It's political mailer season in Hesperia and many local candidates and their supporters have sent out their first pieces.


As of this writing, Mark Kirk for City Council sent out two professional looking mailers that promote Kirk's qualifications.


The Friends of Russell Blewett also mailed two mailers in support of Blewett, who also is seeking a City Council seat. Blewett's mailers also take a positive tone.


Al Vogler, the husband of Councilwoman Rita Vogler, sent out the season's first negative-themed mailer. Beginning with "the Daily Press continues to suppress the news and silence community members," the piece attacks both Kirk and Blewett.


Will Kirk and Blewett answer in kind? We'll see.


Hesperia voters also received a glossy mailer promoting Yes on Measure JJ, the nearly $300 million bond measure for improvements and expansion for Victor Valley College. In this era when economic issues are on the top of everyone's mind, it seems a bit curious that the Citizens to Build Victor Valley College mailer doesn't mention the cost to local property owners.


***


News that Roll Over Beethoven music store owner William Boyle and his family were involved in a serious car accident last week hit many people very hard. Willie is a great guy whose Main Street store is a hub for Victor Valley musicians and music students.


I first met Willie around 1990 or so. Later we'd say hello to each other when we both lived in Wrightwood during the mid-1990s. We renewed our acquaintance when I came to work at the Star in 2003. Occasionally I'll walk in the store to buy a set of strings, check out one of their many nice guitars (I've got my eye on a La Patrie acoustic-electric) or chat with Willie and his staff. Earlier this year I bought a nice Ibanez bass guitar at Roll Over Beethoven.


Willie, his wife and step-daughter are all recovering the accident that occurred on Apple Valley Road. We're rooting for the three to get well soon. If anyone is thinking of getting a guitar, keyboard or band instrument now would be a great time to buy one at Roll Over Beethoven.


***


I was looking forward to covering the school board candidate forum last Friday morning at the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Zank's Coffee Club. In fact, I had reserved a special place for the story and photos on the front page of the Star. But something unexpected came up that changed everything.


Thursday night I began experiencing an odd pain in the middle of my lower back. The pain grew more and more intense. Finally I drove myself to the St. Mary Medical Center emergency room. After I was admitted, they ran several tests and the results came back: I had a kidney stone.


I have heard that passing a kidney stone can be painful, but I had no idea how much it would actually hurt. Information on the Web compares the pains to childbirth. That sounds about right. Ouch!


I was released from St. Mary's not long before daybreak. I was able to hear Bill Handel start his 5 a.m. show while driving home to Hesperia. I plopped into bed and didn't wake up until later in the morning, thereby missing the candidate forum. I'm very sorry I missed it.


Luckily, there will be other candidate forum events. Our very own Beau Yarbrough will be moderating a school board candidate forum sponsored by the Parent Coordinating Council on Wednesday night in the annex building behind the Hesperia Unified School District offices on Main Street. Next Monday, the Chamber will host a city council candidate forum at its monthly luncheon at Hesperia Senior Campus.


I've been told that a kidney stone may take several weeks before it completely works its way through the urinary system. Hopefully mine will finish its journey at a time that doesn't conflict with the Star's news coverage.