Hungrytown Set to Perform

On February 2nd at 5:00pm the Sun City Library will be celebrating Love Your Library Month with a creative, talented and award-winning retro-folk band known as Hungrytown. If you have a passion for music, or just enjoy moving to the beat, then you won't want to miss this event!

hungrytown sun city library

Coffee and pastries provided by the friends of the library

Call 679-3534 if you would like more information.




Catharine Shepard - Wisdom for the Ages

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

Catharine Shepard and her partner Wendi Hashimoto own Senior Care Referral Specialists, a free service to help families find appropriate senior care options. Having a combined 15 years of experience in the eldercare field, they have assisted thousands of families in search of senior living and care. I met recently with Catharine, and she explained how she and Wendi could offer this free service.

“Hundreds of care agencies and care communities pay us to provide referrals at no cost on the back end to our clients. Many of the referral companies that offer a similar service are internet companies who work from lists of properties without firsthand knowledge of them. We regularly visit the care settings, and work hand in hand with our clients, getting to know their needs, working with them personally and guiding them to appropriate options. We also are referred to by many professionals in the senior care field. We educate our clients on which questions to ask and what to look for when they visit the facilities to which we refer them, so they can have their specific needs met. We are a resource for all types of senior care.”

“There are so many facets to personalized care. Social Workers are overwhelmed with the needs of families now. The Baby Boomers are now seeing their parents age to a point of needing specialized care. Between Menifee and Temecula, there are over 100 care facilities, but due to the specific clinical and budgetary needs of each client, perhaps only 5 of those facilities would be a good choice to visit for any one family. We help our clients narrow down those options based on the specific clinical needs of their aging parent. We take into consideration location, budget, clinical needs, social needs, and pets. We can refer our clients to movers, attorneys, estate sales specialists, mobility stores, VA benefit provision, and more.”

“Of course, cost is always a factor. Many clients don’t even realize all of the options they have, because they are unaware of benefits they may have. Pricing can vary at facilities based on care levels and specials offered. We are up to date on all of these aspects consistently.”

Catharine speaks from experience, not just her education in the field. She spoke of having to help her own mother find an assisted living facility. “I would worry after she moved out of our home. I wondered if she was crying or if she was scared. The guilt was so strong.” She found that when she would call her mother on the phone, her mother was usually too busy and having too much fun to chat. "She was taking bus trips, playing Bridge, taking walks with her friends, and really enjoying herself. I was so relieved!”

More than anything, Catharine is so pleased to be helping others with her education and experience. “This is the only job in my life that I get, ‘Thank you! You’re an angel’ almost everyday.”

To reach Catharine Shepard or Wendi Hashimoto at Senior Care Referral Specialists, call 951.824.8299 or visit their website: http://www.srcareinfo.com/




Maui Island Grill Is Gone

In its place is a BBQ restaurant. Don't have anymore info on this.




Mayor Calls for Less Campaign Contributions

menifee mayor wallace edgertonAt the State of City Address this afternoon, Menifee Mayor Wallace Edgerton called for efforts to reduce campaign funding and restore voters trust in their politicians.

In the wake of the Tucson shootings, which many analysts have blamed on angry political rhetoric going around the country, Edgerton called on his fellow city council members to create an ad hoc committee that would reach out to community groups, the media, churches, to earn back the faith Americans once had in their elected officials.

He specifically focused on campaign contributions, noting that there isn't any reason why businesses should feel they need to throw thousands of dollars at city council candidates.

In addition, the Mayor seemed pleased to report that the City of Menifee was fiscally sound. Despite the city not having the funds to widen bridges at Newport and Scott Rds, and not having funds to build bridges over Salt Creek, he reassured everyone in attendance that Menifee is doing pretty well.

Edgerton was also glowing to report on the hiring of a new city manager, William Rawlings, and named off a list of accolades and experiences, and built up everyone's expectations to quite a high level.




Ropes & Straps: New Exercise Program at Menifee Valley Athletic Club

Another cutting edge Program.

Ideal for Tactical Teams, Military, Firefighters, Law Enforcement.

Use Suspension Training to get stronger, leaner, and FITTER.

menifee valley athletic club ropes and straps




Wal Mart Traffic - What Is Your Time Worth?

Wal Mart. I realize that the mere mention of Wal Mart in Menifee raises eyebrows and plenty of debate. Issues of the impact on local small business, increased tax revenue, the type of customers (and motorhomes parking in their lot overnight) that it will attract, the low prices, the poor treatment of their employees historically, and the fact that it will produce some new jobs. All of these issues have their own validity, and with them bring arguments for both sides. But I think there is one thing that everyone can agree upon: the traffic.

Every Menifee citizen I have spoken to regarding Wal Mart has the same concern. When will the road improvements be completed in relation to when will the Wal Mart be completed? The sad fact is that the road improvements will be completed well after Wal Mart opens it's doors, and those road improvements scheduled will not solve, but only help somewhat, to decrease the traffic in the area.

The area I am referring to is Haun and Scott Roads. Now anyone who travels Scott Road in the morning hours trying to get to either the northbound, or more frequently the southbound, lanes of the 215 knows that the traffic is already snarled where Scott Road meets Antelope Road. I have found myself sitting there for over 30 minutes just trying to get from Menifee Road to the southbound onramp numerous times. Can you just imagine what a Wal Mart on Haun and Scott will do for morning traffic?

I realize all of the benefits of opening a Wal Mart here, and my concern is truly the impact it will have on Menifee overall. If I am spending an extra 10 minutes a day in traffic just to get over the freeway, then how much money did I really save shopping at Wal Mart? If you need a glimpse of what the traffic will look like once it's built, take a look at the Newport overpass sometime between 3:30 and 5:30 pm, and multiply it by 3. Newport has two lanes going both ways, and Scott has one.

What do you think? We want to know.




William Rawlings Appointed as Menifee's Permanent City Manager

The City Council today appointed a new city manager.

William Rawlings brings to the City over 23 years of high level management experience in municipal government and significant experience in economic development and redevelopment, according to an official release.

He currently serves at the Director of Redevelopment & Housing for the City of Vista.

Rawlings replaces George Wentz who resigned last April amidst a financial audit suggesting he may have authorized thousands of dollars in unwarranted payments to contractors. Steve Harding had been serving as interim city manager since then.

"The City is fortunate to have Mr. Rawlings on board" says Mayor Wallace Edgerton. "As our new City Manager, his education, experience and enthusiasm will be valuable assets to the City of Menifee as he works closely with staff and Council to guide the City forward."

Rawlings previously worked for the County of Orange where his duties included responsibility and oversight for all purchasing and contracting as well as managing its real estate operation.

Mr. Rawlings holds a bachelor of arts in Business Administration from California State University Fullerton and a Doctorate in Law from Western State University College of Law.

"I am very humbled and appreciative of the wonderful opportunity to work with such a focused and passionate City Council. Menifee is a City with many exciting opportunities and an engaged community. I look forward to being a part of its bright future," Rawlings said.

Rawlings won't be taking over the helm until another 30 days. When he finally does arrive, one of his first tasks is to review the development agreement for Menifee Town Center.




Heritage High School Lockdown This Afternoon

Heritage High School went into lockdown this afternoon after Sheriff's deputies were called to deal with a juvenile found in a field adjacent to the school. The juvenile was arrested around 12:30pm on a 5150 charge (a danger to him/herself). No weapons reported.




February Candy Demo Scheduled for Sun City Library

fran and pattis past times chocolate
If you missed the candy-making demonstration last December at Sun City Library, you have another opportunity.

Patti from Fran & Patti's Past Times Chocolate Shop is BACK and will be at the Sun City Library Monday, February 7th at 5:00 pm to show every one of all ages how to make candies and chocolate.

Instead of buying a Valentine's Day chocolates for your special someone, you'll actually be able to make your own.

Space is limited, so please arrive early.

Event is open to the public. The Sun City Library is located at 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd. (cross street is Bradley). For more information, call 951-679-3534.




Menifee Releases Its Q3 2010 Sales Tax Figures

The City of Menifee released its sales tax figures for Q3 2010 today.

In short, sales tax receipts were down 0.5% between July through September 2010 compared to the same period of 2009, however this is due to "accounting anomalies" that made 2009 figures seemed higher.

In reality, actual sales activity within the city was up 8.1% in Q3 2010.

One interesting note is that the Albertson's in Menifee was listed as among the city's top 25 sales tax producers. However, by the end of this February it will be closing up.

You can read the full report online at:
http://www.cityofmenifee.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=370




Tanglez Salon Celebrates Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

tanglez salon
Tanglez Salon celebrated their Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the Menifee Chamber of Commerce and visitors this morning at 10am. Now ready to meet the need of their Menifee clientele, Tanglez wants to make Menifee a more beautiful place for everyone.


For more information about Tanglez, such as hours, location, and offerings, check out the article posted here about the salon's opening:







I215 Southbound Closed Due to Accident

This morning, at approximately 5:00 am, the California Highway Information reported that the 215S is closed between McCall Blvd. and Newport Road due to a multi-vehicle accident in Menifee. There were some reports of a fatality, but those reports are not yet confirmed. Vehicles will be detoured off of the 215 at McCall and routed through Menifee to re-enter the freeway on Newport. According to the latest available report from the California Highway Information, the closure is scheduled to last at least 2 hours. All lanes are closed at this time, and CHP are on scene.

Update: as of 6:52am, the southbound #2 lane was reopened.

Update: as of 7:25am, all lanes now open.




Bradley Road Improvements Coming in the Future

After the rain storms of last December shut down several roads in Menifee, the City has a plan to reduce flooding along Bradley Rd, where it crosses Salt Creek.

Don Allison, the city's chief Engineer, is working on a project to replace the two pipes under Bradley Rd with a block culvert that will allow more water to flow under the road.

The project will cost between $300,000 to $400,000 and is expected begin construction in summer of 2012, though could possibly start earlier. It all depends on how early the city can get the Army Corps of Engineers to come out and get the job done.

The culvert will look much like the one under Murrieta Rd at Salt Creek. Even though the Murrieta Rd crossing also gets flooded over and shut down, the new culvert under Bradley Rd is still a big improvement. As it is now, the two small pipes become quickly overwhelmed during a storm and clogged from debris.

The new culvert will measure 30 inches high and eight feet wide, and won't raise the road elevation.

Bradley Rd: These two pipes are the only defense against road flooding


Murrieta Rd: This is the culvert that Bradley Rd will be getting




Operation Silver Star Car Wash Fundraiser

Operation Silver Star (operationsilverstar.org), a forming nonprofit wounded military personnel assistance organization will be having a carwash at the Menifee Albertson's located at 26100 Newport Rd on Sunday January 23, 2011 starting at 10:30 am to 4:00 pm.

All proceeds will be used towards the continued creation of the organization and preparation of our first fundraiser which will be a Prime Rib Dinner fundraiser at the Links at Summerly 28931 Village Parkway, Lake Elsinore Ca 92530 on March 12, 2011 for more information please email at administrator@operationsilverstar.org




Free SAT Practice Test at the Sun City Library

Do you want to prepare for the SAT exam? Then come on down to the Sun City Library and take a free SAT practice test. This test will be proctored like an actual test, except your score won’t go on record!

The test will take place on Saturday, February 5th 10:00am-2:00pm

Pre-registration required

DEADLINE to sign up is Thursday, February 3rd

Bring 2 sharpened # 2 pencils and a calculator

Parents and students are invited to pick up test results and attend a Test Strategies Seminar at
Sun City Library on Thursday, February 10th 5:00pm-6:00pm

Registration forms can either be picked up from the Sun City Library, emailed to you (request by emailing ashley.bigay@rivlib.net), or by visiting the Library’s Facebook Page (search: Sun City Library).

For questions, contact Ashley Bigay at the Sun City Library: 951-679-3534

Sponsored by: Sun City Library & Kaplan




Cheer Registration Around the Corner

CYSC all stars will soon be registering students ages 5-14 for Pom-Poms, Cheer and Drill Team for the winter 2011 session.

Registration and first lesson will take place on January 24th at Chester Morrison Elementary located at: 30250 Bradley RD. Menifee, 92584. Arrive 15 minutes before your assigned time.

5:30-6:00pm JR Stars (Beg. 5,6,7 yrs)
6:10-6:40pm SR Stars (Beg. 8 & up)
6:40-7:10pm Super Stars (Advance)

Program Cost:
$8 Winter registration (due at first attendance) – plus –
$7 Weekly Lesson Fee – or –
$60 Paid in Full 10 Weeks (save $10)

Get Materials As You Go:
$25 Performance Pom-Poms
$75 Performance Uniform

Scholarships are available!

Fundraiser available for class fees, uniforms and pom-poms!

For more information: ***California Youth Spirit Corps***
http://www.cyscallstars.com/
**Late Registration Accepted**
951-242-6539


menifee cysc all stars cheerleading




Menifee Valley Athletic Club Announces Its "Get Fit Challenge"

Starting today, Menifee Valley Athletic Club begins its "Get Fit Challenge", a proven system to help you lose weight and get fit...

menifee valley athletic club
Click the flyer to view the full size


1/10/2011




Menifee Town Center Moves Closer to Reality

The Menifee Town Center project, billed as the city's future downtown, with restaurants, movie theater, civic center, office buildings, and condos, was approved last night for the most part, with the exception to the development agreement.

The city council voted four to one, with Mayor Edgerton voting no, to approve the Environmental Impact Report, the General Plan Amendment, and to create an ordinance approving the Town Center Specific Plan.

This came after the developer, Regent Properties, made five concessions after having met with an ad hoc committee within the past couple of weeks. That committee, consisting of council members Fred Twyman and Tom Fuhrman, was able to get Regent Properties to make the following changes...

  • Reduce the maximum number of residential units from 1,400 to 1,052. The 1,052 units is the actual number of units that Regent had planned to build originally, while 1,400 is the upper limit that Regent could build if they needed to. The concession simply sets that upper limit to their actual planned amount.


  • No residential units in Planning Area 3. If you refer to the map below, Planning Area 3 is that islanded piece of area in red labeled, "Office/Commercial". The original plan never intended to build any residential here.


  • No residential units within 900 feet of Newport Rd in Planning Areas 1 and 2. Planning Areas 1 and 2 are the areas in red dubbed "Commercial" and Retail/Hotel. The original plans never intended these areas to have any residential either.


  • Regent Properties agreed to conduct a soils investigation on any residential, educational, or recreational uses prior to obtaining a building permit.


  • Regent Properties agreed to submit a safety plan regarding public health and safety prior to any recreational uses within Paloma Wash. This is largely in regards to building soccer fields in the bottom of the wash.


Proposed Menifee Town Center Aerial Map

The first three concessions are not really concessions in that they already conform to Regent's original plans. However, they simply force Regent to stick to those plans, which was one of the topics of debate in the last city council meeting.

The development agreement that Regent Properties is asking for grants them an entitlement for 15-20 years to effectively make their own call on what to build, and if they so desired, could decide to deviate from the original plans. These concessions prevents them from making those deviations, only to those specific areas.

One thing the city council did not agree to this evening was the development agreement.

The development agreement is effectively a contract that spells out the relationship between the developer and the city. The existing contract calls for a 15 year "entitlement" with a possible 5 year extension.

Council members Fuhrman, Twyman and Edgerton voiced their opposition to approving this development agreement without having the new city manager take a look at it. As of right now, the new city manager has not been announced, though it seems one has been selected. This city manager will have to provide a 30 day notice to leave his/her present position, and then once the manager starts their position here with City of Menifee, will be granted 30 days to review the development agreement.

Meaning, it could be another 60 days until the city council will make a decision on the development agreement.

Council member Twyman mentioned in the meeting that he wanted the city to "hold on to the hammer", meaning he didn't want to give away planning authority to Regent Properties, something the development agreement entitled the developer to do.

However, council member Darcy Kuenzi questioned if the development agreement actually did that. She asked interim city manager Steve Harding to provide his expertise with development agreements in his previous city-managerial position.

"This development agreement is a merely a zoning document." Harding said. "It's simply a zoning document. All of the specific buildings must still come back through the city council."

Kuenzi, who along with council member John Denver, had previously voiced her support of this project, replied back with "So the city retains the hammer, right?" To which Harding answered, "Yes."

So it seems there's a difference in interpretation on what this development agreement does. Perhaps when the new city manager comes in to provide his/her analysis, we'll find out what it really means.

Regent Properties also agreed to one other thing, to build soccer fields on a six acre piece of land slated to become the new civic center. The soccer fields will be there only temporarily until the City decides to build a new city hall building. If and when the City moves forward with that new building, the soccer fields are expected to be relocated to the bottom of Paloma Wash.




The Beer Hunter Super Bowl Party

The Beer Hunter is throwing a Super Bowl Party...

the beer hunter superbowl party




Menifee American Youth Football & Cheer Sign-Ups

Menifee American Youth Football is holding its first football and cheer sign-ups tomorrow, Saturday, January 15th (ages 5-15), from 8:30am to 3:00pm...

Wheatfield Park (Menifee Lakes Community)
Sunrise Park (Heritage Lake Community)

Menifee American Youth Football is a chartered member of the Riverside County Youth Football and Cheer Conference in partnership with American Youth Football and the NFL.




Not too Late to Join Money Cent$

Feeling competitive? The Sun City Library wants to let the community know that even though the Money Cent$ programs have started, it isn't too late to join. The Library now has official prize information for the Investment Games and look forward to meeting the winners.

There is a Teen Investment game that started January 9th and runs thru February 5th for teens ages 13-18. This program will teach your teenager how the stock market works through an online simulation trading game where you build and manage your own portfolios and compete in a game where the one with the largest portfolio at the end of the game will win a Dell Mini!

There is also an online simulation trading game to learn all about stock markets that started January 9th and runs thru February 5th for ages 19+. The winner of this game will win a Sony eReader!

For more information contact Ashley Bigay at 951-679-3534




Fire In Menifee, Haun Road

Update 6:00pm - Haun fire is at 15 acres and 25% contained, firefighters will be on scene overnight.

At 2:10pm today firefighters responded to brush fire near Menifee Ridge Wright Rd and Shauna Charmaine Ln. While on their way to the scene, a Cal Fire truck was involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle. One person from the passenger vehicle was injured and transported.

The brush fire grew from one to two acres and as of this writing is estimated at 10-12 acres, driven by winds.

No homes are threatened.




Antelope Road Has Re-Opened, but Construction Is Still Planned

You've noticed that Antelope Rd has re-opened between Holland and Garbani, but the construction is no where near finished. The city re-opened the road because it was going to take a long time to dry out.

Here's a message from Matt Simonetti, the city engineer in charge of the project...

The trenches became saturated to the point that drying them out was not a viable option because it would have kept the road closed for a longer period of time. It was unfortunate that we encountered the series of storms that we did after the construction began which turned the planned 6 day closure into 3.5 weeks.

In order to expedite the opening of the road, the contractor removed the top 6” of saturated soil and replaced it with road base which allowed the first lift of asphalt paving to go in. The construction is only in its early stages. The next phase is to completely remove and replace the existing pavement in front Christensen Ranch.

The traffic control will occur in two stages...

Stage 1 will place the traffic on the west side of Antelope Road, and
Stage 2 will shift traffic to the east side of Antelope Road.

The final asphalt will be constructed once the base lift of asphalt paving is complete.

The rough road you see out there now is only an interim stage of the construction. A smooth road and traffic signal at Craig and Antelope will be the final product.




New Land Use Plan for Menifee Has the Planning Commission Concerned

Last night the city's Planning Commission reviewed the details of the new Land Use Plan adopted by the General Planning Advisory Committee (GPAC), and ended up concerned over the "Mixed Use" designation.

"What kind of people does Menifee want to attract?" was one question that was posed to the Planning Commission last night. "Do you want more younger people?" Those questions were asked by The Planning Center, a consulting firm that specializes in General Plans.

The Land Use Plan that the Commission reviewed is just one of seven aspects of the overall General Plan. It specifically defines how each acre of land in the city is going to be used now and in the future.

The consulting firm studied the city as it stands today and compared that with trends taking place across the country, as a way to guide the City into what kinds of developments it needs to consider, and that ultimately manifested itself into the Land Use Plan the GPAC adopted. Last night, it went before the Planning Commission, who will ultimately vote on it.

"Ten years from now, there will be jobs chasing workers." representatives from the consulting firm said, hinting that Menifee needs to attract residents that employers want to hire. "Jobs will be exported to where there are skilled and educated workers."

They also pointed out that currently, jobs have the highest concentration throughout the Inland Empire where there tend to be hospitals and colleges, and interestingly enough, Menifee has both. They also pointed out that baby boomers are retiring now, and are in need of healthcare.

But despite Menifee having a hospital and a college, it still has a low employment rate compared to nearby cities. Only 48% of Menifee residents aged 16 to 65 have jobs, compared to over 60% in neighboring cities. Of course part of that has to do with Menifee having a large retirement community.

Seemingly, one of the solutions to attracting skilled, educated workers is to build "mixed use developments", which combines a mixture of business, retail, and high density residential, namely condos and townhomes.

The GPAC had designated several areas on the Land Use Planning Map as "Mixed Use", shaded in darker purple, and it was this particular designation that sent fear into the Planning Commissioners last night.

Last week, the City Council, argued at length over the proposed "Town Center", a mixed-use development of shopping, entertainment, government, and high-density residential. At that meeting, three of the council members expressed several opinions against it, and postponed their decision for a later hearing.

That particular meeting had its repercussions last night, with the planning commissioners concerned at anything with the words "mixed use".

"I realize what a big mistake we made in approving that specific plan", spoke Commissioner Chris Thomas, in reference to the Town Center plan. "I hope that plan will be sent back to us."

Proposed Land Use Plan - Click on Map to see full size (12.53mb download!)

The reason for their concern with mixed-use designations is they're vague. It doesn't define specifically the mix of residential to business, or even requires there be a mix. It's left up to the developer to decide, and commissioners worried that developers could choose the worse-case scenario, building too many condominiums, and not enough commercial.

And those condominiums could be as high as four to five stories, and many of them will be placed along the 215 freeway between Newport and Scott, effectively preventing current homeowners from getting their views of mountains and hills.

The Land Use Plan the GPAC adopted said that these mixed-use areas could have up to 40 living units per acre. According to the consulting firm, that would typically require four to five story buildings.

"Everywhere we went, people said they want to keep Menifee rural!", explained Commissioner Marc Miller, referring to the many public meetings the GPAC conducted. "That's why they came to Menifee."

The newest member of the Planning Commission, Mark Matelko, appointed by Tom Fuhrman, seemed to agree. "I have a problem with mixed use, which is for urban, and Menifee is rural and suburban."

The consulting firm tried to explain that even though the mixed-use designation allows for up to 40 residential units per acre, it's likely that it would not get built out that high. But after last week's city council meeting, that explanation didn't seem to placate the planning commissioners.

Since Menifee became a city just over two years ago, it had been operating with the General Plan created by the County, dubbed "Riverside County Integrated Project" (RCIP).

GPAC took the county's plan, and kept most of it intact, but made several changes, which included designating a number of "mixed use" areas, including the Town Center, as well as another adjacent to Countryside Marketplace at the south. There's another mixed use designation on the corner of Antelope and Garbani, another at the corner of Lindenberger & Simpson, another adjacent to the hospital, and one on the corner of Encanto & Chambers.

GPAC also designated a large business park west of the 215 freeway near Scott Rd, as well as one along Ethanac & Murrieta Rds. Much of the Romoland area will develop into a mix of business park and heavy industrial, with the exception of what homes are already there.

All in all, the Land Use Plan adopted by GPAC will have an estimated build out of 142,000 residents. That's considerably down from the 197,000 residents estimated under the County's plan.

At this point, the issue stands with the Planning Commission having at least one more study session to get a second look. After that, they're expected to schedule a public hearing and take a vote.




Rollover Accident in Menifee at Briggs Rd & Matthews Rd

This afternoon, at about 3:09 PM, officers from the Menifee Police Department responded to a report of a single-vehicle-injury traffic collision on Briggs Road and Matthews Road, in the City of Menifee.

The investigation showed that a GMC was traveling southbound on Briggs Road at a high rate of speed. The driver lost control of the vehicle, resulting in a roll over. The GMC had two passengers. Their identities were unknown at the time of the investigation. All three occupants were transported to Inland Valley Hospital. The extent of injuries are still unknown.

rollover accident in Menifee
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Deputy Howe of the Perris Sheriff's Station at 951-210-1000.




Menifee Mustangs Baseball Team Is Looking For More Players

The Menifee Mustangs Club Baseball team is currently looking for players for their age 14 and under team. Please contact Dave Williams, 951-212-4835.




Menifee Home Fire Reported

At 2:57pm today, firefighters were called regarding smoke bellowing from the second floor of a two-story home in Menifee, near Lindenberger Rd. There they put a out a fire that was contained to the laundry room.

menifee home fire




Hungrytown Comes to Menifee On February 2nd, 2011

Hungrytown, an award-winning retro-folk duo, will be performing at Sun City Library on Wednesday, February 2, 2011, at 5:00pm. The event is open to the public.

Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, a husband and wife team based in Vermont, write and perform their own original songs in the style of early Americana. The Sun City performance is part of the group's 2011 Further West Tour taking them across the south western United States and into several other libraries and coffee shops.

Coffee and pastries will be provided by the Friends of the Library.

You can listen and watch their videos online...
http://www.hungrytown.net/videos.html

hungrytown

The concert is part of the library's "Love Your Library Month" a series of shows and events throughout February.

For more information, contact the library at 951-679-3534.

The Sun City Library is located at 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd. (cross street is Bradley).




Sandra Aldridge - Keeper of the Cupboard

sandra aldridge
Sandra Aldridge has only been a Menifee resident since 2002, but to many of the residents, she is a face of hope. As the Executive Director of the Menifee Valley Community Cupboard, Sandra is very busy working to maintain a viable food bank for the community's poor. From grant writing, organizing events, fundraising, managing volunteers, running the Thrift Shop, organizing payroll and Worker's Comp, all the way to shopping for food, holiday food distributions, working with other local organizations, maintaining equipment and attending community events, her busy schedule leaves little time for Sandra to reflect upon how she came to her position in our community.

While Executive Director is a paid position, she realized early that the position required more than 40 hours a week. "Somebody has to be here, sometimes up to 60 hours a week. Those weeks are more often than not. And while this type of schedule isn't something that could be expected of someone, well, the Cupboard needs someone to be here; someone to be in charge. It's not a 'Hey it's Friday, I'm outta here' type of position."

Sandra relocated here after her time in San Diego as a military wife. She literally stumbled into community service after 9/11, and she realized the great need of military families that was left behind in the wake of the deployment of the troops. "San Diego was a ghost town. All of the military left, all of them. Thousands of military wives and kids were alone, and they needed assistance." Going to work with Roger Hedgecock, Sandra was instrumental in forming Operation Homefront, which is now a nationwide non-profit organization providing financial assistance, counseling, and recovery support for military families. Sandra was the first Chapter President, and worked helping to form this grassroots organization through volunteering her time.

Working at the Cupboard, Sandra leads a staff of 10 and a volunteer staff of 50, on a regular basis, to help meet the needs of over 1,100 clients per month with food. Sandra is also grateful to have the support of the Board of Directors as well. In December, the Cupboard assists with the Santa's Workshop as well, providing toys to around 950 needy children in Menifee. "I think of the children, how many of them there are. This is something they will remember for the rest of their lives. So many of them come with no shoes, no coat, in the same dirty clothes day after day. I look in the faces of children who will benefit from just a meal, a toy, and some care."

Sandra also expresses great concern for our local seniors, and the fact that at this time of year they are choosing whether to spend their money of food, prescriptions, or heat. Sadly, no matter what choice they make, they will ultimately suffer.

"I came to this just following a path, a set of circumstances rolling into the life I have here. Sometimes you never know what will be in your path that turns into a passion. Being here was not really a calling, just following my path. When I look into the faces of those I am able to help, well, I'm glad I followed."

To learn more about the Menifee Valley Community Cupboard and how you can help, or to shop in the Thrift Shop, to find many wonderful treasures and help support your community, visit:




Albertsons in Menifee Will Be Going Out of Business

Albertsons in MenifeeSad, but true. Albertson's Grocery Store in Menifee, on the corner of Newport and Murrieta Rds, will be closing up at end of this February.

SuperValu, Inc., the company that owns Albertsons, issued a press release yesterday citing company goals not being met...

ALBERTSONS strives to ensure the success of all its stores, however, it is occasionally necessary to close those that are not meeting company goals in today’s competitive and difficult economic environment. While the decision to close a store is difficult—given the impact on associates and customers—ALBERTSONS has a responsibility to do what is best for the long-term growth and success of the company as a whole.

The Sav-on Pharmacy inside the store will actually close much earlier, on January 18th. All prescription files will be transferred to nearby competing pharmacies. A sign will be posted at the pharmacy counter regarding this.

As for what will become of the employees who work at Albertsons, some of them will be absorbed into other Albertsons nearby, while others will be laid off, all of which to be determined by seniority.

The people who work inside the Wells Fargo bank branch seemed to be breathing easily however. I asked a teller what would become of their jobs, and was told their jobs are all secure and will be transitioned to other branches.

And what of the Starbucks inside Albertsons? Those workers are actually Albertsons employees. They'll either be transferred or laid off by seniority, going into whatever positions are available.

Albertsons is what is known as the "anchor store" for Sun City Plaza, the shopping center it's located in. Much of the other stores there rely on Albertsons traffic for their own business.

The Smoke Shop, located immediately next door to Albertsons, does most of its advertising in the Pennysaver, but otherwise relies on Albertsons shoppers for visibility. The woman working behind the counter there seemed disappointed. "All of the businesses in Sun City Plaza are hurting right now with the bad economy" she told me. "It's going to hurt even more when Albertsons goes away."

As for what will take Albertsons place once they vacate? No one seems to know right now. Some of the employees I talked to said no one knew. Albertsons actually owns that building, and based on what employees mentioned to me, the store had tried to find a buyer but had no luck.




New Building Permit Tracking Software Comes to Menifee

Just this week the City of Menifee approved a contract with a Computer Software, Inc. to computerize its building permits.

Up until now, all building permits were processed and managed using storage boxes. Perhaps no one is more relieved than Craig Carlson, the city's building inspector, who currently spends a lot of time sifting through one box after another.

"I get about four to five calls each day from realtors, the census bureau, and other groups who want reports." Carlson says. "It literally takes me several hours to go through this stuff. I've got boxes from 2010 and 2009, and I have to go through each one."

MAGNET Municipal is an Internet-based system that integrates with local geographic information systems (GIS) as well as Google Maps, and keeps an electronic dossier on every property in Menifee. City staff can view a satellite image of Menifee, click on a house with a swimming pool, and find out if that house has proper permits on file. If it does not, the system can generate a letter to the homeowner and fire it off from there.

"The county of Riverside can already do that with its existing GIS" Carlson said. "But those satellite images are old. It still doesn't even show my house, and my house was built in 2006." Interestingly, Carlson said that Google Maps offers a premium service to cities and counties showing satellite imagery updated to within six months. "Most people don't know that service exists." he said.

google map of menifee

So if you're a homeowner in Menifee, and you built a patio cover without obtaining a permit, should you worry now that the city has this new software?

The answer seems uncertain. Carlson noted that with or without the new permit tracking software, residents in Menifee seem to do a pretty good job of notifying the city about building projects taking place nearby. "Much of our enforcement actually comes from calls we get from residents".

But the new system will also help home buyers identify outstanding issues before they make a purchase. "By law, Realtors are supposed to disclose all outstanding problems to the homebuyer, and they haven't been doing that" Carlson said. "A homebuyer can call us and find out if the home they want to buy actually has permits for its improvements."

Cost of the new software is $146,100 for the first year of use. Each subsequent year the city will have to pay $28,960.

But it sounds like it's going to be worth its weight in gold just in the amount of man hours it's going to save. "We really need that software!" Carlson was relieved to say. "It's going to save us so much time."




Sun City Fire Station is Looking to Find a New Home

sun city fire station 7
Sun City Fire Station 7
Sun City Fire Station 7, located on Bradley Rd in Sun City, is moving out and looking for a new location.

The station, which has been there since 1972, has become problematic for the Riverside County Fire Department (RCFD) as traffic increases along Bradley and McCall roads.

But the bigger problem is unhealthful air.

The firestation is designed in such a way that trucks are required to back themselves into the building. The building has no means to eliminate exhaust belching out of the trucks. As a result, workers are inhaling unhealthful contaminants.

When the fire station was built, the State of California and Cal/OSHA didn't have standards on healthful air flow in the workplace. But recently, Station 7 was cited by Cal/OSHA specifically relating to the exhaust and lack of proper airflow. At this time, the Station is required to administrate some kind of action.

All of the newer fire stations in Riverside County are being built with a U-shaped driveway whereby trucks can enter into one end of the building, and then drive out the other, eliminating the need to back in. And by virtue of the design of these buildings, it already creates the proper airflow to comply with Cal/OSHA.

The present location of Sun City Station 7 won't allow RCFD to design a new building with this U-shaped driveway. Hence a decision was made to find a new home for Sun City Station 7.

Presently RCFD has its eye on two locations, both in Sun City Core...

sun city fire station 7 map

Both the preferred location and the alternate location are presently empty. RCFD prefers the smaller lot because it'll be less costly to develop. The alternate location is where the old Kings Inn and Restaurant used to be, and there are actually pipes underground which RCFD would have to remove before building.

The new fire station is expected to cost RCFD approximately $5 million. They already have about $3 million available for this project. They're asking City of Menifee to put up the other $2 million.

As for what will become of the old location once Sun City Station 7 vacates, the property currently belongs to the County. If City of Menifee puts up the $2 million the County will donate the land to the City, which the City could sell to offset the expense. If the City doesn't put up the money, it's not known what will happen.

Because Sun City Station 7 has already been cited by Cal/OSHA for safety violations, RCFD can't just sit by. They have to do something.




Decision on Menifee Town Center Gets Delayed

Menifee Town Center, the development that was billed as Menifee's "downtown", complete with shops, civic center, office buildings, restaurants, a movie theater, a park, walkways and pedestrian bridges, didn't get past city council yesterday evening.

The council was being asked to approve the plan, after the plan had been approved by the Planning Commission last month. Instead, the council voted to "continue" the discussion to the next city council meeting on January 18th.

Three councilmembers, Tom Fuhrman, Fred Twyman, and Wallace Edgerton took issue with what the developer submitted, but each having different issues of their own. Only councilmembers Denver and Kuenzi voiced their approval. But knowing they would be outvoted, Kuenzi offered a motion to continue the discussions for the next council meeting, but also establish an ad hoc committee to work with the developer to address specific concerns that Fuhrman, Twyman, and Edgerton had.

Menifee Town Center Map
Menifee Town Center (shaded in orange)

Fuhrman took issue with numerous items on the Environmental Impact Report, one of which was the soccer field planned for Paloma Wash. The plan calls to build a soccer field in the bed of the wash, to which Furhman noted that he wanted to know if any sludge would be carried through the wash and on to the soccer field.

Sludge, if you're not familiar, is human feces collected from Orange County sewers, sprayed with chemicals, and spread throughout the farm fields of Menifee. However, Mike Bouris, whose family farmed the land that Menifee Town Center is now proposed, testified that they were one of the few farmers that never used sludge.

However, Fuhrman noted that Paloma Wash carries sediment from other areas of Menifee that did use sludge. "The soil sample study says that samples were taken from two piles of dirt", spoke Fuhrman. "But the study says that the origins of the dirt piles are unknown. I want to see a study of the dirt that's in the wash before I let my grandkids play in it!" referring to the proposed soccer field.

Twyman took issue with the residences planned for Menifee Town Center. The existing plans call for 1,052 residential units consisting of small family homes, town homes and condos. "That area is our future business center" Twyman explained to the developer. "I don't want to give up that land to homes. Once you build homes there, you can't go back!"

Twyman went on to talk about jobs, noting that he supports building offices, a movie theater, restaurants, and hopefully attracting a courthouse, but that the residences proposed for Menifee Town Center will bring in more people than the jobs its plans to create. "We've already approved plans for other home developments in the city, and those homes aren't selling right now!" Twyman noted.

Edgerton took issue with the timing, specifically with respect to the "developer agreement". In this case, the developer, Regent Properties, has asked the city to sign a developer agreement, which is a contract that grants the developer an entitlement to make land-use decisions for at least 15 years up to possibly 20.

Developer agreements have proven advantageous in many cities in that it allows developers to adjust to changing economics and trends by making numerous development decisions without having to seek city council approval. They've often resulted in very creative, state-of-the-art developments that generate lots of revenue.

On the other hand, an agreement lasting 15 to 20 years, in what is described as Menifee's "downtown", takes a lot of power away from the city council. Should the economy continue to sour, and the developer decides to delay building, the city would be stuck not being able to do anything about it for as much as 20 years.

Edgerton brought up the example of how the city council agreed to take part in WRCOG's 50% TUMF reduction, and ultimately got on the hook for having to owe $2.4 million to WRCOG. "I don't want to see this council rushing into another agreement like we did with the TUMF", he explained.

Menifee Town Center
Conceptual illustration of Menifee Town Center

Jeff Dinkin, a managing partner with Regent Properties, spent great lengths showcasing the plan's facets, putting particular emphasis on a new civic center, which would include a City Hall and a Superior Courthouse. California's Administrative Office of the Courts is looking to build a new courthouse to replace the existing one in Hemet. Both Hemet and Menifee are frontrunners in landing the new courthouse which could possibly remain in operation for one-hundred years, and generate lots of new business for the city.

Dinkin effectively threatened the council, "I don't want to have to call the courthouse tomorrow and tell them the city council is divided on this" he said. "Frankly, you can kiss this courthouse goodbye!"

Edgerton took on a more aggressive tone in response, "Do not tell the courthouse that this council is divided! We are united on bringing a courthouse to Menifee!" explaining that the differences of opinion lay in other matters.

The issue of increased traffic this development would create wasn't raised at all by the council, particularly because councilmembers already knew the developer was well-prepared to answer that question. Instead, the traffic issue was raised by the audience.

Anne Pica explained that while she thinks a new downtown would be nice for Menifee, that now is not the time. "We need to take care of flooded streets", she said. "What good is having a downtown Menifee, when you can't even get to it?"

Kuenzi argued that the city can't build new bridges and widen roads without money, and that this new development will generate the money the City needs. Dinkin showed a presentation that Menifee Town Center is expected to earn $1,359,000.00 a year in net revenue for the city. John Denver added, "This will be our biggest funder for the traffic problem."

In the end, the council was actually stuck on how to proceed. There were arguments on whether to send this back to the Planning Commission, or to have the city council continue hashing this out.

Twyman wondered if the Planning Commission had actually been confused by the council's desire to attract a courthouse. "When we passed a unanimous resolution to attract the new Superior Court, I think the Planning Commission felt obligated to approve this plan", he noted, which lent credence to handing the plan back to the Commission.

However, Kuenzi was adamant that this plan rests with the city council and suggested a motion to instead establish an ad hoc committee consisting of two city councilmembers to work with the developer to address specific concerns, and then bring the matter back to the council on January 18th. The motion passed, and that's where this stands now.

Edgerton appointed Fuhrman and Twyman to that ad hoc committee.




No Decision Made on City Manager

The Menifee City Council met today to discuss hiring a permanent city manager. After the meeting they announced they had nothing to report. The discussions continue.




Emergency Vehicles and Courteous Driving

Living in the Menifee/Sun City area brings with it certain nuances that you just don't see everywhere. I was so surprised when I first moved to Sun City, many years ago, the amount of ambulances, police cars, paramedics and fire trucks I encountered while driving. It didn't take long, actually only one trip to the supermarket in the Core, to realize that living so near a retirement community was just different than any city in which I had lived before.

As the years wore on, I became accustomed to seeing at least one emergency vehicle a week when I was out, and sometimes, one a day. The path from the Core to Menifee Valley Medical Center seems to be the heaviest traveled, for obvious reasons. Being a mother of young children, I always pulled over at the first sight of the emergency vehicle, and my kids and I said a short prayer. I was trying to set a good example for my kids, but it turned into a community awareness for me over time.

One day my 9-year-old daughter hollered out the window of our car to a passing motorist who had not given way to an ambulance. She yelled, "Pull over, Knucklehead!" as the car drove by. I was initially embarrassed by her for yelling out of the window that way, but suddenly filled with pride. She went on to explain to me that it made her so angry when other drivers couldn't pull over for 15 seconds when there were lives at stake. "What if it was their mother, or child, or puppy, in a burning house? Would they want everyone to pull over then?"

Today I drove no more than 45 minutes, and was passed by 3 emergency vehicles. On all three seperate occasions, I noted that a couple of cars did not yield, nor pull over, and one almost drove head-on into a fire engine on Newport Road, when the engine had to pull into on-coming traffic because the road was blocked. So many motorists had not pulled to the side that the engine had nowhere else to go.

What if it was your house on fire, your father having a heart attack, your child choking? Would you pull over then? Would you want me to pull over too?




What Zip Code Do You Live In?

At Menifee 24/7, we're trying to compile demographics on which zip-codes our visitors live in. Please help us out, and take part in the poll!




Menifee Gas Prices - Jan 4, 2011

Menifee area gas prices as of Tuesday, January 4, 2011...

Green = Lowest price
Red = Highest price

Menifee gas pricesRegularDiesel
Texaco (Murrieta & Newport)$3.35$3.69
Chevron (Murrieta & Newport)$3.34$3.59
Mobil (Winterhawk & Newport)$3.29$3.53
ARCO (Bradley & Newport)$3.27$3.43
76 (Haun & Newport)$3.29$3.47
Shell (Antelope & Newport)$3.29$3.53
Sun City gas prices
Chevron (Bradley & McCall)$3.35$3.59
Valero (Encanto & McCall)$3.32$3.55
Romoland gas prices
ARCO (Menifee & Highway 74)$3.23$3.59
Perris gas prices
76 (Ethanac & I-215)$3.25$3.45
Circle K (Ethanac & Case)$3.27$3.46
Murrieta gas prices
7-Eleven (Antelope & Scott)$3.25N/A
ARCO (Antelope & Scott)$3.25$3.69




CR&R Trucks Tearing Up Menifee's Roads

"I'm just pouring my first cup of coffee at 5:30am, and there's already trucks making noise along Murrieta Rd".

That was the sentiment of Mark Cooper, chairman of the Menifee Citizens Advisory Committee (MCAC) last night at the meeting. The committee, which meets the first Monday of each month, discussed what could be done about an increasing number of trucks driving through the city at odd hours of day, through residential streets, and making too much noise.

"And what about Scott Rd? That road is about to become a disaster!", voiced Marty Rosen, another committee member.

The issue was originally presented by Cooper, who lives by Murrieta Rd in the northern part of Menifee. He pointed his finger at CR&R, a trash company that services Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, and Temecula, for making Goetz Rd and Murrieta Rd a beaten path to their dump yard in Perris.

"I understand our trash contractor is Waste Management, so I don't have a problem with them", explained Cooper. "But CR&R is not, and yet they're driving through our town, tearing up our roads and making noise early in the morning."

"And how much does it cost Menifee to have to repair those roads?" asked Nan Miller, another committee member.

Menifee Citizens Advisory Committee, Jan 3, 2011

The discussion ultimately centered around establishing truck routes through the city, or perhaps more appropriately, which roads should trucks be prevented from using and/or which hours they shouldn't be driving along them. It wasn't clear that the city had any established truck routes, or how to go about creating them.

The committee turned their attention to Rob Johnson, the senior management analyst for City of Menifee, who is also the liaison between the committee and the city's staff, for assistance.

"Truck routes would be part of the General Plan" explained Johnson. "And so far GPAC has only studied the land-use portion of the General Plan."

GPAC is the General Plan Advisory Committee who was tasked to evaluate the General Plan that the City of Menifee inherited from the County. But so far, GPAC has only studied the land-use portion of the plan, and not any other facets.

"We don't really know if the City has any truck routes" Johnson continued. "If we do, they're not being enforced."

At this point, the remaining action item is for Johnson to present the committee's concerns to the City Engineer. But the committee holds no authority to direct the City, only to voice concerns. It'll be up to the City Engineer to decide how to proceed.




Menifee Police Saturation Patrol Nets Seven Arrests

Last night the Menifee Police Department ran a "saturation patrol" from 6:00pm to 3:00am within the City of Menifee. Saturation patrols are not DUI Checkpoints, but where officers patrol through the city looking for people suspected of driving under the influence.

The total statistics of the saturation patrol are as follows...

64 Vehicle stops
27 Field sobriety tests administered
5 Motorists arrested for DUI
1 Felony narcotic possession arrest
1 Arrest for drunk in public
6 Citations issued for unlicensed drivers
1 Citations issued for suspended license
10 Vehicles towed
1 Citation issued for moving vehicle violation




Menifee Valley Little League Tryouts

Spring is right around the corner and Menifee Valley Little League has some upcoming events for the 2011 Spring season. The schedule is as follows:

PLAYER'S CLINIC

Saturday, January 8, 2011

8:00am..........4-5-6 year olds

9:00am..........7-8 year olds

10:00am........9-10 year olds

11:00am........11-12 year olds

12:00pm........13-14 year olds

1:00pm..........15-16 year olds

**MVLL Player's Clinic is free to all league players and will last around 45 minutes per age group.

TRYOUTS AND FINAL SPRING SIGN-UPS

Saturday, January 15, 2011

8:00am-10:00am..........8 year olds

10:00am-1:00pm..........9-10 year olds

1:30pm-3:30pm............11-12 year olds

3:30pm-4:30pm............13-16 year olds


Sunday, January 16, 2011

12:00pm-1:00pm..........8 year olds

1:00pm-2:00pm............9-10 year olds

2:00pm-3:00pm............11-12 year olds

3:00pm-4:00pm............13-16 year olds

Tryouts will be held at Wheat Field.

You only need to attend one tryout.

Required for players league age 8-16 years old.

Tryouts will be held on Saturday, January 22 and January 23 for rain makeup only.

For more information, please call 951-679-2882

Website: www.eteamz.active.com/mvll


menifee-valley-litle-league




More Rain Coming to Menifee This Sunday

As if Menifee hasn't gotten enough rain, more is on the way.

The National Weather Service announced early this morning that a low pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska will move into Southern California late Sunday and linger through Tuesday. Most of the precipitation will fall on Monday with scattered showers continuing through Tuesday.

After Tuesday, skies will remain cloudy with still slight chances of rain.

This system won't pack the same heavy punch that we saw with recent storms. Rainfall totals are expected to range between 1/2 inch to an inch in the inland valleys and coastal areas.

The snow level will be mostly near 5,000 feet but could lower to near 3,000 feet at times.




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