Newberry CSD Betrays
Community With Embezzlement
Of Community Funds

Artist illustration of the Daggett Solar Project
at Minneola and Valley Center.  The 20-foot
tall solar panels will cover 3,500 acres.

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
terminal disease.

    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...

Larry Clark

    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.

Victoria Paulsen

    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 failed.

    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.

Paula Deel

    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.

Living Off-The-Grid.

    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 cartel.

    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?

Jack Unger

    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 disadvantaged community.

    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.

Robert Springer

    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 of obstacles.

    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.

Fred Stearn

    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 regulations.

Pat Flanagan

    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 passage of Policy 4.10.

Armaments

    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.)

Different battlelines.

    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.

Newberry Springs related past news blogs:
Newberry Springs is in serious trouble. - 3/29/19
CSD Continues To Jeopardize Community. - 3/24/19
County planning deadly dust upon High Desert. - 2/10/19
Newberry Springs January 2019 update. - 1/28/19
CSD considers pay increase. - 1/19/19
Newberry Springs' true poverty. - 1/1/19
Rational thinking was a no-show. - 7/27/18
Painful 7-months of CSD inaction. - 7/22/18
Newberry CSD Board exposing themselves. - 6/25/18
Newberry CSD remains paralyzed. - 6/24/18
Newberry families may move for health reasons. - 3/26/18
CSD Board's mismanagement may lead to deaths. - 3/11/18
Newberry CSD struggles with solar development. - 3/2/18
Newberry CSD's inaction threatens community. - 2/24/18
Communities collaborating for protection. - 2/11/18
Newberry CSD falls short against solar opposition. - 2/4/18

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