Newberry's Decline In 2021
Closing another year.
As December 2021, comes to an end, we close yet another year
where the community of Newberry Springs has continued to decline.
The massive 5.5-square mile Daggett Solar Project has
commenced construction upwind to Newberry. The project received its
final green light from the Newberry CSD directors reneging on their solemn
promise to litigate the project.
Involved in that travesty were CSD directors Robert Springer,
Paula Deel, Victoria Paulsen, Jack Unger, and Larry Clark.
Not only will the project add to the cumulative silica
dust in Newberry's air shed but it will further accelerate the economic
and social decline of Newberry, making the community even more undesirable
and a more dangerous place to raise a family.
Newberry isn't a desirable, boutique community. It is
a dumpster. An underserved community where undesirable toxic projects are
dumped. The Newberry CSD directors are allowing it to happen !
Last November, two more solar projects, Solar 66 and Solar
33, were both added to the Silver Valley's growing list of county-approved
solar projects without any Newberry CSD opposition. The only opposition
from Newberry at the County Planning Commission meetings came from me.
One lone person can not impact a corrupt county government.
Newberry's air shed will soon become increasingly more toxic
with microscopic silica dust, a California Proposition 65 carcinogenic.
The invisible and very slow killing dust will impact and insidiously shorten
the lives of many breathing it. Respiratory failure is a very prolonged
and difficult death.
The Newberry CSD directors, while popular on the social scale,
continue to blunder and damage citizens' health and property values.
The directors continue to ignore their obligation to defend against the plagues
that infest and harm our community.
Sexually Violent Predator
The community at times can come together. Its success
this year was defeating a rental plan by William and Schellie Petropoulos of
Spring Valley Lake (Victorville). The Petropoulos had expected to rent
their Godisgood, Inc. controlled property to house Lawtis Rhoden, a Sexually
At the time of this writing, the Orange County court is
placing Rhoden into a rural area in northern Lancaster. The court
has targeted a January 3, 2022, placement date. The erection of fencing
around the property has been the only major delay. A contracted fence
contractor departed for the Christmas holidays before doing the job.
Nearly thirty vacant trailers on the property have been
removed, a water source from an adjacent property has been arranged, and
other issues have been remedied.
The power of a community does not rest in the elected,
it rests in the People. Unfortunately, the tribe of Newberry has
failed in their civic duties to attend CSD meetings and participate.
Without the community's guidance, the Newberry CSD
elected have gone far astray by their lack of governance knowledge.
One brighter spot is General Manager Jodi Howard's
progress in acquiring recreation equipment for the park. Yet,
Howard lacks training.
Merging of CSDs
Newberry has declined instead of improving during
the past quarter-century. LAFCO (the Local Agency Formation Commission)
unsuccessfully tried to
the Daggett, Yermo, and the Newberry CSD in late 2014.
LAFCO's Executive Officer, Kathleen Rollings-McDonald,
attempted to have the three CSDs merge and have a single, professional
CSD manager. LAFCO had prepared an impressive 92-page workshop draft
that demonstrated the practicality of the idea.
Like the overwhelming number of citizens of the three
communities, I too was opposed to the proposed consolidation. I
believed that Newberry could do better on its own.
Now, after seeing the continued failures by the local
CSD boards to effectively benefit their communities, I have a far greater
appreciation of what Rollings-McDonald was attempting to do. The
communities with their poorly chosen elected, can't effectively manage
themselves. The CSDs would be better managed by a skilled
This is not to say that the communities would lose
their individual identities, but that services would be better managed.
If we want improved communities, it is a no-brainer ! The current
plan hasn't worked.
Will the idea of consolidation be revived ?
Certainly not ! The communities won't allow it.
Newberry is now in the Third District
As of December 2021, Newberry Springs has
joined the city of Barstow as to being in Supervisor Dawn Rowe's Third
District. The new redistricting map has placed Newberry Springs
outside of Paul Cook's First District. Supervisor Cook has failed
to do anything for Newberry so I don't consider him a loss.
The Supervisors have agreed to wait until next year
to enact the transition. Probably in December (2022).
I have not heard anything bad about Supervisor Dawn Rowe
from her constituents. They seem to like her.
So far, in my personal experiences, I find her and her
representative on the Planning Commission, immoral and problematic.
Despite my written and oral presentations of evidence
before her and the other Supervisors that a recent revision of the 'Light
Trespass' ordinance is a violation of the State and Federal Constitutions,
and illegal, Dawn Rowe and the other Supervisors approved it.
For many in Newberry Springs, our exterior lighting
fixtures are now
and we are being ordered to replace them within two years. We must
also turn off exterior lighting after 11 P.M.
Other new requirements decrease the safety of ourselves
and others. All of this has been spearheaded out of Supervisor Rowe's
office so that dark skies can be protected for a few stargazers in her
Also, despite the Solar 66 and Solar 33 projects not
properly fulfilling CEQA requirements and being violations of the State's
Environmental and Social Justice requirements, Dawn Rowe's Planning
Commissioner, Michael Stoffel, voted for both projects. The projects
will add to the cumulative toxic dust that Newberrians will be forced to
County's Liability Risk
Having worked for many years as an independent expert
in forensic photography for the Southern California insurance industry,
and later preparing legal briefs with a law office, and as a laymen consumer
litigator, I have acquired a fair understanding of tort actions.
Sometimes, it isn't possible to fight a corrupt government
upfront. One can only document the actions that the bad actors are
doing, and record that they were clearly given prior notice of the
foreseeable harm of their actions. Then following their actual harm,
sue the bastards for their culpability and seek punitive damages.
So, if you are later injured at night, and a lack of
lighting MIGHT be a contributing factor, you may have a reasonable
tort action against the County.
Likewise, in the next few years, if you have a respiratory
problem and if you have lived in Newberry Springs, you may have an excellent
legal case against the County, the Daggett Solar Power Project and its
developers and power distributors, as well as Mr. Ralph Laks, the developer
of Solar 66 and Solar 33.
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