March 4: Deputies from Mojave arrested a suspect after an attempted break-in of an RV in the Denny’s parking lot Tuesday morning. Kern County Sheriff’s officials do not believe that the suspect was connected to the wave of burglaries in the Miracle Manor and Mojave Gardens neighborhoods of Mojave in November, December and January. The suspect was identified as a local Mojave resident who has been arrested 18 times since 2000, mostly for burglary, petty theft, and drug-related crimes, according to Superior Court records of Kern County. The 33 year old suspect was arrested again as recently as October, but KCSO officials claim that this individual is a typical product of the prison-release guidelines presented by AB109, which went into effect in 2011.
February 27: Kern County Road Department Director, Pat Ebel was the featured guest at the Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Mariah Inn in Mojave. Ms. Ebel updated the Chamber on the progress her department is making in cross-walk consolidation and upgrades in response to the tragic death of 16 year old Raven Knight last November while crossing highway 58 on her way to school. The new safety device will include three crossing signs with rapid fire beacons located on the north side, south side, and center median of the the highway. The project will also include a raised median in the center of the road in order to warn drivers and slow traffic. The project should commence “within four weeks”, according to Ms. Ebel during the Chamber lunch.
Ms. Ebel also indicated that the County will eliminate the crosswalk where Ms. Night was killed, in order to funnel pedestrian traffic to the crosswalk just west of The Desert Inn on Highway 58, closer to the school. There is currently no walkway from Mojave Gardens across The Desert Inn, but Ms. Ebel said the County would eventually construct a sidewalk there, but did not provide a time frame. The roads department will also consider upgrading the chain link fence to a block wall in order to provide added protection between pedestrians and vehicles on Highway 58.
The Mojave Foundation appreciates Ms. Ebel coming to Mojave to update the community on the progress, and hope we can work together to resolve many of the chronic safety issues in the community. There were three pedestrians killed in Mojave in the month of November, all due to visibility issues of one kind or another. We appreciate the work that has been done to address the crosswalk on Highway 58, however we feel that this tragedy only shines light on a systemic problem that includes lack of adequate street lighting, poor signage, and excessive vehicle speed in residential areas. We will continue to address these issues with the county and look for alternative ways to make our streets safer immediately.
December 3: The Mojave Foundation is proud to announce that we have received our 501(c)3 status from the IRS. This means that the MF can now receive donations, which the donors can deduct from their taxes! This is critical to our mission to clean up Mojave, and allows us to put real resources behind our big ideas. We have accomplished a lot in 2013 with no money and a highly-motivated group of volunteers – starting a volunteer police squad (CSU), demolishing and cleaning up lots, and launching a series of entrepreneurship and educational workshops. But community-scale infrastructure projects will require substantial investments from both public and private donors. Some of our funding priorities in 2014 are (1) to demolish vacant hazardous structures that blight our downtown area, (2) to increase the public lighting for safety and security, (3) to build a railroad park on the west side of Sierra Highway, as well as community gardens. We believe that this community has the means and the motivation to change this town for the better, and we humbly encourage all residents to get involved – either by volunteering at the school, or the senior center, or with the Mojave Foundation! We intend to match this incredible outpouring of community support with tangible results in a relatively short period of time. We will execute all projects quickly and efficiently, with 100% transparency. Individuals can make general donations to support the Foundation’s operations, or can donate to a specific project; we will work with you to find a project that fits your priorities for the community. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Mojave Foundation, click here!