Water Rates to Increase this February

The Eastern Municipal Water District announced today that they'll be raising rates by 14%. Customers will see the rate increase on statements mailed out February 1, 2010.

Last Wednesday, the EMWD Board of Directors voted to pass through a portion of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) rate increase to customers. As a result, tiered water rates will increase by 14 percent.

The EMWD gets most of its water from the MWD.

The MWD implemented a 19.7% rate increase last September, which added another $10.5 million to EMWD's costs.

"Water used to be free," said Randy Record, EMWD's representative on the MWD board. "But for us to make up for the loss of dependable water supplies from the Colorado River and from court-ordered restrictions on how much we can pump from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, we're having to pay others $200 or more per acre-foot for water transfers."

Most residential customers will see their water bills go up between 6% and 13%, depending whether they stay within their water budgets or use excessive or wasteful amounts of water.

Those who remain within their monthly water budgets will likely see increases from $1 to $6. Typical customers in excessive or wasteful tiers could see rate hikes of $13 to $32 or more.

Unaffected by the rate hike are the approximately 12,000 customers in the San Jacinto Valley's "Improvement District 24", also known as Fruitvale water customers, that are served exclusively by well water.

According to Ron Sullivan, EMWD board president, "We are forgoing projects and expenses that aren't needed right away for health, safety and reliability. But we also have to realize what would happen to our good credit rating (AA) if we didn't pass along these higher rates. If our credit rating dropped, our customers would have to pay more for future financing."

Current Rates (per 748 gallons)New Rates as of Feb 1, 2010
Indoor (Tier 1): $1.301$1.483
Outdoor (Tier 2): $2.381$2.714
Excessive (Tier 3): $4.267$4.864
Wasteful (Tier 4): $7.805$8.898

New Site Design

I'm still working on some stuff, but the new design is in place. It runs on the updated version of Blogger, which gives me some more features and tools.

Stuff I'm still working on...
  • Menifee Homes, Menifee Parks, and Menifee Directory sub-sites are still not online, and will take some time to get online

  • Condensing the label list to broader categories

  • All the archived photos are broken, and have to be converted to the new Blogger one-by-one.

Stuff that's been improved...
  • Embedded comment form; comments are now entered on this site, instead of on Blogger's URL.

  • The list of recent comments (upper-right) is now updated automatically, instead of by hand

  • For writers, new articles are posted instantaneously instead of waiting, and getting time-outs

  • Now has the "Older Posts" and "Newer Posts" links at the bottom of the page, so you can scroll through the archives

  • Archives are now automatically updated

New stuff added...
  • Menifee Tweets, which appears in the center column, below the ads, displays the latests tweets (from Twitter), that includes the word "menifee". Some stuff will end up being for Menifee County, Kentucky, however.

  • Comments RSS Feed, at the upper-right corner of the page, in case you use an RSS feed reader, you can now get a feed of just the comments.

  • Subscribe by e-mail, at the end of each post, below the comment form, there's a link to subscribe to just that post. Anytime someone adds a comment to that post, you'll receive an e-mail notification.

Panoramic Photos of Menifee

Today I took a hike up some hills close to my home today just to burn some calories. But I decided to bring my camera with me to see if I could get some panoramic photos.

Here's where I went...

View Menifee Hills Hike in a larger map

So here's the first panorama of Menifee, looking east...

Click here to see the full size

At the far left is snow-capped Big Bear Mountain, with snow-capped Mt San Jacinto in the center, and Audie Murphy Ranch at the far-right. In the center is Ridgemoor Road, heading east.

At the second hill, I took a panorama looking west...

Click here to see the full size

At the left is La Ladera Park, in the middle is Audie Murphy Ranch, towards the right is City of Canyon Lake, and the far-right is Quail Valley.

Here are some more photos I took...

Cross Over Menifee
The first hill I climbed, looking south-east across Menifee.

Sun City
Snow-capped Big Bear in the distance.

City of Menifee
Mt San Jacinto in the distance with Ridgemoor Rd stretching east.

Fallen Cross
The second hill I climbed up I found this fallen cross.

Cross Over Menifee
So I decided to put the cross back up. It's still not very stable, however. Someone needs to carry a shovel up here to dig a hole and make this more solid.

By the way, anyone wants to use these photos, feel free.

Free H1N1 Vaccine Tonight

free h1n1 vaccine

Last day to view almost 500 Nativity Scenes

Yesterday over 200 local visitors viewed Nativities from all over the world, a "live" Nativity scene and were able to dress as shepherds, angels and wisemen while listening to live music performed by local choirs.

Also at the event last evening, Dr. Linda Callaway, Superintendant of the Menifee Union School District was presented with the "Community Service Award" by the leaders of the local LDS Church for her service to the children and families here in Menifee.

The event continues it's final day today from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 29725 Bradley Rd., Menifee, CA 92586. Admission is Free.

Pictured top to bottom:

1. Nativities from South America
2. Village Nativity scene
3. Mini Nativities
4. Nativity Bust from Italy
5. Cultural Hall full of Nativities
6. Nativity setting from Paraguay
7. "Live" Nativity Actors Jeremy & Sandy Price w/new baby Rex
8. Choir members from Tres Lagos & El Cariso
9. Little Nevaeh ("Heaven" spelled backwards) posing appropriately as an angel for a picture for her scrapbook.
10. Everett, Noah & Sophia Cadenehad - 4H participants who brought their animals to help set the mood.

Puppies Stolen on December 2nd from family off of Scott Road

Four Golden Retriever puppies were stolen from an owner/breeder on Wednesday, December 2nd, around 12 pm, in a neighborhood off of Scott Road. The puppies were only 6 1/2 weeks old, and this nice family is devastated about the loss of the puppies.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact Monica at (714) 473-0888

December 13, 2009 Candidate Fair at the Wooden Nickel Ranch in Menifee, California

A Candidate Fair will be held on Sunday, December 13, 2009 at the Wooden Nickel Ranch, 25690 Holland Road, Menifee, CA from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. The event is free of charge.

California candidates, running for office in 2010, will be present and addressing the crowd. The Wooden Nickel venue has a capacity for 2000+ people. The candidates include: Clayton Thibodeau who is running for Mary Bono-Mack’s 45th Congressional District seat, California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore who is running for Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat and Lt. Colonel Ken Dickson (USAF Ret.) who is running for termed-out Dennis Hollingsworth’s California State Senate seat. Joel Anderson, a current California State Assemblymember, will be speaking, also.

Planned activities include:

*Ken Pettigrew, host of the internet talk radio show http://www.kenpettigrewshow, will be the
Master of Ceremonies and will be conducting his radio show live.
*Boys Scouts Flag Color Guard Ceremony
*Listen to live music – Guest singer Michelle Ross
*BBQ Lunch with proceeds donated to non-profits groups including
The Wounded Warriors.
*Visit vendor booths – get involved – get informed – non-profits
*Register to vote and sign available California Initiatives/Petitions
*The candidates will have their own booths and will be available for questions
and interviews with the press.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars will be collecting canned food items for our active service members and their families.

A special invitation is extended to all Veterans, Active/Inactive Military Personnel, Firefighters and Law Enforcement Personnel.

For more information, please contact Jane Lauhon at 951-303-8912 or send an email to: vote4clay4congress@verizon.net

Visit our website at: http://www.candidatesfor2010fair.com/

"President's Volunteer Service Award" given to two Menifee Valley Community Cupboard Volunteers

Two volunteers at the Menifee Valley Community Cupboard (MVCC), Yvette Moran and Shirley Winkelman, received special letters from President Barack Obama and were presented with the "President's Volunteer Service Award" for their service to our community and more specifically to the MVCC.

Yvette has been a volunteer for almost 10 years, and Shirley, for over 3 years. (Pictured here is Yvette (in red blouse) with Joe Smolinski (President of the MVCC Board of Directors), and Sandra Aldridge (MVCC Executive Director).

The purpose of this award, as cited on it's website http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/ , says that "Recognizing and honoring volunteers sets a standard for service, encourages a sustained commitment to civic participation, and inspires others to make service a central part of their lives. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard – measured by the number of hours of service over a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime."

In addition to acknowledging the efforts of these two wonderful ladies, over 50 other volunteers and staff at the Community Cupboard were appreciated last night at a Christmas Dinner held in their honor at Boston Billies Restaurant.

I had the priviledge of meeting several wonderful people at this event, one of which was a delightful man, "Izzy" Rodriguez, seen here showing off his specially requested dinner.

It was a lovely evening and I left with a warm heart, thankful for people like these who always find the time to give of themselves as they help to serve their fellow man.