Category Archives: Safety

Mojave’s Downtown Receiving Solar Streetlights This Summer

solar-streetlights-mojaveMojave, CA – Monday, February 15. The Mojave Foundation will partner with Kern County to install up to 50 solar-powered streetlights throughout the downtown area in the summer of 2017. These lights are in addition to the 20 lights Kern County is installing as part of the K street renewal project in March. The goal is for the streetlight installation to coincide with sidewalks being installed through every street in the downtown area. The investment was inspired in part by several pedestrian fatalities involving vehicles after dark. Todd Quelet, Executive Director of The Mojave Foundation said “The lights and the walkways will be the most significant investment in public infrastructure in Mojave in years, and we hope will make the biggest impact to safety and security.”

streetlight-greenshine-brighta-30-dUnder the partnership, Kern County will fund the installation and long-term maintenance of the lights, and the Foundation will purchase the lights with funds raised by donors. “Our partnership with the Mojave Foundation continues a long track record of Kern County’s government partnering with the private sector and non-profits to improve the safety, health and quality of life of our residents,” said Zack Scrivner, Kern County Supervisor, Second District. “I applaud the efforts of all involved to bring this needed infrastructure project to completion.”

The Foundation is working with a solar streetlight vendor, Greenshine New Energy, in Irvine California, who is offering the lights at a discount in support of Mojave’s community development. The Foundation is looking to raise $125,000 by May to purchase the lights, and have them ready for installation by July. “We have already raised about $45,000, thanks to generous donations from residents and local businesses,” said Quelet, “it’s compelling to see such a grass-roots collection of residents and employers investing in the health and safety of our community.”

About The Mojave Foundation:
The Mojave Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 organization registered in the state of California dedicated to making Mojave a safe and desirable place to live, work and do business. We do this by raising funds through public and private donors to execute community projects quickly and efficiently. We live and work in Mojave, and are committed to making the community a net asset to the incredible aerospace companies who innovate, fly and test here. We are also committed to environmental and economic sustainability, and believe in lasting public-private partnerships where local stakeholders takes responsibility for the future of our community, with critical support from local authorities.

 

Mojave Getting Sidewalks in 2016

Sidewalks County Plan 20151120Nov 20: Kern County Roads announced in September that Mojave won a $0.9 million grant from California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) to bring Sidewalks to Mojave. The grant, part of CalTrans’ “Safe Routes to School” program, will bring sidewalks to every street in downtown Mojave, and ensure children and pedestrians can walk safely and confidently throughout our community. Mojave tied with two other cities in California for the highest score among 617 applications competing for $180 million in state-wide transportation funding. Kern County will also contribute $350,000 to bring the total project to $1.2 million.

Sidewalks - family walkingSidewalks will extend from Sierra Highway to the Airport, and from highway 58 to the overpass on the north end of town. Sidewalks will also be installed along Barstow Road in Mojave Gardens. Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2016.

The Mojave Foundation is proud to have contributed to the this project, and liaised between Kern County Roads, Mojave Unified School District, Kern Country Sheriff’s Office, Mojave Air & Space Port, and a myriad of other stakeholders in the community who wrote dozens of letters of support. The Foundation also looks forward to capitalizing on this progress by restoring Streetlights and other safety improvements in our streets.

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

Crosswalk Under Construction …a Fitting Memorial

IMG_0177August 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. 

 

Crosswalk Diagram.pngRaven 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.

New Neighborhood Watch Signs are Up!

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Brand new sign 

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Weathered sign at M and Inyo streets

Debbie Crocoll from Mojave’s Neighborhood Watch group was happy to annouce that the vandalized, sun-faded, weathered and worn Neighborhood Watch signs at M and Inyo streets and also at L and Cerro Gordo streets were replaced by Mojave Foundation volunteer Leon Ryder early this week. The new signs look great!

Contact Debbie if you would like to order an extra large (18″X 24″) Neighborhood Watch sign for $28.00 including shipping and tax.
Thank you again, Leon Ryder for your continued dedication to helping keep Mojave SAFE and BEAUTIFUL!
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Graffiti Removal in Full Swing

Graffiti - ShastaApril 18: Kern County General Services was in Mojave to provide free paint, brushes and supplies to the Mojave Foundation, and to support the grass-roots efforts that have sprung up in recent weeks all over town. Facilities and Maintenance Manager, Carl Brewer, and Warehouse Manager, Karl Hunt presented the materials to the Foundation, and discussed our main graffiti priorities. But the highlight of the day came when Jay used his power sprayer attached to his truck to erase some of the largest graffiti in a matter of seconds. “The hardest part is cleaning the hoses at the end of the day” says Jay, a retired Maintenance manager from Apple Valley. “It takes longer for me to write up the paperwork.”

Graffiti - L StKern County General Services can remove most graffiti upon receiving a request from the property owner. Any resident can request to have the graffiti removed, but must first have the property owner sign a consent form (also available in Spanish). General Services is usually in Mojave several times per month, and can usually match the color of the paint fairly closely. Residents can mail the completed consent form to 610 E 18th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305, or take a picture of the completed form on their phone and email the form to Leon@MojaveFoundation.org.

Leon & PaintThe recent momentum behind graffiti removal in Mojave was due to the initiative of a local resident, Leon Ryder, a retired school teacher, who took it upon himself to tackle some of the worst graffiti in his neighborhood – on his own time, using his own paint. Leon sparked a miniature revolution in Mojave, and has inspired a myriad of other residents and business owners to do the same. The Mojave Foundation is proud to partner with Leon, and excited about recent donations of paint from Kern County and other local residents.

We also appreciate the support from Kern County General Services and recognize that dollar-for-dollar, Graffiti Removal is one of the best ways to reduce crime and increase public safety. Removing graffiti sends a message to gangs and vagrants that the residents take pride in our community, and we think there is a direct correlation between clean streets and safe streets. We look forward to partnering with Kern County General Services, where The Foundation can eliminate highly visible graffiti quickly and efficiently, while coordinating with the county to knock out larger jobs more efficiently. We are also looking for volunteers to help with graffiti removal, clean-ups, and a door-to-door campaign to collect pre-approved consent forms from property owners. To help out, please see our VOLUNTEER page.

Curb & Gutter Begins in Mojave

Curb & Gutter MachineApril 7: Projects have begun all over our downtown area to install curbs and gutters. The project will include curbs and drainage systems to dispose of storm water, but will not include sidewalks. The project, sponsored by Kern County, is expected to cost about $550,000, according to the Kern County project page, and will include over 260 cubic yards of concrete, and will involve excavating 930 cubic yards of dirt and asphalt. The bid available online reserves 22 cubic yards of cement for sidewalks, but the workers on site are not scheduled to install sidewalks at this time, despite the fact that only 1 out of 14 streets in our downtown area have navigable sidewalks. To see the bid online click here.