Perhaps it was the fresh autumn air or the white, puffy clouds floating in the open desert sky, but last week's Target store ground breaking ceremony seemed to be celebrating something more than just a new retail center. It's clear that with Target comes a new era for Hesperia.

Certainly thousands of Hesperia shoppers, not to mention those from Baldy Mesa, Phelan and Victorville, will pour into the new shopping center, expected to have a total of 360,000 square feet of retail space when completed. But the anchor store will give Las Vegas travelers another reason to stop for a quick bite to eat and enjoy a Hesperia shopping excursion. From a commerce point of view, that's very good in deed for our city. In fact, the center could bring in as much as $1 million in sales tax, annually.

Also last week, Hesperia welcomed a new 99 Cents Only Store to the Shops at Topaz, and the Chamber of Commerce has presided over recent grand openings for other retail businesses.

Of course, Apple Valley, which doesn't have a freeway frontage presence, is also zooming along. Its development at Bear Valley and Apple Valley roads is going gangbusters right now. Ready or not -- and despite a waning real estate market -- the Victor Valley is on the move, with Hesperia at the forefront.

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All five members of the Hesperia City Council -- Mayor Rita Vogler, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Leonard, and Councilmembers Ed Pack, Tad Honeycutt and Thurston "Smitty" Smith -- were on hand at the Target ceremony.

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Barb Stanton, the former 960-AM talk radio host, asked listeners of her web-streaming radio show to play "The Mitzelfelt Game." According to Stanton's instructions, listeners are supposed to keep a tally of how often the county supervisor's name is mentioned in Daily Press newspaper articles. Stanton contends the newspaper mentions Mitzelfelt too often.

While Stanton isn't alone in her contention, newspapers traditionally give press coverage to their area's top elected officials. In fact, from an editor's view, the Hesperia Star may not be giving enough ink to Mitzelfelt, Mayor Vogler, school board president Bruce Minton, park board president Michael Limbaugh or others who currently head the city's public agencies.

Of course, with the coverage is a trade-off: Top elected officials also receive media scrutiny, which comes with the territory.