On March 14 of this year, community leaders gathered to celebrate Crestline having been named the 351st International City of Peace. Those leaders have gathered several times this year to discuss areas in which the town could improve for those who live, work and visit the community.
“As an International City of Peace,” said Crestline resident Rudy Westervelt of the Rotary E-Club of World Peace, “we will promote safety, prosperity and quality of life for all residents and visitors.” The committee met again this past week to determine areas and additional programs that need to improve to make the town as peaceful as possible.
Westervelt, who chaired the meeting, stated that Crestline already has the elements to make it a peaceful community so, during the get-together, the methods to make Crestline an even more peaceful, prosperous and desirable place to live were discussed.
At this meeting, representatives from the Crestline Chamber, the Boys & Girls Club, the Mountain Homeless Coalition, Rotary, Goodwin’s Market and other community members discussed the continuing needs of the community and various ways to meet those deficits, discussing needs in numerous categories. They also saw many areas where the town is succeeding in meeting community needs. They plan to make up a list of services needed and those currently available for distribution.
The areas that have been identified as necessary to be a peaceful city include residents’ needs being fulfilled, safety, tranquility, accessible education and economic stability.
“It will be a combination of the nonprofits, including the seniors, the Boys & Girls Club, the churches, public service, service clubs, businesses and the chamber of commerce working in harmony that will make the desired changes to make it even better,” Westervelt said. By working together, these groups can help the community become more economically prosperous, tourist friendly and a great place to live and raise children.
The recent community clean-up is a good example of making the first impression of the town excellent and working together for the betterment of all. It was discussed that the spring cleanup after winter may need to be sooner than the second weekend of May in 2023, depending on the weather. Looking at the community calendar will help determine the date, which will be advertised further in advance for volunteers.
One of the major issues now facing Crestline and all towns in America is the homeless situation, which in some cases not only includes housing but mental help services, too. The Mountain Homeless Coalition is currently faced with the situation of seniors, who have rented for years in one location, becoming homeless because, as property values have risen, rentals are being sold by the property owners to cash out on their investments, forcing the seniors to move out. These seniors have a steady income but, with the lack of any rental housing units on the market at the current time, some are facing homelessness.
The Homeless Coalition is currently seeking rental units for these seniors, as there are numerous government programs that will guarantee the rent is paid, if they can find the rental houses. They have housing vouchers with values up to $1,000 for up to nine years to pay the rent in addition to the amount the senior can pay. So, if anyone knows of any units or houses available for rent, they should email the Homeless Coalition now through their website at www.MountainHomelessCoalition.com, as they have renters in need of housing.
The other end of the homeless problem is those who insist on living in the forest. Some of them just refuse to accept help, unless their pets can come with them, as they are the only family the homeless person many have. These homeless often present a need for a multi-faceted solution that may need many agencies to assist; however, few of those services currently exist on the mountaintop, although local residents are concerned and do want to help.
The Boys & Girls Club is serving over 120 children at their two clubhouses in Crestline and Lake Arrowhead. Before COVID, they had four clubhouses on the mountain, including Valley of Enchantment and Charles Hoffman Elementary Schools, for after-school programs, and they want to be able to serve those children again. They are unable to open those sites right now, due to a lack of funding, since grants only pay for programs, not regular overhead expenses, which run about $40 a week per child for the food, teachers and facilities. A safe community for children with an emphasis on education is a goal of a peaceful community.
Economic development is the focus of the chamber of commerce. Of the two restrooms the county is planning to build, one has hit a snag and needs the residents to let the county know these restrooms are needed and would be supported. The one scheduled for the park-and-ride lot is hitting an unknown snag, although many community residents have stepped up to guarantee it will be maintained. The one previously planned for Top Town has already been canceled, as the county has determined there is not enough space for one. The one at the chamber office is still going forward at this time. Having these amenities has a positive impact for the economy of a tourist destination.
There was also discussion on turning the almost unused park-and-ride lot into a pay parking lot, as additional parking for the lake during the summer, to relieve some of the parking congestion between town and the lake, which would make it more pleasant for all.
The next community meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. at the Crestline chamber office.
“The Crestline International City of Peace Facebook page is a great way for people and businesses to unite together, as the community is currently in a great space and working together will only make the community even better,” concluded Westervelt.
I was trained at pilot Rock conservation camp. The were three or 4 captons that i will always respect and admire for teaching me safty first liye drenth is the capton that thought. Me how to fight fires agressively but provide safty first and i mad it though some of the most dangerouse fires ever and i cant forget mr carl tomous he thought me how to hike with 70 pounds our crew was specal ms parker crew one hands down one of the best people you could work for thank you all from 2002 -2005