Wednesday, October 08, 2008 Host Candidate Forum

Local candidates oppose proposed sludge composting site

October 8, 2008 - 4:23PM

“We found some good ones here. We see a couple of people who are willing to stand up.” Bill Thomlinson, Barstow resident

HINKLEY • They had different names for it — poop plant, hazardous waste site, human feces dump. The had different solutions — cover it, run it out of town, legislate it into impossibility. But all the candidates, from school boards to the U.S. House of Representatives, strongly opposed the proposed sludge composting plant in Hinkley.

Twenty-two candidates who will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot spoke to Hinkley and residents from the surrounding communities Tuesday night during a candidate forum at the Hinkley Fire Hall. Hinkley residents cannot vote in many of the races represented Tuesday night, but forum organizer and moderator Norm Diaz said he wanted the night to highlight the relationship between Barstow and the surrounding rural communities of Hinkley, Daggett, Yermo and Newberry Springs.

Most pressing to many residents in Hinkley is the Nursery Products composting site proposed for the old Hawes Airfield outside of the town. Spearheaded by the group, residents and supporters from Barstow and other communities have been fighting to keep the plant out of the community for years. Carmen Hernandez and others said that since Barstonians breathe the same air and drink the same water as Hinkley, the composting plant is Barstow’s problem as well.

“You shouldn’t be calling it sludge,” said Nathaniel Pickett, a candidate for mayor. “Call it hazardous waste. If you want to defeat something, you have to call it what it is.”

Pickett stopped short of promising Hinkley to rid the community of the proposed plant, saying he could offer advice and guidance on how to fight it. Other candidates also pledged support for Hinkley in fighting the plant.

Some candidates proposed solutions to the plant. Gene Deaton, running for City Council, said that if Nursery Products does not enclose the plant, they should not be allowed to build it. Marvin Ellis suggested pushing for legislation that would make it illegal to ship sludge long distances.

Erika Schneider has lived in Hinkley for 40 years and liked hearing all the candidates speak against the composting plant. Norm Sheppeard, who lives in Barstow Heights but feels the proposed composting plant will pollute the air around him, said that he too appreciated the support from all the candidates.

“They all sounded good,” said Hinkley resident Floyd Burns. “Everybody is against it, but...”

Floyd and his wife Jean worried that the candidates lacked plans to stop the facility from coming. What they liked hearing, they said, was plans from the school board candidates to start more vocational education training and the prospects for the area’s economy.

“Kids need to be prepared for jobs,” Jean said.

“We need more jobs here,” Floyd replied.

In attendance

Joe Gomez
Nathaniel Pickett
(Mayor Lawrence Dale had a prior commitment to Tips for Tots, a fund-raiser for the Toys for Tots program, and could not attend. A letter from Dale addressing the people of Hinkley will be available at

Gene Deaton
Marvin Ellis
Carmen Hernandez
Tim Saenz
Richard Villegas

Ace Acevedo
Julie Clemmer
Mary Rodriguez
Paul Wilkey

Fred Baca
Ted Baca
Bob Conaway
Linda Wyman-DeWald
Marcia Zableckis

Eddie Garcia

Kimberly Cox
Ellen Johnson

Linda Jones (D)

Jackie Conaway (D)

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4121 or

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mayor Dale, Ron Rector Inflate Values to Benefit Friends


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Barstow's Mayor & his aide artificially inflate real estate values to benefit pals

In late 2000, Lawrence Dale defeated Barstow's incumbent Mayor Katy Yslas-Yent. Dale had never ran for political office but was a very loyal retiree of BNSF Railroad and a candidate of the local good ol' boys -- the Barstow area's establishment ... businessmen who've controlled things in Barstow for years and who meet every morning in Leonard Purdy's auto garage at Barstow Tire & Break.

In 2001, Dale immediately hired Ron Rector as Economic Development Director for the City of Barstow. Rector was previously executive director of a failed Hi-Desert economic development consortium.

While the turn over at Barstow City Hall has been unusually high since Dale's been Mayor; Ron Rector, despite his failure to make any measureable progress in Barstow's economic development the last seven years, has remained on the payroll.

Since 2001, Dale & Rector have used their positions to manufacture circumstances that articially inflate property values to the advantage of the local land speculators, some of whom are among the contingent of those who meet each morning for coffee and Purdy's garage.

In particular, Dale & Rector have unfairly helped their friends obtain land in tax foreclosure and bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar -- land their friends flipped to wealthy investors from outside the area for thousands more than they paid.

They've promoted public works projects that require state agencies to acquire land at inflated prices owned by their pals.

Frequently involved in their schemes are real estate broker Joseph W. Brady and real estate syndicator Quang Pham (or Pham Quang). Also involved are Santa Clarita-based intimates of Rep. Buck McKeon including Hunt Braly.

Since 2003, Dale & Rector have used the city's PR machine to suggest that Barstow would be home to a casino resort and a large Wal-Mart distribution center, plus large-scale residential real esate developments among other things -- but nothing ever materializes.

These projects have yet to be built, let alone break ground -- and in fact, the casino project has been turned down multiple times in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. There has been no official word from the Wal-Mart corporation on the future of the 1 million square feet distribution center.

But the Mayor's continued promotion of these two projects has grossly inflated land values in and around Barstow to the benefit of the Mayor's friends. And among others, the business partners and family members of Barstow City Councilman Steve Curran have benefited financially from artificially inflated real estate sales prices.

In 2006, an entity known as Barstow Industrial Park LLC acquired land from Overland Lenwood LTD near the proposed Wal-Mart facility and took out a $22.5 million mortgage to do so. The same property had a previous assessed value of just $2.8 million. Property in Barstow generally ranges from $5,000 - $25,000 and acre.

In 2004, Quang Pham (or Pham Quang), with the City's help, obtained land through tax sale for pennies on the dollar and then one year later sold it to Irvine-based National Trails Properties LLC for nearly $7.3 million. The property's assessed value is only $1.2 million.

And Dale has served as lobbyists for BNSF. Dale's made frequent trips to BNSF headquarters in Kansas & Texas but never reported any gifts or travel paid for by BNSF; and Dale's used his official capacity and title as Mayor lobbying on Capitol Hill for BNSF's benefit. It's not clear if the Barstow City Council ever officially gave Dale the authority to lobby on BNSF's behalf.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mitzelfelt must amend campaign forms

Mitzelfelt must amend campaign forms

By Ryan Orr, staff writer
Desert Dispatch
July 7, 2008 - 4:55PM

SACRAMENTO — The California Fair Political Practices Commission has advised San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt that he must amend his campaign statements following a complaint made during his campaign.

A complaint filed in early May alleged that a developer had set up phony corporations to make contributions to Mitzelfelt.

The complaint was filed by Apple Valley citizen Sharon Gilbert, who operates a blog that regularly criticizes county government.

“It appears that Young Homes has set up phony corporations to make campaign contributions so that it does not appear that those contributions are coming from a developer,” Gilbert states in her formal complaint.

The letter from the FPPC does not allege any violations by Mitzelfelt’s campaign.

“Advisory letters inform people of their requirement under the political reform act and how to meet those requirements,” said Roman Porter, spokesman for the FPPC.

According to the advisory letter, the FPPC has closed the matter without further investigation but has advised Mitzelfelt he must amend his campaign statements to include the full name of the major donor for the contributions from Young Homes, Avenal Finance LLC and Neoteric Entertainment, Inc.

That major donor is Reggie King, who said he supports Mitzelfelt through every company out there. King said he is a minority partner in Young Homes, 100 percent owner of Neoteric Entertainment, a Nevada Corporation, and Avenal Finance.

“There’s never been any attempt by me to hide what we give to whom,” King said at the time the complaint was filed.

Furthermore, King said that Young Homes has never done a project in the 1st District.

He said that he signed his name on all the checks and tends to consolidate contributions.

On the California Secretary of State’s Web site the contributions made are listed under Young Homes and affiliated entities, which include Neoteric Entertainment and Avenal Finance.

In all, since 2007 the consolidated companies have given $110,000 to Mitzelfelt’s campaign.

Court orders county to re-examine proposed Hinkley composting facility

Court orders county to re-examine proposed Hinkley composting facility

July 6, 2008 - 10:16AM

BARSTOW — A Barstow judge finalized his order to San Bernardino County to revisit its approval of a proposed composting facility near Hinkley. The order means that the county will begin work on a new study of the environmental impacts of the facility, which has been the subject of a court battle for more than a year.

Judge John Vander Feer of the San Bernardino County Superior Court in Barstow issued a judgment on June 23, which made official the ruling he had issued on April 11. The order stated that the county must prepare a new environmental impact report on the Hawes Composting Facility slated to be built by Nursery Products LLC about eight miles west of Hinkley. The open-air facility approved by the county would mix semi-solid waste products, including human waste, with green materials to create compost. Community members in Hinkley have opposed the facility based on concerns about air and water contamination.

Vander Feer ruled that there were two issues with the environmental impact report prepared by Nursery Products that need to be addressed — it did not identify the water source to be used for the composting facility, and it did not examine the possibility of enclosing the composting operation in a building rather than constructing an open-air facility.

He ordered the county to suspend all physical work on the facility and set aside its existing environmental impact report and its approval of the project until those two issues can be resolved to the court’s satisfaction.

Now that the final judgment has been issued, opponents of the composting facility say that the county will be forced to start over in evaluating the proposal. Ingrid Brostrom, an attorney with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, which represents the Hinkley residents, said the judge’s final order means that the county will have to start over from scratch in its evaluation, rather than simply updating the existing environmental impact report and conditional use permit.

“The Board of Supervisors is basically going to have to reapprove the project, if that’s what they’re going to do,” she said. “... Basically, it’s going to give our clients and the county another chance to consider the costs of approving such a project.”

Chris Seney, director of operations with Nursery Products, said he does not anticipate much difficulty in fixing the two issues identified by the judge. The water for the facility will come from a well, he said. As for enclosing the composting facility, Seney said it would not only cost more but would produce more emissions, since an enclosed facility would need to run on electric power rather than solar power, which was expected to power the open-air facility.

Norm Diaz, an organizer with, said that enclosing the facility would alleviate concerns about air and groundwater contamination from the composting operation.

“If you build a state-of-the-art enclosed facility that captures the gasses and the dust, I think we’d take it,” he said.

Nursery Products will pay for the additional work to be done on the environmental impact report, but contractors hired by the county will perform the work, said Nursery Products president Jeff Meberg. The initial environmental impact report cost about $280,000, Meberg said. He did not have an estimate of the cost of reworking the report but said the work will likely go quickly now that the judge has issued his final order.

Bart Brizzee, deputy county counsel with San Bernardino County, said the county still has to determine whether it will need to complete an entirely new environmental impact report or simply update the existing report.

Contact the writer:

(760) 256-4123 or

Air board extends deadline to comment on composting rules
BARSTOW — The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District extended the deadline for public comment on preliminary draft rules that would govern composting facilities until Aug. 8.

The proposed rules, which were mailed out for public comment June 5, would require composting facilities that accept more than 100,000 wet tons of compostable material to be enclosed if the levels of very fine particulate matter in the air of the district rise above a federally-defined level. Under that rule, the Hawes Composting Facility would not currently be required to enclose its facilities, but could be required to in the future, if air contamination levels in the district rise, said supervising air quality engineer Alan De Salvio. members spoke at several air-board meetings and asked the board to enact a strict rule that would force Nursery Products to enclose the facility.

After the public comment period, the air board will likely hold a public workshop on the rule and will write another draft of the rule, which will be opened up to public comment again before it goes to the board for approval, De Salvio said.

Make public comments in writing by mailing them to MDAQMD at 14306 Park Avenue, Victorville, CA 92392.

To get a copy of the preliminary draft rule, call De Salvio at 760-245-1661 ext. 6726.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Reeb (the Dweeb) parrots GOP's Obama smear campaign

Desert Dispatch Letters to the editor - June 18, 2008

June 17, 2008 - 9:56AM

Reeb (the Dweeb) parrots

GOP's Obama smear campaign


Ira Gwin

It’s a temptation to refute Mr. Reeb’s latest sly and cunning smear against Senator Barack Hussein Obama point by point (”Obama a risky and cunning candidate,” June 11). The veiled reference to the Senator’s middle name is particularly despicable, especially from someone who reportedly taught journalism and therefore fully understands the impact of innuendo.

After all the revelation on the road to war, the lies from the Bush administration, the erosion of our liberties, the deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers, the murder of countless Iraqi civilians, and the cost of $12 billion every month that we are borrowing from our children and grandchildren, Mr. Reeb is upset that Senator Obama was against the war, does not support this government’s war policies, and has promised to end it and get our troops out as quickly as possible.

But a direct response to Reeb’s desperate defense of the worst Republican Administration since Reagan will not change his mind, or the minds of readers who still believe that another four years of Bush Lite in the guise of John McCain would be just fine. I believe most people have already decided between the two candidates and from now until the elections we will all be plowing the same ground and slinging the same mud.

There may be a few people out there who haven’t made up their minds, and both parties will do what they can to win them over. To help them decide, here are a few points to consider.

One: If you like our energy policy, or lack thereof, if you like paying $5 plus for gas, if you enjoy seeing your president on his knees begging the Saudi Kings for a little more oil, if you are happy that the oil companies are sucking your paycheck right into their pockets, vote for McCain.

Two: If you don’t think it’s really important how many Americans are still in Iraq, if you think we could and should be there for the next 100 years, if you don’t care if we have a plan for the vets and their continued health care, vote Republican.

Three: If you like giving tax breaks to the top one percent of the population, if you really believe that big corporations are your friends, if you don’t mind that your jobs are going overseas, if you believe that unions are un-American, then vote for John McCain. Four: If you really believe the only way to deal with foreign nations, including dictators, is down the barrel of a gun, then stay the Bush/Cheney course with four more years of McCain.

Or you could stand up, take your country back, and vote for change. You could vote for an administration that would honestly work to wean this economy from a dependency on foreign oil to survive. We could make a commitment to leave Iraq and bring our troops home as soon as possible, we would have to negotiate a pull-out with the neighboring countries so everyone would have a stake in a stable Iraq, and we would abandon our bases and imperial designs on the region. We cannot morally nor economically sustain an empire based on military might and fear. The Romans couldn’t, the British couldn’t, and neither can we.

The Republican slander machine is just getting started and in the coming weeks there will be many more articles like the one from Reeb. Karl Rove no longer openly soils the halls of the White House, but his dirty tricks playbook is still being studied by apologists like Reeb and the McCain Republican machine.

Ira Gwin

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Brad Mitzelfelt is BAD for Barstow !

Stop Brad Mitzelfelt's Environmental Human Sludge Disaster
No More Crap From Brad Mitzelfelt !
A Video by Larry D. Halstead

Letter to the Editor
Desert Dispatch

Outdoor Composting
Human Waste Sludge
Jeffrey Quillinan

I am very concerned about the proposed Hawes Composting Facility, slated to be built by Nursery Products LLC about eight miles west of Hinkley, just outside of Barstow, to process Las Angeles sewage into fertilizer. If such a facility must come this close to our shared community, I would certainly hope it is an enclosed facility and not an open-air facility. We have very high winds in the Hinkely and Barstow area throughout the year. These high winds can carry human feces particles in the dust all the way from this open-air composting facility to Barstow, thus contaminating our air above any reasonably acceptable levels. We Barstonians know this by dusting our homes daily.

I would only approve of this composting facility if it were an enclosed facility. An enclosed facility would be the only proven way to protect our entire town from unacceptable levels of feces contaminated dust in our air and in our homes.
I am very concerned about any level of human waste contamination in our air as well as our water supply. Is this composting facility going to be another problem such as the Soap Mine Road contamination of their drinking water by our sewer plant? If this is so, there should be a lot more studies done to protect the citizens of Barstow before this is built. Let's not forget, Barstow is downstream from Hinkley in our water supply.

Therefore I am asking every concerned citizen reading this to please write to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District at the following address: MDAQMD at 14306 Park Avenue, Victorville, CA 92392. Please address your letter of concern to Alan De Salvio. He is the supervising air quality engineer. Please urge him that if this composting facility is going to come this close to our community, be sure that they make it an enclosed composting facility.
The MDAQMD has extended the deadline for public comment on preliminary draft rules that would govern composting facilities until Aug. 8.

As a town we should all stand together on this highly important issue effecting us all. The more letters that get written, the more they will realize that the majority of us are very concerned about this situation and the health problems it may cause us.
So please write them before it's too late to prevent an open-air composting facility from coming too close to our homes and communities. Thank you.

Jeffrey Quillinan

Barstow railyard emissions seen as increased risk of cancer

Trains sit in the BNSF Barstow Railyard, which experiences
traffic of about 100 to 130 trains a day. The yard emitted
an estimated 27.9 tons of diesel pollutants in 2005.

Barstow railyard emissions seen as increased risk of cancer

Residents near yards in other cities worse off

BARSTOW — Barstow’s railyard emits more diesel pollution than any other yard in the state, meaning that people who live near by are at a heightened risk for cancer, according to a study.

The BNSF Barstow Railyard emitted almost 28 tons of diesel pollutants into the air in 2005, according to a risk assessment completed by the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board. It was the highest level of emissions found in any of the 17 yards that the air board studied. Air board and BNSF representatives presented the results at a meeting at Barstow’s City Hall on Wednesday night.

People living closest to the railyard face a 25 times higher risk of cancer from air contamination than people living a mile and half away, the study stated. However, Barstow residents are not at the highest risk of the cities studied.

The air board found that people living near the BNSF San Bernardino railyard are at the highest risk of cancer relating to diesel pollution even though the yard emits less pollutants than Barstow’s yard. About 3,780 people in San Bernardino have increased risk of 500 chances in a million or more due to the railyard pollution. That level of risk does not exist in Barstow, said the air board’s engineering evaluation section manager Harold Holmes. San Bernardino also has a higher level of underlying air contamination than Barstow.

Holmes said that the high winds in Barstow, which generally blow from southwest to the northeast, carry most of the air contamination from the railyard away from the residential areas of Barstow.

BNSF representatives said the company is taking measures to decrease its railyard emissions, including installing equipment to reduce the amount of engine idling and making a switch to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

Mike Stanfill of BNSF projected that with the current emissions-reduction plans, total emissions in the Barstow yard will be reduced by 28 percent in 2020, assuming a four percent growth rate in the yard’s operations.

BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent said that freight trains create less emissions than semi trucks per ton-mile. In the Barstow area, the air board study showed traffic on Interstate 15 and other local roadways emitted about 26 tons of diesel pollutants in 2005. Barstow has one of the busiest railyards in the state, with 100 to 130 trains passing through each day, Holmes said. The locomotive traffic accounts for about 97 percent of the diesel pollution emitted from the yard, with the other 3 percent coming from off-road vehicles, trucks and other equipment.

Andrea Hricko, an associate professor in preventative medicine at the University of Southern California, believes that voluntary measures may not do enough to decrease emissions. Diesel emissions are associated not only with cancer but with asthma and other health issues, she said.

The Environmental Protection Agency lists one in one million as an acceptable level of risk for cancer due to lifetime air pollutant exposure, but cleanup requirements generally only expect contaminants to be brought down to a 10 in one million risk level, according to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Holmes said that pollution from the BNSF Barstow yard could become more of a concern as the population grows, especially if development occurs to the northeast of the railyard.

Marsha Weasma, who lives off Main Street facing B Hill, said she was not surprised to see that her house’s location puts her at a heightened risk of cancer, but the numbers still cause her some concern. Weasma was one of only four citizens who showed up at the air board meeting on Wednesday. She said more of her neighbors would likely have come if the event had been better publicized.

As for the pollution reduction measures outlined, she said, “It sounds good in theory, but it’s like, is it going to be put into practice? ... It’s probably 20 years too late.”

Holmes said the ARB will be accepting public comments on the draft health risk assessment for the next 30 days and will be releasing a final version of the assessment within 45 days. After that, another meeting will be held in Barstow to help the air board develop a plan for mitigating the health risks.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or

Tons of diesel pollutants emitted by selected California railyards in 2005:
• BNSF Barstow: 27.9
• BNSF Hobart: 23.9
• BNSF San Bernardino: 22
• Union Pacific Oakland: 11.2
• Union Pacific Los Angeles: 7.3
• BNSF San Diego: 1.7

Number of people experiencing a heightened cancer risk due to diesel pollution from the BNSF Barstow Railyard:
• Cancer risk heightened by 250 or more chances in a million: 860 people
• Cancer risk heightened by 100 to 250 chances in a million: 3,600 people
• Cancer risk heightened by 50 to 100 chances in a million: 5,000 people
• Cancer risk heightened by 25 to 50 chances in a million: 6,500 people
• Cancer risk heightened by 10 to 25 chances in a million: 6,100 people

Risk of cancer due to air pollution in Barstow, not taking into account the railyard: 120 chances in a million.

Source: Draft Health Risk Assessment for the BNSF Barstow Railyard, California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board.

Smith, angry at campaign tactics, suggests supporting Democrat

Smith, angry at campaign tactics, suggests supporting Democrat

Note-I know Bob personally and have always found him to be a respectful person. More than once I have told him that I appreciate his respectful treatment of me and how I see him as honorable. As the recently elected Chair of the 34th AD Democratic Committee, I am involved with our candidate, Desmond Farrelly. Desmond is an outstanding candidate and we were really looking forward to contesting this seat with Bob because he is someone we felt we could have an honest debate over the issues that are critical to the citizens of Barstow and the entire 34th AD. We need to do a lot more to protect our environment, create jobs through alternative energy, and improve our education, just to name a few.

Now Connie Conway has stooped to a new low in the level of sleaze politics that has hurt Republicans in the past and that has greatly diminished the quality of debate that voters desperately need in order to make an informed decision. It is sad that Connie has now set the tone of her style and what she is capable of doing.

With Bob Smith, I believe that he differs on many of the issues that stand opposite to what I am fighting for. But with Bob, you don't have to question his integrity.Had he become the Republican candidate we would never expect him as our opponent, to be capable of lowering himself or his ethics and engage in lies, deception, or other sleaze politics that we have seen demonstrated by Connie Conway in her campaign.

I called Desmond the morning after the election and found him totally outraged over the actions of Conway. He was still in disbelief at the scummy tactics that Conway would use against another Republicans. Desmond has been involved in supporting law enforcement and knows how devastating these lies can be to a past member of law enforcement like Bob.

Desmond and Bob have campaigned at some of the same events like the Rock The Vote event at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia. Desmond, like me, found Bob to be a very like able person and feels like he enjoys a friendly relationship with him even as an opponent.

Desmond and I both support a complaint being filed and would like to see this kind of sleaze politics eliminated from an honest and straight forward debate on the real issues.

Larry D. Halstead
Chair, 34th AD Democratic Committee

Smith, angry at campaign tactics, suggests supporting Democrat

June 4, 2008 - 6:07PM

BARSTOW — Two Barstow area candidates blame low voter turnout, in part, for the disappointing results of Tuesday's election.

Both Bob Smith, a Yermo resident, and Ben Echols, a Barstow attorney who lives in Apple Valley, lost their races Tuesday. Smith, running in the Republican primary for the 34th District Assembly seat, received only 34.2 percent of the vote compared to Tulare County Supervisor Connie Conway's 43.1 percent. Echols, vying for a judge seat on the Superior Court of California, came in second with 24.46 percent of the vote behind Bridgid McCann, with 51.51 percent of the vote.

Turnout was low across Barstow and the county for the election. Only 16.46 percent of San Bernardino County's registered voters cast a ballot in the election. Smith was disappointed that so few of the registered Republicans — only 19.58 percent in San Bernardino County — chose to vote.

"Its unfortunate," Smith said.

Smith was, however, very pleased with his campaign team and their efforts.

"I had a good team; we did everything possible to win the seat," he said.

In November's election Conway will face Democratic candidate Desmond Farrelly for Bill Maze's Assembly seat. Due to term limits Maze cannot run again. Smith said that his first inclination is to back Democratic candidate Desmond Farrelly in the November election, due to a last minute negative campaign ad that he feels Conway made against him.

"I'd rather have a Democrat in office that's honest than a liar," Smith said.

Smith was upset about a mailer that was sent out labeling him as a disgraced deputy. This ad was authorized and paid for by Conway for Assembly.

Conway said that the mailers were sent out in response to negative ads made by Smith's campaign. She would not elaborate on the content of the ads. She was, however, happy with the results of the election.

"I plan on working hard between now and the campaign," Conway said.

Smith said that any negative campaign material used against Conway used direct quotes and cited sources of where the negative information could be found.

Desmond Farrelly said he was disappointed in the result of the election. He had hoped for a Smith victory. He said he was looking forward to working with Smith to make sure that Barstow was well-represented.

Ben Echols was happy with the results of the election, although he believes that if more people in the High Desert would have voted the results of the election may have been different. Echols said that although he lost this election, he may consider running again in the future.

"I love my practice in Barstow, for now I am going to stay here," Echols said.

While he does not know McCann personally Echols said she is well-qualified and thinks she'll do a good job.