Posted: April 16, 2019
CSD directors screw-up badly.
What is the logic of the Newberry CSD board sitting
upon a $110-thousand cash pile of available "Kiewit Pacific" (KP) funds,
owned by the community, and the CSD board refusing to use it to protect
our citizens' health and the community's future?
Why haven't the funds been allocated, or even a small portion
of it released, to defend Newberry Springs from industrial solar development?
Development that is forecast to increase Newberry's Pulmonary health ailments and deaths.
What CSD benefit is there for the CSD to embezzle the community
funds, set aside for special community needs, for diversion into the CSD's treasury?
Public cries for a portion of the funds to be allocated, as little
as less than 1/10 to hire a CEQA expert, have been ignored by the CSD board.
What kind of evil fiend would just sit by and allow
the inevitable devastating plague of crippling carcinogenic dust to
flow upon the most vulnerable members of our community, our
children and elderly, without trying to do everything possible
to prevent it?
Stupidity is a|
The dire health ramifications of utility-scale solar
being built next door to Newberry's residential community is so severe
that doing nothing to prevent it is pure lunacy.
The unconscionable cast of characters playing God are...
CSD director Larry Clark's pro-solar stance has been evident
since the January 2018 board meeting when he openly supported solar development.
New water wells are expected to be needed for the project and what does director
Clark do for a living?
Q: Have the solar promoters of the estimated $2-billion
project privately approached Clark?
It would appear that possibly one answer for Clark's pro-solar
position might be simple business greed. The betrayal of the community
over the proverbial thirty pieces of silver.
The reasoning behind the other directors in doing
nothing is perhaps as sinister.
Outside of CSD meetings, Director Victoria Paulsen has
been outspoken in her opposition to utility-scale solar, but her actions
speak far louder than her words.
Paulsen has attended several county hearings on the solar projects
and Policy 4.10. Yet, she has been an obstructionist to the release of the KP
funds. This is where she could have been a community advocate but has terribly
Being an integrated part of what this news blog affectionately calls
the Deel cartel, Paulsen's moral and civic compass appears to be tightly entangled with
Paula Deels' soiled apron strings.
Paulsen sticks like Gorilla Glue to Deel. Paulsen is also a
director on Deel's economic development (NSEDA) folly, and Paulsen and Deel
can often be seen hanging together at miscellaneous functions. They appear
to be besties.
Together they earlier schemed an unsuccessful plot to tax Newberry's
parcels so that they could control more money on the CSD.
Director Deel has previously supported some really bad
projects that would have negatively impacted Newberry. Each time her
support appeared to be based on a self-centered opportunity for her business
to benefit. This at the expense of the community.
As previously posted in earlier news blogs, Deel has
a history of failures, the latest presently being the loss of her plumbing business.
Perhaps now she will have the time to rent space at the Coppi Mumford Farm to pursue
NSEDA's vision of growing low water Daikon radishes for sale at swap meets.
Paula and her husband have been promoting their experimental
farm by publishing, "NSEDA will be working with schools and agencies to test and develop
desert-tolerant crops." Well, what do they expect to discover that
universities and laboratories around the world, working for decades, haven't
already learned about desert crops? Let's decry a really wasteful
"community idea" when we see it.
Credit must be given to the Deels who have been great on social
events, but on big ticket leadership, they have repeatedly been on the wrong side
of the community. They have earlier supported the idea of an invasion of
dairies, Nursery Product's compost, and other industries that would have
negatively impacted Newberry.
For a long time, Paula Deel has been cultivating herself to be a Newberry
Springs power broker. She is the principal entity on the Newberry Springs Chamber of
Commerce, an officer of the N.S. Economic Development Association (NSEDA), and a director
of the Newberry CSD. She is also part of the secretive distribution of bribe
monies that periodically come into the community from billboard revenues.
Originally, under the statements given to the county for permits, the
billboard donations were to be distributed under a preset formula to a handful
of community orginizations. That later abruptly changed to where Paula (and unknown
others) now only distribute the funds to those they consider worthy. A
$4,000 majority of a recent funding has reportedly gone to NSEDA.
Newly elected Director Jack Unger is also considered to be a part of
Deel's cartel family. He was encouraged to run for office and supported by the
Interestingly, while Paula Deel has attended some public county
meetings with Paulsen, where Paulsen has spoken out against utility-scale solar
development, Paula Deel has not! (Despite Deel being there.)
Why hasn't Paula spoken-out against utility-scale solar at these
important meetings? Has Deel been privately approached by the solar industry?
As for newbie director Jack Unger, he was a piggy-back, ride-along
candidate on Victoria Paulsen and Robert Springer's candidacy ticket last November.
The vast majority of California's voters are low-information
voters who don't know their candidates' true background. They simply vote
for their party's affiliation or (as in Newberry) simply name recognition or
are influenced by snippet political ads. Newberry Springs voters are no
different... perhaps worse as Newberry is classified as a severely economically
Jack Unger, being relatively new to the CSD scene, probably hasn't
supported the release of the KP funds because he simply doesn't know any better.
He hasn't demonstrated any leadership skills and he seems to cherish validation
from Mother cartel. Newberry truly deserves the leadership bag it elects.
CSD president, Robert Springer, is also someone who seems ill-informed
in understanding issues. This was highly apparent late last year on the County's
FP-5 issue and Springer's anti-community position against the release of KP funds
When a massive outside solar project threatens the health of local
citizens and the economic well-being of a community, worthy leadership will jump into
action trying to find all viable ways to address and protect the community.
Shockingly, the Newberry CSD board under Springer has lamely
excused themselves as not being elected for solar issues. Rather than
trying to open doors to address the danger, the CSD Board has slammed the doors
shut with shameful indifference.
As previously blogged, Robert Springer sent a letter to a
freebie attorney seeking advice on the possibility of releasing the KP funds.
Unfortunately, even the letter was incompetent. The poorly structured letter
contained omissions about the background source of the funds, the critical omission
of a prior contractual agreement attached to the fund's use, and the fact that the
funds were not given to the CSD's treasury.
Based upon the exceptionally deficient letter that Springer provided,
the attorney gave a reasonable response based upon the faulty facts provided.
The fact that the President of the CSD has failed his due
diligence to properly investigate the matter and continued his failure to support
the release of the KP funds may be due to ego obstinance to acknowledge his
mammoth blunders. Or, it may be an extreme dereliction of duty
to investigate the evidence presented on the matter.
Whatever his excuse, Springer has exhibited exceptionally
poor judgment at a most critical time and the community of Newberry Springs may
severely suffer under his watch.
• • •
All is not lost, yet.
Despite all the influence that utility-scale solar money
may acquire within the county's Land Use Services Department and the broad
range of politicians with their hands out, the three Silver Valley proposed
solar projects are still not a done deal. They must overcome a number
The community of Newberry Springs may still see one or all of the
solar proposals defeated through the assistance of outsiders to our south.
The Lucerne Valley and the Morongo Basin have their own utility-scale solar battles
and we are now largely left dependent upon them, clinging onto their efforts.
A few local Newberrians have been writing responses to the
Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR). While their work is
important, it lacks the punch that can be done by a hired CEQA professional.
One local bright light is Fred Stearn, a realtor located on National
Trails. He has been a constant thorn to Clearway Energy's Daggett Solar
Power's EIR. Stearn has been writing a steady stream of letters questioning
and pointing-out numerous problems and significant conflicts regarding the project.
Stearn's letters have identified inconsistencies of the Daggett
Solar Power project with the county's Development Code and the state's environmental
Of particular strong assistance has been Pat Flanagan of Desert
Heights. The Newberry Springs Community Alliance and CEQA-Now,
represented by Ted Stimpfel and Bob Berkman,
initially met with Pat Flanagan in Yucca Valley on February 8, 2018, where first
interest in having her assist Newberry was expressed. Since then, she has
made a number of long trips to Newberry for surveys and attendance at meetings.
Her input and donated services have been extremely helpful.
Flanagan holds an expertise in the Mojave Desert's Sand Transport Paths
and she is a very strong conservation advocate for the desert. Having experience
in writing responses to draft CEQA reports, Flanagan has been an important ally.
Without Pat Flanagan, Newberry would have little chance. She
was also the instrumental Kingpin, the Big Cheese in the Planning Commission's
of Policy 4.10.
A sea battle cannot be won with only one type of ship,
a multi-disciplined task force is needed.
Having previous experience in fighting another solar project,
the Newberry Springs Community Alliance has strongly advocated for the hiring
of a CEQA expert which is an important rudder onboard a flagship. The Newberry
CSD, by refusing to release funds belonging to the community, has kept Newberry's
fleet in harbor rather than addressing the enemy.
In short, a defendant may have all of the background knowledge of
his case, but a defendant is a fool to try to defend himself without the knowledge
of a legal expert. Likewise, Newberry Springs has been a fool for obstructing
the hiring of CEQA expertise. (We all know the individuals to hold responsible.)
As previously stated, the solar developers have a number of
obstacles to yet overcome. The Newberry Springs Community Alliance is
now focusing on two obscure obstacles that have not been previously addressed.
More on these possibly later.
• • •