Category Archives: Streetlights

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.

 

Scaled Composites, Northrop Grumman; Make Sizable Health & Safety investment in Mojave

Scaled-NG LogoJanuary 5: Mojave based Scaled Composites and parent company Northrop Grumman announced today a $11,250 donation to the Mojave Foundation to be used for health and safety investments in public lighting and streetlights. “This donation should allow us to reach our target of doubling the available lighting in Mojave.” said Todd Quelet, Executive Director of the Mojave Foundation. “These companies are invested here in Mojave, have been for a long time, and they have a stake in the future of this community.”

Mojave at NightToday’s announcement comes on the heels of a wave of break-ins of commercial properties in downtown Mojave, and the tragic death of another pedestrian on Mojave’s busy streets at night. The Mojave Foundation plans to use investments like these to restore much of the public lighting that was removed three years ago, and make our streets substantially safer. Southern California Edison has offered a deal to install streetlights, including poles, for only $15/month, provided customers sign a three-year contract and pay the first year up front. Today’s announcement demonstrates our partners’ resolve to protect our residents and employees from crime and traffic hazards in Mojave.

Scaled Composites, founded by Burt Rutan, has been building experimental and composite aircraft in Mojave since 1982. Scaled employs approximately 550 engineers, technicians and fabricators in Mojave, and is responsible for major projects such as the Voyager, SpaceShipOne, SpaceShipTwo, and Stratolaunch. Scaled’s President, Kevin Mickey, grew up in Mojave, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Mojave Foundation. Scaled was acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2007, a major aerospace and defense technology company headquartered in West Falls Church, Virginia.

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