Dignitaries, Guests Pay Tribute to John Denver at Mayor's Ball

Mayor John Denver poses with his wife, Linda.
More than 200 guests gathered at the Marion V. Ashley Community Center Saturday night to pay tribute to Mayor John Denver in the fifth annual Menifee Mayor's Ball.

City council members, candidates in the upcoming election and other local dignitaries -- including Ashley, Riverside County Supervisor in the 5th District -- celebrated Denver's year of service to the city. The theme of the program was "An Evening in Tokyo," in honor of the president of sponsoring organization Rotary International, Sakuji Tanaka.

Carol Sullivan, president of the Rotary Club of Menifee, was one of several women dressed in authentic Japanese kimonos. Mayor Denver joined in the festivities by wearing traditional male Japanese attire.

Dr. Jonathan Greenberg, superintendent of the Perris Union High School District and a Rotary club member, served as Master of Ceremonies. Dr. John Husing, a research economist based in the Inland Empire, was the keynote speaker.

Master of Ceremonies Dr. Jonathan Greenberg addresses the audience.

Fix Bridge Traffic - Candidate Bill Zimmerman is Confident

The following is a paid political message from Bill Zimmerman for City Council - District 3

Bill Zimmerman and his wife feel the pain of so many Menifee residents.
“My wife and I drive over the bridge each day to drop off and pick up our daughter from school.”

Zimmerman’s campaign signs say “Fix Bridge Traffic”, and Bill is committed to being part of the solution.

“I have been out knocking on doors, and listening to the people. Everyone agrees that something needs to be done, and soon,” he said.

Bill intends to put his 27 years experience in the land planning and civil engineering field to use. He believes that working as a team and staying focused is key to a City Council that is successful with such goals.

Zimmerman currently serves as Chairman of Menifee’s Planning Commission, where he is proud of the way they work together. “We don’t always agree, but we work to build consensus, and do it in a respectful way," he said. "I intend to bring that professional attitude and change the dynamic on our City Council.

“There have been so many distractions. Now is the time to elect team players to our City Council that are focused on bridge widening and improving mobility. I am confident that we can be successful.”

Besides working as a team, Bill says the city can allocate Capital Improvement Funds to begin the environmental process and Right-of-Way Acquisition that is key to clearing the way for needed funding. Builders have been paying development impact fees, and that is where the majority of funds for roadways are derived.

“Menifee leaders who understand the process and work together to accomplish getting our bridges ”fundable” will make it happen sooner,” the candidate said.

For Scott Road, there will be negotiation with the City of Murrieta and with existing landowners for right-of-way.

“Again, it is a matter of putting a City Council in place that understands the process, works together, and stays focused on the goals. I intend to work hard for the people in Menifee,” says Zimmerman.

You can get more information by visiting Bill's Facebook here
or at http://zimmerman4menifee.com/

Arts Council Menifee Seeks Additional Committee Chairs

Arts Council Menifee has discovered that the greater Menifee area is filled with talent. There are talented painters, musicians, writers, actors, dancers and so much more.

To help them (and you) flourish, reach an audience and more, Arts Council Menifee would like your help. If you would like to be considered as a Co-Chair for one of the committees listed below, email arts_council_menifee@hotmail.com. It would normally involve just 10 hours a month or less, working with people like you who care about the arts and our community.

The committees are:

Public Relations
Fund raising
Art in Public Places

If you know of someone else who'd be interested, please forward this information to them.

Also, watch for ACM's improved website and events calendar.

Menifee 24/7 Adoptable Pet of the Week: Furlicity

Name: Furlicity

Breed: Domestic Short Hair

Age: 4 months

Gender: Female, spayed

Furlicity's story: This sweet kitty is one of four rescued kittens born to a stray momma cat in someone's backyard. She is very healthy and has already been spayed, vaccinated, dewormed, and tested negative for feline leukemia virus.

Temperament: She is extremely affectionate and gets along well with children, other cats, and even dogs.

Agency: Rescue and Rehome, a small private rescue.

Adoption details: There is a $50 adoption fee, which helps cover the cost of the spay, vaccinations, and deworming. There is also an adoption contract required, as Rescue and Rehome looks for adopters who are willing and able to make a lifetime commitment to the care of this kitten.

Rescue and Rehome
(951) 244-3215
Location: Quail Valley/Menifee, Southwest Riverside County
Hours of Operation: Animals are shown by appointment

Website: Rescue and Rehome

YoJo Frozen Yogurt and Coffeehouse Opens In Menifee

To the untrained eye, YoJo may appear to be just another yogurt and coffee shop. But really it is more of a combination destination made in coffeehouse frozen yogurt heaven; hot or cold treats, the choice is yours.

Having opened a little over a month ago in August 2012, this new sweet spot is a full service coffee bar complete with trained baristas and tasty pastry pairings. This pristine shop also offers a self-serve frozen yogurt mecca of flavors and toppings a plenty.

The managers, husband and wife team Patrick and Jane, have years of experience running a successful coffee shop and plan to bring Menifee the same amenity.

“This is the most unique coffee and yogurt shop in the valley. It’s actually the only coffee and yogurt shop in the valley,” Patrick said.

They plan to release a new frozen yogurt flavor every week or so, but their current froyo flavors include: cake batter, thin mint, peanut butter, vanilla, peach, strawberry-banana, pistachio, pomegranate-raspberry, and tart.

26924 Cherry Hills Boulevard
Menifee, CA 92586
(951) 246-3600

Monday – Saturday, 7 am – 9 pm
Sunday, 11 am – 8 pm

Family Receives Keys to Habitat For Humanity Home in Menifee

Thursday was an especially exciting day for Carla Brown and her daughters -- Jennifer, Asia, Makala and Shayla Lamb. After a year of waiting and watching, one happy mother and her four daughters finally received the keys to their very own home right here in Menifee.

Over the course of the past year, the Inland Valley Habitat For Humanity has built eight homes in three local cities for families who qualified for the program.

What the house looked like before renovations.

At a small dedication ceremony on Aug. 26, each of the eight families were gifted with a home maintenance kit and a heartfelt blessing from Habitat For Humanity President Craig Evans.

Pastor David French opened the emotional evening by proclaiming, “These homes are a symbol of God’s loving care, each built by lots of loving hands.”

Smiles were ear to ear as the Brown/Lamb family proudly stood on the stage to receive official well wishes and congratulations from the Habitat team.

This family of five shared a residence with relatives until the house was foreclosed, leaving them essentially homeless. It was by the grace of fate that they were connected with Habitat For Humanity and quickly qualified to receive the Menifee home.

For the past year, they have been living in a tiny mobile home in Perris while they waited for their sprawling three-bedroom suburban home to be completed.

In talking with Brown, her excitement and emotion could be explained with one word: “Wow!”

She went on to eagerly paint a picture of the upcoming holidays, her new home full of friends and family and the opportunity to cook a feast in her very kitchen.

“What a life-changing blessing this has been,” said Brown.

Habitat For Humanity workers believe they are the lucky ones for having the chance to extend a helping hand. And so they continue their mission to facilitate the dream of home ownership, one beautifully renovated home at a time.

Menifee Lakes Country Club Hosts Karaoke at the Club

Click image for larger, printable version

Elsinore Woman's Club Presents Texas Hold'em Poker Oct. 27

Click on image for larger, printable version                

Menifee's Boomerang Boutique Has Halloween Costumes

Halloween is upon us, and so it is only appropriate Boomerang Boutique would display racks upon racks of costumes galore at discount prices. Offering new and pre owned costumes in baby, child, and adult sizes, Boomerang has something for everyone, and every wallet.

Because Boomerang carries a mix of consignment and new items, you can be sure the costume you select will be unique and one-of-a-kind. You won’t find copycat costumes here!

Stocked with cuddly infant costumes that will keep baby warm on a cold fall night, you can take your pick from onesies that currently include: fuzzy wuzzy bear, cute as a button bunny, silly monkey, classic pumpkin, and so many more.

With the huge selection of children’s size costumes as well, your little ones will find what they want to be in no time: Leotards and cheerleaders, zombies, Dracula, Tigger, princess dresses, Hello Kitty, Mario, and nearly any character and costume combination you can think of.

Of course there are adult costumes and tons of accessories too. Wax teeth, wands, and any jewelry, belts, bandanas, or shoes you may need to complete your Halloween look. Check out their 99-cent rack for other bargains and awesome finds.

From today until Oct. 1, all costumes are on sale for an extra 30 percent off. For the entire month of October, nearly everything in the store is buy one get one free (*some exclusions apply). During the month of October, for every consigned costume sold, the consigner will earn 60 percent cash instead of the regular 40 percent. So drop off your costumes today and pick up a new one while you’re there.

As fast as Halloween will come and go, Black Friday and Christmas shopping are right around the corner. Think Boomerang Boutique for all of your gifting needs.

Boomerang Boutique
30145 Antelope Road, Suite 105
Menifee, CA

(951) 301-3845
Like them on Facebook for EVEN MORE savings!

Mayor's Ball Will Have a Japanese Theme on Saturday

Candidates Expound on Menifee Community Issues at Forum

Differing viewpoints regarding the priority of road construction projects and methods of economic growth in Menifee were highlights of a candidates forum Wednesday night, sponsored by Menifee 24/7.

Candidates also debated the effectiveness of the current Menifee City Council in working together and with city staff. Eight of the nine candidates for mayor and two council district seats participated, with only District 1 candidate Greg August absent.

About 100 people gathered in the theater at Paloma Valley High School for what was the last scheduled forum featuring all candidates before the Nov. 6 election. Candidates gave opening and closing statements and answered questions, many of which were sent via email from Menifee 24/7 readers.

City officials previously identified the No. 1 priority in alleviating traffic around Interstate 215 to be the Newport Road Interchange. Planning and design of that project is taking place and partial funding has been secured for reconstruction designed to widen and improve the Newport Road bridge, on-ramps and off-ramps.

While some candidates favored the commitment to that project as the first step in a long-range plan to alleviate traffic congestion, others favored putting the Newport project on hold. More important, they say, is the construction of an additional freeway overpass at Holland Road -- a project that lacks a design plan and funding at this point.

"I believe we should proceed with the Newport project first," said Bill Zimmerman, candidate for a city council seat in District 3, the southeast portion of the city. "I don't think we pull the funding on that project and trip up the process of getting it done. And if I see Wal-Mart and other projects going in near Scott Road, I think that gets priority, too."

Mayoral candidate Darcy Kuenzi, responding to a related question about the traffic problems on Newport Road, agreed with Zimmerman, saying there already are short-term improvements in place there. She pointed to plans to eliminate the center median to increase the left-turn pocket from westbound Newport onto Haun Road, as well as a plan to widen Newport Road east of Antelope Road.

But Scott Mann and John F. Smith, the other two mayoral candidates, disagreed.

"Holland Road should be the No. 1 project," Mann said. I was one who argued to get the Holland overpass project in the plans originally.

"We have three east-west arterials in town: Scott, Newport and McCall. If they begin working on Newport without having the Holland overpass first, can you imagine what a traffic mess it will be?"

Smith, a newcomer to city government with a background as a fraud investigator, agreed.

"We need the Holland Road interchange; that's the best solution," he said. "We can hold off on Newport for a while."

Wallace Edgerton, a current city councilman with years of service in Menifee and Long Beach before that, spoke of his experience in city government and was critical of areas where he believes the inexperience of others has been a negative factor.

"We serve the voters," said Edgerton, who is running against Zimmerman for a council seat in District 3. "As city council members, we should stay on top of the staff; that's our responsibility. We don't need to disagree with everything they do, but we can certainly question actions that are proposed."

With August absent, the three District 1 (northwest) candidates present were current council member Sue Kristjansson, Carol Sullivan and Nick Martin. All are in favor of improved public safety and a revitalization of the Sun City Shopping Center. They also favor better access for Sun City area residents to the businesses in Countryside Marketplace on Newport Road, although they differ on ways to bring that about.

Kristjansson says she believes in the feasibility of creating paths between the two areas for exclusive travel by golf carts -- a method of transportation used by many Sun City residents. Martin, however, says he questions the feasibility of such an idea.

Kristjansson agreed with others who favored the addition of white-collar jobs to the city, although she cautioned that it's a complex process because of the specific criteria big companies require in order to relocate here. Martin said he believes much more strongly in the positive effect blue-collar jobs have on the local economy.

Sullivan, president of Sun City Concern and the Rotary Club of Menifee, said her priority is the welfare of senior citizens in her district, although she is also concerned about differences between seniors and younger residents.

"I don't see a lot of respect from either side," she said.

"It's not a generation gap, it's a respect gap," Mann said when answering a question about the needs of young families who have moved into the area in recent years. "We have a great opportunity to serve all our residents. I'd like to establish a parks commission so we can determine how to direct the recreational opportunities moving forward."

Smith criticized city officials for what he called excessive spending, saying "this city council will put Menifee into backruptcy in the future if this continues." He offered to show residents copies of city salary and expense figures after the meeting.

Edgerton said his No. 1 priority is protecting home values in the city. For this reason, he is opposed to "excessive development" in the future.

While Edgerton opposes extensive negotiations with developers, Zimmerman, Kristjansson and Kuenzi say they believe in the need for increased business to help build the city's tax revenue base and provide for future amenities.

"Menifee finds itself at a crossroads," Kuenzi said. "Which direction are we going to take?"

That's what voters will decide on Nov. 6.

A video of the entire candidates forum will be available on www.menifee247.com later this week.

Menifee Voters Will Hear From Candidates in Forum Tonight

Menifee residents are urged to attend tonight's candidates forum to hear from those who are running for mayor and city council seats in the Nov. 6 election.

The event, sponsored by Menifee 24/7, begins at 6:30 p.m. at Paloma Valley High School, 31375 Bradley Road in Menifee. It will be held in the school's auditorium, near the circular driveway at the Bradley Road entrance to the school.

The candidates include:

Mayor: Darcy Kuenzi, Scott Mann, John F. Smith

District 1: Greg August, Sue Kristjansson, Nick Martin, Carol Sullivan

District 3: Bill Zimmerman, Wallace Edgerton

Candidates will give opening and closing statements and will answer questions prepared in advance, including questions submitted by our readers. Residents will have an opportunity to hear the answers live and interact with candidates after the program. No questions will be accepted from the audience during the event, however.

If you have a question you would like posed to one or all of the candidates, email it today to doug@cleardigitalmedia.com. Questions should be submitted by 3 p.m. today.

This is an important time in the history of Menifee. We hope residents take their responsibility as voters seriously and use this important opportunity to become more informed in order to cast a vote that will effectively shape our community.

Arts Council Menifee to Hold Meeting About Dance Program

Arts Council Menifee invites everyone in the area who is interested in dance to a meeting Thursday evening from 6-7 p.m. at Sun City Library.

ACM wants to help support and establish dance programs and performances in Menifee. Council members will be collecting ideas and suggestions from you and others about such things as possible venues, performances, classes, people you think ACM should contact, and other groups in the area.

Please share this information with your friends and neighbors. Anyone interested in participating or in helping in some way should come to the Sun City Library Community Room this Thursday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m.

If you can't attend or have special inquiries, email arts_council-menifee@hotmail.com.

Kennedy Named Menifee Union School District Superintendent

Steve Kennedy and retiring superintendent Dr. Linda Callaway
Steve Kennedy was selected and introduced as the new Menifee Union School District superintendent during a governing board meeting held Tuesday evening.

Kennedy will take over the position April 1 of next year, with a salary of $165,000. Kennedy has been assistant superintendent of the district since 2008.

"It should be a seamless transition," said Dr. Linda Callaway, who recently announced her retirement after having served six and a half years as superintendent. "It’s time for the next chapter of my life. It’s time to spend time with my family."

Kennedy will work closely with Callaway and undergo six months of training. Callaway and the governing board were involved in the appointment process since July.

"There were multiple components we looked at, such as the needs of our district and its culture," she said.

Kennedy’s qualifications matched what the district was looking for as a successor to Callaway. He is currently completing his doctorate in educational leadership. He has a master of science in education administration.

"This is an opportunity for me to progress and demonstrate my willingness to work with people as an educator," said Kennedy, who began teaching in 1989 in Chula Vista. He started out as principal in MUSD in 2005.

Over the years, Kennedy has held various positions at different school districts. He was once a GATE coordinator for Bonsall Union School District and a board member for a tutoring and support program for English as a second language students in Quail Valley. He has also worked with the San Diego Zoological Society in order to develop life science programs for children.

"I would love for the district to have greater ties to its resources," said Kennedy. “It’s all about the kids for me.”

Menifee's Brian Plus Amanda Photography Halloween Special

Halloween is usually all about candy and scary costumes. But at Brian Plus Amanda Photography, Halloween time is just one more excuse to take the absolutely most adorable pictures of babies and little ones dressed in the cutest costumes they can possibly find (or make).

For two days only, Brian and Amanda are offering Halloween and fall mini photo sessions for an unbelievably low price. Save your preferred time with a $25 deposit and schedule your session for Sunday, Oct. 7 or Monday, Oct. 8.

For just $125, your 20-minute session includes a shoot of your newborn, baby, or child in their Halloween costume or fall attire, four to six fully retouched images viewable in your private online gallery, $50 print credit toward your order, and a CD of high resolution copyright images.

Please note: A $25 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking, no family poses are allowed, each additional child is $10, and all little ones must be dressed in costume or fall attire to use the $125 deal.

Call to schedule your appointment as soon as possible as spaces are filling up fast.

Brian Plus Amanda Photography
Website: Brian Plus Amanda
Phone: (951) 520-5541
Like them on Facebook!

Questions for Candidates Sought for Menifee 24/7 Forum

The staff of Menifee 24/7 is seeking input from readers in preparation for its candidates forum, scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Paloma Valley High School.

Candidates for mayoral and city council positions in Menifee will be present to give opening and closing statements and answer questions from a moderator. Many of these questions will be selected from submissions from the public.

Residents are urged to attend this free event Wednesday night. They will not be allowed to ask questions of the candidates at the forum, however. Even so, you have a chance to pose your questions in advance by submitting them via email to doug@cleardigitalmedia.com for consideration.

We hope to see you at this important event on Wednesday.

Full Containment of Murrieta Fire Expected Today

Full containment is expected this morning of the fire that burned nearly 200 acres and threatened dozens of homes in Murrieta.

The fire, which burned primarily in Warm Springs Canyon, was 90 percent contained by midday Monday, according to Murrieta Fire Chief Matt Shobert. Firefighters are expected to wrap up the containment early today.

The fire was reported at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. Many families evacuated homes in the area but only one home was damaged, Shobert said. Only one minor injury -- a sprained ankle suffered by a firefighter -- was reported.

Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Message From the Editor: It's Time for All Menifee Residents to Get Involved and Communicate Effectively With Each Other

Yes, it's me again -- the guy in the picture with the cowboy hat.

Usually, you see that face staring back at you from one of my "It's a Doug's Life" columns elsewhere on this website. Let me assure you I don't wear that hat much around town; it's just part of the "cowboy wannabe" persona I have adopted since my move to Menifee a year ago.

Sure, I like to have fun with my column, writing about hot air balloon rides, Bingo nights and tarantulas in my front yard. But as you've seen, I can be serious when I feel the need to.

This is one of those times.

For those who haven't heard, I recently was named Editor of Menifee 24/7. As such, I am committed to complete, fair and accurate coverage of the events in town. My mission, developed over 35 years as a professional journalist, is to present the news objectively in a timely manner, with the opportunity for appropriate discussion in the blog format we provide.

In order for me to do that, I ask that you put aside any preconceived notions and judge this publication on what you see here. I also ask that you understand a little about how we work.

Menifee 24/7 serves the community in many ways. Because we don't spend money on printing costs, we are able to provide you all our information free of charge, all the time. This does create challenges, however. Because we are a blog with a continuous news feed as well as static elements for advertising, you will see hard news, features, business promotions and standard ads all on the home page.

We do offer specialized sections, such as information on local parks, restaurants, the arts community and columns. You can access these areas through the tabs at the top of the site. But the page most often viewed, obviously, is the home page. That gives you a little bit of everything.

Therefore, you may see an update on a local fire one time during the day and an advertorial promoting a local business at another. As it is with most publications, advertising allows us to pay expenses and stay in business. The mix of news and advertising may simply look somewhat different to those of you who haven't had much experience with "hyperlocal blogging," as it is often referred to in the industry.

At this time of year, with elections coming up, you will see a certain number of "paid political message" advertorials. Although some election coverage runs as hard news because of its news value to all, we do allow candidates to purchase additional space to promote their campaign -- as many publications do. Every candidate has been offered the opportunity to purchase this space. Not all have chosen to do so.

This should not be taken as bias on our part. Nor should it be considered bias if an opinion is expressed in a column. We give you the same opportunity in the comments section of each posting. Again, however, I would urge you to avoid personal attacks against named individuals -- especially if you are posting anonymously. I oppose this for the same reason I wrote a column opposing what I consider to be hateful public comments at city council meetings. I respect the right of all individuals to express their opinion, but it should be done in appropriate ways, with respect for the public meeting process.

If you are not satisfied with a city council member, your opportunity to help bring about change is coming up on Nov. 6. Your voice can best be heard through your vote. For this reason, I urge all candidates and all concerned citizens to attend the candidates forum this Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Paloma Valley High School.

This forum, sponsored by Menifee 24/7, will be held in the school auditorium, which seats 250 people. We will use a multi-microphone sound system and the event will be videotaped by a professional videographer. Every attempt will be made to present a forum in which Menifee voters can hear all candidates speak on issues of importance to them.

For this reason, I have been asking for readers to email me questions they would like asked of the candidates. No questions will be accepted from the audience that night. If you have a question you'd like the moderator to pose to one or all of the candidates, please email it to doug@cleardigitalmedia.com today. This will allow us sufficient time to carefully consider each question and make sure all are appropriate to ask in a public setting.

If you are able to attend Wednesday night, I strongly urge you to do so. This is an important time in the history of Menifee. All residents should be informed about key issues before the election. If you are not a registered voter in Riverside County, I urge you to register now. It's a simple process that can be done online at www.voteinfo.net. The deadline to register is Oct. 22.

If you fail to register to vote and don't attend the Wednesday night forum, you have only yourself to blame if you don't like the outcome of the election. Make your voice heard with your vote. And in preparation for that, come hear from the candidates Wednesday night. You owe it to yourself and your community to get involved.

I hope to see you Wednesday night and hear from you via email with your questions for the candidates. Feel free to contact me with any concerns you have at doug@cleardigitalmedia.com or by leaving a comment on this post.

Message From Bill Zimmerman, Candidate for City Council

The following is a paid political message from Bill Zimmerman for City Council - District 3

Murrieta Fire Spreads to 150 Acres, 30 to 40 Percent Contained

Story updated at 10:10 p.m.

A brush fire burning near homes in a Murrieta neighborhood was 30 to 40 percent contained by 10 p.m. Sunday, a fire official said.

Murrieta Fire Chief Matt Shobert said the fire, which is still under investigation, has burned about 150 acres but that flames appeared to be dying down overnight.

Shobert said he could not confirm reports that from three to five homes were destroyed. No injuries have been reported.

Riverside County firefighters joined the Murrieta Fire Department in fighting the brush fire, which earlier was reported to be spreading at "moderate to rapid" speeds, according to fire officials.

The fire was reported at 4:45 p.m. Sunday in the area of the 39300 block of Via Temprano, near Whitewood Road southeast of Interstate 15. A voluntary evacuation center was opened at Vista Murrieta High School on Clinton Keith Road.

Twenty seven engine crews and one helicopter responded. As firefighters fought the brush fire, a plume of smoke drifted north toward Menifee and could be seen for miles.

Menifee's Plan to Pave Private Portion of Holland Road Based on Legal Claim of Longtime Public Use, City Official Says

A Menifee city official said Saturday that the city has determined it has the right to proceed with the paving of a 1,200-foot dirt section of Holland Road because of a legal standard regarding prior public use of private property.

Rob Johnson, senior manager of the city's Community Improvement Department, said public use of that road for decades gives Menifee legal grounds for paving that portion of private property.

"This section of Holland Road is a private road publicly used and county maintained for about 60 years," Johnson told Menifee 24/7 in an email on Saturday. "Because the public has used this road for at least 60 years, the city evaluated its use and determined that the public has a prescriptive easement. Acting on the public’s behalf, the city can use the public’s prescriptive right to pave the road."

Johnson's explanation was in response to a request by Menifee 24/7 for clarification on a news release he sent to the media on Tuesday. The original announcement simply stated that Menifee "has developed a way" to pave a dirt portion of Holland Road west of Murrieta Road -- a road that at various points cuts across the land of four property owners.

One of those property owners is Tom Fuhrman, owner of the Wooden Nickel Ranch. Fuhrman has long maintained that he and the other property owners would be willing to sell a portion of their land to the city to get the road paved. But because Fuhrman is now a member of the Menifee City Council, the issue has become more complicated.

City council member Tom Fuhrman explains
problems with a dirt portion of Holland Road.

Johnson said that in order to make improvements beyond simply paving the road -- such as widening it, adding gutters or sidewalks -- the city would have to acquire some of the property. This would involve a lengthy court process because of Fuhrman's personal interest in a city matter.

For that reason, and after evaluating the land use, Johnson said, the city has decided to pave only that narrow, hilly portion of land established as a public thoroughfare, as an "interim improvement to the condition of the road."

The city has been under pressure to improve road conditions there since the opening of the new Herk Bouris Elementary School about a mile west of Fuhrman's ranch. Hundreds of additional vehicles, including school buses, now travel that narrow, bumpy road twice a day.

"The property owners want to be relieved of the liability," Fuhrman said in an interview in August, expressing concern about the narrow road, high speeds of some motorists and lack of a sidewalk. "There's got to be a take of some kind from the property owners that can be worked out. I wrote a letter to the city saying I'm willing to cooperate, but I also want to make sure the road is safe."

After the city's announcement last Tuesday about the plan to pave the road as is, Fuhrman said he had heard nothing about such a decision. He said he was told only that the property owners would receive a letter in the next two weeks, stating the issues that have to be addressed.

It appears, however, that city officials decided their best solution to a difficult situation is to claim the legal grounds of prescriptive easement, which could avoid a court battle over the acquisition of additional land.

A prescriptive easement is defined as the process by which one acquires only the right to use the land of another. According to the California Real Estate Lawyers blog, two of the conditions necessary to prove the right of prescriptive easement are:

-- The claimant must occupy or utilize the land in circumstances providing reasonable notice to the owner.

-- The occupancy or use must be continuous and uninterrupted for five years. The period for both is established in the Code of Civil Procedure.

"If the city were to make improvements to the road to its final condition, which may be to widen the roadway, add curb, gutter and/or sidewalk, the city would need to acquire property to do that," Johnson said in the email.

"As discussed in the May 1, 2012 staff report at City Council, the city is not able to purchase or receive property from a city council member and would have to acquire the right-of-way through a 1090 procedure, or what is considered an administrative court process (about an 18-month process). This would protect the council member from any conflict issues and provide a process to acquire the property.

"This does not stop any other property owners from offering to sell property to the city, but the city would not be able to acquire property from a council member without going through this court process."

Johnson said city officials are still working on a timeline for the paving project.

Menifee 24/7 Sponsors Candidates Forum Sept. 26

Hospice of Valleys Sponsors Retirement Series at Library

"Retired, Set, Go!" is a series offered by Hospice of the Valleys and Sun City Library.

Celebrating its 30th year of serving the Sun City community, Hospice of the Valleys is proud to announce its Retired, Set, Go! series, which will focus on important aging issues and also include fun topics sure to be of interest to the community.

Retired, Set, Go! will meet on the third Wednesday of every month from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sun City Library, 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd. 

The event is free and the public is invited.  Refreshments will be served. For further information, contact Hospice of the Valleys at 951-200-7800.

Dr. Martin Rosen Appointed to Republican Central Committee

Menifee resident Dr. Martin Rosen was recently sworn into office as a member of the Riverside County Republican Central Committee at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside.

Rosen was selected to fulfill a term vacated by another committee member in the 64th Assembly District. His term expires in December, when he will begin a two-year term on the committee as an alternate, representing Menifee School Board Trustee Scott Mann in the newly created 67th Assembly District.

Rosen is active in Riverside County and in the local community in Menifee. He currently
serves on the Riverside County Trails Committee, appointed by Supervisor Jeff Stone, and he was appointed to the City of Menifee’s General Plan Advisory Committee.

"Marty is a leader who believes in the importance of the Constitution, a free and competitive market that benefits consumers and business owners, limited government, and a balance between liberty and equality of opportunity," Mann said.

Paloma Valley Holds Off Temecula Valley, Still Unbeaten at 5-0

Paloma Valley running back David Solis races past the defense for a big gain in the first half.
Moments after Paloma Valley High School defeated Temecula Valley 41-30 Friday night, coach Bert Esposito addressed his players at the far end of Wildcat Stadium.

"We hadn't been tested yet," Esposito said, referring to his team's four previous blowout victories. "This one was tough, but you guys hung in there. 5-0, guys!"

Granted, it was something to celebrate. Finding themselves in a real ballgame for the first time this season, the Wildcats used a strong offensive line, the running of David Solis and a defense led by linebacker Richard Krottmayer and lineman Charlie Wallace to improve to 5-0 for the first time in more than a decade.

Solis carried the ball 14 times for 231 yards and five touchdowns in addition to playing outstanding defense at linebacker. With an aggressive line opening holes for him to use his speed, Solis scored four touchdowns in the first half alone.

The first three came on pitchouts from quarterback Brent Boehm to the left side, exploiting a defensive weakness to which Temecula Valley didn't adjust until the second half.

"There was a major hole on that side in the first half," Solis said. "If you would've seen that, your eyes would've gotten that big. The whole offensive line was opening up holes for me."

On the first play from scrimmage, Solis burst through a hole on the left side and won a footrace 80 yards to the end zone. Moments later, following a 28-yard field goal by Temecula Valley's Leo Mendez, Solis was at it again, taking a pitch left and racing 73 yards for another score.

Temecula Valley (2-2) kept the score close, however, answering with a 17-yard TD pass from Kyle Plantier to Andre Armstrong, cutting the Wildcats' lead to 13-10 after the extra point. Before the Golden Bears knew what had happened, however, Solis struck again, running 38 yards through another hole in the left side of the line for a touchdown.

Thanks to the passing of Plantier (33 of 47, 332 yards and and two TDs), Temecula Valley was able to hang around until a 47-yard TD pass from Boehm to RJ Benz and the PAT gave Paloma Valley a 41-30 lead early in the fourth quarter. Temecula Valley actually outgained Paloma in total offense, 511 yards to 500.

"I knew this would be a tough one," Esposito said. "Temecula Valley is very well coached. We knew when we stopped the run, it would turn into a throwing fest. Their quarterback made us look bad at times; my hat's off to him.

"On defense, our guys just stepped up. Our players aren't big; people don't come here and say, 'Wow, look at those guys.' But they play their hearts out every week. What coach wouldn't want that?"

Paloma Valley has next Friday off before opening Sunbelt League play at Elsinore on Oct. 5.

Quarterback Brent Boehm has his team close to the goal line late in the second quarter.

Wildcats head coach Bert Esposito addresses his players after their fifth consecutive victory.

Heritage Improves Record to 4-1 Behind Play of Morrow

Jamal Morrow rushed for 198 yards and two touchdowns and caught a pass for another score Friday night, leading Heritage High School's football team to a 45-30 victory over visiting Rialto.

Heritage scored on the game's opening drive on a 3-yard run by Sione Takitaki, but Rialto roared back to take a 10-7 lead. But on the next play from scrimmage, Morrow raced 50 yards to the end zone to put Heritage back on top for good. The Patriots led 21-10 at halftime and scored three more times in the third quarter to put the game away.

Heading into its Sunbelt League opener at Perris in two weeks, Heritage is 4-1. Quarterback Mat Bradshaw completed 8 of 9 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Arts Council Menifee to Hold Meeting for Dance Program

Arts Council Menifee has scheduled a meeting for Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. for those interested in participating in the council's new dance program.

The meeting will take place in the community room of Sun City Library. Anyone 18 and over is invited to attend.

Guests are encouraged to give suggestions and ideas about things such as possible venues, performances, classes, other groups in the area, etc. For more information, call Judy at 909-322-3039.

Only a Few Spots Still Available at HIgher Learning Preschool of Menifee

click image for larger, printable version

For more information visit http://higherlearningpreschool.com/

Menifee School Board Set to Approve New Superintendent

The name of a successor to Dr. Linda Callaway as superintendent of the Menifee Union School District will be brought before the governing board for approval at its meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The agenda for Tuesday's 4:30 p.m. meeting includes a personnel action item to appoint an unnamed candidate as superintendent effective April 1, 2013. The name of the new superintendent and salary amount are left blank in the agenda item.

Following a 3:30 p.m. closed session, the board is scheduled to vote on the personnel hiring at the start of its regular 4:30 meeting. Callaway announced Aug. 14 that she will retire next spring. According to a spokesperson for the school district, Callaway will remain on the job until the day before the new superintendent takes over on April 1.

Callaway, 61, has been with the district for 18 years and has served as superintendent for the last 6 1/2 years.

New Breakfast Menu Makes Pitstop Pub the Place to Be

It's football season, and the folks at Pitstop Pub want to make sure you have all the amenities when you stop in to catch your favorite team on one of their big screen TV monitors.

Football starts early on the weekends, and fans are hungry, To accommodate its clients, Pitstop Pub has expanded its menu to include breakfast specialties.

Every Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Pitstop now serves a wide variety of breakfast meals from its new menu. In addition to its previous lineup of food and beverages, Pitstop Pub now serves a variety of new meals, including:

-- 2 eggs any style, hash browns, served with your choice of either 2 bacon or 2 sausage, toast, $6.50

-- French toast served with 2 eggs any style, with your choice of either 2 Bacon or 2 sausage, $7.45

-- Denver omelette served with hash browns, $8.45

-- Sausage breakfast burrito, $6.75

-- Biscuits and gravy, $3.75

-- Drink specials all day Saturday and Sunday -- $3.00 Bloody Mary's and Mimosa's

Another house specialty is the breakfast pizza: Scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, red onion, bell pepper, all on top of sausage gravy and topped with cheddar cheese.

"We're really gettting big crowds for this on Sunday," said Pitstop bartender Brandon Santone. "We have to stock up on bartenders for the crowds. So far, we've had nothing but great things said about the breakfast menu.

"Now people don't have to go somewhere else to grab their breakfast before they get here to watch the games."

According to Santone, the new breakfast menu appeals to more than just football fans. One recent Saturday, a pool tournament and the new menu attracted such a big crowd, extra tables were brought in.

"The pool leagues are going crazy," Santone said. "We're one of the No. 1 places people play in this whole area. When people pick a bar for their home court advantage, they come here."

And when they want a hearty breakfast to go along with the games, Pitstop Pub is ready.

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

Be an Informed Voter! Attend the Menifee Candidates Forum

Mark your calendars for next Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m., when Menifee 24/7 will sponsor a candidates forum in the auditorium at Paloma Valley High School.

Candidates for mayor and city council will make campaign statements and answer questions -- some of which will come from you. You can help us out by submitting them in advance, however, so our staff members can screen them and prepare the most appropriate and significant questions for the moderator to pose to the candidates that evening.

If you have a question for any or all of the candidates, email it today to doug@cleardigitalmedia.com. We hope to see you Wednesday night!

Paloma Valley Puts Perfect Record on Line at Home Tonight

Paloma Valley High School's football team will try to remain undefeated tonight when it hosts Temecula Valley in a 7 p.m. game at home.

The Wildcats are 4-0, having outscored the opposition, 200-29. Temecula Valley comes into the game with a 1-2 record. This is Paloma Valley's last game before beginning Sunbelt League play at Elsinore High Oct. 5.

Paloma is averaging 441 yards per game total offense. Quarterback Brent Boehm has completed 41 of 73 passes for 561 yards and nine touchdowns. Boehm has also rushed for 211 yards and four scores. The Wildcats' leading rusher is David Solis with 61 carries for 626 yards and seven touchdowns.

On defense, the Wildcats are led by linebacker Cody Lewis (38 total tackles),defensive lineman Charlie Wallace (28) and linebacker Richard Krottmayer (26).

Heritage High will also be playing its final game before league play tonight at 7, playing host to Rialto.

The Patriots lost their first game of the season last week, 35-32 to Great Oak. The Patriots offense is led by quarterback Mat Bradshaw and running back Jamal Morrow.

Nina Markert to Perform at Menifee Lakes Country Club

Menifee's Elevate Fitness Studio Gives Nurmela New Life

When he started working out at Elevate Fitness studio in Menifee, Denis Nurmela could barely do one push-up. Now he's doing sets of push-ups with a 30-pound weight on his back.

What's more, Nurmela has lost much of the weight that kept him from doing the ordinary things most people take for granted. Thanks to the resistance training program developed by Paul David and his staff, Nurmela is now active again and on his way to leading a more productive life.

He's one of the success stories of Elevate Fitness, where clients work out with exercise devices such as the TRX. Developed in the Navy Seals program, TRX Suspension Training uses body weight exercise to develop strength, mobility, durability, balance, flexibility and core stability.

"Tying my shoes used to be a chore," Nurmela wrote in a recent thank you letter to David. "Climbing stairs took my breath away and trying to pass up sweets took a large dose of willpower.

"Well, now I’m feeling so much stronger. I can climb stairs now -- sometimes just because I want to -- and I think twice, even three times, before skimping on my healthy eating habits. I don’t want to waste a workout on a dumb doughnut or piece of cake. No way!"

Nurmela says he has taken in his belt four notches and has reduced several clothing sizes. David credits this in part to his client's great attitude in sticking with this revolutionary program.

"The best part about Denis is his attitude," David said. "The guy is always looking to push just a little bit more each time and is such an encouragement to our other clients. He's our loudest grunter, but I love the way he pushes himself. He even starts thanking us when we push him harder ... and now that attitude is circulating through the studio."

"You have taught me some of the most important techniques that have really propelled
me further," Nurmela told David. "No more roaming around the gym trying to figure out what machine to get on or what the correct technique is for a specific exercise. I’ve been so pleased to learn how to work out without machines, using my own body weight for the majority of the work."

Nurmela's is just one of many success stories taking place at Elevate Fitness, located next to the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce on New Hub Drive.

Elevate Fitness
29683 New Hub Drive
Suite D
Menifee, CA 92586
Hours: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday; 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Do You Have a Question for the Candidates? Let Us Know

Menifee 24/7 is accepting questions from the public for consideration during the candidates forum we will sponsor next Wednesday, Sept. 26. If you'd like a question asked of the candidates, here's your chance.

Questions asked by our moderator will be based in part on concerns of residents. If you have an issue you would like addressed that night, email doug@cleardigitalmedia.com. Then we'll see you next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Paloma Valley High School.

Rotary Club, Second Harvest Collect Donations for the Hungry

The Menifee Rotary Club is partnering with local businesses to collect food and cash donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank. All food collected in Menifee will benefit the Menifee Community Cupboard.

The effort, dubbed "One Million Meals," is a collective effort of all Inland Empire Rotary Clubs.

Thousands of people in local communities wake up hungry every day. Many are children and seniors, while many others work full-time jobs yet are struggling to make ends
meet. In the current census, Riverside and San Bernardino counties rank fourth in the United States in residents who are "food insecure," referring to the availability of food and access to it.

A household is considered food insecure when its occupants live in hunger or fear of
starvation. An estimated 30 percent of households in the two-county region are considered food insecure.

Local collection locations include It’s a Grind at Scott and Antelope Roads; the UPS Store at Clinton Keith and Interstate 215; the UPS Store at Scott and Murrieta Roads; The Breakfast Club of Menifee; Carnitas Express and Giuliani’s Restaurants on Newport Road; and Elevate Fitness.

Every dollar donated provides seven or more meals to hungry people. Food or donations can also be dropped off during the Menifee Rotary Club’s weekly meetings, every Thursday at noon at the Menifee Lakes Country Club. Guests are treated to a free meal.

Riverside Sheriff's, CDF Firefighters Endorse Kuenzi

Darcy Kuenzi, candidate for mayor of Menifee, has received endorsements from the Riverside Sheriff's Association and the CDF Firefighters.

The Riverside Sheriff's Association represents more than 2,900 members from the Sheriff's Department, the Coroner's office, the District Attorney's office, and the Probation Department. CDF Firefighters Riverside Chapter is approximately 1,000 members strong.

Kuenzi and the other candidates for mayor and city council positions will take part in a public forum next Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Paloma Valley High School.

Menifee & Perris Valley Chambers of Commerce Present September High School Students of the Month

Pictured left to right: Sally Myers, Founder; Dr. Jonathan Greenberg,
Superintendent, Perris Union High School District; Cadet Captain Ashley Acosta, California Military Academy; Brendon
Cocom, Perris High School; Robert Troy Anderson, Heritage High School;Mayor Daryl Busch, City of Perris; Bill Rawlings, City Manager, City of Menifee. Not pictured, Kiara McIntosh, Paloma Valley High School.

We blink and already the summer is over, autumn is impending, and school is fully in session. Students are studying away zero to sixth period once again, which means the high school Students of the Month Program is ready to roll, too.

The Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce recently handed out the first round of 2012-2013 Student of the Month awards to students who are already shining in the classroom. Students are nominated by their teachers and staff at their respective high school campuses based on an exemplary demonstration of character, integrity, love of learning, ability to persevere and overcome challenging circumstances, community service, and how they make a difference at their schools.

Each month, the selected students and their families are invited to attend a luncheon hosted by the Menifee and Perris Chambers of Commerce. Local businesses, organizations, and key individuals including high school principals and teachers also attend the ceremony and offer support to the Students of the Month.

Paloma Valley High School: Kiara McIntosh

According to her teacher, Allison King, Kiara embodies everything a Student of the Month should be excelling in: Academics, athletics, and character. Not only is she always ready to learn, but she exemplifies her determination with an admirable humility. She is a Sunbelt League champion and the first CIF champion in the 800-meter run in Paloma Valley’s history.

In true Kiara modesty, she credits her family, friends, and teachers for helping her reach success. She plans to continue her education at either UCLA or UCR next year.

Perris High School: Brendon Cocom

Principal Dr. Lynne Sheffield describes Brendon as a silent leader with a powerful impact. Aside from his involvement in academic organizations, his passion for writing has led him to write and publish his first book, Ninja Kifo.

His teacher, Ryan Hays, depicts Brendon as kind, loyal, and determined, with a deep curiosity for continued learning. Brendon is currently looking to attend Stanford, UC San Diego, or UC Santa Cruz and plans to earn his Masters in Computer Science.

California Military Institute (CMI): Cadet Captain Ashley Acosta

Captain Acosta has been the Senior Cadet since her sophomore year and is the Brigade Commander for CMI and several other military schools in Southern California. Ashley shared that when her brother was deployed to Afghanistan last year, it made her more determined to work harder and do more to be a positive influence to others.

Ashley has not decided where she will be attending college but she plans to obtain both a medical and engineering degree.

Heritage High School: Robert Troy Anderson

According to Assistant Principal Lynn Menius, Robert truly embodies the school’s leadership, excellence, generosity, academics, character, opportunity qualities. He shared that he is inspired by his father, Pastor Scott Anderson, and wants his life to glorify God. Robert plans to attend Master’s College to become a pastor.

If you wish to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, contact founder Sally Myers at 951-506-8024.

Riverside County Young Republicans Endorse Mann

Menifee Mayoral candidate Scott Mann announced Tuesday that he has received an endorsement from the Riverside County Young Republicans.

Mann received an email from Nathan A. Miller, president of the organization, informing him of the group's official support of him heading toward the Nov. 6 election.

Mann and other candidates will participate in a public forum next Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at Paloma Valley High School. The event is free to the public and is sponsored by Menifee 24/7.

Menifee 'Birthday Bash' Scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13

Local Authors Will Greet Public, Sign Books at Sept. 29 Event

Seven local authors will be on hand to sign their books and greet guests at an Open Book Party Saturday, Sept. 29 at Book Warehouse in the Hemet Mall.

Tina Walker will sign copies of her book "Finding Christ Inside." Walker, who was raised amid abuse and neglect, uses poetry to tell of life-shaping events and how she overcame obstacles to find the deep joy within, even at the lowest level of emotional subsistence.

Bob Duchin will sign copies of his book "Not Enough of Her,' the story of his 47-year marriage to his wife Susan, who died in 2011. Martin Lastrapes, a native of the Inland Empire and the Grand Prize Winner of the 2012 Paris Book Festival for his debut novel "Inside the Outside," will also appear.

City Announces Plan to Pave Controversial Stretch of Holland Road -- but it's News to One Councilman and Property Owner

Menifee city staff members announced in a press release Tuesday night that they have "found a way to improve and pave" a dirt section of Holland Road that has become a source of great frustration among residents recently.

This announcement, however, was not shared with at least one city council member -- Tom Fuhrman, who is directly involved in the Holland Road issue.

After Tuesday night's city council meeting -- in which the Holland Road issue was not mentioned -- Fuhrman said he had not been informed of the city's announcement. Fuhrman -- one of four residents who own portions of that stretch of road -- indicated the situation is not yet resolved.

"I have been told by the city that the property owners and stakeholders will receive a letter in the next two weeks, stating the issues that have to be addressed and what additional property has to be purchased," Fuhrman said.

But Rob Johnson, senior manager of community improvement and outreach for the city, said a deal was reached that did not require purchase of that land from the property owners.

"The city met with the city of Lake Elsinore and the developer," Johnson said, referring to Pardee Homes, which built the Canyon Hills housing project and paved the west end of Holland Road leading toward the new school across the Lake Elsinore border. "We got a deal to get the road paved. It's simple."

Asked for details on how the deal was reached without involving the property owners, Johnson deferred to Joe Fletcher, the city attorney. Fletcher, who left City Hall right after the council meeting Tuesday night, could not be reached for comment. Additional explanation of the city's plan is expected Wednesday.

Meanwhile, city officials published the press release on the City of Menifee Facebook page and residents were already commenting on the issue Tuesday night.

For years, the stretch of Holland Road west of Murrieta Road has been used as a public thoroughfare by motorists -- first on a paved stretch beginning at Murrieta Road, then on a 1,200-foot stretch of narrow, hilly dirt road that leads west toward Lake Elsinore.

The road has become much more traveled this fall, however, because of its path leading Menifee students to the new Herk Bouris Elementary School. Since discussions over the need for widening and paving the road have escalated, Fuhrman said he and the other land owners have sought negotiations to sell the right of way to the city.

Fuhrman said he met with about 40 concerned residents of the affected area Monday night. Many expressed concern that even though stop signs had been placed at crossroads along the dirt stretch of road, motorists had actually made the problem worse by jogging over to a parallel road at Corson Street and speeding through that stretch, which has no stop signs.

Fuhrman said he is concerned about any plan to pave the road without widening it and leveling it, which he says would need permission of the property owners.

Another concern expressed at the community meeting was the need for a stop sign on Murrieta Road where it intersects with the western portion of Holland Road. There is a stop sign on Murrieta a few hundred feet to the north, where it intersects with an eastern portion of Holland Road, which jogs at that point. The lack of a stop sign at the other intersection has resulted in a massive traffic backup on Holland of motorists waiting to turn onto Murrieta Road.