Paul Cook

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Rep. Cook Issues Statement on Charlottesville

2017/08/15

Washington - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) issued the following statement on the violence that occured in Charlotesville this past weekend:

"My prayers are with those that were injured in the violence and with the family of the woman who was murdered. I condemn in the strongest terms all of the actions by extremists, including those in Charlottesville, who spread hatred and perpetrate violence against their fellow Americans. Members of white supremacy groups do not represent America, and the views they espouse stand contrary to our core American values. Their actions should not be tolerated in any form."

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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: August 8, 2017

2017/08/09

U.S. Congressman Paul Cook

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 Congressman Cook Introduces Airspace Protection Act of 2017

It seems that every day a new wildfire is reported somewhere in our state, striking fear in the hearts of rural homeowners. As we enter the 2017 fire season in California, it’s important to consider ways to make our communities safer and minimize the loss of life and property in the event of a catastrophic fire.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of devastating fires across San Bernardino County. Last year’s Blue Cut Fire, in the Cajon Pass, scorched 37,000 acres, and destroyed 105 homes and 213 structures. The year prior, the Lake Fire burned 31,000 acres and took over a month to extinguish.

To make matters worse, this year’s fire season is already outpacing 2016. According to Cal Fire statistics, through the first six months of last year there were 22,709 wildfires, totaling 30,574 acres. However, this year, during the same period 2,905 wildfires were reported over an area of 68,129 acres. It’s no easy task to battle these fires, in light of the triple-digit temperatures, unforgiving terrain, and strained resources. Thankfully, our local, state and federal firefighting agencies are there to defend our communities.

Recently, the presence of remote-controlled drones in the airspace above wildfires have complicated firefighting efforts. Whether these drone operators have malicious intent or not, these devices cause major disruptions to aerial firefighting capabilities. During the North Fire of 2015, all firefighting aircraft were grounded over fears of collisions with drones. The inability to utilize aerial assets resulted in the fire jumping Interstate 15 and destroying over 20 vehicles in the Cajon Pass. Thankfully no lives were lost that day.

Grounding firefighting aircraft due to drone incursions isn’t unique to California. A number of fires in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah were also impacted by drone activity. As the popularity and capability of these unmanned aircraft increases it’s become readily apparent that we must take action to protect lives, homes and our environment, by restricting drone usage.

After listening to the concerns of fire officials and local residents, I have introduced the Airspace Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 1138) in Congress. This bill would make it a felony offense to operate a drone that interferes with wildfire suppression on federal land. Under the provisions of the measure, anyone convicted of this offense would be subject to five years in federal prison. I’m optimistic that it will gain the support of my colleagues in Congress, so that our firefighters on the front lines have the best chance to protect our communities.

In the meantime, you and your family can take steps to increase your chances of surviving a major wildfire. Creating a defensible space around your home is a crucial component to fire safety. California law requires homeowners who reside in a State Responsibility Area to create a 100 ft. buffer zone around inhabited structures that is free of flammable debris. It’s also important to have emergency supplies, and an action plan prepared, in the event of an evacuation. I encourage you to visit the CalFire website, http://www.readyforwildfire.org to learn more about wildfire safety. In addition, CalFire recently launched a new application for smartphones called “Ready for Wildfire” that provides users with critical wildfire alerts. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple and Google Play stores.

The most important step you can take to avoid tragedy during major free is to follow the instructions of all public safety personnel. While the thought of losing your home is horrifying, it isn’t worth losing your life I wish you and your families a safe fire season.

This op-ed was published in Rim of The World News, click here for the original editorial.

 

Memorial Service for U.S. Forest Service Firefighter Brent Witham

 

It is with my deepest condolences that I share the news that U.S. Forest Service Vista Grande Hotshot, Brent Witham was killed on August 2, 2017 while working on the Lolo Peak Fire in Montana. Please join the community to honor this hero at 10:00 a.m. on August 10th at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino in the Orange Pavilion room.

Condolences for the family can be mailed to the San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 602 South Tippecanoe, San Bernardino, CA 92408. Emails can be sent to withammeorialinfo@gmail.com . Please put “CONDOLENCES” in the subject line. All correspondence will be given to Brent’s family.

For more information, click here

 

Apple Valley Unveils Electric Charging Stations

 

Electric car owners can bolt over to Apple Valley Town Hall for a charge now that the Town’s two electric vehicle charging stations are available.

The Level 2 units were installed in front of the Development Services Building at no cost to the Town, thanks to a $19,244 grant from the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District. Most commercially available electric vehicles have the ability to charge using AC Level 1 and 2 charging equipment. Although Tesla vehicles do not use the J1772 charge ports used for Level 2 chargers, they do sell an adapter.

“From Teslas to Fords, and from Nissans to Chevys, we are seeing more and more electric vehicles on our local roadways,” said Director of Public Works Greg Snyder. “This convenient location will allow drivers of electric vehicles to swing by, plug in and either do business at the town, take a swim in the pool, play in the park, have lunch or do some shopping in The Commons retail center across the street.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, charging equipment for plug-in electric vehicles is classified by the rate at which the batteries are charged. Charging times vary based on how depleted the battery is, how much energy it holds, the type of battery and other factors. Level 2 charge stations typically provide 10 to 20 miles of range per one hour of charging

With the handy payment kiosk, users can get a boost for their vehicle at the rate of $1.25 per hour, which is sold in one-hour increments. This payment schedule was set to cover the cost of the electricity and any administrative costs the service might incur.

For more information call (760) 240-7000 x 7074.

 

Hesperia Summer Concert Series August 11

 

This Friday the City of Hesperia is hosting their Summer Concert Series "Urban Skies"-a tribute to Keith Urban. Music will start at 6:00 p.m. with the headliner beginning at 7:00 p.m. The event is free to the public and visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for their comfort. The Hesperia concert series is located at Hesperia Civic Plaza Park on 15833 Smoke Tree Street.

For questions, contact (760) 244-5488

 

Twentynine Palms Chamber Sundown Mixer

 

Join the 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce for their Sundown Mixer at 29 Palms Ram Truck Center on Thursday, August 24th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Chamber members are encouraged to bring raffle items showcasing their businesses and their business cards. 

For questions, contact (760) 367-3445

 

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.

Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative

 

The Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative is hosting a Financial Wellbeing & Mental Health event on August 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Health Services Auditorium. This is located at 850 E. Foothill Blvd in Rialto. If you need assistance registering or require disability accommodations contact the Veterans Success Center at (909) 537-5195 or email dbuck@csusb.edu.  

 

9th Annual Veteran Operation Recognition-Veterans Diploma Project

 

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, in partnership with the County of San Bernardino Department of Veterans Affairs, is announcing their Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project. The Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project provides veterans and internees, who were unable to complete high school due to military service or internment, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma.

The deadline to submit an application to be eligible for the Veteran Diploma Project is August 25.

For more information, Click Here

 

Veterans Express Transit System( V.E.T.S.)

 

V.E.T.S. is a free transportation service starting January 9, 2017, provided by VA Loma Linda Health Care System, to assist Veterans with round-trip transportation to the VA Loma Linda for medical appointments.

The V.E.T.S. program has collaborated with local community partners, including the Victorville Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) to coordinate the pick-up point at the Victorville Transfer Point (VTP) in Victorville on Lorene Drive between Valley Center Drive and 7th Street. It is situated adjacent to Interstate 15 behind Costco.

Reservations Must be made 24 hours in advance. Please call V.E.T.S Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at (800) 741-8387 or (909) 825-7084, ext. 6475.

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                       

 

Sent from the Office of U.S. Representative Paul Cook

 
 
 

APPLE VALLEY OFFICE
14955 Dale Evans Parkway
Apple Valley Town Hall
Apple Valley, CA 92307
Phone: 760.247.1815
Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm

YUCAIPA OFFICE
34282 Yucaipa Boulevard
Yucaipa, CA 92399
Phone: 909.797.4900
Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm

WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
1222 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.5861
Hours: 9:00am - 6:00pm

 

UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS | PRIVACY POLICY | CONTACT US

 
 
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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: August 1, 2017

2017/08/03

U.S. Congressman Paul Cook

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Congressman Cook Votes for Increased Sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran

 

Congressman Paul Cook voted for HR 3364, the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act. The bill includes a package of comprehensive sanctions against North Korea, Russia, and Iran – three regimes that continue to threaten their neighbors and undermine US national security. The bill passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The first provision of HR 3364 targets those involved in the Iranian regime’s ballistic missile program, its efforts to destabilize the region and threaten Israel, and its ongoing human rights abuses. It imposes sanctions on any individual who contributes materially to Iran’s ballistic missile program, weapons of mass destruction programs, or participates in the sale or transfer of military equipment to Iran. It also calls for increased sanctions on anyone who is identified to be responsible for torture and other violations of internationally recognized human rights.  

The second provision of HR 3364 counteracts Russian aggression by strengthening sanctions in response to cyber-attacks and interference in Ukraine, empowers Congress to review any sanctions relief, and works to strengthen international cooperation in opposing Russian aggression. Specifically, the legislation provides for a mandated Congressional review if sanctions are relaxed, suspended, or terminated. It targets corruption and key sectors of the Russian economy, including arms sales and the export of oil and gas. Lastly, it also fixes a provision in a previous Senate bill that could have hurt the US economy while benefitting Russian energy oligarchs.

The third provision of HR 3364 amends the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 to enhance the President’s authority to impose sanctions on those who violate U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea. It expands sanctions to further deter North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs by cutting off Kim Jung Un’s access to cash. Additionally, the bill cracks down on North Korea’s shipping and use of international ports and targets those who employ North Korean slave labor.

Congressman Cook said, “Iran, North Korea, and Russia continue to pose a serious threat to U.S. national security. These additional sanctions will give us additional tools to combat their continued aggression and ensure their illicit activities don’t go unchecked.”

Congressman Cook's Bill to Foster Robust Domestic Helium Market Passes House Natural Resources Committee

 

Congressman Paul Cook announced that his bill H.R. 3279, the Helium Extraction Act of 2017, unanimously passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee. The bill amends the Mineral Leasing Act to allow helium extraction from gas on federal lands under the same terms as gas and oil.

Helium is an essential element used in MRIs, air-to-missile guidance systems, and semiconductors. As such, a steady supply of helium is critical for the medical, defense, and energy industries. The United States is currently the world’s largest supplier of helium. The next largest producers are Qatar, Algeria, and Russia.

Historically, much of the American demand for helium has been satisfied by the Federal Helium Reserve. However, there are major concerns about the future of our domestic helium production. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the reserve has enough helium to meet about 40 percent of the domestic demand for the gas. Additionally, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 requires that by September 30, 2021, the reserve must be sold and the facility closed. Given the vast political, economic, and diplomatic uncertainty surrounding many the largest foreign suppliers of helium, it would be dangerous for America to become dependent on them.

Congressman Cook said, “Helium has become irreplaceable in our space, defense, and medical industries. Without this bill, we could become dangerously dependent on unstable foreign countries for our supply of helium. This bill encourages the development of American sources of helium and will boost both our national security and economy. I’m grateful to Chairman Rob Bishop and the Natural Resources Committee for moving this bill forward.”

Congressman Cook Votes To Extend VA Choice Act

 

Congressman Paul Cook voted for S. 114, the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, and the Senate previously passed this bill in May.

The Veterans Choice Program was enacted in 2014 and provided $10 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans to receive health care from private care facilities rather than VA hospitals. It was originally scheduled to expire in August of this year, but this past April, Congress and the President eliminated the program’s sunset so veterans could continue to receive private care. This legislation provides an additional $2.1 billion in funding to extend the program for approximately six more months, ensuring that veterans benefiting from this program will continue to receive care. The bill also authorizes 28 major medical facility leases and enhances the recruitment, retention, and training of the VA workforce. It requires the VA to conduct an annual performance plan for political appointees and to develop a plan to hire highly qualified directors for medical centers that have not had permanent leadership.

Congressman Cook said, “The VA Choice Act has been crucial for helping our veterans get the care they deserve. This legislation will ensure that we continue funding this important program which provides our nation’s heroes with timely medical care rather than enduring long wait times at the VA.”

                                                                                         

How to Start a Small Business Workshop

 

The Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosting a free workshop for aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs  on August 10 at the Hesperia Branch Library on 9650 7th Avenue from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  They will  discuss the steps to take towards starting your first business. The “How to Start Your Small Business” workshop is presented by an SBDC Business Consultant who will discuss informational topics such as: being an entrepreneur, business planning,  small business financing, legal forms of organization, licensing and permits, and  the services provided by the Inland Empire SBDC.

For more information, Click Here

Movies in the Park in Adelanto

 

Residents of Adelanto are invited to attend another Moves in the Park session at Richardson Park on August 4th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This week's film will be The Jungle Book and people are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. This is a free event. Richardson Park is located at 11600 Air Expressway in Adelanto. 

Backpack Giveaway at Joshua Tree Lighthouse Christian Center

 

Joshua Tree Lighthouse Christian Center is preparing for their back pack give away on Saturday, August 5th at 10:00 a.m. at the Church located at 5475 Sunburst Ave. in Joshua Tree. All children in kindergarten through 6th grade are welcome to attend. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A limited number of backpacks are available and will be given away on a first come first serve basis. All students who register will have their name put in for a special drawing for a free bicycle. The local fire department will have a fire truck for children to tour along with other activities. 

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.

9th Annual Veteran Operation Recognition-Veterans Diploma Project

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, in partnership with the County of San Bernardino Department of Veterans Affairs, is announcing their Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project. The Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project provides veterans and internees, who were unable to complete high school due to military service or internment, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma.

The deadline to submit an application to be eligible for the Veteran Diploma Project is August 25.

For more information, Click Here

Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative 

 

The Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative is hosting a Financial Wellbeing & Mental Health event on August 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Health Services Auditorium. This is located at 850 E. Foothill Blvd in Rialto. If you need assistance registering or require disability accommodations contact the Veterans Success Center at (909) 537-5195 or email dbuck@csusb.edu.  

Sent from the Office of U.S. Representative Paul Cook

 
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Rep Cook Votes to Extend VA Choice Act

2017/07/28

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for S. 114, the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, and the Senate previously passed this bill in May.

The Veterans Choice Program was enacted in 2014 and provided $10 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans to receive health care from private care facilities rather than VA hospitals. It was originally scheduled to expire in August of this year, but this past April, Congress and the President eliminated the program’s sunset so veterans could continue to receive private care. This legislation provides an additional $2.1 billion in funding to extend the program for approximately six more months, ensuring that veterans benefiting from this program will continue to receive care. The bill also authorizes 28 major medical facility leases and enhances the recruitment, retention, and training of the VA workforce. It requires the VA to conduct an annual performance plan for political appointees and to develop a plan to hire highly qualified directors for medical centers that have not had permanent leadership.

Rep. Cook said, “The VA Choice Act has been crucial for helping our veterans get the care they deserve. This legislation will ensure that we continue funding this important program which provides our nation’s heroes with timely medical care rather than enduring long wait times at the VA.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Paul Cook’s Bill to Foster Robust Domestic Helium Market Passes House Natural Resources Committee

2017/07/26

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today announced that his bill H.R. 3279, the Helium Extraction Act of 2017, unanimously passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee. The bill amends the Mineral Leasing Act to allow helium extraction from gas on federal lands under the same terms as gas and oil.

Helium is an essential element used in MRIs, air-to-missile guidance systems, and semiconductors. As such, a steady supply of helium is critical for the medical, defense, and energy industries. The United States is currently the world’s largest supplier of helium. The next largest producers are Qatar, Algeria, and Russia.

Historically, much of the American demand for helium has been satisfied by the Federal Helium Reserve. However, there are major concerns about the future of our domestic helium production. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the reserve has enough helium to meet about 40 percent of the domestic demand for the gas. Additionally, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 requires that by September 30, 2021, the reserve must be sold and the facility closed. Given the vast political, economic, and diplomatic uncertainty surrounding many the largest foreign suppliers of helium, it would be dangerous for America to become dependent on them.

Rep. Cook said, “Helium has become irreplaceable in our space, defense, and medical industries. Without this bill, we could become dangerously dependent on unstable foreign countries for our supply of helium. This bill encourages the development of American sources of helium and will boost both our national security and economy. I’m grateful to Chairman Rob Bishop and the Natural Resources Committee for moving this bill forward.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: July 25, 2017

2017/07/25

House Passes Rep. Cook’s Legislation to Ensure Fair Housing Benefit for Student Veterans

Congressman Paul Cook voted for HR 3218, Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017. The bill passed the House unanimously. Rep. Cook was a co-sponsor of the legislation, which includes language from his original bill.

Congressman Cook’s original bill, the Veterans Education Equity Act, was introduced in January 2017. It fixes a problem in the way the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines Post-9/11 GI Bill housing payments for student veterans, which prevents some veterans from receiving a fair housing payment.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a hard-earned benefit that pays for student veterans’ higher education tuition and fees, as well as a monthly basic allowance for housing (BAH) stipend. The VA determines the BAH amount based on the zip code where the school is certified, not necessarily where the school is located. This policy can result in monthly BAH payments that fall below or far exceed the actual cost of housing. This bill will fix the problem by calculating the payment based on where students attends their classes, not where the institution of higher learning is certified. This bill ensures veterans receive an adequate and fair housing allowance while eliminating fraud and waste in the program.

HR 3218 also removes time restrictions to use the GI Bill, enabling future recipients to use their GI benefits for their entire life as opposed to the current 15-year timeline. The bill also includes significant increases in GI Bill funding for Reservists and Guardsmen, dependents, surviving spouses and surviving dependents. The bill is budget neutral and includes provisions that have been proposed and prioritized by Veterans Service Organizations.

Since, 1944, The GI Bill has provided veterans the opportunity to invest in themselves and their futures through access to education benefits. It has helped millions of veterans pay for college, graduate school, and other training programs.

Congressman Cook said, “This important legislation ensures that our student veterans are getting a fair and reasonable housing benefit so they can afford to complete their education. One of my top priorities in Congress is protecting the benefits our veterans have earned while defending this nation. This package of reforms makes significant improvements to the GI bill and I look forward to the bill being signed into law.”

Congressman Paul Cook Introduces Bill to Foster Robust Domestic Helium Market

 

Congressman Paul Cook announced that he has introduced H.R. 3279, the Helium Extraction Act of 2017. The bill amends the Mineral Leasing Act to allow helium extraction from gas on federal lands under the same terms as gas and oil.

Helium is an essential element used in MRIs, air-to-missile guidance systems, and semiconductors. As such, a steady supply of helium is critical for the medical, defense, and energy industries. The United States is currently the world’s largest supplier of helium. The next largest producers are Qatar, Algeria, and Russia.

Historically, much of the American demand for helium has been satisfied by the Federal Helium Reserve. However, there are major concerns about the future of our domestic helium production. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the reserve has enough helium to meet about 40 percent of the domestic demand for the gas. Additionally, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 requires that by September 30, 2021, the reserve must be sold and the facility closed. Given the vast political, economic, and diplomatic uncertainty surrounding many the largest foreign suppliers of helium, it would be dangerous for America to become dependent on them.

Congressman Cook said, “The looming helium crisis must be dealt with now, or it could have deadly consequences. Without this bill, we could become dangerously dependent on unstable foreign countries for our supply of helium. This bill encourages the development of American sources of helium and will boost both our national security and economy.”

Congressman Rob Bishop, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said, “Facilitating a robust domestic helium market will spur job creation, promote massive revenues to the Treasury and provide stability for essential industries from medical technology to our defense sector. With the recent developments in Qatar, it’s important now more than ever to ensure a guaranteed source of this critical element. I thank Rep. Cook for his leadership on this issue and look forward to moving this bill through the House.”

City of Victorville National Night Out

 

The Victorville Police Department will be hosting the 34th Annual National Night Out on Aug. 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Victorville City Hall.  Learn about keeping your family and home safe while enjoying great food and fun.Victorville City Hall is located at 14343 Civic Drive in Victorville.

Ice Cream Social and Cake Walk

 

The Barstow Chapter of the Twilight Wish Foundation will be holding an Ice Cream Social and Cake Walk on Saturday, July 22, 2017 from 12 noon to 3 pm. They are asking the public for donations of store bought goodies (cakes, pies, cookies) for the cake walk. Please bring them for the event.

The Twilight Wish Foundation grants wishes to low income seniors age 65 and over. For more information, to make a donation, or to request a wish, call the Barstow Senior Center at 760-256-5023, visit them at 555 Melissa Ave. in Barstow, or visit the Barstow Senior Center website at www.barstowseniorcenter.org, or the Twilight Wish Foundation website at www.twilightwish.org.

Summer Movie Series at Victor Valley Museum

 

Join the Victor Valley Museum for their Summer Movies Series on Saturday, July 29th. Anyone interested has two chances to watch the screenings of Finding Dory at 11:00 am and 2:00 p.m.

For more information, Click Here

Shred Fest and Mulch Giveaway in Victorville

 

Shred Fest is free to all Victor Valley Residents. Bring up to four (4) 20-pound boxes of paper documents to shred for free. No business materials. Documents are shredded on site by All Purpose Document Destruction.

Compost/Mulch Giveaway -  There will be free mulch at the MRF during the Shred Fest events.  This is a "load your own" mulch giveaway, so be sure to bring your own shovels, as well as bags or other containers, to load mulch into. The giveaway is for Residents only - no businesses or commercial vehicles. Mulch and compost LIMIT is 50 gallons.

For more information, contact (760) 955-8615 the Victor Valley MRD Recycling Center is located at 17000 Abbey Lane (off of Stoddard Wells Road) in Victorville.

Volunteers Needed for Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce

 

The Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce is seeking volunteers for their upcoming events throughout the 2017/ 2018 year. They have a variety of roles for volunteers who wish to become involved in enriching their communities. 

For anyone interested, contact (760) 367-3445 or email 29chamber@29chamber.org for more information or to sign up as a volunteer. 

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.

9th Annual Veteran Operation Recognition-Veterans Diploma Project

 

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, in partnership with the County of San Bernardino Department of Veterans Affairs, is announcing their Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project. The Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project provides veterans and internees, who were unable to complete high school due to military service or internment, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma.

The deadline to submit an application to be eligible for the Veteran Diploma Project is August 25.

For more information, Click Here

Veterans Express Transit System( V.E.T.S.)

 

V.E.T.S.is a free transportation service starting January 9, 2017, provided by VA Loma Linda Health Care System, to assist Veterans with round-trip transportation to the VA Loma Linda for medical appointments.

The V.E.T.S. program has collaborated with local community partners, including the Victorville Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) to coordinate the pick-up point at the Victorville Transfer Point (VTP) in Victorville on Lorene Drive between Valley Center Drive and 7th Street. It is situated adjacent to Interstate 15 behind Costco.

Reservations Must be made 24 hours in advance. Please call V.E.T.S Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at (800) 741-8387 or (909) 825-7084, ext. 6475.

Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative

 

The Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative is hosting a Financial Wellbeing & Mental Health event on August 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Health Services Auditorium. This is located at 850 E. Foothill Blvd in Rialto. If you need assistance registering or require disability accommodations contact the Veterans Success Center at (909) 537-5195 or email dbuck@csusb.edu

 
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Rep. Cook Votes for Increased Sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran

2017/07/25

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted today for HR 3364, the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act. The bill includes a package of comprehensive sanctions against North Korea, Russia, and Iran – three regimes that continue to threaten their neighbors and undermine US national security. The bill passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The first provision of HR 3364 targets those involved in the Iranian regime’s ballistic missile program, its efforts to destabilize the region and threaten Israel, and its ongoing human rights abuses. It imposes sanctions on any individual who contributes materially to Iran’s ballistic missile program, weapons of mass destruction programs, or participates in the sale or transfer of military equipment to Iran. It also calls for increased sanctions on anyone who is identified to be responsible for torture and other violations of internationally recognized human rights.  

The second provision of HR 3364 counteracts Russian aggression by strengthening sanctions in response to cyber-attacks and interference in Ukraine, empowers Congress to review any sanctions relief, and works to strengthen international cooperation in opposing Russian aggression. Specifically, the legislation provides for a mandated Congressional review if sanctions are relaxed, suspended, or terminated. It targets corruption and key sectors of the Russian economy, including arms sales and the export of oil and gas. Lastly, it also fixes a provision in a previous Senate bill that could have hurt the US economy while benefitting Russian energy oligarchs.

The third provision of HR 3364 amends the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 to enhance the President’s authority to impose sanctions on those who violate U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea. It expands sanctions to further deter North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs by cutting off Kim Jung Un’s access to cash. Additionally, the bill cracks down on North Korea’s shipping and use of international ports and targets those who employ North Korean slave labor.

Rep. Cook said, “Iran, North Korea, and Russia continue to pose a serious threat to U.S. national security. These additional sanctions will give us additional tools to combat their continued aggression and ensure their illicit activities don’t go unchecked.”

A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

Read More

House Passes Rep. Cook’s Legislation to Ensure Fair Housing Benefit for Student Veterans

2017/07/24

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted today for HR 3218, Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017. The bill passed the House unanimously. Rep. Cook was a co-sponsor of the legislation, which includes language from his original bill.

Cook’s original bill, the Veterans Education Equity Act, was introduced in January 2017. It fixes a problem in the way the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines Post-9/11 GI Bill housing payments for student veterans, which prevents some veterans from receiving a fair housing payment.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a hard-earned benefit that pays for student veterans’ higher education tuition and fees, as well as a monthly basic allowance for housing (BAH) stipend. The VA determines the BAH amount based on the zip code where the school is certified, not necessarily where the school is located. This policy can result in monthly BAH payments that fall below or far exceed the actual cost of housing. This bill will fix the problem by calculating the payment based on where students attends their classes, not where the institution of higher learning is certified. This bill ensures veterans receive an adequate and fair housing allowance while eliminating fraud and waste in the program.

HR 3218 also removes time restrictions to use the GI Bill, enabling future recipients to use their GI benefits for their entire life as opposed to the current 15-year timeline. The bill also includes significant increases in GI Bill funding for Reservists and Guardsmen, dependents, surviving spouses and surviving dependents. The bill is budget neutral and includes provisions that have been proposed and prioritized by Veterans Service Organizations.

Since, 1944, The GI Bill has provided veterans the opportunity to invest in themselves and their futures through access to education benefits. It has helped millions of veterans pay for college, graduate school, and other training programs.

Rep. Cook said, “This important legislation ensures that our student veterans are getting a fair and reasonable housing benefit so they can afford to complete their education. One of my top priorities in Congress is protecting the benefits our veterans have earned while defending this nation. This package of reforms makes significant improvements to the GI bill and I look forward to the bill being signed into law.”

A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Passes Rep. Cook’s Legislation to Ensure Fair Housing Benefit for Student Veterans

2017/07/19

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced today that HR 3218, Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, was passed out of the Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously. Rep. Cook is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan bill which includes language from his original bill.

Cook’s original bill, the Veterans Education Equity Act, was introduced in January 2017. It fixes a problem in the way the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines Post-9/11 GI Bill housing payments for student veterans, which prevents some veterans from receiving a fair housing payment.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a hard-earned benefit that pays for student veterans’ higher education tuition and fees, as well as a monthly basic allowance for housing (BAH) stipend. The VA determines the BAH amount based on the zip code where the school is certified, not necessarily where the school is located. This policy can result in monthly BAH payments that fall below or far exceed the actual cost of housing. This bill will fix the problem by calculating the payment based on where students attends their classes, not where the institution of higher learning is certified. This bill ensures veterans receive an adequate and fair housing allowance while eliminating fraud and waste in the program.

HR 3218 also removes time restrictions to use the GI Bill, enabling future recipients to use their GI benefits for their entire life as opposed to the current 15-year timeline. The bill also includes significant increases in GI Bill funding for Reservists and Guardsmen, dependents, surviving spouses and surviving dependents. The bill is budget neutral and includes provisions that have been proposed and prioritized by Veterans Service Organizations.

Since, 1944, The GI Bill has provided veterans the opportunity to invest in themselves and their futures through access to education benefits. It has helped millions of veterans pay for college, graduate school, and other training programs

Rep. Cook said, “This important legislation ensures that our student veterans are getting a fair and reasonable housing benefit so they can afford to complete their education. One of my top priorities in Congress is protecting the benefits our veterans have earned while defending this nation. This package of reforms makes significant improvements to the GI bill and I thank the Veterans’ Affairs committee for including my legislation in the final bill.”

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside), who was a co-sponsor of Cook’s original bill, said, “This existing loophole in the GI Bill incentivizes student veterans to enroll in local schools that are headquartered in expensive cities, rather than enrolling in one of the excellent community colleges or universities headquartered here in the Inland Empire. By calculating a student’s monthly housing allowance based on the location where they attend class – not where their school is based – we will make our local institutions more competitive and incentivize students to enroll in the school that best meets their educational needs.”

A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Paul Cook Introduces Bill to Foster Robust Domestic Helium Market

2017/07/18

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today announced that he has introduced H.R. 3279, the Helium Extraction Act of 2017. The bill amends the Mineral Leasing Act to allow helium extraction from gas on federal lands under the same terms as gas and oil.

Helium is an essential element used in MRIs, air-to-missile guidance systems, and semiconductors. As such, a steady supply of helium is critical for the medical, defense, and energy industries. The United States is currently the world’s largest supplier of helium. The next largest producers are Qatar, Algeria, and Russia.

Historically, much of the American demand for helium has been satisfied by the Federal Helium Reserve. However, there are major concerns about the future of our domestic helium production. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the reserve has enough helium to meet about 40 percent of the domestic demand for the gas. Additionally, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 requires that by September 30, 2021, the reserve must be sold and the facility closed. Given the vast political, economic, and diplomatic uncertainty surrounding many the largest foreign suppliers of helium, it would be dangerous for America to become dependent on them.

Rep. Cook said, “The looming helium crisis must be dealt with now, or it could have deadly consequences. Without this bill, we could become dangerously dependent on unstable foreign countries for our supply of helium. This bill encourages the development of American sources of helium and will boost both our national security and economy.”

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said, “Facilitating a robust domestic helium market will spur job creation, promote massive revenues to the Treasury and provide stability for essential industries from medical technology to our defense sector. With the recent developments in Qatar, it’s important now more than ever to ensure a guaranteed source of this critical element. I thank Rep. Cook for his leadership on this issue and look forward to moving this bill through the House.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Contact Information

1222 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5861
Fax 202-225-6498
cook.house.gov

Col. Paul Cook (ret.) was elected to serve in the US House of Representatives in November 2012.  He represents California’s 8th Congressional District which includes the high desert communities of San Bernardino County as well as Mono and Inyo counties.  He currently serves on the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Veterans’ Affairs committees.

An infantry officer who served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps and a veteran of the Vietnam War, Col. Cook’s military career spanned twenty-six years. His actions in combat earned him a number of honors, including two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star Medal with a V for valor. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1992 as a colonel.

After retirement, Cook continued his service by seeking and winning a seat on the Yucca Valley Town Council, ultimately serving as Mayor. He became known for his commitment to conservative fiscal policies that protected working families from higher taxes.

In 2006, Cook’s neighbors elected him to represent them in the California State Assembly. Since then, he has distinguished himself by tackling some of the most important issues of the day, like fighting government corruption, reducing taxes, and increasing penalties on sex offenders who prey on children. As Chairman of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, he has been a tireless advocate for veterans and military families.

Holding a lifelong commitment to education, Cook has taught history and political science at Copper Mountain College, California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB), and University of California, Riverside (UCR). He holds a master’s in political science from UCR and a master’s in public administration from CSUSB.

Cook has held leadership posts with his local United Way and Red Cross chapters and served as past Executive Director of the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion. He and his wife Jeanne reside in Yucca Valley.


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