Category Archives: Community events

Queens Campaign for Cleanup on Friday May 23rd

Mojave QueensMay 19: The Mojave Queens teamed up with the Mojave Foundation and several local volunteers to knock on doors in Western Village, to tell residents about a cleanup in that Neighborhood on Friday, May 23rd at 8:00 a.m. Mojave Queens included Miss Mojave, Merysa Rangel, a junior at Mojave High; Ana Marquiz, Miss Junior Mojave; and Rhaylene Joaquin, Little Miss Mojave. “We all need to pull together to keep this place clean” said volunteer Isaac Martin, a junior at Mojave High, “These guys are trying to do a good thing, and we all need to pitch in.” Mojave’s own volunteer police squad, Citizen Service Unit (CSU), also participated, providing security and overwatch while our volunteers walked door to door.

Before - Edwin-2The cleanup on Friday will target three areas in Western Village that have accumulated garbage and furniture for years, including the desert and alley behind Edwin Street, and the apartments on Milton. The Mojave Foundation is determined to partner with local residents in the affected area to help remove the trash and keep the neighborhood clean once and for all. Volunteers also passed out information on Neighborhood Watch and graffiti consent forms, which allow The Mojave Foundation to remove graffiti immediately with the permission of the property owner. The Mojave Foundation would also like thank Leon Ryder for organizing the door-to-door campaign and the cleanup this Friday.

Great American Air Race – “UNBELIEVABLE!”

Air Race-1April 29: By Dan Kreigh. For the stock race, normally eight planes IS a crowded field. We had FIFTEEN race planes!!! It sounded like a heard of confused mosquitoes feeling their way around the pylons. We had six P-51s, six T-28s, one P-40, one Duet and one Champ. The Brian Min’s Duet was the only thrust vectored controlled entry using two propellers. (I think it hit the pylon) Veteran race pilot Stan Hinman handedly won the Gold Stock Race with an early P-51 model.

Air Race-2The Unlimited race was equally chaotic insane shearpandemonium impressive!!  These were the reckless fast boys!!  Racers ran the gambit which included fearless IFO’s, THREE ducted fan jets, an Icon, a Stryker, T-28’s …..and misc…. In the end, rookie Colin Bowman took the Gold Unlimited with his micro Habu ducted fan jet with some smooth precise flying.  But there are reported rumors that there are some pretty fast planes in the works ….so savor your victory while you can Colin…..

Air Race-3Last but not least, the combat round took a dubious turn when IFO piloted by Mason Hutchison snagged and drug two models behind it.  Mason had a regular streamer and a second “legal” mylar streamer.  But the un-cutable mylar streamer tangled in the props of two hapless models pulling them along like flies stuck to fly paper.  Interesting strategy Mason….  With three models stuck together as one, Mason got the most points and won the first Combat round!  Below, Mason’s black IFO is pictured dragging Jeromy’s IFO and Elliot’s P-51 around….  Also shown is Shalom Johnson’s Icon model in the combat mix.

Each winner gets a perpetual trophy that is handed from winner to winner with the new winner’s name on it.  A record of the past winners is also recorded on the trophies. Congratulations to Stan Hinman, Colin Bowman, Mason Hutchison and Erik Lassen (for being brave enough to enter the only Champ). More Pictures and Videos can be seen at:
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Next Race, Friday May 16th, at the Mojave Airport on Byers’ road, (behind the Sheriff station), 9:00 break!!

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.

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.

CHP Looking for Volunteer Seniors: Feb. 14 at 10 am

VSPFebruary 8: The California Highway Patrol (CHP) branch in Mojave is looking for motivated, community-minded seniors to participate in the Senior Volunteer Program (SVP). CHP will be hosting an orientation and informational-meeting at the CHP Office in Mojave, just east of the Mariah Inn, on February 14th at 10:00 am. Eligible volunteers must be 55 years old, with a clean driving record, and able to pass a background check. Volunteers typically perform a variety of duties that include administrative functions, participation in community events, directing traffic, and assisting officers as needed. They can also ride along with officers, serving as an extra set of eyes in search of vehicle code violations.

CHP MojaveThe Mojave Foundation is proud to have helped stand up a volunteer police squad in Mojave through Kern County Sheriff’s Citizen Service Unit (CSU), and we will enthusiastically support establishing another volunteer unit through CHP. The Senior Volunteer Program offers a slightly different volunteer experience, geared specifically for seniors, and offers another dimension of citizen participation in law-enforcement. Safety and security are our primary concerns, and the SVP is another opportunity to increase the connectivity between law-enforcement and the community in Mojave. For questions about the SVP, contact Darlena Dotson at (661) 823-5500, or email at dardotson@chp.ca.gov.

Planning Commission Approves Recurrent & Aquahelio Projects

Recurrent23 January: By a 4:1 vote the Kern County Planning Commission approved the Clearwater/Yakima solar project by Recurrent Energy of San Francisco. At 1 square mile, the project would be larger than Mojave’s downtown area, located west of Sierra highway and north of Camelot Boulevard. Proponents advocate that the project would produce 40 megawatts of clean renewable energy and create up to 200 temporary jobs. Critics claim the project, located just 1,400 feet west of a residential area and school, would release dust and other pollutants, kicked up by Mojave’s strong winds, causing health problems for children and elderly residents. Many residents support renewable energy, but resent the location. But Recurrent Energy claims this is the only parcel in Mojave with a single owner willing to sell the property, and it is located close to a power sub-stations installed by the wind companies.

Kern County provided a video conference in the Mojave Veteran’s Hall for residents to participate in the hearing, but most citizens left after midnight. The hearing, which lasted over seven hours, involved 13 other items, but the agenda was changed twice so that the Recurrent project was heard last. Opening comments began at 1:30 am, and the final vote was not reached until 2:30 am, by which time most residents in Bakersfield and Mojave had gone home. Click here to watch the hearing online.

AquahelioCommissioners also approved the Fremont Valley water & solar project by Aquahelio of Beverly Hills, by a vote of 3:2. The Aquahelio project plans to take 114,000 acre feet (AF) of water (37 billion gal) per year from the Fremont Valley aquifer located north of Cal City. The Fremont valley aquifer contains about 1 million AF of known safe water, and possibly up to 7 million AF of unexplored water at deeper levels. Historically the aquifer has a natural recharge rate of approximately 15,000 AF per year. Proponents argue that the project is necessary for Kern County’s long term water security. Critics argue that the project will gradually deplete a precious natural resource, sending water to other areas of Kern County and could be used for “fracking” or other industrial uses. Critics also argue that the project is an attempt to control a majority of East Kern’s water resources, making the entire county reliant on one company if drought conditions persist. Aquahelio offered a last-minute compromise to the commission, offering to stagger the water extraction to 5,000 AF in the first year, 10,000 in year two, 20,000 AF in year three, 50,000 in year four, 80,000 in year five, and 114,000 by year eight to continue indefinitely. The compromise also selects a joint Kern/Aquahelio commission to oversee the project to ensure that the company does not destroy ground water or private wells as extraction rates ramp up.

Opening comments began at 11:30 pm, and public comments continued well after midnight. Commissioners appeared divided as they began deliberations around 1:00 am with three out of five initially intending to vote “no” on the water portion of the project. However, when Aquahelio asked the commission to vote on the entire water and solar project in its entirety, one commissioner switched to a “yes” vote, delivering an approval for the project. Both projects are now referred to the Board of Supervisors who will make the ultimate determination whether these projects will go forward. Click here to watch the hearing online.

The Mojave Foundation is primarily concerned for the health and safety of our residents, and our long-term water security. Although we support renewable energy, and solar in particular, we must not disturb our ancient desert ecosystem before we have a credible plan in place to minimize the health impacts to our residents. We also call on Kern County to ensure that the Fremont Valley has a sustainable source of water for generations by providing intense scrutiny and oversight of all consumers to ensure that water extraction does not exceed our natural recharge rate.

Roberts Challenges Entrepreneurs to Adopt a New Thought Process

Raimone 20140115January 20: Mojave’s bi-weekly Entrepreneurship Workshop kicked off again with Raimone Roberts of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Los Angeles. With approximately two dozen in attendance from all over the Antelope Valley, Raimone challenged residents and small business owners to rethink their vision for 2014. “Where will you be on January 16, 2015?” he asked the audience, and gave them “homework” to rethink what they did last year and challenge themselves in 2014. Highlights of last Wednesday’s meeting were to Set Goals, Dream Big, and Imagine.
1) What is your business, product or service?
2) Get mission critical – what is your mission? Has to be simple, clear and practical.
3) Focus on a better business. Build and strengthen your skill set.
4) Daily Habits – Are they progressing you or hindering you.
5) Relationships – People do not get where they are alone
6) Network – Build relationships, build community

Roberts went into detail on each step of his challenge, and looks forward to seeing what entrepreneurs come back with next week – giving entrepreneurs a direction and goal to focus their energies. There were real estate owners in this week’s meeting, potential investors, Career Services representatives, and small business mentors – all willing and eager to provide financial and inspirational support to aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the Antelope Valley.

The Mojave Foundation is dedicated to proving aspiring entrepreneurs with the support and resources necessary to start their own business – right here in Mojave, and the Antelope Valley. Our classes are free and open to the public, and a great way to network and meet other people with possible resources to compliment your business idea. Our next workshop is Wednesday January 29th at 6pm at Anthony’s Grill in Mojave. If you have any questions, call Mike or Susan Fortuna at 661-824-2275, or mojavesusan@gmx.com.

Stoken’s Donuts Celebrates 5-YEAR Aniversary

StokensJanuary 3: “I can’t believe it’s been five years” says store owner James Stokes, “things were really rough for those first two and a half years, but we never lost our ‘personal touch’, and building a relationship with the community, and we really built up a loyal customer base here in Mojave”.  Stoken’s, a Mojave landmark, has been recently awarded “Business of the Year” by the Mojave Chamber of Commerce, and ranked number 1 on Yelp, and has seen business steadily expand since emerging from the ashes of the financial crisis in 2009. “It’s amazing what you can achieve with the right people, and passion, and we have a great staff that is passionate about quality and preserving that relationship with our customers. Stokens, located one block east of Sierra highway on Belshaw Street, has become the central meeting place in Mojave for community discussion and social gatherings. Stokes has built up an especially loyal relationship among workers from the airport and renewable energy companies, whom Stokes credits with keeping him afloat during the rough times. “We try to get to know each of our customers who come in the shop, and we ask what they need and what they want to see.”

Local residents held their breath in 2009 when Jame Stokes purchased the old library, an historic Mojave landmark. But Stoken’s was universally acclaimed when he preserved the classic ambiance of the building while serving quality food and paying homage to Mojave’s history. Stoken’s, generally known for its high quality sandwiches and natural ingredients, has become a mainstay of motorists throughout southern California. “We get a lot of the traffic between L.A. and Mammoth,” cites Stokes, “and we want people to learn a little about Mojave while they’re here.” Stokes, a local job creator with five full-time employees, sees opportunity in Mojave. “We want to keep growing, responsibly, with the community – and we think there’s a lot of potential in this town.”

The Mojave Foundation celebrates Stoken’s success, and their entrepreneurial zeal. We appreciate Stoke’s commitment to the community – demonstrating that there is a market for high-quality service and offering to share that success with other aspiring entrepreneurs. We wish James and Leigh and his staff even more success in 2014.

Next Entrepreneurship Workshop: Thursday, Nov 21th

Workshop RaimoneThe Mojave Foundation is proud to continue offering these free informational sessions to the public, helping aspiring business owners to draft a business plan, secure financing, select a location, and hire local employees. These workshops have already inspired several businesses to start here in Mojave, and we expect many more in the next several months. This week’s workshop will be led by Raimone Roberts of the Small Business Development Center in Los Angenles. Raimone will cover the basics of writing a financial outline for your business plan, and help entrepreneurs develop their “elevator pitch”, which is designed to help business owners clearly articulate what they do in 30 seconds or less. The next class will be at Anthony’s Grill, right next to Stater Bros., and will start at 6pm on Thursday, November 21st.

Tragedy Strikes Mojave, Residents Rally

November 18: A young girl was tragically killed by a vehicle while crossing highway 58 on Monday morning on her way to school. The driver of the vehicle was on his way to work, and likely blinded by the sun and could not see the young girl. The community of Mojave is in Morning, and residents are asking what they can do for the family. The high school is currently receiving donations; for more information please call Kressa Coy at 661-824-4088, The Elks Lodge is also having a bake sale at 10am on Saturday as well as a fundraising dinner from 5 to 7pm Saturday evening.

This is the third deadly accident in Mojave in 2 weeks. On the evening of November 6th, a man was hit by a car crossing the highway near Stater Bros. The man was dead until a nurse driving by stopped and performed CPR, and brought the man back to life. The man was riding his bike after dark, and the driver could not see the man crossing the road. On the evening of November 8th, a car was hit by another vehicle while conducting a U Turn, and one of the occupants was then hit by another car while seeking help. Visibility is a common problem in Mojave, where there is a particularly large density of pedestrian traffic, in a town surrounded by highways with vehicles traveling at high rates of speed. The Mojave Foundation is determined to make this community safer, and more compatible with pedestrian traffic by increasing overhead street lighting, reducing vehicle speeds, and introducing cross-walks in key pedestrian corridors. To support this initiative or offer some additional suggestions, please email Todd@MojaveFoundation.org.