Hello, Hesperia! Seven years ago, I started writing articles for the Hesperia Star. I kept thinking about what to write about this time and bingo! I remembered it's Hesperia's 25th anniversary of becoming a city. It was officially in June, but what's four months later?


Our first council consisted of Mayor Bruce Kitchen, Mayor Pro-Tem George Beardsley and council members Percy Bakker, Val Shearer and Howard Roth. The city has come a long way with many accomplishments. I will review some from the last couple of years, as I was very fortunate to attend many of them.


Just a bit of history 25 years ago, we didn't have our Civic Center, library or new police station among many others. Also in the last 25 years, 10,000 single family homes have been built.


On Aug. 31, 2011 we had our Ranchero Underpass ground breaking (by the airport) to start the process, after waiting over 20 years a long wait! This year, on Jan. 1 the new Ranchero Interchange broke ground at Interstate 15. It was freezing cold that morning but a lot of us knew we had to be there to celebrate. I also adopted my dog later that day from the dog pound, and what a great friend he is to Gary and I. In fact, I think he's the boss!


The opening celebration of the Ranchero Underpass was held on June 29. It was a huge celebration for Hesperia and 900 runners were also there just to kick off the event.


With our new road, I'm saving 10 to 15 minutes going to my son's home. I'm still testing three different roads from Ranchero to see which way is faster to get home. The time you go also makes a difference. Stay away when school is starting or ending at Oak Hills High School.


Another project is the Lead Track (key to one of our industrial areas). There is access of 210 acres and this project saves a lot of time and money for businesses. I was able to attend the ground breaking on April 19, 2012.


Cinema West, Hesperia's first movie theater, came to life in December 2012. The opening was wonderful and many Hesperians attended. It was a red carpet event!


The city has 580 miles of roads. The last 14 years, more than $65 million has been spent to repair 280 miles of streets.


This year on April 25, the Volunteer Appreciation Night was held at the Percy Bakker Center. All together the volunteers gave 29,000 hours to local non-profit groups.


Next was the annual Hesperia Days on Sept. 20, 21 and 22. With the Hesperia Recreation and Park District working hard with the city, everything was great. Becky Otwell and the Kiwanis Club did a fabulous job with the parade, as always. One problem was the wind, so we weren't able to watch the fireworks. But we were redeemed the fireworks lit up the Hesperia Lake Park sky on Saturday ! With a whole afternoon of activities, it was a lot of fun for the whole family.


In December, the Hesperia Recreation and Park District works with the city for our annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony. There will be free hot chocolate and kettle corn, entertainment and much more. I love this event and the last two years we had non-edible snow in the air for all of us to enjoy. It's a great atmosphere for everyone and if you haven't been to it go! Remember, the best part is Santa will be there for all of us! This will get you in the Christmas spirit for sure.


I want to thank Rachel Molina, the city's public information officer for helping and Mike Podegracz for being a great city manager. I also wanted to let you know there are 192 people working for the City of Hesperia. A big thank you goes to our city council too.


It's great to be a part of this wonderful city.


Love, Charlene