The year 2018 in review

Calimesa has its own in-house Fire Department as of Jan. 1.

JANUARY

Fire department services for Calimesa are officially transferring from Cal FIRE to its own department at midnight on Jan. 1. Calimesa had previously relied on Cal FIRE for the past 27 years.

A marijuana dispensary operating illegally on Yucaipa Boulevard is being shut down by police and code enforcement. The business was operating in the former location of the Green Valley Spa and Health Center, near Subs of USA.

The Big 5 on Yucaipa Boulevard holds its grand opening, along with a new ARCO and AM-PM on Oak Glen Road.

The city of Yucaipa’s user fees are reviewed in a study session by city officials, who are proposing the first increase since 1992. City council members are suggesting a phased approach and 80 percent cap on the increase.

Calimesa Country Club operator Art Braswell says he has no plans to re-open the facility due to concerns about its profitability. The special events center, which is used for banquets and weddings, will remain open.

Former Yucaipa resident Christopher Rampoldt dies in a plane crash after taking off from Buchanan Field Airport in Concord, near San Francisco. Rampoldt was flying a Cessna 152 airplane.

FEBRUARY

Calimesa Mayor Jeff Hewitt decides to run for the 5th District seat of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Hewitt says he is concerned about the fiscal health of the county in the midst of rising costs for police and fire services.

An audit of Calimesa city government finds a slight increase in the city’s general fund. Officials attribute the increased figure to savings in some expenditures as well as a small increase in revenue.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors votes to delay a decision on the construction of the proposed Lazor Broadcast Tower at Wildwood Canyon State Park. Board members agree to revisit the issue in March.

Oak Glen gets a few inches of snow after temperatures drop below freezing on Feb. 18 and 19.

MARCH

Yucaipa Planning Commission denies a permit for the construction of a gas station at the Vons parking lot on Yucaipa Boulevard in a close 4-3 vote. Locals say that it could adversely affect traffic in the area.

Yucaipa and Calimesa sign an agreement to cooperate on improvements to County Line Road. The elements include roundabouts, gutter and curb improvements, and bicycle lanes.

Hundreds of Yucaipa High School students stage a walk-out to protest gun violence in the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. School district officials praise the orderly and peaceful nature of the protest, which lasts 17 minutes.

The inaugural Raise the Roof Bulls and Barrels Rodeo plays to a sold-out crowd and raises money for the Dottie Potter memorial cover over the Yucaipa Equestrian Arena. Over 80 local and regional businesses sponsor the event.

APRIL

Yucaipa City Council recognizes April as “National Pickleball Month” amid the sport’s growing popularity in the city. Former city council member Diane Smith, chosen as the sport’s local ambassador by its national governing body, speaks at the council meeting.

Crafton Hills College hosts the “Eyes of Freedom” exhibit honoring military veterans. The traveling art show, hosted by the Lima Company Memorial, started in 2008 at the Ohio Statehouse.

Calimesa Fire Department holds an open house to celebrate its recent establishment in the city. City officials praise the work and impact the fire department has had on the safety of the local community.

Yucaipa city government holds a “State of the City” address and luncheon. Mayor Greg Bogh touts the city’s healthy financial reserve, and City Manager Ray Casey discusses completed infrastructure projects.

In a contentious meeting, Yucaipa City Council votes 4-1 to send a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown opposing Senate Bill 54, a state law that makes California a “sanctuary state.” The state measure limits cooperation between statewide and local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Councilmember Denise Allen casts the sole opposing vote, saying that it was a not a matter for the city to take up.

MAY

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors votes 3-2 to allow the construction of the Lazer Broadcast Tower above the Wildwood Canyon State Park in Yucaipa. Citizens for the Preservation of Rural Living, a local group opposing the project, says that they will consider a lawsuit under the California Environmental Quality Act, to stop the tower.

The Seventh Annual Yucaipa Music and Arts Festival is a big hit with local residents. Headliners include jazz and swing group Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, country singer and guitarist James Wesley, and 1980s New Wave rock band Missing Persons.

One leg of the 34th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic zooms through Yucaipa on May 3. American cyclist Thomas Revard grabs first place in the men’s race, while German-born Jasmin Duehring wins the top spot in the women’s contest.

The Yucaipa Equestrian Arena Committee presents a check in the amount of $30,000 to city council to go towards the construction of the Dottie Potter Memorial Arena Cover. The money was raised from the Raise the Roof Bulls and Barrels Rodeo that took place in March.

Yucaipa Police Department’s new lieutenant, James Porter, is introduced to city council and the community. He has been with San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for 22 years and is a resident of Yucca Valley.

JUNE

Community leaders, veterans, and local residents pay tribute to past and present military servicemembers at the Veterans Day ceremony at Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Calimesa. The theme of this year’s ceremony is the flag, and the program focuses on the history and symbolism of the Stars and Stripes.

The gas station at the Vons parking lot on Yucaipa Boulevard is approved by Yucaipa City Council in a 3-2 vote after being previously rejected by the Planning Commission. The council added a number of stipulations meant to ease traffic concerns voiced by the public.

Calimesa City Council approves a new budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year as well as an agreement for the construction of the new Summerwind Trails development. The project includes a town center, commercial area, and almost 4,000 dwelling units.

The Yucaipa High School baseball team wins the CIF Southern Division Division 2 title, beating out the nationally ranked Beckman High School Patriots by a score of 8-1. The team was treated to a community celebration as the team bus ride down Yucaipa Boulevard. Pitcher Tyson Heaton limits the Patriots to six hits.

season with a 1.37 ERA.

JULY

Yucaipa gets its own radio station in the form of 92.5 KQLH. Playing “the songs that built America’s Main Street” the station broadcasts oldies as a Low Power FM community radio station.

In a report presented to city council, Assistant City Manager Greg Franklin shows that the city is in good fiscal shape with an overall General Fund balance of about $50 million. Franklin says that tax revenues are trending upwards, and the city has been able to keep spending below that figure.

The Valley Fire burns over 1,300 acres in Forest Falls, leading to evacuations of residents and campers at Forest Home Christian Camp. The heavily rugged terrain makes containing the blaze difficult, but there are no injuries or structural damage as a result of the fire.

Yucaipa kicks off its free “Concerts in the Park” series with an energetic performance from Southern California based cover group “The Answer” at the Yucaipa Community Park Amphitheater.

AUGUST

Crafton Hills College appoints Dr. Audre Levy as its interim president as the school searches for a permanent leader.

Olympic Gold Medal winning BMX bicyclist Māris Štrombergs puts on a clinic at Yucaipa BMX for local aspiring bicyclists. Representing his native Latvia, Štrombergs won gold at the 2008 games at Beijing and the 2012 competition in London.

Third grade Chapman Height Elementary School teacher Lisa Topoleski is awarded Teacher of the Year by the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District. Topoleski credits the flexibility given by the district for allowing her to succeed in the classrooms.

Yucaipa City Council votes to send a letter to the state Bureau of Cannabis Control opposing a change in regulations regarding marijuana. Councilmembers and staff argued that the new rules would make it harder for local governments to set limits on dispensaries and other marijuana-related businesses within their communities.

SEPTEMBER

Antique businesses hold their inaugural “Uptown Vintage Market” on California Street in Historic Uptown Yucaipa. The event gives local artisans and shop owners the opportunity to share their wares with the community.

Yucaipa Police Chief James Williams presents the mid-year crime report to city council. The report states that traffic citations and calls for service saw increases compared to the same point last year.

Yucaipa Fire Chief Ron Janssen also gives a midyear report for his department. Records show that YFD saw an increase in calls but managed to decrease average response time.

The Yucaipa Calimesa Community Homeless Coalition holds a talk with public health expert Dr. Manzoor Massey concerning the issue of homelessness in the community. Massey says that the solution lies with developing a “wellness village” or network of community service organizations that can provide aid to the most vulnerable.

OCTOBER

A “candidates forum” is held by the Yucaipa Valley Chamber of Commerce at Yucaipa City Hall for incumbents and challengers running in the upcoming midterm election. Candidates vying for the District 1 city council seat, school board and water board participate.

Yucaipa City Council approves an agreement with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the construction of an I-10 freeway interchange at Wildwood Canyon Road. The project will be divided into three phases, and council members express optimism that the project will help ease traffic and contribute to economic growth in the community.

The Seventh Annual AutumnFest event takes place in Historic Uptown Yucaipa with fun activities, food vendors, and a musical performance from Beatles tribute band “4 Lads from Liverpool”. The second day of the event, however, is cancelled due to rain.

Yucaipa City Council votes to change the rules for the mayoral selection process to allow for more rotation among city council members. Under the new system, mayors cannot serve consecutive one-year terms. City council members expressed a desire to see more people serve in city leadership.

Crafton Hills College hosts a forum for candidates running for seats on the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees. Two of Yucaipa’s Area 6 candidates, Dr. Stephanie Houston and Dr. James Holbrook, attend the event.

NOVEMBER

The Yucaipa community holds its annual “Make a Difference Day” event, in which community service projects are completed at public facilities across town. This year, volunteers planted trees at Five Winds Ranch, beautified Yucaipa High School and Inland Leaders Charter School, and planted milkweed seeds to help increase the local population of monarch butterflies.

Local journalist and beloved community member Darrel Teeters dies after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Yucaipa Boulevard and Bryant Street. Teeters was the publisher of the Valley Messenger, a free local newspaper.

Yucaipa City Councilman David Avila wins re-election in a closer than expected race against challenger Wyatt Padgett. Calimesa Mayor Jeff Hewitt is elected Riverside County Supervisor for District 5, defeating former State Assemblyman Russ Bogh in a very close race. Dr. Stephanie Houston is elected to the San Bernardino County Community College Board of Trustees. Bruce Granlund and Jay Bogh are re-elected to the Yucaipa Valley Water District, while incumbent Tom Shalhoub is defeated by former Calimesa Mayor Joyce McIntire.

Yucaipa holds its annual Veteran’s Day ceremony at the Yucaipa Community Park amphitheater. The keynote speaker, Congressman Raul Ruiz, speaks about the importance of veterans’ healthcare.

Oak Glen farmers and growers celebrate the end of apple season with their annual Apple Butter Festival. The abundant crop allows orchards to offer U-Pick later in the year and to enjoy apple treats up to the festival weekend.

DECEMBER

Five members of Yucaipa Police Department are given the “Lifesaving Award” by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for action they took to save lives in the community. The recipients are Deputies Jeff McDaniel, Nick Silva, Jeffrey Moss, Christian Cordoba, and Sergeant Mike Huntsman.

The Yucaipa community holds its 64th annual Christmas parade in the Historic Uptown area. Unlike previous years, this year’s parade is organized by the local Rotary Club. The theme of the event is “Hometown Heroes: A Salute to Freedom”, and the procession is accompanied by a flyover of a World War II era plane.

The fifth annual WinterFest event takes place right after the Christmas parade on Yucaipa Boulevard. Unlike AutumnFest earlier in the year, attendees are greeted with clear skies and favorable weather. One of the most popular attractions is the snow hill located next to the still under construction Yucaipa Performing Arts Center. Children and adults alike enjoy sledding down the frosty incline.

Yucaipa City Councilmember Bobby Duncan is chosen as the city’s new mayor by council vote, and Councilmember David Avila is chosen as Mayor Pro Tem. Duncan says that his priorities are the development of the I-10 freeway corridor and the College Village project near Crafton Hills College.

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