After a neighbor had his driveway plowed, creating a berm that blocked the street, Cedar Glen resident Steve Valentine took action to remedy the situation. (Photos: Steve Valentine)
Steve Valentine with his neighbors Sue and Nadeen.
The power of one
Cedar Glen man takes action
By Mary-Justine Lanyon
Steve Valentine lives in Cedar Glen on a road that is partly maintained by the county. On March 9, following the recent series of snowstorms, he observed a neighbor having his driveway cleared – onto the road, creating a berm that made the road impassable by car or on foot.
This berm, Valentine said, cut off nine homes on Lyon Drive and South Lane, including that of an 88-year-old woman who lives alone.
He contacted County Fire, the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station, Supervisor Dawn Rowe and Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh. He called the emergency hotline set up by the county to request a welfare check on Nadeen, the elderly woman. He had spoken with her – while she was trying to shovel snow herself. She told Valentine that she did not feel well.
“It’s not an emergency at this time,” Valentine wrote to the supervisor and the senator, “but my fear is, should something happen, there’s no way to reach her or anyone else. The additional stress on her to be landlocked into a home that she pays taxes on to the county is unacceptable.
“The neighbor needs to be held accountable,” Valentine wrote, “and, until then, the road clearing here needs to be prioritized.”
Valentine first received a call from Supervisor Rowe’s office and then a call from the supervisor herself. “She expressed her grave concern,” Valentine said, “and immediately pulled her team in to discuss the issue with me. She was very happy to take the load off me and the elderly resident who was most affected.”
Valentine said Rowe planned to follow up with the Rialto Fire Assessment Team he had connected with when he walked down to Hook Creek Road earlier in the day. He brought that team, including Captain Bender, up to check on Nadeen. “How are we going to get over this?” was the captain’s reaction when he saw the berm.
Rowe’s team discussed how to get the berm – 12 to 15 feet tall and more than 20 feet wide – cleared. In addition, her team was working to find a medical team to assess Nadeen’s physical condition.
The Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station, Valentine added, was in constant contact with him and the “callous” neighbor who created the situation. That neighbor was mandated by the sheriff’s department to have the berm removed, which he did.
It’s a collaborative effort, Capt. Don Lupear of the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station said. The sheriff’s department contacts the neighbor and either the county Department of Public Works or Caltrans (depending on whether it’s a county or state road). “We tell the neighbor to either clean up the snow or they will be charged.”
Nadeen was seen by paramedics the next day. They transported her to Mountains Community Hospital. Valentine was happy to report that she is fine and back at home.
“Thank you to Supervisor Rowe and her team, to the Rialto Fire Assessment Team and Captain Bender and to the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station and Deputy Nathan Hoehnke,” Valentine said.