'Menifee Rides' Carpool Program Now Has a New Website

Yes, we're still here. But the "Menifee Rides" program -- first proposed here as a solution to the city's school bus reduction -- has a new home.

Beginning today, you can read all about the needs and offers of assistance regarding the challenge of transporting our children to school. Thanks to those who have already responded. Your comments are now posted on the new site, which you should refer to from now on:


Here, you can see who needs help, where and when. You can offer your services as part of a carpool or as a volunteer in one of many ways. There is a definite need here, folks, and your help is needed. School bus service isn't going to increase any time soon, and school starts in two weeks. It's up to us to work together and make sure our children get to school safely and on time.

As you post comments on the new site, an exchange between parents in common residential areas and with similar circumstances will begin. Our site moderator -- me, for now -- will work with you to put people together, preserve confidentiality and create a safe environment for students before and after school.

For any communication intended to be private, you may continue to email this address:


You may also visit our Facebook page:


Actual Customers Rate Oasis Maids

In the industry of providing a service, the best testimony to their business would of course come from actual customers who have tried out their particular offering.

So in the case of Oasis Maids, that’s exactly what we did. We called up several clients who have their homes cleaned by Oasis Maids and we asked them their honest opinions, here’s what they had to say:

Busy Business Woman, Debra

Debra mentioned she always hires service providers based off her immediate first impression of the person representing the company. In the instance of Oasis Maids, owner and operator Eric Juarez performed the initial in home estimate and she said the way he presented himself was very professional.

She has a tight schedule, so finding a cleaning company that was willing to work outside of their regular hours to accommodate hers was especially important. Oasis Maids is extremely flexible and comes to clean her three bedroom, 2.5 bath, two story home once a month.

Debra says, “Oasis maids is a professional company that works with you to make sure you are happy and 100% satisfied.”

Multitasking Momma, Tasha

Tasha is a busy working mom who runs her own company called What a Girl Wants, plays amazing mother to a three year old, and recently took on a brand new puppy. Needless to say, she has little spare time for deep cleaning her home.

Living in a large 2,000 square foot, four bedroom, three bath house Oasis Maids comes and cleans every two weeks. With an overage of toys and clothes, her special request includes a little extra help with every day organization.

Tasha says, “I always recommend Oasis Maids to my family and friends. They are prompt, thorough, do a good job and have very reasonable prices.”

Oasis Maids
41593 Winchester Road, Suite 200
Temecula, CA 92590

Office: (855) 581-0745
Website: Oasis Maids
Email: info@oasismaids.com

Like them on Facebook!

Images via 1, 2

Public Input Welcome at City of Menifee Meeting About Environmental Impact Report

The public is invited to a meeting Thursday night in which an initial study regarding the city's planned Environmental Impact Report will be discussed.

The 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall will allow residents an opportunity to hear details of the study and ask questions regarding the EIR, which is required as part of the development of the City of Menifee General Plan.

As required by law, Menifee's General Plan will include elements of land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise and safety. Land use and housing elements have previously been approved by the city council.

Potential impacts to be addressed in the EIR include aesthetics, air quality, geology and soils, hazardous materials, housing, noise and traffic. This meeting takes place during the required 30-day public review period, which will last until Aug. 10.

Residents are invited to ask questions about how the city's future plans will impact the local environment.

City of Menifee Receives Award for Excellence in Finance Reporting

The City of Menifee was recently awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Finance Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, honoring the work done in the city's annual financial report.

This is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

The City of Menifee's financial report was judged by an impartial panel and found to meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and groups to read the report.

"This award is another indication of the city's commitment to professionalism, financial stability, and stewardship of the city's financial future," said City Manager Bill Rawlings.

The city's CAFR can be found on the city website at www.cityofmenifee.us.

Aces Comedy Club Hosts Menifee Chamber Mixer, Wednesday, August 1

aces comedy club murrietaLocal business people are invited to attend a networking mixer hosted at Aces Comedy Club in Murrieta this Wednesday, August 1, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Sponsored by Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, the event offers beer, wine, and cocktails, raffle prizes, and opportunities to meet other business people throughout the south west Riverside County area.

Having opened last February in the furniture row area off of Los Alamos Rd in Murrieta, Aces Comedy Club features live comedy acts.

Aces Comedy Club
39745 Avenida Acacias
Murrieta, CA 92563

Friends of the Sun City Library Monthly Book Special Begins on Aug. 1

The Friends of the Sun City Library will begin a new monthly used books sales program Aug. 1 in its bookstore at the library, located at 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd.

Patrons who purchase a Friends Tote Bag for $2 can then come in once a month and fill it with any books in the store for a total of $5. Exceptions include best sellers, classics and books listed on the Internet.

Each tote bag will include a yellow tag that will be date stamped each month.

Moms Running Club Seeks New Members

A moms running club recently formed in Menifee is open to area residents interested in staying in shape by running for pleasure and competition.

The Menifee/Murrieta/Temecula chapter of CA Moms Run This Town has more than 50 members so far and continues to expand. Club members get together to run on weekends and have plans for weekday runs as schedules permit. Some members also compete in organized runs, including one member who is training for an Ironman race.

The group is designed to provide support and encouragement for new runners and to provide opportunities for seasoned athletes as well. Fifteen club members are scheduled to compete in the Murrieta Mud Run in September.

For more information, visit the website momsrunsthistown.om and look for the Menifee chapter or visit the group's Facebook page.

Menifee National Night Out Attracts Quite a Crowd

Menifee National Night Out held this past weekend at Wheatfield Park brought in a huge crowd of excited families. Children of all ages, intrigued adults, and even many leashed canines enjoyed an evening of interactive, informational booths and demonstrations from all areas of law enforcement.

Amoung many live demonstrations throughout the evening, below firefighters demonstrate how they would rescue passengers involved in an accident using the jaws of life.

Riverside Mounted Posse sat high atop their trained horses as children had the opportunity to ask questions and nuzzle the nose of these gentle giants.

Riverside County Sheriff Special Enforcement Bureau displayed their state of the arch vehicle and select weapons.

Emergency response vehicles were each attended by outfitted emergency personnel who explained their equipment and responsibilities to captivated children (and adults).

A children's area entertained little ones with face painting, craft booths, toys, balloons, and several gigantic bounce houses.

Riverside County Fire opened up their firetrucks for an all inclusive peek inside at real equipment used to fight fires, and handle other emergencies.

Guitarist Drew Howard in Scholarship Finals

Menifee resident Drew Howard, the young guitarist from Menifee who sought votes from fans to help earn a scholarhip to the Musicians Institute of Contemporary Music, has made it to the finals of the worldwide competition.

Howard, 18, finished among the top five vote recipients in an online contest and is now guaranteed a 50 percent scholarship to the prestigious music school in Hollywood. On Aug. 8 he will travel to Hollywood to rehearse with the institute's studio musicians and prepare for an Aug. 10 performance to determine the winner of a full scholarship.

A bass guitar player since age 9, Howard later played in the Bell Mountain Middle School jazz band and has performed in a local band as well. He is the only contestant from the United States still in the worldwide competition.

Four Menifee Boy Scouts to Receive Eagle Scout Award at Court of Honor Aug. 4

Seatled, from left: Eric Hamilton, Carsten Edwards. Standing, from left: Derek Draper, Brennen Edwards.

Four young men from Menifee will receive Eagle Scout awards Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. in a special Boys Scouts Court of Honor.

Eric Hamilton, Carsten Edwards, Brennen Edwards and Derek Draper will receive this honor in a ceremony at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 29725 Bradley Road in Menifee. The public is welcome and refreshments will be served.

Each scout completed his work for the Eagle Rank with Eagle Scout projects recently.

Eric Hamilton conducted a book drive in which donations from individuals and families in the community were accepted. Eric sorted the books into different categories and genres and donated them to public libraries, a local preschool and an elementary school library. He collected and distributed several truckloads of books.

Carsten Edwards gathered clothing and provisions from individuals in the community and delivered them to low-income families in the Mexicali area.

Derek Draper created picture ID cards for children ages 2-11 and fingerprinted the children so their records could be kept on file with law enforcement agencies.

Brennen Edwards gathered used camping supplies from families and individuals in the community. After sorting them, he shipped them to an "in-need" scout troop in Mexico.

All four scouts wish to thank the community for its efforts in supporting their projects.

Former Menifee Mayor, Current Council Member Wallace Edgerton to Run in Dist. 3

Longtime city councilman and former Menifee Mayor Wallace Edgerton made it official this week, requesting paperwork to apply for a city council seat in District 3 for the upcoming municipal election.

Edgerton, 78, served 17 years on the Long Beach City Council before moving to Menifee. He received the most votes in the first Menifee city council election in 2008 and was appointed mayor, holding that position for three years. For the last year, he has served as a city council member during John Denver's term as mayor.

Under a new voting system this year, the mayor will be selected as an at-large position by the voters rather than appointed by council members. Edgerton had no comment regarding a rumor he had considered running for mayor in November rather than for the council seat in District 3, where he will oppose planning commissioner Bill Zimmerman.

Edgerton has been outspoken in his opposition to what he considers excessive business and housing development that is being pushed by other council members and some in the community.

"Over the course of my tenure, I was good friends with Fred Twyman," said Edgerton about the former city council member, who died last year. "I became a disciple of his regarding the amount of development we should have. We recognized that many people moved from large cities here to come to a small town. We like it the way it is.

"I don't agree with this push by others to generate more houses, which means more traffic and less security. We need a few amenities, such as a theater, small restaurants and some ballparks for the youth. But I've done a lot of walking and talking to people in town, and I think I'm in sync with what they want. If people wanted to live in a big city, they should've stayed there."

Local Resident, Businessman John F. Smith Announces Candidacy for Mayor of Menifee

John F. Smith, a five-year resident of Menifee with volunteer experience on several political campaigns, has announced his candidacy for the office of mayor of Menifee.

Smith pulled application papers at City Hall earlier this week and is in the process of gathering the required number of signatures to be certified as a candidate for the November municipal election. All prospective candidates must submit completed paperwork by Aug. 10 in order to be certified for the election.

Smith said that as a resident of New Jersey, he worked on presidential, senate and governor election campaigns. He has not previously run for public office.

"I'm not too happy with the direction of things in the city," Smith said. "I'd like to serve the people. I'm not familiar enough with all the current issues to address them specifically, but I have some meetings scheduled and I will be able to speak to that soon."

A project manager for a San Diego-based company, Smith has an office in Perris. He lives with his wife and three children in District 2, the southwest portion of Menifee. That area is represented by Tom Fuhrman, whose council seat is not up for election this year.

"I live in a district that is not open for council election this year, and I'm not trying to unseat Tom Fuhrman," Smith said. "I am very satisfied with the role he has taken in his position."

Smith has previous career experience as a peace officer, volunteer firefighter and a mentor in youth programs. He recently completed his MBA degree in business.

Although he said he is not yet prepared to provide a platform statement, Smith said he is in favor of controlling the business development being discussed and implemented in Menifee.

"Having business here is nice, but one of the issues is that a lot of businesses are fairly new, and to bring other businesses in to compete with them is not necessarily the right thing," he said. "I think it's kind of unfair to Target that we welcomed them to town, then we invited Wal-Mart, one of their major competitors."


Following the initial interview for this story, Smith said he would like to clarify his previous statements concerning Wal-Mart and development in the city.

"I'm definitely for growth and competition," said Smith, 41. "That's what America was built on. I'm very much for a Wal-Mart coming here. My biggest concern is that there seems to be a dividing line between those who believe it will cause traffic and mayhem and those who want to bring businesses like this to our town.

"My platform is that there is a divide on this (city) council. There are two camps. I have no allies with any of that. This is the first time we'll select a mayor at large, so as mayor I could be truly impartial."

Menifee 24/7 Adoptable Pet of the Week: Rocket

Today’s sweet face belongs to a young puppy named Rocket. He is a very happy dog and would make a wonderful family pet, come meet him and other furry adoptable friends seven days a week at Sun City K9.

Adoptable pet of the week, Rocket.

Name: Rocket

Breed: Terrier mix

Age: 5 months

Gender: Male, neutered

Temperament: Rocket is a little shy at first but very inquisitive more so than fearful. After he warms up to new people, all he wants to do is play. He gets along well with the other small dogs at Sun City K9 and enjoys running around the yard with other little guys his size.

He is still just a puppy so he can be socialized with children and different environments. Because he has spent most of his puppy life outside at the rescue, he is not yet house trained.

Rocket’s story: Rocket was another sad stray, wandering around Menifee with no place to go. He now waits patiently at the kennel hoping a happy loving family will come take him home.

Sun City K9 Adoptions exists by generous donations and volunteers. If you would like to give the gift of your time to come help and play with the animals, please contact the shelter. Monetary donations can be made right on their website, and of course, there are many other ways to help just give them a call.

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

Open Monday-Sunday
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Closed from 12:00 to 1:00 for lunch
Website: Sun City K9 Adoptions

Questions Surround Fire That Destroyed Vacant Menifee Home Wednesday Night

An electric dryer stands silently amid the remains of the destroyed residence.

Call it the Mystery House.

Neighbors say they don't know who last lived there or exactly when. Most locals don't even know there was a home up there on the hill above Holland Road in Menifee, long since abandoned.

The mail box at 26240 Holland Road stands empty and alone at the side of the road, across from where Red Fox Road leads up to a modern housing development on the opposite hill. A couple hundred yards west on Holland is the intersection with Murrieta Road -- just another rural spot among the growing communities in town.

Up a winding dirt road, on 13 acres of land surrounded by trees and boulders at the top of a hill, lies the charred remains of what just yesterday was an abandoned manufactured home. According to property records, it was a two-bedroom, two-bath home, built in 1975 and last sold in 1990. A title search reveals that it is owned by an investment group.

Today, it's a pile of rubble, destroyed by a fire Wednesday night. Cal Fire-Riverside County Fire Department crews had the blaze under control a little after 9 p.m. -- roughly half an hour after it was first reported. Quick work by the firefighters preserved a grove of trees surrounding the place, which could've ignited and spread the fire to some nearby horse stables and other structures.

Motorists slowed down Thursday morning to look up on the hill, where flames had lit up the sky just hours before. Some wondered what exactly had burned up there. Was there really a house on the hill?

"I've lived here 24 years, and I never knew anything was up there," said Elaine Cruz, who lives in the area. "Then my nephew came running in the house last night and said, 'There's a fire on the hill.' "

Ann Hickey, a neighbor of Cruz, said she has often driven by the property and noticed a locked gate at the side of the road.

"As you drive down Holland from Murrieta Road, you could see the top of a house up there," she said.

By Thursday morning, all that remained were mangled steel girders, some bricks and the remnants of what was once a home -- a satellite dish, an electric dryer and pieces of furniture. A few yards away stands an empty swimming pool. Quail run all over the place. One could see that in its day, this was a quiet retreat for someone.

What happened to it Wednesday night, no one knows for sure. Officially, the cause of the fire is under investigation, according to Melody Hendrickson of the Fire Department's public affairs office.

"It's still very early; this just happened," she said. "Often, we don't have a cause in the incident report. If we find one, the report will be updated immediately."

Michelle, who asked that her last name not be used, lives on an adjacent hill overlooking the property. She and her husband were standing in their driveway and talking about 8:30 Wednesday night when her husband heard a noise and looked toward the next hill.

"It looked like it had just started," Michelle said. "There was no smoke yet but it looked like a doorway of fire inside. We heard the popping of the windows and the roar of the flames.

"That's the closest I've ever been to a fire. If we hadn't been outside for about the last 15 minutes, who knows how long it would've burned before someone noticed. Embers were flying and the horses were pacing back and forth. By the time the fire department arrived, it was fully engulfed."

Michelle's husband called 911 to report the fire. She said neither she nor her husband saw anyone around the property at the time of the fire or the moments leading up to it.

"We see teenagers up there every once in a while," she said. "We usually let our dog out to bark at them and that scares them away. All I know is, the house has been vacant for years."

Anyone with any information about the fire should call the Riverside County Fire Department at 951-940-6910.

Steel girders, bricks and ashes are about all that remains.

A satellite dish is evidence that someone once lived there comfortably.

An empty swimming pool stands on the property above Holland Road.

Live Bands, Karaoke Contest Makes Menifee's Pitstop Pub the Place to Be

Pitstop Pub is rocking this summer with a great selection of live bands, a new karaoke contest and pizza hot from the oven.

The sports bar and grill, located on Newport Road near the center of town, hosts live bands every Friday night. The Reggae band Inhale will perform this Friday, July 27, beginning at 9 p.m. The following week, the rock band Harm's Way will perform during what is being billed as an 80's party.

Bar patrons can join in the act on Wednesday and Thursday nights when open karaoke sessions are held from 8 p.m. to midnight. Another open karaoke night is held every Saturday night from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you're competitive in your singing ability, show up at the Pitstop Pub on Monday nights. The Pitstop's six-week Karaoke Contest continues for the next three weeks, with the top three singers each week advancing to the Aug. 20 finals. A $5 entry fee guarantees customers entrance into the contest, food and beverage.

"Each week we have a male winner, a female winner and a judge's choice," said club owner Sandi Geer. "So far, the crowds have been pretty good. It's nice to hear some great singers in here."

Next week, Pitstop Pub will add pizza to its food menu. New kitchen equipment will enable an expanded menu to go along with the bar's selection of beer, wine and hard liquor.

Jesse Tate, who books the band performances for Friday nights, makes sure to provide customers with the best in local musicians.

"I set my bar pretty high," he said. "Mainly, we have rock bands, but we try for a variety. We have bands from all over the place wanting to play here. We've had bands with platinum records play here. It's going to be a great year."

Pitstop Pub also hosts pool leagues Monday through Thursday and tournaments on Saturdays. All this takes place in a fun atmosphere where sports fans can watch their favorite team play on one of 14 big screen TVs.

Pitstop Pub
26900 Newport Road
Menifee, CA 92584
(951) 679-0869

Auditions Scheduled for Play at MSJC

Auditions will be held Aug. 13 and 15 for roles in the play "The Caucasian Chalk Circle," presented by the Theatre Arts Department of Mt. San Jacinto College's Menifee campus.

The play will be presented Oct. 25-28. Those wishing to audition must present a two-minute monologue or read cold from a script. Sixty-seven roles are available. Rehearsals will take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7-10 p.m. beginning Aug. 20.

Auditions begin at 7 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 15 at the college, 28237 La Piedra Road in Menifee, in Building 200, room 207. For more information, contact the director, Dr. Rosenberg, at drosenberg@msjc.edu.

Home, Quarter Acre Scorched by Fire at Holland Road Near Murrieta Road in Menifee

Fire engines lined Holland and Murrieta Roads, site of a house fire Wednesday night.

Story updated at 11:05 p.m.

A fire severely damaged a vacant home on a hillside near Holland Road and Murrieta Road in Menifee Wednesday night. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation, according to fire officials.

Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters responded at 8:36 p.m. to the scene in the 2600 block of Holland Road, just east of Murrieta Road. They reported a single-family dwelling fully involved, along with a quarter-acre of trees and vegetation. Nine engine crews responded. The fire was reported contained at 9:04 p.m.

From the far side of Holland Road, where onlookers gathered to watch the blaze, flames could be seen shooting up from the burning trees and remains of the home. Sheriff's deputies blocked traffic at Holland Road and Red Fox Road.

No damage estimates were available as of late Wednesday night.

Flames shoot up from a burning structure and trees.

The flames could be seen from about a mile away, including this site on La Piedra Road to the north.

City Council Candidates Will Speak to Menifee-Perris Valley Democratic Club Aug. 9

Menifee city council members Darcy Kuenzi and Sue Kristjansson and city council candidate Bill Zimmerman will address the Menifee/Perris Valley Democratic Club on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Kuenzi is a candidate for mayor in the November election. Kristjansson and Zimmerman will run for city council seats in Districts 1 and 3, respectively. All three will speak, followed by a question and answer session.

The Menifee/Perris Valley Democratic Club meets on the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the community room of Provident Bank, 27010 Sun City Blvd. The public is welcome.

Attendees are encoouraged to bring a non-perishable food package or can for the Menifee Valley Cupboard.

For information, call 951-679-3752.

VFW Fundraiser Scheduled for Aug. 25

Pizza Factory, located at 25908 Newport Road in Menifee, has scheduled a fundraiser for the building fund of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1956.

On Saturday, Aug. 25 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Pizza Factory will donate 25 percent of its sales to Post 1956. (Discounted menu items do not apply). Customers should mention to the order taker they are there for the fundraiser.

For more information, call Senior Vice Commander Pete Maroosis at 951-200-0129.

Food Donations Sought for Riverside Youth Shelter, Child Trafficking Victims

The Women Against Child Trafficking organization is sponsoring a food drive this month to collect supplies for the youth shelter in Riverside. Items may be dropped off at four local locations.

The shelter, which houses victims of child trafficking, is in need of perishables and non-perishable items, including hamburger buns, hot dog buns, chips, turkey meat, bread, peanut butter, jelly, cookies, ice cream, flour tortillas, fruit, lettuce, cereal, milk, ground beef, soup, rice, yogurt, sugar, powdered drinks and similar items.

Local collection sites include:

Boston Billie's, 26850 Cherry Hills Blvd., Sun City

Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, 29683 New Hub Drive, Suite C, Menifee

Home Again Consignment and Gift Boutique, 42030 C Street, Murrieta

Pure Salon and Boutique, 24810 Washington Ave., Murrieta

Items must be dropped off before July 31. Grocery gift cards are also welcome.

Arts Council Menifee Theater Meeting Tomorrow

Arts Council Menifee has scheduled a meeting for anyone in the Menifee area who is interested in establishing theatre arts and a community theater in Menifee. Those who have talents and skills in acting, directing, playwriting, stagecraft, children's theatre, production, or just wish to volunteer to support this venture, are welcome to attend.

The meeting will take place in the Sun City Library Community Room on Thursday, July 26 from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 951-672-1731.

Groundbreaking Scheduled for Aug. 7 for Perris-Menifee Valley Aquatics Center

A draft visual shows designers' preliminary vision of the Aquatic Center layout.

The Riverside County Economic Development Agency has scheduled an Aug. 7 groundbreaking ceremony for the Perris-Menifee Valley Aquatics Center, a 12-acre facility including a 50-meter competition swimming pool, "lazy flow" river, children's water playground and water slides.

The project will be built next to the Perris Valley Big League Dreams facility on Trumble Road, just east of Interstate 215 and north of Highway 74, roughly on the border between Perris and Romoland. Big League Dreams, which includes four replica major league ballparks for use by area youth baseball players, opened in January.

According to a proposal by the EDA approved by the County Board of Supervisors in June 2011, the aquatics center will be funded by I-215 Corridor Redevelopment Capital Improvement Funds designated for the Romoland sub-area. The project has a budget of $25 million. T.B. Penick and Sons, Inc., of San Diego is the builder.

Estimated completion date for the project is late summer or early fall 2013, according to Nathan Hultgren of the EDA. The facility will include an 11,000-square-foot administration and operations building and 220 parking spaces.

According to project documents, there will be grass areas for seating, stadium seating, a concession stand and picnic areas. The project "will provide the residents of Romoland an opportunity for recreational activities that are essential to the redevelopment of the project area."

The groundbreaking will take place at 9 a.m. on Aug. 7. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or to RSVP for the event, call 951-201-3483.

Nomination period open through Aug. 10 for mayor, city council positions

The nomination period for Menifee's upcoming General Municipal Election opened last week and continues through the close of business on Friday, Aug. 10. The city clerk's office is taking appointments for those wishing to pick up an official packet of nomination papers.

Nomination documents must be signed by no less than 20 and no more than 30 registered voters in the City of Menifee. If you are running for city council member, the signatures must be from the district you wish to be elected to. If you are running for mayor, the signatures can be from any registered voters in the City of Menifee. An appointment will then be needed to file the completed paperwork, including the nomination papers, and have it checked by the clerk and the Registrar of Voters.

Three positions will be on the ballot for the election in November: Mayor at large, council member of District 1 and council member of District 3. A candidate for the office of mayor must be a registered voter in the City of Menifee. A candidate for District 1 must be a registered voter in District 1 and a candidate for District 3 must be a registered voter in District 3. For more information, contact the Clerk’s office at 951-672-6777.

SCE plans power outages for maintenance
Southern California Edison will perform maintenance on the electrical system in the Menifee area through July 29. In order to perform this work safely, workers must temporarily interrupt electric service in some areas. This outage will allow them to upgrade aging infrastructure, make needed improvements, and complete other repairs.

If you received a planned power outage notification flyer from SCE for these dates, please go to this link to find out more information or call SCE at 1-800-611-1911.

Planning Commission meeting tonight canceled
The Menifee Planning Commission meeting scheduled for tonight has been cancelled due to a lack of agenda items. The next scheduled meeting will take place Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 29714 Haun Road.

Southwest Conservative Republican Meeting Set
Former State Senator and Assemblyman Ray Haines will be the featured speaker at a meeting of the Southwest Conservative Republicans Sunday, July 29 at 3 p.m. at Canyon Lake Country Club, 32001 Railroad Canyon Road in Canyon Lake.

Haines is the former Whip of the California Senate. He will share his insights on the upcoming election. In addition, Jackie Raspler will provide an update on the grand opening of the Temecula Republican Campaign Headquarters, scheduled for Aug. 4.

There is no admission charge, but attendees are expected to order from the menu. To RSVP, contact Ted Wegener at southwestrepublican@gmail.com or call 951-491-4905.

Photographic Exhibit at Mom & Pop's Frame Shop July 28th

Fire Burns 40 Acres Near I-215 in Perris

Updated at 6:35 p.m.

A grass fire burned 40 acres in a field along the west side of Interstate 215 north of Ethanac Road in Perris today. No structures were involved and no injuries were reported, a fire official said.

The fire was reported to the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department at 4:22 p.m. Nine engines and three chief officers responded to the scene, which is a hay field on an agricultural plot bordering the freeway. Thick brown smoke was visible for miles and traffic slowed in both directions on the 215.

According to Todd Williams, division chief for Cal/Riverside County Fire, firefighters contained the perimeter of the fire as it approached a ditch between the field and the freeway and burned itself out. Full containment was reported at 6:09 p.m.

"The fire is running along those rows of hay," Williams said as crews fought the blaze. "You can see where the field has been mowed, creating those rows. It's burning right along those areas.

"Instead of getting out in front of the fire where the smoke is so bad, the firefighters are working the edges. It's starting to burn itself out as it approaches the edge of the freeway."

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Williams said.

Hand crews were requested for 3-4 hours of mop-up work. By 6 p.m., traffic on the 215 was proceeding at a normal pace.

Planning Commissioner Chad Warren Contributes Greatly to Menifee's Mission

chad warren menifee
In his college days at Colorado State, Chad Warren enjoyed life in Fort Collins, a city of about 140,000 that he describes as "a great mix of rural and residential."

Or, to put it another way, "It's where Menifee ultimately will be."

Warren's vision of Menifee as a growing city that retains its rural charm, plus his ability to express those feelings in a public forum, have played a large part in his success during his first six months on the planning commission. Appointed by city council member Sue Kristjansson in January, Warren has fit in well with his colleagues and appears to have had a positive impact on the commission.

"I think he's done a fantastic job," said Kristjansson, who says she is pleased with the planning commission's teamwork ethic in facing the challenges of a growing community.

Given the responsibility of evaluating plans for development, planning commission members say they acknowledge the desire of many residents to maintain a rural feel to the city, while at the same time promoting opportunities for growth. Warren, 39, is considered a good fit for this group because of his ability to work effectively with others and his professional background.

A geologist and mining manager for a construction materials producer, Warren has considerable experience with permits needed for mining and reclamation projects. He understands the application process from the business owner's viewpoint while recognizing the importance of preserving the environment.

"I'm an engineering geologist," Warren said. "I work in a very regulated industry. We study air and water quality and reclaiming the land. I feel that background helps me in this position.

"Several other cities have captured the rural feel of the area but still allow development to go forward. That's what we're trying to do here."

Chris Thomas, another planning commissioner, said he believes the current commission is a good mix of personalities and occupational backgrounds.

"Chad is a geologist, which makes him familiar with some aspects of planning that the rest of us aren't," Thomas said. "We each have different technical basckgrounds. Bill (commission chair Bill Zimmerman) has a planning background. I'm a CPA and have financial background with municipal projects. We work together well.

"I've had nothing but good experiences with Chad. He technically researches everything and bases sound decisions on that."

Zimmerman praises Warren for his contributions in helping the planning commission move forward and facilitate responsible growth.

"Commissioner Warren brings a professional perspective to the discussion, often noting concepts we had not yet considered," Zimmerman said. "Chad has impressed me, and I truly believe he will play a leadership role in Menifee's future."

Warren lives in Menifee with his wife Ali and three children: Emma, 10; Lily, 7; and Ryan, 6. He said he feels very comfortable in his role on the commission, even though he admits proceeding somewhat carefully in the beginning while adjusting to the position.

"I didn't want to come in there like a tornado," he said. "It's tough trying to replace someone who's been there a long time and who was thought of highly by many people. It took me a couple meetings to get comfortable with the pace and tempo of things.

"A lot of projects were already in the works or coming to a close when this commission got together. I'm glad to see the Santa Rosa Academy project go through; it seemed to be a hot button topic. BJ's was on the books for a while and now that's happening.

"We inherited a lot of things from the county that was already in the works (before cityhood in 2008). The County General Plan had our city pretty much laid out. Some areas may appear to be open space but are not. They simply haven't been built on because of the economy. I'd like to help educate the public about which areas can be developed."

Commissioner Matt Liesemeyer has nothing but praise for Warren and the experience and communication skills he brings to the group.

"He's definitely been a breath of fresh air," Liesemeyer said. "It's nice to have somebody who understands the process and what the general public has to go through to get a project approved. He brings good questions to the table and has absolutely helped us work together better."

Golf Pro Jaime Sanchez Offers Tournament Coordination Services to Businesses

In the 2011 Cadillac Invitational, Jaime Sanchez worked with these and other participants.

For Jaime Sanchez, golf is the means to an end.

Sanchez, a teaching pro at North Golf Course in Menifee, has a passion for the game. He will tell you, however, that his love for golf is simply one of the ways he works toward his primary goal in life -- helping others.

Sanchez this week announced the formation of his latest venture, JS Golf Enterprises. Through this company, Sanchez offers his services to businesses in planning company golf tournaments and related events.

His plan is to help companies stage affordable golf outings to promote business networking, get employees out of the office and raise funds. In so doing, he plans to put much of his profits from the business back into his other community service ventures, such as the summer youth golf camp he runs at North Golf Course.

"My No. 1 cause is to raise money for a foundation for the kids," said Sanchez. "I'll always find a means to get the money for them to participate. This company will help me finance some of these other ventures.

"I want to enable the kids to have the same opportunities I had. It doesn't have to be golf; they just need opportunities to be involved in something other than movies and video games. If I can reach out and help one kid, I've done my job."

Through JS Golf Enterprises, Sanchez is able to help businesses as well. He will work within a company's budget to plan a golf tournament. Through his many contacts in the sport, he can help companies secure a site for the tournament; serve as MC; provide entertainers, including comedians and musicians; contact a pro athlete to appear at the event; and anything else involved with putting on the tournament.

"I can get their whole day set up," Sanchez said. "It can include the tournament, dinner, entertainment ... whatever they want. The idea is to get them out of their routine, get them out of the office and back to the core values of what employees should be thinking and talking about. Golf provides a relaxing environment for that."

Sanchez said he already is receiving requests to set up tournaments for the busy fall season. To arrange a consultation with Sanchez, call 951-639-7182.

8th Annual Lake Elsinore Storm Golf Tournament

For more information call 951.245.4487 x208 or

Neither Rain, nor Snow, nor 100-degree Heat Will Keep a Good Sign Twirler Down

Torie Spencer, 17, stood on the northwest corner of Newport Road and Haun Road in Menifee Friday morning, carrying a large yellow sign advertising a local auto repair shop. Wearing shorts, a tank top and a nice smile, she laughed as a young man in a passing car shouted out to her.

"I get that a lot," she said.

That may be, but what she gets mostly these days is HOT.

With the daytime temperature hovering near or above 100 degrees the last couple weeks, Spencer and other "sign twirlers" on Menifee's street corners are doing the best they can to keep cool. With just a water bottle and the shade of a traffic light pole, this recent Paloma Valley High School graduate is doing the best she can to advertise her employer's business while making sure she doesn't melt in the process.

On this morning, Spencer was the only sign twirler visible up and down a busy stretch of Newport Road. She has had this part-time job for a year, working 1-5 p.m. shifts during the school year and 8 a.m. to noon in the summer. She averages 3-4 days a week, making $10 an hour.

Is it worth it?

"It's good money," said Spencer, who enjoys having some cash for gas and spending money as she prepares to attend Mt. San Jacinto College in the fall. "But it is really hot. I try to find shade and when the sign gets heavy, I rest it on my knee. I'm just glad I don't work 1-5 anymore."

Spencer said during the heat of last summer, she decided to try something a little cooler, selling Cutco knife products. After two weeks of burning up gasoline with little sales, she decided sign twirling wasn't so bad after all.

"Yeah, it gets boring, especially since I lost my headphones," she said. "I just watch the cars go by and my mind goes a million miles an hour, thinking about stuff."

And yes, there are the shouts, honks and whistles from young men passing by. It can be annoying, but Spencer doesn't really mind. In fact, she met her current boyfriend when he approached her and gave her his phone number last summer.

"Usually I say, 'I don't want your number,' but I knew who he was from school," Spencer said. "I texted him and we went out. Now he's in the Marines, working on F18 planes at Lemoore Naval Air Station. I hope he'll be home soon."

Meanwhile, there are signs to twirl and shade to look for.

Carol 'Red' Sullivan Announces Candidacy for Menifee City Council in District 1

Carol Sullivan, a longtime area resident and an influential volunteer in the community, confirmed today that she will run for the Menifee City Council seat representing District 1 in the November election.

Sullivan pulled paperwork this week to be certified in District 1, which includes the northwest portion of the city -- primarily the senior community of Sun City. Sullivan, known as "Red" to many in town, has lived there since 1998 and has been active in community affairs since 1986.

Current city council member Sue Kristjansson and Sun City resident Greg August also have pulled papers to run in District 1. Bill Zimmerman, current chair of the planning commission, is so far the only person to pull paperwork in District 3, which covers the southeast portion of the city. Those are the only two of the four districts with council openings this year.

Former city council member Scott Mann and current council member Darcy Kuenzi are running for mayor. None of the candidates have submitted completed applications yet but have until Aug. 10 to do so.

"It's time for a change," Sullivan said. "We need a council up there that can get along. We need to remember why we're here in the first place -- to make Menifee a better place to live."

Sullivan, who says she is in favor of "slow, careful, continuous growth" in the community, served on the committee that drew up the original general plan for the city. She was recently installed as president of the Menifee Rotary Club and serves as president of Menifee/Sun City Concern, a nonprofit corporation designed to provide assistance to seniors in the community. She also is general manager and partner at Freedom Realty.

Musician Nina Markert Plays With Heart and Soul at Menifee Lakes Country Club

Summer tends to elicit weekly doses of live entertainment and musical performances, and the Mountain View Lounge at Menifee Lakes Country Club is no exception.

On Monday, July 23rd musician and singer, Nina Markert will be hosting an open mic night of sorts from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. Musicians from all over the surrounding valleys will join Nina to showcase their original music, collaborate cover classics, and entertain the crowd with a mix of musical instruments including the harmonica, violin, guitar, bass, and vocals.

Nina has been playing guitar since she was a mere 12 years old and strutting her singing voice well before that. Completely self-taught, she has a deep love and appreciation for all things musical.

She actually got her start in the fourth grade, when she realized she could leave class early if she played in the school band, and so it began. She started out with the clarinet, then moved on to drums, and eventually met and fell in love with the guitar.

Her introduction to on stage performance landed her all girl band, the Roxz, first place in the Battle of the Bands in 1977. Needless to say, she’s been rocking hard ever since.

She has played all over the world, from San Francisco up to Washington and Oregon, over to Hawaii and around on down to Japan, and Germany. But today she calls the IE home and enjoys playing in Temecula and Menifee.

Her regular set includes all her favorites ranging from country and classic rock, to soul, blues, smooth jazz, and even some oldies (but goodies). She loves to cover classic songs, to feel the emotion in the lyrics, and to convey that to her audience.

Music is very much a part of Nina’s life, and lucky for us, she is gracious enough to share her God given talent with an audience. Come see Nina play, this coming Monday at Menifee Lakes Country Club.

Monday, July 23, 2012
5:30 – 8:30 PM

Mountain View Lounge at Menifee Lakes Country Club
29875 Menifee Lakes Drive
Menifee, CA
(951) 672-4824 x.111

Menifee 24/7 Adoptable Pet of the Week: Bessie

Today’s little sweetie is both adorable and adoptable. Bessie the Chihuahua mix currently lives at the shelter with her brother Joey and sister Tilly, but would love to go home to a forever family. Come meet her and other furry friends at Sun City K9 in Menifee.

Adoptable pet of the week, Bessie.

Name: Bessie

Breed: Chihuahua, Short Coat/Dachshund, Miniature Smooth Haired mix

Age: 10 months

Gender: Female, spayed

Temperament: Bessie is a little sweetheart. She has a really gentle disposition and gets along wonderfully with both other dogs and people. She would do well in almost any home, and is young enough to benefit from training and guidance.

Bessie’s Story: Bessie is from the same abandoned liter as Tilly and Joey. All three little puppies were found tied to the Sun City K9 Adoptions fence one morning, and have been living safely inside the gates ever since.

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

Open Monday-Sunday
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Closed from 12:00 to 1:00 for lunch
Website: Sun City K9 Adoptions

Library Offers 'Bag of Books for a Buck'

Friends of the Sun City Library offers a special deal for book lovers this Saturday, July 21 with a "Bag of Books for a Buck" sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the library, located at 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd. in Sun City.

This is a quarterly event held to clear the group's inventory of donated books and to provide inexpensive books to community members. Everyone who attends is given a large shopping bag and is allowed to take all the books they can fit into one bag for a total of $1. More than 2,000 books are available.

Friends of the Library has a used book store in the library and averages about $2,000 a month in sales of used books that are donated by residents. Most books can be purchased for under $5. Hundreds of buyers show up each quarter for the "Bag of Books for a Buck" event, which is an even better bargain.

Guests are advised to arrive early. For more information, call 951-679-3534 or visit www.suncitylibrary.org.

Win a Free Massage From Massage Envy Menifee

Massage Envy Menifee is having a caption contest over on their Facebook page. Just caption the adorable dog picture and "like" their page and you are entered to win a FREE massage.

Massage Envy Menifee
30134 Haun Road, Suite 430
Menifee, CA
(951) 821-3222
Like them on Facebook!

PJ's Toybox Saves You Money

During these challenging economic times we are all trying to save a penny or two. My zeal to find ways to shave money off my monthly expenses lead me down a path less traveled. I cancelled my TV service; and it is a very bumpy, desolate path that I do not recommend to the meek. I work during the day and am busy most nights and weekends so I thought, “I can do this, no problem. This will be a snap.” However, the only snap was my brain breaking. I’ve become a burden to those around me, begging for DVDs and asking for updates on my favorite shows. I walk /amble about the house looking for things to keep me busy. The good news is that after a month of this self-imposed punishment I am now reading more, my house is cleaner, and I’ve made more friends (to get a better selection of DVDs).

Good news, you don’t have to resort to such drastic measures to save money. You can even have fun doing so by shopping for your children’s needs at PJs Toy Box. PJs sells new and gently used children’s clothing, toys, and accessories at 50% to 70% off retail price. You can save a lot without losing your mind. And, until July 20th you can save even more. PJs Toy Box is offering 10% off their already low prices for all clothing in the store.

PJs Toy Box
26900 Newport Rd. Suite 106
Menifee Ca 92584

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Menifee 24/7 Favorite 5: Birthday Party Ideas

The weather is hot, and aside from the obvious pool party, what to do for a child’s birthday party during the summer months can leave parents simply stumped. So we put together a favorite five list of cool party options that will keep the kids happy, and the adults too.

For energetic little ones: Party in the Park

When it comes to outdoor play space, Menifee has no shortage of parks and playgrounds. Make your party a splash with a water balloon toss, squirt guns, and of course plenty of sunscreen.

Website: Menifee’s Many Parks

For crafty kids: Michael’s Creative Birthday Bash

Michael’s offers one-of-a-kind creative parties with projects to fit your child’s wishes. Parties are hosted in store at Michael’s location for a simple and stress-free experience. Or your custom project complete with instructions and materials can be packed up to do at your own home if you prefer.

Website: Michael’s Birthdays

For the older kids: A Painted Earth Party

Painted Earth Menifee offers complete party packages to make planning as easy as can be. Each party includes 2 hours in the party room, paintable ceramics, use of all supplies, a staff member, and can also add ice cream, invitations, helium balloons, thank you cards, and a custom Birthday Plate keepsake for the birthday girl or boy.

Website: Painted Earth

For fun at home: Jungle Jumpz

Let Jungle Jumpz bring the party to you with their full selection of super clean and safe inflatable jumpers. It’s literally an instant party. They also provide party extras, such as tables and chairs, or popcorn, snow cone, and cotton candy machines.

Website: Jungle Jumpz

For in home entertainment: Hosted Theme Parties

Give your little one a party they will always remember with fairytale characters for the girls and awesome superhero parties for the boys. Fairytale Princess Parties specializes in character entertainment and over the top themed decorations, including all out elegant tea parties, dress-up parties, and diva themes, in a variety of packages for all budgets.

Website: Fairytale Princess Parties

Party hard!