Inland Empire Has 5th Highest Growth in the Nation

The U.S. Census Bureau today released statistics showing the top 10 metropolitan areas in the country that have had the highest population growth between 2006 and 2007, and the Inland Empire was #5...

Note that no other region of California is growing faster than the IE.

Also worth noting is that three of the top 10 metro areas, Phoenix, Inland Empire, and Las Vegas, all depend on the Colorado River for its livelihood, and this growth chart perhaps serves to warn us that available water will continue to be an issue.

In addition, nine of the ten areas are in southern states, which continues the story of this country's political power base continuing to shift away from the north in favor of the south.

Canyon Lake to Annex Meadowbrook

The Friday Flyer, a newspaper that serves Canyon Lake, published an eye-opening report in its pages today, basically saying, "I told you so", in regards to creating a sphere of influence decades ago...
Seventeen years ago, when the fledgling city of Canyon Lake was undertaking a mandated sphere of influence study, Jeff Butzlaff, then City Manager, was quoted in The Friday Flyer as saying, "We never want to be placed in the position of having to say someday "Oh, if we'd only known" or "If we hadn't been so short-sighted."

It seems that day has come, and the current City Council is bemoaning the fact that its counterpart in 1991 voted against establishing a sphere of influence outside its original boundaries.
Here's a link to the report...

It wouldn't be an issue if not for the fact that the City of Canyon Lake is having financial problems. Basically, the city is built out. The only place it could possibly expand is northward towards Hwy 74, and into the unincorporated area of Meadowbrook.

Meadowbrook is the community that sits on Hwy 74 between Perris and Lake Elsinore. It's a place known for its boulders, mobile homes, farm animals and meth labs. There is already committee of Meadowbrook residents trying to fight an annexation bid by Canyon Lake.

Obviously Canyon Lake doesn't want Meadowbrook residents in its borders, they just want the land to build some tax-generating commercial centers.

Canyon Lake's financial woes is largely due to the fact that they can't expand to build commercial development. They don't have any land to do so, and hence why they are now haunted by the decision not to create a sphere of influence.

A "sphere of influence" is an area of land adjacent to a city, but not actually incorporated into the city. It gives the city a way of saying, "We don't need this land right now, but we might need it someday, so we want to prevent other cities from having it".

Another reason why Canyon Lake is having financial problems is the same old foreclosure phenomenon and general weak economy. They don't even have enough money to maintain Railroad Canyon Rd, asking private organizations to come in and do volunteer cleanup.

The new Countryside Marketplace under construction in Menifee will also hurt Canyon Lake. It'll give their residents more reasons to spend their dollars outside of the city's boundaries, and at the same time, fewer Menifee residents will bother going to Pepe's for dinner.

Last year, I opined in an article here on Menifee 24/7 that Canyon Lake may very well find itself being annexed into Menifee. If the new City of Menifee is successful in building up a lucrative tax base, and assuming Canyon Lake continues to get squeezed into suffocation, Canyon Lakers may run out of options and sell out to Menifee or Lake Elsinore.

Apartment Projects Coming to Menifee

The County Board of Supervisors agreed to a plan today to use $2 million of funds from the Redevelopment Agency to help finance a complex of low-income apartments for seniors located in Menifee.

Dubbed, "The Vineyards at Menifee", it sits on the north-east corner of Newport Rd and Winter Hawk Rd. That would place it next to the Good Shepherd Lutheran School, and across Newport from the Mobil Gas Station.

Here's a description of the project according to the report from the County Clerk...
The Project will consist of 64 one-bedroom units, 16 two-bedroom units, and one on-site manager's unit. The one-bedroom units are approximately 561 square feet and the two-bedroom units are approximately 781 square feet. All units will be equipped with full kitchens, including refrigerator, dishwasher, combination range/oven, microwave, garbage disposal, and central heating/cooling. Each unit will also include a balcony or patio. Elevators will be provided to the second floor of all the buildings. The residents will have access to a 5,000 square foot community building that will include a community meeting room, kitchen, laundry room, and manager's office. Additional on-site amenities include a pool, putting green, and leisure areas for the seniors to use.

A total of thirty nine (39) units ("Assisted Units") will be reserved for low-income senior households whose incomes do not exceed sixty percent (60%) area median income for the County, adjusted by family size at the time of occupancy. The period of affordability will be for 55 years from the certificate of occupancy.
The report goes on to say that if residents of Menifee vote to approve cityhood, then this $2 million offer from the county's pocket becomes null and void. In that case, the company developing this project, Palm Desert Development Company, will have to either pay for it itself, or find a way to get the new city to pay for it.

Palm Desert Development Company specializes in developing low-income apartment projects, and have developed many others in Hemet, San Jacinto, Moreno Valley, and Rubidoux.

Police in the New Menifee City

Law enforcement, or lack thereof, has been one of the biggest selling points on why us folks in the Menifee Valley should vote for cityhood.

I received an e-mail today from a Menifee 24/7 reader who wanted to express his/her thoughts about contracting with the Sheriff versus building a homegrown police department. Here's what they said...

The latest article I read stated that the new city would initially "contract for services" with Riverside Sheriff. Nothing against them but I don't like that idea at all. Let me explain why.

We currently pay $1.5 million dollars for thier "services" now. $1 million to the Sheriff and $500K to CHP for "Traffic services." Now, that figure nets us (Menifee Residents) 1 Deputy Sheriff and ? CHP Officers (since I never see them providing traffic services). How exactly are we to benefit at all from cityhood and contracting unless we are willing to start our own police department?

Oh, and let me tell you this "it is not cheaper" to contract with Riverside Sheriff, just ask the City of San Jacinto how much they "saved" by contracting out to Riverside. Nothing, in fact they are paying a great deal more now than they ever did with their own police department. in fact I hear they are considering going back to thier own police department as a result (unconfirmed).

Folks we need to do this right from the start, lets' not make the same mistakes other cities have. No complaints against the Fire Department, they are doing a great job (plus at least I see them), but Law Enforcement isn't holding up their end of the bargain. Have you seen the graffitti, gang members, parolees, sex offenders, homeless, and basic thugs running around our soon to be city? Where are the guys in the uniforms being visible and running these folks out of our town (Except for the College Police)?

It's bad enough that there are over 300 forclosed homes in Menifee alone, but that is just the beginning. Next we will be a low rent district with little to no law enforcement until it's too late, can you say "City of Perris." Your Thoughts?
I think it's a foregone conclusion that the new city will contract with the Sheriff. I believe that the "feasibility study", that just barely shows us as being viable, was based on the expectation that we'd contract with the Sheriff.

The important thing to know about this, is that by having our own city, it makes it easier for us to hold our city council members responsible. It's alot easier to vote them out of office than it is for us vote a Sheriff out of office.

If the Sheriff doesn't provide the improvement that we're looking for under the new incorporated city, then we need to vote the city council members out. It's that simple.

To do this, we must have a short list of our top law enforcement improvements, and refer back to this list everytime we evaluate our city council. We also need a public forum to discuss the city council's effectiveness. And I'll be glad to host that discussion here.

One issue I would like the first city council to address, is to have a police officer arrive on the scene within 15 minutes of your call, on average. Right now, if you called the Sheriff's substation, it's likely a Deputy won't even visit you.

So here's a list of top three law enforcement improvements that we should hold our city council members to...

  1. Improve in-person response times to 15 minutes on average, every call

  2. .....

  3. .....
What should the other two law enforcement improvements be?

Jazz Night at Menifee Valley Middle School

Tuesday March 25 6:30 26255 Garbani Road Free Admission

General Electric Donates $5,000 to Menifee Reading Program

General Electric yesterday donated $5,000 to the GREAT Program (Grandparents And graduates, Reading Enriching And Tutoring). The presentation was held at Chester Morrison Elementary.

GREAT works with the Menifee Union School District to provide reading tutors.

General Electric Menifee GREAT
Pictured above is Dr. Linda Callaway Superintendent of the Menifee Union School District, John Gates and Bruce Heppenstall from General Electric, Lesa Sobek GREAT Coordinator.

Highest Ozone in the Country

The Environmental Protection Agency today adopted new standards on ozone levels in the country's air.

The new "safe" level is 0.075 parts per million, down from 0.084 ppm before.

Due to the new standard level, the EPA issued a list of counties that are now above the safe level. Here are the top ten counties in entire USA with the highest levels of ozone...

  1. San Bernardino County, CA (0.121)

  2. Riverside County, CA (0.112)

  3. Los Angeles County, CA (0.112)

  4. Kern County, CA (0.110)

  5. Tulare County, CA (0.103)

  6. Harris County, TX (0.103)

  7. Fresno County, CA (0.098)

  8. Sacramento County, CA (0.097)

  9. Placer County, CA (0.097)

  10. Nevada County, CA (0.096)
9 of the top 10 are in California.

High levels of ozone are believed to cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses in children and seniors.

If you have an air purifier in your house, you might want to check it out for ozone. Many of them output ozone to kill microscopic organisms in the air.

If you're thinking about moving, here's a list of the top 10 counties with the lowest levels of ozone...

  1. Honolulu, HI (0.042)

  2. San Francisco County, CA (0.045)

  3. Marin County, CA (0.050)

  4. Yukon-Koyukuk, AK (0.052)

  5. San Mateo County, CA (0.053)

  6. Dunn County, ND (0.055)

  7. Flathead County, MT (0.056)

  8. Lancaster County, NE (0.056)

  9. Burke County, ND (0.057)

  10. Oliver County, ND (0.057)
In case you're wondering, both Orange County and San Diego County exceed the safe standard.

You can download the full list of counties that are above and below the standard...


Relay For Life of Menifee Open House & Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser
March 29, 2008
Breakfast being served from 7:30 am- 10:30 am

Support the fight against cancer. Join us for breakfast right here at Giovanni’s on March 29th and help us kick off Menifee’s Relay For Life event. Proceeds from your $10 donation will benefit the American Cancer Society and its mission to eliminate cancer.
Giovanni's is located at 26900 Newport Road.

19 Candidates Seeking Seat on First City Council

The list of individuals seeking a position on the first city council has been released and will be on the June 3 ballot (along with voting on cityhood).

As excerpted from the Press-Enterprise story by Julissa McKinnon:

Six of the 19 candidates are from Sun City. They are:

Darci Castillejos, 47, a restaurant owner; John Denver, 61, a businessman and mortgage broker; Louis Mazei, 62, a Riverside County planning technician; Chuck Reutter (he has not yet filed age and occupation information with the registrar of voters); Carol Sullivan, 64, a businesswoman; and Gerald Walker, 45, a county maintenance plumber.

The remaining 13 candidates are from Menifee. They are:

Tony Amatulli, 49, a businessman; Dina Biedermann (age and occupation information not yet filed); Dean Deines, 52, a public finance officer; Wallace Edgerton (age not provided), a Mt. San Jacinto Community College political science instructor; Tom Fuhrman, 63, a businessman and owner/operator of Wooden Nickel Ranch in Menifee; Ken Gaunt, 67, a retired businessman and former county commissioner in Nevada; Darcy Kuenzi, 45, a legislative assistant; Scott Mann (age not provided), a risk manager for the Menifee Union School District; Marc Miller, 50, a rancher and businessman; Jason Reeves, 32, a businessman and
Sunday school teacher; Jerry Stamper, a real estate broker; Fred Twyman, 43, a high school math teacher and Menifee Union School District trustee; and Dorothy Wolons, 43, a businesswoman and mother.

Here is a link to the full story.


Sign-ups for Tackle Football, Flag Football and Cheerleading will be held on Saturday, March 29th from 8-2 at the Albertsons on Newport Road. Visit the website at

Community Health Fair- Free Cholesterol, Diabetes test and more

Do you need your blood pressure and blood sugar checked? Do you have osteoporosis? Why not get tested for FREE!

Rancho Family Medical Group in Temecula is having a community health fair and open house- Saturday, March 15th. Rancho Family Medical Group is Temecula Valley's oldest medical group and has been serving the Temecula, Murrieta and Menifee area for over 70 years. They are accepting new patients. The practice consists of 9 Family Medicine Physicians, 1 OB/GYN, 1 Doctor of Preventive Medicine, 2 Physician Assistants and 3 Nurse Practitioners. A Menifee Office is expected in the next 2 years.

Rancho Medical Group has free diabetes education for patients and weight loss seminars. Rancho Sports Center and Rancho Wellness Center are all located in the same complex.

The Health Fair will Offer:

  • Free Cholesterol Check
  • Free Diabetes Check
  • Free Bone Density Testing
  • Free Blood Pressure Check
  • Free Face painting and balloons for the children and games in the sports center.
  • TIME: 10AM-2:00
  • Location: 28780 Single Oak Drive, Temecula

    In addition, K-FROG will be broadcasting from the parking lot and Willie Gault, former NFL player and Olympian will be present to sign autographs!

DIRECTIONS: 15 South, Exit Rancho California. Turn Right. Go to Business Park Dr, turn right. The facility is on the corner of Single Oak and Business Park Drive. 951-676-4193

Schedule to begin Goetz bridge construction revised again..

Developers for the Audie Murphy Ranch project have again had to revise the date to begin construction of the bridge on Goetz Rd., moving it out to the beginning of June at the earliest because of requirements by a local water utility.
According to Dennis Chapman of Brookfield Homes, one of the two developers behind the project, the latest delay is the result of a requirement to relocate two Eastern Municipal Water District reclaimed water lines.The lines are constructed of a special material and, unfortunately, the turn-around time for delivery is about three months out, says Dennis.
The requirement came near the end of the approval process, catching developers somewhat by surprise. Dennis explains that, before any other work can take place, the lines must first be relocated; so the decision to postpone the work until June was made.
It is estimated that Goetz Rd. will be impacted for approximately one year while the road is widened to four lanes and a bridge is constructed to help alleviate flooding. Dennis indicated that as part of their permit approval, the County of Riverside also required them to submit a construction timetable, with financial penalties assessed for delays in completing the work as scheduled.
To read more of this go to

I-15 Paving Project Resumes

Cal-Trans announced today that it will resume its paving project along the I-15, between Murrieta Hot Springs Rd and Main St in Lake Elsinore, along both directions, beginning tonight and continuing next week.

Here's the full announcement below...
RIVERSIDE COUNTY – Construction crews will continue with the paving project on I-15 that was suspended due to low seasonal temperatures.

Motorists can expect crews to be working on North and Southbound I-15, between Murrieta Hot Springs Road in Temecula and Main Street in Lake Elsinore, the remainder of this week and Monday through Friday next week. Work will be done at night between 7 PM and 5 AM. Be prepared for lane closures.

Expect delays- Give yourself extra commute time. Merge early and make space for vehicles around you- so everyone can get from Point A to Point B successfully.

Menifee Girls Softball Team "Lights Out"

New Menifee softball team, Lights Out, makes national tournament.The 12-and-under girls fast pitch softball team Lights Out has only been together for six months, but it already earned the right to compete in the Triple Crown Sports nationals in July in Park City, Utah.

Lights Out qualified to play in the nationals by placing third in a recent tournament at the Oaks baseball fields on the Soboba reservation.

The team was started by Menifee resident Larry Chilson, head coach and manager, with assistance from Shirley Ruiz, also of Menifee.
Read more of this article at