Paul Cook

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: February 2, 2016

2016/02/02

Capitol Update

Congressman Paul Cook Announces More Local Support for his California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conservation Act
 
The City of Big Bear Lake and the Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association (LVEDA) are the latest local entities that have announced support for HR 3668, the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conservation Act.

Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association Chairman Chuck Bell said, “LVEDA supports the balanced approach that Congressman Cook has taken in dealing with our desert lands. CMORCA strikes the proper balance between protecting our desert landscapes for future generations, protecting critical economic activities such as mining, and protecting the Juniper Flats area from renewable energy development. Congressman Cook’s outreach to local communities has been superb, and I eagerly await the passage of his legislation in Congress.”

Cook said, “It’s great to see that more local governments and associations continue to get behind my California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conversation Act. The City of Big Bear Lake and the Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association join numerous other local communities in supporting my bill that protects our desert, addresses the needs of our off- highway vehicles users, and maintains our local economy.”

The bill which was introduced on October 1, 2015, presents a balanced approach to protecting, managing, and using public lands in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Inyo counties. The bill involves management of existing federal land and would not result in an increase in federal landownership. The City of Apple Valley, City of Barstow, City of Hesperia, City of Twentynine Palms, City of Banning, Town of Yucca Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass Regional Water Alliance, and the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission have also announced their support of the bill.

District Update

Echoes of America
On February 6 at 7:30PM to 10:00PM, the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra will present its "Echoes of America." A stirring musical tribute to our great country! The playbill includes: "Variations on America" Ives "Grand Canyon Suite" (‘On The Trail’ and ‘Cloudburst’ movements) Grofe' "Victory at Sea Medley" Rodgers and Bennett "American Salute" Gould "The American Scene (‘The West’ movement)" Still "Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Liberty Bell,” and “Semper Fidelis” Sousa.

The event will take place at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts Center. The location of the event is 562 West 4th Street in San Bernardino, California 92401.

This is a family-friendly event and all ages are welcome. For more information, please visit www.sanbernardinosymphony.org or call (909) 381-5388.

 

Victorville City Library Welcomes New Public Computers
 
On January 27, the Victorville City Library held a ribbon cutting ceremony for 31 new public computers. The new computers were purchased through the efforts of the Friends of the Library, a non-profit group that supports programs of the Victorville City Library. Additional staff computers were also purchased for a total of 38 new and improved computers provided to the City Library.

Prior to the upgrade, the Library’s had 29 computers available for the public to use. In 2015, these computers were utilized by approximately 16,500 Library visitors. The computers are used to provide weekly Library sponsored computer classes, as well as by individuals doing research, writing resumes, or seeking employment.

The Friends of the Library is a non-profit group that strives to increase public awareness of library needs and raise funds for equipment, furniture, and library programs. Its members are all volunteers who value public library service. They raise money through on-going used book sales as well as Library DVD rentals. The Friends of the Library meet at the Victorville City Library on the first Tuesday of each month at 9:00AM. Anyone with a desire to support the Victorville City Library is welcome to join.

The Victorville City Library is located at 15011 Circle Drive in Victorville. The hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 9:00AM until 8:00PM. Friday hours are 9:00AM to 6:00PM. Saturday hours are from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. For more information on all services offered by the Victorville City Library, call (760) 245-4222.

 

Make Us Proud!
Congratulations to our Military Academy Nominees from Highland: Skylar Cummings and Brennan Means. These fine young men have received appointments to the US Military Academy at West Point. Congressman Cook wishes them and their families all the best.

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.

Resume Workshop
 
On Wednesday, February 3, 2016 from 9AM to 11AM, the High Desert Employment Resource Center will be holding a Resume Workshop. The location of the center is 17310 Bear Valley Road, Suite 109 in Victorville California.

Topics include developing an effective resume and composing cover letter and thank you letters. Prior registration is required. Please register at CALJOBS and www.csb-win.org.

For more information, please call Lena Salas at 760-552-6535.

 

California Free Waiver (College Fee Waiver Program for Veterans Dependents)
 
The College Fee Waiver for Veterans Dependents waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover expenses like books, housing and parking. Many colleges and universities have campus based and extension fees which may not be waived, contact CSUSB’s Veterans Success Center for additional information.

To be eligible, the student must:

•Have a parent who is a disabled veteran; or
•Have a spouse who is service-connected (S/C) deceased or rated 100% S/C disabled.
•Be a child earning less than $11,945 per year (student's income, not parents'). *Note: there is no income limit for a spouse or children of S/C deceased or 100% S/C disabled veterans.
•Attend a California Community College, California State University, or a University of California school.
•The student must meet the in-state residency requirements as determined by the school.
•Provide proof of the student's relationship to the veteran such as a copy of a birth or marriage certificate.

Eligibility

PLAN A: The spouse, child or unmarried surviving spouse or California certified registered domestic partner (RDP) of a veteran who is totally service-connected disabled or who has died of service-related causes, may qualify. The veteran must have served during a period of war declared by Congress, or been awarded a Campaign or Expeditionary Medal. This program does not have an income limit. A child must be under 27 years of age to receive the fee waiver benefit. The age limit is extended to 30 years of age if the child is a veteran. There are no age limits for a spouse, surviving spouse or RDP. *Note: a dependent cannot receive this benefit if they are in receipt of VA Chapter 35 benefits,

OR,

PLAN B: The child (no age limit) of a veteran who has a service-connected disability, or had a service-connected disability at the time of death, or who died of service-related causes, may also qualify for a waiver of fees. The child's income, which includes the student's ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME, PLUS THE VALUE OF SUPPORT provided by a parent, cannot exceed the "national poverty level" as published by the U.S. Census Bureau on December 31st of last year.

NOTE: This figure changes annually. To obtain the applicable national poverty level, contact your local County Veterans Service Office (CVSO).

PLAN C: Any dependent, non-remarried surviving spouse, or current RDP of a member of the California National Guard who was killed, permanently disabled or died of this disability that resulted from activation under Military and Veterans Code Section 146.

How to apply

1.Obtain and fill out the College Fee Waiver Program form for Veterans Dependents

2.Obtain a copy of the students birth certificate
◦If the student is a step-child you will need a copy of the parents' marriage license

3.Obtain the tax information of the student for the previous year. ◦If the student did not file taxes, you will need a request for Verification of Non-Filing Letter (Form 4506-T) from the IRS.

A letter can be obtained from: The San Diego Tax Board Field Office: 7575 Metropolitan Drive, Suite 201, San Diego, CA 92108-4421

The LA Tax Board Field Office: 300 S. Spring Street, Suite 5704, Los Angeles, CA 90013-1265

The Santa Ana Tax Board Field Office: 600 W. Santa Ana Blvd, Suite 300, Santa Ana, CA 92701-4543

4.Once CSUSB's School Certifying Official receives the award letter through mail, e-mail or fax, it is then submitted to CSUSB's student accounts office so it can be applied to the student's account.

Applications should be filled out and completed before attending school. Benefits are awarded on an academic year basis and students are required to reapply each year for ongoing benefits.

The College Fee Waiver Program for Veterans Dependents waives mandatory system-wide tuition fees and registration costs at any California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. The student is responsible for campus-based fees.

For additional information visit the Tuition Fee Waiver for Dependents of Service-Connected Disabled Veterans webpage for or call 1(800)952-5626.
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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: January 26, 2016

2016/01/26

Capitol Update

Congressman Cook Announces Local Support for Historic Routes Preservation Act

 

Congressman Cook announced that the County of San Bernardino has endorsed his bipartisan bill, HR 4313, the Historic Routes Preservation Act. This bipartisan bill provides an administrative means for the federal government to confirm rights-of-way on public lands administered by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture.

The County of San Bernardino said, “With more than 80 percent of the land in San Bernardino County owned by the Federal Government, there remain a number of important roads that should have their rights-of-ways recognized through a simple, predictable process. This has been an unresolved issue in the American West for 40 years.”

The Historic Routes Preservation Act solves this problem by creating an administrative process for counties to resolve these rights of way without going to court. It applies only to existing travel routes and does not create new roads on public lands. Further, it will not apply to Department of Defense installations. The burden of proof to have a right-of-way recognized under this legislation will be with the governmental unit that files and administrative costs to the federal government should be minimal.

Cook said, “I’m grateful for the county’s endorsement of the Historic Routes Preservation Act. This bill is about empowering local counties and gives the Bureau of Land Management clear administrative responsibility when it comes to confirming rights-of-ways on our public lands. We must continue to keep public access available on public lands.”

District Update

Shred Fest and Mulch Giveaway in Victorville

 

High Desert residents are invited to attend the first Shred Fest and Mulch Giveaway of 2016 at the Victor Valley Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) on Saturday, February 6th, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. The Victor Valley MRF is located at 17000 Abbey Lane, in Victorville, just off of Stoddard Wells Road. All activities are FREE and open to all residents of the High Desert.

Free Shred-Fest: High Desert residents can bring up to four bankers boxes of confidential paper documents to be shredded for free. All Purpose Document Destruction will have a truck on site, so residents can watch their documents get shredded. The free shredding is for paper documents from residents only. No business materials.

Free Mulch and Compost Giveaway: Area residents can pick up free mulch during the event. This is a “self-serve” giveaway, so residents will need to bring their own shovels and containers to load the mulch into. Limit 50 gallons per resident.

Free Drop-off of TVs, Computers, and Appliances: Area residents and businesses can bring TVs, computers, scrap metal, and appliances to drop-off for free at the RECYCLE ALLEY drop off area.

Free Reusable Grocery Bags: The first 200 visitors will receive a free reusable shopping bag.

Residents can also visit the MRFs buy back center to redeem CRV bottles and cans for cash.

The Victor Valley MRF serves as the processing center for recyclables from Apple Valley and Victorville's curbside and commercial/business recycling programs. The MRF is also a buy back and drop-off recycling center open to the public and businesses. It is regularly open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4PM and Saturdays from 8AM to 12PM.

These events are sponsored by Burrtec Waste Industries and the City of Victorville. For more information, contact the City of Victorville Recycling Program at 760-955-8615 or the Victor Valley MRF at 760-241-1284.

 

Sheriff Deputies Honored

My district staff had the honor of presenting San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputy Asiah Medawar with a Congressional Record insert highlighting her heroic actions last Friday. She, along with the assistance of a Good Samaritan, saved the life of a Victorville motorist who was trapped inside a burning vehicle. Residents of the 8th District are lucky to have people like Deputy Medawar patrolling our streets!

 

Hike with Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent

 

The National Park Service turns 100 years old this year. In recognition and celebration of this milestone, Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent, David Smith will be leading hikes up 5 different peaks in the park. The schedule is as follows:

Monument Mountain 4834', 6 miles - February 6, (Meet at Cottonwood Visitor Center 8:30AM, half day)
Eagle Peak 5350', 10 miles - March 5, (Meet at Cottonwood Visitor Center 8:30AM, all day)
Queen Mountain 5687', 4 miles - April 2 (Meet at Joshua Tree Visitor Center 8:00AM, half day)
Quail Mountain 5813', 12 miles - April 30 (Meet at Joshua Tree Visitor Center 7:00AM, all day)

Theses hikes are all challenging and participants should be fit and in good health. Be sure and bring appropriate footwear for hiking as well as a hat, sunscreen, food and water. Please call 760-367-5502 to RSVP.

 

Sandbangs Available for Upcoming Stormy Season

 

The Twentynine Palms Fire Department and the City of Twentynine Palms would like to remind local residents that sand bags and sand are available to Twentynine Palms' residents for flood control purposes to provide a barrier from flooding at your home if you should need them during this rainy season.

Sand bags may be picked up at the Twentynine Palms Fire Department (6550 Adobe Road) Monday through Thursday from 8:30AM until 1:30PM or by calling the City of Twentynine Palms Public Works at 760-367-6799 ext. 1016.

Up to 10 sandbags per household and sand is available at the north side of the fire department and the west side of Theatre 29 where you can fill them.

 

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.

Veteran Entrepreneurship Workshop

 

 

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Motorcycle Ride

 

 

Seventh Annual Pass Area Veterans Expo

 

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Rep. Paul Cook Announces Local Support for Historic Routes Preservation Act

2016/01/20

WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced that the County of San Bernardino has endorsed his bipartisan bill, HR 4313, the Historic Routes Preservation Act. This bipartisan bill provides an administrative means for the federal government to confirm rights-of-way on public lands administered by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture.

The County of San Bernardino said, “With more than 80 percent of the land in San Bernardino County owned by the Federal Government, there remain a number of important roads that should have their rights-of-ways recognized through a simple, predictable process. This has been an unresolved issue in the American West for 40 years.”

The Historic Routes Preservation Act solves this problem by creating an administrative process for counties to resolve these rights of way without going to court. It applies only to existing travel routes and does not create new roads on public lands.  Further, it will not apply to Department of Defense installations. The burden of proof to have a right-of-way recognized under this legislation will be with the governmental unit that files and administrative costs to the federal government should be minimal.

Cook said, “I’m grateful for the county’s endorsement of the Historic Routes Preservation Act. This bill is about empowering local counties and gives the Bureau of Land Management clear administrative responsibility when it comes to confirming rights-of-ways on our public lands. We must continue to keep public access available on public lands.”

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Rep. Paul Cook Votes for the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act

2016/01/13

WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for HR 3662, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act. This bill strengthens congressional oversight over the administration’s sanctions against Iranian terrorism financiers. Rep. Cook is a cosponsor of this legislation.

The Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act blocks the President from offering sanctions relief to an individual or bank until certifying that it either has not conducted a significant financial transaction with a terrorist organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or in support of either Iran’s ballistic missile or conventional weapons programs. The bill also provides Congress with greater oversight into how the Treasury Department licenses specific US companies to do business in Iran.

Cook said, “I’m opposed to President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran because I oppose the lifting of sanctions without receiving significant concessions from the Iranian regime. The United States needs to reserve the right to maintain and enforce existing sanctions. This bill will prevent the President from unilaterally lifting sanctions on those who do business with terrorists.”

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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: January 12, 2016

2016/01/12

Capitol Update

Congressman Cook Introduces Bill to Empower Local Counties

 

Congressman Cook introduced HR 4313, the Historic Routes Preservation Act. This bipartisan bill provides an administrative means for the federal government to confirm rights-of-way on public lands administered by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Scott Tipton (R-CO), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) are original cosponsors.

One of the only means a county has to confirm a right-of-way is to file a quiet title action in Federal District Court, an expensive and time-consuming process. After 39 years, many county records have been lost, old maps have been thrown away, and witnesses to many roads’ presence and use prior to 1976 are passing on.

The Historic Routes Preservation Act solves this problem by creating an administrative process for counties to resolve these rights of way without going to court. It applies only to existing travel routes and does not create new roads on public lands. Further, it will not apply to Department of Defense installations. The burden of proof to have a right-of-way recognized under this legislation will be with the governmental unit that files and administrative costs to the federal government should be minimal.

Cook said, “This bill empowers local counties and gives the Bureau of Land Management clear administrative responsibility when it comes to confirming rights-of-ways on our public lands. Right now, it’s an expensive and time consuming task for counties to assert existing rights-of-way on roads across federal land. Many small counties can’t afford to go to court to keep public roads open, leading to a loss of public access to public land. This bill changes the way things were done and forces the Departments of Interior and Agriculture to deal with these claims administratively.”

District Update

Transportation Grants Available for School Field Trips to Death Valley

 

In celebration of the National Park Service's 100th birthday, Death Valley National Park and the Death Valley Natural History Association are offering transportation grants for school groups to participate in field trips in the park. This opportunity was made possible by generous donations from Death Valley National Park education program supporters, including the Branson Family Foundation.

"Death Valley Natural History Association is thrilled to be able to assist school groups in coming to Death Valley National Park," said David Blacker, executive director of the Death Valley Natural History Association, "Death Valley offers a unique learning opportunity and educators should not miss a chance to bring out their school groups."

Students can investigate life on the sand dunes, discover ancient landscapes in a canyon, study unique habitats, and explore the lowest point in North America. "This is an exciting opportunity to invite local students and teachers to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial by learning and exploring in the park as an outdoor classroom," said Mike Reynolds, Death Valley National Park superintendent, "We hope that the students' experiences connecting to Death Valley will inspire continued support of the national parks into the next 100 years."

These grants will help cover transportation costs and other expenses for school groups visiting in spring 2016. These grants are intended to assist students who may not otherwise have an opportunity to visit the park and schools that are limited by transportation and other costs to support a field trip to Death Valley National Park.

The field trip transportation grants are part of the nationwide Every Kid in a Park initiative. The Every Kid in a Park program also provides free admission to national parks and federal lands to all fourth-grade students and their families. Families of 4th-graders should visit www.everykidinapark.gov to apply for a free pass before they visit a national park.

Teachers and school administrators can request additional information about transportation grants, education programs, and the Every Kid in a Park initiative by contacting the Education Program Coordinator, Brandi Stewart, at (760) 786-3285 or Brandi_Stewart@nps.gov.

Free 2016 Community Calendars Available

 

Get all the information you need, all in one place with the 2016 Apple Valley Community Calendar! This year's edition features a full-color photograph each month depicting the many things that make Apple Valley "A Better Way of Life."

In addition to staff photos by Charlene Engeron and Kenneth Sousa, the calendar features the work of our annual Photo Contest winners who were recognized at a recent Town Council Meeting:

Calendar Cover: Michelle Bongirno
March: Anthony Karbowski
April: Laila Olivares
October: Yvette Dawn
November: Carole Voll

Free copies are available at Town Hall, the Development Services Building, the Animal Shelter, Apple Valley Golf Course and the Chamber of Commerce.

Keep up to date all year long with a complete schedule of town meetings, special events, recreational activities, as well as a resource directory with phone numbers for everything from abandoned vehicles to weed control. For more information please visit www.AppleValley.org or call (760) 240-7000 X 7072.

Important Message From the US Forest Service For Mountain Residents

 

The first El Nino storms brought plenty of fresh snow to the local mountains in Southern California, creating a winter wonderland.

With the snow, visitors need to plan for heavy traffic this weekend. The US Forest Service, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol are asking visitors to "Know Before You Go" by calling ahead to check on current conditions in the local mountains.

Unlike some of the wildlife that lives within them, America's forests do not hibernate for the winter. Rather, many of these areas are open to a host of recreational opportunities unique to the season. Cross-country and downhill skiing as well as snowshoeing, snowboarding, and snow play are just a few of the activities that you can enjoy on public lands.

"As the lure of the fresh snow appeals to residents across the southland, we're asking folks to be wise and follow safe practices while in snowy conditions across the forest," said Deputy Forest Supervisor John D. Exline. "We want everyone to have safe visit, drive with care, park legally and pack out your trash," Exline added.

Winter Visitor Tips:

Winter weather conditions in the mountains can be extreme and change without notice. An inadequately clothed person can get hypothermia (low internal body temperature).

Hypothermia can be deadly - learn to recognize the early symptoms. Keep warm and dry.

Stay Away from ice covered lakes and streams. Over the past decade several forest
visitors have fallen through thin ice and drown. - Do not attempt to cross any water.

Be extremely careful when walking on ice covered or slippery surfaces like parking areas and trails and especially steep slopes. One slip could result in a serious injury.

Be courteous and remember that you are sharing public lands with other recreational users. Do not recreate on unauthorized areas or private property.

Bring along extra safety items such as extra clothing, blankets, water, flashlights, maps, and your cell phone. Did you remember spare batteries?

"Pack it in, Pack it out" - Do not Litter. Take along a trash bag or other receptacle for collecting your trash so that you can deposit it in the proper trash receptacle.

The Forest Adventure Pass must be displayed on a visitor's parked vehicle when recreating in Winter Special Recreation Permit areas and certain developed sites like campgrounds, snow play, and picnic areas. A list of designated fee sites and areas is posted on the Fee Program website at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino/ap/

Motorists Tips:

Snow Chains are required during winter months. Be prepared to show them at chain control, and know how to install them.

When installing tire chains or traction devices, park in a safe location well off the roadway. Never stop in traffic lanes for these purposes, you may cause other motorists to lose control when they spot your vehicle blocking lanes.

Park your vehicle in a safe location and do not double or triple park (blocking in others). Never park in front of closed gates, they may be needed for emergency access, and you could be cited or have your vehicle towed away.

Do not park in restricted or "No Parking" areas. These are posted for the safety of all travelers.

If you are involved in a traffic accident, try to immediately drive your vehicle to the roadside, but only if safe to do so. Getting the obstructing vehicles off the roadway may prevent the accident from getting worse, involving other vehicles. Immediately call 911, or ask other travelers to call 911 for you from the nearest phone.

Current road conditions and chain control are available on-line at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/
Forest visitors are encouraged to "Know Before You Go" and call ahead to the local

Ranger Station to check on location conditions and restrictions.

Big Bear Discovery Center 909-382-2790
Front Country Ranger Station 909-382-2851
San Jacinto Ranger Station 909-382-2922
Mill Creek Visitor Center 909-382-2882
Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains Monument Visitor Center 760-862-9984

For additional information about the San Bernardino National Forest, please visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf

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.

Inland Empire Women Veterans’ Networking Event

 

On Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM, join the IE Women Veterans Networking Event at Goodwill Southern California! It’s a great time to mix, mingle and laugh with fellow women Veterans and hear from Dominic Woods about the great work Goodwill is doing for Veterans in the IE.

Goodwill Southern California is located at 8120 Palm Lane in San Bernardino, CA 92410.

Space is limited, so register soon by clicking here.

Resume Workshop

On Wednesday, January 13, 2016 from 9AM to 11AM, the High Desert Employment Resource Center will be holding a Resume Workshop. The location of the center is 17310 Bear Valley Road, Suite 109 in Victorville California.

Topics include developing an effective resume and composing cover letter and thank you letters. Prior registration is required. Please register at CALJOBS and www.csb-win.org.

For more information, please call Lena Salas at 760-552-6535.

Yoga for Vets

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Rep. Paul Cook Votes to Sanction North Korea

2016/01/12

WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Paul Cook voted for HR 757, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act. This bill strengthens US. sanctions against North Korea following its latest reported nuclear test. Rep. Cook is a cosponsor of this legislation.

The North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act revamps sanctions on the oppressive Kim regime to further economically isolate it from the international community, while also enhancing efforts to combat North Korea’s broader illicit activities. Additionally, this legislation presses the Administration to use all available tools to impose sanctions against North Korea and on countries and companies that assist North Korea in bolstering its nuclear weapons program. This legislation also has an important human rights focus as a recent U.N. report found that the regime’s abuses have no “parallel in the contemporary world.

Cook said, “For years, the United States and our allies have been rightly concerned about the threat from North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Now, with cyberattacks on the rise, this regime is even more unpredictable. Last week’s nuclear test should serve as a wakeup call that our non-proliferation policies are failing. We must deprive the North Korean government of the money it needs to stockpile nuclear weapons and launch cyberattacks.”

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Rep. Paul Cook Introduces Bill to Empower Local Counties

2016/01/06

WASHINGTON- Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) introduced HR 4313, the Historic Routes Preservation Act. This bipartisan bill provides an administrative means for the federal government to confirm rights-of-way on public lands administered by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Scott Tipton (R-CO), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) are original cosponsors.

One of the only means a county has to confirm a right-of-way is to file a quiet title action in Federal District Court, an expensive and time-consuming process. After 39 years, many county records have been lost, old maps have been thrown away, and witnesses to many roads’ presence and use prior to 1976 are passing on. 

The Historic Routes Preservation Act solves this problem by creating an administrative process for counties to resolve these rights of way without going to court. It applies only to existing travel routes and does not create new roads on public lands. Further, it will not apply to Department of Defense installations. The burden of proof to have a right-of-way recognized under this legislation will be with the governmental unit that files and administrative costs to the federal government should be minimal.

Cook said, “This bill empowers local counties and gives the Bureau of Land Management clear administrative responsibility when it comes to confirming rights-of-ways on our public lands. Right now, it’s an expensive and time consuming task for counties to assert existing rights-of-way on roads across federal land. Many small counties can’t afford to go to court to keep public roads open, leading to a loss of public access to public land. This bill changes the way things were done and forces the Departments of Interior and Agriculture to deal with these claims administratively.”

A member of the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Natural Resources 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: January 6, 2016

2016/01/05

Capitol Update

A Message From Congressman Cook on President Obama's Latest Executive Order

Today, using recent tragedies as political justification, President Obama took divisive action attempting to restrict law-abiding gun-owners and, in effect, creating a disincentive for Americans to seek help for mental health issues. Regardless of how you feel about 2nd Amendment rights, no President should create the equivalent of new laws through executive order. The courts have struck down numerous Obama executive orders where he exceeded his constitutional authority, and I expect the President’s actions today will meet the same fate. His actions would allow Washington bureaucrats to one day regulate every private gun owner just as they would a dealer, making it effectively impossible to transfer or sell a legally-owned firearm. Additionally, today’s actions included a directive to the Department of Health and Human Services that would remove important privacy safeguards for Americans’ mental health records by allowing transfer of those records from states to a federal database. These regulations would not only put Americans’ health records at greater risk of being hacked and stolen, but also raise the possibility that people with mental health concerns might avoid treatment in order to avoid an administrative blacklist for gun ownership. We need to encourage those with mental illness to seek treatment, and the President’s actions are contrary to this goal.

I’m adamantly opposed to the President ignoring the constitution and unilaterally rewriting laws. Moreover, the Second Amendment is a constitutional right affirmed by the courts, and I’ll oppose any efforts by this President or any future President to weaken it. From my initial analysis, nothing the President proposed today would have prevented the massacre in the City of San Bernardino. Conversely, a former Department of Homeland Security employee has claimed that President Obama’s State Department and the Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties shut down his investigation into the mosque attended by the perpetrators of the San Bernardino attack, citing profiling concerns. We all want less violence, but these regulations hurt legal gun owners, make us less safe, and will simply divide Americans further. The President needs to stop targeting law-abiding citizens and start targeting the terrorists and criminals.

Congressman Cook Votes for Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act

 

Congressman Cook voted to Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation requires President Obama to lay out a strategy to counter terrorist use of social media.

This bill also requires the President to come up with a policy to enhance the exchange of information and dialogue between the federal government and social media companies.

Cook said, “It’s become normal for terrorists to use social media to fund raise, indoctrinate, and recruit future members. This bipartisan legislation will require the President to come up with a strategy to stop terrorists from using social media to advance their message of hate.”

District Update

The Town of Apple Valley Offers El Nino Resource Information

 

With El Nino storms estimated to be their strongest in years, the Town of Apple Valley and Apple Valley Fire Protection District are getting prepared...and citizens should too.

The Town has created a page on its website with helpful resources and links to help residents get through the upcoming rainy season safely. Don’t wait until the rain starts falling to get your property and emergency preparedness plans in order. Follow these tips now to ensure the safety and well-being of you and the ones you love:

• Make sure any necessary home repairs are complete
• Determine the areas on your property that may have flooded in the past. If needed utilize sandbags for those areas.
• Make sure your car’s tires have proper tread and windshield wipers are in proper working order.
• Never drive around marked flood barricades or into flood waters.
• Never attempt to walk or wade through flowing water. As little as 6 inches of water can sweep you off your feet causing a potentially life threatening situation.
• Monitor radio and TV news closely for information about weather conditions and flooding in your area.
• Identify important items to take if your neighborhood is evacuated, such as computers, photos, important documents, medications, and other needed items for your family and pets.
• Be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation is ordered. Have alternate evacuation routes out of your neighborhood.
• Have enough food and water to supply your family for at least a 72-hour period.
• Always remember to include a radio and flashlight with fresh batteries in your kit.

For more information visit www.ReadyAppleValley.org. Click on services and emergency preparedness.

The City of Hesperia: Prepare for Flooding Before It Occurs

 

The most effective way to protect your property against flooding is to prepare before it rains. Preparations can consist of very simple home maintenance but, depending on your circumstances, may involve the construction of permanent drainage systems, walls or other measures to divert water, mud or debris.

Although rare in the High Desert, flood waters can be swift, powerful, and at times deadly. The National Weather Service is predicting that El Nino will likely peak during the 2015-16 winter season. The City of Hesperia, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are great resources for information on storms in this region.

The National Weather Service (NWS), along with FEMA's FloodSmart Program, shows the effects and costs of flooding to millions of people. This site provides essential information on what to know and do before, during and after a flood as well as a variety of safety tips and online tools. View the complete Flood Safety and Awareness article for more information about the importance of being prepared. Residents may also find this El Nino Preparedness checklist to be helpful.

It is important for residents to stay informed. During severe storms and other disasters and emergencies, the City of Hesperia will post important information and emergency updates on the City of Hesperia website as well as on City of Hesperia Facebook and Twitter pages. Encourage your friends and neighbors to follow the City of Hesperia on social media and to sign up for emergency alerts on the City website.

Sandbag Locations
If sandbags are needed to protect your house from flooding, City of Hesperia residents may pick them up during business hours at the following locations:

•City Hall at 9700 Seventh Ave
•Public Works Division at 17282 Mojave St
•Fire Station 302 at 17288 Olive St
•Fire Station 304 at 15660 Eucalyptus St
•Fire Station 305 at 8331 Caliente Ave

Ten sandbags will be allotted to each Hesperia household. For more information, contact the Public Works Division at (760) 947-1400.

City of Victorville Christmas Tree Collection Program

 

Once again, City of Victorville residents will be able to recycle Christmas trees at the curb. The City’s hauler, Victorville Disposal, will be picking up trees at curbside January 4-15 on customers’ regular trash collection day. The program is for residential customers on cart (barrel) service only.

Natural, flocked, and artificial trees will all be collected. Trees more than 6 feet tall should be cut in half and placed at the curb on the resident’s regular service day. All stands, plastic bags, and decorations must be removed.

Natural trees will be collected separately from trash and will be turned into mulch. The flocked trees will be collected and disposed of as trash, since the flocking material makes them unsuitable for composting or mulch.

After January 15, residents of single family homes can dispose of trees by scheduling a free bulky item pickup by calling Victorville Disposal at 760-245-8607.

City of Victorville residents can also drop off natural, un-flocked trees at American Organics, a composting business located at 20055 Shay Road Victorville. American Organics has offered to accept natural, un-flocked Christmas trees from Victorville residents for free through January 31. American Organics is open Monday through Friday from 7AM to 4PM and Saturdays from 7:00AM to 3:30PM. Trees dropped off to American Organics must be free of stands and all decorations.

Christmas trees or excess trash can also be disposed of for a charge at the County landfill on Stoddard Wells Road. Call the San Bernardino County Solid Waste Management Department at 1-800-722-8004 for landfill hours and fees.

For more information, Victorville residents should call Victorville Disposal at 760-245-8607 or visit the City of Victorville recycling information website at: www.VictorvilleRecycles.com 

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.

Veteran Job Fair Workshop

 

On Friday, January 8, 2016 a Veterans Job Fair Workshop will take place from 8AM to 1PM at the San Bernardino Employment Resource Center. This workshop will cover effective job fair preparation and follow-up techniques. Please dress for success and bring your resume.

The location of the San Bernardino Employment Resource Center is 658 East Brier Drive, Suite 100 in San Bernardino.

For more information, please call Hiderjiro Hiratuska at (909) 382-0478.

Veteran Driver License and ID Available

 

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently launched the Veteran Driver License Initiative. This initiative allows California Veterans to obtain a "Veteran" designation on their California driver license or identification card (DL/ID). Interested Veterans need to present a valid DD-214 (must show discharge status) to a local County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) to receive Veteran Status verification. Then the Veteran takes the CVSO verification form to a DMV field office for processing.

DMV charges an additional $5, plus the cost of a new, renewal, or duplicate license fee for this enhancement.

For more information, please call 1-800-952-5626 or click here.

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Rep. Paul Cook Votes to Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media

2015/12/16

Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R – Apple Valley) voted for H.R. 3654, the Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation requires President Obama to lay out a strategy to counter terrorist use of social media.

This bill also requires the President to come up with a policy to enhance the exchange of information and dialogue between the federal government and social media companies.

Cook said, “It’s become normal for terrorists to use social media to fundraise, indoctrinate, and recruit future members. This bipartisan legislation will require the President to come up with a strategy to stop terrorists from using social media to advance their message of hate.”

 

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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: December 15, 2015

2015/12/15

Capitol Update

Congressman Cook Votes to Keep Terrorists out of the US

 

Last Tuesday, Congressman Cook voted for HR 158, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. This bill closes gaps existing in the program and adds additional layers of protection.

Currently, citizens of all 38 approved Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries can travel more easily to the United States than travelers from other countries. Rather than going to the US consulate to obtain a visa, citizens of VWP countries must provide detailed background information through an online form that is screened against US security systems. VWP applicants are approved or denied for travel to the US more quickly than citizens from non-VWP countries. This program enhances US security because the VWP countries must agree to strengthen their own security screening measures and to share crucial counterterrorism and law enforcement information with the US.

In light of the high terror threat environment, more needs to be done to close VWP security gaps and keep terrorists from entering into the US. HR 158 denies VWP travel to travelers who are nationals of – or have visited during the past five years- Iraq, Syria, and other countries with significant terrorist activity. These travelers will be required to seek a visa for entry into the United States through a more stringent process.

This bill also demands strong intelligence sharing by law enforcement, enhances screening of all travelers in VWP countries, prevents extremists from using fraudulent documents to evade detection, and takes steps to ensure VWP travelers do not falsify their background information.

Cook said, “We need strong leadership to defeat ISIS. Despite our President’s assertion, ISIS is not a ‘junior varsity’ organization. They control more territory than al-Qaeda ever did in the Middle East. With the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, it’s clear we need to be doing more to improve our security screening to prevent future attacks. This bill takes an important step in the right direction by closing loopholes in the Visa Waiver Program and now is the time to pass it. Terrorists are not welcome in the United States of America.”

 

Congressman Cook’s CMORCA Bill Continues to Gain Local Support

Congressman Cook’s bill, HR 3668, the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conservation Act (CMORCA), continued to gain local support and took a significant step toward becoming law.

On Monday, the Town of Yucca Valley voted 5-0 to support H.R. 3668. This bill places over a million acres of existing scenic federal lands into conservation for future generations, while protecting recreational off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, and continuing to allow important economic activity such as mining in the California desert. The Cities of Barstow, Hesperia, Twentynine Palms, and Banning, the Town of Apple Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass Regional Water Alliance, and the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission have already announced their support of the bill.

Additionally, H.R. 3668 took a significant step forward in the legislative process. On Wednesday, HR 3668 was heard at a legislative hearing before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands. At the hearing, San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood testified in support of the bill.

Cook said, “I’m thrilled to have the support of the Town of Yucca Valley for the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conversation Act. They join numerous other local communities in supporting my bill that protects our desert, addresses the needs of our off- highway vehicles users, and maintains our economic vitality.”

“The Town of Yucca Valley supports CMORCA because it’s a balanced approach to conserving our desert, keeping our public lands open for recreational activities, and keeping our economic best interests at the forefront. I’d like to thank Congressman Cook for engaging local constituents and stake holders about what they would like to see move forward,” said Yucca Valley Mayor George Huntington.

District Update

City of Victorville to Host American Red Cross Blood Drive

 

The City of Victorville will host a community blood drive with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, December 22, from 9AM to 3PM at Victorville City Hall located at 14343 Civic Drive.
The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be parked in the parking lot in front of Victorville City Hall, in the area closest to the County Courthouse.

For every lifesaving donation, participants will receive a Free American Red Cross t-shirt, two tickets to the Laugh Factory and a voucher for discounted tickets to a LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks game.

The City of Victorville is committed to strengthening our community and helping meet hospital and patient needs through blood donations,” said Christian Guntert, Director of Community Services. “This blood drive is our way of giving staff, local businesses and residents an opportunity to help save lives.”

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are strongly encouraged and do receive priority.

To make your appointment today, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: cityofvv

 

Cleaning for a Cause: Holiday Food and Toy Drive to Benefit the Victor Valley Rescue Mission

 

This holiday season So Cal Squeegee Pros is hosting "Cleaning for a Cause: Holiday Food and Toy Drive to Benefit the Victor Valley Rescue Mission." We will be encouraging donations by offering gift certificates good for $30 off any window cleaning service in exchange for qualifying donations.

From November 11 through December 23, donors will receive one gift certificate for every three nonperishable food items or for each new toy valued at approximately $10 or more. Donations may be made directly to the Victor Valley Rescue Mission at:

16857 C Street in Victorville, CA 92395.

You can also call So Cal Squeegee Pros to arrange a pick up time as well as receive a free estimate and $30 off gift certificate.

The Victor Valley Rescue Mission offers a wide range of life changing treatment programs that address the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. They offer services free of charge to the poor and needy in our community.

 

Hesperia Friends of the Library Book Sale

 

The Friends' Fabulous Holiday Sale begins Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 during regular library hours (Mon-Thurs, 10 AM-8 PM ; Fri, 10AM -6PM; Sat, 9AM -5 PM; Sun, 1PM -5PM). Donated books, VHS tapes, CDs, and DVDs, many suitable for gift-giving, await your inspection. Prices range from 25 cents to $40.00. The very large inventory is supplemented daily.

All purchases support the activities and materials collection of the Hesperia Branch Library.

 

Night of Lights- Mono County

 

Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with a one-of-a-kind evening at Canyon Lodge. A fun-filled night for all ages with live music, a firework show, torchlight parade and more.

Event Schedule
4:30PM - 6:30PM - Family activities at Canyon Lodge including snowmobile rides, sledding hill, face painting and more.
5:00PM - Evening festivities and food concessions open
5:00PM - 8:00PM - Rooftop Viewing Area and Family Club Room opens
5:15PM - Live Music
5:30PM - Magic Show
6:45PM - Night of Lights Show
7:45PM - After show live music

Rooftop Viewing Area - Join your friends and family atop Canyon Lodge on the fifth floor from 5PM to 8PM for a light party not to miss. Offering a cash bar and grab-and-go food purchase, with standing room and limited seating, there's no other place you'd rather be to enjoy the nights events. Adult (13+) tickets are $25, child (5-12) tickets are $10, and children 4 and under are free.

Family Club Room - Gather with the family for a night of pure magic. Enjoy the Night of Lights festivities from a warm setting on the fourth floor of Canyon Lodge from 5PM to 8PM, with room for sitting and standing. Food and drinks will be available for purchase and the kids will enjoy a magician and appearance from Woolly himself. Adult (13+) tickets are $35, child (5-12) tickets are $25, and children 4 and under are free.

For more information, please call 1-800-MAMMOTH or click here.

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.

Resume Workshop

 

On Wednesday, December 16, 2015 from 9AM to 11AM, the High Desert Employment Resource Center will be holding a Resume Workshop. The location of the center is 17310 Bear Valley Road, Suite 109 in Victorville California.

Topics include developing an effective resume and composing cover letter and thank you letters. Prior registration is required. Please register at CALJOBS and www.csb-win.org.

For more information, please call Lena Salas at 760-552-6535.

 

Interview Workshop

 

On Thursday, December 16, 2015 from 1:30PM to 3PM, the High Desert Employment Resource Center will be holding an Interview Workshop. The location of the center is 17310 Bear Valley Road, Suite 109 in Victorville California.

Topics include interview techniques, verbal communications, and body language. Please register at CALJOBS and www.csb-win.org.

For more information, please call Lena Salas at 760-552-6535.

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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.


Serving With

Doug LaMalfa

CALIFORNIA's 1st DISTRICT

Tom McClintock

CALIFORNIA's 4th DISTRICT

Jeff Denham

CALIFORNIA's 10th DISTRICT

David Valadao

CALIFORNIA's 21st DISTRICT

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Kevin McCarthy

CALIFORNIA's 23rd DISTRICT

Steve Knight

CALIFORNIA's 25th DISTRICT

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

Mimi Walters

CALIFORNIA's 45th DISTRICT

Dana Rohrabacher

CALIFORNIA's 48th DISTRICT

Darrell Issa

CALIFORNIA's 49th DISTRICT

Duncan Hunter

CALIFORNIA's 50th DISTRICT

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