Dangerous Bicyclists in Menifee?

An anonymous reader submitted the following letter concerning bicyclists seemingly taking over the grounds at the Albertson's shopping center on Newport & Murrieta Rds, and asks the city council to take action...
A serious accident ready to happen exists at the Albertson's shopping center on the Menifee road side where a real estate, mexican resturant, and a bicycle shop are proprieters. Evenings after school teens gather to "take over" the area with riding bicycles up, down the handicap ramp, jumping the stairs, blocking the stairs to patrons, (two, three and four riding together and behind each other.)

I have written complaints to the Riverside Sheriff, Riverside Sheriff Perris station, and have discussed this ongoing (for 4 years now) problem with the proprieters and nothing has been done.

The teens when confronted have "smart mouthy" responses, and feel they have the right to congregate there on tables belonging to the Mexican Resturant for their patrons to eat outside. There is no available table outside as these teens (10 or more) occupy them eating nothing.

They have almost run over those walking on the walk, up the ramp, or trying to get up the stairs which they continually block with their presence. The establishment has complained to the sheriff who does NOT solve this ongoing problem

Therefore, I wish to ask the Menifee City Council to put some presssure on law enforcement to enforce the ordinances in place. These teens about two years ago removed all the signs on the posts "NO BICYCLE OR SKATEBOARDS ALLOWED" AND laugh they are no longer there, and they say they are NOT prohibited from being there and riding their bicycles as there is a bicycle shop there and bikes outside.

PLEASE HELP before some gets seriously injured. My husband almost was falling at the stairs while trying to get to our vehicle parked below.

Part-Time Merchandiser Wanted in Menifee

Here's a job opportunity for folks who like shopping...
Merchandising Company is hiring experienced merchandisers to do part-time service work in local retail stores from October 15 to December 15. Possibly up to 20 hours per week, with possibility of future employment opportunities. Area includes Menifee, CA. Interested applicants with access to a computer, printer, the Internet, and an email account should contact our company at: recruiter1@drivelineretail.com providing your name, phone number, zip code, and experience. When replying to this email please make note in subject line the following reference #828DRSD150. Please also fill out an online application at http://www.drivelineretail.com/careers/app_drs.html.
Click this link for more info...


Anonymous Commenting

Randall Freeman and Chuck Reutter, are two people who wrote to The Californian discussing anonymous commenting on websites, and I'm sure they're talking about Menifee 24/7.

Here's what was said...

(Randall Freeman, Aug 23) - My first experience in seeking to serve my community by running as a candidate for my local school board has produced somewhat unexpected consequences. As part of my efforts to inform the local community of my desire and qualifications for serving on the school board, I submitted a candidate's statement on local Web sites. When I checked in on my statement this afternoon, I was pleased to observe that there were several comments posted in response to it. Pleased that is, until I read them.

The vile and offensive diatribes were blatant and disturbing to me. Simply by virtue of stating my profession of being an elementary school teacher, I was vilified by several anonymous cowards. Statements included, "You and your ilk will be happy to bleed the public dry to support your hidden agenda. People like you sicken me ..." and "You have all let the parents and children down ... for your personal wealth and ambitions. I agree with the previous comments, we need parent representation, and you do not fit the bill."

Statements like these make me wonder why anybody would wish to serve in any public capacity. Will I have to be concerned for the safety of myself and family simply because I desire to serve my community and just happen to be a teacher? I have to wonder.

(Chuck Reutter, Aug 27) - I hope all these negative comments Mr. Randall T. Freeman wrote about in his Aug. 23 letter to The Californian will not keep him from seeking election to the Menifee Union School District, and I would not pay any attention to the cowards who do not give their name when making a comment. In addition, the Webmaster of the site to which Mr. Freeman is referring does not have the courage to publish his name either.

I strongly suggest we all ignore those who do not have the courage to give their name because I think it is not the American way.
To address Chuck's assertion that the owner of the website doesn't give his name, is wrong. I have my first and last name on the website, at the far-left, as being the publisher of this website. I also describe who I am on the "About Us" page, which is linked from the same location.

For the record, here is the article Randall Freeman is referring to...


While there certainly are some very critical comments there, there are others that are more constructive, and others yet that defend him. But every comment on there reflects the true feelings and sentiment that exist in the community. Those sentiments are of real voters who will be marking ballots this November. What Freeman got from his candidate statement on Menifee 24/7 is a look at what he needs to address if he wants to win a seat on the school board.

Moreover, anyone who seeks to gain public office must be vetted by every voter in public. Vetting also includes examining how that candidate handles criticism, and this is perhaps a test for Freeman.

I would certainly love for everyone to disclose their names when commenting. But, my goal is to build discussion, not to discourage it. Aside from the articles I publish here, the ensuing discussion is also a big reason why people come back here to read. The community dialogue is a major part of what makes Menifee 24/7 what it is.

Also, if I forced people to provide their name, all they'd do is make up a pseudonym to get around it, and they'd still be anonymous.

I don't think Freeman needs to worry for his personal safety. Menifee is still the same community, with or without Menifee 24/7. Had he never submitted a candidate statement to me, would he have believed the community was more friendly to him?

Menifee Valley Orange Ball Golf Classic - October 24

The Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce is announcing its annual Orange Ball Golf Classic, inviting the public to participate.

It's being held at Menifee Lakes Golf Course, Friday, October 24, 2008, with check-in registration at 10:00am.

The classic includes contests for the longest drive and the closest to the pin. They'll have goody bags, prizes for men and women on par 3's, and an awards banquet.

Download the application form here...


Kohl's in Menifee Paints Quail Valley Elementary School

A couple of weeks ago, on Sunday August 18, the "A-Team Volunteers" from Kohl's in Menifee, joined up with Menifee Union School District staff members and family at Quail Valley Elementary School to paint the handball courts.

The soon-to-be-opened store, who says that it's committed to making a difference in the community, will also donate $1,500.00 to purchase books for the school's library.

Heidi Fanning, the District Volunteer Captain from Kohl's was quoted as saying, "Especially in these really difficult times of budget cuts I think it is important for all of us to do what we can to make a difference for children."

Photos below...

Quail Valley Elementary School

Kohl's Menifee

Quail Valley Elementary School

Quail Valley Elementary School

Quail Valley Elementary School

Shop Locally

Shop Locally

Shopping locally has never been more important than now, Menifee, in light of the current circumstances surrounding our soon-to-be city. Why? Because of the slow third quarter, many of your local business people are seeing a significant drop in their revenue. OK, but what does that mean to me, the Menifee resident?

The small businessperson, who probably chose to invest their life-savings in a business in Menifee, runs on a very tight budget most times. Rent costs more than the average consumer would think, attaining product usually comes with a certain amount of difficulty, and advertising is sometimes expensive to be effective. Add all of this together, and you have more expenditures than your local business owner anticipated. Couple this with the fact that many Menifee residents don’t think twice about hopping on that freeway to shop in Murrieta/Temecula, simply because they didn’t know that the items they sought were available locally for a fair price. Many of us don’t even know all that Menifee has to offer in the way of goods and services. We simply drive to our neighboring cities because we know that we can get it there fast. But really, how much extra are we spending in gas, and how much time are we taking to drive out of our way, just to get it fast at a fair price?

Perhaps we did shop around, via Internet or phone, and found that we could save a few dollars by going to a neighboring city. What did we save ourselves, really? Those Menifee business owners made a choice to bank on you, the Menifee residents, to be their shoppers. If we all sought goods and services out of Menifee, the local businesses would cease to exist. Wouldn’t that in turn, lessen the competition for neighboring city business owners and then, in turn, drive up prices? Doesn’t every business that dies in our city decrease our options, and put money into a city that isn’t doing anything for Menifee?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying “Never shop out of town!” But, when available at a competitive price, why not shop here? I am just asking that we all do our homework before taking our hard-earned-dollars to another city. Invest in the businesses that chose to invest in you. Give these little guys a chance!

The fourth quarter is looking good for business valley wide. Sales are up, believe it or not, and people are shopping again. The busy holiday time is really just around the corner, and with the new center opening in Menifee, many dollars can and will be spent at home. As homeowners and residents of Menifee, you have chosen to make an investment in this small soon-to-be city; make even more of an investment by keeping your dollars local when you can.

EMWD Has an E-mail Address to Bust Water Wasters

A month ago, I reported that the Eastern Municipal Water District will begin enforcing its "Stop Water Runoff" policy, where it will send out the water police to look for homes with water running off the lawn and into the gutter...


Today, the Press Enterprise reports on the same, but goes even further to say that the EMWD now has an e-mail address that residents can use to rat on their fellow neighbors...

At Eastern Municipal, which serves about 660,000 people, the water district has set up an e-mail account for residents to report overwatering.

To report runoff: Send an e-mail with exact street address and photo if possible to: conservation@emwd.org

Of course, if you're going to report your neighbors to the water district, you better make sure you're running a tight ship, because you don't want the district noticing that you've got some water running off of your property as well.

Middle School Boundary Change Hearing - Recap

Menifee Union School District held its first public hearing concerning boundary changes for its middle schools today. The change in boundaries is necessitated by the new middle school, located in Sun City, off of McCall Blvd, east of the I-215.

I'd say about 20 families were in attendance, and 15-20 district faculty, including current trustees, former trustees, and prospective trustees.

Assistant Superintendent Gil Compton gave the presentation, which was largely explaining their "guiding principles", which help them decide how to create boundaries. You can download the guiding principles from the district's website here...


While the district doesn't have any idea what boundaries to adopt, Compton did name off a few ideas...

  • By elementary school boundaries - Quail Valley, Ridgemoor, Freedom Crest elementaries would attend the new middle school.

  • By Newport Rd - Families living north of Newport Rd would attend the new middle school. This actually creates the most balanced student bodies between the three middle schools, according to Compton.

  • By Salt Creek - Families living north of Salt Creek would attend the new middle school. This provides an advantage in times when it rains really hard, and causes flooding where it crosses Newport Rd and Murrieta Rd. This boundary will prevent students from having to cross over the creek to get to school.
None of the families in attendance voiced a preference or displeasure for any of the ideas presented, nor did they present their own ideas. Much of the comments dealt with transporting their kids, and most of these comments came from Quail Valley residents. Other comments were actually questions asking if the district took into account various dynamics, such as how travel time to the new middle school might cause parents to be late on transporting their other kids to the elementary or high school. Compton basically nodded yes on everything, indicating they thought of everything.

There were also a few comments about notifying the public about this meeting. A couple of parents complained that they never got notice of this meeting, and only heard about it from some other word of mouth. Betti Cadmus, the district's public information officer, explained that it was published in all the major newspapers and published on the district's website. Compton explained that notices were sent out to parents. A counselor there also commented that he was very disappointed the meeting was so sparsely attended.

My only take on the low attendance is that most families don't care, largely because it won't matter to them.

These boundary changes really only concern the families who live close to Newport Rd. Those are the ones who still don't know which middle school their children will attend. The other families already know. That is, if you live well away from Newport Rd, the details on where the boundary lines are drawn won't be significant enough to affect you. For example, if you live along McCall Blvd, you already know that your child will attend the new middle school, and thus there's little you can say to change that. I think those families don't feel an urgency to attend this meeting.

The other thing is that there's still a second meeting, scheduled for September 2, at 5:00pm, at Bell Mountain Middle School.

The school board trustees will make a final decision on these boundary changes sometime this October.

Download the Comment Form

If you don't have time to attend the next meeting, you can download a comment form here...


You can either mail it to the district, or e-mail it.

Mail it to...

Menifee Union School District
30205 Menifee Road
Menifee, CA 92584

Or e-mail it to: ms3-comments@menifeeusd.org

You basically have the rest of this month, and all of next month, to submit your comments.

Cityhood Inauguration - Save the Date

October 1, 2008 is the day when Menifee officially becomes a city.

There will be an inaugural event that day, and everyone in the city is invited.

The event comprises of two parts...

  1. The official inauguration, starting at 5:30pm, which is a city council meeting, to be held at Bell Mountain Middle School. There will be all kinds of formalities. An honor guard from Riverside National Cemetery, the boy scouts, the girl scouts, the whole bit. All you have to do is show up. The Californian reported last week that a "surprise commemorative item" will be given out to attendees, so make sure you get yours. There will also be guest books so that attendees names will be stored in the city's archives as being part of this historic event.

  2. The post-game party, starting at 7:30pm, to be held at Menifee Lakes Country Club. There's going to be free food for everyone, and not just cheap stuff, but some really good chow, including dessert, all free. There will be a champagne toast, and a photographer on hand to get your picture taken, which is also free. A live band will be there, and the decor is supposed to look pretty spiffy.
You MUST RSVP for the party, because they need to know how much food to provide. They'll be checking RSVPs at the door. To RSVP, call (951) 639-0239, or e-mail menifeeinauguration@yahoo.com. Provide your name, affiliation if any, phone number, and e-mail address, and the number of people in your party. Again, everyone in the city is invited.

There's no dress code noted for the party, but you might want to put on your best t-shirt and shorts.

You must RSVP before September 19, 2008 (only a few weeks away).

Bell Mountain Middle School
28525 La Piedra Road
Menifee, CA 92584
(map link)

Menifee Lakes Country Club
29875 Menifee Lakes Drive
Menifee, CA 92584
(map link)

I've attended some of the inauguration meetings, and thus far much of the services, materials and supplies are being donated. It's not like everything is being paid for by the city. One gal is hand-making all the table cloths. A local jazz band is providing background music. Nurseries are lending plants for decoration. The photographer is a local guy here in Menifee. It's all an old-fashioned community effort where the people who live in this city are pooling their talents together to make it a memorable event.

Everyone ought to attend to just make all of their efforts worthwhile.

Next City Council Meeting

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27, at Mt San Jacinto College, in the Learning Resource Center, Community Room #105.

  • 5:00pm - 6:30pm - Public session, a study session on the roles of City Manager and City Council, Standing Committees, Advisory Commissions.

  • 6:30pm - 7:00pm - Closed session, city council to continue negotiating on acquiring real property.

  • 7:00pm - Public session, the main city council meeting.

Jeff Stone will make an appearance to announce upcoming community events, perhaps the Fall Festival. There's also going to be some discussion on creating a letter of intent on leasing office space. And some talk about the cityhood inauguration event.

Below is the link for the agenda, in PDF...


Foreclosure Fever

C'mon Menifee; we've all seen it. That empty home on our street. If not your street, than the next block over. That foreclosure in your neighborhood. It has hit this area even harder than many of the rest of the nation. But what can we do?
When you purchased your home, you made an investment not just within your property lines, but an investment in your neighborhood, in Menifee itself. You said to the rest of the world, "I believe Menifee is an up and coming area. I believe it will grow! I believe it will be a wonderful place to raise my children." Now you are disappointed and disheartened to see the heartless home in your neighborhood; heartless because it's residents couldn't meet up to their end of the deal. But don't dismay.
Real estate has a certain ebb and flow, a ying and yang, that will never falter. The tide goes out, sure, and we are all upside down in our equity right now. But just as certain as the tide went out, the tide will return. You can bank on it. You already have.
What can you do? Make another investment in your home, your street, your neighborhood, in Menifee. Keep that foreclosure from looking like a foreclosure. Pick up the newspapers, flyers and handbills the solicitors drop. Keep trash out of the yard. If your hose can reach, water the lawn, maybe even mow the yard if you can. How is this your investment? Because we all want to attract the best neighbor possible. When your new neighbors move in, (and they will) don't you want them to be just like you? Someone who cares about their home, their neighborhood and Menifee? I know I do.

No Correlation Between Campaign Funding and Project Approvals

Borre Winckel, executive director of the Building Industry Association of Southern California's Riverside County chapter, was quoted in the Press Enterprise recently by saying that there's no evidence city council members grant favors to developers that donate money to their election campaigns...
"There's never been a correlation between campaign funding and getting more (project) approvals," he said. "There's no evidence that if one is a campaign donor, your projects get approved."
So then if developers are giving money away without expecting a return on investment, how about they give me some?

Boundary Changes Coming to Menifee Middle Schools

Menifee Union School District is planning to change the attendance boundaries for its middle schools.

The opening of its third middle school in August 2009 is what's driving the need to redefine boundaries.

As of this moment, the district doesn't have any proposed boundaries.

The goal of this meeting is to gather input from the public on what their wishes and concerns are. Betti Cadmus, the district's public information officer says that the school board will be taking all public comments to heart.

If your child is preparing to attend middle school next year, now is your time to speak out on which school you'd like him/her to attend, or forever hold your peace.

The new middle school will be located off of McCall Blvd, east of the I-215, by the corner of Sherman Rd and Chambers Ave.

There will be two meetings...

  • August 28, 2008 (Thursday) - Menifee Valley Middle School, 5:00pm to 6:00pm

  • September 2, 2008 (Tuesday) - Bell Mountain Middle School, 5:00pm to 6:00pm
It appears to me that if you live in far northern and far southern part of the district, there isn't much discussion on which school you'll attend. It's those students living in the center of district, perhaps along Newport Rd, that could swing either way into one of the three schools.

Below is a map of the existing boundaries for Menifee Valley Middle School (purple), and Bell Mountain Middle School (orange)...

Menifee Middle School Boundaries Map
Click map to enlarge

  • I-215 Freeway is the boundary separating the two existing middle schools

  • It almost looks as if Newport Rd could be a theoretical boundary defining the new middle school. However, much of the community north of Newport Rd, and west of I-215, is 55+, and may not provide enough to students to create a balance between the three schools.

  • The new middle school could create a lot of traffic along Lindenberger Rd, and perhaps even Antelope Rd (going over the hill past Ryland Oasis).

  • The new City of Menifee needs to complete Menifee Rd, at Simpson Rd, to alleviate traffic along Lindenberger, and prevent traffic from building up along Antelope.

EMWD Receives $4.9 Million Grant

The Eastern Municipal Water District, our local water district, today announced that they received a $4.9 million grant from the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA).

The grant money is actually EMWD's share of a $25 million grant awarded to SAWPA by the State Water Resources Control Board. The money is to be used for projects that fall within the Santa Ana River Watershed. The $25 million actually comes from the Proposition 50 water bond to help water district reduce their reliance on imported water.

The EMWD said it would use the money to help offset the cost of its already existing project to expand its San Jacinto Regional Water Reclamation Facility. This facility is one of five such facilities that the district operates to capture runoff water, treat it, and then deliver it to parks, golf courses, and other customers who buy reclaimed water. Reclaimed water can be used for anything but consumption.

The San Jacinto facility currently processes about 8 million gallons of reclaimed water per day, with a total capacity of 11 million. The expansion project will boost that capacity to 27 million.

The water district has plans in place to boost the capacity for all five of its reclamation facilities, including the one in Menifee (La Ladera Rd and Honey Run Rd).

Attendance Rises at Menifee Union School District

During the school budget meetings six months ago, declining attendance figures were partly to blame for Menifee Union School District's budget shortfall.

But in the past several weeks, attendance is climbing.

Betti Cadmus, the public information officer for the district, reports that week after week, student enrollment is on the rise...

Jul 17th - 8,442 students
Jul 24th - 8,455
Jul 31st - 8,466
Aug 07th - 8,497
Aug 14th - 8,536

Betti credits new families moving into Menifee as the primary reason.

Each student that attends brings in thousands of dollars each year for the district.

The home foreclosures and short sales have perhaps reached a saturation point where Menifee is looking very attractive to those in higher rent communities in San Diego and Orange Counties. Or at least, that's my take anyways.

All these younger students moving in will make it tougher for unification to become reality. Probably the biggest reason why Menifee Union couldn't bring Paloma Valley High School into its fold is because we couldn't qualify for state financial assistance. In order to qualify, 25% of the total students in the newly unified district had to be Paloma Valley High students. We had something like 23.9% at the last unification meeting in June. Now with more K-8 students coming in, that percentage will likely drop further.

Note: The Californian reported on this same news last week, but said that enrollment is down, when compared to the same time last year.

Phoeba Irey, MUSD Candidate Statement

The following is a statement from Phoeba Irey, candidate for Menifee School Board...
I have been a public school teacher for nearly 40 years, the last two years were as a Reading Consultant at Menifee Elementary. I was president of the state organization, Reading Specialists of California, from 1993 to 1996. In April, 2008 I earned a Masters in Governance Certificate from the California State School Boards Association.

My husband, John Irey, and I have been married 45 years. We have three children and five grandchildren. Our daughter, Shelly Whelen, teaches first grade at Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary. Three of our grandchildren went through the Menifee school system and have now graduated from Paloma High. All three are currently enrolled in college.

During my four years on the Menifee school board I have been successful in helping to:
  1. Get approval to switch to a single track.

  2. Get the unification process started.

  3. Save and expand the elementary music program.

  4. Save most student transportation.

  5. Contract with "We Tip" which has resulted in reducing vandalism.

  6. Get solar panels installed at MVMS which have produced approximately $11,000 worth of electricity since April, 2008.

  7. Get seatbelts installed on all Menifee Union buses.

  8. Encouraged best practices in teaching.

  9. Support better communication at all levels.

  10. Encourage schools to apply to become California Distinguished Schools. (Three Menifee Schools have been honored as California Distinguished Schools in the past four years.)

  11. Save the district approximately $8,000 a year by choosing not to use the district's health plan.
If reelected, I will:
  1. Keep working for Excellence in Education for all students.

  2. Encourage schools to keep websites up to date.

  3. Work for a smooth transition to single track.

  4. Listen to community concerns.

  5. Continue to support the unification process.
Please Vote IREY for Excellence in Education.

"What's Your Gripe" on Menifee Valley Talk Radio

Therese Daniels chats about "What's Your Gripe" this evening on Menifee Valley Talk Radio...

Media lies, censorship and convolution of the news? HOA Power Abuse? Not enough good restaurants? Taxes too high? Too much trivial code enforcement? More youth activities? Obama? McCain? Useless age restricted communities? The declining economy? The was in Real Estate? Lenders? Homeless people? Irag? Child abuse? The usual "stuff"!?

For those of you who have been following this program since we began with thunder and lightening last May, you know I have plenty of gripes. Among my most well known are the abuse of power of HOA's, the stupidity of age restriction in non gated communities, the corruption of politicians, the watered down pudding the media calls news, and my latest favorite is Obama-nobama-pompous windbag. Airing gripes is part of the reason I created Menifee Valley Talk Radio. I discovered often what bothers me bothers you. With that in mind, it occurred to me if we shared ideas we might also discover solutions. So don't forget to listen tonight and call in with your favorite gripe!
She says she'll have a surprise guest speaker.

Free Children's Concert - August 26, 2008

Menifee Valley Moms and Kids, a local meetup group, is hosting a free childrens concert featuring Hullabaloo Band, Tuesday, August 26th at La Paloma Park. Get there early for a good spot. The show starts right at 10:30am.

Jerry Bowman, MUSD Candidate Statement

The following is a statement from Jerry Bowman, candidate for Menifee School Board...

I would like to formally use this statement to announce my candidacy for the Menifee Union School Board.

I am proud to say that I have been recently appointed as a Trustee, to fill Mr. Fred Twyman’s remaining term on the Board, necessitated by his resignation. I am currently meeting with the District leadership and visiting all of our outstanding schools in order to quickly get up to speed.

As a parent, a retired educator, and currently an Educational Consultant, I bring over 30 years of experience, along with the understanding and commitment necessary to be a valuable member of the Menifee Union School Board.

I have a Master of Arts in Education and hold a California Standard Life Teaching Credential with specialization in Secondary Education. (Psychology, Sociology, and Mathematics) I also work, as a consultant, with other school districts and schools (Both Elementary and Secondary) to help implement Professional Learning Communities, Improve Student Achievement, address AYP and API concerns, and provide teacher training.

I am a proud resident of the new City of Menifee, a proud U.S. Army Veteran (82nd Airborne Division), and a proud father of three daughters and one granddaughter. I have one daughter (Taylor) who is in middle school, one daughter (Alyssa) who is in high school, and one daughter (Jenna) who is a high school teacher/leader.

My experience has taught me that all decisions made in education must address the "Whole Student" and be based on improving the student's achievement, experiences, and future. If we do not "Put Students First", then we will have missed the mark.

In Menifee we have several issues that need to be addressed:

  1. Future expansion, financial well being, and unification.

  2. The issue of student transfers and transportation.

  3. Future population increases over the next 15 years.

  4. Guaranteeing that all students receive an education that is equal to or better than is provided in surrounding districts, regardless of which Menifee school they attend.
In my opinion this is accomplished by continuing to:

  1. Hire the most qualified teachers.

  2. Work at improving the quality of the education our students receive in Menifee.

  3. Listen to the concerns of the community and make decisions accordingly, sometimes case by case.

  4. Pursuing the work towards unification.
We need the Menifee Union School District, to be where students want to transfer to, not from!

"Put Students First" on Election Day! Vote for Jerry Bowman.


Ruby Tuesday Coming to Menifee

Ruby Tuesday MenifeeThe Press Enterprise has a piece about Ruby Tuesday coming to several locations in the IE, including Menifee...

http://www.pe.com/business/local/ stories/PE_Biz_S_ruby12.174a110.html
The San Bernardino location is slated to be followed in December by a Temecula restaurant, with openings scheduled for 2009 in Chino Hills, Fontana, Hemet, Menifee and Wildomar.
Apparently, the Menifee location won't be opening until 4th quarter, 2009. The article doesn't mention the exact location, but I believe it's going to be next door to the 76 station, on Newport Rd.

I've never mentioned Ruby Tuesday here on Menifee 24/7, but I know a couple of commenters have posted it here.

Ruby Tuesday is just an American fare chain restaurant, similar to a Marie Callendar's, Coco's, or Applebees, except it's trying to be more modern, marketing itself to the younger, more health conscious eater. It pitches itself to the 20-30 year old singles, and young urban professionals, and focuses on organic greens, hormone-free chicken, trans fat–free oil, organic teas, and all natural lemonades. I'm not sure if Menifee provides that kind of demographic, yet.

The PE article goes on to say that restaurant chains like Ruby Tuesday is hitting hard times with the economic slow down. However, I continue to read reports that the economy is expected to bottom out by the end of this year, and that 2009 things are going to go back up.

But I wonder if Temecula and Murrieta will continue to struggle now that Menifee residents no longer need to spend money in those towns, with Countryside Marketplace going in, and several other shopping centers coming to Menifee as well.

Randall Freeman, MUSD Candidate Statement

The following is a statement from Randall Freeman, candidate for Menifee School Board...
I have filed papers to seek election to the Governing Board in the November 4th election to fill Mr. Twyman’s seat on the Menifee Union School District Governing Board. I am requesting that you consider supporting me for this very important position.

My wife, Karen, and I have lived in the Menifee area since our marriage in 1993. Our four daughters are attending schools in the MUSD – Daniela will be attending Bell Mountain Middle School and Sarah, Holly, and Megan attend Freedom Crest Elementary School. My desire is to serve the school district in which they are students as a volunteer. This is an excellent way in which to do so.

I am a parent and a veteran educator. I have served as an elementary teacher in a neighboring district for what will soon be my 20th year with them. My particular area of expertise is in the area of early childhood education, expertise that I believe will well serve the Governing Board. I am a National Board Certified Teacher, Early Childhood Generalist (2002) and am well into my fourth year of my doctoral program in early childhood education. I will complete my doctorate in May 2010.

I am a contributing member in the local community. Since 1998, as Public Schools Chairman for the local Masonic Lodge, I have supervised several programs which have benefited our children and our schools in the MUSD. We have a Child ID Program which has identified over 4,000 children free of charge. We have provided backpacks to over 400 kindergarten students in the MUSD and have done cornerstones for several of the Menifee USD schools, including Freedom Crest Elementary School and Oak Meadows Elementary School.

It is my desire to better serve our community, especially our children. I can think of no better way in which to do this than to serve as a member of the Governing Board. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Randall Freeman
If you're a candidate for a school district that serves Menifee, submit your statement, of any length, and I'll publish it here.

Prayer at City Council Meetings

I received the following comment from an anonymous person who seems against having prayer spoken at our city council meetings...
I was watching the U tube video on the new Menifee city council meeting. I was really shocked that they included a prayer. Are we going to be a city or a local club! I believe that if we are a bonified city - we should have separation of church & state. No prayer can cover all the beliefs of the new citizens of Menifee. I have been to other cities council meetings - and they do not pray.

The new city council should respect the beliefs of all the citizens of Menifee and omit the prayer.
Here's my take on this...

I think the prayers that John Denver has been saying at the start of each meeting is just fine. First, these prayers are not endorsed by the council, because none of the council members have voted to officially endorse them. These are not official city prayers.

Second, no one is being to forced the bow their heads and say, "Amen", when Denver says a prayer. You just need to afford every American some respect when they express their religious beliefs. Everyone has a belief of some kind, whether it's a belief in God, a belief that there is nothing, or even if they'd like to believe but don't know what. If you were to express that thought in public, you'd want your space and time to do so also.

The commenter also brought up "respect", and all I can say is that respect is a two-way street. If you want someone to respect you, you have to respect them. I'm sure if you recognize Denver's wishes to express his religious beliefs, he'll recognize yours.

Lastly, this commenter brought up the subject of "Separation of Church and State". I'll challenge that person to find this statement in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or any other federal document. It simply doesn't exist.

That statement was made by Thomas Jefferson, while he was President, in a letter that he wrote to a church, promising them that the United States would not endorse any church as its official state church.

For that matter, the City Council, and the City of Menifee, is not endorsing Denver's prayers as being official. They're simply recognizing his First Amendment rights. Every Menifee resident can do the same thing, by using their three minutes of public comment. Denver gets the priviledge of doing this at the start of the council meeting because he earned that priviledge on election day.

Menifee Government Watchdog in the Works

Bill Zeidlik, who has been actively involved in the community for a long time, passed out a flier at this evening's city council meeting announcing a community forum to be held on Wednesday, August 20, at 7:00pm, located at the Menifee Rural Center (on Haun Rd, north of Garbani).

His flier went on to discuss the need to create a "network of study groups, action groups and service groups, that work together to create a better Menifee". His goal is to hold all elected officials accountable to the public.

He goes on to describe his tactics, which is based on "grassroots organizing", and includes among other things, writing to the local newspapers, publishing websites, running paid ads, and conducting petitions.

It sounds like he's trying to create a Menifee version of "Rescue Murrieta", the group that successfully forced a recall of some Murrieta councilmembers a few years back.

Menifee City Council Meeting - Aug 13, 2008

I attended the city council meeting this evening.

There were three sessions. The first was actually a public workshop, starting at 5:00pm, where the City Attorney taught a course on the Brown Act. I didn't attend this.

The second was closed session, where the council met with real estate agents on acquiring property for city buildings.

The third session, was the "main" city council meeting, starting at 7:00pm. This session was moderately attended, not as heavily as the previous meeting of July 23.

Race for Humanity 2009

The first part of the agenda was to modify the agenda to allow Lori Stone, Jeff Stone's sister, some lengthy time in promoting her event, Race for Humanity, which takes place on April 25, 2009. It's goal is to raise money for some of the local charities. She passed out fliers detailing the event, and urged people to participate. She also wanted to ask the City Council for its participation in granting permits to close off some city streets, to accomodate the 5k & 10K run.

Because the run goes around Menifee Lakes, streets in and out of the Lakes will have to closed to protect the runners. This will be the third year for Race for Humanity.

Future City Council Meeting Location

The Council discussed where the next meeting would take place. They all agreed that the next meeting should take place at the same location, at Mt San Jacinto College. The date will be August 27, Wednesday. However, Darci Kuenzi appealed to have to the meeting after that, Sept 3, at Quail Valley Elementary School. She cited the good gesture it would create on behalf of the Council to bring the meeting to Quail Valley, and give the residents of Menifee and Sun City an opportunity to see what a great community Quail Valley has going.

Public Comments

Lesa Sobek, Director of Public Affairs for the Menifee stake of The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to welcome the City Council and the public to partake in the church's free pancake breakfast in celebration of their new church on La Piedra Rd. She cited some statistics on how big the LDS religion is, saying that it's the 4th largest Christian faith in the USA, with 800,000 members just in California alone, and with 6,000 in Menifee. Considering one city council member won his seat by less than 100 votes, it might be a good idea to attend.

Teddy Hamui, who works for Menifee Partners, a locally-based commercial development company, addressed the Council by extending a handshake. His company is building an 88,000 sq. ft. commercial retail center on the south-east corner of Scott & Haun roads, containing mostly small shops, like fast-food, haircutters, sandwiches, etc. Since the city is incorporating, his company now needs to establish a friendly relationship with the city council in order to get permits.

Ron Ulibarri, a candidate for Menifee School Board, capitalized on the opportunity for some free publicity, by introducing his candidacy to the audience. Ron is a former teacher, and currently runs a real estate business, Infinite Realty & Loans. I asked him to send me to a description of himself and his background, which I'll publish. And by the way, any candidate for school board that serves Menifee is welcome to send me a description, as lengthy as they want to write it, and I'll publish it.

Rob Hagenour (sp?), who is with Helix Environmental Consulting, addressed the Council by reminding them that as a government body charged with approving development projects, they'll need to obtain environmental impact studies, and that his company just so happens to specialize in conducting those studies. He left the council with some brochures.

Chuck Ruetter, a past board member with the Sun City Civic Association, and who described himself as being at one time an active member of the cityhood drive, asked the Council when they planned to define the city council districts. Mayor Edgerton deferred to the City Attorney, who said that it was something they would begin addressing sometime after October 1, 2008 (which could be anywhere between October 1, 2008 and the next 100 years). Ruetter replied back that he became opposed to the cityhood effort after he learned that so many people wanted to elect councilmembers at large. But since the voters approved districts instead, he's now gung-ho with cityhood.

Louis Mazei, a previous candidate for city council, addressed the Council by saying that he supports John Denver's statements from the previous meeting, and that he supports Jason Reeves' opinion piece published in The Californian. I'm not exactly sure what statement from Denver he's referring to, particularly since he left the meeting immediately after finishing his address. But I'm guessing it had to do with Denver's opinions over his election to city council and his continuing leadership role with the Chamber of Commerce. Louis went on to ask the Council to instruct the local Post Office to issue a directive advising Sun City, Quail Valley, and Romoland residents that they can now use "Menifee" as their mailing address.

Super Senior Program

Organizers of the Super Senior Program, a program run by the Kay Ceniceros Center, that pairs seniors with high school kids willing to help them out with stuff, asked the City Council for an official endorsement of their program. Darci Kuenzi made a motion to give the Program the city's stamp of approval, and the rest of the councilmembers followed through. The Super Senior Program is now officially endorsed by the City Council.

If you have a charity that needs an endorsement, it sounds like the city is handing them out.

The City Needs a Bank

City Manager George Wentz addressed the council asking if they have any comments or concerns about selecting the city's official bank. His financial assistant, Gary Thompson, put together an RFP (request for proposal), which he will be sending out to local banks. The council didn't have any, and so it sounds like Thompson will be looking for a bank.

Interim City Clerk

George Wentz also asked the Council to relieve Scott Mann from his duties as the Interim City Clerk. Wentz will assume the task of hiring a permanent city clerk. Mann reported eariler this afternoon that the previous e-mail addresses he set up (MenifeeCityClerk@mchsi.com) and (mannformenifee@mchsi.com) are no longer working, since he now has a new one (smann@cityofmenifee.us).

Interim City Treasurer

Wentz also said that he now needs to hire an Interim City Treasurer, which will take on more duties on financial matters. He wants to appoint Gary Thompson, who currently consults for him. Thompson is the guy who prepared the fiscal analysis for the Menifee Valley Incorporation Committee.

City Manager's Report

Wentz continued on to say that he's working on building the city's new website. It should be online by this Monday.

He'll also be attending the California League of Cities meeting on Sept 23-24.

The issue with the County Code violations, that the County levied on a bunch of Menifee-area businesses off of Zeiders Rd has been resolved. Basically, the matter has been dropped, to sum it up.

Wentz also met with the Sheriff to discuss law enforcement in the new city. This is probably mostly about law enforcement in the interim until after the city decides whether to contract permanently, or build their own department.

He also mentioned working on getting liability insurance for the new city, and meeting with folks from the State Board of Equalization (sales tax revenue).

City Councilmember Comments

Scott Mann gave his thanks to the city staff for their hard work.

Darci Kuenzi asked that the Council begin looking for the permanent meeting location after October 1, assuming the city doesn't have a permanent building secured by then.

Fred Twyman asked that the Council develop a timeline on creating more community advisory groups.

John Denver asked that the Council host a contest to create the City's official logo, perhaps inviting local students to submit artwork, and offering a prize for the winner.

Wallace Edgerton expressed his gratitude to everyone who attended for showing their interest in the new city.

Free Pancake Breakfast at New Church

Menifee Mormon ChurchThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is pleased to announce their new church located on La Piedra, right across the street from Mt San Jacinto College.

To celebrate, they're offering a free pancake breakfast on Saturday, September 6, 2008, from 8:00am to 11:00am. They're also doing a basketball free-throw contest; I'm not sure what the prize will be.

In addition, they'll be running presentations on Emergency Preparedness, Employment, Building Stronger Marriage & Family Relationships, Parenting For All Ages, Family History, and Facing the Trials of Life.

The public is also invited to tour the new church and see all the facilities.

Menifee City Council Meeting Tonight

The Menifee City Council is holding a public meeting tonight.

It will be a three part meeting, where two of the parts are open to the public.

1. (Public) - 5:00pm to 6:30pm - Study Session, conducted by our Interim City Attorney, to explain the Brown Act.

2. (Closed) - 6:30pm to 7:00pm - City Council to discuss details on acquiring real property.

3. (Public) - 7:00pm to ? - City Council holds its regular city council meeting.

The public meetings will be held at Mt San Jacinto College, at the Learning Resource Center Building, Community Room #105.

A copy of the agenda can be downloaded here...


Third High School Planned for Menifee

The Californian reports that a location is being looked at for the site of a third high school within the City of Menifee...

The land is east of Interstate 215 in the southern part of the 180-square-mile Perris Union High School District, the boundaries of which dip into Murrieta and end south of Scott Road.
But it looks like it's going to take several years before this school is built.

I know some parents living on the east side of the 215 that are not very happy about sending their kids to Heritage High, when Paloma seems closer.

Menifee City Council Campaign Contributions

The Press Enterprise published some more facts about campaign contributions into the Menifee City Council....


They looked at more contributions from developers into the hands of Darcy Kuenzi, Scott Mann, and John Denver.

They noted that Wallace Edgerton took in no contributions, and Fred Twyman didn't report any because he had less than the $1,000 reporting threshold.

The Press Enterprise also put some emphasis on the fact that GST Consulting contributed money to Kuenzi's campaign, and that the Menifee City Council later hired GST Consulting to be their financial consultant.

But I don't think there's really anything to read into that. GST Consulting was the same company that did the fiscal analysis for the Menifee Valley Incorporation Committee, as well as the Wildomar Incorporation Now group. I tend to think that GST Consulting would have been hired anyways, if they didn't contribute.

The Building Industry Association of Southern California contributed quite well to the campaigns of Kuenzi, Mann, and Denver. The BIASC is a lobbyist that represents the interests of home builders, with some 2,100 builders represented. You gotta wonder what kind of return on investment will the BIASC be getting back from those three.