The April 19 issue of the Town Crier reported that the ICRC adopted a policy requesting donations from third parties for use of the ICC site.

At the time, they had “turned down Idyllwild Summer Concert Series promoter Ken Dahleen’s request to use the site at no charge for his [really our] upcoming series.”

I think this decision is an embarrasement to ICRC and a slap in the face to Mr. Dahleen and the members of this mountain top community. Ken has donated countless hours along with the efforts of many volunteers to bring this very popular event to Idyllwild for many years.

It is enjoyed by literally hundreds of people who live up here. Most people who live here can’t afford to pay $50 to $200 for a ticket to enjoy comparable entertainment off the Hill.

I’ve seen 4-year-old children and seniors, even older than me, dancing their hearts out at these events. I’ve also seen young couples spread a blanket out on the ground and set out a picknic basket and enjoy a $2 bottle of wine and join the children and seniors dancing up a storm in front of the band.

More Idyllwilders enjoy this event than all the other venues in town put together. I can’t help but wonder why the concert series is treated as an afterthought instead of the very first priority of the ICRC.

Secondly, I’m sure that when the citizens of this town came together many years ago as a community to build what we still call Town Hall, no one suspected that it would now be used to run a business out of.

The playground (also volunteer-built) is fenced off and not allowed to be used thanks to the county getting involved. It will now need more than $30,000 worth of improvements to turn it in to a boo booless play area. (Thank you, Riverside County.)

This playground has no climbing wall since I suspect the original designers decided none was needed since we are surrounded by world famous climbing areas five minutes from town.

There are currently four or five playgrounds in the area which see limited use due to red tape, government restrictions, insurance issures, etc.

I’m looking forward to the letters next week.

Bob Rahman


  1. Mr. Rahman~ I am Dawn Sonnier, Vice Chair of ICRC and General Coordinator of Idyllwild Community Playground. Since you think that that our Board’s decision to create a policy to ask for “suggested donations” for the use of the ICC property is “an embarrassment to ICRC and slap in the face to Mr. Dahleen”, I would like to encourage you to come to our monthly meetings so that you know firsthand what is being discussed and why we implement the policies that we do. This way you do not have a construed or uneducated opinion to what is happening in your community concerning the community property.

  2. I would like to inform you why we, ICRC, are asking all parties who reserve the site to give a “suggested donation.” ICRC pays property insurance ($3,000 per year), property taxes ($516 per year), water bill ($517 per year), Electricity ($360 per year) and has a handicapped accessible public restroom ($1214 per year) this totals to $5,607 per year. We wholeheartedly agree that this community owns the park and should be able to use the park, but ICRC holds the deed and therefore must pay all the bills required. We too are a non-profit organization (like Ken Dahleen and have also put in “donated countless hours”), and we have to accumulate the funding to cover the costs of the community owning a park. Without the funding, the property would not be insured and no public access would be allowed.

  3. I would also like to comment on your question of “why the concert series is treated as an afterthought instead of the very first priority of the ICRC.” It is not considered an afterthought; it is a priority on our large list of items we oversee. When we discussed the policy with Mr. Dahleen about the “suggested donation” (which is only $10 per concert for a total of $70) his responses was, “All is ok.” May I assure you that the Summer Concerts are on the ICRC calendar and are still going to be held at the site this year. Also, last year ICRC spent over $500, as a request from Mr. Dahleen, to remove concrete so that he can have easier access to install his stage and equipment for the concert series. This only shows the positive partnership we have with Mr. Dahleen and his event.

  4. My last response to you is about your playground issues. Currently we have 3 playgrounds in our area. The first playground is at the Elementary School only available during school hours for the children who attend the school. The second is a Town Hall, not available at this time. And the third is a 20 minute drive to Hurkey Creek and must pay a fee to use. Where are the other one/two you are writing about, I’m only curious as I have 3 kids and would love to take a look at them? Also, your concern about the community playgrounds is one of the main reasons why I am spearheading the future Idyllwild Community Playground. Our community does not have access to any local playgrounds and I want to make sure we have a safe, free and insured place to go and play. Also, so you are informed, this is not just a playground for the children (with 3 climbing walls I might add) but it is a park for you Mr. Rahman… to enjoy! We will have a gazebo with picnic tables, park benches, game tables to play chess/checkers, and unique pieces of art to admire. This is a community-built playground that begins on June 13 and I hope to see you there!
    Dawn Sonnier