Feb 16, 2023 | Government, Local

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Crest Forest MAC hears local concerns and events



Staff Writer


At the Feb. 7 meeting of the Crest Forest Municipal Advisory Council, Andrea Harlin, the government and legislative affairs liaison for Caltrans District 8, gave an update on three ongoing repairs on Highway 18 between San Bernardino and Crestline, all of which are on schedule.

The drainage pipe repair, at times, is closing one northbound lane just north of the top of Waterman Canyon as they expand the capacity of the pipe being installed where the road washout occurred in December 2021.

The 20-location culvert repair project is ongoing, Harlin. reported. Although there will be no road closures, they will be creating “traffic switches” in two locations, one upper and one lower spot, where they narrow to one lane and put both lanes on the same side of the center divider. This creates a dangerous driving situation with oncoming traffic on a highway. These require slower speeds; those speeds are in force 24/7, even when workers aren’t present. Harlin warned drivers may be ticketed. Each of these traffic switches is approximately one-and-a-half miles in length. She advised adjusting travel times to allow for slower travel spots.

Another culvert repair project will begin near Highway 18 at the Lake Gregory Drive traffic signal this spring.

Rick Dinon again asked about limiting big rigs on Highway 138 between Silverwood Lake and Crestline. There is a traffic study underway. Harlin said she understands some trucks use it as a detour when Interstate 15 is closed; however, she was reminded that it’s also an emergency evacuation route for residents when it’s blocked by overturned trucks.

Bill Mellinger from the Lake Gregory Citizens Advisory Committee (LGCAC) spoke on the county regional park at Lake Gregory. The lake is two feet above full, and water is being released to avoid flooding of buildings and trails around the shoreline. Dredging that was planned was delayed by the rains, although some paperwork still is getting approved by the various agencies involved. Debris that washed into the lake will be cleared. The horseshoe pits are now available for use during daylight hours with parking available at the skateboard park or the south beach parking lot.

The ADA-accessible fishing ramp is being repaired and improved next to the south beach parking lot and will be completed by the end of March. The county will not be able to expand the south sand beach onto the lakeshore, near where the Friday night marketplace is held, due to safety concerns with the steep depth of the lake at that spot.

All lakes are fighting invasive weeds; while it is cold, the weeds do not grow, but it seems that mowing them spreads the weeds to more areas, and chemical treatment of the water is not approved.

Infrastructure improvements and funding for the lift station and sanitation are approved for Camp Switzerland and plans are being developed. However, the zipline project over the lake is still trying to find a contractor willing to build it.

Pam Balch from Assemblyman Tom Lackey’s office introduced him to his new constituents as, although he’s been in office for years, his district lines have been newly drawn, now including this area. In his Everyday Heroes program, he intends to nominate a teacher and high school student for recognition. Send the nominations to [email protected]. He is also seeking a Woman of the Year, who is defined as an advocate for the area who makes a difference in the community. The Assemblyman’s representatives will have office hours on March 16 at the Lake Arrowhead Chamber of Commerce office from 2 to 4 p.m. Call and make an appointment to discuss your issue.

Congressman Obernolte’s office will have office hours at the Lake Arrowhead Chamber of Commerce on March 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. Contact [email protected] to make an appointment.

Sidney Sonck from State Senator Ochoa Bogh’s office spoke on the many bills she’s proposing and supporting: SB 13, 65, 89 and 283. Go to her website to learn the details on each bill on mental health, animal cruelty and drugs and accountability concerning fentanyl sales. Contact Sonck at [email protected]. All the elected representatives said they are researching the sudden raise in natural gas rates and to follow them on social media.

The U.S. Forest Service is embarking on a 10-year management plan to keep the forest healthy and create shaded fire breaks on the north side of the mountain from Miller Canyon to Baldwin Lake and clearing around evacuation corridors. They invite the public to follow them on their website,, where they discuss upcoming fuel treatment programs and ask for public input. A wildfire is an emergency, and they are seeking public input on ways to prevent that environmental crisis, with long-lasting effects.

Campgrounds are currently closed, except for yellow post site and fires are only permitted in cement campfire rings. They have hired an additional 30 personnel for the local forest so all engines will be staffed, and they are now training for fire season.

The USFS will be conducting prescribed pile burns in the Grass Valley Ridge area next month, as weather permits, and the smoke might be visible to the public. There is an uptick in OHV use in Miller Canyon. The good news is the bald eagles in Big Bear have laid two eggs, despite the snowstorms that have recently hit the area.

Lt. Salais of the Arrowhead CHP office said they are dealing well with the snow players this season; he reminds drivers to carry chains at all times during snow season in case of a sudden snowstorm. They had 8,000 contacts with the public last year, 5,000 of which were services to motorists.

Lt. Harris from the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station also spoke on the snow players; they have issued over 200 citations for illegal parking, each costing $100, which will rise to $150 when new signs are posted. They have also been clearing parked cars from roadsides, mostly near Snow Valley. They have two extra officers on duty during snow weekends for snow play patrol. They had 2,500 police reports last year. Their officers are carrying Narcan for drug overdoses and have already saved one life using it.

Rim School board member Dana Ridland addressed the leaking roofs that need repair and replacing. They will be pursuing grants to repair them or will need to ask for a bond to be passed in 2024 or 2026, as the students deserve a safe and healthy environment in which to study. They had to call a snow day to deal with the flooding buildings last month when the fire alarms went off at 2 a.m. from all the rain inside the old buildings. Student attendance has been achieving the 95-percent attendance goals, despite telling students to stay home when they feel ill. The high school sports teams have been excelling with many achieving league championships.

Each campus also has trained personnel and Narcan on campus in case of drug overdoses, as it can save a life before emergency personnel arrive.

Purchase bids for Grandview School will be accepted until May 25. Minimum bids are $150,000. The old district office in Blue Jay is still in escrow and the district offices have been moved to the Lake Gregory Educational Center.

Thirteen percent of the Rim district staff is new this year; the district still has openings for substitute teachers and in maintenance, security and office workers.

Rim of the World Recreation and Park District has a free teen dance for 12- to 17-year-olds scheduled for Feb. 17 at the Lake Gregory Education and Community Center from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with a DJ and snacks. The Rim Rec district also is scheduling a cornhole tournament at Lake Gregory in May.  Their new book of recreation activities is being released soon, so all community members who want to teach classes should inform them to get on the schedule.

The Crestline Chamber of Commerce is seeking a new full-time office manager, who should be able to do administrative duties, event planning and membership service tasks at the chamber office 35 to 40 hours a week.

Tickets are available for the Feb. 18 Mardi Gras-themed Corks & Hops event from 5 to 8 p.m. at the San Moritz Lodge at the website. There will be eight tastings and two full pours, plus food trucks, music and much more at this adult-only event.

Planning for the Duck Derby, which will take place on April 8, and Jamboree Days to take place on July 1-3, is underway and those who want to volunteer to help should call the office at (909) 338-2706 and leave your name and phone number. The Crestline Jamboree Days parade and fireworks will take place on July 1, with the picnic on Monday, July 3. Fireworks over Lake Arrowhead are on July 2 and over Big Bear Lake on July 4.

Supervisor Dawn Rowe’s field representative Lewis Murray said the supervisor will be visiting the mountains this month at several meetings, including the Mountain Sunrise Rotary meeting next week. Shje will be meeting with chambers, Caltrans and other agencies and at the Feb. 24 luncheon with the Lake Arrowhead Chamber.

It was announced the Mountain History Museum will be open President’s Day weekend. There should be coffee, hot chocolate and cookies for the visitors, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 18, 19 and 20; entry is free. They hope to show the Huell Howser video “Under Lake Arrowhead” in their theater, following him exploring the tunnels under the lake.

The next Crest Forest MAC meeting will be held Tuesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the San Moritz Lodge. The public is invited. The video of this meeting may be viewed at Lake



(Photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley)


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Members of the Crest Forest MAC board: Rick Dinon, Kyle Schulty, Steve Garcia and Penny Shubnell.


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Nathan Godwin listens as LGCAC member Bill Mellinger addresses the Crest Forest MAC.


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Pam Balch, representative for Assemblyman Tom Lackey’s office, spoke at the February CF MAC meeting.


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