the community. We will no longer be organizing rides to Bakersfield on August 19th.
August 14: Mojave Unified School District (MUSD) struck a partnership with Cerro Coso Community College (CCCC) to bring college course to Mojave and Cal City. CCCC will be offering Biology at Mojave High School on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:40 pm. The course will be four credits, and run from August 23rd to December 13th.
CCCC is also offering course at Cal City high school such as CPR training on August 20th for half a credit, and 6.5 credits of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training Mondays and Wednesday from 5:10 to 10:15 pm. This fall, students at Cal City high school will also have access to four credits of college English, offered Monday through Friday from 8:14 to 9:10 am, taught by Denise Gionta.
CCCC course will also be available at Edwards Air Force Base, such as Political Science, Intermediate Algebra and Speech classes. We applaud MUSD’s efforts to partner with CCCC and encourage MUSD to expand their offering of collegiate courses in both Mojave and Cal City.