Understanding Newberry Springs
It is tough to stomach
Posted: June 1, 2020
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
A long blog by Ted Stimpfel
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Paula Deel/Paul Deel/Vickie Paulsen
🎶 "Getting to know you, getting to know all about you." 🎶
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
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
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
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?
🎶 "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.
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
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
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 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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