Congressman Paul Cook

Representing the 8th District of California
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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: November 17, 2015

Nov 17, 2015

Capitol Update

Congressman Cook Stands with the French People


On Friday, Congressman Cook issued the following statement condemning the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris:

Cook said, “Today, we’re seeing pure evil in the streets of Paris. My thoughts and prayers are for the safety of everyone in Paris during this tragedy. America stands with the French people against this barbarism.”

Heroes of the 8th

These ‪veterans are the true heroes of the Eighth Congressional District. Congressman Cook had the chance of a lifetime to be with them and honor them on Friday at his "Heroes of the 8th" event. Thanks to all who came out and joined us!

For more photos from the event, please click here. For a list of those honored, please click here.

Congressman Cook Introduces Bill to Balance Conservation and Economic Development


Congressman Cook (CA-08) and Congressman Pete Aguilar (CA-31) introduced HR 4024, the Santa Ana Wash Plan Land Exchange Act, which is a land-use plan that allows the transfer of land between the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District and the Bureau of Land Management. The land exchange takes place in a designated region within the Santa Ana Wash, at the junction of the Santa Ana River and Mill Creek.

Currently, land within the Santa Ana Wash is owned by both the San Bernardino Water Conservation District and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Parcels owned by the district are currently used for the purpose of recharging water in more than 77 basins, and also provide Riversidian Sage Scrub habitat. New lands would be set aside for conservation purposes near land managed by BLM. The wash area is occupied by two mining companies, Cemex and Robertson’s Ready Mix, which extract aggregate for cement and concrete production. The production of aggregate will support approximately $8.5 million in infrastructure projects and $36 million annually in payroll from this site alone. The exchange of land between the district and BLM will connect a patchwork of land ownership to create a consolidated open space for conservation purposes and will optimize mining efficiency and water conservation efforts.

“This important legislation will complete the land swap at the center of the Santa Ana River Wash Plan. This will align local land ownership with appropriate uses, setting aside already disturbed land for aggregate mining and setting aside important habitat for conservation purposes. It’s a win for the economy and a win for the environment. I look forward to working with Rep. Aguilar to get this done for our communities.” said Cook.

“I’m glad to have the opportunity to work with Rep. Cook and businesses, local governments and environmental groups to make this land transfer a success,” said Aguilar. He continued, “The Wash Plan will empower industries to take root and flourish, continue investments in our transportation and infrastructure, and preserve our environment and regional wildlife. This is an important step forward for our communities.”

Robertson’s Ready Mix employs 80 workers at the affected site. Property Manager Christine Goeyvaerts said, “It is with sincere appreciation that we provide our enthusiastic support for the Santa Ana River Wash Plan land exchange. From the many employees that call this site their workplace, we thank both Congressmen for their tenacity and hard work representing our area.”

Daniel Cozad of the San Bernardino Water Conservation District added, “The land transfer will lead to more protection efforts for habitat, improved connectivity in the wildlife corridor, expanded water recharge and storage capacity, and the future establishment of public access and trails which, once built, would connect and help complete the Santa Ana River Trail.” He continued, “This project has been 15 years in the making. Doing a Habitat Conservation Plan with this many Task Force Members is unusual, particularly when you consider each has a different mission to implement.”

In total, the land exchange will continue to support Inland Empire business and transportation projects, while safeguarding essential environmental conservation efforts. It also expands property for the development of a long-term water supply and storage. The Wash Plan has been an ongoing project since the late 1980s, when it was a proposal to the cities of Highland and Redlands. Years of meetings, studies and committee reports have culminated in the final presentation of the Upper Santa Ana River Wash Plan.

District Update

Office of Congressman Cook to Take Part in Alzheimer’s Community Forum

To commemorate November as National Alzheimer's Disease and Awareness Month, the Alzheimer's Association is hosting a special community event. Matt Knox, District Manager for Congressman Paul Cook, will be hosting Know the 10 Warning Signs; Early Detection Matters. Mr. Knox will deliver a welcome message to open the event and will be available to answer questions at its conclusion. The forum will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 10AM at Spring Valley Lake Country Club, located at 13229 Spring Valley Pkwy, Victorville, CA 92395.

Stephanie Brynjolfson, Education and Advocacy Consultant for the Southland chapter, will be presenting information on how individuals can spot the most common signs of cognitive decline and the steps they can take to get answers from their doctor. Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease gives individuals a chance to begin drug therapy, enroll in clinical studies and plan for the future. Ms. Brynjolfson will also provide information on the programs and services the California Southland chapter provides to support those diagnosed with the disease and their caregivers.

For more information, visit or call 800-272-3900.

Free Backyard Composting Workshop Set For Saturday, November 21


A free Master Composter Training will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Apple Valley Development Services Building, 14975 Dale Evans Parkway. The class covers backyard composting, vermicomposting (composting with worms), grasscycling, recycling, and how to become a Master Composter volunteer.

The program is sponsored by the Mojave Desert & Mountain Recycling Authority, whose local members include the Cities of Victorville and Adelanto, the Town of Apple Valley, and the County of San Bernardino. The goal of the Recycling Authority is to reduce waste, and by empowering residents to compost their green waste, it helps divert this type of material from local landfills. Residents not only help divert waste, but also make valuable compost for their gardens for free.

The class will be taught by the Master Composter Coordinator Don Woo. Mr. Woo has been in charge of the program since 2012 and has been teaching backyard composting for almost twenty years.

The class is free. Advance registration is required and space is limited.

To register, contact Don Woo at 951-265-8699 or by email at:

Bus Services Not Available on Thanksgiving


Victor Valley Transit Authority or Barstow Area Transit services will not be available on the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Nov. 26, VVTA officials announced.

Unavailable services include customer service, routing and scheduling and all transit services.

While the VVTA Administration Office also will be closed Nov. 27, transit services will resume their regular schedules on that Friday, which is also Black Friday.

Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Pubic Meeting: November 21, 2015


Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Marine Corps will host a Resource Management Group meeting about changes in land use in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area on November 21, 2015 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM.

The purpose of the meeting is to communicate the Marine Corps' plans to conduct a large-scale exercise in August 2016 that will include training in the congressionally established Shared Use Area. Information concerning temporary land closures and public safety will be discussed. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

The meeting will be held at the Johnson Valley Community Center, 50567-A Quailbush Rd, Johnson Valley, CA 92285, located 1-3/4 miles south of Hwy. 247 (Old Woman Springs Rd.) on Larrea Rd. (paved), at the corner of Quailbush Rd.

For additional information, contact the Katrina Symons, Barstow Field Manager, at (760) 252-6004,; or the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Public Affairs Office at 760-830-6213,


Veterans’ Corner

My office is here to help you. If you or someone you know needs help with the Veterans' Administration please call my Apple Valley District Office at (760) 247-1815.

Great American Smokeout


On Thursday, November 19, 2015, from 8:00AM to 3:00PM, the VA Loma Linda Medical Center will put on their Great American Smokeout. Preventive medicine staff will be available to talk to patients about the need to stop smoking.


Bud and Betty's Place is Open!

Bud and Betty's Place for Veterans' is now open at Copper Mountain College! The center is for people who served in the armed forces. Congressman Cook attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on November 12, 2015

Victorville's Veterans' Day Parade 

On Veterans' Day, Congressman Cook took part in Victorville's Veterans' Day Parade. Congressman Cook is pictured above with the High Desert Marines. The parade was a great success. Thanks to everyone who came out to support and thank our veterans.