Menifee School Lunch Deliquencies

In reading the latest story in the Californian about families with delinquent school lunch accounts, one of the first things that comes to my mind is wasted food.

Kids in elementary schools are given fruits and vegetables by the school cafeterias. But few kids ever eat them. Almost all of the kids toss them into the trash. This is the testimony of three girls in my neighborhood who attend Ridgemoor. Why are we even spending money on "nutrition" if no one is going to eat this stuff? I suppose there's probably a law or regulation on this. But look how silly this is!

Here, we have a problem with families not paying for school lunches, and the school district having to foot the bill. And then we have a problem with kids not even eating the stuff!

To me, the issue is WHO is responsible for feeding children? The school district, or the parents? Public education should be limited to education, and not feeding free food to children. As long as the school district continues to give out free food that kids don't eat, parents will continue to do nothing about it. Responsibility is on the parents, and I'm getting the sense that School Board Officials are unwilling to take a stand.

Someone please tell me that I'm terribly mistaken!

Menifee Cityhood Feasibility Becomes More Difficult

Riverside County Supervisors voted to allow housing development on a 39 acre parcel of land south of Craig Road and bordered by Haun, Sherman and Garbani roads.

Menifee Cityhood Supporters fought with the Supervisors to deny housing on this land because commercial development is needed to build tax revenue to support a future cityhood for Menifee. The reason is that once families move into the new homes built on the piece of land in question, they will fight tooth and nail to prevent any businesses being built nearby.

Supervisor Marion Ashley says, "If you wait long enough, there'll be commercial (built in the area), but we have to deal with what's before us now," he said. "It's a quality project."

Certainly there will be commercial built, but when? Menifee residents want commercial now. We have enough homes and families.

Menifee School District Computers Shut Down by Virus

The Californian reported yesterday that over 1,000 computers networked withing the Menifee Union Schoo District had to be shut down due to a virus infection.

Seems someone opened an e-mail that contained a virus, which then managed to infect a bunch of other computers. Well, talk about leveling the playing field! One little innocent looking e-mail, innocent enough to be opened along with its attachment clicked on, can shut down a school district. Whoever wrote the virus was able to disrupt so much business.

With computers taking up so much of our work environment, without them we just about cannot work at all. I remember when our computer systems went down at my last job, we pretty much couldn't do anything other than chat with our fellow employees until they came back online. It seems school district employees would benefit from some basic training in computer and Internet skills.

Snow Falls in Menifee

I was surprised to see snow in my yard this morning. The rain washed much of it away, there was still some on my cars. The hills by Ridgemoor Elementary School still had snow on it. I checked the thermometer in my backyard at 12:00pm, and it read 37 degrees F.

Kids playing in the snow, Murrieta Rd, by the fire station.

Snow scene at the corner of Murrieta and Garbani Roads.

The fire station on Murrieta Rd, near Scott Rd.

Snow scene along Scott Rd.

Snow scene along Scott Rd.

Rhythm & Brews Closes Down

Rhythm & Brews was a favorite hang out for some folks in Southwest County. Located in Old Town Temecula, a block up the hill from the Swing Inn, it offered some great hamburgers, and about a 100 different beers to choose from. It was also one of Southwest County's few microbreweries, offering their own line of beers. On Friday and Saturday nights you could listen to live Blues music. My neighbor and I loved to go there for that reason.

But now it is shutting down. November 27-28, 2004 will be the last days of its existence. It just couldn't get enough business beyond the loyal following. It is being purchased by the guy who owns the Old Town Spa next door. The word is that he is converting it to a coffee shop for his customers. If any of you read this before it closes, please go there and enjoy one of their brews before it is gone for good.

Off-Roaders Upsetting Local Folks

Perhaps the issue that will only get hotter before it starts to cool off, are off-roaders buying property out by Sage, Radec, Anza, Aguanga, and parts thereof. An angry property owner in Aguanga wrote to The Californian saying:
There oughta be a law! I've watched friends become ill and frustrated, finally moving away, our valley turned into a dust bowl filled with unrelenting and resonating noise. It's not just the volume; it's the change in frequency that drives one crazy. A dirt-bike riding neighbor doesn't know why we get irritated. He says he likes peace and quiet, too. That's easy to say when you're in control. It's only noisy and dusty when he wants it that way.

This is a very tough issue. As a homeowner, I don't want to hear loud noisy engines blaring away either. However, land ownership and freedom are two things sacred to our way of life in the United States. You should have the right to do what you want on your land.

The people who buy land out in the rural areas of Riverside County have every right to enjoy the peace and quiet. However, the people who buy land out in the same area also have the right ride their off-road vehicles. Enjoying peace and quiet is no more "righteous" than riding off-road vehicles. Both sides of the issue should have no preference over the other.

It's kinda like when your next door neighbor starts playing the music too loud. The Sheriff can only do something about it if the noise level reaches a certain decibel level. Otherwise, you're out of luck.

Too Many Homes in Menifee

Seems like it's another housing development here, and another housing development there. I want to see more restaurants and shops.

I want to see a new brew pub, maybe on the corner of Murrieta and Newport. How about a Home Depot on Newport and Haun? How about a Petsmart on Bradley and Cherry Hills?

At least we got a Yellow Basket now.

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Doug Spoon, Editor - Doug is a veteran journalist, having spent 30 years as a writer and editor for daily newspapers in Southern California, most notably the Pasadena Star-News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune. He teaches journalism part-time at Cal Poly Pomona and continues to support the education of young journalists.

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