Host A Foreign Exchange Student

College students often talk about studying abroad in Europe or Asia, somewhere across the globe. But to students already living “around the world” California is abroad.

Did you know you could host a foreign exchange student right here in your Menifee home? Cultural Homestay International is a non-profit educational exchange program looking for families to host students.

It’s a unique opportunity to volunteer and give back in a way that promotes cultural understanding and public diplomacy. In exchange you and your family will gain a lifelong friendship and innumerous memories of the experience you share with your student.

foreign exchange student{Host mother, Alena, & exchange student, Elena}

The academic coordinator for Cultural Homestay International, Alena Butler, shares with Menifee 24/7 her own rewarding experience hosting a student in her home.

"I am the proud host parent to a beautiful exchange student from Rome, Italy. Her name is Elena and she has been a blessing to our family…She has become part of our family and will always be my daughter."

She goes on to tell us of the patience, courage, and cultural diversity that Elena has taught them during her 10-month stay in the United States. She has not only adapted to her host home, but has also taught them things about her own culture and way of life back in Italy.

Alena concludes her story by saying, “These students are truly amazing, and such a gift to their host families. It has broadened our horizons and for that I am forever grateful.”

Students ranging in age from 15 to 18 years old come to America from all over the world every year, and each one needs a host family while they are here. Families have the option to partake in the selection process of choosing a student to ensure a good fit for their home.

Host families provide shelter, basic food, and support for their student, but what they receive in return is worth so much more. Academic coordinators act as the liaison between host families, the student, and the school so communication is relatively seamless.

Cultural Homestay International poses to the public to “Be part of the change and reach out to build a bridge to a new America.”

For more information about hosting a student please contact Academic Coordinator, Alena Butler at (760) 717-3440 or email her at

Cultural Homestay International (CHI)
Toll free: (877) 906-9852

Local Arts Continue To Flourish

Sunday’s local arts reception put on by the Arts Council Menifee was successful for both those in attendance as well as the featured artists on display.

harpist Sarah BierleThis first time event drew an impressive crowd of just over one hundred fifty interested locals. The eleven artists present were delighted to be able to show off their work to such a solid attendance.

During the two-hour reception six writers and several fine artists shared their work, while harpist Sarah Bierle and singer Hannah Marley performed on stage. Two special guests made an appearance including Mayor John Denver and actor Dave Adams.

Since the Arts Council’s inception their mission has been “to bring the arts to the community of Menifee and local artists to the public”, and they have been successful in doing so through various events, such as this particular public reception. Each event garners a few more members and helps to grow the council’s non-profit reach.

arts council menifee {Linda Denver, John Denver, & Gayle DuRivage"}

After ACM President Dawn Prather and ACM Vice President Linda Denver made their opening remarks, Mayor John Denver went on to express the City of Menifee’s appreciation and support for their cause.

Each attendee received a peacock feather, symbolizing the Arts Council’s logo, generously donated by Wickerd Farms. In addition, various prizes donated from around the community were raffled off to eager recipients.

arts council menifee reception {ACM Board of Trustees}

For more information about the Arts Council Menifee, and to view upcoming events, please visit their website at

If you are interested in becoming a member for only $20 a year, please email the Arts Council at

Brides Say “Yes” to Menifee Lakes Country Club Bridal Showcase

When asked if they found what they were (respectively) looking for from the Menifee Lakes bridal showcase, overjoyed brides replied with a resounding “yes.”

Saturday’s 4th annual bridal showcase at Menifee Lakes County Club conveyed happily ever after solutions to over one hundred fifty party planning brides.

Bridal showcase
bridal showcase

Dozens of vendors set up shop to show off their big day worthy goods and services. Among the pretty things to see were traditional floral arrangements and classic table settings, but also some more contemporary ideas.

Current wedding trends call for anything un-classic. Every last wedded detail should be exciting, unexpected, and most importantly, completely personalized to the bride and grooms unique vision.

Photo booths to entertain guests, full service candy buffets, and custom cupcake flavors were amidst the playful options available for booking.

bridal showcase
Bridal showcase
bridal showcase

Menifee Lakes Country Club showed off their gorgeous venue complete with a plethora of customizable menu packages. And perhaps the highlight of the event, an afternoon fashion show dazzled the runway with flowing white gowns and glowing faux brides.

One Menifee bride-to-be, with her equally enthusiastic mother in tow, exclaimed how easy this showcase made planning her wedding seem, "Everything is all in one place, which is a dream come true for those of us without wedding planners."

This showcase might very well be the second happiest day of her life.

bridal showcase
bridal showcase

For more information about planning a wedding at Menifee Lakes Country Club, contact wedding and event coordinator Christa Davidson at (951) 672-4824 X. 113 or email her at

Menifee Lakes Country Club
29875 Menifee Lakes Drive
Menifee, Ca 92584
(951) 672-4824

Beer Hunter Karaoke is Back

Beginning tonight, Tuesday, February 28th, the Beer Hunter is bringing back their karaoke entertainment. Singing starts at 9 PM and will continue until closing time.

Beer Hunter KaraokeTo entice your taste buds, happy hour specials are being offered all night long including 20% off appetizers and free chips and salsa with the purchase of any beverage. Drink deals are happening too, with domestic beers for only $2.75 and imports at just $3.75.

Come to sing, or just to sip and enjoy. Karaoke Tuesday will kick off a month long stint of musical entertainment at the Beer Hunter.

Live performances featuring local artists and bands are set to start in March. Local DJs will spin your favorite party tunes each Saturday night, beginning this coming Saturday, March 3rd.

Beer Hunter
30080 Haun Road, Suite 350
Menifee, CA 92586
(951) 301-4700

Sunday - Thursday, 11:30 am - 11:30 pm
Friday - Saturday, 11:30 am - 1:30 am

Image via

Join Women's Council of Realtors For A Chili & Chicken Wing Cook-off On Wednesday

Renowned Photographer Jennifer Wu to Visit MSJC

Mt. San Jacinto College’s Menifee Valley Campus Photography Department is fortunate to have Jen Wu share her world renowned photography on Thursday, March 1, 2012,from 7-9 pm, in the assembly hall, room 927, of the Business & Technology building located at 28237 La Piedra Rd, Menifee, CA 92584. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend!

Jennifer Wu, a professional photographer since 1992, is best known for her nature, landscape and night photography. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm and passion for nature photography in lectures and workshops for Canon. Canon publishes her spectacular sky photographs in their professional camera brochures and advertisements.

Her images, featured in numerous magazines and books, have won a wide variety of prestigious awards. Whenever she is not on nature expeditions at some of the most beautiful locations in the world, she exhibits her images at nationally recognized galleries and art shows.

“I strive to create images that evoke a mood or a chord of recognition or even a sense of longing with the viewer,” Wu explains. “Some may sense tranquility and peacefulness or perhaps powerful and vivid qualities which lead the view to make discoveries, drawing them to the next images. These dramatic landscapes are at the edge of the light of night and day as I search for exquisite and unique places.”

You can visit Jennifer’s website and view her work here.

For more information about the on campus event, please contact Keith Hanz, Photography Department Chair, at 951-639-5546 or

Click on the image for a larger, printable version.

Alfredo Rolando Ortiz To Perform In Concert for Menifee/Sun City Woman's Club on March 11th

Hospice of the Valleys Hold St. Patrick's Day Themed Bunco Night

Adoptable Pet of the Week

Freckles the dog comes to us today from the Menifee Valley Humane Society. They've made it their main mission to "prevent the destruction of domestic animals due to overpopulation, abandonment or orphanage, through two steps: intervention and education."

Volunteers rescue animals on a daily basis from harmful and neglected situations, as well as animals about to be put down. They are a no-kill non-profit organization and they whole heartedly believe they can find a meant-to-be home for every animal that enters their care.

Adoptable pet of the week, Freckles.

adoptable pet of the weekName: Freckles

Breed: Australian Cattle dog mix

Age: 2 years

Gender: Female, spayed

Temperament: Freckles is extremely intelligent. She is housebroken, trained, and will pick up new commands quickly. She has a sweet disposition and gets along wonderfully with other dogs of all sizes, children, and people.

It appears she might have been an inside dog, and thus would make a delightful addition to any home. She is already micro-chipped and up to date on all of her vaccines.

Freckles’ Story: Freckles was ironically rescued from an animal shelter where she was about to be euthanized.

While Menifee Valley Humane Society does not have an actual building, they place all of their rescued dogs with safe, loving foster families until forever homes can be found.
adoptable pet of the week
Because they are a 501(c) non-profit functioning by the grace and generosity of volunteers, they are always in need of donations and supplies. When supplies are donated, they are therefore able to spend their funds on medical treatment and spaying and neutering the abandoned animals they rescue.

For a wish-list of needed supplies, please visit their website.

If you are interested in adopting Freckles, or in fostering an animal until a permanent family can be found, please contact Nina at (951) 852-8174.

Menifee Valley Humane Society
30141 Antelope Road, #D649
Menifee, CA 92584
(951) 246-7960
Please not: The telephone number is for voice mail only at this time.

Ken Rice's Open Road Band to Perform This Friday at Ponderosa Bar & Grill

This Friday night, February 24, 7:00pm, for one night only, Ken Rice's Open Road Band will perform at Ponderosa Bar & Grill in Menifee.

Rice, a Menifee resident, plays lead sax and is lead vocalist in the band. He's also the owner, operator, and repair man at the Little Shop of Horns in Temecula.

Band members include Paul Pierce, Buddy Mercer, Tommy Matranga, Tony Isabel, Mark Cherry, Joe Vega, Rubin Marinez, and Jon Maxey.

Having just released their 2nd CD, "On The Verge", by Rhombus Records, the band is already back in the studio creating their 3rd, which feature all new original material.

open road band

You can purchase their CD "On the Verge" at

What: Ken Rice's Open Road band
When: Friday, February 24, 2012, 7:00pm
Where: Ponderosa Bar & Grill, 27126 Shadel Rd., Menifee CA, 92586
Contact: Ponderosa Bar & Grill (951) 679-7008

Art Gallery Show to be Held for MSJC Volunteers

From February 25th through March 15th, the Mt. San Jacinto College Art Gallery will feature “The 2012 Art Associates Show.” This exhibit is hosted every other year and features work made by the Art Associates, who are the gallery volunteers. This group is made of up MSJC students and community members. “The Art Associates Show” not only celebrates these individuals’ artistic talent, but it is also a sincere gesture of thanks for their generosity in donating their time to the gallery.

With a wide variety of artwork on display (paintings, ceramics, sculptures, and drawings), this show will be visually and conceptually diverse. Much of this comes from the fact that the art on display was made by thirteen artists of different ages, backgrounds, and life experiences. The exhibit promises to be a rich and unique collection of expression, experience, and personal style.

More than half of the twenty four active volunteers consider themselves to be artists, so this event gives them the opportunity to showcase their own work. The majority of the Art Associates have been with the gallery for many years, with some having volunteered for over twenty years. The director, Brandelyn Dillaway, feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a great group of people who directly contribute to the success of the gallery and its programs. Dillaway admits that she could not effectively do her job without them, and is proud to present this exhibit as a means to spotlight this very important set of community volunteers.

The opening reception for “The 2012 Art Associates Show” will be held on Saturday, February 25 from 3-5pm; refreshments will be served and live music will be performed by guitarist Chuck Smolsky. The gallery will be open every weekday from10-4 in subsequent weeks. The opening reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

The MSJC Art Gallery is located on the San Jacinto campus, 1499 N. State Street, San Jacinto, CA 92583, in room 1400. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 10am – 4pm. For more information please call 951-487-3585 or visit the gallery's website here.

Soldier from Menifee Takes Part in Operation Highland Thunder

U.S. Marine Sgt. Guillermo Floresmartines of Menifee, CA, in Sre Kala, Afghanistan.
Photo credit: Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez

25-year native of Menifee, CA, U.S. Marine Sgt. Guillermo Floresmartines, an assistant squad leader with Alpha Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, wades through a canal during a patrol in Sre Kala, Helmand province, of Afghanistan, February 16, 2012.

Marines and sailors with 1st LAR and India Co., 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, conducted clearing and disrupting operations in and around the villages of Sre Kala and Paygel during Operation Highland Thunder.

Marines with 1st LAR led the operation on foot, sweeping for enemy weapons and drug caches through 324 square kilometers of rough, previously unoccupied desert and marshland terrain. Mobile units with 1st LAR set up blocking positions and vehicle check points while India Co., 3/3 conducted helicopter inserts to disrupt insurgent freedom of movement.

Read more about Operation Highland Thunder here:

U.S. Marine Sgt. Guillermo Floresmartines of Menifee, CA, in Sre Kala, Afghanistan.
Photo credit: Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez

Cowboy Poet Jeff Streeby to Discuss Creative Writing at MSJC, February 28

The Mt. San Jacinto College Menifee Valley Campus English Department is pleased to announce that award-winning Cowboy poet, Jeff Streeby is coming to campus.

On February 28th, Jeff Streeby will read from his work and engage in a discussion about the craft of writing. Streeby's visit to MSJC is an extraordinary opportunity for Menifee residents to listen to and interact with a renowned and award-winning local American writer.

Streeby, an associate faculty English instructor at the Menifee Valley Campus, grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, where he attended Morningside College. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Gerald Stern's program at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. He is a horseman, cowboy poet and performer whose recent work has appeared in or has been accepted for Alehouse; Flashquake; Rattle; Simply Haiku, Naugatuck River Review, and others.

Visit Streeby's website at:

jeff streeby

Event Info:

Date: Tuesday, February 28th
Time: 12:30 - 1:45pm (during College Hour)
Place: Mt. San Jacinto College, Menifee Valley Campus, 28237 La Piedra Road, 600 Building, Room 600, Menifee, CA

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale at the event.

For event info, contact Rickianne Rycraft (951) 639-5642.

Favorite Five: Margarita Madness

Today is the officially deemed National Margarita Day. A day in which we celebrate the sweet and sour beverage that so often accompanies chips and salsa.

In an effort to satisfy your cocktail craving we’ve put together a top five list of local watering holes that happen to be offering up some pretty darn good margaritas.


Menifee Lakes Country Club: Classy Cocktails

29875 Menifee Lakes Drive
Menifee, CA 92584
(951) 672-4824 x. 111

Aside from playing a round of golf or dining at their Palm View Grille, Menifee Lakes Country Club is also home to the green-side Mountain View Lounge.

Each weekday features a specialty drink deal and coincidentally, Wednesday’s drink special offers up margaritas for only $4.00. Stop by today from 11 am until 5 pm for drinks and a bite to eat. Open late Mondays and Thursdays, until 9 pm.

Ponderosa Bar and Grill: Favorite Neighborhood Spot

7126 Shadel Road

Menifee, CA 92586
(951) 679-7008

The Ponderosa is a well loved bar and grill hidden off a side street in Menifee. Offering margaritas, as well as a full bar, this is the perfect place to come for drinks and stay to play.

Every Tuesday is deemed Taco Tuesday from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM, featuring $1.00 chicken and beef tacos. Let’s face it; margaritas and tacos are practically the perfect pairing.

Beer Hunter: Game Day Margarita

30080 Haun Road, Suite 350
Menifee, CA 92586
(951) 301-4700

Some sports watching experiences call for a stronger drink than the customary cold beer. So when draft just won’t do, grab a table at the Beer Hunter and order up one of their expertly poured margaritas.

Go ahead and enjoy some of the best sports bar appetizers around, while you’re at it.

Carnitas Express: Cadillac Margaritas

26900 Newport Road, Suite 117
Menifee, CA 92584
(951) 679-9747

Carnitas Express proudly boasts Menifee’s top taco, and what better accompaniment than one of their king size Cadillac margaritas.

Texas Roadhouse: Legendary Margaritas

29860 Haun Rd.
Menifee, CA 92586
(951) 244-0600

Texas Roadhouse may be new in town, but since their opening they’ve been consistently packing the house with hungry patrons eager to experience their legendary food, service, and of course, margaritas.

Settle down at their legendary bar for a margarita endeavor that’s as entertaining as it is delicious .

Or, make your own margaritas. Sometimes it’s just way more fun to whip up a quick cocktail in the comfort of your own kitchen, and for that we give to you the easiest margarita recipe ever.

1 ounce tequila
3 ounces margarita mix
1 cup ice
Lime wedge

Rub the rim of the glass with the lime and then dip into salt.
Mix tequila and margarita mix in a shaker.
Pour over ice.

Enjoy responsibly.

Arts Council Menifee Hosts First Annual Reception

arts council menifee

Ever since their inception in 2010 the Arts Council Menifee has made it their mission to bring the arts to the Menifee area and expose local artists to the public.

This Sunday, February 26, 2012 the Arts Council will be hosting their first annual Reception free to the public. From 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Kay Ceniceros Center everyone is invited to come enjoy a taste of local talent.

This one day special event will showcase writers and written works, artwork displays, and live musical performances and entertainment.

Come support the growing local arts, and maybe even win an awesome door prize.

Arts Council Reception
Sunday, February 26, 2012
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Kay Ceniceros Center
29995 Evans Road
Menifee, CA, 92586
(951) 672-9673

Ordinance Hindering Tattoo Shop is Modified

Mayor John Denver brought last night’s City Council meeting to order with a reminder to those present of the code of conduct for attending such official city business. He continued to say, “This is not a meeting of the public. This is an orderly City Council meeting.”

Perhaps this should have been an indication of the somewhat heated discussion to follow.

While last night’s City Council meeting (literally) covered a lot of ground, discussing a general plan draft land use map, what was surprisingly only touched on was the tattoo shop issues at hand.

Over the course of the past month and a half Milton Chavez has been battling City Council, and every ordinance obstructing his path, for what he is trying to make Menifee’s first tattoo establishment.

His proposed location originally intended to open up shop in the Newport Commons business center at 27174 Newport Road in Menifee. His first attempt was met with an existing city ordinance stating that a tattoo shop could not be within 1,000 feet of any church, in this case his location was 913 feet away from Seventh Day Adventist Church.

At the following February 8th meeting City Council agreed to amend the ordinance from 1,000 feet down to within 500 feet of a church, seemingly granting Chavez progress. But that was only the beginning of his battle.

It was observed that the intended location was in violation of a different ordinance as well, asserting no tattoo shop could lie within 500 feet of any alcohol sale. To which Chavez’ position put him too close to the AM/PM at Bradley and Newport Road.

While the tattoo topic has roused citizens on the both sides of the fence for weeks, last night’s standing room only crowd and lengthy discussion centered on a completely different topic. The possible rezoning of land that would change the description of rural property has Menifee residents, as well as some council members, simply outraged.

After arguing in circles with no foreseeable conclusion the Mayor called a brief ten-minute recess, following which the Council agreed to table this particular issue for another time. Hearing this decision the Chamber nearly cleared of people.

Towards the end of the meeting now, to a mostly empty Council Chamber, on the topic of tattoo City Council again amended another ordinance and yet again created more hoops for Chavez to jump through.

Addressing previous ordinance restrictions City Manager William Rawlings indicated that a tattoo shop would conditionally be allowed within 500 feet of liquor sales. To which Councilmember Susan Kristjansson clarified two points.

The first point made was that no tattoo establishment could be within 500 feet, or in the same shopping center, as another tattoo shop. Which does not hinder the project at hand, but would only affect future businesses should Chavez eventually succeed.

Kristjansson’s second point, in reference to the alcohol ordinance, specified that while a tattoo shop can be within 500 feet of alcohol sales she was proposing a language change to include the term "on premise alcohol consumption".

The ordinance was modified with the addition of words to read, a tattoo shop may not be within 500 feet of any establishment which permits the consumption of alcohol on site.

City Attorney, Joseph Fletcher, went on to say this would include places with onsale permits for alcohol sale including restaurants and bars.

Thus, the ordinance opened up more potential locations in Menifee for Chavez to open his shop. It was not stated whether his original location would comply with this new ordinance.

Councilmember, Darci Kuenzi, agreed saying, “This will allow for an appropriately located tattoo parlor.” This seemingly good news was met with no further discussion, no public comments, and virtually no detectable excitement. Those previously rallying their cause, were nowhere to be found when the obstructing ordinance was moved aside.

This was the first reading to introduce ordinance 2012-104 which amended various sections of the alcohol ordinance. The second reading and adoption is scheduled for March 6, 2012.

Maybe March 6th will be the day to finally confirm whether or not Menifee will be home to its first tattoo shop in the near future.

Blood Drive in Memory of Local Loved One

About once a month Life Stream brings their mobile operation to Menifee in an effort to help save lives. By connecting donors and patients through, as they call it, “the gift of blood” Life Steam is able to give hope and life to those who need it most.

Their March 3rd Bloodmobile appearance will be a little different, however, in that they are hosting this particular blood drive and marrow screening in memory of a local resident who recently lost her battle with cancer.

In September of 2011 Lori Dunkley was diagnosed with stage four small intestine cancer. She received many blood transfusions from Life Stream over the course of the following months. Fondly remembered as a loving wife, mother of three, and involved community advocate Lori’s passing has greatly affected the lives of many around her.

Her type of cancer caused severe anemia to which she required frequent red cell transfusions from Life Stream. You can help other local patients and those fighting cancer by donating blood this March 3rd.

In addition to saving lives, as a thank you for donating each participant (donor) will be entered to win one of three pairs of three-day general admission passes to the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in April 2012.

For your convenience and speed of service, scheduled appointments are now being accepted ahead of time. Contact Life Stream at (800) 879-4484 or visit them at to reserve your preferred time slot today.

Life Stream reminders for giving blood:
-Be sure to drink plenty of fluids prior to giving blood.
-Remember to eat before giving blood.
-Please bring photo identification with you.

Life Stream Blood Drive & Marrow Screening
Saturday, March 3, 2012
11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
29725 Bradley Road
Menifee, CA

Irish Beer & Food Pairing Special at The Beer Hunter Tomorrow

Seats are still available for tomorrow night's beer pairing dinner at The Beer Hunter. Chef Ben McCormick will prepare a special menu of Irish food to be paired with three different Irish ales and lagers.

Price is $24.99 per person. Please RSVP at: (951) 301-4700.

beer hunter beer pairing dinner

Elevate Fitness Trim Challenge Starts Tomorrow, February 20

elevate fitness menifee

Visit Elevate Fitness at: Or call them at: (951) 301-4499

Chambers of Commerce Recognize February's Students of the Month

The Perris Valley and Menifee Valley Chambers of Commerce held their Student of the Month luncheon on February 8, 2012. The students are nominated by their teachers and staff at their respective school sites and are chosen based off several criteria. Principals and teachers from each high school shared stories about the students and they each received certificates of recognition, numerous gifts, congratulations and encouragement from local, county, state and federal dignitaries.

Ciera Elizabeth Cassady is Heritage High School’s Student of the Month. Besides being a strong person and having a great smile, Ciera is described as a go getter by her FFA (Future Farmers of America) advisor, Mr. Ross Macy. Ciera shared that she loves participating in the co-teaching and plans to attend college in San Luis Obispo or Fresno and come back to teach Animal Science to students because, “it’s not really a job when you’re doing what you love.”

Choice 2000 Online School’s Student of the Month is Ryan Jacob Thomason-Weis. According to Latricia Parker, Academic Dean, Ryan started out at Choice a full year behind in credits. Now he has not only caught up with his credits, but he will also be graduating on time with his fellow peers. Ryan currently scores in the 90 percentile and is active in ASB. Ryan shared that he wasn’t really involved in his studies but by getting involved in school, he has learned a lot about himself and has gotten his life priorities straight. Ryan plans to attend Cal State San Marcos and study computer science to work in the field of game development.

Perris High School Student of the Month, Andres Porras, brings talent and intelligence to his character and that makes for a successful combination. In addition to his creative talents, Andres also participates in other clubs such as the Calculus Club and AVID. He gives his time to help tutor other students. Andres shared that he learned you should always try your hardest but also have fun in the process. Andres is currently enrolled in classes at Mt. San Jacinto Community College and plans to transfer to either Cal Poly Pomona or University of California Riverside.

Paloma Valley High School Student of the Month is Lynda Elisa Fortney. Lynda’s Biology teacher, Jason Miller, stated that Lynda is a very brilliant and driven individual. Besides taking her classes at Paloma Valley, she also drives to Rancho Verde High School to participate in their ROP Pharmaceutical program and is also interning at Walgreens Pharmacy. Lynda’s father, Vincent Fortney, shared that Lynda is very goal oriented and a high achiever, but also displays a big heart. Lynda plans to obtain her doctorate at either the University of Southern California or UC San Diego and enter the pharmaceutical industry.

Pictured left to right are December’s Students of the Month; Dr. Jonathan Greenberg, Superintendent, Perris Union High School District; Ciera Elizabeth Cassady, Heritage High School; Ryan Jacob Thomason-Weis, Choice 2000 On-Line School; Andres Porras, Perris High School; Lynda Elisa Fortney, Paloma Valley High School; Mayor Daryl Busch, City of Perris; and Councilwoman Sue Kristjansson, City of Menifee.

These students have all shown a commitment to excellence and hard work. The Perris and Menifee Valley Chambers of Commerce wish them the best in their endeavors. If you would like to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, please contact founder, Sally Myers, at (951) 506-8024.

Adoptable Pet of the Week

This week's dog of the day is a very handsome little terrier. He's all dressed up in a very dapper dog sweater just waiting to meet his new family.

Adoptable pet of the week, Harold.

Pet of the week

Name: Harold

Breed: Terrier mix

Age: 1 year

Gender: Male, neutered

Temperament: Harold is the sweetest little guy. At one year old he is still very much a puppy with copious amounts of energy and a love of all-day play.

He gets along well with other dogs and simply loves people. He is a fan of having his belly rubbed and likes to cuddle up with anyone who will hold him.

Harold’s story: Harold was relinquished to Sun City K9 in January of 2012. Although his family loved him, they were no longer able to care for him and hoped that SCK9 would find him a new forever home.

His family took very good care of him and he comes already micro-chipped so he won’t ever get lost.

If you are an animal lover and happen to be looking for new employment then this is your lucky day because Sun City K9 Adoptions is currently looking to hire another full time employee.

The job is full time, five days a week with a flexible schedule but most likely from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm most days. This position is very hands on and requires cleaning kennels, caring for animals, and giving them lots of love.

Interested parties should contact Sun City K9 to schedule an interview.

Sun City K9 Adoptions
26510 Murrieta Road
Sun City, CA 92586

Open Monday-Sunday
9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed from 12:00 to 1:00 for lunch

Sun City Library Now Offers NOOK eBook Readers

sun city library
Sun City Library Manager Joshua Fox, Friends of the Sun City Library President Linda Denver, along with Menifee Mayor John Denver display the new NOOK digital eBooks that are now available for check-out at the Sun City Library.

A variety of book titles are downloaded on the NOOKs and library customers may check them out just like bound, printed books. "It is the new trend", says Fox.

The Friends of the Sun City Library purchased 5 NOOK eBooks as a pilot program for the county library system. Customers are charged for the tablet through their library card if they don't return it. "Other libraries haven't had that problem, though," said Fox.

More information about eBooks and download services for personal portable media players is available at

Non-profit of the month: Hungarian Club

February’s non-profit of the month is the Hungarian International Club. Registered as a non-profit 501 (c), the organization aims to orchestrate fellowship for local senior citizens of European descent.

Membership, however, is not limited to those of European affiliation and invites all senior citizens to come socialize and enjoy a taste of old world cuisine.

The first official meeting was held in December of 1999 and has gained many members since. Gatherings are held on the third Tuesday of every month at 1:00 PM at the Masonic Lodge off of McCall Boulevard.

Each meeting provides a homemade lunch and dessert, musical entertainment, a prize raffle, and of course, good company.

Twice yearly they host larger scale social events including the Gala Ball in the Spring and the Grape Harvest Ball in October.

The Club functions on membership dues and donations. Each monthly gathering is put on and organized by members volunteering their time and efforts. The Club exists to help and support their members, please contact Jo Ann Semegi at (951) 679-1995 for more information.

Hungarian International Club
When: Third Tuesday of every month, 1:00 PM
Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Where: Masonic Lodge, 27221 McCall Boulevard in Menifee
Contact: Jo Ann Semegi, (951) 679-1995

MSJC 4th Annual Foundation Gala A Huge Success

The Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation’s 4th annual Gala An Evening With Our Stars, held Feb. 11, 2012 at the Pechanga Resort in Temecula, was a sold-out event. Three students earned scholarships and community members were recognized for their support during this signature event to that supports the college and its students. The Gala sold 327 tickets, exceeding the 250 originally expected.

Guests at the annual gala dined on a delicious meal, enjoyed the music and danced to MSJC’s Menifee Jazz Ensemble and DJ Bob Bozonelos and bid on silent auction items to help raise scholarship funds for students. With the theme Beyond Imagination, A Celebration of the Visual Arts, the gala featured the artwork of many talented MSJC students spanning the disciplines from digital photography to sculpture.

Five students were selected as finalists in a student art competition and the audience helped choose three of them in the People’s Choice Awards to earn scholarships. Special guest judge Stacey Wexler, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Art and Architecture at Los Angeles City College, judged the students work for a separate Visual Arts Award and gave them first, second and third place awards and honorable mentions. Adrian Padlan, Joe Posadas, John Lynn, Devin Lassey, Rachel Hatfield proved themselves victors and received awards and scholarships in their respective categories.

The two honorable mention participants received gift cards to the MSJC Bookstore.

In addition, the Alumni & Friends Awards recognized the following individuals for their contributions to the school: Rose Salgado, Duane Burk, Ron Guglielmana, and Erik Ozolins,

The offices of Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, the city of Banning, the city of San Jacinto, Senator Bill Emmerson and Assemblyman Paul Cook provided proclamations to the five student finalists and the Alumni & Friends honorees. MSJC Superintendent/President Dr. Roger Schultz presented Foundation President Mary Lucas with a proclamation from Assemblyman Brian Nestande recognizing the Foundation on its 4th Annual Gala.

To see photos of the Gala, visit their site here.

Another Successful Pikin Chixs Affaire

Saturday, February 11, 2012 Motte Barn was home to Pikin' Chixs second annual Affaire at the Barn. Through the big red barn doors, dozens of vendors showcased their vintage and handmade goods to hundreds of happy collectors and patrons.

Pikin Chixs Affaire at the Barn
Booths ranged from hand-sewn linens made from vintage cloth and housewares both vintage and reinvented, to pretty headbands and intricate accessories. New vendors at the Affaire offered impressive collections of vintage clothing, featuring furs, fancy shoes, party dresses, purses, and every day apparel.

Pikin Chixs Affaire at the Barn
Pikin Chixs Affaire at the Barn
Vendors and customers agreed this second ever barn event was a huge highlight in the weekend. But perhaps the biggest success were the donations and awareness raised for the Mini Pearls Foundation.

Cute little girls all dressed in matching pink tees, and ready to work for their cause, sold beautifully displayed cupcakes and lemonade to benefit the Mini Pearls' local endeavors.

Overall their efforts raised several hundred dollars they will put towards providing help and offering hope, as their main mission so optimistically states.

Mini Pearls Foundation
Mini Pearls Foundation
For more information on the Mini Pearls Foundation, please visit their website.

The next Pikin' Chixs Affaire at the Barn is already scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2012. To showcase your own vintage, retro, or repurposed collections contact Sharon Each at (951) 588-5559 or at Vendor booths are $75 for the day.

Next Affaire At The Barn hosted by Pikin’ Chixs
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Cost: $5.00
Location: Motte Country Plaza
28380 State Highway 74
Menifee, CA 92585

City Finances Are Strong Reports Mayor in State of the City Address

john denver menifeeThe City of Menifee is headed for greener pastures.

That's the kind of enthusiasm Mayor John Denver expressed to a crowd of local residents, business people, and community leaders at the 4th Annual State of the City Address, held at Menifee Lakes Country Club on February 15.

"The state of our city is strong!" the Mayor said emphatically to sum up his speech in a nutshell.

The first year mayor went on to list a number of achievements the city achieved from the previous year, most notably an 11.3% increase sales tax revenues, along with the highest property valuation increase of any city in Riverside County.

"We are adding revenue to our budget reserve at a time when many cities are having to spend some reserves to stay solvent", Denver said.

The mayor went on to report that the results of a recent fiscal audit showed that the city is fiscally sound, good news after an audit performed two years ago showed irregularities that resulted in the city's original city manager having to resign.

"Our city is not only fiscally sound, but our processes were so well received by the auditor that our city is being considered for an accounting standards award", the mayor reported.

But the increase in sales taxes and property valuation couldn't have come at a better time when city residents are experiencing worsening traffic jams at Newport Rd bridge. "Development of the Interchange projects at 1-215 and Newport Road, and I-215 and Scott Road, are currently in design phase", Denver announced. "City staff is also studying the effects of a Holland Road overpass."

Denver also noted several road improvements that were completed, including the resurfacing of Antelope Rd, Bradley Rd, and Encanto Rd, and the realignment of Newport Rd in the west.

Bringing new restaurants into the city was another subject he touched, noting the opening of Texas Roadhouse and Miguel's Jr last year. But he also announced two new restaurants expected to open in Menifee later this year. "Panera Bread and BJ's Restaurant and Brewery have recently submitted development plans, and other major restaurants have contacted us about assisting them in moving here."

Denver also took the time to thank its police department, and pointed his finger to John Hill, the new police chief, after the department arrested suspects in a rash of home invasion robberies that occurred in Sun City last December.

The increase of revenues will also make it possible for the city to hire more staff. "This year we doubled the amount of resources for our code enforcement division and we will be adding two more staff", the mayor said. "A grants position and Assistant Public Works Director will be hired soon." Denver also said positions will be hired to improve parks, special events, and to help out in engineering and planning.

The mayor also addressed the handful of Sun City residents who attend every city council meeting to lodge numerous and often emotional complaints. "Rest assured the city is getting all the big things right", Denver explained. "The city is financially strong and getting stronger, the city has a solid reserve to get us through these difficult economic times, the city has a low crime rate and excellent police and fire coverage throughout our City. Our main traffic challenges are being addressed, traffic solutions are being designed as we speak, and funding solutions are being pursued."

In all, Denver painted a picture of promise that more dining and retail choices are coming to Menifee, that property values are on the upswing, the city's revenue is going up, and major road improvements to alleviate traffic are on the way.

"We are continuing to pursue improvements to the quality of life for our residents", the mayor finished. "The City is very fortunate to have the energy of so many young families and young people together with the experience and the wise counsel of our senior communities".

Sales Coach Ursula Mentjes Reinspires Many

Last Wednesday acclaimed inspirational speaker Ursula Mentjes spoke to a luncheon of NAFE (National Association for Female Executives) ladies in an effort to re-energize their excitement for both life and business.

Longtime friend and mentor, Robbie Motter was able to borrow Mentjes from her busy schedule in order to offer NAFE members and their guests a motivational surprise.

Coming from a place of experience Mentjes profoundly stated, “ I want to inspire you to get re inspired in your business…You have to make the decision to live in your purpose.”

Ursula Mentjes
In just 30 short minutes she was able to touch on ten points important to staying focused and increasing sales. Her succinct manner of presentation made her concepts both easy to grasp and seemingly realistic to achieve.

Aside from educated speaker, Mentjes is also a sales coach and consultant and has authored the book Selling With Intention. This is ultimately the bottom line of her teaching, be clear on you intention and you will achieve more than you even imagined.

She answered audience questions with precise specialization demonstrating her broad wealth of knowledge and ability to help people on an individual level. Her contagious enthusiasm was warmly received and left everyone in the audience eager to go out and get selling.

Learn more about Ursula’s secrets to selling on her website,

Or join her at her exclusive Sales Coach Now- Live 2012 conference this Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18 in Garden Grove. This two day seminar will expand on her 10 principles of selling with intention and help to teach people how to be even more successful. Click for more information.

$1.00 Bag of Books at Sun City Library, Saturday February 25

sun city libraryThrifty readers may select from more than 2,500 books for just $1.00 a bag at the winter Bag-of-Books-for-a-Buck-Sale conducted by the Friends of the Sun City Library, Saturday February 25.

"The sale will include both fiction and non-fiction, hardbound and soft covers," according to Friends Board Member Jim Dunlevey. Sale hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Community room of the library at 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd. at Bradley Road.

"We'll provide the bags, standard supermarket size. Readers just need to bring
the bucks," Dunlevey said. "We will also have special offers in our book store of
new and like-new books."

Contact the Sun City Library at (951) 679-3534.

Candidate Forum for State Assembly to be Held in Menifee, Friday February 17

southwest conservative republicans

Join Women's Council of Realtors on Leap Day for A Chili & Chicken Wing Cook-Off

Community Cupboard to Hold 7th Annual Celebrity Karaoke Night

The Menifee Valley Community Cupboard will be hosting their 7th Annual Celebrity Karaoke Event on Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. at the California Golf & Art Country Club, located at 26583 Cherry Hills Blvd. in Menifee. The public is highly encouraged to attend this event; the $50 ticket price includes a steak dinner for two as well as an endless amount of entertainment from the performers.

A panel of judges, including Riverside County 5th District Supervisor Marion Ashley and Menifee Valley Medical Center Administrator Greg Padilla, will be present to judge these local celebrities as they serenade the crowd with their favorite tunes. Several awards will be presented to the performers throughout the evening, and a silent auction will also be held that night.

Be sure to join in on the festivities, as the competition intensifies each and every year! Please call 951-746-0295 for reservations, tables, or sponsorship information. All profits go to the Community Cupboard. Hope to see you there!

Click on the image for a larger, printable version.

Ponderosa Bar & Grill to Hold A "Tribute to the Legends of Motown" Show on March 2nd

Click image for larger view.

Favorite Five: Valentine's Day Edition

So you waited till the last minute to make Valentine’s Day plans… that’s okay. Menifee 24/7 is here to help save your day in five simple steps.

Buy her flowers: Heaven Scent Flowers

heaven scent flowers

Heaven Scent Flowers is busy making the most beautiful floral bouquets composed of delicate lilies and traditional roses for all of those who planned ahead. But not to worry, a simple call and you could be back in business.

Heaven Scent has been around for twenty years, and as full service florist they aim to appease all of your arrangement needs (no matter how short of notice).

Call for limited delivery options.

30123 Antelope Road, Suite C
Menifee, CA 92584
(951) 301-0112 or (800) 391-7673

Take her on a ride: Above The Rest Hot Air Ballooning

above the rest

Start your Valentine’s Day as soon as the sun rises with a magical hot air balloon ride above the valley. The romance begins the second you take flight.

After your one-hour tour from above, enjoy a champagne breakfast beautifully set with fine china.

Tours take off from Menifee and Temecula each morning at 6 am. Call for reservations, (888) 364-7421.

Pick the perfect gift: Keller’s Jewelers

Family owned and operated for many years, Keller’s Jewelers is all about individual service for your specific wants. Select a traditional heart shaped pendant or surprise her with something uniquely special from their sparkling selection.

26010 McCall Boulevard, Suite E
Sun City, CA 92586
(951) 679-3100

Pamper her: Massage Envy

Massage envy

A massage for two in the couple’s suite is the perfect way to help her enjoy the day. Massage Envy’s certified therapists will ease you into a complete state of relaxation; with custom massages to fit each aching body’s needs.

Or give her a gift card to use later, and she’ll remember Valentine’s Day a little longer.

Call for availability.

30134 Haun Road, Suite 430
Menifee, CA 92584
(951) 821-3222

Wine and dine her: Menifee Lakes Country Club

Menifee lakes country club

Menifee Lakes offers a romantic table for two (or more). Dine by candlelit as gentle acoustic songs lull you into amorous happiness.

Four seating times are available beginning at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00 pm. A specially created prix fixe menu is only $28.95 per person and includes a decadent chocolate dessert.

Call for reservations.

29875 Menifee Lakes Drive
Menifee, CA 92584
(951) 672-4824 ex. 115

Dunlevey, Sun City Library are Synonymous

jim dunlevey
As a boy growing up in Illinois in the Depression era of the 1930s, Jim Dunlevey and his family had to go without a lot.

Never was there a shortage of books, however, even though his parents lacked the money to buy them.

"My mother taught me how to read with books she checked out from the library," said Dunlevey. "There wasn't much money to buy books, but we had a library right next door to the grocery store where my dad worked.

"Now we have this nice, new library with 16 computers for the adults but still thousands of books for everyone. When I see mothers leaving the library with books for their children, it takes me back to my childhood."

That love of reading and the valuable community resource of a library are the reasons Dunlevey has played such an important role in the Menifee area for so many years. Virtually ever since he retired from his job as a court administrator in Pasadena and moved to Sun City in 1996, Dunlevey has been involved with the Sun City Library and its primary support group.

Last month, Dunlevey retired from his position as president of the Friends of the Sun City Library after serving for 12 years. Considering the president is elected for a two-year term, it's obvious that Dunlevey was willing to do more than his share in serving the organization.

"A lot of people over the years have put in a lot of time here," said Dunlevey, who still serves on the group's board of directors. "I just got the longest sentence, I guess."

Dunlevey's smile when making that comment is evidence of the joy he receives from helping to support the library and reading for Menifee Valley residents of all ages. Although there were no computers in the library of his youth and a much smaller Sun City Library when he arrived here, Dunlevey has adapted to changing times while maintaining his youthful enthusiasm for books.

Soon after moving to Sun City, Dunlevey began volunteering for the Friends of the Library by picking up donated books from residents in the area. Today, he supervises the Friends of the Library used bookstore, located in the front of the library. Under Dunlevey's direction, the group collects donated books, sorts and prices them, and sells them to local residents. Nearly all the prices are under $4.

This week, Dunlevey and other members of the Friends of the Library are preparing for an event held four times a year to clear out surplus inventory -- a "Bag of Books for a Buck" sale. In that sale, scheduled for Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., residents can take home all the books they can carry in a bag for a total of just $1.

Even with these modest prices, the Friends of the Library averages more than $2,000 per month in sales. This money is used to fund a variety of programs, including children's story time, the appearance of guest speakers, and workshops.

All of this takes place in a library building that was almost completely rebuilt two years ago, expanding what was once a bank building to an 11,000-square-foot, state of the art facility on the corner of Bradley Road and Cherry Hills Blvd. Built at a cost of $4 million with funding secured by County Supervisor Jeff Stone, the renovation and expansion of the library was primarily the idea of Dunlevey.

Through his tireless efforts in promoting the idea and suggesting to Stone an expansion of the existing property, Dunlevey was able to enjoy the day in February 2010 when residents packed the house for the dedication ceremony.

An electronic counter recorded the number of patrons as they passed through the front door. At the end of the day, the total on the counter was about 1,400. Remembering all the children who attended, Dunlevey disputed that total.

"I said that can't be," Dunlevey recalled with a laugh. "I told them that most of the folks must've been too short to hit the counter when they walked in."

As it turned out, Dunlevey was right. And today, thanks to his help and the support of many others, about 25,000 children and adults visit the Sun City Library each month.