"The County is comin' to take away our freedom.
Barricade yourself inside, Marge, and prepare the RPG."

  Posted: December 26, 2021
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
Over 10 years of sharing the Love.
by Ted Stimpfel

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 Violent Predator.

    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 consolidate 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 professional.

    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 nonconforming 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 Morongo Basin.

    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 breathe.

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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