Meandering
Thoughts

  Understanding Newberry Springs 

   It is tough to stomach  
    Newberry's decline.    

Posted: June 1, 2020
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
A long blog by Ted Stimpfel

Wack !
A necessity for change.

    With COVID-19, Newberry Springs has been hard hit with yet another Whammy!   And there has been a lot of hits.

    As more people have lost their jobs and have turned to food lines, with the methheads and drug use growing, the community's downward spiral is continuing.

    So what's new in Newberry?  Nothing!  And that has been the problem for decades.  Newberry Springs is what the community makes it.

    I have been writing on this for years and the people who 'don't get it'  claim that I am being too negative.  Well, I am only reporting reality.  No sugar coating for you !

    I don't enjoy writing negatives.  I want to be Newberry Proud, but Newberry is not what the Chamber (and those behind it) publishes.  For the majority, living in Newberry is not 'Living the Dream.'  There is no Happy Dance.  If change is ever going to take place, and basic retail services provided, someone has got to expose the problems.

    The causes are many but by far the biggest critical community problem has been a stagnant Community Services District.  The community has a mental illness, it repeatedly elects personalities to the CSD board who have no business being there.

    Many of the past and present CSD directors haven't been financially stable with their own lives yet they are given the keys to managing the community into obscurity.


COVID-19 landmarks.

Sucking-Up the Oxygen

    While the CSD directors are well-meaning, they are clueless and they lack the capacity to uplift and transform Newberry.  Once into the fraternal club of CSD office, their destructive independence, arrogance, and self-absorption drown out the community's input.

    The CSD and the Chamber are waiting for outsiders to rescue Newberry's economics.  It usually doesn't happen that way.  The initial nourishment needs to come from within.  The CSD and the Chamber lack the understanding of the seed.

    Until the economics and the infrastructure of Newberry Springs is improved, spending the community's money for the likes of a multi-million dollar new civic hub is a true folly.  Such thoughts are Zombies wandering in a mindless vacuum.

    Why are other communities improving while Newberry Springs remains stagnant?

    The other day, I was attending a state commission meeting on Zoom where the commissioners were giving away tens-of-millions-of-dollars in grants.  One organization received over a million-dollar grant to build a photovoltaic Blockchain network for a small community.  The grant will provide the residents with reduced power rates and back-up power should Edison's local distribution grid go down.

    For over 60 years the Newberry CSD has been providing the same 3-basic services (fire protection, park & recreation, street lighting) originating from an era coming out of WWII.  The CSD continues to provide these same legacy services without ever re-examining the CSD's role for the world that we live in today.

    For over 60 years the Newberry CSD has never tried to expand and take any new steps forward.  The CSD lacks any credible economic gameplan.

    If we were forming the CSD today, we would design the CSD to look more like a 5G portable smartphone than a copper wired fixed rotary dial.  Yet today, the CSD is functioning like a 1950s rotary phone that is not responsive to today's concerns and fantastic opportunities.

    Why isn't Newberry Springs receiving a power Blockchain grant?  It is because for decades the voters keep electing the same type of dull-edge directors that keep providing the same lazy, mundane results.


COVID-19 landmarks.

Paula Deel

    I find the phenomenon of CSD Director Paula Deel fascinating.  As a rare shop operator in Newberry before its closure, Paula has become a community influencer based upon her delightful personality.  While I admire anyone who can live isolated off-the-grid in Newberry, in a CSD director, I look for accomplishments.  Unfortunately, I only see Paula as having goosed the community for years.

    Going down memory lane...  a couple of years ago, I attended a meeting at the Senior Center where afterward, Paula Deel approached and asked me an out-of-the-blue question that surprised me.  She asked me something to the effect of, "You must think that I'm a hillbelly?"

    I politely replied, "No, I don't."   And I left it at that.

    The fact is, my response was totally truthful.  I hold a much higher respect for the hillbelly folks living in a Kentucky hollow than Paula because they standby their clan.

    Paula has never impressed me as standing by the community unless there is a self-serving fulfillment to her ego or pocket.  The Daggett solar project is an example.  The community that Paula represents can not get a straight commitment from her that she will not sell out the community to the solar project by settling the litigation.

    Paula is a sweetheart for supporting, and sometimes organizing, PR social events.  With the upcoming elections, she has even joined just about every organization in Newberry to rub elbows, but Paula has repeatedly been an obstacle and a failure in making any long-term community improvements.

    Should the CSD sell out and acquire "mitigation" funds, Paula Deel is already experienced in handling such monies.  She has succeeded in the shady role of funneling out the community's special billboard funds to her personal worthy selections.

    Under a previous Development Agreement submitted to the County as part of the billboard Development Plan to acquire the billboard permits, the billboard funds had preset destinations.  However, after the fact, for years there has been a redirection of the monies by Paula Deel, et al., and a lack of transparency of the financials to the community.

    Be it her leadership in preparing the fizzled Newberry Springs Community Plan, the ineffective Chamber of Commerce, the money-sucking NSEDA farm, or other wasteful ventures, sweet ineffective Paula has repeatedly failed to provide anything more lasting to the community than crumbs.


COVID-19 landmarks.

Paula Deel/Paul Deel/Vickie Paulsen
🎶 "Getting to know you, getting to know all about you." 🎶

History

    Newberry Springs lost a transformative opportunity in early 2016, with the application loss of a Promise Zone grant that would have pumped millions of dollars into Newberry and create hundreds of jobs.

    Both CSD directors Paula Deel and Vickie Paulsen were appointed to the committee responsible for the creation and the submission of the grant application.  Paula's husband, Paul Deel, and I were also appointed with Jim and Ellen Johnson contributing.

    With the involvement of Paul, Paula, and Vickie, I was soon to learn that Newberry Springs and the communities that were piggy-backing on the application (Hinkley, City of Barstow, Lucerne Valley, City of Needles, and the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation) had a serious problem.

The Desert Trails Promise Zone - A mismanaged application.

    Immediately upon the committee members being named, Paul Deel had the obsession to be the chairman.  He wanted the title.  That was fine with me at the time as I usually prefer to be in a supportive role.

    To this date, I feel that we had an outstanding opportunity to acquire a FANTASTIC grant that would have pumped millions of dollars into Newberry Springs.  Unfortunately, I experienced Paul Deel negligently mismanaging and driving the application into the ground.  With the support of his wife, Paula, and Vickie Paulsen, he operated the position of Chairman in what appeared to me as a conceited tyrant who wasn't open to accepting educated input.

    Paul Deel captured the complexity of the application.  He did a good job of comprehending the application's design and what data was being required, but I witnessed his failure in the critical thinking of organizing the steps, the timeline, and the handling of the contacts necessary to properly package the application.

    Through possible ignorance, Paul Deel doesn't seem to understand that the role of a committee Chairman is not about being bossy but rather to coordinate and to bring out the best in each of the other committee members and to incorporate their knowledge and skills into the work product.

    Instead, Paul Deel appeared to glorify himself by placing himself front and center as the bigwig.  As the big cheese of the Promise Zone's application, he refused to listen to experience and common sense.  His wife, Paula, and Vickie Paulsen, also lacking knowledge of government grant applications, fully supported his vain judgments which directly led to the application's failure.

    Having been a fairly recent graduate at the time of an intensive 5-day Annenberg Grantmaking course held in Los Angeles, that I attended by invitation and an awesome Annenberg Foundation scholarship grant, and having studied Grantmaking in multiple classes a few years earlier at a college, I held expertise that Paul Deel didn't want to accept because he wanted to play the role of an all knowledgeable Commander.

    Paula naturally supported her husband.  Vickie Paulsen, bestie friends with Paula, automatically made them a threesome vote (i.e. NSEDA).  They hang together.

    Vickie Paulsen is a person who doesn't like conflict.  She would prefer a mutual resolution for any dispute.  After the Daggett solar Scoping meeting, the developer agreed to mitigate and have an open space adjacent to the airport as a runway clear zone.

    Despite the solar project not being appropriate for the location, Paulsen voiced support for the solar project simply because the developer was willing to slightly compromise.  Since then, she has flip-flopped back and now appears to be squirrelly wavering.

    While Paulsen has recently shown some independence, she still seems to be a follower and largely influenced by others as she strives to be accepted by her CSD board colleagues.

    Seeing opportunities being repeatedly torpedoed by the Deels and their supporters has been hard to stomach, but they are empowered by our sleepy community.  So who is to blame?  The uneducated children or the parents?

Jack Unger
🎶 "Liar, liar, Unger's pants are on fire." 🎶

    I consider CSD director Jack Unger as a major threat to Newberry's survival as a residential community.  Despite running for CSD office on a platform where he promised transparency, Unger now stands out for his secrecy.

    Unger has webbed himself into the CSD's solar litigation as a major obstacle in preventing the community's Friends of Newberry Springs from having a voice in the litigation.

    Rather than smartly embracing the community to collectively combat the external solar threat together, Unger flippantly wants to make the community's participation about himself and his CSD power.  In him, I see a really bizarre administrative sickness.  A lack of empathy for the citizens of Newberry Springs.

    Jack Unger was guided into his CSD seat in the last election by the promotion of directors Paula Deel and Vickie Paulsen.  It seems that Paula Deel is repeatedly at the root of Newberry's problems.

    While having a good knowledge of wireless networks and having authored a book on the subject 17-years ago, Unger's financial abilities have been tanking in a long declining slide, leading him to now struggle on low scale employment.  Unger doesn't appear to have the intellectual wherewithal to better his own life much less have the intellectual ability to uplift an entire community.

    To feed his high ego, struggling Unger now seems to be trying to reconcile and to reinvent himself by promoting his new civic hub idea with all types of big-ticket, pie-in-the-sky amenities.

    The proportions of his proposed building footprint upon a proposed 40-acre site is shown in an illustration (left) prepared by Jack Unger.

    The illustration is exceptionally amateurish and is scary if Unger expects such oversized structures to be built.  What is illustrated is Jack Unger not knowing what he is doing.

    Unger's magic abracadabra way to partially pay for it may be to sell out the community by settling the solar litigation for "mitigation funds" and allowing the billion-dollar solar facility to be built.

    This sell out scenario seems to be welcomed by the other CSD directors as a way to also acquire funds for the CSD and possibly other Newberry projects like the Deels' and Paulsen's NSEDA farm.

    A solar litigation sell out by the CSD would be most destructive and it would devastate homeowners who would see the value of their home investments severely plummet.  Many with mortgages would find themselves "underwater" owing far more than their home is worth, forcing some to walk away and abandon Newberry.

    Renters also would face the hazardous onslaught of the carcinogenic silica dust and the associated health issues.

    As failures in the good stewardship of protecting Newberry, the CSD directors will be proclaiming, "But look what we got you, a new civic hub."   A monument to their failed leadership and a decaying community.

Crossroads

    Newberry Springs is at a crossroads.  The CSD is heading to a sell out of the community because the directors fail to see the possibilities of their solar litigation.  They are on a collision course to forever damage Newberry as a family community.

    The directors lack the courage and the foresight that their litigation can prevail.  They also lack the basic wisdom to seek support from the community.

    The directors have been claiming that they cannot communicate with the community regarding the litigation for fear of releasing their secret legal strategy.  Hell, that's B.S.!  Their strategy has been known for months.  It is known based upon the CSD's limited options and statements by board members.  The CSD directors are just too inexperienced and too egoistic to acknowledge that they can't think outside of the box.

    Eight years ago, then CSD president, Robert Seeley, had an idea as to how to build a new CSD office/fire department facility.  He was targeting a good idea to finance it but the wrong road to get there.  There are ways to acquire a modest new civic facility without selling-out and losing the community.

We need CSD directors
that represent the residents.

It is time for the curtain to come down on the CSD's bad act.

    On July 13th, registration sign-ups will begin for Newberry CSD candidates at the county's Registrar of Voters.  It is time that Newberry takes serious stock of who will run the CSD.

    The CSD seats of Paula Deel and Larry Clark are available.  We need intellects who are not in it  for their ego nor the stipend.  I would love to support two candidates who seriously support the concerns of this Website.  If interested in running, please contact us for possible support.

    The Newberry CSD is like a cartoon.  For some, it is a joke.  Many in the community (including voters) don't even know what it is nor what it does.  Yet, if used to its full potential, it can be the most important tool we have to transform the community.

    The directors' limited backgrounds pervasively impact not only their perceptions, but it also limits their understanding of the strategic partnership that they should be having with the community.

    A couple of elections ago, we had the bright promise of an intellect that ran for CSD office.  She came in last place.  In the last election, I ran on a very progressive ticket for change and I came in last place.  In short, people get (and deserve) the failed representation that they elect.

    Currently, Newberry is in a disadvantaged, economic gutter.  Living in it long enough, I suppose that people have grown used to it.  If there is going to be an improved change, the community needs to wake-up and get rid of its rotary dial representatives.

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"People with repeated failures don't breed success."
                            circa 2020 ~ Ted