Menifee Valley Talk Radio - HOA's Part 3

On Menifee Valley Talk Radio tonight, Therese Daniels continues on with the 3rd part of her series on home owners associations, this one focusing on why they don't need property management companies.

You can listen to the show online at...

You can call into her show and talk live with her at (646) 716-6582.

Menifee Valley Little League Photos Available

Lisa Ibison is a professional photographer who runs a business in town called, "Menifee Mafia Photography", and she has been taking action photography shots of kids playing baseball this season in Menifee Valley Little League.

She wants to let parents know that they she can offer up some great looking photos of their kids in action. Just phone or e-mail her with your kid's division and team, and she'll e-mail you the proofs.

Lisa Ibison
Menifee Mafia Photography
(951) 892-8923

Click on "Prices / Photos" to see samples of her work.

Movies In The Park Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night at La Ladera park, "Movies in the park" will be hosting another show. Remember the famous movie quotes "E.T. Phone Home", or "Ellliiioooootttt". Well you will get a chance to relive all of those fond memories you had seeing E.T. in the movie theaters.

You will also have a chance to allow your kids to experience E.T. for the first time! I remember it well, watching it on the big screen for the first time. Yes, the graphics were a bit cheesy back then, but the movie was definitely ahead of its time.

So we'll see you there at La Ladera park at dusk for the show!

23 Abandoned Horses Found in Menifee

ABC News reports this morning that animal control officers discovered 23 abandoned horses at a ranch in Menifee, but the horses' owner could not be located...
Authorities took 21 of the 23 horses found at a ranch in Menifee, but the other two died. Many of the remaining horses are sick and are now receiving treatment.

Officials said the owner of the ranch had been hired to temporarily house the horses, but was apparently not caring for them.

Officials are now trying to locate the owner of the animals.
You can watch a video of this story here...

Sobriety Checkpoint on Railroad Canyon Road, Friday June 27

The Riverside County Sheriff announced that officers will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint in Canyon Lake, tomorrow, Friday June 27, from 6:00pm to 3:00am.

Since Railroad Canyon Rd is the only main drag in Canyon Lake, I'm guessing it'll be on that road.

You might want to make sure your car registration and proof of insurance are up to date, and in your car, because they'll check for that too.

No Interim City Attorney Hired Yet

Despite having interviewed applicants for an interim city attorney, the city council reported this evening that it still has more interviews yet to do.

The council will have their next public meeting on Wednesday, July 2, at 5:00pm, at Kay Ceniceros Center, with another follow up at 7:00pm.

Public Comments

Among the members of the public who gave comments at tonight's meeting...

Jason Reeves, a city council candidate, who at the first part of the meeting asked the council to select an interim city attorney that reflects the same high moral character of the city, and then again in the second part, called on the council to rely on an ad-hoc committee to help screen applicants for city manager.

Bob O'Donnell, board member of Valley Health System, and Menifee Union School District, who offers the auditorium at Menifee Valley Medical Center for future city council meetings.

Barbara Spencer, of the Menifee Valley Historical Society, who defended herself from remarks that she embarrassed the city council at last week's meeting for having cited the Brown Act, and then went again to ask the council if they have requested "conflict of interest statements" when interviewing applicants, to which the council made no reply (not sure where they stand on this).

Anne Pica, who lead the effort against cityhood, asking if certain members of the city council will resign their positions on the Chamber of Commerce. To which John Denver replied that a discussion about their affiliation with the Chamber is not on the evening's agenda, and therefore is not something to be discussed at this moment. But perhaps when it is on the agenda, and when he's had time to consult with his attorney, a discussion can be made.

Tony Amatulli (I think), spoke out that he arrived at the meeting late because he received the wrong information about where the meeting was to be held. He was actually waiting at the Gymnasium along with about 30 other people. They ended up driving to the Kay Ceniceros Center, just in case the meeting might have been there. But then they finally found it at the school auditorium. He said his source didn't cite where at the high school the meeting was located, only that it was at the high school.

Next Week's Meeting

The council members had some discussion, and perhaps argument, about next week's meeting.

Scott Mann first announced the details of next week's meeting, at 5:00pm, at Kay Ceniceros Center.

John Denver wanted to know why not 4:00pm, since they have so much to do. I didn't really hear any other council members respond to the timing. However, I'll note that Denver was late again to this evening's council meeting, so I'm not sure if moving it an hour early is going to help.

But Denver also noted that the high school auditorium is an excellent venue for a meeting, with comfortable seating for everyone, plenty of parking, and most importantly a great sound system. To which Scott Mann replied that he wasn't trying to knock the high school, but just that he had already made a committment with Kay Ceniceros Center.

Mann, Kuenzi, Edgerton, and Twyman all voted to hold the meeting next week at Kay Ceniceros Center, but I think they did so out of respect for Mann having already made arrangements with the Center. I agree with Denver, it would serve the people better to have the meeting at the high school. I don't think the council should worry about any committments that Mann made with the Center; I'm sure they'll understand.

Side Notes

Denver announced that all of the council members will be in the Independence Day Parade this Saturday, June 28, and urged everyone to come out.

I asked Tywman before the meeting if the city council received a lot of ideas and solicitation through Scott Mann's e-mail address. He said mostly several applicants for city attorney and city manager. It doesn't sound like residents have been submitting their ideas and requests to the council. Mann's e-mail address again is:

Edgerton explained that while he has a lot of prior experience with being on a city council, he's always had a staff of people to rely on for support. He feels awkward with having to run a city council with full respect of the law (Brown Act), and not have an attorney present to advise him.

Menifee Real Estate is a Banker's Market

Stefan West, a broker with Diversified Realty, and a blogger on our real estate companion blog, posted an interesting piece about the state of Menifee's real estate market...

Pricing is artificially low - Banks have changed from an incremental, "lower the price until it sells", to an immediate "price it cheap and get multiple offers" strategy. This is painful because it creates a false sense of the real value of properties on the market. How do I explain to a buyer that the incredible pool home at $350,000 already has 7 offers on it and is really going for around $400,000?
Banks have been able to hog up all the buyers by setting their home prices exceptionally low. That puts the rest of the home sellers in a really tough spot.

Read the rest of Stefan's article here...

Menifee Valley Moms and Kids

Jacque Zapatier is a local mom who launched a meetup group to socialize and have fun with other Menifee-area moms, called, "Menifee Valley Moms and Kids".

They're a group of moms and kids that get together for field trips, park playdates, crafts, potlucks, moms night out, and more. They share parenting advice and forge friendships. She's trying to get the word out to other moms here in the Valley.

As of this notice, they have 27 moms in the group.

For more information, contact Jacque at (909) 534-4649.

Sign up through their website...

Vaulting in Menifee - Try-Outs and Open House

VaultingThe Riding Academy, a vaulting school and club located in Menifee, will be holding an open house and try outs on Saturday, July 12, 2008.

Vaulting is like gymnastics on horseback.

The academy is looking for 8 to 22 year olds that would like to compete all the way to National level. At the open house you'll learn what vaulting is all about. For try outs, no horse or vaulting experience necessary.

TRA Vaulting Club is a nonprofit subordinate organization of the American Vaulting Association.

For more info, contact...

The Riding Academy
Sarah Hill
Fax (951) 344-8305

The City Council's New E-mail Address

Scott Mann, city council-elect, and temporary city council clerk, has a new e-mail address for city council-related matters...

If you want to contact the city council for anything, use this one now.

If you want to tell the council what problems you want addressed, share an idea, be a part of a committee, volunteer for something, offer your services, sending an e-mail to that address is how you get started.

Menifee Independence Day Parade - 18th Annual

The 18th Annual Menifee Independence Day Parade and Celebration is this Saturday, June 28.

Organized by the Lake Menifee Women's Club, everyone is invited to watch the parade, and join in on the festivities afterwards, and then watch the fireworks.

The Parade starts at 5:00pm from Mt San Jacinto College, heading down La Piedra.

At Wheatfield Park there will be food vendors, entertainment, craft booths, kids zone, pie eating contest, sack races, and much more.

The fireworks show begins at 9:00pm.

Remember, the streets ( La Piedra & Menifee Rd) will be closed at 5:00pm for the Parade, so come early to get a good spot. Traffic will open back up after the parade finishes.

Bring your own chairs.

For more information: Linda Delfin (Event Chairperson) *82-672-4139 or Marcy Riehm (Parade Chairperson) 377-6089

Menifee Gas Prices - June 22, 2008

Menifee-area gas prices as of today...

Green = Lowest price
Red - Highest price

Menifee gas pricesRegularDiesel
Chevron(Murrieta Rd & Newport Rd)$4.59$4.99
Shell(Murrieta Rd & Newport Rd)$4.59$4.99
Mobil(Winterhaven & Newport Rd)$4.53$4.99
ARCO(Bradley Rd & Newport Rd)$4.49$5.07
76(Haun Rd & Newport Rd)$4.53$4.99
Shell(Antelope Rd & Newport Rd)$4.59$5.05
Sun City gas prices
Valero(Sun City Blvd & McCall)$4.75$5.39
Chevron(Bradley Rd & McCall)$4.67$4.99
Valero(Antelope Rd & McCall)$4.59$5.19
Romoland gas prices
ARCO(Menifee Rd & Highway 74)$4.47$5.27
Perris gas prices
Exxon(Ethanac Rd & I-215)$4.53$4.99
Murrieta gas prices
7-Eleven(Antelope Rd & Scott Rd)$4.59N/A

LA Fitness Coming to Menifee

Today I saw a couple of sales guys for LA Fitness along Newport Rd, off of Bradley. They told me that LA Fitness is going into Countryside Marketplace, next to the Target, and should open in October.

Reminder: School Busing Available for 2008-2009

The Menifee Union School District wants to remind parents that school busing is available to qualifying students for this upcoming school year.

While school busing had been cut out of the budget for this coming year, it's now back, but in limited availability.

Busing will be available for elementary students who live outside of a 1.25 mile perimeter of their school. Students living inside of that perimeter cannot ride the bus.

For middle school students, that perimeter is 2.0 miles.

Maps showing walking distances (measured aerially) are posted on the District website, in school offices, the Transportation Office and at the District Receptionist Office. You can views the maps online...

For questions, call the District Receptionist at (951) 672-1851, after you have reviewed the maps linked above.

Bus Passes

Students taking the bus must have bus passes. Bus Drivers will now enforce this requirement. Passes will be available free to qualifying students.

City Council Special Meeting - June 25

The Menifee City Council will be having a special meeting next Wednesday, June 25, at the Paloma Valley High School theater.

There will be two public meetings, and one closed meeting during this time.

  • The first public meeting is at 5:00pm, and will accept public comments on interviewing an interim city attorney.

  • The city council will then move to a closed meeting to interview applicants for interim city attorney.

  • The second public meeting starts at 7:00pm, with a report of the prior closed meeting, and will open up for more public comments.

Public Agency Law Firms or individual attorneys desiring to make application for the position of Interim City Attorney may submit resumes to the Council-Elect Secretary, Scott A. Mann at or, for overnight or hand delivery, 29813 Park City Avenue, Menifee, CA 92584-8622.

Firms or individual attorney's desiring to apply must submit their resume no later than 5:00 pm, Tuesday, June 24, 2008. Resumes received after this date and time will not be accepted for consideration.

Gasoline Theft Prevention Tips

Just within the last three months, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department received 23 gasoline theft reports at its Indio station, according to a release issued yesterday.

The majority of these thefts occurred at a residence with gasoline being siphoned out of the gas tank and no damage being done to the vehicles. In two cases, both occurring at closed businesses, damage was caused to vehicles when thieves drilled holes in gas tanks and cut fuel lines to steal gasoline.

The Department released a set of tips advising the public on how to prevent people from stealing gas out of your car...

  • Park your vehicle in a locked garage, if you have one. Don't leave your vehicle on the street, in an alley, or on your driveway if at all possible. If you have to park on a street, avoid dark or isolated areas.

  • Park in open, well lighted, areas where others can see your vehicle. Avoid parking near trucks, vans, dumpsters, and other objects that obstruct visibility and provide hiding places.

  • If possible, don't leave your vehicle in an unattended public lot for an extended period time, and avoid parking near strangers loitering or sitting in vehicles.

  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked

  • Install an alarm system that will sound when someone attempts to break in, move, tilt, or start your vehicle. Always activate the system when leaving the vehicle.

  • Buy and use a locking gas cap. These can be purchased at most auto supply stores and department stores with an automotive section.

  • Report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.

I-215 Lane Closure Begins

Caltrans announced this morning that one of the southbound lanes of the I-215 freeway will close for most of the day tomorrow, from 5:00am to 4:00pm. The lane is located underneath the McCall Rd bridge.

In addition, that same lane will be closed each night from 9:00pm to 5:00am, beginning Sunday, June 22nd through Saturday, June 28th.

This is to repair structural damage to the bridge.

Unification Takes a Wait and See Approach

"Wait and see" is where unification is headed, after trustees from the Menifee Union and Perris Union High school districts met today.

The two boards were there to figure out what to do, after it was determined by the County Committee on School District Organization that Menifee's unification bid fails to meet five of the State's nine criteria to pass muster.

Paul Jessup, Deputy Superintent of Riverside County Schools, was on hand to consult both boards on how to move forward. He said that for that most part, the biggest challenge is money. The other issues, particularly the racial imbalance, can all be mitigated. In fact, Jessup went on to say that the State has historically approved other unification bids where some of the nine criteria was not met.

Interestingly, the State can provide extra funding to help Menifee Union deal with the money issue, but only if the newly unified school district would have 25% or more of its total students in high school. As it stands right now, it would only be able to have 23.9%. If Menifee Union could get some more high school students to bump that up to 25%, then the unification effort can knock three of those five failed criteria off the list, and make a reasonable attempt at persuading the State to approve the unification bid.

The problem is that Menifee has been losing kids over the past year. Home foreclosures have sent families out of town. And now that gas prices are getting closer to the $5.00 mark, it's going to be tough to get commuters to move out here.

One solution is to take some students out of Heritage High, and move them to Paloma High. That would get us to 25%. Board members from Perris Union didn't sound thrilled about that idea, claiming that it would burden Menifee Union with having to build more classrooms to accomodate those students.

Another problem is that the unification bid also requires Menifee Union to conduct an evironmental quality study, which will cost $500,000, and can take up to two years to perform. I'm not sure what the environment has to do with shifting one bureacracy over to another, and I'm not sure the district has that money.

So all that we can do at this point is to wait until next year, and see how the demographics look. If we can get to a 25% ratio of high school students, then we can get some additional state funding to put the unification bid in a better financial standpoint.

There's also red tape. If we get to that 25% mark, and submit another unification bid, it may take a couple of years for the State to evaluate the bid, and by that time, the 25% might diminish to a lower number, and submarine the attempt.

As to when unification will happen, we're still looking at years down the road.

Dennis Hollingsworth to Speak in Sun City

State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth, whose district includes the southern half of Menifee, will be speaking in Sun City this Saturday, June 21, at 9:30am, inside Boston Billies restaurant.

He's there as a guest of the Riverside County United Communities, a group that represents the interests of rural residents.

A breakfast will take place before then at 8:30am.

Public is invited.

He'll be there to hear answer your questions, and hear your complaints. You might want to say something about the school budget.

Contact Garry or Thelma Grant at (951) 657-9319 for more details.

Pet of the Month - Pure Bred Collies

Four pure bred collies are being rescued today by Katie Bautista, Menifee's representative for the Southland Collie Group, a collie rescue dedicated to keeping unwanted collies alive and well until permanent adopters can be found.

The four collies were dumped at Animal Friends of the Valley by a breeder, probably because the collies had a reached a certain age, and were too difficult to sell.

pure bred collies
Anyone with room in their home is sought to provide foster care for one of these collies. You'll only keep the dog temporarily until a permanent homes can be found for these beautiful pets. Even short term foster homes are sought.

Or, you can just adopt one or more.

Contact Katie Bautista at (951) 301-0591, or email at:

In 2007, Animal Friends of the Valley put to death 1,040 dogs, representing 22% of the total dogs they took in, after no one offered to adopt them.

Gas Prices Causing Home Values to Drop

The Associated Press ran an article yesterday saying the rising gasoline prices are causing people to reconsider their home buying choices...
Gas prices, which have shot up $1.07 this year, are magnifying demographic trends that show more younger buyers and empty-nest seniors are moving back to urban centers. If gas prices continue their ascent, this could have profound consequences over time on the future development of American cities and suburbs and modes of transportation.
Read the full article here...

The article goes on to illustrate some workers passing up that house in the suburbs to live downtown, closer to their jobs. Others are finding homes and jobs located right next to train stations.

As gasoline continues to rise higher, will it cause Menifee property values to decline further?

Menifee City Council's First Public Meeting

The first ever public meeting of City of Menifee's City Council was held this evening at Kay Ceniceros Center. Several people were in attendance, many of which were prospects seeking employment as city attorney, and what not.

There were a lot of suits in the room.

Even though the Registrar of Voters apparently still have some votes left to count, it seemed clear that these five council-elects have their seats in place.

Mayor Appointed

Wallace Edgerton, who received the most votes, was granted the title of Mayor, a motion granted by Denver, and seconded by Kuenzi. The title of Mayor Pro Tem was granted to Darci Kuenzi, a motion granted by Scott Mann, and seconded by Edgerton. But before that happened, Denver made a motion to make Fred Twyman as Mayor Pro Tem, but no one would second, and the motion died.

Looking at the faces of the council-elects, during the appointment process, I could tell all five of them knew what was going to happen. The nomination of Edgerton was pretty much a non-issue. But the appointment of Mayor Pro Tem seemed as if discussions had been taking place prior to this meeting, because council-elects were staring into space, tapping their feet, showing no emotion on their faces, and anxiously waiting to get through the process as quickly as possible. It looked they were all running on auto-pilot.

Edgerton also brought up the job of Council Secretary. Since the city doesn't have such a person hired, Councilmember Mann was nominated, received a motion and a second. At this point, if you want a job with the city, if you want to volunteer, if you want to offer something, contact Scott Mann at:

menifee city council
Mayor Edgerton seated in the middle of the first meeting of the first city council

Public Comments

The open session was largely to hear public comments, and several people spoke. Many of them simply gave congratulations, and other gave mutual pats on each other's back for helping with the cityhood incorporation process.

Chris Thomas, who ran for city council but came up short, spoke out urging the council meet with County officials, and have them put a halt to a "multi-family development", and let the new city negotiate with developers. I didn't ask him what that multi-family development was.

Bill Zeidlik, who had been very active in CEDCO, the parent organization that spun off the Menifee Valley Incorporation Committee, spent as much time as he possibly could demanding more advance notice of meetings, a later meeting time, and wanted to know how residents could put their name down to become involved in city operations. Edgerton had to interrupt several times to say that he was exceeding his alotted time.

But probably the most influential commenter of the evening was Barbara Spencer, president of the Menifee Valley Historical Society, who addressed the city council with a passage from the Brown Act. The Brown Act, is piece of State law that requires public officials to hold meetings and hearings in public, and provide facilities that allow all persons access to these meetings and hearings. It was Barbara's quotation that would send the rest of evening into disarray.

Interviewing Prospective City Employees

As I said above, a large number of the people present were there to compete for jobs, mostly high level jobs, namely city attorney.

The city council was to interview these people in closed session. But not longer than Barbara Spencer quoted the Brown Act, Edgerton addressed the audience that he wanted to hold at least part of this session in public, for the fact that all council members seemed to be in disagreement on how the Brown Act applies in this case, and that the council did not have a city attorney to consult with. I was quite impressed to see Edgerton give careful consideration here, and even though it would submarine the rest of the meeting, it gave me a sense that he was drawing from experience.

The case in question, is that the city is not yet official, and the city council members present are not really city council members, since their elections have not yet been certified.

That caused Edgerton to call upon Dave Wilman, a representative from the League of California Cities, to act as an unofficial legal counsel. It appeared to be Wilman's interpretation that even though the city wasn't official, and the council members were not official, the Brown Act still applied.

The other problem to all this, is that the assembly hall we were gathered in, had to be vacated by 6:00pm, because another group had it reserved. So we all moved into a different room, that was very tiny and cramped, about the size of someone's bedroom. One of the attorneys there, representing a lawfirm, and who was competing for business, addressed the council saying that there was not enough room to fit everyone, and many others could not see or hear the meeting, and therefore constituted a violation of the Brown Act.

Mann intervened, saying that it was possible to hold the meeting private session, because they would be interviewing people, not companies. Edgerton then sought legal counsel again from Dave Wilman, the representative from the League of California Cities. Wilman, deferred to an attorney who was working for Canyon Lake. That attorney spoke out and disagreed with Mann, saying that the persons here seeking employment are actually representatives of lawfirms, and that the Brown Act requires an open session to interview businesses.

But since the tiny little room was already a violation of the Brown Act, Mayor Edgerton asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting for next week. At that point Kuenzi intervened, pointed her finger into the air, and then spoke in a very stern and deliberate tone, saying that they needed to get on with business, that they needed to hire a city attorney, and that they could not adjourn. Mann seemed to back her up on that statement. However, Denver made a motion to adjourn, and Twyman gave a second. Edgerton adjourned the meeting.

menifee city council hearing
Many of the people in attendance were suits competing for business.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be scheduled for 7:00pm, Wednesday June 25. A location has not yet been identified, but Tywman talked about using Paloma Valley High School.

The council will actually be meeting 5:00pm for a closed session, and then the open session at 7:00pm.


Don Vesey, president of the Quail Valley MAC, became the first person to address the first Menifee City Council. He simply gave a congratulations to the councilmembers.

Missing Cat - Tierra Shores

Roberta O. submitted the following all-points bulletin on her missing cat...
we lost our cat on June 5 about 2 weeks ago, we live in Tierra Shores, Menifee. His name is GPAWS and he is a grey w/little stripes and white paws. He is neutered and wore purple flea collar and black bell color we miss him and would like to know is you have seen him, if so, write me at

HOA Part 2 - Menifee Valley Talk Radio

Therese Daniels and Mieke Jacobs are moving into the second part of their discussion of home owners associations on Menifee Valley Talk Radio tomorrow evening, Thursday, June 19.

The show runs from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. You can hear it live at the following address...

The show will focus on why deed restricted titles (such as a 55+ community) are inferior to any other titles.

Perris Valley Line - Commuter Rail

Perris Valley LineI attended the Perris Valley Line public meeting last night. I posted the meeting notice here. Based on what I saw, this may or may not be a more efficient solution for commuters, depending on where you commute to.

The Metrolink line will start from Ethanac Rd, near the I-215 freeway, and run north to downtown Riverside. It won't open until 2011.

The reason why it stops at Ethanac Rd is because the Riverside County Transportation Commission didn't buy any of the rail south of that point. There's actually more rail that continues into Menifee, goes by Heritage Lake, then parallels Simpson Rd, and ends in San Jacinto. An RCTC representative said they might buy up this rail depending on the demand.

The RCTC has an agreement with Burlington Northern Santa Fe to allow cargo tranportation. The BNSF already ships lumber along this line.

While the RCTC bought the rail, they still haven't acquired all the land necessary to build the depots.

Choosing the First Depots

One of the reasons for having this meeting, is to hear from the public on what depots to build first. Even though they know what depots will eventually be built, they only plan to have one or two depots functional by 2011. It'll take until 2030 to get all the depots built.

I don't know how many people from Menifee were there, aside from myself, and at least one person I talked to, but I did put in my suggestion to build the southern-most station first, and extend the rail south into Menifee.

I'd say most of the people in attendance were from Perris.

Perris Valley Line
Click this image to see the full size

A Viable Solution?

So, I wanted to know if this commuter rail plan was feasible for Menifee commuters travelling to Orange County. The representatives there didn't know what the fare would cost to ride from Perris to Riverside, and didn't know what the travel time would be.

Moreover, I asked what time would the first train leave Perris, assuming many commuters may need to get to work in Orange County between 6:00am and 7:00am. They didn't know that either.

However, the existing Metrolink schedule shows that they have a train leaving downtown Riverside at 5:11am, and arriving in Irvine at 6:20am. From there, commuters will board OCTD buses to take them closer to their jobs, and then walk to the office from there. If you worked in Irvine, that could get you to work by 7:00am.

Therefore, what would be needed is a train leaving Ethanac Rd by no later than 4:30am, in order to get someone to work in Irvine by 7:00am. That's 2 1/2 hours of one-way travel. I remember driving from Menifee to my office near John Wayne Airport in about 1 1/2 hours on average, leaving home at 5:30am. I'd get out of bed around 5:00am, and didn't return home until 6:30pm. I'd still have about 4 hours to spend at home, until I hit the sack.

If I took the Perris Valley Line, I'd have to get out of bed at 3:45am, just to catch the 4:30am train, and ultimately come back home around 7:00pm. That would leave me with about 1 hour to spend at home, until I had to hit the sack and get about 7 hours of sleep for the next day.

As far as the cost, the existing fare from downtown Riverside to Irvine is $233.00 a month, for roundtrip service. So let's assume it'll cost $400.00 a month to extend that route to Ethanac Rd. Earlier this month, I posted that it would cost about $450.00 a month to drive a car to commute to Irvine and back, and that's assuming the price of gas is $5.00 per gallon. Add to that about another $200 a month for toll road fees. Then service maintenance on your car is probably $1,200 a year (oil, tires, brake pads), or $100 a month. All in all, about $750 a month to commute to Irvine and back.

Therefore, it's looking like a commute to Orange County and back along this Perris Valley Line will save you close to $350.00 a month in expenses, but will add another 2-3 hours of commute, and pretty much take away your family time. But, you'll get to sleep on the train, get a little bit of walking exercise from the bus stop, and you'll make your environmentalist-wife a lot happier.

I used Irvine as an example. Depending on your destination, taking the Metrolink might be better or worse. It might also open up new job possibilities as far away as Ventura County, depending on that job's proximity to a train station.

Of course, by 2011 the price of gas may be $15.00 per gallon. But then again, Metrolink trains are diesel-electrics, and those fares will go up too.

County Plans to Build Communication Towers in Menifee

communication towerThe County is planning to build more communication towers to increase radio contact between law enforcement officers.

The project, dubbed "Public Safety Enterprise Communication System", will add 51 more towers across the County to supplement the existing 20.

Two of these towers will be located within the Menifee Valley, including one on Wickerd Rd, near Murrieta Rd, and the other in Quail Valley, right on the border with Canyon Lake, along Barry Ct....

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

The Menifee tower will be 100ft tall, while the Quail Valley tower will be 60ft tall, according to the Environmental Impact Report. A couple of the towers in other parts of the county will be 330ft tall, taller than the Morongo Casino tower.

You can read more about this project here...

The County launched a public comment period on June 9th, and ends on July 23. You can actually tell the County what you think about this using their online form...

It's supposedly going to take 3 years to get the 51 towers into place.

Menifee Valley Medical Center Protest - June 18

Tomorrow, Wednesday June 18, at 11:30am, hospital workers with Valley Health System will gather at Menifee Valley Medical Center to protest against proposed layoffs.

A press conference is scheduled soon after at 12:00pm.

Valley Health System, which filed for bankruptcy protection last December, is looking to trim its budget by eliminating some more salaries.

At the rally, the workers, who are members of SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, will unveil their plan to encourage the sale of Menifee Valley Medical Center.


The sale of Menifee Valley Medical Center is something that I have suggested on this blog for years now. I'm glad to see the tide shifting towards this.

While Measure G failed last year (the initiative to sell VHS hospitals to Select Healthcare), voters in Menifee and Sun City largely supported it. It was voters in Hemet and San Jacinto, who bought into the anti-G paranoia, that defeated it.

And now look where we are.

If folks in Hemet still want their hospital mired in bankruptcy, let them. Menifee is a different community. I don't want our hospital being dragged down by their vote.

McCall Bridge - Lane Closures

Caltrans announced last Friday that lane closures along McCall Bridge will begin this week, possibly today.

One of the eastbound lanes on the McCall Bridge will be closed, and they may possibly close one of the westbound lanes as well.

One lane will be closed on southbound I-215 at McCall Blvd. during night time hours, Monday through Friday.

This is due to repair work. See "McCall Bridge - Emergency Repairs".

Vineyards at Menifee Expected to Receive Federal Funds

Last March I wrote about a new apartment project planned for the corner of Newport Rd and Winterhawk (on the other side of Newport from the Mobil station) dubbed, "Vineyards at Menifee".

The Desert Sun reports today that the Riverside County Board of Supervisors is expected to release an additional $750,000 in funds to help build this thing...
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is expected today to approve the findings of an environmental impact report on a proposed senior living complex in Menifee and authorize the release of $750,000 in funds to support the project.

The County already has earmarked $2 million from its redevelopment fund. The $750,000 we're talking about here comes from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Vineyards at Menifee is a 55+ complex, and about 39 of the 80 total units will be reserved for low-income renters. There will also be 15 units reserved for homeless, and mentally-disabled persons under assistance from the county's Department of Mental Health.

You can read more about these 15 "mental health" units from a PDF document published by the county...

Romoland and Menifee School Districts

There appears to be some question coming from Heritage Lake as to what will happen with Heritage High School, and the other schools in Romoland, with unification efforts underway, and now that Menifee cityhood has passed.

The answer to this question was answered in the comments of an earlier article...
Heritage Lake is under two school districts. Romoland has the elementry(Mesa View), and middle school(Boulder Ridge). Perris Union has the high school, Heritage High. Even though we are now Menifee instead of Romoland that does not change the school district boundaries they will stay the same. I agree with you that Heritage should also be in the unification process and put in the Menifee district but I don't think that will ever happen!
The answer is that nothing will change.

Heritage High School will continue to be in the Perris Union High School District. Mesa View and Boulder Ridge will continue to be in the Romoland School District. Neither of these schools will move to Menifee Union.

Menifee cityhood doesn't affect any of this stuff.

Another question is the following...
Will they (Heritage High, Mesa View, and Boulder Ridge) ever be apart of Menifee School District, or will we be paying city taxes for schools our kids will never be apart of?
City taxes for schools? Any city taxes that residents of Heritage Lake will be paying will not be spent on Menifee Union School District, or any school district. The new City of Menifee is not connected with Menifee Union. They are separate, and independent of each other.

Gas. It's Gonna Get Worse

It's that feeling you get lately when you are driving a long distance. It kind of feels like the life is slowly being sucked out of your body when each piston fires. The vehicle that we have once loved for its durability and comfort is now our nemesis. Sometimes, I voice my dislike of the poor mileage I get out of my compact SUV when I'm sitting in it. I even resort to talking to it, threatening that I am going to go buy a hybrid.

Does it listen? No, it just keeps sucking the life out of me, one spark fire at a time.

But there are little things that we can do to maximize the usage of gas we mindlessly pour into our tanks. One thing I have recently started doing is turning off the air conditioning and rolling the windows down. The air conditioning is horrible for MPGs. Another thing that I have started doing is changing from my work clothes (I have to wear slacks and a nice shirt) to shorts and a t-shirt for the commute home.

Here are some other tips that I've found on the Internet. You may find something useful. Let's face it, there ain't no hope for the prices to come down in the next few months.

School District Unification Meeting - June 19

Board members from both the Menifee Union School District and Perris Union High School District are holding a public meeting this Thursday, June 19, to discuss how to proceed further with the unification process.

The meeting will take place at Bell Mountain Middle School, 5:30pm.

At this point, the Riverside County Committee on School District Organization is going to recommend the State Department of Education to stop this effort, based on a study last March that showed the unification effort would an adverse effect on the remaining students of Perris Union.

But even though the County believes it's a bad idea, doesn't mean it's a bad idea. The State has the last word on this matter, and be convinced otherwise. Parents are needed to attend the meeting and show their support.

Many of you readers have asked about what you can do for the new City of Menifee, here's something. Show up, and let the school board members know that you want unification.

Menifee City Council - First Meeting

The Menifee City Council-elect, at least those five currently with the most votes, are meeting this Wednesday, June 18, 5:00pm, and the Kay Ceniceros Senior Center, on Newport & Evans Rds.

The agenda is a closed-door session to discuss establishing a transition staff, and taking the first steps. The council-elect will allow the public to make comments before the session starts.

Via Mieke Jacobs

Perris Valley Line - Public Meeting

The "Perris Valley Line" is the extension of the Metrolink commuter rail system from Riverside down to Perris. The rail is supposed to be functional by 2011.

Tomorrow, the Riverside County Transportation Commission will be having a public hearing on the matter in Perris...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Perris Senior Center
Bingo Room
100 North D Street
Perris, CA 92570
6:30pm - 8:30pm

The meeting is just to keep the public informed of what's going on. I'll probably be there.

View Larger Map

Evans Ranch Idol Song Search

On Thursday, June 19, Evans Ranch Elementary School will be holding its first ever, "Evans Ranch Idol Song Search". The show starts 6:00pm.

They are in the process of practicing songs and auditioning. All students and their families have a chance to audition with the hopes of having their song picked as the school's official song. They're hoping to have 10 groups perform during the big show.

For more details, contact Emily Gantes 246-7690.

Pirates of Grammar Island

This Tuesday and Wednesday, June 16-17, students at Ridgemoor Elementary School will be performing a musical called, "Pirates of Grammar Island". The performance is designed to teach the actors and actresses proper grammar.

The company that produces the play, "Bad Wolf Press", describes it as follows...
Your students will love instead of hate antonyms. No more confusing or confounding synonyms. They'll sell their cell phones and exchange them for homophones. They'll know declarative sentences. How can they ever fail again to identify interrogative sentences? They'll thrive on exclamatory sentences! Go ahead, let our Pirates from Grammar Island teach them imperatives!
You can read the full script, and listen to some sample songs here...

There will be four performances, at 8:15 and 9:00 am on both days in the multipurpose room.

Contact Angela Stogner 672-6450 for details.

Menifee Gas Prices - Who's Cheapest?

Here are the gas prices from all the stations in Menifee, and along the border with neighboring cities, as of June 15, 2008...

Green = lowest price
Red = highest price

Menifee gas pricesRegularDiesel
Chevron(Murrieta Rd & Newport Rd)$4.599$5.099
Shell(Murrieta Rd & Newport Rd)$4.599$5.099
Mobil(Winterhaven & Newport Rd)$4.499$5.099
ARCO(Bradley Rd & Newport Rd)$4.469$5.079
76(Haun Rd & Newport Rd)$4.559$5.069
Shell(Antelope Rd & Newport Rd)$4.599$5.059
Sun City gas prices
Valero(Sun City Blvd & McCall)$4.759$5.399
Chevron(Bradley Rd & McCall)$4.679$5.199
Valero(Antelope Rd & McCall)$4.529$5.199
Romoland gas prices
ARCO(Menifee Rd & Highway 74)$4.479$5.279
Perris gas prices
Exxon(Ethanac Rd & I-215)$4.499$5.039
Murrieta gas prices
7-Eleven(Antelope Rd & Scott Rd)$4.599N/A

If this information is useful to you, post a comment here and let me know. I may start collecting this information weekly.

I noticed that all of the Internet-based gas price databases, like Gas Buddy, and OPIS, don't have all the gas stations in our local area, and some of the stations they cover are missing prices for regular.

I decided to do this after seeing how ridiculously high the Valero station is on Sun City Blvd and McCall.

MUSD Unification Efforts Hit Snag

Back on May 8th, a story related to the unification efforts of the school district appeared on The Californian’s website. You can read the story here:

I meant to post an article related to this article when I first read it. For some reason I didn’t get to posting the article and forgot about it until yesterday, when I was reading comments under the Modified Single Track School Year Survey topic.

Basically, the article covered the fact that the Riverside County Committee on School District Organization voted on May 8th to recommend against unification to the California Department of Education. The committee’s recommendation was based on a study conducted by a private consultant.

However, the committee’s recommendation does not mean the unification effort is dead. Unification of the high school with the elementary and middle schools has been a top priority of the school board and it is something the community wants.

A small bit from the article:

One Menifee school board member who has spearheaded the drive to bring Paloma Valley into the Menifee district said he believes the state can be convinced the move is feasible and will not adversely affect the students in either district.

The numbers are close, said Fred Twyman, who also teaches at Paloma Valley High School.

State education laws dictate that high school students should make up at least 25 percent of the students in a unified district, and the report showed that Paloma High students would constitute just shy of 24 percent of the Menifee district's students, Twyman said.

As for the financial aspect, he said Menifee had agreed to compensate the Perris district for the loss of students that now go to the Perris district's Heritage High School. But, he said, the consultant discounted that agreement, arguing that it was premature.

Also, Twyman added, the consultant stated in an earlier meeting that his approach was conservative and that the state has disagreed with his findings in the last.

"This isn't dead," Twyman said. "I still feel OK about it, and I'll still go to the state (to

I like Twyman's optomism in this. But I am a bit confused by his comments regarding compensation to Perris for the loss of students that go to Heritage. Does this mean that students currently attending Heritage would be sent to Paloma when district boundaries are changed, or does it mean that Heritage is would also be included in the unification process?

And of course, a news story just wouldn't be a news story if it didn't have something discouraging to say:

Whatever happens, it will not happen quickly, said Rollin Edmunds, a director with the county Office of Education. Even with the committee's blessing, the state does its own analysis and can take up to seven years to rule on a proposed organizational change in a school district, Edmunds said.

I don’t know what the next step in the process is or when it takes place, but I certainly hope the Department of Education doesn't drag their feet on making decision. And I also hope they can be swayed to find in favor of unification.

There is a joint school board meeting between PUHSD and MUSD on June 19th at Bell Mountain Middle School.

Two New Parks in Menifee

I added two more parks to the "Menifee Parks" subsite...

These are..

Both are administered by Valley Wide. From what I could see, Valley Wide still has some finishing touches to put on these parks. It's also nice to see that these also have baseball fields.

How Sun City Changed to a 55+ Community

On yesterday's edition of Menifee Valley Talk Radio, Therese Daniels and Mieke Jacobs spent a portion of their show talking about property values in Sun City Core, and how the 55+ age requirement has worsened the situation.

Therese was asked if Sun City Core was always a 55+ community, to which she said, "no". Here's her answer, as transcribed from the show...
Therese: No. This has been my beef and my debate for sometime now. When Del Webb founded Sun City in the 1960s, mid-1960s, he founded it as an 18+ community. It was an adult-only community as age 18+, not 55. It remained like that until 1997. In 1997, one of the board members, Jean Loberge, I think that was her name, started a project called "Project 55". In order to... You see this is in the CC&Rs. In order to get something changed in the CC&Rs, one has to get a petition of at least 250.

Then after the petition is signed, then it goes to a ballot and then it's taken to general vote. What happened is, there was a little chicanery there. After she got her 250 signatures, I don't know what she was thinking, probably sitting around thinking, "Oh God, it's so much work to take this to the ballot, they're going to approve it anyhow. Why don't I just save them time and money." She took, and went over to the County Recorder, and recorded that, that there was a majority approval, and that we are now a 55+ community.

Nobody at the County Recorder's office challenged that. Now that is about as corrupt, and about as dishonest as you can get. But by golly let somebody grow verbenia, and if they don't like those flowers, those verbenia, they will literally fine the people and say you can get rid of those, they're weeds!

You know, they want everbody to conform to their arbitrary ways, but yet they wanna break every law and get away with it.

Now, and for the last, uh, since 1997 or 98, when they did that and recorded that, there was only one signature, ONE SIGNATURE, and that uh, filing. By the way not all seven board members, just her signature. Now, I just can't begin to you tell how outrageous that is. I hope that answers her question.

Mieke: In the um, Hi Therese, in the History of Sun City, which is kind of a proud, published item, how is that justified? How is that recorded, that in 1997 they moved to a 55, was that for convenience sake, or how is that looked at now?

Therese: Well that's a good question, and there's a mix. Some people just love the idea of a 55+. They hate the idea of families, they don't want children skateboarding in front of their house, and uh, they like to think that, you know, this is just a nice quiet little place for little old people to live.

Uh, but other people, and a large percentage of them, resented for one thing, it keeps their property values down, their opportunities to sell are less, because it's a limited market, because your buyers... Well a buyer could be younger than 55 to own a home in Sun City, but you must be 55+ to live in Sun City. Most buyers, if they're buying retired homes, are buying homes to live in. So this limits the buyers by as much as 60%. And in a slow market like this one, that's like you know, bringing it to a stand-still.

The market has just about come to a halt. And yet we have the best buys around. We have some of the best buys around today. And they can't even give them away!

Mieke: There are actually some nice homes in Sun City right now, for under a $100,000.

Therese: Yeah! You know, this is really truly a buyer's market. Not only are the homes available under that price, the interest rates low, very very low, the sellers are desperate out there, they'll do almost anything to make a sale. A buyer could come in and take advantage of this market. And as the real estate market pendulum swings, which as we've talked about before, it always does, they're going to have a very nice little investment for themselves.
Therese went on to explain that Sun City Core can change the community back to 18+, by running another petition and putting it to ballot.

Albeit the entire real estate market in Southern California is still in the dumps, Sun City Core's market is even worse because the 55+ requirement makes it very difficult to find buyers. That in turn made property values fall even further.

Home Owners Associations - Menifee Valley Talk Radio

The topic of home owners associations will be discussed this evening on Menifee Valley Talk Radio.

Therese Daniels and Mieke Jacobs will begin a series of discussions about information that titleholders need to know about their Home Owners Association.

Sun City Core residents might take particular interest in this because Therese will talk about a book called, "Villa Apalling, Destroying the Myth of Affordable Living", written by Los Angeles Times columnists Donie Vanitzian and Stephen Glassman. The book focuses on deed-restricted properties, such as those in Sun City Core, and explores the myth that such living arrangements allow for greater owner "freedoms" and "independence," but instead promote "dependence," destroying individual personal freedoms.

The show runs from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, tonight. You can call in and talk to Therese all about the Sun City Civic Association and its codes and regulations. Listen to show online here...

How can we become involved in the city?

I was initially tempted to ask this question in response to a comment made by a poster under a different heading. The comment reflected on the number of suggestions citizens had made regarding what the new city should do, but not a single person had asked how to become involved in the new city. As I was typing up my response, I decided there was the possibility of it getting lost in the shuffle. Therefore, I decided to post under a new heading.

I don't know if the last vote has been counted, but it doesn't appear that any of the five current vote leaders are going to lose their positions. So even though the election hasn't officially been certified, I will refer to those five individuals as our city council. I know at least some of them read this site, if not all of them.

With that, I'm posing these questions to the newly elected city council members: Mr. Edgerton, Ms. Kuenzi, Mr. Twyman, Mr. Mann and Mr. Denver: How can we, as citizens of Menifee, become involved in the formation of the new city? What type of committees are going to be formed? How much input are citizens going to have regarding the directions to be taken in the next few months before incorporation and beyond? What plans, if any, are there to bring the communities involved (Sun City, Quail Valley, Romoland and Menifee) closer together and end the divisiveness that is obviously apparent? What plans are there for showing cityhood opponents that cityhood was the right choice? Have the five individuals that are currently leading in vote count even met yet to discuss some of these issues?

I don't have the first clue about starting a city, but I know there has to be a lot of work involved. I don't expect five people to piece together a new city in less than four months.

So I'm offering my services in any way the city council sees fit. There are areas I have a lot of knowledge and expertise in and there are areas I have strong opinions about. I also have the ability to look at things objectively from more than one point of view.

Please feel free to contact me regarding involvement with the city, and that goes for all Menifee 24/7 readers, not just the city council members.

I can be reached at

Todd Reed

Antelope Square - Project Update

Many of you have been asking about the status of Antelope Square, a small retail development on the corner of Scott and Antelope roads.

This is technically in Murrieta, but right on the border with Menifee.

Here's the updated list of tenants...

First Bank
Jack in the Box
Modern Nails
Figaro's Pizza
Empire Cleaners

Other tenants will include...

national-chain fitness center (approx 10,000 sq ft)
chinese food
mexican food
postal store
dental office

They hope to have this fully opened in another 6-8 months.

I phoned someone at Lee & Associates to verify this.

Antelope Square Shopping Center
Click this map to see a larger size

You can read my previous article on this (dated Oct 15, 2007). Note that I had previously named this as "Antelope Plaza". It's going to be named, "Antelope Square".

Menifee Elementary's Farewell Party - June 13

I guess it's only poetic justice that Menifee Elementary School is holding their "farewell party" this Friday the 13th.

The school is closing down for the 2008-2009 school year due to the budget cutbacks Governor Schwarzenegger warned us about.

There will be a "PTA family night" from 4pm to 8pm to celebrate all the years of learning, staff dedication and fun that has gone on at Menifee Elementary for the past 55 years.

The theme is a western roundup with trick ropers, cowboy clowns, line dancing and hay bales. A call is being put out to all past and present Menifee Elementary alumni over the last 55 years, to come out for this special moment.

Both Carls Jr. and Chick-fil-a will be catering the evening.

Contact Betti Cadmus, school public information officer, for more information: (951) 813-9773.

Anheuser-Busch Can't Build Homes Here

The Press Enterprise has been following a story that basically culminated in a failed bid to build more homes in the very southern portion of Menifee.

You can read the history here...

And the results of the outcome here...

To sum it up, Anheuser-Busch owns a lot of land along the south-eastern border of Menifee and Murrieta. The County wants to extend Clinton Keith road east to Winchester Rd, but the road would cross into Anheuser-Busch's land.

In an attempt to do things fairly and equitably, the County entered into an agreement to swap properties with Anheuser-Busch. The County would get the company's present property of 658 acres, and in exchange the County would give Anheuser-Busch 265 acres of land that it owned.

One caveat with this, is that the 265 acres of County land is currently marked as wildlife conservation.

The County obtained this parcel of land in 2002 from a couple of families that lived on it for 70 years. The families sold this land to the County with the agreement that the County would maintain it as conserved for wildlife.

As soon as the exchange took place, the Anheuser-Busch company planned to subdivide it into a 3,100 unit housing development.

That caused those two families to issue a lawsuit to block the exchange.

Just last Monday, June 9, the Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority ruled on the matter, and made the exchangement agreement null and void.

As to what happens next is uncertain, but it might mean eminent domain proceedings against Anheuser-Busch, to get the land the County needs to extend Clinton Keith Rd.

Modified Single Track School Year Survey

The Menifee Union School District yesterday, at the school board meeting, announced the results of the survey regarding the move towards a modified single track school year.

If you recall last February, the school district adopted new school boundaries in preparation towards migrating away from a multi-track school year, to a single track, and then would later on survey the parents to see if they really wanted a single track.

Well, results are in.

And it shows that over 77% of those surveyed wants a single track.

The district actually surveyed three groups of people: the parents, the teachers, and other classified staff (bus drivers, custodial, etc.). Here's a breakdown of how these groups voted...
Parents (Yes) - 543 votes
Parents (No) - 126

Teachers (Yes) - 267
Teachers (No) - 102

Classified staff (Yes) - 209
Classified staff (No) - 66

Total votes (Yes) - 1019 77.61%
Total votes (No) - 294 22.39%
Dr. Linda Callaway announced that the first modified single track year will begin with the 2009-2010 year.

The board went on to explain that their definition of a modified single track is to mimic as closely as possible the high school year of Perris High School District. That's effectively a year that starts in mid-August and runs through May 31, with a three-week vacation for Christmas, and one-week vacation for Easter.

School Busing

The board of trustees also discussed the return of school busing. I don't have a full understanding of what they discussed yesterday since I missed the last several meetings. But here's the jist of what I got. School busing will continue next year, as opposed to being cancelled due the budget restraints. However, there will be walking-radius of 1.25 miles for elementary students, and 2.0 miles for middle school students. If you live within that radius, you get no busing.

Trustee Irey made the argument that the proposal had called for this radius to cut through several housing tracts. She felt it wasn't fair that the radius would create one house being deprived of busing while the house next door could get it. So the board voted to strike "option B" from the proposal, and I don't really know what option B is.

The point was also made that kids living on the border of this radius could walk as little as across the street to get on the bus, and cheat the system. So the board talked about issuing photo ID cards to bussed kids and having drivers kick out the kids trying to capitalize.

I'll try to make a point to attend more of these meetings.

New California Distinguished Schools

The school board meeting also recognized Menifee Elementary and Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary as achieving the honor of being the newest California Distinguished Schools. The honor comes as bitter-sweet for Menifee Elementary now that's its closing down for a full year due to budget restraints.

Menifee Elementary School
Students from from Menifee Elementary School proudly displaying their school's achievement.

More value in a name?

An aquaintance of mine, who is actively house hunting in this area, made the comment to me recently...

"I am so glad that the cityhood passed, now I feel better about shopping for a home in parts of Quail Valley and Romoland because there is not going to be the stigma attached with those names."

I admit that I actually had to stop and think about what she said. I remember moving here from O.C. in 1998 and choosing to buy a house in Menifee over Temecula. I remember being referred to (by some that shall remain nameless) as the "dirt people."

That irony being pointed out, Do you think the incorporation of local areas under "Menifee" will change anything about this so-called stigma?

Free Movies for Summer

Regal Entertainment Presents: Free Family Film Festival (9 weeks)

For a great way to do something fun with your kids this summer... (or for the big kid in you)

Just scroll down to find local locations that work for you. The best part is that it is FREE! Well... with gas being $4.50 or so to drive to the theatre... it's almost free.

Is it the Environment or the Economy?

The Press Enterprise, today, ran an article citing a survey sponsored by Green Valley Initiative, that says residents of the Inland Empire are more concerned about protecting the Earth's environment than they are about building the neighborhood's economy...
More than half of Inland-area residents surveyed said they believe that protecting the environment is more important than economic growth in the region, according to a poll released today.

And many say they are doing their part by recycling, conserving water and turning off lights.

I question the authenticity of this study. I think it's been doctored up in an attempt to help a developer sell more homes at the Dos Lagos community near Corona.

People are recycling stuff because they get a special trash can for it, not because they're concerned about deforestation and the effects of strip-mining. I bet if you take away the recycling trash cans, you'll find that everyone will chuck their aluminum cans and newspapers in with the rest of the trash.

Everyone is conserving water to a lesser or greater degree because we're in a drought, and we understand that water is a life or death matter. And finally, everyone is having to reduce their electricity consumption because we can't afford to pay SoCal Edison hundreds of dollars each month.

These are all economic and practical reasons, not environmental.

I'm sure, however, there are many people concerned about the environment, I'm one of them. But economics are much more important to me. I try to cut back on gasoline use because it's expensive to drive, not because of global warming. I recently put up window tint on my house drop my electricity bill, not because I'm concerned about carcinogens bellowing from electricity plants.

This organization called "Green Valley Intitiative" was created by the developer who built Dos Lagos, that community south of Corona where the old mining operation used to be. GVI is supposed to foster the growth of "green technologies" in building master-planned communities. But I can't help wondering if GVI is more like a front to create media hype for Dos Lagos. I don't really see anything substantially green about Dos Lagos. They could have turned it into a greenbelt, or a regional park. Instead they built homes and shopping centers, inviting more traffic. The Press Enterprise today has done what GVI had hoped, help Dos Lagos sell more homes.

And I guess I just did that too.

Write-In Election Results

Below are the latest election results posted this afternoon, after the write-in ballots were counted. The only change is that Twyman now gets his third-place seat back from Mann.

Balloting for the write-ins are below as well...

Measure F-Proposed Incorporation of Menifee Valley
46/46 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
Yes 6,439 61.61%
No 4,012 38.39%
Total 10,451 100.00%

Measure G-Future Menifee Valley Elections
46/46 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
By District 4,767 51.19%
At Large 4,546 48.81%
Total 9,313 100.00%

Measure H-Name of Proposed City
46/46 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
Menifee 5,149 53.36%
Menifee Valley 4,501 46.64%
Total 9,650 100.00%

Member, City Council Menifee Valley
46/46 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
DARCY KUENZI 3,086 7.87%
SCOTT A. MANN 2,671 6.82%
JOHN DENVER 2,536 6.47%

DEAN DEINES 2,525 6.44%
CHRIS THOMAS 2,452 6.26%
MARC A. MILLER 2,429 6.20%
DOROTHY WOLONS 2,176 5.55%
CAROL A. SULLIVAN 2,171 5.54%
TOM FUHRMAN 1,734 4.42%
TONY AMATULLI 1,629 4.16%
KEN GAUNT 1,562 3.99%
JERRY P. STAMPER 1,238 3.16%
JASON REEVES 1,215 3.10%
Total 39,190 100.00%


MSJC Police Jurisdiction

MSJC PoliceAn interesting discussion is developing on Ann Motte's blog regarding the Mt San Jacinto College police, and whether or not they spending too much money on training exercises...

The MSJC police, along with the Riverside County Sheriff, CAL Fire, California Department of Forestry, American Medical Response, Mercy Air, and other volunteers, warned the public that many loud noises may result from their training exercise, to which Ann made the following comment...
Lots of your tax dollars at work here with the MSJC police department as lead player. At best, a public relations display.
That comment touched off a debate, criticizing Ann as being unsympathetic to the need for public safety.

To which Ann responded that MSJC is sorely in need of money just to provide an adequate education for its students, let alone public safety for the residents of Menifee.

And that brings me to these questions: Should the MSJC police use its funds to provide public safety to new City of Menifee? Is it the role of community colleges to provide policing to nearby residents? Or is state education money being used to address a problem that the Sheriff should be taking care of?

On the other hand, we saw what happened at Virginia Tech last year. There is definitely a need for safety and security at public schools. But how much are we going to spend on public safety versus public education?

Bringing Jobs to Menifee

Here's the number one reason why Menifee's new city council needs to focus on bringing in more jobs...

Valero Gas Station
This photo was taken this morning at the Valero station in Sun City.

Today, the Associated Press reported that the national average for a gallon of gasoline now exceeds $4.00, even though we've been paying a lot higher than that for a while.

The automobile is the only reason why Menifee was able to become a city. The fact that it was still economically feasible to commute 100-150 miles round trip to work and back, is why people moved in here.

But it looks like gasoline will easily hit the $5.00 mark sometime this month. And probably go higher. Is that commute still feasible?

We need more high-tech jobs here, more call centers, and more manufacturing. We need to build a business park in Menifee. What can the city council do to attract a lot of high-paying jobs?

If gasoline hits $5.00 a gallon, and the average Menifee commuter travels 120 miles round trip, and the average fuel-efficiency is 27 MPG, it will cost about $450.00 a month just to commute.

You could take $350.00 of that $450.00 and buy yourself a more expensive home closer to work, and save yourself the frustration of commuting. And in that case, Menifee is not that attractive anymore.

The Impending Heat Wave

This will be my first summer living in Menifee. Am I prepared for the impending heat wave that is approaching? Sure, I go to the river every summer, where 115 degrees is the norm. But am I ready to adapt to actually living in such heat? I think that everyone who lives in this area has asked themselves that very question (save the natives).

I am lucky enough to have a house with dual air-conditioning, something I wasn't used to seeing before. I am also lucky enough to have relatives who live close by with a pool. But what about all the other people who have just moved out here within the past year? How will they prepare for when the heat blankets our community and begins to make it's presence known?

Here is a website that I found that has some ideas. Sure, most of them are common sense, but who knows, there may be something you haven't thought of.

15 Ways To Keep Cool

One of the points this website makes is to not cook, so you don't have to stand next to a hot stove (duh). Well, I don't know about everyone who lives in Menifee, but I have some words of advice:

Yellow Basket
Carnita's Express

Need I say more?

Governor Declares Statewide Water Drought

governor arnold schwarzeneggerLast Wednesday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought and issued an Executive Order directing immediate state action to deal with the dwindling water supplies...
Last month, the final Department of Water Resources (DWR) snow survey of 2008 showed snowpack water content at only 67 percent of normal and the runoff forecast at only 55 percent of normal and conditions continue to worsen across California.
Read the Governor's declaration here...

Yesterday, he gave a radio address on the water shortage, where he said the following...
As a result, local governments are rationing water, developments can't proceed and farmers can't plant certain crops.
Which brings me to my point, housing developments in a time of drought.

Even though there are already several housing developments waiting to be built here in Menifee (Audie Murphy, Christensen Ranch, to name a couple), do we have the water to support more homes?

Here's some of my observations..

  • If all the people buying brand new properties in Menifee came from within California, then technically it doesn't add to the state's water shortage. But if those people came from out-of-state, it does. Basically, we need to discourage people from moving into California; we just don't have the water to support them.

  • City government collects a lot of money from new home permits. Each new residence that developers build represents thousands of dollars for our city's budget. By not allowing further development, we don't collect any of that money. Currently, the County collected all the money from new home permits. Can we afford to halt new developments?

  • I want the new city council to enact an ordinance requiring all new home builders to implement drip systems, rather than conventional above-ground water sprinklers. Drip systems simply has water injected into the ground, using below-ground pipes and hoses. This eliminates water runoff, and water evaporation.

  • The Executive Order that the governor signed will allocate more state money to the Department of Water Resources to build projects designed to capture more rainwater, and build infrastructure to move more water to where its needed the most. Could this also translate to less money for public schools?

Updated Election Results

Here are updated election results from the Registrar of Voters, posted this evening. Not much change, with the exception that Mann now takes over as the third-place vote getter, and Twyman moves down to fourth...

Measure F-Proposed Incorporation of Menifee Valley
46/46 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
Yes 6,095 61.09%
No 3,882 38.91%
Total 9,977 100.00%

Measure G-Future Menifee Valley Elections
46/46 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
By District 4,562 51.40%
At Large 4,314 48.60%
Total 8,876 100.00%

Measure H-Name of Proposed City
46/46 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
Menifee 4,875 53.05%
Menifee Valley 4,314 46.95%
Total 9,189 100.00%

Member, City Council Menifee Valley
46/46 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
DARCY KUENZI 2,969 7.94%
SCOTT A. MANN 2,571 6.88%
JOHN DENVER 2,457 6.57%
DEAN DEINES 2,420 6.47%
CHRIS THOMAS 2,322 6.21%
MARC A. MILLER 2,283 6.11%
CAROL A. SULLIVAN 2,104 5.63%
DOROTHY WOLONS 2,085 5.58%
TOM FUHRMAN 1,632 4.36%
TONY AMATULLI 1,534 4.10%
KEN GAUNT 1,508 4.03%
JERRY P. STAMPER 1,188 3.18%
JASON REEVES 1,139 3.05%
Total 37,389 100.00%

What Do You Want The New City To Do?

What would you like the new City of Menifee to do is the topic of the evening on Menifee Valley Talk Radio. The show runs live tonight, at 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Therese's co-host will be Mieke Jacobs of MenifeeLive.

So what's it going to be? Newport Rd realignment? Bringing in a movie theater, a bowling alley? Widening the Scott Rd overpass? Finally getting Abe's Steakhouse open?

Call in to the show and sound off.

You access the show from this link...

Menifee Independence Day Parade - June 28

The Lake Menifee Women's Club is calling on the public to participate in its annual Menifee Independence Day Parade.

This year's Parade will be held on Saturday, June 28, 2008. Parade begins at the Mt San Jacinto College-Menifee Campus at 5:00pm and travels east down La Piedra Road and ending at the Wheatfield Sports Park off Menifee Road.

Directly following the Parade the annual Indendence Day Celebration will take place at Wheatfield Park with food booths, vendor booths, games, entertainment, concluding with a fireworks display at 9:00pm.

The parade organizers are looking for all interested participants:
School groups, Sports Groups, Dance Groups, Boy/Cub/Girl Scout Troops, Community Floats, Business Groups, Car Clubs, Equestrian Groups, Kids on bikes, scooters, strollers etc. Are all welcome.

There is no fee required, but participants will need to contact organizers to be placed in the parade line up.

For Parade information please contact: Marcy Riehm (Parade Chairperson
2007) @ (951) 377-6089 or email:

For Booth Rental contact :Linda Delfin @ (951) *82 672-4139

For more information about Lake Menifee Women's Club, visit their website...

Loud Noises Scheduled for Mt San Jacinto College

The Mt San Jacinto College Police issued an announcement today that on Sunday, June 15, 2008, a disaster training exercise will take place at the Menifee campus, producing some "loud and unusual noises"...
There will be law enforcement and fire department personnel present from various agencies at the Menifee Valley Campus. Participating agencies are: the Mt. San Jacinto College Police, Riverside County Sheriffs' Department, CAL Fire, California Department of Forestry, American Medical Response, Mercy Air, and other volunteers.

There may be loud and unusual noises as well as public safety activity occurring on the campus during that time period. Aircraft may also be used in this exercise.
The announcement goes on to say that residents should not be alarmed, and that's it's just an exercise.

I wonder if public seating and food vendors will be available during the public display of shock and awe?

Via Ann Motte

School Bus Service to be Reinstated

The Californian reports that the Menifee Union School Board will be reinstating school bus service to some students, but not all.

Basically, the district will reinstate bus service, but will likely make it harder for students to qualify, increasing the walking distance from 1.25 miles to 2.0 miles...
Still, it's probable that less elementary school students will qualify for the bus service compared to what has been offered through this year, as the district's staff has proposed increasing the so-called "walking distance" for some students to 2 miles from 1.25 miles, among other revisions. Those suggested modifications are meant to avoid cuts to other services, Wood said.
Since two new elementary schools are opening, Southshore Elementary and Quail Valley Elementary, technically fewer students would require busing anyways. In fact, that was partly the reason why busing became expendable in the first place.

All this came about after Governor Schwarzenegger said that cuts in state spending won't be nearly as bad as he originally stated. However, assistant superintendent Dan Wood warned earlier that the $2 million grant for maintaining a year-round schedule may not happen, so all this may be for naught.