Taming the Traffic

I know, I know. Menifee used to be such a sleepy little town, didn't it? Remember the days of driving from the old Target towards Quail Valley, and reaching Murrieta Road in just 5 or 10 minutes? Where have those days gone?

Our town has become a city; we have Kohls, Red Robin, medical offices, fast food, and a Starbucks now. And with growth comes traffic. And with traffic comes anger, hostility and frustratation. Angry drivers populate our streets daily, honking their horns, running red lights, and cutting in front of other's vehicles. Everyone has somewhere to go; every one of us has left home a little behind schedule and rushed down our street, into our little city, and been in a hurry. For most of us, this is the epitome of frustration. Trying to cross over the 215 on Newport at rush hour, or trying to drive past one of our elementary schools when children are leaving. Cars, cars, everywhere cars, and everyone in a hurry.

That angry driver who cut in front of you yesterday is your neighbor, a member of your community, a soccer mom with an SUV of kids, a retail worker late for his shift, a teenager learning to drive, a senior citizen who is a little slow behind the wheel, or maybe, a friend of yours. Or maybe, just maybe, it was you that cut in front of me. Perhaps you just didn't see me when you were reaching for that phone, or changing your station on your car stereo.

Nevertheless, remember we all live here, and we all have somewhere to be. Forgive and forget quickly, be careful, leave a few minutes early, and don't forget to smile. It is my road too.

Crimes of the Heart at Heritage High

Greg Newman, who leads the Heritage High School Drama Department, announces the dates for their first ever "Black Box Theater" production.

"Crimes of the Heart" is a play by Beth Henley that earned her a Pulitzer Prize. It lead to the movie production in 1986 starring Sissy Spacek, Diane Keaton, and Jessica Lange. The story chronicles the challenges of the McGrath sisters on a "real bad day," that sees the arrest of Babe, the youngest sister, for shooting her husband. Set in the Southern town of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, the sisters struggle with legacy of their mother who committed suicide. As the characters fight demons of the past, they get caught in trivial and not so trivial dramas of the moment in poetically human way.

Black Box Theater refers to a type of space that can be configured in any seating pattern from traditional to completely in the round. Seating tends not to exceed 120, though this production of Crimes of the Heart will seat 80, and creates a setting where the audience is practically on the stage itself.

crimes of the heart
Newman goes on to say about Black Box Theater and this particular production...

This not only creates an intimate connection between actor and audience, it challenges the actor to work in a less technical, emotionally truer way. There is no place to hide or "fake it." And to craft a character in this way is closer to to the approach an actor must employ in film or television. It also tends to require a more flawless creation of a role that can bear close scrutiny. This is exhilarating, but extremely challenging.

For the reasons listed above, black box is almost always done in college, almost never on the high school level. It is the kind of theatre you see produced off-Broadway in New York. What we are doing makes our program cutting edge in the acting training we provide.

Heritage High School students and audiences can now uniquely experience what happens almost nowhere else at this level. I am so proud of my actors and actresses.

We have been slightly risky using "color-blind" casting in a southern play that skirts some racial issues, but the quality of the acting you see should justify any qualms.

Special thanks to Taylor's Appliance in Riverside who lent us a refrigerator free of charge, and my great students who worked so hard to make this play a reality.

EMWD Posts Unclaimed Money

The Eastern Municipal Water District today posted a list of customers who have money owned to them.

A total of $49,352.84 is sitting in the district's bank account, waiting for customers to come over and claim it.

You can check to see if your name is on it...

If you find your name on it, download the unclaimed money form, and turn it in...

Among those is Cheryl Ferulli, former CEO of the Menifee Sun City Chamber of Commerce. She has $120.00 which she never picked up!

Webster's Dictionary Contains Porn

So what does everyone think about the Menifee Union School District removing Webster's Dictionary from classrooms just because it contained the term "oral sex"?
After a parent complained about an elementary school student stumbling across "oral sex" in a classroom dictionary, Menifee Union School District officials decided to pull Merriam Webster's 10th edition from all school shelves earlier this week.

Press Enterprise article...
There's an estimated 450,000 words in the English language. That's an awful lot of words to sacrifice just for one.

Bridges Needed Over Salt Creek

If this week's rain storm proved anything, it's that the City of Menifee needs to build bridges over the Salt Creek at Murrieta Road and Bradley Road. Or at least one of those roads.

With Murrieta Road and Bradley Road closed at Salt Creek, it created an absolute mess in Menifee, with gridlock traffic on Newport Rd and McCall Rd. The I-215 was the only connector over the Salt Creek.

Todd Reed submits this photo of Salt Creek flowing over Murrieta Road, taken today by his wife...

salt creek in Menifee

Paloma Valley PONY Baseball

The following announcement comes from Pete Evans of Paloma Valley PONY Baseball...

Paloma Valley PONY Baseball

Ending January 23, 2010 www.pvpb.org

Clinic is FREE for those players who are signed up already or sign up before. Sign-ups will be available all day, except during Noon break. Please arrive a half hour before your divisions start time. No Cleats (wear Tennis shoes). Frozen Ropes will require you to fill out their own forms prior to participation in our clinic. Clinic will include four stations.
Hitting, Throwing/Pitching, Fielding, & Base running.

Shetland / Pinto (4-8 yrs old) 9 a.m. to Noon
Mustang thru Pony (9-14 yrs old) 1 to 4 p.m.

Saturday January 30th, 8:00 - 4:00 at Mira Park
Wednesday February 3rd, 6:00 pm - finish at Wheatfield Park
All players Shetland age or older MUST try out
All players will be placed on a team
To qualify for All Stars, you MUST try out
Registration $90-$130 depending on Division www.pvpb.org
You must bring Birth Certificate and proof of residency to sign-up.

Registration fees include socks, belt, pants, hat, jersey, picture package, trophy, end of season yearbook

Refunds are not guaranteed after teams have been announced. Any refund requests will be considered and if approved may be subject to pro-rated refund.

Kick off Party for RELAY FOR LIFE is tomorrow night!

The 2010
Relay For Life of Menifee
Friday, January 15th, 7:00 PM
Wheatfield Park

- Get a sneak peek of the Relay experience!
- Start a team, become a sponosr, find out how you can help.
- Join the Relay Committee for a fun evening great food!
- Pick up Relay For Life materials (team captain kits, brochures and posters)
- Learn about American Cancer Society programs and services
Relay For Life of Menifee
May 1st & 2nd, 2010
Paloma Valley High School
For more information: Samantha 951/378-6549 or Cathi 951/300-1220

ACS Relay for Life - set for May 1st at Paloma High School


Menifee--The American Cancer Society’s 5th Annual 24-hour “Relay For Life Menifee” will be held at Paloma High School, from 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 1st to 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 2nd. Walkers and runners will go round the clock in the battle against cancer in honor of friends and loved ones, hoping to raise funds in the local community for the fight against cancer. Dozens of business and community teams are forming, and cancer survivors are needed to participate in the inspirational “Survivor’s Lap,” during the Opening Ceremony.

“Relay For Life is a unique opportunity for our community to come together in the fight against cancer,” said Cathi Hill, staff partner for the Relay For Life of Menifee for the American Cancer Society. “Many of the participants are cancer survivors, which serves as a reminder that our community is not immune to this disease and that we can actually help our friends, families and neighbors that have been touched by cancer.”

Teams of walking and running enthusiasts from all walks of life will gather for the 24-hour relay against cancer. Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s version of a relay, but with a new twist. Relay for Life is a family-oriented team event where participants can walk or run around the track, relay-style, for 24 hours. Participants camp out around the track and when they aren’t taking their turn on the track, they take part in fun activities with family, neighbors, and co-workers.

At the Relay for Life events, local cancer survivors are honored during the “Opening Lap” for survivors only, where participants receive a special medal in celebration of their survivorship.

“There will be activities for attendees of all ages,” said Hill. “There will be cancer prevention, healthy lifestyle and nutrition education available so that we can all learn how to take charge of our health. And, of course, we will have music, dance, and the very moving Luminaria Ceremony in the evening.” Businesses and organizations throughout the community are joining in the celebration.

“We are still looking for teams and team captains, for cancer survivors and their families, and for local businesses to help us with donations and underwriting,” said Hill.

Teams from companies and organizations collect donations and can win prizes for their efforts. A team consists of ten or more members, and can be made up of neighbors, family members, co-workers, church friends, students and youth, or any combination of cancer fighters. Each team member is asked to collect $100 in donations to the American Cancer Society.

“Relay for Life is as much an awareness raiser about progress against cancer as it is a fundraiser to fight cancer,” said Hill. “For cancer survivors, their involvement is proof of the progress that has been made not only in cancer cure rates, but in the quality of life following cancer treatment.”

“The funds raised will enable us to expand our services to cancer patients and their families, to offer more educational programs that will reduce people’s risk of getting cancer, and to expand cancer research programs,” Hill added.

Registration forms and information about the Relay for Life are available at www.relayforlife.org/menifeeca or from the American Cancer Society by calling the Inland Empire Area Office at (951) 300-1220. For information on cancer prevention, detection, and treatment, call (800) ACS-2345, or visit the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.


The Beer Hunter Coming to Menifee

the beer hunter menifeeThe Beer Hunter is opening up a new location in Menifee, expected to open in Summer 2010.

This is according to The Beer Hunter's Facebook page...


The Beer Hunter is a sportsbar with a location in La Quinta. They offer a large selection of beer, about 200 brands, along with the usual pub style food. The La Quinta location is a very popular hangout for sports fans and beer drinkers.

The Menifee location will be at the Countryside Marketplace.

Sounds like Bob's Pitstop is going to have some competition.

You can learn more about The Beer Hunter at it's La Quinta website...


Second Annual Menifee Mayor's Ball

This was forwarded to me from Linda Denver, regarding the Second Annual Menifee Mayor's Ball...
The Second Annual Menifee Mayor's Ball will be held on Saturday, January 23, 6 to 10 p.m. at Valley-wide Recreation Center, j28545 Las Piedra Rd, Menifee, to benefit community projects in Menifee. The evening, "A Night in King Arthur's Court", will feature high school and college as well as professional vocal, instrumental, and theatrical entertainment. Costs for banquet, entertainment and dancing are $60 per couple, $110 per couple, $200 for 4 people, with sponsorships starting at $150. Call 951-672-1731 for information.

Menifee State of the City Address

menifee state of the city address


Ending January 15, 2010
9:00 - 4:00 Wheatfield Park
Saturday January 15th, 8:00 - 4:00
Sunday January 16th, 12:00 - 4:00
Wheatfield Park
All players ages 8yrs and older MUST try out
All players will be placed on a team
To qualify for All Stars, you MUST try out
Registration 4-7 yrs $100
Registration 8yrs and older $120
You must bring Birth Certificate and proof of residency to sign-up.

Registration fees include hat, jersey, picture package, and trophy

Refunds are not guaranteed after teams have been announced. Any refund requests will be considered and if approved may be subject to pro-rated refund.

Opening Day Carnival Saturday, March 6th
*The Little League is looking for vendors for the Opening Day Carnival. Email mvllbaseball@aol.com

Where is Menifee?

Menifee is the biggest city you've never heard of.

When people ask me where I'm from, I tell them "Menifee", and they say "Oh, where's that?"

A year ago, councilman Mann wanted to put some effort into "branding", meaning make people more aware of where Menifee is, and what kind of city we have. I've seen the "Welcome to Menifee" sign there on Newport Rd & Goetz Rd.

It used to be that real estate developers did all of this branding work. They'd run advertising campaigns in newspapers telling everyone what an idyllic place Menifee is. But without them, nobody hears that name anymore.

Of course, I like living in a quiet, tight-knit community; I don't necessarily want more people living here. But I think creating some positive "branding" will help property values.

For example, I remember hearing from people that they opted to buy a house in Temecula because they heard that the schools were better. That's positive branding, which helped Temecula homeowners enjoy higher property values.

So, I'm curious to know if anything else has been done to create "branding" in this city.