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What happened to the star above San Antonio Heights

By in Press Enterprise on November 28, 2017

By Liset Marquez

SAN ANTONIO HEIGHTS >> If you’re looking for a star to the north, you’re going to have to wait until closer to Christmas.

This Thanksgiving, many noticed the star which shines above the unincorporated community overlooking the inland valley was missing.

Ken Petschow, who has continued the 59-year Christmas ritual of lighting the 75-foot-high star is behind schedule.

Petschow — who typically lights the star from Thanksgiving to Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day — said the delay is due to damage the star sustained last holiday season as well as the heights’ ongoing legal battler over a fire tax.

“I will get it up before Christmas,” Petschow said Monday afternoon, but couldn’t commit to an exact date.

A star has been a holiday staple in the community since 1958.

George Hostetler built the house as well as the star, which at the time was only 35 feet high by 35 feet wide.

Petschow inherited the tradition when he purchased the property in 1996.

“It’s my gesture, out of the goodness of my heart,” he said.

But this year, Petschow is facing some unusual circumstances, and he blames the government agencies involved to disband Upland’s more than 100 year-old fire department and annex to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

The move impacted him after LAFCO, which oversees annexations in San Bernardino County, decided to amend the plan to include the unincorporated community of San Antonio Heights. Property owners in San Antonio Heights — along with Upland landowners — would have to pay an annual $150 parcel tax, which may increase 3 percent annually, without taking it to a general election vote.

“The legal fight with (San Bernardino) County, Upland and the Local Formation Commission used up all of my time I would have spent on it,” Petschow said.

Petschow said he […]    

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