NFL Pepsi Punt Pass & Kick in Menifee

NFL Pepsi Punt Pass and Kick in MenifeeThis Saturday, at Heritage High School, there will be an NFL Pepsi Punt Pass & Kick competition hosted by Menifee Valley Pop Warner. It's a national skills competition for boys and girls between the ages of 8-15.

How would you like to see your kid competing against others on a nationally televised NFL game for the right to be called the best punter, passer, or kicker? It all starts here at the local level.

There will be separate competitions for various age groups...

8-9 Boys & Girls
Registration time: 8:00am
Competition time: 9:00am – 11:00am

10-11 Boys & Girls
Registration time: 10:00am
Competition time: 11:00am – 1:00pm

12-13 Boys & Girls
Registration time: 12:00pm
Competition time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm

14-15 Boys & Girls
Registration time: 1:30pm
Competition time: 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Winners in each age group will advance to the sectionals.

The competition is free for parents and kids, and is hosted by Menifee Valley Pop Warner.

To register, you must complete an entry form, which can be downloaded from...
http://www.menifeefootball.com

The either fax it to 877-865-7767, or e-mail it to menifeeppk@yahoo.com, or just bring it with you on the day of the event. You can also find forms at the event.

  • Participants must be present at the scheduled starting time in order to compete.


  • The four age classifications are based upon the child's age as of December 31st of the current year.


  • All participants must show proof of age at all levels of competition. Failure to provide a birth certificate will result in that participant being ineligible to compete.




The EMWD Plans to Implement Tiered Water Rates

watering the sidewalkThe Eastern Municipal Water District will implement a tiered rate structure next year, likely to begin March 2009. The more water you use, the higher the rate you'll pay. Right now, everyone is charged a uniform rate of $1.91 for every 748 gallons used.

The district will take a look at each residence, count how many people are living there, how big the property is, and figure out how much you're supposed to use.

The EMWD will also adjust that amount based on the weather and season.

So if you go above your budgeted limit they'll charge you a higher rate. But if you use less than the limit, they'll still charge you the base rate.

The district will implement this in a two-phase process. Beginning March 2009 with the first phase, the district will identify "customer groups" and come up with average family sizes and lot sizes, and a base rate for each group. In the months following, they'll come up individual rates for each specific residence, and implement those rates by January 2010.

I contacted Peter Odencrans, the media contact for the EMWD to get some more specifics. I asked if the district will be taking into account residences with swimming pools. He said the district did some studies on this and found that the typical family swimming pool uses up about as much as water as a similarly sized patch of lawn. Sounds like they won't factor in your swimming pool.

I also asked how they planned to figure out how many people live in each residence. They don't have a plan to figure that out just yet. They also don't plan to hire any extra employees, therefore they won't be spending a lot of money to figure this out. I asked if they might be including a questionnaire in our water bills, but he again stated that the district doesn't have a plan on this yet.

Another question I asked was how the district will define "customer groups" for the first phase implementation. Odencrans didn't quite have an answer on that either. I wondered if these group were defined by geographic region, current usage, or what.

Presently, the average residence across the district uses about 13,464 gallons of water each month, which is equal to 18 billing units. 1 unit equals 748 gallons. If you look at your water bill, you'll see that the EMWD charges you by the number of "billing units".

So, if you're currently using more than 18 units per month, should you be concerned about getting hit with higher rates? Don't know. Larger properties, and larger families will warrant more billing units. You could be living by yourself in a single-wide trailer and find that 18 units per month is too much. But if you're a family of four, living in a 2,000 sq ft home, on a 6,000 sq ft lot, and you're using 40 billing units per month, then you might have cause for concern.

You can read more about this here...
http://www.emwd.org/news/news-archives/news_08/07-11-08_Tiered%20Rates.pdf

Stop Water Runoff Policy

The EMWD also sent out a friendly reminder yesterday that beginning September 1, they'll be enforcing their new water runoff policy.

The policy is that if they see watering running off of your residence, and into the gutter, they're going to stiff you with some penalties.

Here's the warnings and fines...

  • 1st violation: Written warning

  • 2nd violation: Final written warning

  • 3rd violation: $100 surcharge on customer's water bill

  • 4th violation: $200 surcharge on customer's water bill

  • 5th or more violations: $300 surcharge on customer's water bill
I asked Peter Odencrans how they plan to enforce this new policy. He said, "That's the $64,000 question". All they plan to have for the time being is one guy who will spend eight hours a month, driving through neighborhoods looking for water runoff. Considering the district covers an area that reaches Moreno Valley, Hemet, and Temecula, it doesn't sound like they'll be citing many violators.

Odencrans went on to say that they'll be looking for obvious signs, such as moss growing in the gutter.

He also said people are welcome to report their neighbors.




National Night Out 2008

The 25th Annual National Night Out is a nationwide event promoted by National Association of Town Watch. The NATW is focuses on getting residents to take control of their neighborhoods and ward off crime.

The National Night Out for 2008 is officially scheduled for August 5th. However, there will be an NNO event at Heritage High School on August 2nd, at 3:00pm, inside the gymnasium.

Patricia Glaha, who runs the Harvest Valley blog, has more information about it...

http://harvest-valley.blogspot.com/2008/06/ night-out-against-crime-august-2-2008.html

She says...
This event will have Representatives from County, and State Governments, Various Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, and Safety Organizations, Agencies pertaining to the well being and safety of all people in the community.
Steve Vitamanti, who is a 4th degree black belt in martial arts, will be providing free personal defense training for kids, teens, and adults.




BJ's Restaurant & Brewery in Menifee

Todd Reed contacted the folks at BJ's Restaurant and learned that their planned restaurant at the Countryside Marketplace won't be coming until 2010. He posted the following comment today on an older article...
I saw the comment about the rumor BJ's has pulled out yesterday. I went on their website and asked them via their contact page if the rumors were true. Today I received an e-mail from Crystal Wang, Guest Relations / Claims Coordinator for BJ's Restaurants. She told me they are projecting the opening of their Menifee location for 2010.
My guess is that they probably planned to open sooner, but the way the economy is, and the fact that they have BJ's in Moreno Valley, Temecula, and Corona, made it sensible to wait awhile.

Well, even though I love their pizzas, particularly with jalapenos and ham, this will help me keep my girlish figure awhile longer.

Thanks Todd!




Cityhood Inaugural Event Committee - July 29, 2008

I attended the Inaugural Event Committee this evening. It ran from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, at Boston Billies.

I counted 30 people that showed up, not counting Darcy Kuenzi, who's chairing this committee. Scott Mann is also chairing, but was absent on vacation.

Since the inauguration is an official process, this event will be a two-part function, with the official inauguration beginning at 6:00pm, and then migrating into a party. The location of the official hasn't been nailed down yet, but the party afterwards will be at Menifee Lakes Country Club.

The City is sending out invitations to elected officials, including State Assemblymen, State Senators, County Officials, even the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger (can't guarantee that he'll show up though).

And of course, everyone who lives in the new City of Menifee is invited to witness some local history in the making.

There will also be a Mayoral Ball to be held on the following Saturday (which is October 4, I believe). Sounds like this is going to be a formal affair. It'll be hosted by the Rotary Club, and the whole city is invited to that too.

Darcy Kuenzi Menifee Cityhood
Sub-Committees

As for the Inaugural Event Committee, several sub-committees were formed to tackle specific tasks. There's a committee to come up with a theme, and some themes were suggested, such as a mining theme, a farming theme, a "road to the future" theme, even a "prison break" theme because we're breaking the bonds of County-control.

There's a decoration committee, a set-up committee for the city council meeting, a security committee, a sponsorship committee, and a parking committee. Just about everyone who attended this evening has at least one role in one of the sub-committees.

Sponsorship Committee

The inaugural event will incur some costs, but since the City doesn't have any money right now, sponsors are sorely needed.

So, the sponsorship committee is looking for local businesses and organizations willing to donate services and money. All donors will receive an advertisement in the official Cityhood Inauguration Program.

If you have some talents, services, materials, or money to donate, Contact Judee Edgerton (951) 218-2450.

Parking Committee

The City is looking for someone to lead the Parking Committee. Anyone reading this is urged to volunteer.

People are needed to direct drivers over to available parking spaces. Your job is to gather up the volunteers to do this job, and coordinate them.

Please e-mail Darcy Kuenzi (dkuenzi@cityofmenifee.us) if you're interested.

Other Jobs

An event photographer was discussed, and one of the attendees happens to be a professional photographer and was given the job.

It was also noted that a lot of heavy lifting would be required in setting up the formal inauguration and party, and one person took the job of gathering some guys together.

There was also the idea of getting some artwork created. Darcy talked about getting a mural painted depicting Menifee's history. One MSJC student who was in attendance accepted the job of getting some art students together to see what can be done.

More Volunteers Welcome

If you couldn't attend this evening's meeting, but wanted to, you can still play a role. Contact Darcy at the e-mail address above.

Next Meeting

Or, you can attend the next meeting, scheduled for August 11, at 6:00pm, at Boston Billies, banquet room.




Earthquake Felt in Menifee

It was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, that hit at 11:42 am today, centered 2 miles south west of Chino Hills, CA.

It shook my house pretty good.

Source:

http://quake.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Quakes/quakes.big.htm




Fighting Gangs in Menifee

Among the items on my list of top 3 things I'd like the Menifee city council to address is gangs.

Living close to Perris, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, our city can be easily be swept up by gangs, and the name "Menifee" will become as synonymous as those three neighboring cities.

Last night on Menifee Valley Talk Radio, Jerry Lopez, a Senior Deputy District Attorney, and head of the Riverside County Gang Task Force—Prevention and Intervention, was on air talking about the gang problem in Riverside County. While he didn't have statistics on gangs here in Menifee, he did have some data county-wide...

  • From 1997 to 2006, Riverside County added 122 new gangs, and 2,600 gang members


  • From 2006 to 2007, Riverside County added 133 more gangs, and 1,300 more gang members


  • Southern California is the mecca for gangs, with Los Angeles County being the most gang-infested area in the entire world.

And that's only counting the gangs and gang members that law-enforcement has records on.

The Root Problem

Lopez said that the problem all starts with poor parenting. He hit this theme hard enough that one could make the assumption that if your child is associating with a gang, that you yourself are a poor parent. He said it's not a financial matter, or an ethnic matter. He went on to say that there could be excellent parents living in Rubidoux, and bad parents living Canyon Lake.

His solution is that parents need to take classes on parenting. He said that when a new baby is born, a hospital ought to offer parenting classes. When a child enters school, schools ought to offer parenting classes. When a child graduates high school, that child ought to take parenting classes.

Failure to Start a Relationship

The poor parenting that Lopez described largely had to do with a failure to establish a relationship between the parent and child. Parents often claim that they're spending time with their kids, being involved in their schooling, and watching what they're getting into. But he said that's not really what he's talking about.

He said that parents are not giving their kids a meaningful relationship, built on love, respect, as well as a working relationship where the two establish goals towards making achievements. Young persons feel they have certain talents they want to develop, and that the development of these skills raises their self-esteem. If they can't develop these talents through their parents, they associate with other kids to achieve that collectively.

Gangs use these all of these things as lures to get them in.

What Can the City of Menifee Do?

I suppose offering these parenting classes is a step, but I think that most parents won't attend. I tend to think that there already are parenting classes out there.

I'd like to see more community-oriented events. The "Movies in the Park" at La Ladera Park ought to continue after the city takes over from the County. That's an excellent example of parents and their children spending an outing together. Let's get this into more of our parks.

Another thing working against Menifee is that most of our families have one or two parents that commute long distances to work and back. They can't always attend the Movies in the Park, or can't get back home in time to take them to Karate classes, or soccer practice, etc. Getting more high paying jobs into Menifee will give parents more time with their kids.

In terms of contracting with the Sheriff, Lopez said that for every gang member they put into prison, there's another 10-20 kids waiting to take that person's place. It's a case of supply outgrowing the demand, and so much so, that kids are starting new gangs altogether.

I don't know if it'll make any difference, but perhaps just having our city council adopt a mission statement that Menifee will be a "family-focused" city, might be the first step towards making Menifee a bad place for gangs to exist.




Can You Change Your Address to Menifee Yet?

I just phoned the Sun City Post Office this morning, and asked if there has been any discussion on allowing residents to switch their address from Sun City, Quail Valley, Romoland, over to Menifee.

The answer is that there hasn't been any discussion.

They still advise everyone to continue using your existing community name, and don't switch over to using Menifee yet.

Even though they advise not using Menifee yet, I tend to believe you can still do it as long you have the zip code on there. But I won't guarantee there won't be any screw ups.

In past years, I know I've seen some pieces of mail reach me with "Sun City" on the address label, even though I live in the 92584 zip code.




Code Enforcement Gets Tough on Land Use Permits

In my report on the city council meeting of July 23, I mentioned that Mary Porter, who runs a towing service here in Menifee, was cited by the County code enforcement as being in violation of a land use permit (or lack thereof).

The Press Enterprise published more information on that...

http://www.pe.com/..../PE_News_Local_S_sbusiness26.488e559.html

I also recall that earlier in the month, at the County Transition Meeting, Supervisor Stone mentioned that beefed up code enforcement, and has them looking aggressively throughout his district, looking under rocks, peeking over fences, and making sure everyone washed behind their ears.

If you consider these land use permits costs $9,457 to obtain, it's definitely one of the ways the County plans to make some money.

But being that Menifee is incorporating on October 1, I wonder if these small businesses can just ignore the citations.

Beginning October 1, the city is required to adopt all of the same laws, rules, and regulations that County has, so technically the issue won't go away. But once adopted, the city can also change them. I'd like to see the city become more business friendly, where new employers find Menifee an attractive place to do business, and give us all more places to find work closer to home.

When Mary Porter spoke at the city council meeting, she mentioned that she and other businesses affected by this employ some 300 people.




Sun City Man Killed in Crash

The Desert Sun reports that an 84-year old man was killed in an auto accident Friday morning...
Richard Salyer was trapped in his Ford Ranger following the crash, which occurred shortly before 10 a.m. at Sherman Road and McCall Boulevard, California Highway Patrol Officer Ron Thatcher said.

Thatcher said the elderly man pulled away from a stop sign and directly into the path of the big rig driven by David Padilla, 22, of Pomona, who was unable to avoid hitting the pickup broadside, Thatcher said.
Salyer died at Riverside County Regional Medical Center shortly after.




Gangs and Truancy on Menifee Valley Talk Radio

This Sunday, July 27, at 7:00pm, "Gangs and Truancy in Menifee" will be discussed on Menifee Valley Talk Radio. This is actually the second of a two-part series.

Last week, on part one of the series, Therese and Mieke talked about school truancy and drop out rates, and connected that to a growing population of gangs and gang members roaming throughout Menifee.

This Sunday, part two will feature Senior Deputy District Attorney Jerry Lopez, head of the Riverside County Gang Task Force—Prevention and Intervention. Lopez is the coordinator for Project Safe Neighborhoods, and is a veteran community prosecutor and community liaison specializing in youth intervention services.

You can listen to Menifee Valley Talk Radio at this link...
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MenifeeValleyRadio

You can hear last week's show here...
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/..../Truancy-and-Gangs-in-Menifee




Fleming Ranch, Menifee

The Business Press reports that a home developer has purchased some 325 acres of land between Ethanac Rd and McCall Rd, along the I-215, and plans to build a 1,500 unit community...
A newly formed subsidiary of an Irvine land brokerage firm has agreed to help entitle a site in Riverside County for a proposed master planned community. TBJ Menifee LLC intends to build Fleming Ranch next to Interstate 215 in Menifee, said Damon Gascon, president of the recently formed Park Place Partners Development Solutions Inc.
Read the rest of the article here...

http://www.thebizpress.com/....S_bp0728_parkplace.1b10d77.html

The article goes on to say that the developer doesn't plan to start building until the economy turns around.




Romoland Voted Overwhelmingly for Cityhood

Joe Daugherty, who chaired the Menifee Valley Incorporation Committee, passed around a handout at the city council meeting last night showing statistics of how people voted on the cityhood issue.

He obtained data from the Riverside County Registrar of Voters which broke down the vote tallies by region...

Sun City
3,647 for "yes"
2,891 for "no"
55.78% for yes
57% of total voters

Menifee
2,831 for "yes"
1,218 for "no"
69.92% for yes
35% of total voters

Romoland
414 for "yes"
151 for "no"
73.27% for yes
5% of total voters

Quail Valley
268 for "yes"
136 for "no"
66.34% for yes
3% of total voters

To read this data, if you look at Romoland for example, 414 people voted yes, 151 voted no, for a ratio of 73.27% in favor. Romoland voters accounted for 5% of all the people voting on the cityhood issue.

You could argue that most of the Romoland voters were from Heritage Lake. Daugherty says he doesn't have enough granularity on this data to show from which parts of Romoland these voters came from.

But you can also see that Sun City still commands the largest share of voters, yet they were much more evenly divided over cityhood, with 55.78% voting in favor.




Menifee City Council Meeting - July 23, 2008

I attended this evening's city council meeting. It was a packed house with every seat filled. This room was smaller than the ones at Kay Ceniceros Center and the Paloma Valley High School Theater. And close to the end of the meeting it got hot and muggy in there as well.

Newport Road Realignment

Juan Perez, from the county transportation department was the key speaker. He started off by describing road improvement projects all through Menifee and surrounding areas. And there's quite a bit going on...

  • Murrieta Rd Widening - located between Ethanac and Rouse Rd, to begin Fall 2009, cost $6 million.

  • Newport Rd Bridge - improvements to the bridge and interchange over I-215, to beging Spring 2011, cost $40 million.

  • Scott Rd Widening - between Briggs and I-215, to begin Winter 2008, cost $7 million

  • Scott Rd Bridge - over I-215, improvements to begin Summer 2011, cost $50 million

  • Bundy Canyon Rd - improvements between Murrieta Rd to I-215, beginning Summer 2010, cost $50 million

  • Leon & Rice Roads - connector roads between Domenigoni Pkwy and Simpson Road, beginning Spring 2011, cost $40 million
As for the Newport Road realignment, Perez went through the process of explaining why we're at a stand still. It's basically two things, one the developer backed out. But two, because it's a really difficult project.

It sounds like it all hinges on moving these two reclaimed water mains. Those mains belong to EMWD, and the county can't move without their coordination.

The other biggie is that the new Goetz Rd Bridge is very difficult to build because the elevation of the existing bridge is much lower than the elevation of the realigned Newport Rd. Building this bridge requires having to shut down Goetz Rd. And they can't shut down Goetz Rd unless they open up the realigned Newport Rd to use as a bypass. And of course, they can't open up the realigned Newport Rd until they relocate those two reclaimed water mains. So, it all hinges on the water mains.

But worse yet, the county will likely have to go after the developer's $17 million bond money. However, Perez said that when they file a claim to get the bond money, the bond insurer will likely deny the claim, and the county will have to seek legal recourse to get it. That could take between 18 to 24 months to do.

So Perez said they could obtain Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee (TUMF) funds to finance a "Short Term" solution.

The Short Term solution will open up the southern lane of the realigned Newport Rd. This southern lane is wide enough to allow bidirectional traffic. They can do this without having to build the new Goetz Rd bridge. The existing Newport Rd that we're using now will be renamed to Normandy Rd, and will still carry traffic. The exception is that Normandy Rd will end at Berea Rd. It will not continue out to Murrieta Rd.

Perez didn't say if this Short Term plan will happen. He kinda proposed it to the city council. I got the sense that the County is not really moving forward on Newport Rd, and that this is all being handed off to the new city. Maybe I'm not totally correct on that, but that's my sense.

I did speak out, however, and addressed Perez that the Short Term plan he described was actually the official plan that the developer was putting into place. I said that we ought to move forward on it, on the grounds that all road construction done thus far was done based on doing exactly what he described. Perez acknowledged that. I guess it's up to the city at this point?

Another commenter suggested that all those other road improvement plans (what I noted above), are projects scheduled for years later. Therefore, why not use that money to improve Newport Rd, since it's about 80% completed already. I didn't exactly get what Perez said to that effect, but it sounded like he said the money for those projects is not exactly in hand at this point, it's just projected costs.

If the city moves forward with the Short Term plan, we can have traffic moving on the realigned Newport Rd within 6 months of starting the project, assuming we have the funding in place.

Meet & Greets

John Denver announced that the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce is putting together a "Meet & Greet", presuming for the members of the Chamber. City council members are invited to come speak to Chamber members. This is scheduled for Sept 10, at 7:30am.

Denver also said that the Masonic Lodge is doing a Meet & Greet, and that this one is open to the public. Apparently, food will be provided. I didn't hear Denver give a date and time on this one.

Workshops

City Manager George Wentz announced that there will be a series of "workshops" that will educate the public on how our new city operates. These workshops will take place on days when the city council has their public meetings, but will occur prior to the meeting. Such topics will include rules and proceedings, the roles of city council members, city manager, etc. More information on these workshops will be forthcoming.

City Website and E-mail Addresses

That "more information" will be published on the city's new website, which should open up for official business in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Wentz announced that city council members already have their e-mail addresses, and that these e-mail address are in use now...

Wallace Edgerton - wedgerton@cityofmenifee.us
Darci Kuenzi - dkuenzi@cityofmenifee.us
Fred Twyman - ftwyman@cityofmenifee.us
Scott Mann - smann@cityofmenifee.us
John Denver - jdenver@cityofmenifee.us

If you want to e-mail a city council member, you now know how.

I'm assuming George Wentz is gwentz@cityofmenifee.us

Wentz went on to say that all city staff and elected officials will have the same format of "first letter and full last name, with "cityofmenifee.us" at the end.

Public Safety Ad Hoc Committee

Mayor Edgerton announced the creation of a Public Safety Ad Hoc Committee. Scott Mann and John Denver will sit on this committee. However, nothing else was said. I'm assuming more information will come out on this later.

Cityhood Inauguration Committee

Darci Kuenzi announced the formation of the inaugural event committee. Read the announcement here...

http://www.menifee247.com/2008/07/cityhood-inaugural-event-committee.htm

Public Comments

Mary Porter, who owns a towing service in Menifee, located by Zeiders Rd (just south of Scott, west side of 215), said that she and several other business operating in that area was cited by the County Code Enforcement with administrative code violations. Some were served in person, others were served by just hanging a notice on their fence. I didn't quite understand the details of the violation, but they were all in common. The notice asked her to vacate the premises by August 10. I asked her to send me the full details, which I would republish here. But I did listen to Porter speak with our City Attorney, who said the code enforcement notices didn't look legit. The attorney felt it was an improper way to get these small businesses to leave in order to make room for an new office building.

Anne Pica, addressed the council by asking certain members to resign from their posts on the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, saying it presented a conflict of interest. Darci Kuenzi spoke out saying that she doesn't hold a position with the Chamber. She was at one time a paid employee of the Chamber, but that's not the case anymore. Mayor Edgerton asked John Denver if he wanted to comment. Denver responded angrily, that he had no intention of leaving the Chamber, and that he has already sought a legal opinion, and that he was in no violation. At which point, Denver responded back to Edgerton that he shouldn't have to respond to such questions since they have nothing to do with getting this new city going. Edgerton responded back that the people have a right to say whatever they want being it was a public comment session, and that he was only trying to give Denver an opportunity to say something, if Denver wanted. Edgerton went on to say that it was the duty of the council to serve their "bosses", and pointed at the audience. To which the audience clapped in appreciation.

Bill Zeidlik spoke up asking the council to establish an advisory committee to review all the existing projects (I'm assuming he meant business and residential projects), and advise the council on which ones should be disregarded, and which should move forward. I didn't really hear the council say anything constructive on this, but I'm assuming Bill will be in touch with the powers at be.

Bob Duke, a resident of Romoland, and a member of the Romoland MAC, who happens to live just north of the Menifee city boundary (north of Mapes Rd), asked the city council to consider incorporating the additional areas of Romoland, Homeland, and Green Acres into its sphere of influence (SOI). He said he's not representing a concensus, however, he did speak with other residents all of whom agreed on becoming part of Menifee's SOI. They suggested a fear of being swallowed up by Perris or maybe Hemet, and would rather have the protection of Menifee. Mayor Edgerton looked over to our City Manager, George Wentz and said that he was already looking at establishing a SOI. Wentz nodded in agreement. So it looks like we're already eyeing some more land.

City Manager's Progress Report

George Wentz presented a Power Point Slideshow which outlined all the things he's been doing this past couple of weeks. I have to say, it's all stuff that will put most of us to sleep. He's getting a location for a city hall, he's getting benefits and retirement packages put together for employees, and I'm afraid I didn't write everything down. But suffice to say, he's doing all the tedious work that earns him the big bucks.

Next Meeting

I don't have date yet on the next meeting, however the council moved to conduct these meetings twice a month, instead of every week. They will now be held at this same location at Mt San Jacinto College, and at 7:00pm.

If these meetings attract more people, they won't have room for them. And I hope they turn up the AC next time.




Cityhood Inaugural Event Committee Seeks Members

Mayor Pro Tem Darcy Kuenzi is chairing the Inaugural Event Committee which will plan Menifee's cityhood inauguration. She is reaching out to the community to find people interested helping out with some event planning.

Interested persons are invited to attend the initial meeting, Tuesday, July 29, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, at Boston Billie's Restaurant, Banquet Room, 26850 Cherry Hills Blvd, Sun City, CA 92586. Boston Billie's is located inside the Sun City Shopping Plaza.




City Council Meeting - Tonight

Just another reminder about the city council meeting tonight, at the Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Learning Resource Center Building, Community Room #105, 28237 La Piedra Road, Menifee, CA 92584.

There will be a public comment session at 5:00 pm, after which the council meets in private to discuss acquiring some office space.

The public is invited back later that evening at 7:00pm.

Juan Perez from the county transporation department will speak on the Newport Road realignment.

You can access agenda here...

http://www.menifee247.com/menifee-city-council-agenda-2008-07-23.pdf




Is Watering Lawns Unconstitutional?

An article published in the Los Angeles Times earlier this week reports that an environmental group is planning to urge the State Department of Water Resources to end pumping all water out of the San Joaquin Delta on grounds that using water for lawns and agriculture violates California's constitution...
Meanwhile, environmental groups such as the California Water Impact Networkare contending that many of our water-use practices violate the state's constitutional mandate that water be put to beneficial use to the maximum possible extent and that waste or unreasonable use be prevented.They particularly object to pumping water from the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to irrigate thirsty crops like cotton and alfalfa, as well as lawns. These environmentalists plan to petition the state Department of Water Resources to permanently reduce Delta pumping. If state officials or the courts agree, it would affect virtually every aspect of water use.
The Metropolitan Water District, which supplies all of the water here in SoCal, gets a lot of its water from the San Joaquin Delta. Last year, courts ordered MWD to reduce its takes from the Delta by 40% to save a species of fish. Environmentalists now want that reduced down to zero.

(It would be interesting to see how many environmentalists have lawns)

Nonetheless, our local water district, EMWD, is implementing a "Stop Runoff" program that goes into effect this September 1, where they're going to penalize homeowners that have water running off of their property and into the gutter...

The fact that our water districts are losing water is perhaps the biggest reason why we need to put a halt on further housing development.

Stuffing more people into our new city is going to cause our water district to implement stricter rules, and make water more expensive.

Or put it this way, as homeowners who reside in Menifee, it's in our best interest to preserve what quality of living we already have.




Menifee School Board to Appoint a New Trustee

I attended the Menifee Union School District board meeting today.

New School Board Member Wanted

The four board members, minus Fred Tyman who resigned a couple weeks ago, voted to appoint his replacement, rather than hold a special election. Trustee Irey said that it didn't make much sense to hold an election with the November election coming up soon.

How to apply to be on the Board? Submit a resume, with introductory cover letter, to the district offce at...

Office of the Superintendent
Menifee Union School District
30205 Menifee Road, Menifee, CA 92584

The deadline to submit is Friday, August 1, 2008, 12:00pm.

To qualify, you have to be at least 18 years old, a citizen of California, a resident of the school district (see map), and a registered voter, not disqualified by the Constitution or laws of the state from holding civil office, and is eligible to be elected or appointed a member of a governing board of a school district without further qualifications.

Candidates will be interviewed by the school board on Monday, August 11, beginning 9:00am, and will be voted on at a meeting the following day, August 12.

The position will last only until the next election in November, 2008.

Fred Twyman Honored

The school board recognized Past Board President, Fred Twyman for his service with some parting gifts, and one of those glass-award-thingies. Twyman recieved a standing ovation from the audience and everyone.

Fred Twyman Menifee School Board
Fred Twyman (left), about to receive an award from Victor Giardinelli, on behalf of the Menifee Union School District.


Out-of-District Transfer Requests

Yet more parents asking for their kids to transfer out of the district.

Denied - involving a child currently attending Lisa J. Mails Elementary in Murrieta. This family used to live within the Murrieta School District, but recently moved into the Menifee School District. The student will be entering his 6th grade this September at Mails Elementary, and wants to continue there to graduate. Here in Menifee, 6th grade is actually Middle School. So if forced to attend in Menifee, he would not have an elementary school graduation.

Approved - involving a family that had lived in the Val Verde School District, but had lost their house to foreclosure. So, they moved in with some relatives here in Menifee. This relative happens to be a teacher in the Val Verde School District, and has kids that attend that district, instead of attending here in Menifee. The board recognized that the teacher-priviledge of allowing interdistrict transfers also extends to their nieces and nephews, as well as a child's need to attend the same schools as their cousins.

Denied - this involved a mother with two kids who officially live in the Menifee School District. However, the mother has a childcare hardship, and her kids are having to live in Temecula with their grandparents, Monday through Friday, the entire time. Only on weekends, apparently, do they come home to live their mother. The mother wants the kids to transfer to the Temecula School District to make it easier to transport the kids from school to their grandparents house. But the Board noted that the mother has the children's legal residence in Menifee, and that was the deciding factor.

Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

Superintendent Callaway presented a short video about "Professional Learning Communities", a concept which the school district has implemented.

PLC is best described as a process towards changing the working environment amongst teachers into something more beneficial for students.

It seemed to me the best way to understand this is to compare two places of employment. One place is full of employees who don't care about what they're doing, only care about their paychecks, take too much time on breaks, and surf the Internet all day long. The second place has employees totally excited about their work, totally care about their customers, always discussing ways to improve performance, and voluntarily working overtime because they care.

PLC is simply a master plan on how to transform the first work place into the second.

That's not to say that our school district is something like the first example, or the second. Those are just two extremes I came up with. PLC is just a way to improve upon something.

Trustee O'Donnell asked about what results can be seen from the data our district is collecting. Assistant Superintendent Karen Valdes responded that we are just now collecting the data, and that it would take more time to evaluate it.

Trustee Peters asked if the teachers are totally signing on to this PLC plan. Valdes nodded her head in approval and said they were. But countered that PLC is something that takes a long time for measurable results to manifest.

This all reminds me of the time when I used to do collections work for medical clinic in Stanton. The owner of the clinic brought in a consultant to find ways to streamline operations, cut out the bottlenecks, and ultimately improve the patient experience. Those of us who worked in the back office despised having this consultant tell us what we should be doing, particularly since we were all hired for our expertise.

I'm curious to hear from teachers out there how well PLC is doing within their school.




Trustees to vote this Tuesday

MUSD Trustees are set to vote this Tuesday to fill the vacancy left by former board member Fred Twyman, which he resigned from on July 10th following a legal opinion that he should not serve on "incompatible" public offices.

The members are expected to vote on whether they should seek a replacement or hold a special election for Twyman's position which was set to end on December 5th.

The open session will start at 4pm at 30205 Menifee Road on Tuesday, July 22nd.




Map of Menifee, California

Someone at the County Transition Meeting last Wednesday asked about where they could find a map of the new City of Menifee.

I published one on an older article last year...

http://www.menifee247.com/2007/10/menifee-cityhood-vote-approved.htm

Or click this link to view the map directly...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dqiper7Fm7g/TQL4s60t-2I/AAAAAAAAWXc/0aAwnC486Sg/s1600/menifee-valley-map-765765.jpg

This map comes from LAFCO.




Starbucks Store Closure List

Starbucks posted their listing of stores that are closing.

The closest stores to Menifee are two in Hemet...

SANDERSON & STETSON, 3511 W STETSON AVE HEMET CA
FLORIDA & SANDERSON, 2801 W FLORIDA AVE HEMET CA

There are several closures in Riverside County, Orange County, and San Diego County.

You can see the full list here...

http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/USStoreClosureInfo.pdf

As for the Starbucks store slated for Countryside Marketplace in Menifee, my guess is that it will not open anytime soon. I tried to contact them before on this, but they don't answer. In fact, they didn't bother to publish a list of store closures until pressure started building up from various employees, customers, and media.

But then again, if the company thinks Menifee is a town they can turn a profit in, I'm sure they'll open a store.

All Starbucks stores are corporate owned; they don't franchise.




Menifee City Council Meeting - July 23

The Menifee City Council is holding its next meeting on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 at the Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Learning Resource Center Building, Community Room #105, 28237 La Piedra Road, Menifee, CA 92584.

The meeting will convene at 5:00 pm with public opportunity and comment, after which the council will meet in private to discuss the acquision of some real estate (perhaps for city hall?).

The public is invited back later that evening at 7:00pm.

Juan Perez from the county transporation department will speak on the Newport Road realignment.

There will also be discussion of new e-mail addresses for city council members, and proposed website address.

The Mayor will also announce the creation of a Public Safety Ad Hoc Committee.

Copy of the agenda in PDF can be downloaded here...

http://www.menifee247.com/menifee-city-council-agenda-2008-07-23.pdf




Sunset over Romoland

Leaving Heritage High School this evening, riding down Hwy 74, there was something about this sunset that made me want to photograph it...

Sunset over Romoland

I turned down the light sensitivity just a bit, to give it a darker, more orange effect.




Country Transition Meeting - Details

I attended the county transition meeting this evening.

Much of what was stated was stuff that I think many of us already know, that the county will continue providing services to us up until October 1, when we incorporate officially.

From October 1 thereafter, the county will continue to provide services for free, but only up until June 30, 2009. After that point, any services the county provides will be billed to the city.

Beginning October 1, the city must adopt all existing county ordinances as its own. From there, it can modify those laws, eliminate them, or create new ones. Based on that, the city may wean itself away from county services and provide its own.

Jeff Stone Speaks

Supervisor spent some considerable time speaking, much of it was congratulating the new city council, and talking about how much of a good thing cityhood is. He also handed out certificates of appreciation to Menifee MAC members and Quail Valley MAC members. Menifee MAC officially dissolves today, while Quail Valley MAC will continue up until September 30.

Stone also mentioned that the county is right now filling positions for some 1,500 new Sheriff's deputies. The county is also building several new prisons. Being that inadequate police presence is one reason why we incorporated, it's nice to know the county is now beefing this up. It makes me wonder if contracting out its deputies is a big revenue source for the county.

He also said that they're building a new animal shelter facility in San Jacinto, costing $12 million, and should be open by the end of this year.

Lastly, he said that on October 1, just as Menifee incorporates, the county will be holding an "Autumn Festival", where clubs, groups, non-profits, businesses, and everyone is invited to celebrate. He invited the Menifee city council to establish a committee to decide how it plans to participate.

Supervisor Jeff Stone
Public Comments

One person asked about will the new city pay for county services. Gary Thompson, who is acting as our city's financial advisor, and was the guy who performed the Menifee's fiscal analysis, talked in detail about where Menifee will gets its funds from. While he named several types of fees and taxes, he said some of those fees will come into the city's funds immediately as of October 1, but others will take several months to trickle in.

Another person asked about how the county and city will coordinate on what to do with Audie Murphy Ranch and the Newport Road realignment. Juan Perez, who represents the county transportation department, said it's a very difficult question to answer. But that he'll be speaking specifically about this topic at a city council meeting on July 23, which I presume is the next council meeting on Wednesday.

Someone asked how many people could possibly live in Menifee. Jeff Stone spoke up and said this city has a potential for 250,000 residents. However, that's only if the county were to continue building at its pace. He went on to explain that now that we've become a city, we can decide how many homes to build. Had we not incorporated, then that quarter-of-a-million people would likely happen.

George Wentz

Interim City Manager, George Wentz, spoke up a bit. He mostly said that he's hard at work putting the pieces together, and urged everyone to attend the city council meetings, where he gives a status report on what he's accomplished.

He went on to add that he's now working on getting a website created that will provide information for us all. He also said that each city council member will have e-mail addresses. All this info to come out later.

Scott Mann, who is acting as Menifee's city clerk, gave out his e-mail address (menifeecityclerk@mchsi.com) again, and mentioned that he has received a "plethora" of e-mail from folks wanting to volunteer, what they want done in the new city, and their comments.

Jeff Stone also spoke up and said that he'll create a special section on his website just for Menifee cityhood info.

Summary

While it was nice listening to Jeff Stone talk about some of things their working on doing, I found that much of this meeting was congratulatory in nature. I think much of what the county spoke about in terms of transitioning its services was stuff most of us knew.

I am, however, looking forward to hearing Juan Perez speak about the Newport Road realignment next week.




County to City Transition Meeting - Tonight

Tonight at 6:00pm, the Supervisor Jeff Stone is hosting a "transition meeting", to explain how the County plans to transition its services to the new City of Menifee.

The meeting will be located at Heritage High School, inside the theater.

There is no city council meeting this week, because of today's county meeting.




MSJC Police Costs $1 Million Last Year

Ann Motte, one of the elected College Board of Trustees with Mt San Jacinto College, posted the cost of the MSJC Police for this past fiscal year (July 2007 to July 2008) on her blog...

http://annmotte.com/2008/07/15/fyipd-budgetactual-0708/

She also posted it as a comment on this blog, and you can read the comments of others in response...

http://www.menifee247.com/2008/07/ msjc-teacher-speaks-out-about-campus.htm#c4758259415227372454

Here's what she said...
The requested information for the 07/08 PD Budget/Actual was received as a two page document in my mailbox over the weekend.

The PD budget for this period inclusive (salary, benefits, OT, equipment, contracts, uniforms, fuel, office, conference, telephone, maintenance/repairs, recruitment, xerox leases, misc.) was $1,072,831.31.

The actual expense for 07/01/07 through 07/08/08 was $920,082.74 with $723,094 for salaries/benefits.

The department consists of 7 safety officers, 7 police officers, 1 clerk, 1 secretary, 5 student workers, and 2 substitutes.

The MSJC PD patrols approximately 150 total acres in owned campus properties or about 1/4 square mile inclusive. One square mile = 640 acres.
I'm not an expert on what adequate law enforcement should cost per square mile (or in this case 1/4 mile). Perhaps someone else can chime in on that.

But it seems like a campus security (not a police department), that stays on campus, would be more cost effective. They wouldn't have to drive patrol cars. The money saved, could be used to hire more teachers and offer new courses.

Let the new city deal with policing the neighborhood.

More depressing, is that based on Ann's comments, it sounds like the political climate of MSJC is such that no other trustee, or college administration, seems willing to question this, or even touch it.




Loma Linda Hospital in Murrieta

Great News for Menifee Residents! There will be a new hospital located a few miles from Menifee. It will be located between Scott Road and Clinton Keith, off the 215 FWY. It is a physician backed hospital supported by over 60 community (Temecula, Murrieta and Menifee) physicians in conjunction with Loma Linda Medical Center, a leading national hospital. It will have an Emergency Room, Obstetrics Department, Pediatrics and Medical/Surg beds in addition to an Intensive Care Unit. Watch the short 2 minute video at the link below . It is schedules to break ground in October 2008 and will be completed in 2011.

http://www.pe.com/video/localnews-index.html?nvid=261467




School Board Revises Transfer Request Policy

The Press Enterprise and The Californian report that the Menifee Union School District Board has changed its criteria for allowing transfer requests.

A transfer request is when parents request that their child be allowed to attend a public school outside of the MUSD boundaries.

http://www.pe.com/..../PE_News_Local_S_stransfer11.49fddca.html

http://www.nctimes.com/..../zbdfe873c7aaf63f488257482006deeb4.txt

In short, the criteria no longer includes cases where parents cite the need for childcare as a reason for requesting transfer.

The way I read this, however, doesn't sound like the board will always deny such cases, it only means they will no longer grant them automatic approval.




2 Fires in Menifee Wednesday

If you were driving anywhere in Menifee yesterday, you would have seen plumes of smoke rising into the sky coming from the Bundy Canyon area. Not to worry, as bad as the smoke looked, they were small fires that were put out before they caused any major damage.

Here is the article with a video




Menifee Valley Little League Advances to Championship Game

Dave Fokken, who coaches the Menifee Valley Little League team, writes in to say that our hometeam all-stars will be playing in the District 28 Championship game tonight...
The 10-11 year old Menifee Valley Little League All-Star Baseball team beat Lake Elsinore last night 5-3 to advance to the District 28 Championship game tonight, 7/9.

If you want to have a great time and support your local team, game time is at 6:15 p.m. The game will be played at Los Alamos Sports Park in Murrieta, 36700 Ruth Ellen Way.
MapQuest:

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Murrieta&state=CA&address=36700+Ruth+Ellen+Way




Menifee City Council Meeting - July 9, 2008

Just a reminder, tonight is the Menifee City Council meeting.

It starts at 6:00pm, and is held at Paloma Valley High School, in the theater.

George Wentz, our interim City Manager will give an oral presentation on the tasks and schedules towards building a city government.

There will also be discussion on the Ad Hoc City Inauguration Committee.

A copy of the full agenda can be found here...

http://www.menifee247.com/menifee-city-council-agenda-2008-07-09.pdf

Commenters Wanted!

And as such, I'll be out of town today so I'll miss what sounds to be a featured-packed city council meeting.

If you can attend this meeting, please do and post a comment on this article detailing what took place, such as the ad hoc inauguration committee, what George Wentz has to say about building a city, what the folks said in their addresses to the council, and whatever else you find "fit for print".

I appreciate everyone's help in keeping Menifee 24/7 a must-read on everyone's list of favorites.




Menifee Union School District Board Meeting

I attended the MUSD Board Meeting earlier today.

School Bus Passes

One very angry father addressed the board about the new school bus passes. He said he wasn't notified that bus passes were now required.

His daughter somehow was able to ride the bus to school anyways. But in the middle of class, she was pulled out, and sent to the Multi-purpose room to wait for her parents, and was not allowed to continue her studies for that day.

The father addressed the board by saying it was totally inappropriate to remove his daughter from studies for something that she was totally unaware of. The school should have left her alone, and instead addressed the matter with him.

He did obtain a bus pass since then, but said the action against his daughter left her feeling guilty and is now apprehensive about returning to school.

Board member Twyman said he would have Dr. Callaway handle the matter.

Out of District Transfers

Several more parents are wanting to transfer their kids out of MUSD. Several motions were allowed, but at least one was denied.

There are some cases that mostly involve convenience, such as parents' need to balance commutes, coordinate daycare, and keeping old friends together. Often times these get approved, due to a predefined list of criteria of what constitutes acceptable transfers.

Then there are the tough cases, such as one today where a girl with hearing loss encountered difficulty in maintaining academic pace with other students. Her teacher, not realizing she had hearing problems, even asked her if she was "stupid", and then asked her not to report that to her parents.

The frustration and embarrassment of not measuring up to her fellow students, combined with the demeaning statement from her teacher, has tainted her impression with Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary, and she doesn't want to return.

Her parents pleaded with the school board to let her leave the district to attend Lisa J. Mails Elementary in the Murrieta School District. Mails is a "performing arts" school, meaning that it uses performing arts as a tool towards helping kids learn their reading, writing, and arithmetic. Kids seems to love it, and parents seem satisfied with the outcomes.

I've listened to several other transfer requests, and some of them also involve Mails Elementary. It seems to be a popular choice for kids with learning disabilities.

But the school board denied this request, offering a transfer to Freedom Crest Elementary, which this particular girl actually attended before. The parents found that as disppointing, though they accepted it as a consolation. The father questioned the board making this decision on financial grounds, arguing that they saw his daughter as a sum of money, instead of a girl with special needs.

I guess what I'm saying is that transfers tend to be approved as part of a criteria when they are cases of parental convenience, while cases involving a child's educational needs are not part of a criteria and have to evaluated separately. I can understand that a child's needs will vary from child to child, but I just find it thought-provoking that a school board will give up that sum of money without question when a parent's convenience is at stake.




Top 3 City Council Requests

Was listening to Fred Twyman speak on Menifee Valley Talk Radio last night, and heard him mention that he wants to hear from residents on what we want for our new city.

I've heard other city council members say that they want to hear from residents, and the fact that they keep saying this, makes me wonder if anyone is communicating with them.

So here is my top three "to do" items for the city council...

  • Bring in more high-paying jobs. I'd like to see more office buildings and industrial parks here. What can we do as a city to make Menifee an attractive place for companies to move to? I thought I heard Twyman say last night that Pardee Homes is backing out of building homes next to Countryside Marketplace. Good. Then let's build industrial and corporate centers all along the I-215 between Newport and Scott. We also have space to build along Hwy 74.

    As it is now, Menifee is a commuter town. We can't go on paying $4-5 a gallon for gas. We need to build jobs here.


  • Gang task force. We need more police, but we need it where it counts the most. Gangs are what bring in the violence, the prostitution, the drugs, the tagging, and corrupts the kids. We need a team of investigators tracking every gang and gang member in this town, watching their every move, busting them everytime they make a mistake, and making Menifee an awful place for them to operate.

    I've already made my opinion known about traffic patrols. You can make arguments on speeders, child safety seats, lack of registration, etc. But having more cops hiding behind bushes and busting moms on their way to the grocery store is petty, compared to gangs moving into Menifee and recruiting your kids into their ranks.


  • Infrastructure. Part of the success towards luring more employers into Menifee is creating the thoroughfares to improve the flow of traffic. Complete the Newport Rd realignment. Get the Scott Rd overpass widened. Extend Bradley all the way to Scott. Pave Holland Rd all the way into Canyon Hills.

    Improving the flow of traffic is something we're going to need for trucks to carry materials to and from the business and industrial centers. Employers won't move here if they can't move around in here.
There are other things I'd like to see done, but that's my top 3.

Knowing that some, if not all, city council members are reading this, what are your top 3 "to do" items?




Paloma Valley Pony Baseball - District Champs!

Stephanie Castaneda, a board member on Paloma Valley Pony Baseball, writes to tell us about Menifee's local Pony team becoming district champions...
Congratulations to the Paloma Valley Pony Mustang Division All-Stars, they became the District Champions on Saturday July 5th, after winning the Hemet Youth All Star Tournament. The boys played 6 games straight starting last Sat. losing their first game to Temecula and went on to win every game thereafter finally playing Temecula again for the Championship winning 15 to 16, the game was intense going 9 innings.

I have to say that Temecula is an awesome team and they played their hearts out, they are champs as well. We will go on to the Regional Tournament in Beaumont starting on Thursday.

Congrats to our team: Mario Arroyo, Brandon Castaneda, TJ Forster, Connor Gillette, Andy Otterson, Andrew Ramos, Nathan Raia, Brett Virgil, Jake Samarin, Ryan Hudkins, Noah Rosa, Aleva Hifo. Thanks to our awesome coaches: Shawn Forster, Randy Hudkins and Jim Raia.
Congrats to PVPB!




Fred Twyman to Speak About Unification

This Sunday, July 6, on Menifee Valley Talk Radio, soon-to-be outgoing MUSD Board Member, and soon-to-be incoming Menifee City Councilman, Fred Twyman, will be the featured guest speaking about unification.

Call in and talk to Fred about what's it's going to take to move Paloma Valley High into the menifee school district. And for those of you in Romoland, this might be an opportunity to find out what the future holds for Heritage High and the Romoland schools with the new city.

The show starts at 7:00pm, and can be listened to online at...

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MenifeeValleyRadio

The phone number to call is: (646) 716-6582.




Search Menifee 24/7

I added the search form at the upper-right corner of the page.

This searches all articles and comments going back to when Menifee 24/7 started.

The search engine is powered by Google, so that it displays ads (more ads!).

The bad news is that this is a "free text" search, meaning it searches for words on the entire page, including the side columns, not just in the articles. So if you searched for "animals", you'll get about 800 hits, because that word appears in the side column under the "Archives by Subject". I can't filter the results by just the articles.

You can try surrounding your search query with "quotes", to find a string of words that match exactly that. If you searched for Menifee Lakes (without quotes), Google will return pages that have Menifee and Lakes appearing individually. If you search for "Menifee Lakes" (with quotes), Google will return only pages with those two words together.

So far, this is only available on the main 24/7 site, and it only searches the main 24/7 site. It doesn't find content on the other sub-sites. I'll implement separate search forms there.

With almost four years of content on this site, this should help you find every page where your name was mentioned.




Sobriety Checkpoint Nets 45 Cars Impounded or Towed

That sobriety checkpoint the Riverside County Sheriff conducted in Canyon Lake, along Railroad Canyon Rd, back on Friday, June 27, here's the results from the Department...
On Friday, June 27, 2008, the Canyon Lake Police Department conducted a DUI / traffic safety checkpoint on Railroad Canyon Rd. at Sorrel Ln. Enforcement action began at 7:00 PM Friday evening and continued through 3:00 AM Saturday morning. The checkpoint was staffed by 16 deputies and several volunteers including citizens on patrol and police explorers from the Canyon Lake and Perris explorer posts.

During the course of the checkpoint, 67 citations were issued for a range of vehicle code violations which included; unlicensed/suspended drivers, no insurance, child seat violations, and several others, resulting in 45 vehicles being towed or impounded. Nine drivers were arrested for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, one arrest was made for drug possession and one warrant was served.

The operation was considered successful in sending a message that DUI drivers, unlicensed drivers and other unsafe vehicle code violations will not be tolerated. The Canyon Lake Police Department is planning more DUI and traffic safety checkpoints in the future.
Is it just me, or is it an abuse of force to impound a vehicle because of a child seat violation?

Violations of child safety seat laws should just be a warning. To impound cars, means that everyone will become too worried about driving through a sobriety checkpoint. We have enough "gray laws" on the books that allow LEOs to bust us for anything they want.

Now that you know the Sheriff will impound your car for something as innocent as a child safety seat violation, OR ANY OTHER vehicle code violation, do you feel confident that you will pass that checkpoint unscathed? Or will you do everything in your power to avoid that road?

These sobriety checks are not sending the message of DUI, they scare the crap out of every decent, well meaning, citizen.

Law enforcement should go after criminals, the guys who actually threaten public safety, the guys that take a lot of hard work to apprehend. Not busting moms and dads for "vehicle code violations".




Interim City Manager Hired

The city council reported just past 10:00pm yesterday, that they hired the firm of Winzler & Kelly, providing us with an interim city manager by the name of George Wentz.

This is basically the guy who runs the city, at least until we become a city.

Learn more about these guys here...

http://www.w-and-k.com/




Menifee City Council Meeting - July 2, 2008

At tonight's city council meeting, the counil interviewed candidates for interim city manager. After the public portion of the meeting adjourned this evening, no interim city manager had been hired yet.

City Attorney Conflict of Interest

Jason Roth addressed the council with a question about a possible conflict of interest with the new interim city attorney. This attorney also acts as the city attorney for Canyon Lake.

He asked who would our city council consult with in case of matters involving a dispute with Canyon Lake.

Mayor Edgerton answered that they would hire a different city attorney just for that purpose. But he called on our interim city attorney, and posed the question to her. While I don't have "her" name, she responded that it's unlikely there would be a conflict of interest, since much of Canyon Lake's concerns are shared with Menifee's, such as Audie Murphy Ranch, Newport Rd Realignment.

In the matter of leaky septic tanks in Quail Valley, she downplayed the matter by saying that Canyon Lake has no interest in the water quality of its lake, since it doesn't own the lake. That was a comment I found rather difficult to accept, but she may be right since legally, the City of Canyon Lake has no responsibility. If people were to get sick from playing in the water, the legal responsibility falls on the Elsinore Water District.

I guess we just need to make sure we don't hire an attorney that also represents the water district.

Sales Taxes in Menifee

Nina Riley, a resident in Sun City, asked the council when will sales taxes be collected by the city. The Mayor couldn't give a specifc date, only that it wouldn't happen until after October 1, once the city becomes official. But even after that, he noted that sales taxes are assessed quarterly, so there may be further lag time.

Ad Hoc Committee for Inauguration Planning

Mayor Edgerton announced that there will be an ad hoc committee created for the planning of the city's inauguration. This will be further discussed at the next city council meeting.

County Transition Meeting

Mayor Pro Tem Kuenzi announced that Supervisor Jeff Stone will be hosting a "transition meeting" on Wednesday July 16, 6:00pm, at Heritage High School. The meeting will explain to the public how county services will be transitioned over to the new city.

Next City Council Meeting

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 9, at Paloma Valley High School, inside the theatre. The council will meet in private at 5:00pm, and then open up a public meeting at 6:00pm.

The subject of what time of day to schedule meeting is still a hot debate. The council members again this evening had disagreements on what time would be most prudent. Denver noted that there is a lot of work that needs to be done, and pushed for an earlier start time of 4:00pm.

To which Kuenzi asked if that would be the start of a public or private meeting, and she got no real definitive answer. Other suggestions came up for 6:00pm for a public meeting, to which some people in the audience complained was still too early for them.

Mann pointed out that these meeting are all "special" meetings, because the city is not yet official, and that nothing is cast into stone yet.

But I attended the 5:00pm public meeting today, and found myself as the only resident in attendance. The others were suits looking for a job. The 7:00pm public meeting was better attended, but there were still far more room-temperature chairs than warm ones. Though I'm not sure the council would get better attendance at a later time. 7:00pm is probably good in my view.

Sound System

The lack of sound system at the Kay Ceniceros Center makes it a difficult room to conduct a city council meeting. Council members found themselves having to nudge each other into speaking more loudly, which brought about some frustrating remarks.

The microphone at the public speaker's podium was weak, requiring each speaker to hold it right up to their mouth, to get an audible signal. Considering how many lips that microphone may have touched over its lifetime, I can understand no one wanting to get too close to it.




MSJC Teacher Speaks Out About Campus Policing

Jim Davis, a history professor at Mt San Jacinto College, responds to the MSJC Police budget and cost thread on Ann Motte's blog, with the commentary below.

He questions whether the existing police force is necessary, calls into further question their boasting of ticketing the residents of the city, when they're supposed to provide campus security...

Ann:

The president/superintendent should create an ad hoc group to investigate the college police department. The group should begin with the assumption that an educational institution has its own special security needs, just like hospitals, or department stores, or businesses have specialized needs. We need to look around for functioning models at other colleges. Above all, the group should not shy away from bold recommendations, such as it might behoove us, for a variety of reasons, to replace the current department with something very different.

For many in the faculty, there are grave concerns about the cost, operating procedures, and effectiveness of our current police force. First of all, how much is all this costing, with the roving patrol cars and professional equipment? Are we willing to pay for this rather than more full-time faculty or construction of more buildings on both campuses? Second, does this police force, which resembles a Blackwater unit operating in Baghdad's green zone, really necessary for a campus, or would a more subdued, less costly security force really meet our needs? For example, would it be better to have casually clothed security people patrol regularly by golf cart, on bicycles, or on foot? These could be people who know the faculty, are there for small needs and emergencies, and maintain a reassuringly high profile on our campuses. We had such a force once, and I, for one, very much miss them. We have replaced them with people who are distant and boast of ticketing the general public on off-campus highways, have been rude to faculty and staff (on one occasion ticketing a classified employee $250 for playing her car stereo too loudly), and who join in police operations as far away as Lake Elsinore. How does all this serve higher education? Finally, if we do decide to keep the current force, there needs to be a civilian review board with real teeth that can investigate incidents and review tickets and fines through an appeal process.

Anyway, these are just a few thoughts. I commend you for your sustained interest in the police force, its costs, and its need at our college. They seemed to have entered our college through a grant and now have rooted themselves in the institution. It is time to shine a flood light on all this.

Please feel free to circulate and share this, if you think it helpful.

Sincerely,

Jim Davis
I tend to agree with Jim and Ann on this issue. It's not the responsibility of the community college system to provide city policing. The state should redirect that money elsewhere, either at teachers and students, or refunding it back to the people.

The tons of comments that all of you readers posted on a previous article, "MSJC Police Jurisdiction", proves that the residents of Menifee are really hungry for law enforcement. Better policing was made into the top argument for cityhood.

Menifee's city council really needs to address law enforcement in this city. It needs to shift police responsibility away from MSJC, and on to the new city itself. If anything, MSJC needs only a campus security, not a full blown police department venturing into the city to ticket drivers for speeding.




Menifee City Council in the Parade

Marcy Riehm of the Lake Menifee Women's Club submitted these two photos of our city council in the 18th Annual Menifee Independence Day Parade.

John Denver, in the passenger seat, with Fred Twyman, Darci Kuenzi, and Wallace Edgerton in the back.

Menifee City Council Independence Day Parade

Menifee City Council Independence Day Parade




Seniors in Riverside County Are Fastest Growing HIV/AIDS Demographic

The Riverside County Department of Public Health issued a report last May stating that persons living in Riverside County, at ages 50+, are the fastest growing segment of newly diagnosed HIV and AIDS cases.

In 1993, about 14% of all newly diagnosed cases involved the 50+ age group. In 2005, that number hit 25%.

Across the nation, about 25% of the existing HIV and AIDS cases involve the 50+ age group, with that number expected to reach 50% by 2015.

The report suggests two causes of this trend has to do with that "little blue pill" becoming so widely available, and that people in this age group tend avoid condoms due to lack of pregnancy risk.

I wonder what these numbers are inside the new City of Menifee.

Read the full report here...

http://www.rivcohealthdata.org/..../EPE_Volume_2_Issue_4_08-05-04.pdf




Menifee City Council Meeting Tomorrow, July 2, 2008

Just a reminder, the third meeting of the Menifee City Council is tomorrow, Wednesday, July 2, at the Kay Ceniceros Center.

The meeting starts at 5:00pm, with availability for public comments.

The council then meets in private to begin interviews for City Manager.

At 7:00pm, the public is invited back to submit more comments.

Here's a copy of the agenda...

http://www.menifee247.com/menifee-city-council-agenda-2008-07-02.pdf




Free Baseball, Free Fireworks, Free Jerseys

On Saturday, July 5th, the Diamond in Lake Elsinore is offering two free seats at the Storm baseball game, if you bring in a gas receipt.

In addition, you get two free Storm baseball jerseys, and you get to stay for the fireworks show. Can't beat that.

For more info...

http://stormbaseball.com/blog/?p=33




What Will Menifee Do With Audie Murphy Ranch?

The last month, an anonymous commenter was updating us with his/her correspondence with the County on the Newport Rd realignment. The last comment stated what many of us had heard, that Audie Murphy Homes, LLC has abandoned the project and walked away from it.

Last week, the Friday Flyer, a newspaper in Canyon Lake, confirmed it...
...the developers of Audie Murphy Ranch have pulled out of the project due to financial reasons and will not complete the remainder of the road improvements required by the county, leaving realigned Newport Rd. approximately 80 percent complete and unable to be opened in its current state.
So what will the new City of Menifee do about this?

We still want the Newport Rd realignment.

I don't think Menifee has the money for this. Neither does Canyon Lake. We were counting on the developer to pay for it.

I wonder if there's a way to get Measure A funds from the State.




MENIFEE VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE ALLSTAR'S UPDATE

Menifee Valley Little LeagueMenifee's 9-10 year old team vs. Canyon Lake

Menifee still has 3 teams going strong in the District 28 Allstar Tournament. The
9-10 yr olds, 10-11 yr olds and the Junior Team's are still in it. If you would like to watch any of the games, they are played in Murrieta at the Los Alamos Sports Park.




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