Trevi Lanes Offers Free Bowling for Seniors

Trevi Entertainment Center, the new and glamorous bowling alley in Lake Elsinore, is offering free bowling and shoe rental for seniors (ages 55+) living in Sun City.

The offer is good only for this Thursday, January 31, in the morning from 8:00 am to 12:00pm.

Trevi Entertainment Center offers 92,000 square feet of bowling, including two private bowling rooms, a video game room, an Italian Restaurant, and a 70 foot long bar with 12 plasma screens, three 200 inch projection screens & 4 pool tables.

Trevi is located off the I-15 freeway at Railroad Canyon, 1/2 mile east of the Storm Baseball Stadium at 32250 Mission Trail in Lake Elsinore, CA.

For more information about the free bowling offer, call Cynthia at (951) 259-9019.




Menifee Valley Parent Project

The Menifee Valley Parent Project is a class held at New Hope Community Church, located in the little strip mall on Goetz Rd and the East Gate of Canyon Lake. It's designed to provide answers to parents with tough parenting questions.

As the Friday Flyer reports...
The goal of the Parenting Project is to help parents gain insight that not all kids can be parented the same way, especially strong-willed children and teenagers. The class will benefit parents who want to improve school attendance and performance; who want to prevent or intervene in alcohol or drug use; and who are tired of arguing with their child.
The class is taught by Chriss Suitt, and begins Wednesday, February 6, from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Cost is $50.00.

Read more about it on the Friday Flyer...

http://www.thefridayflyer.com/FF-2008-1-25/FFS-8584.htm




Pet of the Week

The Menifee Valley Humane Society has this pretty kitty up for adoption.

Sara is a 1 year old, beautiful Flame-point Siamese mix. This girl is so affectionate and friendly - definite lap kitty! If your home is fairly quiet and you're looking for a loving friend, please consider this powder blue eyed girl! She is spayed, current on shots and ready for her new home.

Contact Pamala at the Menifee Valley Humane Society: pamala@mvhumanesociety.org or (951) 246-7960.

Sara Pet of the Week

Sara Pet of the Week




Menifee Relay for Life Video

As posted a few days ago, Menifee will be having its 3rd Annual Menifee Relay for Life, an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society. We are still looking for volunteers. We would like to thank Get Entertainment, Inc. of Menifee, who created a video of last year's event. They have provided us with a trailer of the event( WATCH IT HERE) which will better explain the purpose and benefits of Menifee residents getting involved.

The American Cancer Society is the largest non profit fundraiser for cancer research. The relay is done over 24 hours teams, consisting of 10-15 team members. Each team member walks for 2-3 hours ensuring the team continuously has a member on the field during the 24 hour period. During the day, entertainement and food will be provided.

Do you know 10 to 15 people? If so, form your team today! A great way for local businesses, schools and clubs to get involved in the community.

Dates: May 10th and 11th.
Contact: Anna ( annahillelite@aol.com ) or call (951) 272-9019.




The Single-Track vs. Multi-Track Debate

I've lived in the area for a long time. Not quite as long as a few, but far longer than most of the people in the area. And far longer than I've had school-age children. And since I have child one that won't even start school until the 2009-2010 school year, and I have no intention of moving from the area, I'm going to have children attending school in Menifee for many years to come.

Admittedly I don't recall if Menifee schools were ever on a single track system or if they have been on a multi-track system since I moved to the area. However, I can vividly recall the displeasure with a multi-track system that most parents I encountered shared. I have my opinion on a single vs. multi track system that I have voiced in both public and private forums and I'll voice it here again – I prefer a single track system, but not if it means moving my children to a different school. There are both positives and negatives to a single track system, but I believe the positives far outweigh the negatives.

As recently as a year and a half ago, when my oldest child was starting Kindergarten, public opinion still seemed to favor a single track system. I heard displeasure from parents because their child didn’t get assigned to the track they wanted. I heard displeasure from teachers about students’ information retention. And I heard a lot of comments in favor of a traditional school year. I find it hard to believe public opinion has changed that much in 18 months.

I think most of the opinions against a single track system are a direct result of two things – the debate about Measure “B” and the proposals to change school boundaries. Both of these, while not related directly to each other, directly impact the move to a single track system. The sad thing is, whether a person votes for or against Measure “B” should have nothing to do with whether the boundaries are going to be realigned. And a person’s feelings in favor of or against a single track system should not have anything to do with whether they vote for or against Measure “B”. The simple fact of the matter is, the district should have gone through the effort to find out what parents wanted (single or multi track) before coming up with proposals to realign the school boundaries. And they should have had done both of these before they put Measure “B” on the ballot.

Mr. Twyman has taken responsibility for the district’s desire to move to a single track system. As a fellow parent with a child in Menifee Schools, I think it’s unfair to ask him to take that responsibility on himself. Parents in the community are the ones that gave him the impression a single track system was desired. For those of us that were in the area when he ran for a position on the school board in 2004, he made it very clear he was in support of a single track system. Somehow, I don’t think he would have been elected if community opinion was dead-set against it.

So I’m asking all Menifee 24/7 readers – if Measure “B” and the boundary realignment proposals were taken out of the equation, would you be for or against the traditional single track system?




Menifee Relay for Life - Positions Needed

Anna Hill, who is chairing this year's Menifee Relay for Life announced that several positions were filled for its committee...

  • Co-Chair - Dr. Eric Madrid

  • Entertainment - Cynthia Aina

  • Logistics - Julio Quiroz

  • Accounting - Mike Castillejos

  • Sponsorship - Tony Amatulli

  • Team Recruitment - Robin Turner, Gloria Gatti

  • Relay On-Line Samantha McCoy
But she still has five more positions to fill,
  • Mission Delivery

  • Publicity

  • Survivorship

  • Food/Hospitality

  • Luminaria
If you're interested in participating, visit the committee's next meeting, on Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 6:30pm, at Centure 21 Executive Properties, 26045 Newport Rd, Menifee (corner of Newport Rd and Murrieta, next to Submarina).

Anna also announced the dates for the Relay, which will be May 10th and 11th.

You can also contact Anna directly at annahillelite@aol.com or (951) 272-9019.




School Boundary Meeting - Oak Meadows

I attended the school boundary meeting this evening at Oak Meadows Elementary.

This one was sparsely attended compared to Monday's meeting at Ridgemoor. By the time the meeting started at 6:00pm, I counted 10 adults in the audience, not counting their kids, and not counting myself and nor the district faculty. The meeting ended just 30 minutes later, and by that time another 5 adults had trickled in.

The presentation was pretty much the same as Monday's, except abbreviated to cover only the new boundaries for Oak Meadows, since the attendance was so small.

One person in the audience mentioned Measure B, and the district wanting to wait until after the results of the Feb 5 vote, and Linda Callaway, the superintendent, quickly stated that this meeting was only about the boundary changes, and not Measure B.

Callaway then went on to clarify that the boundary changes were being made due to the introduction of the two new elementary schools, #8 and #11.

I responded with the question, "Is it then correct to say that the boundary changes has nothing to do with the district's plans to move to a single track?"

Dan Wood replied "Not directly".

Callaway added that while the move to a single track doesn't really affect the boundary changes at this point, it will make it possible to implement the single track down the road.

But, if the boundary changes has nothing to do with moving to a single track calendar, then why does Ridgemoor's boundaries have to change? Why can't the new elementary school in Quail Valley relieve the attendance at Menifee Elementary, and leave Ridgemoor's attendance alone?

On the other hand, if the move to a single track calendar is indeed what's driving all this, then I agree the district needs to shrink Ridgemoor's boundaries. In that regards, I think the "Todd Reed Proposal", is a good idea, where the district can define new boundaries for Ridgemoor, but only enforce them with new students.




Proposition 92 - Senseless Funding for Colleges

Among the propositions that California voters will decide this Feb 5, is Proposition 92, community college funding.

Do a search on Google for "proposition 92 college" and you'll find lots of newspaper articles on the subject.

I was hoping Ann Motte would go in depth on this, but I haven't seen much detail from her. She did make a brief mention here, but it might create a conflict of interest for her to go into any detail, seeing that she's a board member for MSJC.

My Opinion

To sum it, Prop 92 seeks to raise funding for community colleges, but it does so in a very complicated way, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Prop 92 also does other things that doesn't make much sense to me either.

For one, it will actually require the State's constitution be modified to name "community colleges" as one of California's reasons for existence. In other words, a college education will no longer be our responsibility, it will be the State's. I don't understand why the Constitution needs to be amended. We already have a community college system without a Constitutional amendment.

The other thing to know in all this, is that the State of California limits its spending on public education to 40% of the General Fund. Public education includes K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities. Thus, if Mt San Jacinto College is to receive more State money, it'll have to be taken away from Menifee Union School District.

Remember that last week the Governor called for a 10% reduction on public school spending as a result of the budget shortfall.

Another thing that makes absolutely no sense to me is the formula by which community college funding is based. Instead of being based on how many people are attending community colleges, it'll be based on how many young adults reside in California, whether they attend college or not. So if the population increases (which it always does), community colleges will get more money, even if college attendance goes down. Does that make any sense?

Does this mean community colleges will benefit from having more illegal aliens cross our borders?

Proposition 92 will also require community college tuition to decrease to $15 per unit, from the current $20-$26 per unit. Even at $20-$26 per unit, California's community colleges are the cheapest in the nation. If Prop 92 is trying to raise more money for community colleges, then why lower tuition?

Keep in mind, the decrease in tuition is designed to boost enrollments. But considering that 90% of the per-student cost at community colleges is paid for by taxpayers, any boost in enrollment is going to create a bigger burden on you and I. Community colleges will argue that their education offers the greatest return on taxpayer dollars in terms of helping people find jobs.

But the cost of tuition isn't the problem with California's community colleges. Rather, it's time and complacency. Unskilled adults are either spending their time working unskilled jobs, or they're comfortable living off of their parents.

If young adults have enough money to buy iPods and Venti Frappucinos, then they have enough money for community college. Prop 92 should instead look for ways boost excitement, not money.

College education is the responsibility of each individual, not the State. Prop 92 creates more bureacracy, and does nothing to address complacency among young adults, especially when California's community colleges are already the cheapest in the Union.

I'm voting no on Prop 92.

For further reading...




Store Robbers Arrested in Menifee

Four people taking part in the armed robbery of an AM/PM store in Wildomar, early this morning, were apprehended in Menifee, at the corner of Murietta Rd and Bundy Canyon Rd. Below is the report from the Sheriff...

On January 16, 2008, about 12:20 A.M., Riverside County Sheriff's deputies from the Lake Elsinore Station were called to the AM / PM Convenience Store, located in the 33000 block of Orange St. in Wildomar, regarding a robbery that just occurred.

Store employees told the deputies two masked suspects armed with handguns stole an undisclosed quantity of money from the store cash register at gun point. The suspects then fled the store with the money. Arriving first at the store (and within 1 minute of the call), Riverside County Sheriff's Corporal Scott Spykstra saw a silver 1997 Mitsubishi Galant 4-door speeding from the scene eastbound on Bundy Canyon Rd. with its lights off.

Corporal Spykstra followed the Mitsubishi to the intersection of Bundy Canyon Rd. and Murrieta Rd. in Menifee, where he was assisted by other Lake Elsinore and Perris Station deputies in stopping the automobile. A total of 4 suspects were arrested without further incident at that time. 2 handguns used during the robbery were found following the stop, and the stolen money was recovered from the suspects.

Arrested on multiple felony charges in connection with this incident were Sergio Santoyo, age 21 of Santa Ana, Raeleen Rodriguez, age 25 of Fullerton, Annette Marrufo, age 27 of Bellflower, and Cassandra Walton, age 22 of Fullerton. All 4 suspects were subsequently booked at the Riverside County Sheriff's Robert Presley Detention Center. Deputies learned Santoyo, Marrufo, and Walton are convicted felons currently on parole through the State of California's Department of Corrections. They were additionally booked on felony parole violation charges.

This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this armed robbery is asked to call Riverside County Sheriff's detectives at (951) 245-3300.
How fortunate that in this case, Corporal Spykstra was able to respond within 1 minute of the call.




Highway 74 Among the Most Deadliest

ForbesAutos.com ran an article last week that named their top 10 most deadliest highways in the USA, and Highway 74, between Perris and Lake Elsinore, ranked #2...
Highway 74 in Orange County, Calif., is another big killer. An eight-and-a-half-mile section between Perris and Elsinore accounted for 31 fatalities in 2005. Three years of construction begin in 2007 to make it safer. They expect to add a rumble strip at the median, and widen both the shoulders and the road.
They've already made a lot of improvements on that stretch of the 74.

Find out what the other deadliest highways are...

http://www.forbesautos.com/....americas-killer-roads.html




Boundary Change Meeting Schedule

There are three more public hearings left to go concerning the Menifee Union School District boundary changes...

  • 1/17, Thursday, Oak Meadows Elementary School, Multi-purpose Room - 6:00PM

  • 1/23, Wednesday, Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary School, Multi-purpose Room - 6:00PM

  • 1/24, Thursday, Freedom Crest Elementary School, Multi-purpose Room - 6:00PM
It's worth noting that the boundary changes affect all elementary schools, not just Ridgemoor.

Oak Meadows Elementary School
28600 Poinsettia Street
Murrieta, CA 92563
Click here for map

Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary School
28800 Reviere Rd
Menifee, CA 92584
Click here for map

Freedom Crest Elementary School
29282 Menifee Road
Menifee, CA 92584
Click here for map

The school district has their Powerpoint presentation available for download as a PDF file from their website...

http://www.menifeeusd.k12.ca.us/fil_files/294.pdf




Measure B

It is unclear to me if current homeowners are going to be affected by this new Bond. I have emailed the person behind the Bond this morning and I am waiting for a response. I tried asking for information yesterday at the school district, and they were directed not to talk about it. I know that in certain areas of Menifee/ Sun City, they don't have the Perris HS Bond attached to their property taxes. I lived behind Stater Bros. for 10 years and my taxes never went up after those Bonds passed, but then I moved to the houses off La Ladera and I had those Bonds were Attached. So, I am wondering if this will be attached to new home purchases only. Does any one know for sure? I wonder if this Bond will affect Quail Valley residences.
If you think this bond is bad, live in the Lennar Homes off Lazy Creek and pay a EMWD bond of $1,400.00 a year, plus all the school bonds. My friend pays around $8000 a year in taxes for a 430,000 home.




Another Recommendation to the MUSD District Office

Greetings All,

It has been quite some time since I posted anything other than the occasional comment or two, as was politely pointed out to me after the Public Hearing on the school boundaries Monday night. Quite coincidentally, I was thinking exactly about posting here on Menifee 24/7 during the hearing.

As my wife and I were walking out to the parking lot after the hearing, I thought of something that I wasn't sure the district had considered or even thought of. I immediately wished I had thought of this during the hearing, because I certainly would have voiced my opinion during the hearing more than I already had. And since Steve has already done an outstanding job of detailing what happened at the hearing in his post, I won't elaborate specifically on the hearing.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, the idea I had was mentioned in an earlier comment to another blog entry. I learned of it as I was catching up on recent entries last night. So I took the idea, that at least one other person shares, and decided to elaborate on it. Essentially, this idea is to realign the school boundaries based on a system of natural attrition. I sent the following e-mail to the School Board this morning:

MUSD School Board members,

I was at the public hearing at Ridgemoor Elementary School last night (January 14). I'm sure it was quite obvious from the questions and comments of parents, me included, that we don't want our children moved for various reasons.

I completely understand (and in fact support) the desire to convert the district to a traditional, (or modified traditional), single track system versus the current year-round four track system. It makes sense both fiscally and educationally. For instance, my child is on track "B". Her school year starts in July, and she is immediately given a month "off-track" in August. This, in my opinion, is counterproductive for a number of reasons in my opinion. I won't get into my opinions because that is not the point of this e-mail.

Unfortunately I didn't think of this until after the meeting ended, but I would like to know if anybody in the district office has thought about re-aligning the school boundaries based on a system of natural attrition. This would be similar to the system that is used by districts when new high schools open. With very little impact, if any, it could work in this scenario as well. In fact, since I don't think Ridgemoor families are the only families that will be impacted by boundary changes, it will work for all scenarios. I think what I am about to propose should be given some thought. An outline of my proposal is as follows:

  • This proposal is based on Proposal 1 and the boundaries defined within it

  • A specific date would need to be set for the new boundaries to take effect

  • Parents of Ridgemoor students would be given the OPTION of moving their children to Evans Ranch or keeping them at Ridgemoor

  • Students already enrolled would be allowed to stay at Ridgemoor until they complete the 5th grade if they so desire

  • Younger siblings of current Ridgemoor students would be allowed to attend Ridgemoor through the 5th grade provided the older sibling is still enrolled at Ridgemoor at the time the younger sibling reaches school age

  • Younger siblings of students currently enrolled at Ridgemoor would be sent to Evans Ranch if the older sibling completes the 5th grade before the younger sibling reaches school age

  • New students already living in the area defined by Proposal 1 that have not reached school age will be sent to Evans Ranch

  • New students moving into the area defined by Proposal 1 would be sent to Evans Ranch
Obviously, these are just the basics. But please give this proposal some serious consideration. With a little effort and cooperation between parents and the school district, this would work. Although it wouldn't have the immediate impact of enrollment reduction, the district would still be able to reduce the enrollment at Ridgemoor, family lives would not be disrupted and, most importantly, our children would not be forced to go through what can be, based on personal experience, a very traumatic experience for a child.

Please feel free to contact me via e-mail or telephone if you would like to discuss this with me personally or if you would like further explanation of what I am proposing.
Now, I realize there may be people that disagree with what I have recommended. I also realize that Ridgemoor students and families aren't the only ones that will potentially be affected by re-aligning the boundaries, but to me this seems to be the most amicable way to achieve the goals of the district with the least amount of inconvenience to families and, more important, students.

I'm also happy to announce that I have received a response from at least one of the board members and my recommendations have been forwarded to the district office.

More to come....
Todd




Yet Another Sun City House Fire

Yesterday, fire fighters responded to a call over a residential fire in Sun City.

The call came in at 11:37am, and was focused on a single-family home at the 27000 block of Lexington Ct. The fire was limited to the bedroom. The residents were not displaced.

The fire department reports the cause is still under investigation.

This is the fourth residential fire in Sun City in the last 20 days, at least those reported by the Riverside County FD.

I'm not certain the cause of any of these fires, but I wonder if the fact that temperatures have dropped into the 30s, may have caused people to rely on portable heaters, considering homes in Sun City are 40-50 years in age. And maybe these heaters are too close to other fabrics.




School Bonds versus School Buses

I did some digging back on what school bond measures we've passed before, considering we're now being asked to support Measure B.

Measure B, which will be up for public ballot this February 5, is asking us to pay an additional $17.90 per year for every $100,000 in assessed value. So, if your home is valued at $300,000 dollars, you'll be paying $53.70 per year, for the next 25 years.

In 2002, we passed Measure J, a bond measure for Menifee Union. Currently, we're paying $16.25 per year, per $100,000 in assessed value.

In 2004, we passed Measure Z, a bond measure for Perris High School District. Currently, we're paying $30.00 per year, per $100,000 in assessed value.

So, if your home is worth $300,000, and Measure B happens to pass, you'll be paying $192.45 per year, for these three bond measures alone. That's about what Menifee Union charges parents to put their child on a school bus.




Ridgemoor School Boundary Changes - Jan 14

I attended the meeting this evening for Menifee Union's proposed boundary changes at Ridgemoor Elementary.

This was a very well attended meeting, I'm guessing about 400 people. It definitely fit the bill as a community meeting because a lot of parents, teachers, and students themselves spoke. And not just asking questions either, but walking up to the microphone and stating their arguments. Two third-grade girls walked up to the microphone and addressed everyone with their plea to remain at Ridgemoor.

Dan Wood, the assistant superintendent, started out as the presenter of the proposed boundary changes, but after the onslaught of public questions, comments, and speeches, ended up as the district's whipping boy. As he fielded questions towards end of the meeting, his frustrations became apparent as his answers became more blunt. Those who remained until the end of the meeting gave him an applause for hanging in there.

Boundary Proposals

The district presented two proposals, one that they've named, "Proposal 1", and the other "Proposal 2". It's worth noting that Proposal 2 is the old proposal, and Proposal 1 is the newer.

Proposal 2 (the old one) would have had students living in the Menifee Hills community, south of Honey Run Rd, but west of Salt Creek, be moved to Quail Valley. Proposal 1 (the new one) now lets these students remain at Ridgemoor. However, Proposal 1 will take students who in the neighborhood behind Stater Bros, just east of Salt Creek, and move them to Evans Ranch Elementary.

This neighborhood behind Stater Bros. is bounded by Berea Rd, Catano Rd, Dorval Ct, Gifhorn Ct, Lazy Creek Rd, and Park City Ave. If you live within this area, your kids are now targeted to move to Evans Ranch Elementary.

So basically, the district is honoring the demands of Menifee Hills parents, but has
now set its sights on this "Stater Bros." neighborhood, effectively robbing Peter to pay Paul.

One big bone of contention that "Stater Bros." families raised at the meeting was that they were not given notice of this change. Dan Wood explained that they sent out notifications, however based on the responses of parents, it seems they missed some. Wood acknowledged that this change was made just days ago, and it's difficult to notify everyone on such short notice. He also went on to add they received a number of notices returned for bad addresses, and the audience groaned in disgust.

Still at this point, the district has not decided on new boundaries. Their official decision will be made in the days after the February 5 general election, once the final vote count for Measure B is made. Then they will present the official boundaries in a public meeting on February 12. The exact time and place for that meeting is not decided.

Wood also made a comment that the change in schools will not affect 4th grade students who will be returning to the same school for 5th grade. For them it will be an option.

The Move to Single Track

In my original announcement (click here) of the Ridgemoor Boundary Change meetings, I wrote that the change in school boundaries was caused by the opening of the new school in Quail Valley.

It appears I was wrong. What's necessitating the boundary changes is the district's desire to move to a single track year.

As Dan Wood presented the boundary changes and answered questions, he continued to stress that voters need to pass Measure B. In fact, he spoke of Measure B many times, even though technically, it didn't relate to Ridgemoor's boundaries. Measure B is the bond measure that will raise funds to build three more schools.

A single-track school year will increase student population because it results in multiple tracks merging into one. So to relieve the resulting overcrowding, the district wants to move students over to the new schools.

Oddly, Dan Wood explained that soon the district will be sending out questionnaires to parents asking them if they prefer a single track year, or would rather stay with the existing multi-track year. And that statement really got the audience riled up.

Many parents then stood up and asked why the district would first propose boundary changes, and then determine if parents want to move to a single-track year. They argued that the district should first ask parents if prefer a single track year. Then if they did, go ahead and propose boundary changes. Wood looked rather perplexed. I'm guessing that the district assumed all parents wanted a single-track year, but it became clear that many parents have built their lives around the multi-track calendar and have become comfortable with it.

Wood did explain that there is a slim chance that no boundary changes will be adopted, and I'm guessing he's referring to the chance that Measure B might fail to pass.

Many parents complained that they could not afford to pay the nearly $200 a year fee to let their kids take the school bus. Currently, these families live close enough to Ridgemoor that their kids can walk or ride a bicycle. But with having to change over to the Quail Valley school, their kids would have to take the bus. When asked if the district would waive this fee in lieu of forcing them to change schools, all Wood could do was shrug his shoulders and acknowledge that the parents would have to pay the fee.

Wood also explained carefully that the school board did not draw the proposed boundary lines, it was the district staff. The board simply gave the approval to move forward with the boundary change process. However, they will be the ones to approve the final boundary changes, after the Feb 5 general election.

Summary

From the way Wood seemed to explain things, everything hinges on Measure B. If it passes, we'll see new boundaries, and we'll likely see a migration to a single-track school year. If it fails, my guess is that the district will put another bond measure on the July ballot.

Unfortunately for the district, and perhaps no fault of Wood's, parents are now seeing the boundary change as being within their control, simply by voting "Yes" or "No" on Measure B. A "Yes" vote on Measure B will create the boundary change, while a "No" vote might keep the status quo. If the school district wants Measure B to pass, it's going to have to come up with a new strategy, and quick.

One parent stood up and said that after hearing all of this, she doubts anyone will vote for Measure B. The audience roared in agreement.

Below are maps of the two proposals.


Proposal 1 - Click to enlarge



Proposal 2 - Click to enlarge


You can also see a map of the district's existing boundaries on their website (click here for link).




Measure B: New Schools for Menifee

Menifee Middle School
As most people are aware, Measure B will be on the February 5th ballot. Publisher Steve Johnson has written a previous article and several people have posted comments.

Since I have been a teacher in the Menifee District for several years, I hope to add a few observations that may help people decide on this issue. When I first arrived at Menifee Valley Middle School, student enrollment had increased to a level far beyond the planned capacity of the school. Bell Mountain Middle School opened at that time and the students were divided between the two middle schools. Now, both of these schools have grown and are again approaching the capacity limits. If this measure passes, the new middle school and two additional elementary schools will be completed just when crowding at our existing schools is having a serious impact on teacher morale and student discipline.

I have observed that the school district management and the school board are financially conservative and consistently spend the available funds where they will do the most good for the students. The district is not here for the benefit of the administrators or the teachers; it is here to provide the best educational experience possible for the kids. Working in a great district is just a side benefit we enjoy.

It is hard to ask people to approve higher taxes for themselves. My best argument to do so is that we have a great school district that is an asset for our community and has a positive effect on home values. This bond measure will keep us just ahead of the growing student population. If we put this off, the monetary cost will be much greater later.




Goetz Road Closure Slated for Feb. 21st


The Press Enterprise Published this article.

The seven-month-long closure of a section of Goetz Road, the main thoroughfare connecting Canyon Lake and Quail Valley, promises to reroute commutes and challenge some area business owners.

The shutdown will create a temporary division between Canyon Lake and Quail Valley, causing residents of Quail Valley to take a 1 ½-mile detour if they wish to access Canyon Lake. Some residents of Quail Valley expressed discomfort at the thought of taking a different, slightly longer route to reach Interstates 15 and 215.

The closing of a small but well-traveled section of Goetz Road that stretches from Canyon Lake Drive to just south of Newport Road will allow work crews to start widening Goetz to four lanes and to build a new bridge that will eventually cross Salt Creek near the intersection of Newport and Goetz roads.

To read more go to http://www.pe.com/localnews/canyonlake/stories/ PE_News_Local_H_newport13.2455c86.html




New California Budget Cuts Education

The Californian reports that the governor is proposing a budget for the 2008 fiscal year that will reducing spending on public schools by 10%. The cut is needed to address a projected budget shortfall of $14.5 billion.
In the address, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a $141 billion state budget for the year starting July 1 that would slash nearly 10 percent of the funding for public education as part of a plan to erase an estimated $14.5 billion revenue shortfall over the next 18 months.
Of course, the governor doesn't make budget decisions, the legislature does. So, it doesn't really mean anything.

However, the budget shortfall of $14.5 is real.

The way I see things, we need to elect a President that's going to shut down our borders from illegal immigration. Anyone here care to guess how much taxpayer money is spent on kids from illegal immigrants?

Last month, I posted an article about the cost of new freeway expansion in Riverside County, and proposed that we pass the cost to all new families moving into this area. (Click here to read). Some of you commented that you preferred to just stop all new home construction until the economy improves.

Well, then how about we stop all immigration, including legal immigration, until our nation's economy improves? Thoughts?




Recently Commented Articles

I added a new feature to this website called, "Recently Commented Articles".

You can find it on the main page, in the second column (scroll down a little), in a darker-blue panel.

This shows the last several articles where comments were posted.

I created this because older articles continue to fetch new comments, and it's hard for you to know about them unless you check you every individual article on Menifee 24/7 regularly. And there are some pretty good comments being posted that deserve attention.

If you can't see it, it may be because you have Javascript disabled on your browser, or you have an ad-blocker installed, or your internet security software is blocking it. Blogger, which powers this website, does not actually support this type of functionality. I have to manage it manually through a Javascript file.

I may one day migrate Menifee 24/7 over to something like WordPress, Squarespace, or something database driven, that can do stuff like this automatically.

On a side note: My article about the Indian Gaming Compacts, "California Propositions 94, 95, 96, 97" has gotten a ton of hits over the past several weeks. There's quite a few comments there, check it out.




Neighborhood Watch Info. RE La Ladera Park

There is a website to go to. www.nnwi.org. I suggest getting the word out in your neighborhood. People will come. Contact the Park and Rec. Facility over at Lazy Creek Park (they are in charge of La Ladera Park) and see what they can do to help. Call Jeff Stones office.




Gang Activity at La Ladera Park

A Menifee 24/7 reader submitted the following comment today an older post of mine regarding their son mugged by some guys near La Ladera Park, in the Menifee Hills community...
Hmm sounds like we have alot of bickering going on- let's get back to providing a safe neighborhood for kids. If you think it isn't a problem let me tell you what happened last night.

My 24 year old son was walking to work at about 8 PM last night (please don't need any comments about why walking at 8 pm at night- we should be able to do this anytime) and he was robbed by 3 hispanic males ranging from 17-24 (again no one is stereotyping so please no discussion about this). Do you still think there is no problem?

One of them had a knife and he was surrounded since they jumped out of the bushes. It was the street right before the one that La Ladera Park is on ( the one that goes to the elementary school ). I also drove by the park today at about 3 pm and there were a group of males easily over 18 all of them with the clothes and bandanas .They also stared at me like I was invading there space.

I grew up in Tracy California where there was activity like this but much worse. I remember having to have about 5 friends to accompany you to class because gangs would pick on you if you only had 1 or 2. They would travel in gangs of 10 or more and harass people all the time- that is only if these gangs (cowards) seen you had 1 or 2. They wouldn't bother you unless they had an overwhelming odds-again cowards.

I won't let this happen to my kids. If you care about the community and ensuring these people don't invade our community then please respond.If you have negative comments or criticisms please keep them to yourself only positive ones that will help. Thanks.
If anyone is victimized by a crime, here are the phone numbers to report...

In Menifee...
Southwest Station
30755-A Auld Road
Murrieta, CA 92563
(951) 696-3000

In Sun City & Romoland...
Perris Station
137 N. Perris
Perris, CA 92570
(951) 210-1000

In Quail Valley...
Lake Elsinore Station
333 Limited Avenue
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
(951) 245-3300




Ridgemoor School Boundary Meeting

I attended the meeting this evening at the School District Board Room, and the place was jammed with folks. It looked as if every parent in Menifee Hills showed up, probably about 250 people there.

The board room was over capacity. It has a sign that read "Maximum Capacity 58", and I'd say there was double that, maybe more. Good thing the fire department wasn't there, or they would've kicked everyone out. There was another 125 or so that had to stand outside.

Bruce Shaw, the director of facilities tried to accommodate everyone there despite not being able to. I heard one woman argue that this meeting needed to be rescheduled to give every concerned parent an opportunity to hear. Shaw couldn't respond.

The board invited folks to speak, including those standing outside, and several people did. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear any of it, being at the back of the room. There was just too many people. It seems the PA system the board uses is rather weak; I think they tried to turn up the volume, but it still couldn't project. It was just not designed for large audiences.

People eagerly waited to hear the board talk about the proposed boundary changes, but there wasn't any discussion. They explained that they would discuss the boundary changes next week, Monday, January 14, 2008, 6:00pm, at Ridgemoor Elementary School, Multipurpose Room.

A couple other people I talked to expressed pessimism, saying the school board already have their minds made up.

For a background on this subject, see my earlier article, "Ridgemoor School Boundary Change".

Ridgemoor School Boundary Meeting
Just prior to the meeting.


Ridgemoor School Boundary Meeting
Inside the board room.


Ridgemoor School Boundary Meeting
Folks who couldn't get into the board room.




Winco Foods is Cash Only

My wife figured out what the "co" stands for in Winco, "cash only".

She was rather miffed when she walked in, grabbed some groceries, only to discover that they didn't accept credit cards or debit cards.

This isn't necessarily news, but she insisted I mention this, and you know how it is with wives.

So, you might wanna prepare if you go there.




Menifee Goes on Family Feud

Family FeudFamily Feud, the famous television game show will feature a Menifee family going head-to-head with another family, in a quest to win big bucks.

The Jensen family hopes to put our community on the map as they go up against the Hudson family of Los Angeles on the nationally syndicated "Family Feud" game show, beginning on Wednesday, January 16, at 6:00pm, on KCAL-TV Channel 9.

The grudge match already took place earlier, so it won't be a live broadcast. The show isn't saying which family won.

The Jensen team comprises of team captain Cindy; her husband Jay, a wine and spirits salesman; sister Faith, a professional dancer; sister Chamaine, an owner of a dance school; and brother-in-law Joe, a school teacher.

"It was Chamaine's dream to be on the show and she got the ball rolling as a way to have a family bonding experience," said Cindy. "If we win, we'll give a portion to our church charity and they plan a family get together, maybe a cruise."

To secure their spot on the popular show, the Jensen family called the Family Feud hotline to begin the process. If you want to try it out, call the show's hotline in Los Angeles at (323) 762-8467 for an interview.

Family Feud Jensen Menifee




Sun City Home Fire

A family of five were displaced from their home in Sun City today as it caught fire.

The house is located inside the Rustler's Ranch community, off of Avenida De Real.

The fire was reported at 11:59am, and was contained by 12:26pm. Fire authorities report that it was confined to a bedroom, with some smoke and heat damage to other parts of the home.

The American Red Cross stepped in and provided clothing and supply needs. The family will be staying with other family members.




Menifee Schools Face Tighter Budgets

The Californian ran an article today about school districts across the south west County ara facing tighter budgets. It says districts are looking to delay the opening of new schools, and are finding ways to consolidate jobs.

Here's what it has to say about Menifee Union...
In the Menifee Union School District, officials are taking similar measures. The district is only hiring essential positions and eyeing its spending very carefully, said Dan Wood, assistant superintendent for business services.

He said budget cuts could be on the table, but he doesn't know for sure yet.

"There is always a chance, but at this point we don't have any official information," Wood said. "We have a lot of speculation, and it's always best to plan for the worst."
The only explanation The Californian gives for this budget shortfall is a loss of student growth. It perhaps suggests that school districts are losing students due to the foreclosure problem. Each student represents thousands of dollars of state money.

Another thing that residents might not be aware of is Proposition 92, up for vote this February 5. Prop 92 will boost funding to community colleges. But what you might not know is that the State of California limits spending on public schools to 40% of its General Fund. Assuming we are already hitting the 40% cap, the State would have to take money away from K-12 schools and 4-year colleges, to increase spending on community colleges.

Throughout this budget crunch, Menifee Union will also be asking residents to support a bond measure, Measure B, that will raise $31.46 million for the district, to finance the construction of three new schools. If approved, it'll cost each homeowner $17.90 for every $100,000 in assessed value.




Green Pastures then, Centex at the Lakes today.

The Lakes at MenifeeAs I was going through my old photos, way back in 2005 :), I came across a beautiful green field I had taken a photo of. This area is now Centex at the Lakes. It's amazing to see how much growth has occurred here in only 2-3years. This photo was taken on the 2 lane Menifee road across from Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary.

Eric Madrid




Menifee Low Carb Lifestyle Group

Shannon, a Menifee resident, started a new Meetup group for people trying to maintain a low carb diet.

The group lets other Menifee Valley residents meet with others and talk about the best low carb eating methods, share recipes, ideas, and discuss ways to make healthier food choices. Shannon is also planning to have a monthly potluck gathering to try out new recipes and share favorites.

Her first meeting is scheduled for Friday, Jan 18, 2008.

You can join her new Low Carb Lifestyle Group here...
http://lowcarb.meetup.com/2/




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