Category: Current News

CHP Offers Driving Tips for Wet and Winter Weather

In anticipation of more winter weather this weekend (and in light of this morning’s 10-vehicle pileup due to fog and ice), the California Highway Patrol offers some driving tips—especially as, last year in California, 106 people were killed in collisions that occurred in either rainy, snowy or foggy conditions, and nearly 8,000 were injured in crashes in such weather. CHP officers suggest you make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. Also, anytime windshield wipers are in continuous use, it is the law to also have your vehicle’s headlights on. In inclement weather, allow more time and reduce your speed, as the posted speed limit may not apply to wet or icy road conditions. It is also the law to carry chains for your vehicle when in the mountains during the winter season; if ticketed for not carrying chains, the fine is $108. When traveling, the CHP also recommends that you carry not only chains, but a flashlight, flares, small shovel, windshield scraper, warm clothing, blanket, snacks, drinking water and a cell...

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Planning Commission Names Zimmerman as Chairman, Reviews Acosta Company’s Compliance Points

Anne Zimmerman has been named chairman of the City of Big Bear Lake’s Planning Commission, following a unanimous vote from fellow Commissioners Richard Lambert, David Caretto and Craig Smith; Commissioner Richard Hackney was not in attendance for Wednesday’s meeting. Lambert also received the unanimous support of his fellow commissioners, in being named the Planning Commission’s new vice chairman. In other news from the meeting of January 21, an update was provided on the status of the A.J. Acosta Company, which provides firewood processing, firewood sales and tree service at 42112 Big Bear Boulevard. According to the City’s Director of Community Services Phil Mosley, the Acosta Company was, in June of 2008, directed by the Commission to bring 18 compliance issues up to code by January 1, 2009—some of these issues were site improvements, such as installing an 8’ high decorative screen wall, and other points included operational modifications, including woodpile height and placement. As Mosley tells KBHR, “As of January 1, he was not in compliance with those 18 conditions of approval. As such, as stated in the resolution, Acosta’s Plot Plan Review was automatically revoked, so he is operating without required land use approval.” At present, the Acosta Company is in business but in violation of the City’s Municipal Code. Mosley further adds, “Because of the lapse, he has to apply for a new Conditional Use Permit. If...

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MAST Survey Indicates More Mountain Residents Are Creating Defensible Space

In two years’ time, 10.9% more mountain residents have thinned or removed trees from their property, according to survey results produced by the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce, a coalition comprised of government agencies, private companies and volunteer organizations in San Bernardino County. In October, 506 residents of the San Bernardino mountains, 127 second homeowners and 109 local business property owners and managers were randomly surveyed with regard to actions taken to protect properties from wildfire. Per San Bernardino County Fire Chief Peter Brierty, “These results confirm the effectiveness of our public education effort to raise the awareness of and participation in fire safety and wildfire prevention programs on the mountaintop.” The survey further indicated that 96% of residents had taken steps toward creating defensible space, and there was a 9% drop in those who did not take preventative steps because they didn’t know what to do. Compared to the survey of January 2007, 18% more residents and nearly 20% more non-residents were aware that trees should be spaced 20-30 feet apart; and nearly 15% more residents were aware of the term “Healthy Forest” and what that means. A key component of the MAST campaign in the last two years has been to increase the awareness of the Forest Care program (offered through the San Bernardino National Forest Association), which reimburses property owners up to 75% of the cost of...

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Fire Chief Willis Promotes Four Big Bear City Firefighters

Since establishment as a full-time department in 1989, the Big Bear City Fire Department continues to grow and, under the leadership of Fire Chief Jeff Willis (the fourth chief in the department’s 20 years), promotions for firefighters continue as well. As Willis put it before the Big Bear City Community Services District at their January 19 meeting, “We’re transitioning, to a new generation really.” Before the Directors of CSD, which oversees Bear City Fire, four of the department’s 20 firefighters were recognized and pinned. Firefighters Brian Lambert and Matt Fonda, both of whom started as paid-call firefighters, were each promoted to engineer. Two others, Tony Huefner and Brian Parham, were each promoted to captain following extensive training. While the new captains were being pinned by their wives, Tanya and Leslie, Chief Willis thanked the families of his department, emphasizing, “The importance of family and the spouses can’t be...

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Smoke May Be Visible as Pile Burns Continue on National Forest

Smoke may again be visible today, as U.S. Forest Service crews continue with hazardous fuels pile burns in the Barton Flats area, off Highway 38 near Angelus Oaks on the San Bernardino National Forest. Per Forest Fire Chief Mike Dietrich, “Burning slash piles is part of our overall operations to reduce the risk of wildfires potentially spreading into communities. Our standard practice is to evaluate the weather, forecasts, fuels conditions and adjust our operations accordingly, stopping and resuming as conditions warrant.” So, if you see smoke today—which, yesterday was visible even from Highway 330—know that these are controlled burns by the U.S. Forest...

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The Local Buzz

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