The countdown begins: 30 days left!

Yes, the time is finally coming. Starting on July 1, your driving skills will no longer be hampered by the semi-permanent metal box that connects your hand to your ear. Yes, I mean the cell phone. The day of the Cyborg is almost upon us (aka "bluetooth").

But this is not to be taken lightly, like let's say... speed limits!

Your first ticket will cost you $20 and every ticket after that will cost you $50. (about a quarter tank of gas!) But be careful, according to the state DMV, these tickets will appear on your driving record.

Don't count on getting any warning tickets, there will be none according to state officials. People have had nearly 2 years to get accustomed to the idea since Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the bill in September 2006.

What you might not know is that also taking effect on July 1st is a law that will ban all drivers under that age of 18 from using any communications device, even with a headset.

So here are some key things to remember:

1. Under 18, just don't even think about it.

2. Being stopped at a red light or in bumper to bumper traffic DOES NOT allow you to use your phone, you are still "driving."

3. You CAN make an emergency call while driving. (And no, if your friend is having a "personal crisis" and must tell you all about it, it does not qualify) the call must be to an emergency service agency.

4. Tickets will appear on your driving record, but NOT as a violation point.

5. This law applies ONLY to drivers, not passengers.

6. You can be pulled over solely for the cell phone violation and nothing else.

7. As of now, the law does not prohibit texting or dialing.

8. You can use the speaker phone function on your phone.

source: DMV and CHP

There's a new Sheriff in Town!

I know I've been wanting additional police presence here in Menifee, but this is not quite what I had in mind. The Easter Municipal Water District just added two new policies to its "water use efficiency ordiance". Yep, we got us some Water Police comin to town!

The first policy requires "water efficient landscaping" by builders in all the new home developments. The second policy basically allows EMWD to give you a ticket for letting water "runoff" your property. (Awww… and I had just dusted off my Slip N Slide!)

You'll get written warnings on the first and second times, but three strikes and your out… out a hundred bucks that is, on your next water bill. A $200 added fee onto your bill for the fourth violation, and a $300 fee for each violation thereafter.

What I want to know is, can we get some kind of runoff credit for having to live next door to the house with the dead grass that uses NO water? (See my article "No More Dead Grassroots Movement"

This new ordinance doesn't start until September, so all you little gutter splashers and puddle jumpers, have at it while you still can!

For more information check out this Valley news article:

Menifee Valley Talk Radio - Tonight

Menifee Valley Talk Radio ran their first prime time broadcast, this evening at 8:00pm.

Rita Peters, trustee with the Menifee Union School District board was the special guest this evening and explained her opposition to cityhood, from the standpoint of a long time Quail Valley resident who doesn't agree her community should be a part of the new city.

Two city council candidates called in to speak, Scott Mann and Tom Fuhrman. Mann spoke to counter the anti-cityhood remarks made by Peters. Fuhrman described himself as the rural representative on the list of city council candidates, and went on to speak about some interesting history on eminent domain here in the valley.

You can hear a replay of the show here...

Beautifying Menifee

One day in the not so distant past, I was walking with my two boys to La Ladera park to burn off some of their abundant energy. While we were approaching the playground, I noticed that there was trash strewn all around it. My first reaction was "yuck, that's disgusting, I'm not going to pick that up". But then it occurred to me, If I don't pick it up, who will? Would we have to wait for the maintenance people to pick it up? Were there maintenance people that do this sort of thing here?

So I decided to do it myself. Keeping one eye on my boys while they were on the playground, I circumnavigated the play area and picked up any trash I could find. After I finished, I realized it took less than 5 minutes to do, and the playground was restored back to it's clean self.

Now I know I'm not the only one to do this, and I'm not looking for any kudos. But when my son asked me "why did you do that, dad?" I explained that if everyone would just take the time to pick up trash on the ground, there wouldn't be any because there are so many people.

I don't want this to sound like an after school special, but when I moved to Menifee, the first thing I noticed was how clean it was. So I will continue to pick up any trash that I can around our beautiful city when I come across it.

Movies In The Park Tonight

Just a reminder,
after your long week at work, kick back and relax tonight at La Ladera park. They are going to be showing "Surf's Up" on a large screen. There will be vendors selling snacks on site. Festivities begin at 4:30, so we'll see you there!
(yes, it's a kid's movie, but they can be pretty entertaining sometimes!)

Good Shepherd Lutheran School - Menifee

good shepherd lutheran school menifeeAfter writing the previous article, where I mentioned Menifee Union School District is seeing its student enrollments going down, I wanted to take a look at a private school here in Menifee, Good Shepherd Lutheran School, and see where they're at.

Go back to last January, when the topic of the day was Measure B, the school bond that was going to raise property taxes to build more schools. I wanted to know if Good Shepherd was experiencing crowded classrooms, or what.

I spoke to Rob McDowell, Principal at Good Shepherd. The school teaches grades K-7, taking a child all the way from kindergarten, and 2/3 of the way through middle school.

He said that they have plenty of room for more students. The school has 12 classrooms, and they're set up for 20 kids per classroom. That would give them a maximum capacity of 240 students. However at this time, they're sitting at about half of that capacity. So basically, they have an average of 10 kids per classroom.

As far as tuition is concerned, the cost is paid at $400.00 a month, for 10 months. The cost is the same for all grades, with the exception of preschool.

I asked McDowell as to why more parents don't enroll their kids at his school. His answer was economics. He said that for some families, $400.00 per month is too much to afford. But he also acknowledged that there are families who can afford it, but just prefer to use public schools instead.

He also acknowledged that Good Shepherd Lutheran School is a "congregational school", and that may be prohibitive to some families.

I asked if he could explain why there aren't more private schools in Menifee, and he saw it as a lack of demand. First, there's the tuition issue, and second, people just don't give private schools a thought. I asked if there were any political hurdles that private schools have to overcome to become established, and he said "no". Basically, it's just a lack of demand.

Being that I wanted to write an article about his school, he wanted to say that he's very proud of his teaching staff, and that the school holds its teaching standards to a very high level. He explained that their teachers work on a year-to-year contract, and as a result the school can choose not to renew a teacher's contract if that teacher doesn't meet their standards.

But he also went on to acknowledge that in his experience, the single greatest factor in a child achieving high educational marks, is the child's desire to learn, and not so much being in a private or public school.

I don't get the sense that Good Shepherd is experiencing a drop in enrollment due to the current economy, or foreclosures. It seems that parents who can afford private schooling are probably in good financial shape.

I can agree that there are many families who can't afford the $400.00 a month tuition. I probably also agree there are many others who can, but prefer to save the money and send their kids to public schools.

If budget problems continue to get worse with Menifee Union, and Menifee Union is forced to cut back even more services, will Good Shepherd benefit as a result?

You can learn more about Good Shepherd Lutheran School at their website...

Menifee Union School District May Get Worse

The Press Enterprise reports that Menifee Union's budget may be in bigger trouble.

While the Governor reports that state spending on public schools won't be cut back nearly as much as he anticipated, by at least $1.3 million anyways, MUSD Assistant Superintendent Dan Wood says that the $2 million state grant they were counting on may not happen...
But should the district not receive the $2 million operational grant, rather than replacing services, the board may be forced to make more cuts, Wood said. A legislator recently proposed eliminating the program that would generate the $2 million grant for the Menifee district, he said.
Read the full article here...

Meanwhile, the district is losing more students, causing yet more budget shortfalls.

I guess we'll at least have smaller classrooms, assuming teachers are not getting laid off.

And, we'll have more classrooms too, now that the district is building three more schools.

Menifee City Council Candidate Map

I managed to place 21 of the 22 city council candidates on a map of Menifee Valley, showing from what neighborhoods they hail from, in case this information means something to you...

Menifee City Council Map
Click the map to see a larger size.

I don't have Dina Biedermann on this map; I e-mailed her and haven't heard back yet. I didn't want to wait too long.

This information comes from the Registrar of Voters, and then cross referenced on Google Maps.

Menifee Valley Talk Radio - Show #4

This morning Menifee Valley Talk Radio ran it's fourth show. You can hear a replay here...

Therese's co-host, Chuck Reuter was not there taking care of some personal matters, so Julie Johnson sat in his place. Julie was the former CEO of both the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce and Menifee Sun City Chamber of Commerce, as well as a former legislative aid for 3rd District Supervisor, Jeff Stone.

Mid-way into the show, Therese listed off her picks for city council, Wallace Edgerton, Sue Kristjansson, Chris Thomas, Scott Mann, and Darci Castillejos.

She also named off her list of "definitely not" for city council.

Much of the discussion focused on countering arguments put forth by Anne Pica, who was the special guest of last Monday's show, and who chairs the Citizens Against Cityhood campaign, as well as talking about the laundry list of campaign contributions from developers.

Proposition 98 versus Proposition 99 - Eminent Domain

The two state-wide ballot initiatives this June are Propositions 98 and 99, both dealing with eminent domain.

Eminent domain refers to the practice of governments seizing our private property for some kind of greater good. Eminent domain is generally permitted when goverment needs our land for a public project, such as a highway or storm drain.

But lately local governments are getting into the practice seizing our land and then selling it to another private entity, namely for building housing developments and shopping centers. This came to a boil several years ago in the town of New London, CT, when the US Supreme Court ruled that existing laws permit governments to seize people's homes for the purpose of giving it to developers.

This caused states all across the country to examine their own laws on eminent domain.

In 2006, California Voters defeated Proposition 90, which tried to address eminent domain, but also attached a host of other unrelated matters, which resulted in its demise.

Props 98 and 99 address this matter again, but each compete against each other.

Prop 98 is considered to be the more friendly towards property owners. It basically shuts the door on any kind of eminent domain action for the benefit of private developers. Prop 99 does something similar, except it keeps the door open just a bit.

Prop 98 makes it pretty clear that eminent domain can only happen if it's to create a public works project, where the project is owned by a government entity, or public utility. It totally denies eminent domain for the gain of a private developer.

Prop 99 is similar, except that it only applies when the property owner actually lives on the property, and only applies to single family homes. If the owner doesn't live on the property, the government can still take it away for private use. It also allows government to give your property to private hands if there is any kind illegal activity taking place on your property.

Prop 98 appears to be more geared towards protecting the rights of property owners, whereas Prop 99 appears to more geared towards allowing cities and counties to eliminate blight.

Prop 98 will also eliminate rent controls, allowing property owners to overcome attempts to keep rents low, and return to a market-based system. I don't know of any rent controls here in the unincorporated areas of Riverside County. It may be a non-issue for us. Rent control is not the same as "Section 8" by the way. Section 8 is something a landlord agrees to do, as opposed to being forced to do.

By contrast, Prop 99 leaves existing rent control legislation intact. However, it's largely useless as a law against eminent domain, mainly it because it only applies to single family homes. Eminent domain is rarely ever used against single family homes.

Prop 98 protects all property owners.

People against Prop 98 argue that eminent domain is a minor issue, something that doesn't happen much here in California. But the fact is that the Supreme Court's ruling on New London, CT created a new tool that cities and counties can use to deal with blighted areas. Every state needs to take a look at their eminent domain laws, and make amendments to prevent property seizure for someone else's profit.

If Prop 99 fails, will it mean that that cities and counties become incapable of dealing with blight? Not at all. They can still do it the old fashioned way, have a developer offer a really attractive price.

What happens if both initiatives pass? The one that gets the most votes cancels out the other.

I'm voting Yes on Prop 98, No on Prop 99.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

For further reading...

Deane Foote versus Jeff Stone

While the cityhood debate has been the hot topic in Menifee Valley, there is in fact a race for the 3rd District Supervisor seat.

Incumbent Jeff Stone is being challenged by Deane Foote.

Therese Daniels of Menifee Valley Talk Radio announced that Deane Foote will be a guest on the show for Monday, June 2, at 8:00pm (an evening show). Here's your chance call in and ask Mr. Foote why he thinks he'll make a better Supervisor.

Pet of the Month

Rosie, who I blogged about earlier this month, is still Menifee 24/7's pet of the month.

And she's still looking for a home.

Here's an updated photo...

Menifee Valley Humane Society
How about adopting this 8 month old lab-mix? She would be a wonderful addition to an active family with kids and other k9 companions.

If you need someone to go jogging with, hiking with, here's your gal.

Contact Menifee Valley Humane Society...
(951) 246-7960

Rental Homes in Menifee Lakes

Here's an e-mail I received this morning...
We were thinking of buying in Menifee Lakes. We just looked at a property yesterday, but the neighbors said we could not buy, and make it a rental. Is that true?
Since I don't know much about the Menifee Lakes HOA, I wanted to pose this question to the readers. Is there anything preventing a home owner there from renting out their property?

Lost Dog

Pamala, who runs Menifee Valley Humane Society, says she lost her dog in the Menifee Lakes area...
I currently have a lost dog - if you can post it somehow that would be great! :)

Lost dog 5/22 from the Menifee Lakes area - female, black & tan miniature pinscher. PLEASE call 951-258-4667 with ANY info!
Give her a call if you think you found her dog.

Bill Gould Announces City Council Picks

Bill Gould, a trustee on the Romoland School Board, publishes his picks for Menifee City Council...
All of the people I support agreed that it is important to work with the different school districts to provide services and support for the youth in our communities. They all agreed there is a need for open space, planned development and more sales tax generation through commercial development. It is for these reasons that I support the candidacies of Chris Thomas, Scott Mann, Darci Castillejos, Dean Deines, and Darcy Kuenzi for Menifee City Council.
He goes on to say that he supports the name "Menifee" instead of "Menifee Valley", and that he supports electing council members at large.

I just hope Bill did his homework.

Read the rest of his piece...

Menifee Valley Talk Radio - Tomorrow

Just a reminder to tune into Menifee Valley Talk Radio tomorrow morning (Wednesday, May 28), 10:00am...

City Council Candidate Contributions

Below I listed out the sources of campaign funding for the city council candidates.

I obtained the campaign finance disclosure forms by visiting the Registrar of Voters last Friday (May 23). May 22 was the deadline to file such reports. At the time, the Registrar had forms for about half of the candidates. They said the reports only had to be postmarked by May 22, and therefore, if I returned at a later date, they might have more.

So I went back there today (May 27). They only had a handful of additional forms. I'm still missing forms from Tony Amatulli, Gerald Walker, and Fred Twyman. Other candidates submitted forms with no finance disclosure data, I'm not sure if that means they have no money at all, or what.

In the listing below, I chose to leave out the names of retirees and relatives, feeling there was no need to publicize them. To me, a relative was someone with the same name. Otherwise, everyone else I included.

So here is the info...

Dorothy Wolons (from March 18 to May 17)
* Contrubutions received: $1,067
* Personal loans: $800
* Adam Eventov, Temecula, Communications, $20.00
* Michael Stout, Sun City, Realtor, $100.00
* The Orchard, Event Coordinator, $30.00
* Monty Morshed, Public Works Engineer, $50.00
* Money Matters, Judy Handwerker, $25.00
* Essec Inc., Menifee, $15.00
* Hamshaw Farms, fundraiser, $347.00

Anthony Cuomo (from January 1 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $25.00
* Personal loans: $2,025.00
* Eric Madrid, Menifee, Physician, $25.00

John Denver (from March 18 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $2,453.93
* Personal loans: $2,000.00
* Gary Johnson, Manager, Granite Quarry, $100.00
* Aaron Knox, CEO, Southern California Compact, $250.00
* Floyd Peterson, Agent, State Farm Insurance, $100.00
* Jerry Voukelatos, Developer, Olive Tree Properties, $1,000.00

Wallace Edgerton (March 24 to May 22)
* Contributions received: $0.00
* Personal loans: $3,000.00

Jason Reeves (March 18 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $25.00
* Personal loans: $1,530.23
* Maureen Petty, Menifee, Inland Valley Medical Center, $25.00

Dean Deines (March 18 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $6,078.00
* Personal loans: $0.00
* Kevin Wolf, Riverside, Consultant, Germania Corp, $2,500.00
* Pacwest Group Inc, Murrieta, $250.00
* Rancon Group, Murrieta, $250.00
* Linnea Zarate, Moreno Valley, Regional Office Manager, PSOMAS, $10.00
* Albert A. Webb Associates, Riverside, $1,000.00
* PSOMAS, Riverside, $1,000.00
* Ellie Bennett, Riverside, COO Riverside County Reg. Medical Center, $200.00
* ARCO Travel Zone Center, Perris, $500.00

Darcy Kuenzi (March 18 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $16,650.00
* Wintec Energy, Palm Springs, $2,800.00
* LIUNA Local 77, Los Angeles, $1,000.00
* Southern California Edison, Romoland, $250.00
* Joe Daugherty, Joe Daugherty Tax Services, $100.00
* Tim Lynch, Ontario, VP General Outdoor Advertising, $500.00
* Robertson's Ready Mix, Corona, $1,000.00
* Olive Tree Properties, Santa Ana, $2,500.00
* Rick Hoffman, Hemet, VP Germania Corp, $100.00
* Germania Corporation, Riverside, $2,500.00
* Pacwest Group, Murrieta, $250.00
* Cindy Domenigoni, Domenigoni Farms, $250.00
* Urban Logic Consultants, Temecula, $1,000.00
* Lewis Investment Company, Upland, $1,000.00
* Matthew Fagan, Temecula, $150.00
* Building Industry Association, Diamond Bar, $1,000.00
* TrolConco, San Diego, $500.00
* Keenan Thomas Communications, Mission Viejo, $150.00
* Committee to Elect Paul C. McDonnell Jr., $1,500.00

Scott Mann (March 18 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $2,300.00
* Personal loans: $3,800.00
* Ron Shane, Oro Valley, $500.00
* Alan Meacham, Sun City, $200.00
* Jay Bush, Tomball, TX, $200.00
* Keenan & Associates, Torrance, $1,000.00

Darci Castillejos (March 18 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $2,819.00
* Personal loans: $0.00
* Vickie Carpenter, Menifee, Realtor, Coldwell Banker, $100.00
* Darcy Kuenzi, Menifee, Legislative Assistant to Marion Ashley, $100.00
* Dan Marcon, Menifee, Realtor, Macala Realty, $100.00
* Sam Yoo, Temecula, Civil Engineer, Ranpac, $150.00
* David Peters, Sun City, Superintendent, Tilden Coil Construction, $100.00
* Ursula Garrett, Sun City, CPA, Garrett & Assoc., $100.00
* Joe Daugherty, Menifee, Joe Daugherty Tax Preparation, $100.00
* Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, Temecula, Law Firm, $500.00
* The Orchard, Menifee, Outdoor Events, $150.00
* Waste Management, Sacramento, $50.00
* Joan Sparkman, Murrieta, Board Member Mt San Jacinto College, $100.00
* Southern California Compact, Moreno Valley, PAC, $250.00
* Kevin Wolf, Riverside, Consultant, Germania Corp., $500.00

Chris Thomas (Jan 1 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $1,910.00
* Gifts received: $310.00
* Personal loans: $1,702.00
* Randy Williams, Economic Development Manager, City of San Jacinto, $400.00
* Wealth Solutions Group, Elk Grove, CA, 1,000.00
* Josh Bigalow, Menifee, Manager, Miles Presentation, $20.00
* David Draper, Menifee, Manager, Mission Pools, $50.00
* Luke Germandt, Menifee, Acai Health Foods, $100.00
* Jason Hyde, Menifee, Sales, Electronic Components, $100.00
* Lorinda Warren, Menifee, Warren Appraiser, $75.00
* Randy Williams, City of San Jacinto, $310.00 in signs, banners, graphics

Dina Biedermann (March 17 to April 17)
Contributions received: $0.00
Personal loans: $0.00

Jerry Stamper (Jan 1 to May 17)
* Contributions received: $8,190.00
* Gifts received: $1,440.00
* Personal loans: $6,476.59
* Avalon Management, Canyon Lake, $5,190.00
* CR&R Incorporated, Stanton, $2,500.00
* Evans Brown Mortuary, Sun City, $500.00
* Rancon Group, Murrieta, $250.00
* Mark Bishop, Canyon Lake, Rancon Group, $100.00

The Registrar of Voters said they did not have filings on the following candidates as of May 27, 2008...

Sue Kristjansson
Jason Roth
Tony Amatulli
Gerald Walker
Thomas Fuhrman
Ken Gaunt
Marc Miller
Louis Mazei
Fred Twyman

Iraq Veteran Welcomed Home

Saturday afternoon, around 2 p.m., I made a left onto Newport Road from La Ladera to head to my In-Laws house. Driving past Murrieta road, I glanced over to the other side of the street and noticed a congregation of people on the corner holding up signs and American flags. Then I remembered why they were there. Pvt. Jesus De La Cruz was going to be welcomed home from Iraq. Ashamed at myself that I had forgotten, I realized what a stroke of luck it was that I was still able to witness the support for Pvt. De La Cruz. Although the only thing I could add was honking my horn while he passed by, I still felt satisfied that he was able to see that we all care about the men and women that sacrifice so much for our country.

After he drove by, I couldn't help but feel proud that our community came together to show support for what Pvt. Jesus De La Cruz stands for. We can't forget that there are so many sons, daughters, husbands, and wives still over there fighting for a cause. It made me feel even better that this convoy was actually a surprise for him.

I know that the few minutes where everyone came together to wave at him and hold up signs may not fill the void of the sacrifice he made, it has at least shown him how much we appreciate him.

Movies In The Park Postponed

Due to the weather conditions, "Movies in the park" didn't take place last Friday night. Instead, it is scheduled for this Friday 5/30 at dusk. It takes place at La Ladera park, on the corner of La Ladera and Newport Rd. See you there!

Menifee Valley Talk Radio - Show #3

Therese Daniels and Chuck Reuter broadcast their 3rd edition of Menifee Valley Talk Radio.

You can hear a replay of the show here...

Their special guest was Anne Pica, who is leading the "Citizens Against Cityhood". She spoke in detail about her opposition to cityhood, and responded to arguments from cityhood proponents. While she did provide a lot of opinion, I didn't really hear her explain why she is voting no on cityhood. That is, she tried to dispel the pros of cityhood, and tried to explain that it would not be the panacea to all our ills, but she didn't explain how remaining an unincorporated area would give us a better way of life.

In my opinion, I heard a lot of bitterness from Anne, always using the words, "you guys", when addressing the candidates. I got the sense that she clearly sees a division between Menifee and Sun City. I wonder if her campaign is more about animosity against the influx of newcomers to Menifee, than it is about logic. I'll add that the people in Sun City Core were newcomers at one time too.

Therese Daniels spoke at length of her opposition to Jerry Stamper, one of the city council candidates, citing numerous reasons.

The show had three city council candidates on the air, including write-ins Jason Roth and Sue Kristjansson, as well as Chris Thomas.

Nancy Knight, publisher of The Bugle, was also on the air.

Interestingly, Chris Thomas asked the show's hosts if they knew anything about candidate signs being torn down, suggesting that someone was going around pulling certain signs out of the ground.

The Californian Weighs in on Menifee Cityhood

The editor of The Californian newspaper throws support for Menifee cityhood...
As we have noted before, counties in general were never intended to be the ultimate government for urbanized areas. It was always the plan that as areas grew, they would become cities and govern themselves. That's why it's important that on June 3 voters in Menifee, Sun City, Quail Valley and a sliver of Romoland vote to turn their communities into a city.

The editorial also goes on to support the name "Menifee" instead of "Menifee Valley", claiming it will make more sense in the long run.

Interestingly, it also supports electing city council members by district, instead of at large. It does so for the same reason that I cited in my article last week. The communities of Sun City, Quail Valley, Menifee Lakes, Romoland, rural Menifee, are all unique, with differing attitudes and priorities. It needs representatives that come from those areas, to make sure the voices of their constituents are heard in all decisions.

Another factor The Californian mentioned, that I didn't mention, is that Menifee is very large in acreage. At 48 square miles, it dwarfs Temecula or Murrieta, at 26 and 28 square miles respectively. Menifee will be the fourth largest city by area, with only Palm Springs, Riverside, and Moreno Valley being larger. Such a large area is destined to create diversity, and needs representation by district, in my opinion.

For the people who argue that we can always change it over to district at any time, I just don't think so. I think what will happen if we end choosing "at large" representation, is that city council members from a specific area, like Menifee Lakes for example, will amass such a large power-base, that districting will cause them to lose that power.

The Reason Why the Republican Party is Hurting

Dave Everett, who writes the Red County Riverside blog, discusses the city council race, and commented about some of the statements made by candidates, including the following...

And finally Frederick Allen Twyman III wants to ensure "that community is listened to." Oh brother.

"Oh brother"?

What's so wrong about city council members listening to the community?

Candidates Speak on Menifee Valley Talk Radio

This morning's broadcast of Menifee Valley Talk Radio welcomed five city council candidates who got to speak on the show.

You can listen to a replay of the show using the player below, (click on the arrow to the left)...

Marc Miller spoke about his involvement launching and running the cityhood incorporation movement, and expressed his desire to retain the rural aspect of Menifee Valley.

Fred Twyman came on to speak about why he chose to run for city council, citing his frustration with trying to address County officials, and also spoke about his plans to increase public parks and recreational facilities. He'd like to convert the entire Salt Creek into a useable public park, with picnic grounds and walking trails.

Sue Kristjansson expressed her master plan to make Menifee "awesome", bringing in sports and recreation facilities, and talked about the need for more public transportation options in Menifee.

Chris Thomas talked about his background as a financial auditor, having audited public entities like municipalities, companies, and various public institutions. He said that the new city of Menifee will be required to honor all development projects currently approved by the County, and that when cityhood appeared to be eminent, developers came crawling out of the woodwork to get their projects approved by the County.

Scott Mann talked about his long background as a Naval "Mustang" Officer, and expressed his character as being one of integrity, and of strict protocol. He talked about the lawsuits that the City of Perris slapped on LAFCO, which requires the future city of Menifee share revenue with Perris, and said that he doesn't believe that what the newspapers reported is accurate, and that Menifee could possibly find a way out of that.

The show's special guest was Mieke Jacobs, who writes articles for, and moderates their forum. She had the pleasure of asking several questions to the candidates.

Dan Stephenson - Buying a City Council

The Press Enterprise also ran an article last February, regarding Dan Stephenson, through his company, Rancon Real Estate, and his history of buying Temecula's city council...
Three of the five council members also have other financial ties to Stephenson: Councilman Jeff Comerchero works for him; Mayor Michael Naggar's consulting company works for Stephenson on some projects; and Councilman Chuck Washington has invested in a Stephenson development north of Temecula.
Read the full article here...

It goes on to say that Stephenson helps get his city council reelected by organizing fundraisers for them, such as trips to sporting events, where you get to rub noses with council members for having donated money, and ultimately, get your projects moving forward.

Rancon real estate, is of course, the most influential player in the development of Menifee. They were the ones behind the communities built here, and they have more holdings in Menifee yet to develop. I don't necessarily blame the company for creating homes and retail centers here. Some could argue that they like the way Temecula has grown, while others could argue that they don't like it at all.

Either way, it's time to stop letting developers be our mayor and city council, and take control of our own community.

That is after all, why we are talking about cityhood.

City Council Candidate Campaign Disclosure

The Press Enterprise is running an article that discloses some of the donations that city council candidates have received...

Here are some quotes on the candidates mentioned...

The top fundraiser has been Darcy Kuenzi who gathered $35,582 in campaign contributions as of May 22, according to records from the Riverside County registrar of voters.
Jerry Stamper, who owns Rancho Plaza Realty Inc., a residential property management company, reported taking a $6,476 loan and getting $7,250 in contributions.
John Denver, a Realtor, reported taking out a $2,000 loan and receiving $4,453 in donations. Denver's largest contributor was $1,000 from a Santa Ana developer.
Darci Castillejos, who owns and operates the French Valley Café, reported getting $325 -- $100 from her own business and donations less than $100 each that totaled $225. She also took out an $850 loan.
Wallace Edgerton, the only candidate to have previously served on a City Council -- Long Beach in his case -- said he did not feel the pressure to raise campaign dollars like he did when running for council in the much bigger city of Long Beach. Edgerton borrowed $600 for his current Menifee campaign.
The PE article goes on to give more details.

Tornado Hits Perris, Near I-215

Weather Currents, a weather service focusing on SW Riverside County, reports that a tornado touched down in Perris this afternoon, by the I-215 freeway near Oleander Ave, during the height of rush hour traffic...
Radio reports indicated an overturned truck on the freeway near March Air Reserve Base, and overturned railroad cars nearby.

In the aftermath, oil and fuel were in traffic lanes, the driver of the overturned truck was taken to the hospital, and traffic on the freeway was being re-routed.
Read the full news here...

Here's video of the tornado, and the aftermath...

Menifee Valley Talk Radio - Show #2

The second broadcast of Menifee Valley Talk Radio is tomorrow, Friday May 23, to begin at 10:00am.

To hear the show, visit the following link...

As mentioned in the previous show, they plan to have some candidates for city council in the broadcast.

Goat Hill in Canyon Lake to be Clipped

Cutting off your nose to spite your face.

That might be what the City of Canyon Lake is doing with its consideration to approve a development project on top of Goat Hill.

Goat Hill is the hill along Railroad Canyon Rd, at the intersection with Canyon Hills Drive.

Canyon Lake is in dire straits, with only enough cash reserves to last them maybe two more years, until they face a possible bankruptcy. They don't have any land to build out more retail, and the sluggish economy, combined with falling property values and foreclosures, have put the tiny city into desperate times.

goat hill canyone lake california

And so, comes this idea to mortgage off one of its natural landmarks, slicing off the top, grading it, and terracing it, to build some luxury homes and commercial centers.

This operation will take place over three years. As the Press Enterprise reported last month...
The excavation and grading would result in more than 3 million cubic yards of granite fill being hauled from the site.

Loader trucks would make 300 round trips a day on the city's main thoroughfare, Railroad Canyon Road, to haul the fill to a yet undetermined location. The traffic would be equivalent to an additional 900 daily car trips on the road, according to the initial environmental study.
And where to do they plan to dump this dirt? I hope not in Menifee!

Linda Freeman writes to The Friday Flyer, pointing out that this three-year excavation project will make it tough for homeowners to sell their properties, causing further declines in values...
If this project is approved, will all potential home sellers have to disclose that the hill that is visible and aesthetically pleasing today will be degraded in three years time? Will sellers have to disclose that a rock quarry is operating five to six days a week with on going explosives and a rock crushing plant that makes noise five to six days a week in a residential neighborhood?
Once the project is completed in three years, will it provide enough tax revenues to save the City of Canyon Lake? Will Canyon Lake already be in bankruptcy before the project is complete?

Or, is the city about to cut off its nose to spite its face?

Iraq Veteran is being welcomed home this Saturday

This Saturday, May 24th at 2pm, Menifee residents have the opportunity to welcome home one of our own. Private Jesus De La Cruz, a Menifee resident and Army private out of Fort Campbell, will be escorted from his families home along Bradley Road (near the High School) to the Kay Ceniceros Center where family and close friends will gather for a private celebration.

Jesus was wounded in Iraq on March 12, 2008. His left leg was shattered, amputated below the knee from a rocket-propelled grenade that slammed into him while on patrol in Iraq.

Jesus' parents, Richard and Delia, ask that residents show their support for Jesus and all of our soldiers currently serving in the military, by standing along Newport Road, between Bradley and Evans, holding signs and cheering Jesus as he makes his way by limousine to the celebration around 2pm.

The San Jacinto Police, Riverside Sheriff, and local Fire Department will be on hand as part of the entourage to escort the wounded veteran.

To read more about Jesus' story:

The De La Cruz's also have another son, Richard Jr., a Marine Corporal out of Camp Lejeune, serving in Iraq.

3rd Annual Movies In The Park

Tomorrow night (Friday, May 23rd) is the kick off of the 3rd annual "Movies In The Park" event. The movie is "Surf's Up", an animated documentary about surfing penguins. It takes place at La Ladera park, on the corner of La Ladera and Newport Rd. The show begins at dusk, see you there! There is a possibility it may be cancelled due to rain, so keep an eye on the skies.

The Crude Barrel

Wind Chill Motorcycle MythListening to the news before I began my commute from Menifee to Orange County, I heard them announce that the price for oil is going to go up again. -Article-

Big surprise. But what makes this different than any other day? Well this is going to be a record high . Here we go. Not only is this affecting the daily commuters and the road-trippers, this is now going to affect airline travelers as well. American Airlines announced a plan to charge $15 to check the first bag for your flight. Geesh! What’s next? Good thing we live close to Lake Elsinore, us with boats don’t have to drive that far to have some fun.

Hybrid vehicles are looking more and more attractive as time goes on, despite the sticker price.

Follow the Money for City Council Candidates

I wanted to put forth a couple of articles that folks might want to read when evaluating the city council candidates...

The Bugle Blog, April 15, 2008...

This article discusses Rancon Real Estate and their real estate developments along Newport Rd and Domenigoni Pkwy, and how by coincidence the Riverside County Board of Supervisors decided to shift focus towards building the connector road for Newport Rd, instead of making safety improvements on Winchester Rd.

Valley News, May 9, 2008...

This article reveals how much money the candidates have earned from donors.

At today's broadcast of Menifee Valley Talk Radio, Julie Johnson said that it was the developers that donated the most money to finance the cityhood incorporation effort. That tells you right there, that they'd rather work with a city council instead of county planners. It makes sense that they want city council members who will dance for them.

Read the two articles that I linked above, and decide for yourself which candidates for city council have the needs of residents in mind. What are their intentions for running? How many years have they spent positioning themselves for this moment? Are they pawns for developers, or are they going put the needs of residents first?

Even if you are against cityhood, you will want to cast your votes for city council candidates, just in case cityhood passes.

Measure G - Elections at Large or by District

One of the cityhood measures on the ballot this June 3rd, is Measure G, choosing between electing city councilmembers at large, or by district.

Electing members at large means that voters can vote for any candidate, regardless of what part of the city they reside in. But it also sets up the possibility that all five of the members can come from one area of the city.

Electing members by district means that voters may only vote for candidates that reside in their district. But it also means that no specific area of the city may control the city council.

Throughout this cityhood debate, residents of Sun City Core have been the most vocal opponents to incorporation, for a wide variety of reasons, with one of the most biggest reasons is that they don't want the newer communities taking control of their way of life. That's basically what elections by district is all about.

I personally, feel that Sun City and Menifee Lakes, which are also the two biggest home owners associations in this valley, are putting up the lion's share of candidates, and are the two areas of Menifee Valley that are poised to make decisions for the rest of us.

The opposing argument is that by electing members at large, those members will be accountable to everyone. That's only the case when all voters vote. I feel that Sun City and Menifee Lakes tends to put up the most active voters, and therefore, are the two areas of Menifee that yield the greatest power.

I'm voting in favor of elections by district, to guarantee that no specific area of the new city can take control of the city council.

I'd love to hear your comments.

Menifee Valley Talk Radio - a Success

This morning at 10:00am, I had a chance to listen in on the first broadcast of Menifee Valley Talk Radio.

You can now hear the full replay of the show using the link below...

The special guest was Julie Johnson, former CEO of the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, as well as former CEO of the Menifee Sun City Chamber of Commerce. Julie was there for the entire 2 hours, and shared her thoughts and experience about many of the candidates for city council, and named specific candidates that she would not support, why they would be bad for the new city, as well as those she would support.

A lot of discussion was placed on city council candidates who are also current members of the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, and discussed the conflict of interest that their elections would create, particularly through their relationship with developers, and their intentions for running.

Therese Daniels, one of the show's hosts, spent some time about why she's supporting Wallace Edgerton for city council.

Two candidates called into the show, Darci Castillejos, and Sue Kristjansson, and spoke about their candidacies. Sue spoke only briefly, while Darci was on the show for about 30 minutes.

A few other listeners called in with their questions and comments, including one who works in the CalFire department, and talked about the state of the emergency services department.

There was also some problems hearing the show due to browser problems. It seems that Internet Explorer has some troubles delivering the audio. I was able to hear the show fine using the Firefox browser. Others said that the audio came through fine when listening to show in their native audio player.

One of the nice aspects of tuning into the show, is that you can also take part in the "chat room", and talk to the other listeners. At one point, there were as many as 16 people in the chat room, including some city council candidates.

Menifee Valley Talk Radio - Corrected Time

Last week I announced Menifee Valley Talk Radio to you, but wanted to give you an update on the time it will air it's first show...

Wednesday, 10:00am
May 21, 2008

That's tommorrow.

I had originally announced it as 7:00pm.

The show "airs" over the Internet at this address...

As such, your computer will need speakers in order to hear it.

If you miss a live show, you can still go to show's address and listen to replays.

This is a "call-in" radio show, where you get to call up Therese and Chuck and talk about the cityhood effort, the city council candidates, and whatever problems you want the future city council to address.

Therese was a founding member of the Menifee Sun City Chamber of Commerce, and Chuck was a director of the Sun City Civic Association. Together they offer a ton of expertise on the people and politics of Menifee Valley.

The phone number to call (while the show is live): (646) 716-6582.

FBI and Pipe Bombs in Menifee

Apparently, the FBI were serving a search warrant in an area close to Paloma Valley High School, when they found a pipe bomb.
The FBI called the Riverside County Sheriff's Department out to Holland Road in Menifee about 11 a.m. this morning after they discovered what appeared to be a pipe bomb, authorities said.

Student's mother killed in car crash outside Heritage High School

The Press-Enterprise

ROMOLAND - The students and staff of Heritage High School were still reeling Wednesday after a car wreck near the school's entrance Tuesday left one freshman volleyball player and her younger sister severely injured and their mother, a well-known school volunteer, dead.

Terri Keller was leaving Heritage High after picking up 14-year-old Alexis Keller from volleyball practice when their SUV was struck by a suspected drunken driver, authorities said. Keller was driving on Briggs Road through the busy intersection with Highway 74 about 5:20 p.m. when a Ford F-250 traveling east on Highway 74 ran a red light and broadsided them, a California Highway Patrol news release said.

Several students said they witnessed the crash, which some said sounded like a "bomb" or an "explosion," as they waited for rides home.

To read more on this story..
Go to the Press Enterprise online

If any one knows this family and they need help with anything please respond to this post.

Construction on Antelope and Craig near Holland

Many of you have been asking about the construction that is being done on Antelope Road and Craig, near Holland.

The work is being performed under contract for Christensen Ranch. They are currently working on installing a sewer line from Garbani Rd. to the project, with about 600 feet left to go (as of 5/14).

After that is completed they will begin putting in the storm drain. The estimated time left for the project is 10-12 weeks according to Bill Schmidt, the on site superintendent.

Jason Roth for City Council

I received the following announcement from Jason Roth, campaigning for Menifee city council as a write-in candidate...

Dear Steve,

I have noticed that you have been posting information on your site in regards to City Council candidates. I would like to request an article be posted regarding my write-in candidacy.

My name is Jason Roth and I am a Write-In Candidate for the "Menifee Valley" City Council. My family and I have made the "Menifee Valley" our home for the last eight years. We are involved in many local activities including school functions, baseball, soccer, and church, among others. The reason I am running for a position on the City Council is to give back to a Community that has given me and my family so much after an accident left me paralyzed. I also want my children to be proud to say they are from "Menifee". I believe this is a Great Community and want to keep it that way.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Economics which has led me into a career as a Financial Analyst working exclusively for Government Agencies. On a daily basis I assist local cities and agencies with budgets, resolutions, and ordinances among other duties. I am familiar with California Law including Government Code and Streets and Highway Code among others. Additional responsibilities include making sure language in documents presented to City Councils and other departments within cities complies with the law. This experience translates directly to being a City Council member.

Because my family does live in this area and taxes are high enough, I am opposed to increased taxes. I believe we need to maintain the Senior Community, Rent Control, along with preserving the Rural Community. These have been staples of this area. We need to control the number of tract homes and the concentration of housing within those tracts. I am in favor of attracting new business to the community. This will provide us with increased tax revenue to provide the necessary services that are needed to be a City. And most importantly, I am in favor of a FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE City Council. If our City Council is Responsible in how they spend the Communities money we will be able to provide a greater number of Benefits including possibly the most important, Increased Law Enforcement.

Questions? E-mail

Menifee Valley Talk Radio

Get ready, Menifee is about to go live.

Well, on the Internet anyways.

Therese Daniels and Chuck Reuter, two Sun City residents, are hosting a live radio show focusing on the cityhood drive. Therese is a former member of the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, and founder of the Menifee Sun City Chamber of Commerce. Chuck is a former board member of the Sun City Civic Association.

You can access the show here...

The goal of the show is to provide a "point/counterpoint" approach to the issues facing Menifee Valley, with Therese and Chuck taking opposing sides.

But with the cityhood vote upon us, they'll be dedicating their next few shows on cityhood.

The first official show is scheduled to go live Wednesday evening, at 10:00am, on May 21, and lasting about one hour. If you miss the show, you can download the broadcast from their website. I'll try to announce each show here on Menifee 24/7.

City Council Candidates Wanted

Therese and Chuck would like to invite candidates for city council to come on the show with them and talk about their candidacies.

Contact Therese at (951) 672-9551. Or e-mail her at:

Sun City Nursing Home Seeks Cityhood Proponents

Rodger Groves, Executive Director of the Sun City Convalescent Center wrote to me asking if anyone with the pro-cityhood movement would mind visiting his center and speaking to their patients about cityhood...

How might I be able to get in touch with anyone from the pro-cityhood movement to come to my nursing home and hold an informational/promotional meeting for cityhood?

Any info you might be able to provide would be helpful...thanks in advance!
He went on to explain that he's very much in favor of cityhood and would like someone, perhaps a candidate for city council, to counter the arguments made by those opposing cityhood.

Contact Rodger Groves at...

Sun City Convalescent Center
Life Care Centers of America, Inc
27600 Encanto Drive
Sun City, California 92586
(951) 679-6858
(951) 679-0399 fax
(951) 757-1003 cell

Mail-in Ballots Require Extra Postage

The Riverside County Registrar of Voters announced today that "vote by mail" ballots will require extra postage this time around.

The ballots themselves are an extra half-inch larger this time compared to ballots used last February, and may cause the Post Office to reject your ballot based on insufficient postage.

Instead of the new 42 cents required for a 1 ounce envelope, you may need to pay an extra 17 cents, simply because the ballots appear to weigh at 1.1 ounces.

Voters have the option of hand delivering their ballot to any polling place.

You can look up the nearest polling place here...

Vote and Hear a Concert

Menifee StringsThis June 3rd, on election day, the entire Menifee Valley is invited to hear a free concert performed by our very own Menifee Strings.

This will be the first ever performance of Menifee Strings, and is the result of four months of violin and cello classes, led by Juanita Jackson and Bernard Jones, music teachers at Ridgemoor Elementary School.

Menifee Strings Ensemble
Tuesday, June 3rd
4:00 pm in the Ridgemoor Multi-Purpose room.

Refreshments will be served afterwards.

So first cast your vote, and then head over to Ridgemoor and witness Menifee music history in the making.

Contact Juanita Jackson for more info...

Chester Morrison End of the Year Carnival

This Friday, May 16th, Chester W. Morrison Elementary School is having an "End of the Year Carnival", running from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The school is inviting families from Menifee Elementary School that will be relocating to Chester W. Morrison next year, as a result of budget cuts. It's more like a "welcoming party".

For more information contact: Lisa Spetz (951) 314-2725.

Bill Gould Gets His Wish

A day after writing that none of the candidates for city council have contacted him about the concerns of Romoland residents, Bill Gould got contacted...
Well, I guess the word got out about my post about no candidates contacting me. I had a chance to speak with Scott Mann today who informed me of his platform of providing a high level of service with increased police protection and fire service.

I have also spoke with Darci Kuenzi and will be meeting her soon, as well Louis G. Mazei contacted me and ill be speaking with him as well.
Romoland can join the fun now.

Read his blog post...

Romoland and Cityhood

Mottes Romola FarmsBill Gould, a trustee with the Romoland School District, founder of the Temecula Music Fest, past Board member of the Arts Council of Temecula Valley, President of Freedom of Music and Art, former member of the steering committee for the City of Temecula's "Youth Master Plan", and resident of Heritage Lake, wants to know why none of the candidates for Menifee city council has contacted him...
As a trustee for the Romoland School District I am surprised that none of the potential city council candidates have contacted me. All four of our district schools would be within the boundaries of the possible city. Aside from being a local voter within the proposed city who has an interest in his community, I am a trustee on the local elementary school board that would serve about 1/3rd of the possible City of Menifee.
He goes on to address his concerns. (click here)

Which brings up a point. Are any of the candidates for city council paying attention to Romoland?

Scott Road Widening Project

Found in the Press Enterprise today is this about Scott Road being widened east of the I-215...
Work is also under way to widen Scott Road between Antelope and Briggs roads, Perez said. Construction could start in two years to build an interchange at Scott and Interstate 215, he said. Scott runs between I-215 and Winchester just north of Murrieta.
One on hand, you could say that this is news.

On the other hand, they've been saying this exact same thing for the last four years.

Which Came First: Sun City or Menifee?

Here's an interesting quote from the Press Enterprise today, regarding some folks in Sun City trying to stop the cityhood effort...
Another worry voiced at the meeting was that Sun City could lose its identity and history once cloaked with the name Menifee or Menifee Valley.

"Sun City was started in the '60s," Pica said. "They want to destroy that. They say, 'Oh you'll remember who you are,' but my grandkids and my great-grandkids won't."
The truth is that it was all named "Menifee" long before there was a Sun City.

Scott Mann Picks up Endorsements

I received the following press release from Scott Mann, candidate for Menifee City Council...

Mann Captures Two Key Public Safety Endorsements

Menifee, California, May 12, 2008 - The Scott A. Mann Campaign for Menifee City Council released information today related to Mann's Public Safety platform in the race for Menifee City Council. These two new endorsements include:

* Police Chief Kevin Segawa, Mt. San Jacinto College Police Department, and,

* The CDF Firefighters Riverside Chapter - Local 2881

These endorsements come in the wake of the Riverside Sheriffs' Association and the California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations' endorsements which were announced in a press release on April 30th. No other candidate has captured these public safety endorsements to their campaigns.

Having the support of nearly every law enforcement and emergency management professional in the County of Riverside only serves to confirm Mann's commitment to public safety in the Proposed City of Menifee.

Mann said in a statement, "My goal for our new city is to prevent crime before it happens. When we do that throughout the community, it makes the bad guys say 'Don't go to Menifee'!"

For additional information on his campaign visit or If you wish to discuss a community issue, Scott Mann can be contacted at

Christensen Ranch - Construction Update

Some of you have asked about the Christensen Ranch townhome project on the corner of Antelope and Craig, wondering why construction has stopped, and have commented that the builder, Brenson Communities, has stopped paying their contractors.

Well, I contacted Brenson Communities and got ahold of a person who is intimate with this project, and received the following response...
We have slowed construction, not stopped it. With regards to not paying contractors, that statement is inaccurate. We have had some bank delays in funding, but we plan to have this resolved within the next few weeks. Our contractors are working with the project to move forward. We plan to complete the project to finished lots and wait the market out before any vertical construction takes place. Thank you.
It's kinda the same situation with the Audie Murphy Ranch project, they're building the pads, and waiting for the market to improve before any buildings go up.

Canyon Lake Gets Tough on Seatbelt Violations

Canyon Lake Gets Tough on Seatbelt ViolationsWatch out as you drive down Railroad Canyon Road the next few weeks.

The Canyon Lake Police Department announced yesterday that beginning this Monday, May 12, through Sunday, June 1, they're going to look carefully for drivers not wearing their seatbelts.

Sergeant Todd Kelly, of the Riverside County Sheriff Department, whom the City of Canyon Lake contracts with, says there will be no warnings issued, everyone will get ticketed...
"We want to make sure that all drivers and passengers buckle up on every ride, day and night. Our officers will be on the lookout for those who are not buckled up and for teens and children not riding while properly restrained. We will not accept excuses or give warnings. It's Click It or Ticket."
Tickets for first seat belt violations range from $80 to $91 for adults and $330 to $401 for children under age 16.

Quail Valley & Menifee Cityhood

There are some folks in Menifee and Sun City who argue that one reason they are opposed to cityhood is because the current proposal includes Quail Valley.

In other words, they don't want Quail Valley included.

The reason why Quail Valley MUST be included is because the LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) demands that any cityhood or annexation attempt cannot create any "islanded" portions of unincorporated land. LAFCO is the organization that oversees all cityhood and annexation efforts.

In other words, if Menifee and Sun City incorporated without Quail Valley, then Quail Valley would turn into an unincorporated island, cut off from the rest of the unincorporated areas.

What it all boils down to, is that we have to include Quail Valley if we want Menifee-Sun City to incorporate. It's impossible to incorporate without Quail Valley.

Menifee Relay for Life - This Weekend

Menifee Relay for Life is this weekend, May 10-11th, at Paloma Valley High School.

Here is a schedule of events...

9:00-10:00am - Opening Ceremony & Survivors "Lap of Hope"

10:30-11:30 - DJ Music

11:30-12:00 - Exhibition: MENIFEE TAEKWONDO

12:00–2:00 - Performance: BLUES BAND

2:00–2:30 - Locks of Love

2:30–3:30 - Performance: AVOLITION

3:30-4:00 - Team Kelly Butterfly Release

4:00–6:00 - Performance: LAMOND DIAMOND BAND

6:00–7:00 - Miss Relay Contest

7:00–9:00 - Performance: HIP TRIGGER

9:00–10:00 - Luminaria Ceremony

10:00-11:00 - Performance: HIP TRIGGER

11:00-12:00 - Performance: Dave & MaryAnn Romero

12:00-1:00am - Karaoke Open Mic

1:00am til ? - Midnight Madness Movies

Governor Gets Tough on Weeds

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, today, instructed state fire officials to fine rural homeowners who fail to clear their properties of brush, trees and dry grass.

He's citing the dry conditions throughout the state as a sign that this year we could see more widespread fires.

A 2005 law required that homeowners who live near forests or grasslands increase the so-called "defensible space" around their houses from 30 feet to 100 feet.

Fines can range from $100 to $500. If homeowners still refuse, officials can clean up the property and send them the bill.

Zumba Comes to Menifee Valley

Zumba Comes to Menifee ValleyDionne Shigg of the "Zumba Freedom" craze tells me today that "Zumba" is coming to our town, and will be at Menifee Valley Athletic Club on Memorial Day, Monday May 26.

Zumba is actually a type of fitness program. Here's what Dionne says about it...
Come join (me) at the Menifee Valley Athletic Club for one exhilarating hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing movements that will get you HOOKED on working out. Zumba fuses hypnotic Latin and international rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a dynamic workout that will blow you away. Zumba is for everyone, young and old—and no dance background is required. Enjoy the long-term benefits of increasing your fitness level, and have a blast doing it!

Over the past few years, Zumba has become an international fitness revolution. While coining the concept of "fitness-party" and making fitness fun, Zumba has spread like wild-fire, and has positioned itself as the single most influential movement in the fitness industry.
The "preview class" will be held from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Memorial Day, at the Menifee Valley Athletic Club - 29700 Bradley Road in Sun City.

After that, they'll be holding full classes starting Thursday, June 5.

For more information on the club, visit or call 951-246-3530.

Here's a Zumba video...

Will Perris Annex Sun City?

I know there are many Sun City Core residents who are against the Menifee Cityhood effort. I don't exactly understand the reasons why they are against it, aside from the notion that they don't want the core area to be under the influence of Menifee.

But it's either that, or be under the control of Perris.

An article published today in the Press Enterprise basically says what I've been trying to say all along...
But Daugherty believes all the legal wrangling clearly shows that if the Menifee area does not incorporate into its own city, it will eventually belong to Perris.

"We're ripe, we're ready to go and we're feasible. If we don't become a city (Perris) is going to annex us. I can see them going down both sides of Ethanac (Road) and both sides of the 215 right down the corridor through Menifee and Romoland".
You can read the whole article here...

Before there was a "Menifee Valley Incorporation Committee", there was another group called, "CEDCO". CEDCO was formed by a group of Sun City Core residents, concerned over reports that Perris was looking to annex their neighborhood. CEDCO eventually spawned off the present-day Menifee Valley Incorporation Committee.

In other words, an annexation threat from Perris is what spawned the entire Menifee cityhood effort. That threat hasn't gone away folks. It's only gotten bigger.

To all of you Sun City Core residents: If Menifee cityhood fails, you'll all become Perris residents. Continuing under County administration is no longer an option.

So pick which city you want to be controlled by: Perris, or Menifee.

Scrapbooks for Foster Children

If you like to create scrapbooks, you might be interested in a special crop party taking place this month.

A Menifee-based scrapbooking supply store, The Loft Scrapbooks, in tandem with Walden Family Services, will be hosting their first Foster Child Crop to create scrapbooks for foster children. Make use your scrapbooking talents to help preserve the memories of a child in foster care.

The event will take place at The Loft Scrapbooks, Saturday May 17th, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. A $15 registration fee will purchase adhesive and an album that you can use to create a scrapbook for a foster child. Lunch will be providing.

In addition, 10% of all sales for the day from participants will go to Walden Family Services.

On the day of the event, The Loft Scrapbooks will be assigning each participant with a child to create pages for. They will not have pictures of the children, but will instead have some of their likes, interests, age and first name to be able to add and personalize each album. They hope to create 10-20 pages per child.

Space is limited, so please sign up in advance.


Teri - manager
The Loft Scrapbooks

Scot Harden Inducted into Motorcycle Hall of Fame

Scot HardenThe Motorcycle Hall of Fame is inducting a Menifee resident into its ranks.

Scot Harden is one of off-road racing's most influential champions. He achieved victories across the United States, Europe and South America during a career that has spanned nearly 35 years.

Harden has two overall wins at the prestigious Baja 1000 and is a three-time ISDE medalist. Additionally, he was the winner of the 1987 Djerba 500 Rally – Tunisia and winner of the 1987 Rallye de Atlas – Morocco.

Scot's work in the powersport industry has allowed him to help shape younger stars, including Dan Smith, Danny Hamel and Russ Pearson. He has worked in sales, marketing, and race management roles at Husqvarna, Cagiva, KTM, and at the helm of his own Menifee-based company, Harden Off-Road.

The induction ceremony will take place on October 11, 2008 at the Hilton Polaris in Columbus, Ohio.

Congratulations Scot Harden!

Countryside Market Place - Tenant Update

Several readers have e-mailed me asking for an update on the list of tenants going into Countryside Marketplace.

First, I want to point out that I actually published a list of tenants about a year ago, here...

For the record, here's the list again...

Best Buy
Linens and Things
Sport Chalet (corrected from Sportmart)
Old Navy
Lane Bryant
Beverages and More
Payless Shoes
Jewelry Store (yet to be named)

Food and Drink...

B.J.'s Restaurant & Brewery
Chipotle or Baja Fresh (not decided yet)
Jamba Juice
Panda Express (or other fast food Chinese)
Japanese Restaurant (yet to be named)
Corner Bakery or Panera Bread (not decided yet)
Red Robin
Chick Fila
TGI Fridays
In-N-Out Burger
Round Table Pizza

Other Businesses...

Wells Fargo Bank
Wachovia Bank
Washington Mutual Bank
Last week, I contacted Donahue Schriber, the company that owns Countryside Marketplace, and asked them if they can clear up some of the unknowns, as denoted in the parentheses above. Their answer is that they don't have any answers. They're still trying to pursue tenants.

They did say that they're no longer pursuing Corner Bakery or Panera Bread, although they'd welcome either one of those.

As for Linen and Things having filed for bankruptcy a week or two ago, Donahue Schriber doesn't have any information on this either. It's up to the bankruptcy court to sort all that out and decide what happens.

So the only update that we have thus far, is that a bread shop won't be there.

Armed Forces Day Celebration at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

armed forces day 2008On Saturday, May 17, 2008, the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School in Menifee will be hosting an Armed Forces Day Celebration, to honor all of our military personnel.

The event is open to the public.

It will from 3:00pm to 7:00pm, on the school grounds.

They will be serving up sliced tri tip, pork ribs, sausage, chicken, hot dogs, beans, potatoes, and chips. Meet Rob McDowell, the School Principal, working the BBQ. The school plans to have its new Child Development Center open for public viewing that day.

The event will include a "Wall of Honor", a field of flags, Church Candle Light Vigil, and Soldier's Prayer.

There will be a spring concert there, featuring GSLS Webby Dance, GSLS All School Musical, and Adult Choir.

A full combat Marine Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) will be on display, as will be a specially customized chopper decorated with military memorials.

Visit Good Shepherd's Armed Forces Day Celebration webpage for more details...

What is Armed Forces Day?

It's a federally recognized holiday established in 1949 for Americans to come together to thank our military members for their service in support of our country. It's followed a couple weeks later by Memorial Day, which honors those who lost their lives for our country.

Pet of the Month

This is Rosie, a spayed female lab mix about 8 months old. This gorgeous girl is an energetic puppy who LOVES people and other dogs. She would be a wonderful addition to an active family with kids and other k9 companions.

Pet of the month - Rosie
If you'd like to adopt Rosie, please get in touch with the Menifee Valley Humane Society...
(951) 246-7960

Menifee City Council Race - Menifee 24/7 Live Debate

Many candidates for Menifee's future city council have contacted me to publish their press releases, asked to become writers for this blog, or have posted comments.

I don't want to accept any candidates as writers, because I fear that it would be construed as an endorsement on my part. But I will accept press releases, and I certainly welcome all your comments.

I wanted to start this post as a "Live Debate", where residents of Menifee, Sun City, Quail Valley, and Romoland can post their questions and comments to the candidates, and have candidates respond back. Keep in mind, I have not personally contacted any candidates to comment here. It's strictly voluntary on everyone's part.

Please observe the following rules for comments...

  • No personal attacks - however, you're free to be critical and negative, but you just have to do it in a mature, and intelligent way. No "name calling", no foul language. Candidates are free to criticize each other, as long as it is done contructively.

  • No misinformation - Say only what you know is true. Check your facts first. But, it's one thing to say something false if you're misinformed, but it's a different thing altogether when you know its not true.

So with that in mind, I'd like to offer up a few quesitons of my own...

What can you do to speed up the infrastructure improvements, namely the Newport Rd realignment, and the traffic back up on Scott Rd and I-215?

I see the amount of graffiti increasing in my neighborhood, will you promise to do something about it in the first year of office?

I would like to see the southern portions of Menifee be preserved as a rural or historic community, preserving its past of mining, farming, and ranches. Will you promise to create an "historic" area of Menifee?