As of July 1, my title will change from Editor/Co-publisher to just Co-publisher. We have hired Melissa Diaz Hernandez to take over the editor’s desk.
Jack and I will continue managing the business but not necessarily showing our faces every day at the office. We hope to do some traveling and home projects we haven’t been able to get to in these six years since we bought the Town Crier.
We have a highly competent staff with Halie, Mandy, Lisa and JP, and now with Melissa.
To the question, “Is the Town Crier still for sale?” Yes, it is still listed with Bob Hughes. But with the highway closures, we don’t expect much action for some time.
And speaking of highway closures, when have you heard of more freaky happenings on our public roads?
First, we have the Valentine’s Day rains that literallywiped out major portions of two of our important accesses to and from the Hill for an indefinite period of time. That in itself is truly bizarre.
I moved here in 1978 and never saw anything so ineffable happen to these highways. We’ve had a portion of one highway wiped out from flooding but nothing this severe in my years here.
Second, on a Friday night a few months ago, a large truck blocked our one access when it tipped over, spilling diesel all over Highway 243 south of Idyllwild — creating a hazmat situation that continued through the next day, a Saturday.
Third, Monday morning, a motorhome traveling south on Highway 74 south of Highway 243 also tipped over onto the southbound lane creating a one-lane situation for hours on our one access road.
At least with the second incident, people could take Saunders Meadow Road to get to and from Idyllwild.
Unbelievable. As one of my employees at the TC likes to say, “What next? Locusts?”
We have to be grateful that no major injuries or fatalities have occurred because of these incidents.
But as one whose healthcare providers are on the wrong side of the mountain (Fontana and San Bernardino), I greatly sympathize with anyone resident with health conditions requiring visits to anywhere but the desert, Anza or Temecula.
I canceled my annual physical exam this month because of additional hour required to get to Fontana.
Already, the distance had become a burden so we were seriously planning to move our healthcare to Beaumont since we live north of Pine Cove and also had a very good experience at the hospital there. Of course, that’s now out of the question with no estimate for when 243 will reopen north of us.
So, should we move our healthcare to the desert? To Temecula? Or should I just bite the bullet and drive to Fontana until the highway opens?
I see why people move off the Hill as they age. It’s mostly because of access to healthcare.
But these highway closures push the issue even further. Who wants to leave the Hill early in the morning to get to Hemet when they’re ill only to have to wait until 6 p.m. to come back home or drive an extra hour around? It’s no wonder I keep hearing of more and more elderly people selling and moving off the Hill.
Becky Clark, Editor

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