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Second revision of short-term rental ordinance goes back to planning commission

On Wednesday, May 18, the Riverside County Planning Commission will again discuss major changes to Ordinance 927, “Regulating Short Term Rentals” (STRs). The commission reviewed changes to the ordinance at its April 20 meeting, and asked its staff to make changes and bring the new revision to the commission for the May 18 meeting.

Supervisors approve funding for public restrooms for Idyllwild

At its May 10 meeting, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved funding for constructing public restrooms in Idyllwild. Funds will come from a federal grant to help communities recover from economic consequences of the COVID pandemic. Behind these signs is the prospective location of the new public restrooms.PHOTO COURTESY OF IDYLLWILD...

A stop at War Horse Creek for veterans in a covered wagon

A group of veterans on the last leg of a cross-continent ride in a covered wagon spent this last weekend at Living Free’s War Horse Creek camp. The vets are drawing attention to a number of causes that help veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and successfully reenter civilian life. Their mission dovetails with that...

Zambranas in need after serious collision

Idyllwild Help Center (IHC) Client Services Administrator Skye Zambrana and her husband Mike are recovering from serious injuries they both suffered in a traffic collision Monday night, May 2. Skye and Mike Zambrana are recovering from a Monday, May 2, traffic collision.PHOTOS COURTESY OF ZAMBRANAS

Humber Park closed from May 16 to 20

The Humber Park trailhead and parking lot, which includes the Devil’s Slide Trail (3E05) and Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail (3E07), will be inaccessible from the afternoon of Monday, May 16 to Friday, May 20 due to contractors mitigating an infestation of Goldspotted oak borer beetles (GSOB). Goldspotted oak borer. With...

Theater company presents ‘Chapatti’

With “Chapatti,” Idyllwild Actors Theatre (IAT) brings a heartwarming Irish tale of older animal lovers finding each other to the Rustic Theatre. The title refers not to the delicious Indian flat bread, but to a man’s best friend, an adopted stray dog. The play, set in Dublin, has been described as a “deft mix...

Around town photos

Cub Scouts from Idyllwild Troop 96 tour the Hemet Sheriff’s Substation at Lake Hemet and get to look inside the department’s newest search and rescue helicopter, and learn about some of the other agencies that serve the Hill, such as the U.S. Forest Service law enforcement and wildland firefighters last week.PHOTO BY...

Steele T51 at Wells Fargo

Brendan Steele posted an 8-over-par 68-70-78-72 — 288 at the Wells Fargo Championship in Maryland last week to tie for 51st place. The Idyllwild native’s drives averaged 281 yards. He hit 57% of the fairways and 58% of the greens in regulation, but he lost about 2.3 strokes to the field with the putter.

Clubs

Idyllwild Garden Club The Idyllwild Garden Club will offer the Mountain Garden Tour Saturday, May 21. It will include five unique and lovely home gardens throughout Idyllwild, plus the club’s garden at the Idyllwild Area Historical Society and Museum. The price per person has been kept at $15,...

Idyllwild recipient of wildfire preparation grants

Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed May 1 to 7 Wildfire Preparedness Week. In his proclamation he wrote, “With California on the frontlines of this existential threat, the state is taking unprecedented action to make our communities more resilient to wildfire and improve forest health. “Building on our past budget investments, I’m...

Fatality on Highway 74 Saturday morning

A 40-year-old Indio man was killed in an over-the-side solo vehicle crash reported at 10:37 a.m. Saturday, April 30. The Riverside County Coroner identified him as Elijah Butler who was declared dead at 11:11 a.m. California Highway Patrol Sgt. Robert McLoud said the collision partially closed Highway 74 in Palm Desert...

Silver Fire suspect’s jury trial moving ahead

Riverside County Superior Court disposed of a transient’s mental health diversion and probation suitability filings, and decided to move ahead with a jury trial for the man charged with starting the 2013 Silver Fire. Stephen Patrick Medlock at the time of his March 2018 arrest for suspicion of starting the Silver Fire in...

Desperately seeking endangered frogs

Mary RiderContributor A tale of loss, followed by hope, disappointment and eventually renewed effort was published by the Town Crier in 2018. The article, written by JP Crumrine, described attempts to save an endangered local species in the San Jacinto Mountains range. An update to the story is available this Saturday in Idyllwild.

Commission and public discuss short-term rentals

Editor’s note: Spoiler alert: The first paragraph in this story about last week’s Riverside County Planning Commission hearing on the latest draft of Ordinance 927, “Regulating Short Term Rentals,” reveals the commission’s decision at the end of the hearing. If you wish to read about the public comments and commission deliberation chronologically, start with the Introduction of...

Former Town Crier owner, Sir Ray Tindle, dies at 95

Sir Ray TindlePHOTO COURTESY OF TINDLE NEWSPAPERS Sir Ray Tindle, 95, of Farnham, England, died Monday, April 16, 2022. He was chair of Tindle Newspapers until he turned 90 and became president, stepping down to allow his only offspring, Owen Tindle, to chair the newspaper group that had, at one time, included 200...

Art Alliance announces show winners

The Art Alliance of Idyllwild (AAI) held its annual Here and Now judged art show Saturday at the AAI Gallery and Visitor’s Center. Artists and Art Lovers enjoyed the Strawberry Creek band’s live music, food, wine and other refreshments. The band’s duo are Paula King and Mo Mullins. Chis Groth, Idyllwild...

Academy’s visual art show headed to the desert

Alice Park’s sculpture “Hands.”PHOTO COURTESY OF IAA Adiya Nabiyeva’s sculpture.PHOTO COURTESY OF IAA Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA) presents its spring 2022 off-site student exhibition reception, catering to IAA’s family of supporters in the desert cities. Following a hiatus during COVID, the IAA Visual Arts students return to the desert...

New revisions to short-term rental ordinance before Wednesday meeting

By JP CrumrineCorrespondent On Wednesday, April 20, the Riverside County Planning Commission will discuss major changes to Ordinance 927, “Regulating Short Term Rentals” (STRs). draft-927.1-Apr-20Download Since a new draft Ordinance 927 was release at the end of February, significant modifications have been proposed...

Dedication of ‘Futuro’ home this Saturday

This Saturday, a dedication ceremony will be held to celebrate Idyllwild’s first California Registered Historical Landmark, the “Donaldson Futuro.” Located in Pine Cove, residents may have heard of or caught a glimpse of this “flying saucer house” that arrived on the Hill in 2004. It has since been lovingly restored to a Technicolor glory that celebrates the...

Winners announced in ARF contest

Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) of Idyllwild’s Pets of the Year contest returned this year after about a one-year absence. This year’s contest raised $8,965, all of which is put into a fund to help with veterinary costs financially challenged local pet owners need. Some of the monies raised also will be used to help...

Easter events return to the mountain

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Easter traditions return this weekend with the annual egg hunt and services dedicated to Christian religious resurrection beliefs. The Easter Bunny will attend the Idyllwild Community Center Easter Egg Hunt at Idyllwild County Park next Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.PHOTO COURTESY OF ICC

Idyllwild public restrooms may be coming soon

Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) President Stephanie Yost and Ashley and Shane Stewart of Idyllwild Realty having been working for several months with the office of Riverside County Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington and the Office of Economic Development to address a long-standing community issue: Idyllwild’s lack of a public restroom for town visitors.

Governor issues drought emergency order

California’s drought conditions show no sign of abating. The water year that ended Sept. 30 was the second driest on record. All of California’s 58 counties are under a drought emergency proclamation. January, February and March 2022 were the driest on record dating back over 100 years. Just 6 inches of precipitation were recorded...

‘Suffering to Thriving’ author talks about book

Idyllwilders may know Kathy Harmon-Luber for her art deer in front of the bank, her fine art photography, her participation in the Art Alliance and other community groups, or her performances as a flutist. She has now published a book, “Suffering to Thriving,” based on her own experiences with health challenges and self-healing.

Pickleball fence repaired; donations needed

There’s good news this week for local and visiting pickleball players. Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) has repaired the pickleball court fence. The court was significantly damaged in a Thanksgiving windstorm in 2021 when a large pine tree on Idyllwild Pines’ grounds, where ICC’s pickleball court is located, snapped and fell across the two courts.

Scholarships for local students

Over the next few weeks, the Idyllwild Scholarship Fund board is requesting community donations to support scholarships for area 2022 high school graduates. The Idyllwild Scholarship Fund goes back to 1969 when three students were awarded “scholarships.” One was for $250, another for $100, and one student received a dictionary. In April 2021, six...

Newsom issues strategic plan on prescribed burns to reduce wildfires

Wednesday, March 30, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force issued a strategic plan to expand using prescribed fire, which it argues can be a beneficial tool for mitigating the threat and intensity of wildfires. The “Strategic Plan for Expanding the Use of Beneficial Fire” follows the issuance of “California’s Wildfire and...

Local firefighter dies in crash

Desmond Palmer, 34, of Hemet, died in the 45000 block of Sage Road in Aguanga at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, March 27, 25 minutes after being injured in a traffic collision on Sage Road, 365 feet north of Tyler Street. Desmond Palmer, 34, of Hemet, who died in a motorcycle crash in Aguanga March...

Ranch manager petitions for sex registration discontinuance

The man managing Bonita Vista Ranch in Garner Valley, owned by Dia Kenshalo Abrams, 65, who went missing June 6, 2020, has petitioned a San Juan County, Colorado, court to have his sex offender registration discontinued. Keith Leslie Harper, 72, a ranch hand who lives on the property and claims to be Abrams’ fiancé,...

A deep-sea diver’s life story in book form

Editor’s note: Johnny and Halie Wilson of Life Writers are son-in-law and daughter of the Town Crier’s co-publishers and editor. Longtime Idyllwilder Phil Thompson has completed and published a memoir focused on his globe-spanning career as a commercial deep-sea diver, “Where No Human Has Walked Before.” Locals may know him for his 20 years...

Sports: Volleyball

Will Steichen Recreation & Program DirectorIdyllwild Community Center Idyllwild Community Center Co-ed Volleyball season wrapped up with an exciting playoff weekend. Team Village Hardware turned its season around, winning all of the last seven games and continuing its roll all the way to the championships. The winning Co-ed Volleyball team...

Supervisors OK new mountain firefighting dip-tank

At its March 22 meeting, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved a request from the county fire department to purchase a dip-tank and a tilt-trailer to move it. Battalion Chief Robert Fish wrote in the justification to the board, “This will significantly improve response times for helicopter firefighting operations by reducing turn-around time...

Camp Ronald McDonald undergoing major renovation

The Riverside County Planning Commission unanimously approved revisions to the site plan at Camp Ronald McDonald in Mountain Center. The site in Mountain Center has been used as a youth camp since the early 1950s. Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times purchased the property in 1994. Diagram courtesy of Camp Ronald McDonald for...

Management plan for four wild and scenic rivers completed

The San Bernardino National Forest’s management plan for four rivers in the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains has been completed and is now in effect. Congress designated the rivers for preservation under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP), including supporting and other planning process documents, are available online at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=34053....

Scholarships for local students

Over the next few weeks, the Idyllwild Scholarship Fund board is requesting community donations to support scholarships for area 2022 high school graduates. The Idyllwild Scholarship Fund goes back to 1969 when three students were awarded “scholarships.” One was for $250, another for $100, and one student received a dictionary. In April 2021, six...

Fire lookout volunteers sought

The Fire Lookout Volunteer Program, one of the many volunteer programs of the Southern California Mountains Foundation (SCMF), is now recruiting volunteers to staff fire lookouts for the 2022 fire season. Fire Lookouts help protect the forest, local mountain communities, as well as communities along the forest boundary from the threat of fire. Fire Lookouts also act...

Around town photos

Jeff Watson of Dusty Loops playing the gazebo on a sunny 75° Friday afternoon in Idyllwild.PHOTO BY JOEL FEINGOLD Gelece Huckleby, who has served with the Mountain Center Post Office for the past three years, left March 26 for a new post as senior clerk with the U.S....

More thoughts on STR draft Ordinance 927

Editor’s note: Riverside County’s Planning Department has proposed major changes to Ordinance 927, “Regulating Short Term Rentals” (STRs). The draft is available for public comment. The March 10 edition of the Town Crier describes the significant differences between the current ordinance and the revised draft. The March 17 issue has a story discussing the...

U.S. Senate passes bill for permanent daylight saving time

Tuesday, March 15, the U.S. Senate approved “The Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced last year. The bill would make daylight saving time (DST) permanent. Beginning in 2023, we would no longer have to remember which Sunday in March is “spring forward” or when we “fall back” in November. While...

New book highlights famous local artist Jon Gnagy

Charles M. Province’s list of published works include no less that 11 titles about General George Patton, (including one focused on the allegation that he was assassinated by the powers that be). His latest work is “Jon Gnagy — America’s Art Teacher.” Gnagy, to those not old enough to remember, hosted a long-running series of art lessons...

Thoughts on short-term rentals draft

Riverside County’s Planning Department has proposed major changes to Ordinance 927, “Regulating Short Term Rentals” (STRs). The draft is available for public comment. (See the March 10 edition of the Town Crier for details on the proposed changes.) The existing ordinance was approved six years ago when STRs were raising hackles mostly in the...

New ICC building coming soon

By Stephanie YostIdyllwild Community Center President The long-awaited Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) building is soon to be a reality. After many years of planning and fundraising, and then more years of planning and fundraising, the new building is finally on track to be built. The new Idyllwild Community Center building....

Extra porta-potty at playground

By Stephanie Yost Idyllwild Community Center President Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) is pleased to announce the arrival of a second porta-potty at the Idyllwild Community Playground, which ICC operates. As with the current porta-potty, County Service Area (CSA) 36 funds covered the cost. ICC is aware that the single porta-potty at...

Festival film shot in Idyllwild

Filmmaker Jennifer Kramer’s entry in this year’s Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema (IIFC) has a connection to Idyllwild, having been filmed here. Nominated in eight categories, the film showcases Kramer’s versatility as auteur: writing, directing, acting, composing and performing the score. Jennifer KramerPHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER KRAMER Although passed over...

Short-term rental draft ordinance is much stricter

Last week, the Riverside County (RC) Planning Department released for public comment a revised draft of major changes to Ordinance 927, “Regulating Short Term Rentals” (STR). The current ordinance is five pages long. The revised draft is 17 pages, more than three times the length of the existing ordinance. Among the major changes to...

Idyllwild’s new postmaster has a diverse background

The Crier caught up with Idyllwild’s new postmaster this week. Mark A. Pererra displays a balance of cordiality, humility and military precision. He mentioned his Creole roots and two tours of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq. In response to a request for a biographical sketch, he submitted this brief note:

Head of school to leave legacy of inclusion

The Monday, March 7 conversation with Ron McCurdy on the Idyllwild Arts campus at 7:30 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 by the Ron McCurdy Quartet’s jazz performance in William M. Lowman Concert Hall, are representative of the efforts outgoing Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA) Head Marianne Kent-Stoll made to promote racial justice in a time...

Caltrans seeks public comments on Highway 243 plan

Caltrans is in the early stages of planning significant work on Highway 243 from Mountain Center to Banning. Planning is underway and funding has not been confirmed for the project. If it is approved, the work is likely to be lengthy and traffic control will be necessary, according to Terri Kasinga, chief of Public and Media Affairs...

Local in Ukraine just before war began

Local attorney and physical therapist Bill Whitman had a brush with the dark side of geo-politics this month. He had scheduled a visit to a clinic in Ukraine, but history in the form of the Russian military intervened: “Things started to get hot and I started looking for alternatives and while on layover in...

Record low temps set on the Hill

Yes, it was cold last week. Record-setting cold temperatures shattered several previous daytime record lows. The sunset on a recent winter’s night in Idyllwild.PHOTO BY JOEL FEINGOLD For three consecutive days, Tuesday to Thursday, Feb. 22 to 24, the daytime maximum temperature was the lowest in years. But by Friday...

Academy senior bassoonist is a rising star

Preston Atkins, 16, a senior bassoonist at Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA) who hails from Cedar Falls, Iowa, is preparing for a number of concerto competitions. His bassoon teacher, Martin Kuuskmann, is professor of bassoon at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music, making the trek to Idyllwild once a month to work with IAA’s double-reed students....

Hiker’s tragedy leads to new, local PCT safety program

Doug Lehar, father of deceased Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hiker Trevor Laher, has teamed up with two local businesses, a manufacturer of outdoor gear, and non-profit foundation to make it easier for PCT through-hikers approaching Idyllwild to make the trip safely. Doug (left) and his late son Trevor Laher.PHOTO COURTESY OF CATHERINE DONOVAN

What and why are they spraying around telephone poles?

Last week the Crier reported a citizen’s complaint about contractors working for Southern California Edison (SCE) spraying herbicide around power poles both along public roads and within the utility easement, and on private property. An SCE representative answered some of the questions and gave readers an update on SCE’s wider wildfire mitigation efforts. At that time, the...

Renowned dance company highlights Idyllwild Arts symposium

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25. It is merely the publicly accessible part of a much bigger and more ambitious annual Art in Society (AIS) Symposium at Idyllwild Arts. Register to attend at https://idyllwildarts.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Rs0-mxXDTDq_0q7iUCEpIA. Founded in 1979 in inner city Los Angeles by Lula and...

Around town photos

The Akers family of San Diego enjoy the seasonably warm weather in Idyllwild over the weekend.PHOTO BY JOEL FEINGOLD Tourists were out and about throughout the weekend downtown.PHOTO BY JOEL FEINGOLD

SCE’s herbicide spray and power programs in Idyllwild

Idyllwild residents have been noticing the activities of contractors working for Southern California Edison (SCE) as they perform activities related to the local power grid. In addition to trimming and cutting down trees, these contractors have been spraying herbicide around power poles as weed abatement. Complaints have been lodged regarding this mysterious green spray...

State to offer grants for individual home wildfire protection

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) and the Office of Emergency Services (OES) are evaluating a new type of grant to mitigate wildfire damage and destruction to individual homes. Grants for low- and moderate-income homeowners to protect their homes in the case of an approaching or in the midst of a wildfire are...

Saba writes book on case she tried in L.A.

Part-timer Taraneh Saba went from economics professor to lawyer, serving many years as a deputy district attorney. Leaving that behind, she has returned to her lifelong vocation as a storyteller to write a novel based on one of the most terrifying cases she tried. The cover of Taraneh Saba’s “Soraya.”PHOTO COURTESY OF TARANEH...

2022 film festival may be the last one

The 13th Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema (IIFC) opens online Tuesday, March 8. The final official day for viewing the more than 80 film selections is Sunday, March 13. Again in 2022, restrictions due to the COVID pandemic have limited the festival’s presence in Idyllwild. While the awards ceremony will still be live, it...

Steele cut in Phoenix; plays Riviera next

Brendan Steele turned in rounds of 75 and 68 to post a 1-over-par 143, which missed the cut by three strokes at the WM Phoenix Open last week. For the two days, the Idyllwild native’s drives averaged just under 319 yards while finding only half of the fairways, and he managed to hit two-thirds...

Dr. Marshall Hawkins of Idyllwild

Dr. Marshall HawkinsFILE PHOTO Marshall Hawkins, popular and renowned in Idyllwild as jazz bass musician, teacher and human being, received an honorary doctor of music performance degree Friday night from California Baptist University (CBU) in Riverside where, with Director of Jazz Studies and professor Dan St. Marseille, he co-led the CBU Jazz Ensemble...

Youthful and energetic, Kurani wants to represent Riverside in Washington

Shrina Kurani At 29 years old, Shrina Kurani is the youngest of the five candidates for the 41st Congressional seat and the one who grew up in the district.From Riverside and a valedictorian graduate of La Sierra High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Riverside. She traveled to...

Ken Calvert, new to the Hill, seeks reelection to Congress

Congressman Ken Calvert (right) on a Do It American tour. Editor’s note: On June 7, Riverside County will hold a primary to choose two candidates to face off in the November Gubernatorial Election for the U.S. Congressional District 41 seat. Five candidates are on the ballot. The Republicans are Rep. Ken Calvert, incumbent,...

Federal prosecutor Will Rollins seeks ballot box to unseat Calvert

Will Rollins in Palm Desert. Will Rollins is one of two Democrats seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Ken Calvert in the race to represent the 41st Congressional District. A new resident of Palm Springs, Rollins formerly lived in Canyon Lake, also in the 41st.As a result of the 2020 California Redistricting Commission’s decisions,...

Anna Nevenic seeks Congressional seat

Anna Nevenic Anna Nevenic is a No Party Preference candidate in the race for the 41st Congressional seat. However, many voters may recognize her as the frequent Democratic candidate in elections for state seats over the past decade.In 2010, she entered the race that former Sen. Bill Emmerson won to replace John Benoit...

Readers Write: For STRs, bypass the middle man

Dear editor:Now that Idyllwild is stuck with countless short-term rentals (STRs), here’s what we locals can do going forward.I just met a wonderful person who was staying across the street at an STR. I shared with them contact information for a friend who has an STR up the street with whom they just booked their next visit...

Packed shelters result in plea to public

Riverside County Department of Animal Services (DAS) is waiving all adoption fees indefinitely to offset the packed conditions at the county’s shelters in Jurupa Valley and Thousand Palms.Animal Services Director Erin Gettis made the decision to waive adoption fees to generate more interest in adoptions, and to make a plea to the public and to rescue organizations....

USDA loan/grant and helopod on PCWD agenda

Pine Cove Water District (PCWD) Board of Directors met in its last hybrid meeting Wednesday, May 11, before returning to its next scheduled meeting at the office at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 8.The board unanimously approved both meeting in person and the next meeting.Two important issues the board discussed were progress on the U.S. Department of Agriculture...

News of Record: May 19, 2022

Idyllwild FireThe Idyllwild Fire Protection District responded to these calls from Monday to Sunday, May 9 to 15. • May 9 — Dispatched & canceled en route, 2:30 a.m. Temecula Dr.• May 9 — Dispatched & canceled en route, 9:31 a.m. Temecula Dr.• May 9 — Public service assist, 4:08 p.m. Dickenson Rd.• May...

The labyrinth at St. Hugh’s

The labyrinth at St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church. Photo courtesy of St. Hugh’s By Mary KnabContributor Idyllwild, the place we all call home is a literal idyllic place where folks find peace, centering and healing.Surrounded by nature we find these things in the beauty and majesty in which we are immersed...

Glissading in the San Jacinto Wilderness

The northeast side of Jean Peak. Photo by Mark Dean By Mark DeanContributor I’ve lived in Idyllwild for much of my life, but never in my wildest dreams imagined the amazing extreme adventures hidden in our mountains.Recently, I started a hike from Humber Park to San Jacinto Peak, a normal hike...
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