June 26 is the 177th day of the year, meaning we are five days away from the halfway point in 2019. As your year turned out like you expected it to so far?
Several monumental things have happened in the world’s history on June 26.
• The New York Daily News first published in 1919 on this date.
• The Berlin Airlift began on this date in 1948 as the U.S., Great Britain and France began ferrying supplies to the isolated western sector of Berlin after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes.
• President Harry S. Truman authorized the Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict in 1960.
• In 1973 former White House counsel John W. Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee about an enemies list kept by the Nixon White House.
• In 1996, the Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support.
• The Supreme Court struck down state bans on gay sex by a 6-3 vote in 2003.
• In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia as it affirmed by a 5-4 vote an individual’s right to gun ownership.
• And in 2019, Big Bear residents find themselves eight days away from the busiest time of the year — the
Fourth of July.
As Big Bear plans for the onslaught of summer visitors for the busiest holiday of the year, we think back on the first six months of 2019.
• The lake level rose dramatically after a bountiful winter that lasted longer than it has in recent memory. Replenish Big Bear is steadily moving forward with a project for water sustainability in the Valley. And there was water in Baldwin Lake and Baker Pond.
• Bear Valley Electric is in the planning stages of the Bear Valley Solar Energy Project with construction set to begin in the fall. The project goal is to improve reliability while providing a clean, local energy solution for the region.
• Trails around Big Bear Valley continue to be improved and maintained at a pace that was unheard of prior to the formation of the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation. Now part of the Southern California Mountains Foundation, the Trails Foundation’s Adopt-A-Trail continues to grow.
But not everything is rosy on the mountaintop. The SoCal Metroplex Project (part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System) created a nuisance for many Valley residents who object to the redirected flight paths to LAX directly over Big Bear Valley. These continuous flights have created a level of noise pollution that Big Bear has never experienced before. The FAA, which agreed to address the noise and flight paths over Lake Arrowhead to Ontario, has no plans to change or modify the flights over Big Bear at this time.
We have heard from numerous residents in the past year regarding this issue. The complaints are similar — “we moved to the mountains to get away from this noise.” Hundreds of commercial flights fly over Big Bear each day, equalling approximately one flight every three to six minutes.
The grassroots organization, Community Advocates of Big Bear, has joined with groups representing Idyllwild and Lake Arrowhead to ask the FAA to revise their flight paths to avoid the mountain communities.
For now, complaints can be sent to the FAA via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The more complaints filed, the greater chance the FAA will pay attention. It’s not a 100-percent full-proof plan, but until government officials representing the Big Bear area decide to get involved, it’s the best we’ve got.
The bottom line: the only big bang Big Bear residents want to hear is the sound of those fireworks over the lake on the Fourth of July.