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 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.
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The California Highway Patrol Mojave Area Office is looking for a few good men and women willing to give something back to their community. The Mojave area is now recruiting people 55 and older who will contribute volunteer time to the Mojave Area office. Lt. Julian Irigoyen, Commander of the Mojave Area CHP office, said he is seeking energetic and enthusiastic volunteers. The Lieutenant is looking for quality, motivated individuals that want to give back to their community in a positive way.
The volunteers 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. Volunteers must be able to pass a background check, have a good driving record, and successfully complete an in house academy. Anyone interested in finding out more about this program may call Officer Darlena Dotson @ (661) 823-5500 or email email@example.com.
The Mojave Foundation strongly encourages residents to get involved with CHP, and donating our time is the best way to increase the connectivity between law enforcement and the community. Volunteers are still the best way to improve safety and security in Mojave.
December 9: After three months of notices and hearings and missed deadlines, Kern County Code Compliance broke ground on a series of demolitions, starting with these hazardous structures on L Street and M Street, which have been abandoned for over 15 years! “I can’t believe it’s finally coming down” exclaimed a neighbor, happy to see this building go. “Maybe now we can start to clean up this block.” These abandoned structures tend to be one of the biggest sources of drugs and crime in Mojave, and can be extremely dangerous for children and neighbors. This house on the 15800 block of L Street (pictured above) is the first of four structures to be demolished in the next several weeks, including another house on the 15700 block of L Street and the fallen-down garage removed from the 15900 block of M Street (pictured below). The Mojave Foundation works closely with Kern County Code Compliance officials to prioritize buildings for cleaning and demolition, and we applaud the recent flurry of activity.
We encourage property owners to sell their vacant hazardous homes before Code Compliance gets involved. It costs on average $15,000 for the county to demolish a house in Mojave – mostly due to “prevailing wage” mandates and administrative time. If the property owner decides to walk away from the property, the fines and taxes get assigned to the property in the form a lien, which then discourages future development. The Mojave Foundation would much prefer to work with property owners to resolve safety issues quicker and cheaper than what the county can do it for, and to transition the property to responsible owners. Using local volunteers and contractors property owners can expect to pay about $5,000 on average to demolish a structure, and they can usually make a lot more than that when they sell the property to a local buyer. This demolition and transition is a critical part of our strategy to restore the health and vibrance of this community.
December 4: After six months of recruitment and applications and training… Mojave’s own Citizen Service Unit (CSU) takes to the streets in an effort to bring more eyes and ears to the community. Mojave’s CSU team of volunteer police consists of eight individuals, who will conduct non-hazardous law enforcement activities, such as transporting vehicles between Mojave and Bakersfield, vacation checks, handling documents and evidence, and establishing a greater presence in targeted areas. The arrival of CSU could not come at a better time, as Mojave has suffered from 15 break-ins or attempted break-ins in the last 30 days, and some CSU volunteers will be helping the Sheriff’s Deputies provide over-watch in some of the most affected areas at night. CSU members are required to serve eight hours per month, and attend monthly meetings, but this class of volunteers is eager to hit the streets until this recent crime wave subsides. For more information on volunteering with CSU contact Todd@MojaveFoundation.org, or click here to fill out an application.
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!
November 16: Mojave’s own Citizen Service Unit (CSU) graduated the required police academy this Saturday, held at the Mojave Air & Space Port. This month’s class contained 18 volunteers from several communities throughout Kern County. Mojave had 7 volunteers go graduate the academy, as part of the first multi-member team of CSU volunteers in Mojave in years. Volunteers will be sworn in on December 5th, and will be in uniform and on the street patrolling Mojave’s neighborhoods soon.