Go Christmas Shopping for a Foster Child

The Loft Scrapbooks, a scrapbook supply store here in Menifee, announces a Christmas Wish Tree they've erected in their store.

It's in cooperation with Walden Family Services, a foster family agency serving Southern California. The gifts you purchase are given to foster children in our local area.

The way it works is you visit The Lofts Scrapbook store between December 1 and December 20, and take a look at the gift wishes of local foster children adorning the tree. Then you pick up a gift tag and go shopping for items.

You bring back the unwrapped items to The Lofts Scrapbook store, along with your tag, and Walden Family Services will deliver the gifts to the kids that wished for them.

There's nothing you need to buy from The Lofts Scrapbook store, it's just a good thing to do.

The Lofts Scrapbooks
29683 New Hub Drive, Suite C
Menifee, CA 92586
Business: (951) 639-3609
Website: http://www.theloftscrapbooks.com/

Menifee Valley Humane Society - Pet of the Week

This is "Mocha". She's a mix of Miniature Pinscher and Terrier, about 8-12 months old, and almost fully grown.

Mocha Pet of the Week
She's full of energy and needs a home with secure yard to zip around in, and loves the company of children and other dogs. She loves to go for hikes and long walks and you'll tire out well before she will.

She's currently with the Menifee Valley Humane Society and is available for adoption.

If you have an active family and are interested in giving this fun girl a home please call or email Pamala at (951) 246-7960, pamala@mvhumanesociety.org.

We also want to update you about Buddy, our previous Pet of the Week; he was adopted just prior to Thanksgiving.

Wilderness Lakes - at Thanksgiving

Rose & Greg at Wilderness Lakes, MenifeeWilderness Lakes is an RV campground located at the eastern end of Menifee, near the Tierra Shores community. It's part of the Thousand Trails system of RV campgrounds.

Rose & Greg are "full-timers", having begun their home-on-the-road in January of 2006, when the couple finally retired. They call Wilderness Lakes their "home park" because it was the place where they bought their Thousand Trails membership.

After having trekked all across the United States and Canada, they're back here in Menifee, at Wilderness Lakes, having just arrived yesterday from Palm Springs. Sounds like they'll be celebrating Thanksgiving here in town.

I've never been to Wilderness Lakes, though I've driven past it many times. I kinda wonder if its days are numbered. With housing tracts creeping in, it'll be just a couple more years until folks in their cookie-cutter homes can peek out of their bathrooms to see what the RV folks are grilling on the BBQ.

But according to Rose, it sounds like it's still a serene place, with good fishing and a variety of wildlife waterfowl. But the biggest the problem they have right now are the flies from the dairy farm across the road...
As much as I love this park, it has its drawbacks, as a huge cattle farm across the road attracts almost every black fly in the entire state, and, depending on time of day, they can literally coat the motorhome, its windows and screens, making it impossible to enter or exit without inviting many of them in.
You can read Rose's full blog entry about this...

I'd recommend a bug zapper.

Well, a happy Thanksgiving to Rose & Greg, we're glad to have them celebrate this day here in our community. And a happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers!

Prop 8 Reassessment Deadline Extended

Cynthia Aina, who submitted the previous article to us about how get your property taxes reduced, now tells us that the County Assessor has extended the deadline to Decemember 31st, to get this done.

You can read the original article here...

Hospital Layoffs and Cutbacks Begin

41 employees at Valley Health System hospitals will be laid off according to a newspaper report by The Californian yesterday...

Valley Health System, the public health-care district that owns the hospitals, plans to lay off 41 of its 2,000 employees, including about 10 people at Menifee Valley on McCall Boulevard in Sun City, chief executive Fred Harder said.

Harder said in an interview Tuesday that he doesn't foresee cutting services at the Sun City hospital, though a press release from the district stated it would "begin seriously evaluating the closure of underutilized services" at one or more of its facilities.
Read the full article at The Californian...

For some reason, stuff like this always seems to happen around Christmas.

Perris Sues LAFCO to Get Back Land

The Press Enterprise reports that the City of Perris is filing a lawsuit against the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to get back the 35 acres that was taken away from its sphere of influence.
At the Oct. 25 LAFCO meeting, Perris officials voiced concerns about the removal of 35 acres south of Matthews and East of Trumble roads in Romoland from the city's sphere-of-influence and said further review was needed.

But the city's interests extend beyond the 35 acres. Study areas 2 and 3 in Menifee Valley's fiscal study are northeast of Interstate 215 and off Ethanac Road in Romoland.
You can read the Press Enterprise article here...

This land is not within the City of Perris, but is within it's "sphere of influence". LAFCO is the authority on defining the borders for spheres of influence.

Perris was given plenty of notice and opportunity to respond regarding the secession of land, but failed to do so. Hence, it was ceded to the proposed city of Menifee.

By extending its borders all the way out to Hwy 74, it gives the future city of Menifee an opportunity to cash in on a transportation corridor that will one day generate a lot of taxable income. Perris recognizes this, and wants that land for itself.

Farmer Boys Cuts Trans-Fats

Farmer BoysFarmer Boys Restaurants announced today that it will be transitioning its restaurants to a zero trans-fat per serving frying oil over the next few months.

The restaurant, known for its famous "Farmer Burger" (one of my favorites), and its monster-sized zucchini sticks, will now be preparing such fare in the new health-conscious oil.

Farmer Boys has partnered with Cargill as its supplier of cooking oils to make the switch over to the new oil.

The restaurant chain has actually been frying with it in some of its locations on a test-basis, and received positive results. Farmer Boys expects to roll out the trans-fat free per serving oil to all locations by the beginning of 2008.

This type of oil is not technically trans-fat free. It's trans-fat free "per serving". Meaning that it has between 0.1 to 0.5 grams of trans-fat in a single serving, but because of a rounding loophole, the FDA allows them to call it "trans fat free per serving".

Either way, I'll feel better about stuffing my face with more Farmer Burgers.

Temecula Valley Woman's Club - Holiday Home Tour

Temecula Valley Woman's Club PosterThe Temecula Valley Woman's Club is holding its 2007 Holiday Home Tour.

For $30-$35 per person, you get to walk through four impressive homes in the exclusive gated community of Bear Creek, and see how comfortable some people are living.

The club has photos of the homes you'll be seeing on their website. You can also purchase tickets there for $30.00 each, or purchase them on the day of arrival at $35.00 each...


Proceeds from the home tour will benefit a variety of Temecula & Murrieta charities...

  • Temecula Library

  • Murrieta Library

  • Temecula Valley Museum

  • Boys & Girls Club

  • Michelle's Place

  • Community Recreation Center

  • YMCA

  • Make-A-Wish/Spinoza Buddy Bear

  • SAFE

  • Circle of Safety

  • Scholarships for Temecula & Murrieta High School seniors
I haven't heard anything from the Lake Menifee Women's Club, or the Menifee Valley Woman's Club, if they're running any charitable projects for Christmas. If someone knows, post a comment.

Menifee's Budweiser Clydesdales in Arizona

Budweiser ClydesdalesThose of you who have recently relocated to Menifee may not know that you're living in the one of the homes of the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales.

I've yet to actually see them here, though I'm not particularly sure where they are. I imagine someone here can post a comment to that effect.

The East Valley Tribune, a newspaper serving the Phoenix, AZ area, reports that the team is now resting at the King River Stables in Queen Creek...
The Clydesdales at King River Stables make up the West Coast travel team, one of six teams of 12 Clydesdales the company has.

Based in Menifee, Calif., the West Coast team travels from Alaska to Mexico, everywhere west of the Mississippi River, said Erik Anderson, a Clydesdale handler.
You can also visit some of the Budweiser Clydesdales at Sea World, now that Anheuser-Busch owns it.

Gas Station Demolition Party

3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone will be holding "demolition party" on Wednesday, November 28, 2007, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

He'll be demolishing the old gas station on the corner of Cherry Hills Blvd & Bradley Rd. The land that it sits on now belongs to the Sun City Library, and the demolition will make way for library expansion.

There will be free refreshments and giveways.

sun city gas station demolition party

Measure G Aftermath News

A couple items of interest regarding the aftermath of Measure G's defeat...

The Idyllwild Town Crier published a Special News Update, under the title of, "VHS May Declare Banktruptcy". Here's a telling paragraph from that article...
The district did lay off about 20 employees in August, but no other major changes have been implemented to address the expanding losses. In fact, the district has had to use most of Select's down payment as working capital for the past several months.
Read their full article here...

The Press Enterprise published an interview with the much maligned Kali P. Chaudhuri, asking for his thoughts on Measure G's defeat. As expected, the doctor didn't say anything we haven't already heard, except that he's not going away, and he wishes for everyone to work together to save Hemet Valley Medical Center...
We don't know. This is democracy. I respect the opposition. I can tell you my view. My view is let's not (allow) the fight between the doctors ... it should not spoil a great hospital like this. Our mother is sick, it's time for us to give up our ego. It's time for us to give up petty jealousy. It's time for us to stop name-calling and come together to save this hospital.
Read the full interview here...

Menifee Junior All American Football

The Division one Micro Team has won its division and now is headed to the playoffs. This Sat. at 11am they will play Lake Elsinore's Tri Lakes at Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore. Congratulations Players and coaches for a great year.

Menifee Relay for Life - Retreat

Menifee Relay For Life is an event that raises funds and awareness for cancer research, and is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

The "Retreat" is a meeting to do the planning and get volunteers geared up for 3rd such event in Menifee. Anyone who wants to get involved is invited to attend.

The retreat will set goals, examine the previous events and strengthen the volunteer team for 2008.

It's scheduled for Tuesday, November 27, 2008, from 6pm – 8pm. A light dinner will be served. The location is at the home of Anna Hill, this year's Event Co-chair.

RSVP by Tuesday, November 20th by contacting Lou-Anne Wright, Relay For Life Manager at (951) 300-1232 or Lou-Anne.Wright@cancer.org.

Will Kaiser Permanente Build a Hospital Here?

The answer is no.

This question was asked by an anonymous commenter on our earlier article, "Size of Menifee Square Miles"...
My comment is a question. Is there any plan that you know of for Kaiser Permanente building a medical center/hospital here in the Inland Empire?
So I contacted a friend of mine, who happens to be a Kaiser physician, and he put me in touch with one of Kaiser's public affairs officers, Karen Roberts. Karen said that they don't have any plans to build a hospital here in Riverside County, but they do have plans to build some medical office buildings.

In 2009 they plan to open up a building in Redhawk, and in 2011 they plan to open one up in Murrieta by Rancho Springs.

Note that earlier this year, Kaiser made a bid to buy Moreno Valley Medical Center, but was denied. Now that Measure G failed, Select Healthcare is obligated to purchase Moreno Valley. It's possible Select may go foward with the purchase, and then sell it to Kaiser.

Layoffs at Menifee, Hemet Hospitals

Discussions on local area forums, including a comment posted here on Menifee 24/7, about layoffs at Menifee Valley Medical Center, and Hemet Valley Medical Center have been posted today.

On the Topix forum, talk of a memo that was circulated to hospital employees discussing potential layoffs and shutdown of services was discussed. A mention of impending layoffs was also posted on Menifee 24/7 under the "Measure G Results" article.

Also today, the Press Enterprise ran an article saying that layoffs at VHS hospitals are coming soon...
Since Measure G fizzled in the polls Tuesday, the fallout could be swift.

Valley Health System board members say they now have little choice but to take drastic steps to stave off a full-blown financial crisis, including possible cuts in hospital services and laying off personnel.
But hey, at least we saved the hospital from Chaudhuri right?

I mean, right???

Measure G Fails to Pass

cute monkeyAt 1:40am, on a red-eyed Wednesday morning, the final tally was released. Measure G, the VHS hospital sale proposal, failed to pass.

So what happens now?

1. Select Healthcare is still obligated to purchase Moreno Valley Medical Center for $47 million. It can back out of this deal however, but must forfeit the $14 million deposit it paid to VHS.

2. If Select Healthcare moves forward in purchasing Moreno Valley Medical Center, it will leave VHS with only two hospitals. This will allow VHS to sell off one of the remaining hospitals without a public vote. My guess is that VHS will sell off Menifee Valley Medical Center, either to Select Healthcare, or another buyer. It will use the money from these two hospitals to pay for the seismic retrofit of Hemet Valley.

3. I'm guessing that VHS will retain Hemet Valley Medical Center.

4. VHS will probably place a new bond measure on the ballot, thinking that people are now willing to have their property taxes raised.

5. VHS still doesn't have a hospital management company in place, after it fired Chaudhuri's company earlier this year. It's going to have to find one.

6. If Select Healthcare opts to back out of the purchase of Moreno Valley, then it opens up possible sales to other companies that wanted to buy all three hospitals.

Whatever the case, we're back to the drawing board.

Perris & Romoland School Board Elections

Perris Union High School District

Voters voted in two incumbents, and one newcomer. Joan Cooley got the most votes (6,266), followed by Eric Kroencke (5,298), and Randy Williams (4,360). These three have been elected.

Here's the official data...

127/127 100.00%
Vote Count Percent

NP - ERIC J. KROENCKE 5,298 24.15%
NP - BARRY R. BUSCH 3,496 15.93%
NP - MICHAEL PEREZ 2,520 11.49%
NP - RANDY J. WILLIAMS 4,360 19.87%
NP - JOAN D. COOLEY 6,266 28.56%

Total 21,940 100.00%

Romoland School Board - Full term

Teacher Garrick Stein won the most votes for the full term seat with 690 votes, followed by retired school employee, Irene Harris with 610 votes. These two have won seats.

Here's the official vote tally...

Mbr. Gov. Bd, Romoland School Dist. - Full Term

20/20 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
NP - GARRICK I. STEIN 690 32.05%
NP - IRENE HARRIS 610 28.33%
NP - BYRON ''ROY'' YOST 481 22.34%
NP - JESSE MULLINAX 372 17.28%

Total 2,153 100.00%

Romoland School District - Short term

Local businessman, Bill Gould, won the lone short term seat with 595 votes.

Here's the full tally of votes...

Mbr. Gov. Bd, Romoland School Dist. - Short Term

20/20 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
NP - ROBERT ''BOB'' GIBBONS 564 48.66%
NP - WILLIAM ''BILL'' GOULD, JR. 595 51.34%

Total 1,159 100.00%

Measure G Results - Riverside County Election Day

Measure G Results Riverside County ElectionWith 100.00% of the precincts reporting, Measure G fails!

Measure G - Valley Health System
263/263 100.00%

Vote Count Percent
Yes 16,211 46.66%
No 18,529 53.34%
Total 34,740 100.00%

Menifee Car Crash - Wickerd & Menifee Roads

The Riverside County Fire reported this morning that a two-vehicle crash occurred on the intersection of Menifee Rd and Wickerd Rd. The department received the call at 7:00am. One person was trapped inside and had to be extricated.

CBS News covered the accident, and went on to add that it created a 50-gallon diesel spill, along with transmission and radiator fluid...
Meanwhile, crews worked to contain at least 50 gallons of diesel fuel, as well as transmission and radiator fluid.

The road was never sealed, allowing the fluids to seep into the soil, the CHP reported.
One person had to be taken to a trauma center.

Menifee Road was closed indefinitely at Scott Road on the south end and Garbani Road on the north, the CHP said.

Did You Vote Today?

Schwarzenegger Visits Hemet-Ryan Airport

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited Hemet-Ryan Airport last Friday to hold a press conference about the Santa Ana winds that wreaked havoc just prior to the fires that ignited afterwards.

Darrel Favrhow, a professional photographer, and newsletter editor of the Ryland Oasis Community in Menifee, was on hand, with press credentials, to photograph the Governator himself.

He offers the following report and photographs...
Hemet-Ryan Airport, November 2, 2007—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger toured the flightline of Hemet-Ryan airport today, greeting and thanking the Aviation firefighting groups, CDF crews and other firefighters for their hard work and tireless efforts.

Following the tour of various types of firefighting aircraft from the S-2s to Sky cranes, Super Huey helicopters and OV-10 Bronco spotter planes, Governor Schwarzenegger stepped up the to microphones for a flight line news conference. He issued a proclamation of a State Of Emergency in Riverside County due to the extreme, damaging winds.

In addition to raising the threat of wildfires in the region, the winds have damaged power lines, trees, streets, homes, business, schools and government infrastructure. They have caused more than six million dollars in public facility damage.

The Governor's emergency proclamation allows the state Office of Emergency Services (OES) to deploy emergency personnel, equipment and facilities and provide local government assistance under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act.

Schwarzenegger at Hemet Ryan Airport

Schwarzenegger at Hemet Ryan Airport

Schwarzenegger at Hemet Ryan Airport

Prop 8 May Reduce Your Property Taxes

Cynthia Nemelka Aina, a real estate agent here in Menifee who runs the "Menifee4Rent" website, offers this article about how Proposition 8 can help you save on your property taxes...

Save Money on Your Property Taxes – with Prop 8
Cynthia Nemelka Aina, RE/MAX Metro Diamond Realty

As everyone knows, property values have gone down recently, and may decline further because of the sub prime lending crisis. The good news is, that in times like this, Prop 8 may save you money on your property taxes by reducing your tax bill.

With Prop 8, your current year's taxes are limited to the lesser of the current proposition 13 base value OR the current fair market value as of January 1st. Based on the condition of the current market, you may be able to reduce your tax bill.

For example:
Current Prop13 value/ Assessed value on your home - $450,000
Value of your home as of January 1st, 2008 - $400,000
Value difference - $50,000

Annual Tax savings (approx 1% of the value difference) - $500
The tax reduction is only temporary, and when values go back up, you will be reassessed at the higher value. I know that tax season is a few months away, but in some cases the assessor may reject your application and you may want to appeal the assessor's decision.

As part of the application for reassessment you will need some precise details regarding your property and market comparables of homes that have sold in your area, and that's when you turn to your friendly neighborhood Real Estate Agent! There are so many fantastic Realtors here in Menifee Valley that would be more than happy to help, and it only takes us a few minutes, so don't be shy!

For more information, you can download this simple one page form entitled "Decline-in-Value Reassessment Application (Prop. 8)" from the County Assessor/Recorder's website at...


Child Hit By Car in Quail Valley

Mercy Air HelicopterRiverside County Fire reports that a child was struck by a car in Quail Valley this morning.

The department received the call at 11:36am, and responded to 23590 Circle Drive.

The child was transported via Mercy Air in critical condition to an area hospital. The photo above was taken by Holly Kay, and shows the actual helicopter, which landed at Kabian Park.

Quail valley map

Wal-Mart Coming to Menifee

A couple of years ago, Eric posted a short article here about Wal-Mart coming to Menifee. There have been several comments posted, including one today from an anonymous person claiming that Wal-Mart is slated for the corner of Ethanac and I-215.

Read on...

I just want to chime in that my information still says that Wal-Mart is slated for Scott Rd & I-215.

Measure G Hospital Poll

Last month I mentioned a poll that had been set up on Topix regarding Measure G, an initiative to approve the sale of the three Valley Health System hospitals.

As of this writing, the poll shows quite a bit of people who are against...

Vote No - 53%
Vote Yes - 36%
I don't know - 10%

130 responses cast.

You can see the results yourself...

When the poll was first created, there was an overwhelming percentage of "I don't know" respondents. But as time moved on, these respondents tailed off, then the "No" and "Yes" camps started building up momentum. And then lately, the "No" camp has seemingly gained the most momentum.

The vote is this Tuesday, November 6. Find out where your polling station is, and cast your vote.

You can locate your polling station, by using the County's online address lookup...

Bill Gould on Menifee Cityhood and Unification

Bill Gould, a local businessman living in the Heritage Lake development, and who is also campaigning for a seat on the Romoland School Board, writes today on his blog that he's in support of Menifee cityhood...
I am 100% for city hood. Incorporation of the area will give us control over future development, funding that the development brings, parks, police, fire, code enforcement, community services department and so much more. Take a drive around the city of Temecula one day, it is an excellent example (minus the traffic, I know) of a great city and I would love that for our community. Fortunately for us we already have a better road system than Temecula did when they incorporated!
Heritage Lake is included in the proposed borders of Menifee. Currently, it is part of Romoland.

I had hoped to hear from others who live in Romoland about their thoughts on becoming a part of Menifee. Please post a comment.

Interestingly, Gould also says he's in support of "Unification", but not with respect to Paloma High School, but rather, Heritage High School. That is, folks out there are apparently talking about moving the new Heritage High School into the Romoland School District.

If you consider the Unification issue with Paloma High School, proponents argued that because the high school is located in Menifee Valley, and serves primarily Menifee residents, it makes sense to "unify" it with Menifee Union School District.

So, can we say the same thing about Heritage High School? It is located within the proposed borders of Menifee. It's serving students in Menifee, as far south as Menifee Lakes. I don't have the statistics on this, but I'm wondering if most of its student population resides in the proposed borders of Menifee. I'm kinda thinking it should be in Menifee Union.

The problem with bringing it into Menifee Union is that Menifee Union's borders don't extend out to Heritage High. Even though the borders of the proposed city includes Heritage High, the school district itself doesn't reach that far. So, to move it into Menifee Union, LAFCO would have to approve a change of borders. That probably won't happen.

Cityhood Effort Faces Lawsuit

A Wildomar resident, Gerard Ste. Marie, has filed a lawsuit against the County of Riverside, to block the transfer of county funds to help Menifee and Wildomar cityhood efforts succeed.

When the fiscal analysis showed that a future City of Menifee could not generate enough tax revenues to pay for more fire stations, Supervisor Jeff Stone proposed a plan to donate additional funds to help pay for the fire stations. These funds would come from the result of cost savings when Menifee and Wildomar incorporate.

You can read more about this lawsuit in The Californian...

I haven't followed the Wildomar incorporation effort too much, but I've seen Gerard Ste. Marie's name mentioned in some articles, describing him as someone who's been against Wildomar cityhood.