Big Band Dinner Dance - Saturday, November 1

Menifee Valley Athletic Club is hosting a big band dinner dance this Saturday, November 1, 2008, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm.

It's open to the public; you don't have to be a member of the Athletic Club.

However, tickets cost $55.00 per person.

The Armand Blais Orchestra will have its full band there, belting out live tunes from the big band swing era.

Contact Menifee Valley Athletic Club for details: (951) 246-3530

Menifee Valley Athletic Club
29700 Bradley Road
Sun City, CA 92586

Big Band Dinner Dance




New Child Care Centers Opening in Menifee

Here's a press release from Child Development Incorporated concerning some new child care centers opening up in Menifee...
Grand Opening of CDC School Age Programs in Menifee School District Presented by Child Development Incorporated (CDI/CDC)

Menifee, CA October 27, 2008: Child Development Inc. (CDI) announces the grand opening of three new child care centers on the campuses of Southshore, Callie Kirkpatrick and Freedom Crest Elementary Schools in the Menifee Union School District. The centers serve children ages 4.9 through 11 years of age for before and after school. Specialty camps are offered during holidays and off track. Scholarships are available to families who qualify based on income. For more information, call 949-476-2445.

CDI has over 35 years experience working in Early Care and Education. We operate 160 Child Development Centers throughout the State of California, serving 15,000 children. We partner with over 30 school districts to provide before and after school academic and educational enrichment and kindergarten readiness programs to families. Our programs are funded by both parent fees and the Child Development Division of the California Department of Education and are licensed by the state. Our centers all follow Title 5 requirements, the most rigorous health and safety and educational requirements for child development centers in California. CDI programs are individualized, unique and specific to the needs of each of our local communities. Our commitment to building authentic connections with families and communities are of highest importance to CDI as we see this as essential in achieving excellence in our programs. We are like part of your family.

Join us for celebrations at each of the centers during the week of October 27th.

Monday October 27th, 2:00-3:30pm: Ice Cream Social
Tuesday October 28th, 7:30-8:30am: Bagel Bites
Wednesday October 29th, 2:00-3:30pm: Friendship Salad
Thursday October 30th, 7:30-8:30am: Hot cocoa, Coffee & Muffins
Friday October 31st, 1:15-3:30pm: Fall Festival & Raffle

Please contact us for more information and/or locations at our Regional Office of Child Development Incorporated (CDI/CDC) 949-476-2445 or visit our web site at www.cdicdc.org.




Craft Fair & Chili Cook-Off - November 8

Susan Schulz writes to say that there will be a craft fair and chili cook-off a couple of weeks from now at Eagle Ridge Church, November 8, 2008, from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Eagle Ridge Church
25891 Holland Rd., Menifee.
(corner of Murrieta/Holland Road).

For more information call Rosemary at (951) 246-3170.

Vendor Space Available.




Valley Health System - Board Meeting - Oct 27, 2008

The board of directors from Valley Health System are meeting on Monday, October 27, 2008, 7:30pm, at Menifee Valley Medical Center, in the education center. The education center is located by the cafeteria.




Menifee Junior All American Micro's Div. 1

Congratulations to all the players and Coaches for winning their Division. Good Luck in the Playoff's




MENIFEE VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE
Spring 2009-Baseball Sign-Ups
The following dates are scheduled:
Oct. 25th…..10am-2pm…Wheatfield (Menifee/La Piedra Rd)
Nov. 8th…..10am-2pm…Albertsons (Newport/Murrieta Rd)
Nov. 22th…..10am-2pm…Ralphs (Antelope/Newport Rd)
Dec. 6th …..10am-2pm…Albertsons (Newport/Murrieta Rd)
Dec. 13th …..10am-2pm…Menifee Market Place (Haun Rd)
Player’s League Age 5-16
(Player’s Age as of April 30, 2009)
AGES NOV. PRICES DEC. PRICES JAN. PRICES
5-7 $95.00 $105.00 $115.00
8-12 $105.00 $115.00 $125.00
13-16 $115.00 $125.00 $135.00

Family Discount: First Child is full price, each sibling thereafter will receive a $10.00 discount.

MARK YOUR CALENDERS:
*Free Player’s Clinic (Sign-ups) Wheatfield- Jan. 10th 8am-2pm
*Tryouts (8yrs & up) Wheatfield- Jan 17th 8am-4pm & 18th 1pm-5pm & Jan 24th 8am-4pm
*Hat Night (meet your coach) –Jan 30th : Tball, Farm, A 6pm / AA, AAA, Majors, Juniors 8pm
*Opening Day and Pictures @ Wheatfield- February 28th
*Storm Night- April 25th

Vendors interested in participating in our Opening Day Ceremonies, Please email mvllbaseball@aol.com
Menifee Valley Little League website:
www.eteamz.com/mvll

Hotline: 951-679-2882




Menifee School Board Candidates Interviewed

I got together with the folks from Menifee Live, to produce some video interviews of the candidates running for Menifee Union school board. Five of the six candidates agreed to do the interviews, with Victor Giardinelli declining.

The goal of the video interviews was to let you see the candidates, hear them, and observe their personalities, mannerisms, body language, and anything else you can't get from reading an article. The idea is to help you get a sense of the real person behind the name. And since most of Menifee missed the Candidates Forum last week, this will let you see and hear the candidates on your own time.

Much of the work in arranging the interviews, taping, editing, and producing the videos was done by Menifee Live. I was just the guy reading off the questions.

Click on an image to start a video...

Manolito Vitug
 
Randall Freeman
 
Jerry Bowman
 
Phoeba Irey
 
Ron Ulibarri




Heritage High School - Field Competition

There's a field competition at Heritage High School this Saturday, October 25, from 1:30pm to 9:00pm.

Click on the flyer below to see the full size...

heritage high school field competition




Menifee City Council Meeting - Oct 21, 2008

This evening was the Menifee City Council meeting. You can find the agenda posted here...

http://www.cityofmenifee.us/agendas_minutes/20081021_Agenda.pdf

There was a workshop at 6:00pm hosted by Larry Ross, a principal planner with the County. He was there to give a presentation on how the County goes about making changes to the zoning. The main meeting started at 7:00pm.

Planning Workshop

In addition to Larry Ross, there was also Ron Goldman, also with the County Planning department. I didn't get Ron's title, but he was talking like he was Larry's superior. Both of them gave a pretty good description of how they go about changing the county's general plan and specific plans. The presentation gave the city council an opportunity to figure out how to create their own similar process.

Sounds like there's quite a bit of detail, but Larry and Goldman provided some insight on why the County does what it does when it comes to changing the zoning and why things tend to take so long.

They carved up the entire county into "Foundation Areas". Foundation areas are basically the larger, more general zones. They have five different types, Agriculture, Rural, Rural Community, Open Space, and Community Development. Every plot of land managed by the County falls into one of these foundation areas. Within each foundation area, there can be several specific plans. Specific plans can be created for a shopping center, a housing development, a park, an animal preserve, etc.

Generally, the county uses a two-step approval process on all requests for planning changes. They'll review a request for a change, and then either authorize that developer to move forward, or deny the request outright. If they authorize them to move forward, it's not meant as a final approval, but only to let the developer take their plans into more detail, before finally getting the official approval. It's kinda like the County's way of saying, "Ooooh that sounds good, tell me more!".

They also said that State laws limit counties and cities to making no more than four zoning changes per year. That change could include anything from as small as one person wanting to build a new home, to a developer wanting to build shopping mall. So what they do is bundle up a bunch of these zoning change requests and submit them as one giant change. Hence, it can take several months to get an approval from the county on a zoning change request.

John Denver asked the planners if there was anything requiring the City to honor all of the existing agreements that the County had made with developers. Elizabeth Martyn, the city attorney answered that one with a long drawn out response, but basically saying, "No". There seems to be plenty of tools in the form of laws that allows cities to back out of previously agreed-to deals. Each deal has be to examined on a case-by-case basis.

Clean Up on Trumble Road

Darcy Kuenzi mentioned that the Riverside County Economic Development Agency is seeking grant money from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up some land along Trumble Road, that's at the north-western most point of the city's limits. That land had once been an auto dealership.

She asked the city council to send a letter of support to accompany this request.

Public Comments

Anne Pica - Advised the council on the creation of city council districts. She pressed the council to establish the district boundaries, rather than put the matter back to the voters for a second time. She threatened to take legal action if the council put it back on the ballot. The city attorney responded that at the next council meeting, there will be a workshop specifically on districts.

Grant Yoder - Started off by saying that the 3 minutes given to a commenter wasn't enough time to express everything someone needed to say. He also complained that the city has not done a good job in explaining the details of the city's newly adopted reimbursement ordinance. He also went on to say that the city is wasting too much time on petty matters like city branding, and credit cards.

Bill Zeidlik - Seemed to advance Grant's comments by saying that the city needs to more advance materials on upcoming agenda items. He mentioned that the city doesn't publish its staff reports anywhere. He went on to press the subject of districts, saying that "we have lifestyle differences" and that "we have six distinct communities". He also asked for advance materials on study sessions so that he can prepare for comments.

Chuck Reutter - Asked a couple of questions, one about a rumor he heard that a developer is planning to build some low-income apartments in Sun City on the corner of Bradley and Cherry Hills. The City Manager responded that he's heard of similar talk, but no such plans have been submitted. Interestingly, I've seen plans for a shopping center there. He also asked the council about a group called, "Blackwater" in the Romoland area. Darcy Kuenzi mentioned that she'd explain that to him after the meeting.

Columbus Day Now a City Holiday

Scott Mann proposed that the city include Columbus Day as an official city holiday, increasing its number of holidays to 12. The council approved this.

Representatives Appointed to Groups

The Mayor identified the which council members will be appointed as represenatives to various outside agencies...

  • Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) - Kuenzi, Mann (alternate)


  • Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) - Mann, Denver (alternate)


  • Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Agency (WRCRCA) - Denver, Kuenzi (alternate)


  • Riverside Transit Authority (RTA) - Edgerton, Kuenzi (alternate)


  • Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency (RCHCA) - Tywman, Kuenzi (alternate)


  • Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) - Twyman, Kuenzi (alternate)


  • Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California (PARSAC) - Denver, Mann (alternate)
At this point, Bill Zeidlik stood up to ask that the council add a member of the public to act as an additional representative for SCAG, just to give Twyman a second set of eyes and ears from a resident's perspective.

Purchasing Procedures

The council adopted an additional chapter to its existing ordinance on purchasing procedures. Chapter 3.30 grants authority to the City Manager to issue RFPs (request for proposals) when hiring private contractors for jobs.

Elections

The council adopted an ordinance that aligns all future city elections with the state's existing schedule for elections. That would put November 2010 as the next date for elections.

Southern California Gas Company

The council adopted an ordinance granting The Gas Company all rights and priviledges to move forward on any projects necessary to keep gas supplied to everyone in Menifee. I was kinda confused on this, because I thought the council adopted this at the last meeting.

Roger Zeimer, who identified himself as a representative from The Gas Company, spoke before the council basically to say, "Thanks".

Student of the Month

The council agreed to involve itself in all ceremonies regarding Student of the Month awards offered by all Menifee area schools. They also agreed to issue certificates of achievement to these students. In addition, they agreed to issue proclaimations for school dedication ceremonies. Tywman noted that both he and Scott Mann attended the dedication for Southshore Elementary, and noted that other governing bodies offered proclaimations and plaques, but that the city hadn't done so. They'll be doing something for Quail Valley Elementary this October 28, and will likely hand out a belated offering to Southshore.

City Manager Report

George Wentz only reported that progress is being made on the temporary plan to open up the realigned Newport Road. He didn't offer much specifics only that he insists it will alleviate traffic.

City Council Comments

Scott Mann went on speak more about attending the dedication at Southshore Elementary and how impressed he was with the new school, the enthusiasm of the kids, and all the pomp and circumstance that went on. He urged everyone to attend the dedication for Quail Valley Elementary on October 28.

Darcy Kuenzi explained that the Riverside County Economic Development Agency has some $48 million in funds as part of the Community Development Block Grant, earmarked for "neighborhood stabilization". She wasn't sure if Menifee, being its own entity now, would qualify for any of those funds, but wanted the City Manager to make sure we didn't "fall through the cracks".

John Denver said he attended a meeting at Menifee Valley Medical Center that provides counseling to prospective brides and grooms. He said it was an absolutely wonderful program they provide, and that the city is just filled with other great programs that probably don't get enough attention.

Fred Twyman mentioned that after looking at the city's ordinances, it's possible to afford public commenters with more time than the alotted three minutes, if they feel someone has something very important to say (which I'm sure everyone has).




Electing City Council Members "From" District

When voters throughout Menifee Valley approved cityhood, they also approved a separate measure to elect city council members either "by district" instead of "at large".

But there's a third option, "from district", that may strike a 50/50 balance between those supporting and opposing districts.

Ever since the Menifee City Council first assembled on June 18, 2008, residents have been asking when the council will begin the discussion on drawing district lines. Council members in return have voiced their apprehension (or hesistation) to get this discussion started. Furthermore, council members have explained that districts open up some problems, namely...

  1. Districts must contain an equal amount of residents, and it may be difficult to draw those lines by community.


  2. Districts limit a resident's choice from voting for the best candidate across the entire city.


  3. Districts create a "taxation without representation scenario", whereby city council members from other districts can make taxation decisions on those who did not elect them.

By District versus From District

California State Law allows for cities to decide how it will elect its representatives. If the city chooses to set up city council districts, it then has a choice between "by district" and "from district".

By District is the classic example most of us are familiar with, where each district elects its own city council member.

From District is where each city council member must come from a different district, but is elected at large (across all city residents).

So for example, in the "from district" scenario, each of the five districts could produce a total of four candidates, for a total of 20 candidates across the entire city. The entire city gets to vote on all 20 candidates. But only the top vote getter in each district wins.

Thereby, the "from district" scenario negates the two arguments that district elections denies people from voting for any candidate, and that district elections sets up taxation without representation.

As I said above, California State Law already allows Menifee to have "from district" elections. Several California cities currently run their elections this way, including Alhambra, Compton, Eureka, Newport Beach, San Leandro, Santa Ana, Stockton, Lomita, and Woodside.

You can refer to California's Government Code 34871 which documents this type of council election...

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=gov&group=34001-35000&file=34870-34884

Here's the text of that law...

34871. At any municipal election, or special election held for that purpose, the legislative body may submit to the registered voters an ordinance providing for the election of members of the legislative body in any of the following ways:

(a) By districts in five, seven, or nine districts.
(b) From districts in five, seven, or nine districts.
(c) By districts in four, six, or eight districts, with an elective mayor pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 34900).
(d) From districts in four, six, or eight districts, with an elective mayor pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 34900).

The term "by districts" as used in this article shall mean election of members of the legislative body by voters of the district alone. The term "from districts" shall mean election of members of the legislative body who are residents of the district from which they are elected by the voters of the entire city. "Geographical
area making up the district" shall in the case of elections by district mean the district, and in the case of elections from districts shall mean the entire city except with respect to the residence requirements imposed by Section 34882.

That ordinance may also be qualified for the ballot by means of an initiative measure in accordance with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 9200) of Division 9 of the Elections Code.
Comments?




Menifee School Board Forum - Recap

Five of the six candidates for Menifee Union School District board showed up this evening for the scheduled public forum hosted by the local PTA. Victor Giardinelli couldn't appear due to laryngitis.

The forum was held in a format similar to the "town hall" format, where candidates took turn answering questions from the public. Betti Cadmus, the district's public information officer, moderated the event.

The meeting was sparsely attended. I counted about 30 people in the audience, and of that number about 10-12 were actually parents. Most of those parents were part of the PTA hosting the event. I think I counted only two parents who were not PTA. The other 20 or so people in the audience were employees of the school district.

I wasn't able to find out if all 20 of the employees lived in Menifee or not; it could very well be that some of them don't live in the district and may not even be eligible to vote.

The forum fielded only a total of five questions. I don't know how many of those questions were asked on the standpoint of being a parent, versus the standpoint of being an employee. But considering that much of the audience were district employees, it could very well be that some questions, if not all, were asked on the standpoint of being an employee.

Combine that with the possibility that some of those employees may not be elgible to vote in this district, I'm not really certain this forum allowed candidates to differentiate themselves from each other in the minds of parents.

It also didn't help that this forum coincided with the last Presidential Debate.

Questions and Statements

Below are the questions answers from the forum. Please take care to note that these are not the candidates actual answers, they're just my summaries and paraphrases. The only recording equipment I was able to bring with me was my pen and notepad, and therefore had to abbreviate everything to keep up...

Candidate Opening Statements

Jerry Bowman - Cited his 30 years experience in education, Masters Degree in Arts. Works as a consultant with other school districts helping them facilitate their professional learning communities. Is a US Army Vet. Says he wants to address the "whole student", meaning addressing not just their education, but helping develop their life experiences, future needs. Wants to put students first.

Randall Freeman - Cited his achievements as a leader in the local Masonic Lodge in relation to assisting the local schools. Cited his experience raising four daughters, three of them being triplets. Has taught at Val Verde School District for 20 years, and taught kindergarten for 10 years. Is the only teacher with a National Board Teacher Certification. Is working towards a doctorate towards childhood education.

Pheoba Irey - Cited her experience as a reading teacher in several states. Says she believes we have an excellent school district. Stated during her tenure as school board member, the district saw three of its schools become California Distinguished Schools. Helped the unification effort, campaigned for single track, and continue her goals for excellence in education the next four years.

Ron Ulibarri - Cited his eight years experience as a teacher, and his owning a local real estate business. Says he knows the teachers here and that helps him develop a good sense of what MUSD is. Says he has a willingness to make the district the best district in south west Riverside County. He mentioned that as a real estate broker, his clients always tell him that they're buying a home in Murrieta or Temecula because the schools are so much better there. That made him want to improve Menifee schools. Wants to pay more attention to student needs, focus on the basics, and not be too "test oriented".

Manolito Vitug - Cited his long experience working in the banking industry. Now teaches finance management at Mt San Jacinto College. Also volunteers as a reading tutor through the MUSD "Great" program. He wants to establish a revenue generating center within the school district to bring about financial stability. He wants to put more emphasis on developing the "human qualities" in children, such as Honesty and Duty, through the arts and sciences.

Questions

1. How will you better facilitate communication between board members and parents?

Bowman - Cited more timely updates on the district's website, namely publishing minutes and agenda online. Said board members need to attend more civic meetings. Assured the audience that he's very reachable via phone or e-mail.

Freeman - Says board members should always be reachable via e-mail, and that the district should have a series of recorded messages on the phone system. Members should be out in the community more often, and cited Victor Giardinelli as a good example. Says he thinks the district already does a pretty good of communicating to the public. Can make better use of the district's website.

Irey - Said during her tenure they've made the district website much more informative, and will continue to work hard at improving communication.

Ulibarri - Said the current practice of sending kids home with important communication to parents doesn't seem a sound idea. Board members need to get out into the public more often, and be more "hands on". Mentioned to need to be recognized by students; many students don't even know who the board members are.

Vitug - Cited his experience working in banks, where he would talk to the employees on the front lines, and called for something similar within the school district.

2. Which area of the district's services is untouchable in terms of balancing the school's budget?

Freeman - "The closer to the classroom, the more untouchable". Cited that 85% of a school's budget is related to personnel. Look at what services affect the students the least. Is hesitant to cut class size reduction, though noted that large classrooms are a reality. His current kindergarten class has 30 kids.

Irey - Cited last Spring's budget cuts as being a tough thing to deal with. Said that she fought to save the music program because music is what makes our district very unique. Will not cut music at all. Will not cut class size reduction. Will not cut services that impact test scores the most.

Ulibarri - Agreed with Irey on the music program. Says dealing with budget constraints is very tough. Mentioned that busing will likely be the first to go. Ulibarri largely answered this the opposite way, by citing what he'd cut first, instead of what he would not touch.

Vitug - Admitted to having little experience with school budgets. But said would draw upon the administration and the people on the front lines (teachers, parents), to assist in determining what services to keep and cut. Vitug went on to describe his process of learning, to arrive at solutions.

Bowman - Said he would look at what affects the students the least. The last thing to cut is teacher's salaries. Busing might be the first think to look at. Bowman gave very direct answers, cutting right to the chase.

3. If the California Department of Education does not approve the recently submitted Unification proposal, would you go back to the drawing board and craft a proposal that would include the unification of the Romoland Union School District, the Menifee Union School District, and part of Perris Union High School District to include Paloma Valley High School, Heritage High School, and a future third high school the City of Menifee? Why, or why not?

Irey - "No." Said she would not do this again. Cited her exhaustive efforts to get the current unification proposal to the state. Though she would help lobby for a second attempt, and support one, but would not personally involve herself in a second one. Said, "I'm too old for it".

Ulibarri - Said "yes", claiming we have to be the best we can be; always shoot for the top. Cited the current district administration as being highly skilled and reliable enough that there's no reason we can't submit a second proposal.

Vitug - Said we should look at this on a fiscal and academic standpoint, and determine if a second proposal makes sense. If so, he'll help make it happen.

Bowman - Yes he'll do a second proposal. Said the future population will be about quadruple what it is today. It's not a matter of if unification will happen, but when.

Freeman - Yes, he'd do a second proposal. Said that Fred Twyman asked him to run for school board because Freeman's support for unification is very outspoken.

(Note, none of the candidates really answered the question of unifying the Romoland, Menifee, and Perris High School districts, but only support unification in general).

4. What plans do you have to improve special education, and what specific programs will you implement?

Ulibarri - Said he didn't have experience in special education, so may not be qualified to answer.

Vitug - Said he didn't know, but feels special education is very vital to the community.

Bowman - Said it's hard to discuss specific programs, but described his process of defining the needs of special education students in our community. Also said special education should be part of the district's general program.

Freeman - "Special needs children are still children." "They are still entitled to an education as any other child". Said we must address their education needs.

Irey - "Special needs children have special needs." Described the "full inclusion program", where special needs children are integrated with the rest of the students to make them feel a part of the community.

5. Will you address the need of classified employees. What makes you the best candidate to represent the needs of classified employees?

Vitug - They are part of the overall program. "Sometimes it's the screw or bolt that keeps the wheel from turning".

Bowman - Says the entire education system needs its classified employees.

Freeman - Said classified employees are what makes the school district run. Cited an old saying, "When you go to a new school, make friends with the custodian not the principal".

Irey - Said she's most qualified because she's married to a classified employee. Said she used to sweep floors with him just so that she could be with him. Said she feels like a classified employee because of that.

Ulibarri - Said he used to be a classified employee at the Murrieta district as a campus supervisor. Said the district would fall apart without its classified employees.

Closing Statements

Jerry Bowman - All decisions made by the school board should be made on the "whole student". Wants to work towards future expansion, ensure financial well-being, and unification. Said transportation should be an immediate issue. Wants all students to get an equal and quality education. Will listen to the community.

Randall Freeman - Wants to implement a full time kindergarten in Menifee Union, and went on to cite its need and benefits. Also expressed his admiration for Victor Giardinelli, and recommended voters to make him their first choice.

Phoeba Irey - Said will keep an eye on the public's money, she will look out for you, and fight for what's right.

Ron Ulibarri - Said he's here to serve. "I love Menifee" "I've always served". Want to make Menifee Union the top district in south west Riverside County. Cited the need for unification. Said that many parents tend to reside in Murrieta because the high schools there are so strong in sports, therefore if we get Paloma Valley High, and can improve its sports program, families will want to move here instead.

Vitug - Cited the current economic situation with the mortgage crisis and the $700 billion bailout. Instead of waiting to see what happens, he wants to make Menifee Union economically self-sufficient instead of being subject to the state budget shortfalls. Said he wants to put more focus on "human virtues", turning children into better adults by giving them a sense of honesty and trustworthiness. He said while most of his family are Americans by birth, he's an American by choice. He wants to serve his community as a way of giving back.




Vendors Wanted for Christmas in Menifee

The annual "Christmas in Menifee" event is scheduled for November 15, 2008, at Mt San Jacinto College in Menifee. Vendors are sought to fill in the available booths. $50.00 for Chamber of Commerce members, and $75.00 for non-members.

Contact Joan Ring at (951) 672-1991.

Festivities will include: Craft Fair, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Live Entertainment, and Music.




Hospital Workers Strike in Menifee & Hemet

The following is a statement from Tadzio Garcia, spokesperson for SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, regarding the one-day labor strike at both Menifee and Hemet hospitals, Monday, October 13...

Yesterday we achieved an important milestone by standing for quality patient care.

We struck throughout the day we had support such as hospital volunteers refusing to cross the line and joining the picket line. One UHW member who joined the picket line said that management is driving away qualified and experienced caregivers, hiring travelers and registry who are more expensive and not as experience or qualified and who do not care as much about the hospital because they know they are just passing through.

UHW members from Riverside Community Hospital, Desert Regional Med Center, JFK Memorial, Kaiser Moreno Valley, and Kaiser West Los Angeles - came to support us and chanted "When you take on one of us, you take on all of us."

Community leaders lent their support including John Denver, Menifee City Council; Brian Christie, Hemet City Council; Carl Wood, candidate for the 65th assembly district, etc.

John Denver spoke about his experience as a patient of ours and said he looks forward to and is hopeful for continued quality care in the community.

Members of other unions honored our strike by joining the picket-line, such as the California Nurses Association, UFCW and SEIU121RN, who all said "we support you and join your fight to protect patient care."

Several delivery trucks wouldn't cross the line. Hemet management had to cross the street to pick up ice cream when a Teamsters truck wouldn't cross the line. At Menifee, a UPS delivery truck would not cross the picket line.

When we authorized the strike we hoped that management would come back to the bargaining table and bargain in good faith. Instead they continue to refuse our $4.3 million dollar in hospital savings while they spend millions on building cosmetics, such as new carpets and paint, etc.

Management wants us to accept contract proposals having nothing to do with bankruptcy and instead aimed at weakening our rights.

We have to hold the VHS Board of Directors accountable. They should do the right thing and support their employees.

What Next?

Come to the Town Hall meeting and interview candidates. UHW members will make a decision on who to endorse in the upcoming VHS Board election. We can send them a message with our votes!

Town Hall Meeting to Endorse VHS Board of Directors

Thursday Oct. 16, 5:30pm
La Casa Vieja Restaurant
828 W. Florida Ave in Hemet

A couple of photos...

Hospital Workers Strike in Menifee & Hemet
Menifee workers picketing in Menifee

Hospital Workers Strike in Menifee & Hemet
Menifee workers picketing in Hemet




Democratic Candidates to Meet at Boston Billies

The Riverside County United Communities, a local advocacy group representing the rural communities in Riverside County, will be hosting several Democratic candidates for US Congress and State Assembly this Saturday, October 18 at Boston Billies.

On tap to speak will be...

  • Julie Bornstein, US Congress 49th District, challenging Mary Bono Mack


  • Robert Hamilton, US Congress 45th District, challenging Darrell Issa


  • Grey Frandsen, CA Assembly 66th District, challenging Kevin Jeffries


  • Carl Wood, CA Assembly 65th District, challenging Paul Cook

A breakfast starts at 8:30am, with the first speaker, Julie Bornstein, beginning at 9:30am. The event is open to the public.




Newport Road Realignment Update

I got some more information on the Newport Road realignment project after speaking with George Wentz, our city manager.

Wenzt has been talking with Juan Perez with the county transportation department, and with the developer of Audie Murphy Ranch to come up with a way to improve traffic flow along Newport Rd and Goetz Rd, at least on temporary basis.

Refer to the diagram below.


Click to see larger image (opens new window)


The plan works like this...

  • The existing Newport Rd will be renamed to Normandy Road, and will run both ways, eastbound and westbound.


  • The realigned portion of Newport Rd will run one-way, heading eastbound. If you're coming from the I-15, you can take this road into Menifee.


  • The Goetz Rd bridge will only accomodate southbound traffic. It will no longer support northbound traffic. This is because in order to open up the realigned Newport Rd, the bridge would have to be totally rebuilt, and there isn't enough money for that right now.

  • The existing Goetz Rd will run southbound from Normandy Rd to the realigned Newport Rd. However, it will run northbound only from the Canyon Lake East Gate on up.


  • Normandy Rd will end at Berea Rd. You'll have to jump on Berea Rd, and then turn on the realigned Newport Rd to get into Menifee.

Wentz said they are working a revised plan that will actually extend Normandy Rd into the realigned Newport Rd, so that we won't have to take Berea Rd. But this isn't final.

Apparently, the city has enough TUMF funds to put this "temporary solution" in place, and therefore, is moving forward on it. At very earliest, we might see this in place within six months.

If put in place, it will remain that way for about 2 or 3 years, maybe even longer, at least until the city collects enough money to make all roads bidirectional, or if the developer decides Audie Murphy Ranch is economically feasible to continue building.

Since this plan only makes the realigned Newport Rd one-way, I asked Wentz why not just leave the existing traffic flow untouched as it is now, until they have the money to make it bidirectional. He said that he thinks this temporary plan illustrated above will actually improve traffic from what we have now.

I think for most of Menifee, this plan will work fine, except for those people who live in the Menifee Hills development (off of La Ladera Rd). For them, if they're coming from the I-15, they won't be able to take Goetz Rd to Normandy Rd. Instead, they'll have to take realigned Newport Rd to Berea Rd, and head west on Normandy Rd. It's more of a pain, but not still not a long drive.




Councilman Mann Graduates from USC

Councilman Scott Mann, who doubles as the Risk Manager for the Menifee Union School District, graduated from the University of Southern California, last month September 13, 2008, with a professional certificate in School Business Management. The certificate earned him 28 units of post-graduate work beyond the Master's level and supplements his Bachelor and Master of Business Administration Degrees.

The USC School Business Management Certificate Program, in partnership with the State of California's Financial Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) and School Services of California (SSC), is a comprehensive blend of coursework covering all aspects of school business services. It is the only program in the state that is co-sponsored by SSC and FCMAT and completion of the curriculum leads to certification as a Chief Business Official (CBO) by the California Association of School Business Officials.

The year-long program Mann completed consisted of a cohort style learning environment with coursework that included practical application and simulated problems modeled on current school business services. Program areas included school finance & accounting, transportation, purchasing & food service, new construction & facilities, maintenance & operations, and budget development & administration. The School Business Management Certificate Program is concluded with a formal thesis style field work project as the curriculum's capstone.




New Charter School Forming in Menifee

Robyn Rogers is resides in the Canyon Heights community of Quail Valley and is leading some folks interested in establishing a new charter school. She's inviting the public to a community forum to describe the new school and hopes to recruit some volunteers willing to help her get it started.

"Aberdovey Charter School", would serve the Menifee Union School District and give parents an alternative to the public classrooms. A charter school is governed by the school district, paid for with federal funds, free to attend, but follows its own specific style of teaching. Aberdovey will follow "Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound" (ELOB) which promotes hands-on, student-centered, authentic projects. ELOB is a framework for teaching; the school will utilize curriculum from state standards.

The community forum will take place in Quail Valley at Grace Church on Goetz Rd, on Tuesday, November 18th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Robyn notes that the school is not religious-based.

You can follow Robyn's efforts to get a charter school started at her blog...

http://aberdoveyschool.blogspot.com

You can contact her there as well.




The Excitement is in the Air

Can you feel it Menifee? All of the excitement, anticipation, and long-time wishes that have come to fruition. . . all that we hoped for our city; our once small town of Menifee.

Many of us clamoured for shopping, and now it is here. The hunger for food, restaurants, eating choices that we had not had, and now it is here. We cried out for independence, to become our own city, and now it has come. Our own Police Department and City Council, and now we have both.

Who did you see at the Kohl's last week? Which friend or neighbor did you see in attendance at the Target Opening? Did you call your friend to share the news of the Best Buy sales? How was your first meal at the new Red Robin?

So much happening, to a town so small that even Riverside residents don't know where we are located. A city name I have to spell every time I give my address over the phone, and now, we are indeed a city. But with every dream fulfilled, comes many new questions.

Who will be coming to Menifee to shop, and hang around the Marketplace? How large will our city grow? Will more jobs come, will industry of some type come, will there be more than retail here? I know plans are being made for many things, but what will happen when the plans become a reality?

I know that I will remember enjoying my birthday at the Red Robin with my husband for our first meal at their Menifee location. I know that every time I look at our new video camera, I will remember that we bought that the first time we went to Kohls in Menifee. What memories will you take away? What stories will you tell, 20 years from now, about this past month? How are you participating in this historic time in your fair city?




2008 Miss Menifee Pageant - Contestants Needed

Contestants are needed for the 2008 Miss Menifee Pageant, and applications are currently being taken.

The pageant itself will be held Saturday, November 1, 2008 at Freedom Crest Elementary School.

There will be six age groups, with the first four groups ranging from ages 1 to 12. Then a "teen" group for ages 13 to 16, and a "miss" group for ages 17 to 20.

2008 Miss Menifee Pageant
This will be the first "Miss Menifee", since previous pageants were "Miss Menifee Valley".

To register for the pageant, you can appear in person at Yellow Basket on Saturdays, October 11 or 25, from 11:00am to 3:00pm, or on Thursdays, October 16 or 23, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. You can also register by mail up until Friday, October 24.

Empire Pageants, the organizer of the Miss Menifee Pageant, will also be on hand at the Menifee Fall Festival on October 25, at La Ladera Park.

For additional registration information, contact them at (951) 231-2175, 541-9163, or 360-9087.

miss menifee pageant flyer




School District Seeks Volunteers for Bond Oversight Committee

The Menifee Union School District is seeking volunteers to serve on its 2008 Bond Oversight Committee. The committee will oversee the spending of the District's recently passed $31.46 million bond to ensure funds are spent only for purposes set forth in the ballot measure.

A minimum of seven volunteers are needed for the group, which should include at least one person in the following categories:

  1. One member active in a business organization representing the business community located within the District


  2. One member shall be active in a senior citizens' organization


  3. One member shall be active in a bona fide taxpayers organization


  4. One member shall be the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District


  5. One member shall be both a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District and active in a PTA organization or school site council
Volunteers (who'll serve without pay) must be 18 years old, serve a minimum of two years, attend quarterly meetings and assist in providing an annual report of expenditures to the school board. No employee, vendor, or contractor of the District is eligible to serve on the Committee.

Interested individuals should submit their letter of interest and a resume of qualifications by December 1, 2008 to:

Mr. Bruce Shaw
Director of Facilities
Menifee Union School District
30205 Menifee Road
Menifee, CA 92584

For more information, please contact the District Office at 951-672-1851.




Menifee Mayor's Ball - Recap

The 1st Annual Menifee Mayor's Ball took place last Saturday evening. I attended, and wanted to give a brief recap. The ball was hosted by the Menifee Valley chapter of the Rotary Club.

It was held at the Valley Wide Gynasium, next to Bell Mountain Middle School, and ran from 6:30pm to 10:00pm. It was pretty well attended, with just shy of 200 people. It was a black-tie affair. I'm not sure Menifee has ever had so many adults in tuxes all on one night.

The ball had something of a 1940s theme, with a band playing all the big-band classics you'd expect to hear from Glenn Miller or Jimmy Dorsey. It also had something of a patriotic theme too, with red napkins, and white stars against a navy blue backdrop.

I couldn't help thinking that it felt something of a high-school dance being placed on top of a basketball court, with basketball hoops and a scoreboard adorning the walls.

The Ball started off with a Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

All the city officials were there, including officials from other cities, and even county officials, including Supervisor Stone.

Mayor Wally was introduced to give a speech, and when he got up to walk to the podium, he received a standing ovation. He mentioned that when he chose to run for mayor, he hardly knew anyone around here. But since being sworn in on October 1, he's gotten to know all of the city, county, and state people, and complimented them all on their professionalism and expertise.

My wife and I sat at the table with "Miss Teen Menifee Valley". She said that there will be a new pageant shortly for "Miss Teen Menifee", now that we're a city. Also at my table was someone from the Menifee Valley Community Cupboard, which I'm sorry I didn't get her name. Eric Madrid, MD, who runs cityofmenifee.com was at our table with his wife.

Dinner consisted of tri-tip, roast chicken breast, green beans, scalloped potatoes, salad, and bread. There were complimentary bottles of wine on the table, and little boxes of raspberry flavored M&Ms. Judy Handwerker, president of the Menifee Rotary Club, said they chose M&Ms because of the letter "M" for Menifee.

Every couple attending got a free professionally done portrait. Considering I hadn't been in a tux since my wedding, it was a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity I couldn't pass up. Well, maybe third if I go next year.

There was a silent auction for a variety gift baskets.

Between the sponsorships, ticket fees, and silent auction, the Mayor's Ball raised approximately $20,000, of which $4,500 will to go towards Menifee-area charities. The remaining money will pay off expenses for running the Ball.

The entire evening went really well. I got the sense the Rotary Club put a lot of planning into it, from the photographer, to the bartender, the table decorations, the food, the music, the silent auction, the booklet, even the wine glasses etched with the 1st Annual Mayor's Ball.

I even got the sense that this Mayor's Ball signaled the first sign that this sleepy little county-administered town began indulging in its new-found independence by throwing a type of party that only incorporated cities got to enjoy. It's sure to be the first of several events to give the City of Menifee a new identity.

Here are a few photos...

Menifee Mayors Ball

Menifee Mayors Ball

Menifee Mayors Ball

Menifee Mayors Ball




Menifee City Council - Oct 7, 2008 Recap

The Menifee City Council met tonight, effectively the first official city council meeting, not counting the inauguration ceremony.

And if the first official city council meeting was any different than the unofficial ones, it was that we saw city council members showing their political differences with each other.

Director of Finance

The evening opened with up the City Manager introducing a new member of the staff, Misty Cheng, our new director of finance. She's not a city employee, but a contractor the City Manager procured through a CPA Firm.

Public Comments

Matthew Gilmore, a city resident, took the podium to outline several matters, mostly in regards to road conditions. He called on the city to seek compensation from the county for providing poor roads. He noted that the concrete barriers along Newport Rd, new Haun Rd, needs to be removed as they cause traffic back ups. He also complained that the City Manager has failed to return his e-mail communication on this matter. The City Manager responded with apologies for not returning his e-mail. He said that the barriers are there to prevent drivers from making "double turns", and that he's already scheduled to meet with Juan Perez from the County transportation department on road improvements. The Mayor chimed in to say that we're still a new city.

Barbara Spencer, president of the Menifee Valley Historical Society, spoke to congratulate the city council members on behalf of the society, and described the society's goals and recent accomplishments. She went on to say that the society is thrilled to see that the city received a sapling from the Pechangas, and offered the city its assistance in locating a permanent place to plant it.

William Zeidlik, a Menifee resident, complained that back on October 1, when the city council adopted a series of ordinances for the new city, it adopted ordinance 2008-03 in haste. That was the ordinance that creates the city's interim planning commission, and creates protocol for administering planning decisions. Zeidlik insisted that there should have been a 30-day public comment period on this matter, and that there was none to his knowledge. He therefore called on the council to allow for a public discussion with the City Manager and his financial consultant, Gary Thompson. He also asked why there haven't been any discussion on creating council member districts. He demanded the city to create focus groups, and he cited that lawsuits have been filed in Wildomar, regarding similar matters.

Todd Parmenter, a radiology technician at Menifee Valley Medical Center, called on the city council to communicate with the board members of Valley Health System, and urge them to invest more of its money into its employees. Todd explained that VHS is gutting patient care at MVMC by laying off 41 caregivers and now planning to shut down its skilled nursing facility. In the mean time, he said VHS has spent millions of dollars in aesthetics, such as new carpet and paint. He said the employees at MVMC are going on a one-day strike on Monday, October 13. The Mayor responded by saying that Valley Health System is not connected with the city, and that there's nothing they can do about it.

Sandy Taylor, a resident of Menifee, claims that the intersection of Scott and Leon roads have become too dangerous due to increased traffic and speeders. She asked for a traffic light at that intersection. She also called for speed limits to be reduced to 35mph along Leon Rd, between Keller and Scott Rd. Councilman Twyman, who lives along Scott Rd, agreed that the traffic has become a big issue there.

Selection of Representatives to Regional Boards and Commissions

The city council talked about what boards and commissions they should apply to join, and who to nominate as their representatives. For a while, they started naming off various groups they might want to join. The council agreed that the Mayor would have the role of nominating representatives to these groups with confirmation by the council.

Public Utilities Ordinances

The city council passed an ordinance granting permission to Southern California Edison to do any kind of construction work it needed to do with respect to erecting power poles and running wires, and whatever it needed to do make sure Menifee has electricity. Edison obviously had this permission with the county, but needed the green light with the new city.

Ray Hicks, a represenative with Southern California Edison to explain something called "Rule 20A", which is a rule of the California Public Utilities Commission. It allocate state funds to cities for the purpose of taking down unsightly power poles and moving the lines underground. Hicks basically talked about what kind of money was available to the city for this purpose.

The city council also passed a similar ordinance granting The Gas Company similar priviledges.

Credit Cards and Employee Reimbursement Policies

The council passed an ordinance that creates policies on how the city would reimburse its employees, staff, and officials for purchases.

The policy included a passage on credit cards, which stated that council members were NOT allowed to have credit cards. Councilmember Mann spoke to have this passage removed from the policy and then rewritten allowing them to have them. He cited his experience with having to travel as part of his job noting that business credit cards make the reimbursement process so much more streamlined.

Councilmember Tywman responded that he was against revising this, opting to deny credit cards to city council members. Mayor Edgerton also lent his opposition to credit cards, bringing up a campaign process he had made during a public forum of candidates, concerning the use of public monies in this regards. Mann then replied back that he would recommend city council members not keep these cards on their persons, but only have them during official trips. Councilmember Denver also voiced his opposition to issuing credit cards, noting that every councilmember is well-to-do and doesn't need the city to buy everything for them. Edgerton finished off by saying, "It's a lot cleaner if we don't give credit cards to council members".

In the end, the council voted to adopt the policy on employee reimbursements, but carve out the part on credit cards, and discuss that matter at a later date.

Newport Road Realignment

City Manager Wentz talked about a meeting he had with Juan Perez, from the county transporation department, concerning the realignment of Newport Road, and what they had agreed upon to get it opened up.

It works like this...

  • Normandy Rd (which is what existing Newport Rd will be renamed to), will continue as a two-way road, but will be officially considered a detour. This supposedly opens up some advantages in terms of procuring funds.


  • The realigned Newport Rd will be one-way only, moving eastbound.


  • The Goetz Road bridge will remain open for now


  • Goetz Road will become one-way, southbound, from the Canyon Lake gate to Railroad Canyon Rd.


  • Goetz Road, from Normandy Road on north, will continue to operate as it is, two-way.
So, if you're coming from the I-15, you'll take Railroad Canyon Rd east, and continue through on the realigned Newport Rd into the city. If you live in Menifee Hills or Quail Valley, you'll have to take Newport Rd to Berea Rd, and circle back along Normandy Road, to get to Goetz Rd.

If you're coming from Menifee, and you want to get to the I-15, you'll take Newport Rd to Berea Rd, and jump on Normandy Rd. Then turn on Goetz Rd, and go to Railroad Canyon Rd.

Make sense?

All this will be temporary until enough money comes into the city's coffers to expand the Goetz Rd bridge, and make all roads bi-directional.

Branding Menifee

The meeting then moved into comments from the city council members, and Mann brought up the subject of "branding Menifee". Basically, there are not many signs that noting that Menifee actually exists. For example, there are no freeway signs announcing the border of Menifee. There are no "Welcome to Menifee" signs. He noted that on Google Maps, it shows "Sun City", it shows "Quail Valley", but there's nothing with the word "Menifee" on it.

He also brought up a touchy subject, though I think he might have been misunderstood. He used the example of renaming the Sun City post office to "Menifee Post Office", as part of his branding idea. Mayor Edgerton jumped on that one saying that there's quite a few people in Sun City who would take great opposition to that. He called on his past experience as a city councilman in Long Beach, noting that it had its communities, such as Belmont Shore and Naples, and that residents there loved being called by those names.

I sat in the audience behind a couple of Sun City core residents, and when they heard Mann suggest renaming the Sun City post office to Menifee, their necks and backs straightened up at attention. And when Edgerton said his piece about leaving it alone, their heads nodded with approval.

Mann responded back that he didn't mean to suggest actually doing this, but only cited them as examples to illustrate his point of "branding Menifee". He went on to say that they could instead rename the postal annex to Menifee. Councilmember Kuenzi noted that she's looking at requesting another post office specifically for Menifee, and that could be named "Menifee".

Denver spoke out as a Realtor about using the name "Menifee" in the MLS. He said that there are certain rules about using the MLS that prevents real estate agents from identifying a piece of propoerty as "Menifee". He went on to say that in Sun City, they are prevented from listing a property as "Menifee", even though technically it is now correct to call it Menifee. But because they have to list it as "Sun City", it tends to carry a lower resale value.

In the end, the Mayor created a new "Branding Ad Hoc Committee", and appointed Twyman and Denver to it.

Countryside Marketplace

Denver noted that he had lunch at Red Robin a week ago, and learned that on opening day, our Red Robin had highest volume of sales of all Red Robins in the country.

City Manager Wentz added to that by saying that when Kohl's opened up on grand opening, it had the 5th highest sales of all Kohl's in the country.




Middle School Boundary Change - Open House

Tonight was the first night of open house on the proposed middle school boundary changes, this one being held at Bell Mountain Middle School.

There are four proposals being promoted, and the school district allowed parents to come in and look at them, and talk to district staff. Superintendent Linda Callway was there making herself available to any parent with questions. Also there taking questions was Assistant Superintendent Gil Compton.

I met with Compton and asked him the rationale for the four different proposals. That is, I wanted to know the thinking that went into figuring how they drew the proposed boundary lines for each of the four proposals.

Click the link below to see all four proposals (it will open up a separate browser window)...

http://www.menifeeusd.org/fil_files/362.pdf

Basically, proposals #9 and #11 are drawn on existing elementary school lines. This seemed to be popular proposals only because it allows kids to attend the same middle school as their friends. However, they each create an imbalance in student populations at the middle schools.

Proposals #4 and #5 utilize a different philosophy, by drawing the boundaries on physical lines, namely Newport Road and the I-215, but includes the Menifee Hills community and the community behind Stater Bros into Menifee Valley Middle School. The difference being that #4 extends only to Ridgemoor Rd, while #5 goes a little further north than that.

Overall, proposal #4 creates the most equitable balance between all three middle schools.

There will be another open house tomorrow, at Menifee Valley Middle School, beginning at 5:30pm, and running until 7:00pm. Parents are encouraged to attend and speak with district staff.

School board trustees will discuss the proposals again at the next public meeting October 14.




Super Target Ribbon Cutting

Super Target opened up today, though not the "grand opening" as I had previously mentioned. But, you got to go inside and buy stuff.

But Mayor Wally was on hand to "cut through the red tape" (or white tape anyways), and allow the good folks to gain early access into the store.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department was there to fingerprint the little ones and recruit folks into working for them. They said that they're hiring an additional 1,300 full time employees, either as deputies, corrections officers, or office staff. If you want to learn about applying, visit their website: www.joinrsd.org

Sandy Nellor, store manager, took the podium to thank everyone involved in getting the new stored opened, and introduced the team of department managers who'll be running the place.

Mayor Wally took the stage next, mostly welcoming Super Target into the neighborhood. He went on to say that his wife Judee is perhaps one of the most excited of all, explaining how eager she was to buy groceries from Target.

Later on, I spoke to Sandy Nellor, who told me that they migrated 120 employees from the old Target, and are currently staffing 375 positions with this new store. Eventually, they'll carry 400 employees.

Some pics...

Super Target Menifee
Sandy Nellor, store manager

Menifee Super Target Grand Opening
Presenting the department managers

Menifee Super Target Mayor Edgerton
Mayor Edgerton

Menifee Super Target Ribbon Cutting

Menifee Super Target Ribbon Cutting

Menifee Super Target Ribbon Cutting

Menifee Super Target Ribbon Cutting

Menifee Super Target Ribbon Cutting




Busy Day Today

For those of you who like to attend civic-minded events, here's the itinerary for you...

5:00pm - Target Grand Opening - ribbon cutting - Countryside Marketplace

5:30pm - 7:00pm - Menifee Union School District - middle school boundary map proposals, open house. Bell Mountain Middle School. The public is invited to check out the proposals, and provide feedback. You can also attend tomorrow at Menifee Middle School, same time.

7:00pm - City Council Meeting - see location and agenda here.

I'm going for the trifecta today.




Menifee City Council Meeting - Oct 7, 2008

The Menifee City Council has its next public meeting tomorrow, Tuesday October 7, at 7:00pm.

New Location

According to The Californian...
The council will be meeting in the former Azusa Pacific building on La Piedra Road, which is accessed by a parking lot just east of the campus's La Piedra Road entrance, next to Bell Mountain Middle School.
Agenda

You can download the agenda here...

http://www.menifee247.com/menifee-city-council-agenda-2008-10-7.pdf




Dangerous Road for Motorcycles

A Menifee 24/7 reader e-mailed me a topic of discussion that hits home with me.

There's a stretch of road on Antelope Rd, between Garbani and Craig roads, that's been torn up by the folks working on Christensen Ranch. They've laid some patchwork of temporary asphalt, and patchwork of asphalt is dangerous for motorcycles and scooters.

It becomes dangerous at night, because you can't see the bumps up ahead. It's not that bad of an issue in the daytime. But it's bumpy enough that even if you were to ride at a moderate pace of about 40mph, you still can't see the bumps coming up in the darkness, and they'll put a lot of tear on your vehicle.

And at night, you pretty much have to stay with the flow of traffic because the cars behind you often have difficulty seeing you. It's hard for drivers to gauge the distance of the motorcycle in front of them, and its rate of speed.

The most dangerous scenario comes when a motorcycle has to brake hard for another vehicle, or object in the road. When you apply the brakes firmly over a bumpy surface, the bumps cause the wheels to lose traction with the road, and lock up. That causes a skid, which will often result in the motorcyclist going down.

Scooters are even more susceptible to this, because they are much more difficult to see at night, and their light weight makes them more unstable on bumpy roads.

I ride a motorcycle most of my driving time. It's rare that I actually drive a car or truck these days. Even just for commuting around town, I can get 40-50 miles per gallon with it. Scooters can vary from 50-100 MPG. I'm seeing so many more people in Menifee riding motorcycles and scooters for that very reason.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees that stretch of Antelope as an accident waiting to happen.




MVLL Spring Sign-up at Youth Fair

MENIFEE VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE
Spring 2009
BASEBALL SIGN-UPS

5th Annual Youth Fair
Sat. October 11th
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Lazy Creek Park
26480 Lazy Creek Rd.
(From 215 Fwy, go West on Newport Rd for approx. 1 mile.
Turn right on Evans Rd. Evans will dead-end at the Park.)
$ 90(all ages - this day only)

Players league age 5 - 16
(As of April 30, 2009)
For More Information go to the Menifee Valley Little League website: www.eteamz.com/mvll
Mvll hotline – 679-2882
MVLL IS A NON PROFIT LEAGUE




Halloween Harvest Festival in Menifee

Starting October 16, Wickerd Farms in Menifee will be hosting a Halloween Harvest Festival, including their trouser-soiling, "Tree of Terror Haunted House".

Click on the flyer below to see the full size...

Halloween Harvest Festival in Menifee
In case you can't read that really faint fine print, here's what it says...
This haunted attraction has instense sequences & suspense, extensive use of fog and smoke, small claustrophobic enclosed areas, extended periods of total darkness, strobe special effects, & very loud noises. The attraction may be too intense for patrons under 13 years of age.
.




Aid for the E.R.s

I have recently run into some health problems which have sent me in a panic to the local emergency rooms. I tried one E.R., was unsatisfied with my care, so the next time my situation arose, tried another E.R., only to find worse care! I had tried the third E.R. in the past, and had sworn to never return. Now I am at a crossroads.

I don't know about the rest of you, but in Menifee, it doesn't seem that we have a good choice for emergency care. I am not talking about Urgent Care, of which we have excellent choices. Fabulous doctors and fantastic nurses work at the Urgent Care I occasionally go to. I am writing about E.R. care. If they are not overwhelmed, with what appears to be NOT emergencies, then the staff is callous and insensitive to the patient. I was treated as if I was lying about my symptoms at one E.R. just to get attention! I wasn't even asking for pain medication - it was something entirely different! But the staff seems as if they can't be bothered, the doctors seem rather bored and, well frankly, condescending! I was completely brushed off by one doctor, only to seek help the next day from another, who found the real problem. And yes, Doctor G.Q., (You know who you are - you are the Doctor who is sooo impressed with yourself!) it was real and I was not imagining my symptoms!!

Anyway, I would like to get some thoughts on this. I don't know why this is the case, but is there a better option I just don't know about for the residents of this valley?




Mayor's Ball - Tickets Still Available

The Rotary Club of Menifee has a few more seats left for the Inaugural Menifee Mayor's Ball to be held this Saturday, October 4 from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. at the Valley Wide Gynasium next to Bell Mtn Middle School. The proceeds from this fundraiser will support projects within the Menifee Community.

Individual = $60
Couple - $110
Table of 8 = $400
Attire is Black-Tie Optional

RSVP BY SATURDAY NOON to Linda Denver and you may pay at the door. (951-672-1731)




Who Voted for the $700 Billion Bailout Bill

Just moments ago, both houses of Congress passed HR1474, which is the $700 billion bailout of mortgage companies and savings & loans. The bill gives that much money to the White House to buy up bad loans, effectively giving those companies strength to issue more loans to consumers.

So how did our congress members vote?

Senate
Barbara Boxer (D) - Yes
Dianne Feinstein (D) - Yes

House
Mary Bono Mack, 45th District (R) - Yes
Darrell Issa, 49th District (R) - No

Bono Mack represents the area east of the I-215, with the exception of a few carved-out neighborhoods.

Issa represents the area west of I-215.

Below are congressional district maps for Menifee...

(click on the maps to get a larger size)

Menifee Congressional District Map

Menifee Congressional District Map




Paloma High School Homecoming Football Game

Tonight is Paloma Valley's Homecoming football game against Temecula Valley. Game starts at 7pm. Get there early to get a good seat. Ticket prices are $7.00 Adults and $2.00 for children 12 and Under, children 6 and under are free.




Race for the Cure

The Menifee School District is participating in the Temecula Race for the Cure. If you would like to join their team go to the link below.
The event takes place Sunday, October 19.

http://komenie.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=280542&lis=1&kntae280542=F991270C1D9947D3B5AD8A3BD56D31A2&team=2844793




Earthquake Felt in Menifee

It struck at 2:41am, October 2. USGS says it was a 4.0 centered 6 miles north east of Yucaipa.

I felt it here in Menifee, kind of a light rumble.

Anyone else crazy enough like me to be up at this hour to have felt it?




Menifee Cityhood Inauguration Recap

Well, it all seemed to go without a hitch.

The ceremony part, held at Bell Mountain Middle School, was packed solid with people. All seats were filled, and many more were left standing. The local boy scout troop 444 was on hand to lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance. Eric Handy a Paloma Valley High School student belted out an impressive rendition of the National Anthem. His voice was so powerful and clear, the sound system couldn't handle his cantor and crackled with static.

Pastor Gary Galbraith from Revival Christian Fellowship gave an invocation.

Immediately following, the city council was sworn into office by 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone. That was followed by the city council doing its series of motions and votes to adopt county ordinances and the county's general plan. All council members voted to adopt everything without comment, except where councilman Twyman commented that the County's general plan was never fully explained to the council, and that he has reservations about adopting something that we don't have full knowledge of. But he voted to adopt it anyways with the understanding that we have the right change it as we see fit.

With all the formalities out the way, the council members gave speeches to the audience. For the most part, they were congratulatory speeches. Kuenzi named off several long time residents and advocates of cityhood and thanked them. Denver spoke about his involvement with the cityhood effort. Mann recounted his family history and his desire to serve. Twyman talked about why he ran for office.

Joe Daugherty, the guy who chaired the cityhood incorporation committee, named off the other members of the committee, all of whom received applause.

But what turned out to be the highlight of the evening was Mayor Edgerton's speech. The guy electrified the audience. He spoke with such great conviction, you could see the words drawing up from his chest. If the Mayor personifies Teddy Roosevelt's mantra of "speak softly and carry a big stick", then tonight we saw the big stick.

"Come Hell or Highwater we promise this city will maintain a surplus in its budget!!", were words he hammered out with authority to the roar of the audience. When he promised not to raise taxes and fees on the people, his intensity put George Bush Sr's "read my lips" speech to shame. He had total confidence when he reminded the audience that we have a conservative council who promised to not blow our money the way state and federal governments have done. Then he took on a more comforting tone with news that our police force had been boosted overnight, and threw credit to councilmen Mann and Denver for making it happen. But his fervent tone picked back up when he credited councilman Twyman for making sure the council listens to the people. I even saw Jeff Stone's head nodding with approval when the Mayor promised to build more parks and preserve the rural nature of Menifee so that "children will not have to grow up in a sea of asphalt!" All of which received rounds of applause. And finally he finished his speech with an interesting set of words, "I am proud to say that my name is Wallace Edgerton, and I am the mayor of Menifee!"

Then he called for the audience to congratulate itself on becoming a new city, and subsequently called for the meeting to adjourn.

But I didn't stick around for the aftermath. I exited right away, and found Mieke Jacobs from Menifee Live doing the same thing. We both wanted to check out the inauguration ballgame gathering nearby. I chatted with Dave Fokken, coach of the Menifee Mustangs. Mieke and I got ourselves a couple of In-N-Out burger combos (compliments of Jeff Stone) and watched a couple innings of the game.

I don't know who won the game, but I did witness one of the Mustangs belt a monster triple into center field.

Then we headed off for the inauguration party at Menifee Lakes Country Club. I got there around 8:15pm.

For the record, no one was checking for RSVPs, despite the instructions we were given of having to RSVP. I just walked right in, didn't check in with anyone, nobody said anything. I asked other people there if they were checked for RSVPs, and they weren't either. I later learned they were keeping a head count instead. I was told about 600-620 people were there.

The area around the food was congested, and the food was going about as fast as the staff could replenish. That In-N-Out burger looked like a good idea.

I met Rose Watkins, a friend of mine with Century 21. We talked. I met Cynthia Aina, who runs Menifee4Rent.com. We talked. I met Armand Blais, who had a trio of musicians playing. We talked. I saw Jim Semanek from the Computer Club of Menifee Valley. We talked.

The only city councilmembner I got to talk to was the mayor himself. We both ended up at the food table, trying to get some chow, but having to wait until they brought more over. I congratulated him as the new mayor, and complimented him on his speech. Otherwise, the other councilmembers were constantly being pulled left and right by every other attendee.

By 9:00pm, the event was starting to run its course, and I finished up by taking a few more photos for this blog, took my complimentary bottle of "City of Menifee Champagne", and headed home.

Here's some photos...

Menifee Police Car
Our first official police car; if you get to sit in the back of this thing, let us know what it's like.

Menifee City Council Swearing In
Getting sworn in

Pechanga Great Oak Sapling
The sapling from the Pechangas - Note that councilman Twyman was the only guy in the room with a pink tie.

Lake Elsinore Storm Mascot
Lake Elsinore Storm mascot at the cityhood inauguration baseball game

Menifee Cityhood Inaugural Baseball Game
Menifee Mustangs up to bat

Menifee Cityhood Inaugural Party
The scene inside Menifee Lakes Country Club

Menifee Cityhood Inaugural Ice Sculpture
Here's a better shot of that ice sculpture

Menifee Cityhood Champagne Toast
A champagne toast led by Supervisor Marion Ashley

Armand Blais Orchestra
Armand Blais with a trio belting out tunes




Time Spent Burning to be Filmed in Menifee

Time Spent Burning is the name of a rock group that's appears to be on its way up in the local music scene.

Their bass player, Steve Steward, lives here in Menifee, and teaches private music instruction at his home.

Time Spent Burning
This Saturday night, October 4, at 7:00pm, the band will be playing at Calvary Hills Christian Church, at 29697 New Hub Drive, in Menifee. At the same time, the folks at G-Rock TV, a television production company, will be filming their act, and be subsequently broadcast to over 20 million viewers across the globe.

You might be able to get your smiling face caught on camera, you never know.

Best of all, the concert is free.

Here is a music video of their song, "Lies in Stereo"...



You can check out the band at www.myspace.com/timespentburning.

G-Rock TV is aired primarily through Trinity Broadcasting Network, Armed Forces Television, and through Dish Network on Sky Angel TV.




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