Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll 13: DUI Checkpoints

Menifee Police conducted another of its regular DUI/Driver's License checkpoints Friday night. Results can be seen here. These checkpoints are scheduled in the evening and early morning hours. Dates are announced in advance but not the location.

Many of our readers express their support of this program, but others complain that this is an unnecessary source of traffic congestion. Some even claim their constitiutional rights are being violated when they are stopped.

How do you feel about this issue? Cast your vote now.

Note: In our previous poll, asking which college football team is your favorite, USC won with 26 percent of the vote, followed by UCLA with 22 percent and Notre Dame with 18 percent. Check the results of any of our previous polls and continue to vote by searching Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll on our website.

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Three DUI-Alcohol Suspects Arrested at Menifee Checkpoint

Three drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and 10 drivers were either cited or arrested for license infractions Friday night during a DUI/Driver's License checkpoint in Menifee.

The Menifee Police Department Traffic Unit conducted the checkpoint at Newport Road and Murrieta Road between the hours of 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. Checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence and provide the greatest safety for officers and the public.

Here are the results of the checkpoint, as reported by police:

-- 1,532 Vehicles Screened
-- 40 Vehicles sent to secondary inspection
-- 13 Field sobriety tests administered
-- 3 DUI-Alcohol suspects arrested
-- 7 Drivers cited/arrested for operating a vehicle unlicensed
-- 3 Drivers cited/arrested for operating a vehicle while suspended/revoked
-- 7 Vehicles towed
-- 1 Suspect arrested for felony false vehicle registration documents

Menifee 24/7 Adoptable Pet of the Week: Sarah

Name: Sarah

Breed: Chihuahua

Age: 3 years

Color: White with Tan Spots

Gender: Female, spayed

Sarah's Story: Sweet Sarah was turned in to an area shelter by her previous owner and then rescued from euthanasia from that shelter. Sarah weighs about 9 pounds and is already spayed, vaccinated, dewormed, house trained and crate trained. Sarah enjoys going for walks and she gets along well with other dogs, but not cats. Sarah is looking for a quiet home with a single female owner who has experience with shy dogs. Sarah is loving and loves to sit in your lap. Beautiful Sarah is a great little companion dog.

Adoption Agency: Rescue and Rehome, a small private rescue located in the Quail Valley/ Menifee area and serving Southwest Riverside County. Animals are shown by appointment

Adoption Details: $100 cash adoption fee. An adoption contract is required. Local adoptions only within a 50 mile radius of Quail Valley/Menifee in Southwest Riverside County because they deliver the dog to its new home.

Hours of Operation: Animals are shown by appointment.

Contact: Email or call (951) 244-3215.

Website: Rescue and Rehome
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Postal Annex To Host Blood Drive Sept. 3

On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Postal Annex+ in Menifee will host a Blood Drive for the Red Cross at their Antelope Square location. Stop by from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be sweet treats for those who donate.

Donors are encouraged to pre-register at the Postal Annex at 30141 Antelope Road Suite D in Menifee, anytime from now until Sept. 3. You may also register online with the sponsor code "postalannex" at

Blood Drive
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 30141 Antelope Rd Suite D Menifee CA 92584
Website: American Red Cross

Heritage Football: Stop By Our Menifee 24/7 Tent Tonight!

High school football returns to Menifee tonight, with Heritage High School opening the season in a 7 p.m. home game against San Jacinto. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Menifee 24/7 will have a table set up near the snack bar on the home side of the stadium. Look for the big black tent with our logo on it. Stop by and say hi, view our live game updates on a computer screen, and sign up for a chance to win a Menifee 24/7 cap or T-shirt.

See you tonight! Next week we'll be at Paloma Valley's first home game. And check the sports section of and our Facebook page later tonight for complete game stories on Heritage's game and Paloma Valley's season opener at San Bernardino!

Giovanni's Pizza and Pasta Offers Great Food, Entertainment

Advertorial supplement:

For great food and a festive atmosphere, you can't beat Giovanni's Pizza and Pasta restaurant on Newport Road in Menifee.

Since taking over as owners in 2007, Tom Powers and his wife Caroline have added their own special touch to a business that has served Menifee residents fine Italian food since it first opened in 1991. With a combined 55 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Tom and Caroline know what it takes to make your meal a tasty and special experience.

Yes, Giovanni's has great Italian food, including a variety of pizzas and pasta dishes. But that's not all. According to their own customers, Giovanni's has the best BBQ pork ribs in town, as well as steak and lots of other non Italian dishes. Giovanni's pricing is very affordable and the service is hard to top at any restaurant in town. Specials are offered every week and new items are always being introduced.

Enjoy a delicious "all you can eat" lunch buffet daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including pizza, salad bar, soup and a soft drink for just $7.99. Giovanni's offers many other specials and coupons. Buy any large pizza at regular price and get a free medium cheese pizza!

Customers may also call in take-out orders, and Giovanni's provides catering as well.

Giovanni's mission is to provide customers not only the best Italian food in Menifee, but the most friendly service possible. Entertainment is scheduled four nights a week and more than one of the employees may sing for you -- including Tom Powers himself.

Tom roams the restaurant with a microphone, singing a variety of favorites to the delight of customers. He can be heard Thursday through Saturday from 5-7 p.m. On Sundays from 4-7 p.m., acoustic guitarist David Jerome performs.

The family owned and operated business includes Tom's son Daniel as cook, waiter and manager, and granddaughters Kathryn and Kayla as hostesses and waitresses. It truly is a family affair. Stop by, say hello and enjoy great food and music!

Giovanni's Pizza and Pasta
26900 Newport Road
Suite 112

Open 7 days, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Dance Party Every Saturday Night at Pitstop Pub Sports Bar & Grill

For more information call (951) 679-0869 or visit their Facebook page here.

Public Hearing Regarding Menifee Lakes Plaza Set for Sept. 10

The proposed site of the Menifee Lakes Plaza lies at the northwest corner of Newport Road (left) and Antelope Road (far right). Interstate 215 is in the background.
A Sept. 10 public hearing before the Menifee Planning Commission has been scheduled regarding the request for a second extension of time in approving a proposed 16-acre commercial development on a vacant lot bordering the east side of Interstate 215, at the intersection of Newport Road and Antelope Road.

The Menifee Lakes Plaza proposal has been on the drawing table for more than four years. In the spring of 2009, the city council was given a presentation by the developer for a project including a hotel, convenience store, gas station, car wash and lube center. This would be the second extension granted to the developer, according to the public hearing notice.

The project proposal includes extensions of time for the plot plan; for a conditional use permit for the lube center, car wash, convenience store and gas station; and for a CUP to allow additional height for the hotel beyond zoning development standards.

According to the proposal, roofs above three entrances to the hotel would be as tall as 45 feet, 5 inches. The current height limit is 35 feet for structures in Menifee.

According to the public hearing notice, environmental impact reports were previously adopted by the Planning Commission and no further environmental review is required.

The public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at City Hall, 29714 Haun Road. A second public hearing is scheduled that night regarding a request for minor revisions to a plot plan for a McDonald's fast food restaurant previously approved for the south side of Newport Road between Bradley Road and Winterhawk Road. The revisions apply only to modifications to a driveway entering the site.

Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll 12: It's Time for College Football!

The college football season opens tonight with several games -- including USC at Hawaii -- leading up to the first Saturday of games this weekend.

OK, so who's your favorite? Vote for only one. We'll factor all the "other" votes into the equation and provide an update tomorrow, but you can see the rest of the results after you make your choice.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Provecho Grill For Family Friendly Affordable Dining

Advertorial Supplement:

Now that school is back in session and extracurricular activities are in full swing, there is little extra time left for basic necessities, such as meal planning. Provecho Grill makes meal time easy and fun again.

ith their ultra family friendly environment and menu of children's favorites at affordable prices, whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Provecho is always a great option.

The Little Amigos menu features classic kid friendly options, each made with big flavor to satisfy little tummies. Hungry little ones can select from a cheese quesadilla, bean and cheese burrito, or a crispy taco with their choice of meat, all which come with a side of rice and beans and a fountain drink. Also on the kid's menu is a regular size certified Angus beef hamburger with a side of french fries and a beverage.

The breakfast menu offers American classics such as french toast, pancakes, and eggs and bacon to start your morning off right. The kids can feel grown up by ordering the brunch option on Saturday and Sunday; bottomless mimosas are simply substituted with orange juice. Everyone can order what they want when you bring the family to Provecho Grill.

Owner and executive chef Rosie O'Connor has worked to create healthy menu options that are both full of flavor and nutritious so you know your kids are getting a wholesome meal. They offer healthy substitutions at your request, such as whole wheat tortillas instead of flour tortillas, fruit instead of french fries, and 100 percent juice in place of soda.

Provecho provides fun and affordable food the entire family will love. Make it a Provecho meal!

26862 Cherry Hills Blvd.
Menifee, CA 92586
(951) 246-3200

Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Website: Provecho Grill
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St. Vincent Ferrer Church Hosts Carnival for the Community

From left: Al Powers, Armand Blais and Deacon Jose Ibarra prepare for the first St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church International Festival and Carnival, which will be open to the public Sept. 20-22.
Officials at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church is Menifee are excited to host the church's first International Festival and Carnival, scheduled for Sept. 20-22. According to the organizers, the church's main goal is to create a fun, affordable event for the entire community to enjoy.

"We want to stress that this is an event for the entire community, from Perris to Temecula; everyone is welcome," said Armand Blais, a Grand Nights of Columbus member and head of St. Vincent Ferrer's carnival committee.

Blais said that the church is stressing that this is a community event and not just for church members. St. Vincent Ferrer members aim to make the carnival an annual event for local residents.

The festival will be located two lots down from the church in a vacant lot on Murrieta Road (left). There will be different types of music entertainment every night and the carnival will include 12-17 rides and affordable food.

Tickets for rides can be purchased before Sept. 19 at the church for a discounted price of 20 tickets for $10. Regular price for tickets the day of the event will be 24 tickets for $20.

There will also be raffles for prizes such as a 42-inch television, an Xbox 360 with Kinect, a fourth generation 16 gigabyte iPad, a BBQ set and tickets to SeaWorld and Knotts Berry Farm. Each raffle ticket will cost $2. A 2014 Chevy Silverado truck will also be raffled away; the winner of the truck will be announced Oct. 13 at the Southern California Fair in Perris.

The grand prize will be a trip to Europe, where the winner will travel to locations including Fatima, Portugal; Lourdes, France; La Salette, France; and four days in Rome at the Vatican. Raffle tickets for this prize will be $10.

"We really want the whole community to come out and have a good time," said Blais. "We want to make this an affordable annual event."

For more information on the festival, contact St. Vincent Ferrer Church at 951-679-4531 or visit the church, located at 27931 Murrieta Road.

Temecula Valley Cardiology Holds Menifee Ribbon Cutting

Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony today for the Temecula Valley Cardiology Menifee office, located at 29826 Haun Rd., Suite 301. The office will officially open on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Dr. Frederick Wood, one of six board certified cardiologists working for Temecula Valley Cardiology, addressed those present at the ceremony and thanked the community for its support.

"It really says a lot about community effort," said Wood, "and in the field of medicine, we cannot work without a team."

Temecula Valley Cardiology currently has three offices and is affiliated with four hospitals, including Loma Linda University in Murrieta, Inland Valley Medical Center, Rancho Springs Medical Center and Temecula Valley Hospital.

Temecula Valley works with adult patients and offers services such as cardiovascular consultation, cardiovascular risk factor management, vein clinic and pre-operative cardiac risk assessment.

Wood said he and his staff of 35 are looking forward to serving the community of Menifee. Life doesn't end when being referred to Temecula Valley Cardiology, said Wood; it's where living begins.

Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll 11: Dirt Roads or Pavement?

We hear a lot of complaints from people who wish some of the most frequently travelled roads in Menifee wouldn't turn from pavement to dirt at some point. One current project is completing a stretch of Menifee Road that didn't even exist before. But what about those dirt stretches of road that are frequently travelled now? What about Briggs Road south of Heritage High School? Bradley Road between Paloma Valley High School and Scott Road? The far east end of Garbani Road? Zeiders Road between Scott Road and Keller Road?

Which of these roads would you most like to see totally paved? Or do you like those bumpy old country roads just the way they are? Cast your vote now. Please vote for only one of the choices. Use the "other" box only to list another road or to comment on your choice.

Disclaimer: We are not volunteering to pay for the pavement, nor do we propose a way to fund such a project. We're just curious about the results. Aren't you?

By the way, the correct answer to Tuesday's quiz about the home state for Luther Menifee Wilson is Kentucky. You can vote on and check the results of all our polls by searching Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll on our website.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Menifee in Pictures: Nice Walk on a Sunny Day

Thanks to Teri McGee, who posted this shot on our Facebook page today while admiring the scenery during her morning walk. What a beautiful day it is in Menifee!

"Menifee in Pictures" is a regular feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to

School Board Presented Challenge of Technology Standards

Steve Thornton presents technology guidelines and funding options to school board members.
Last week, students in the Perris Union High School District received Chromebook personal computers as part of the district's preparations to comply with the state-mandated Common Core curriculum standards, which go into full effect next school year.

Faced with similar challenges, Menifee Union School District officials are discussing plans for improved technology that would bring the district in line with President Obama's ConnectEd Initiative as well as state curriculum requirements.

Steve Thornton, director of technology for the district, delivered a presentation at today's school board meeting regarding the state and federal guidelines and possible sources of funding. The goal is to have all classrooms equipped with sufficient equipment and Internet connectivity to best prepare students for the modern advances that await them in the workplace.

In introducing his initiative in June, Obama stated a goal of connecting 99 percent of U.S. students to the Internet through high-speed and wireless connections within five years. Part of the initiative states that school districts should prepare to have 1 gigabyte of Internet connectivity for use by students.

That would require additional funding and reconfiguration of current systems for MUSD, which has only a fraction of that Internet capability now.

Funding would come from federal and state sources. Obama's plan calls upon the FCC to make changes in its E-rate program to free up funds, and the state of California could make available to districts such as MUSD one-time funds that would provide up to $200 per student for improved technology.

The district is just in the preliminary stages of its plan to comply with the initiative and with the Common Core standards -- a concept promoting increased critical thinking on the part of students and preparation for a new academic testing program set to begin in the spring of 2014.

"The first thing we have to do is build an infrastructure that can support that many students on the Internet at once," Thornton told board members. "Receiving the funding doesn't mean we go out and spend $200 on each student for iPads or laptops. We have to come up with the plan first. It's not about the devices right now. It's about the outcome for students."

According to Thornton, necessary improvements include:

-- Upgrades in computer switch systems.
-- New wiring to access points at local schools.
-- Increasing the Internet capacity between the district office and access points to 20 GB.
-- Providing adequate audio-visual equipment such as ceiling-mounted projectors and sound systems in all classrooms.
-- Providing students with devices that are compatible with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium testing program, which will be administered at the end of next school year.

MUSD Superintendent Dr. Steve Kennedy emphasized the need for proper planning and execution in order to provide students with the technological tools they will need.

"Once this is in place, we want it to be the information super highway it is intended to be," he said.

Thornton said he hopes those involved in the process will have a plan ready to present to the school board soon.

Also in today's school board meeting, current Rotary Club of Menifee President Linda Denver and last year's president, Carol Sullivan, presented district officials with a check for $300 to go toward library books. This was in addition to the club's commitment to once again provide every third grader in the district with a new dictionary this school year.

From left: Superintendent Steve Kennedy, Carol Sullivan, Board President Randall Freeman and Linda Denver during the Rotary Club's check presentation to the district.

Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll 10: Where Did Luther Come From?

We didn't really plan it that way, but today somehow turned out to be Menifee history day on Menifee 24/7.

This morning, we told readers the story of the Zeiders barn, a landmark building that burned down last week. Also today, we revealed the location of Menifee Maze 7 -- the old Bailey house on Scott Road.

Not only that, but most of you had the correct answer in Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll 9, which actually was a quiz about the origin of Newport Road. Yes, it's named after pioneer farmer William Newport (pictured here at far left, with family members in front of his ranch house).

Photo courtesy of Newport family album and the book "Images of America: Menifee Valley" by Elinor Martin and Betty Bouris.
So in keeping with our history theme, here's a quiz about the man after whom the city is named: Luther Menifee Wilson, who arrived in the 1880s and discovered gold quartz here. The question is, what was Luther's home state?

Remember, you can still vote in all previous polls and see the results by searching for Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll on our website.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Fitness 19 in Menifee Now Accepting Memberships!

Advertorial Supplement:

After months of anticipation, Fitness 19 is moving closer to opening the doors of its Menifee location to the public.

Renovation inside the former Albertson's market on Newport Road is quickly taking place and custom fitness equipment is in the works. This state-of-the-art facility will offer an impressive selection of cardio equipment, Life Fitness and Hammer Strength machines, free weights, a 2,000-square-foot aerobics room, kids room, tanning, and a wide offering of classes. It will be the company's flagship facility at more than twice the size of some of its other clubs in the area.

The first 150 people to sign up can take advantage of an incredible offer: Just $9 enrollment and $9 per month for unlimited any-day gym access. Fitness 19 offers all month-to-month memberships, so there’s no long-term contracts. A 30-day notice of termination is all you need to end your membership.

The Menifee location is about 60 days away from opening, with a target grand opening set for October. The large facility will feature equipment similar to what you see in the above photos from the Temecula location. The new club also will include a kids room for children and babies ages three months to 11 years old. At only $10 a month, the Kids Club includes unlimited visits for your little ones. At 12 years of age, children are old enough to have their very own gym membership.

The gym will be well staffed with friendly front desk attendants, personal trainers, class instructors, membership specialists, and childcare providers. The class schedule will boast more than 50 different class times with unlimited access for only $5 per month.

The enrollment center is located in the parking lot of the soon-to-be Fitness 19 on the corner of Newport Road and Murrieta Road, specifically at 26100-C Newport Road. Staff members are now at the enrollment center every day from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. to help you with your membership and answer any questions you may have. They are giving away T-shirts and other goodies, so stop by to see what Fitness 19 has for you. They’re excited to meet you.

They are also currently hiring for all positions. Simply stop by to pick up an application.

Fitness 19 Menifee
26100-C Newport Road
Menifee, CA 92584

Phone: (951) 679-0019
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His Light Church Plans Day of Prayer, Reflection on Sept. 11

A special service to commemorate Patriots’ Day will be held at His Light Assembly of God church in Menifee on Wednesday, Sept. 11 from 7-8 p.m.

The presentation is designed for the entire community and all are invited to attend. The service will not dwell heavily on historical events, but is designed around a patriotic theme that includes music, a time to honor those who have sacrificed, a message of encouragement and hope, and prayer for our community and nation.

Patriots' Day is celebrated primarily in New England in the spring, but church officials at His Light believe 9/11 is another opportunity to be servants to the community and offer a time of reflection and compassion. The church will open its sanctuary for prayer beginning at 10 a.m. on Sept. 11 and remain open until 5 p.m. All are welcome to stop by and pray or just sit quietly in reflection.

Members of His Light’s prayer team will be on site if individuals would like someone to join with them in prayer. Doors will reopen for the service at 6:30 p.m.

His Light is located at 28125 Bradley Road in Menifee. For more information, contact the church office at 951-679-4667.

Menifee Maze 7: We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Nikki O'Neal, who was the only reader to correctly guess that Menifee Maze 7 is a picture of, as she put it, "the abandoned house at Haun Road and Sott Road."

Actually, there's a lot more than that to the story of the vacant, dilapidated ranch house, barn and tower that are fenced in but still very visible from Scott Road, just northwest of the intersection of Scott and Haun Road. That was the home of Charles and Laura Bailey (see bottom photo), who came to Menifee in 1915. Charles built the house, including a fireplace made of native rocks he cleared from his field, and the couple lived there the rest of their lives. The property has been sold to a developer and may one day be part of a business center across the street from the proposed Walmart.

Nikki O'Neal will receive a $50 VISA gift card for her correct guess. We will introduce a new Menifee Maze tomorrow!

Photo courtesy of La Laguna Review and the book "Images of America: Menifee Valley" by Elinor Martin and Betty Bouris.

Zeiders Family Loses Landmark Barn, Keeps Legacy Intact

This photo shows the Zeiders barn, built in 1938, with its original coat of white paint. It was repainted red in 1979.
(Photo courtesy Zeiders family and "Images of America: Menifee Valley" book by Elinor Martin and Betty Bouris).
This photo, shot by family members in the early morning of Aug. 21, shows the barn engulfed in flames.
Family members stand on the barn foundation, which is all that remains after the fire.
Menifee lost a piece of its history last week, but the spirit of the pioneer family involved remains very much alive.

Descendants of Walter and Frances Zeiders (left) are saddened by the loss of a landmark Pennsylvania Dutch style barn built by Walter in 1938. The large red structure, recognized by many locals as a reminder of Menifee's past, burned to the ground last Wednesday, Aug. 21.

At the same time, however, they have been uplifted by the community support of their family, which is represented by four generations living on a sprawling farm and adjoining properties southwest of Scott and Haun Roads.

"We were real pleased with the concern of people who contacted us and came out to help clean up," said 85-year-old Merle Zeiders, son of Walter and Frances, who still lives on the property with his wife Ina May. "This barn was the pride of my life.

"My grandsons are bugging me to rebuild it. They said, 'Don't worry, we'll all chip in to do it.' Even a couple of the firemen said, 'If you put a new barn up, we'll be here to help you.'

"I don't know. Time will tell. But at least if we decide to do it, we've got a start."

Merle Zeiders laughed as he nodded toward the only remaining part of the 30-foot by 60-foot structure: A toilet surrounded by parts of three charred walls.

Zeiders maintained his sense of humor about the loss, surrounded by members of his family. A proud patriarch of the family, Merle sat in a small utility vehicle similar to one that was lost in the fire. He hugged a great grandchild, Grace May Sutherland, as she clung to his suspenders, which are embroidered with the names of all 14 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren.

Merle Zeiders was born in Menifee in 1928. He and his buddy Herk Bouris used to give each other rides on a tricycle down a nearby dirt road, where Merle says they might see five or six vehicles a day pass by.

That dirt road later became Highway 395 and now is Interstate 215. Menifee today looks somewhat different than it did then, its rural landscape now dotted with modern housing developments. Yet there are enough sites such as the Zeiders barn -- located on Zeiders Road just south of the Shops on Scott center -- to allow the old-timers to hold on to part of the past.

Rachelle Zeiders and her children surveyed the damage after the smoke had cleared.
"I'm always grateful for progress," Merle said, "but my loyalty has always been with the old days."

Situated on 40 acres of land owned by a family that once owned about 200 acres in the area, the Zeiders property includes the Zeiders ranch house, built in 1933 and still visible from Zeiders Road, looking much like it did 80 years ago (below). Robert Zeiders, a great grandson of Walter and Frances, lives in that house with his wife Rachelle and children Wyatt (7), Cash (5), Hank (2) and Huck (10 months). Although the barn is now gone, several outbuildings and quite a bit of old farm equipment remains.

Merle and Ina May live a few hundred yards to the south. Sharon, one of their daughters, lives just to the west of them. A son, Don, lives directly west of the old ranch house. Another son, David, lives a few hundred yards to the north, just the other side of Scott Road. The couple's fourth child, Gary, lived in the ranch house for 35 years before moving to Texas.

Robert Zeiders went out behind the barn at 4 a.m. Aug. 21 to feed the cow before he left for work. He noticed nothing out of the ordinary at that point. Around 6:30 a.m., his wife looked out the window and saw the barn on fire. Firefighters responded quickly, but it was too late to save the structure. No one was injured.

An investigator told Merle Zeiders the fire began at a circuit box in one corner of the barn. Although Merle believed all power to that box had been turned off, it appears that electricity arced across a remaining power line and ignited dust that had collected in the circuit box over the years.

In addition to the small recreational vehicle that was lost in the fire, hundreds of empty beekeeping boxes were destroyed. They were the remnants of a bee and honey business Merle and his sons ran out of the barn until about 2 1/2 years ago, when they shut it down.

"I had insurance on the barn all these years, but I took it off when the bee business was gone," Merle said. "I don't see how I could afford to rebuild now. Depends on the city and what they would want in permits and all that."

More than 20 friends and family members showed up to help with the cleanup last Saturday. Debris was piled into five large dumpsters provided free of charge by CR&R Waste Services. Today, about all that remains of the barn are the memories.

But how vivid they are.

Merle Zeiders smiled as he told the story of his father, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1886. In 1909, Walter Zeiders and a friend rode across country on motorcycles, ending up in San Bernardino, where they worked in an olive orchard.

"Dad had $17.92 in his pocket," Merle recalled.

By 1913, Walter Zeiders had moved to Menifee and married Frances Evans, member of another pioneer family in the area. After living for a short time a bit to the south of the current site, Walter and Frances bought the present property for $50 an acre. The barn, patterned after the Pennsylvania Dutch architecture Walter had seen as a young man back east, originally housed sacks of grain. Later, Merle had 35 head of cattle on the farm.

At one time, Merle owned several acres of land off McCall Boulevard, where Menifee Valley Medical Center is now located. Purchasing the land for $2,500, he grew wheat there before selling the property in 1952. Later, the property was sold to a citrus grower, who planted the orange trees now seen from the street adjacent to the hospital.

In Merle Zeiders' mind, however, all of that pales in comparison to his memory of the hard work and creativity his father put into the ranch house, farm and the old barn that lasted some 75 years.

"After dad died in 1974, I found some pamphlets he had," Merle said. "Way back then, he wrote to companies back east, got sketches and designs of those old Pennsylvania Dutch barns, and designed it himself. I wish I had his brains."

At any rate, he has his father's legacy, and together with three generations that have come along since, he carries it on.

From left: Julie Croll, soon to be granddaughter in law; great grandchildren Grace May Sutherland (front) and Charlie Sutherland, in mother Cameron Sutherland's arms; Ina May Zeiders, holding great grandson Dylan Zeiders; Merle Zeiders; daughter Sharon Johnson; and grandson Travis Sutherland. 

Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club Donations Still Sought

Organizers of the Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club received $50 in donations last week and continue to seek public contributions in order to open as scheduled by the end of the year.

At Menifee 24/7, we urge you to contribute whatever amount you feel you can afford to this worthy cause. To donate, mail your check to:

Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club
29618 Lamprey Street
Sun City, CA 92586

For more information, call Sue Kristjansson at 951-282-4717.

Two People Receive Injuries in Accident at Antelope and Craig

One person was extricated and taken to a local hospital after being trapped in a vehicle in a three-car collision late this afternoon in Menifee.

The accident was reported at 5:23 p.m. at the intersection of Antelope Road and Craig Avenue. Two people received moderate injuries and were transported by ambulance, according to a report from Cal Fire.

The scene was cleared by 6 p.m.

Menifee in Pictures: Overcast Day Turns Into Stunning Sunset

Here's another beautiful sunset photo taken by a Menifee resident. This one was shot by Brandon Zundel near Newport and Murrieta Roads tonight. No filter or enhancements were used. That's all natural Menifee beauty.

"Menifee in Pictures" is a regular feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to

Linda Denver Honored as Menifee 24/7 Volunteer of Month

Provecho Grill Owner Rosie O'Connor presents a gift card and certificate to Volunteer of the Month Linda Denver.
If you've been involved in volunteer community service projects in Menifee, chances are you've met Linda Denver.

A longtime resident of Menifee and one of its strongest supporters, Denver has some kind of connection to just about any local volunteer organization you can think of. Her volunteer efforts include:

-- President of the Rotary Club of Menifee
-- Founding member and treasurer of Arts Council Menifee
-- Member of the Menifee Valley Historical Association
-- Member of the Menifee-Sun City Women's Club
-- President of the Friends of the Sun City Library

Oh, yes -- and wife of another very involved Menifee resident -- former Menifee Mayor and current City Councilman John Denver.

"Yes, please put in a plug for my very patient husband," Linda Denver said. "He's very community minded and he does it in his way. I do it in my way. We're both very involved in doing what we believe is best for Menifee."

Most would agree there is no more deserving recipient to receive this month's Menifee 24/7 Volunteer of the Month Award, sponsored by Provecho Grill.

After being presented a certificate and $50 gift card to Provecho by restaurant owner Rosie O'Connor, Denver spoke about her motivation to spend time helping others.

"When I was a young person, our family was very involved in church," Denver said. "We learned to have a giving heart. On my car I have a sign that says "Others." That's what it's all about: Helping others."

Denver is a retired middle school teacher and administrator and former high school principal. Her areas of expertise during her teaching days were English and Theater Arts -- something she has carried over into her efforts with Arts Council Menifee.

ACM has divisions in Literary Arts and Theater, among others, and Denver is vitally interested in both. She is a driving force behind the council's efforts to raise funds to build a performing arts center in Menifee.

In her vision, the center would be a cultural and performing arts center for the area that could host lectures as well as theater productions and town hall meetings. Organizers are talking about having a stage with a back side that can be used as an outdoor amphiteater.

Denver also is pleased that ACM art gallery exhibits have increased from a display of eight local artists to more than 30.

"We need some collaboration on the land from the city, a developer, Pechanga or some group that will help support us in this," Denver said.

Denver also is busy making plans for the Sept. 28 Mayor's Ball at Marion Ashley Center. She and her husband recently returned from a trip to Lisbon, Portugal, where they met with 24,000 Rotarians in the Rotary International Convention.

Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll 9: Why is it Named Newport Road?

Most of the conversation about Newport Road in Menifee these days concerns traffic congestion and construction. To take your mind off that for a moment, see if you can correctly answer this history question:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Menifee Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday Cancelled

The Menifee Planning Commission meeting scheduled for this Tuesday, Aug. 27 has been cancelled, according to a City of Menifee news release.

No business was scheduled to be brought before the commission. Its next regularly scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 10.

City Council meetings are now held on Wednesdays. The next council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.

DUI/Drivers' License Checkpoint Set for Friday, Aug. 30

The Menifee Police Department’s Traffic Unit will conduct a DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint this Friday, Aug. 30, at an undisclosed location in Menifee between the hours of 7 p.m. and 3 a.m.

According to police, checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence and provide the greatest safety for officers and the public. Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint, looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, court probation and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, according to a press release.

Save the Date for the Menifee Mayor’s Ball: Sept. 28

Advertorial supplement:

The sixth annual Menifee Mayor’s Ball is set for Sept. 28, sponsored by the Rotary Club. The theme for this formal affair is Casino Royale, so your night is sure to include poker, craps, blackjack, a live and silent auctions, as well as dinner and an entire night of fun.

As the President elect for 2014-2015, Dr. Ruth Bol of The Children’s Dental Practice of Menifee is chairperson for planning and recruiting sponsorships for the event.

The City of Menifee is the main sponsor for the event. Rotary Club President Linda Denver, as well as the city's leaders and both school district superintendents, will be in attendance: Dr. Steve Kennedy of MUSD and Dr. Jonathan Greenberg of PUHSD. Denver will be produce a Murder Mystery, and Bol will be preforming a dance to James Bond themed music.

Despite her busy Children’s Dental Practice, Bol makes giving back and staying consistently involved with her community a top priority. The Mayor’s Ball is not only a highly anticipated celebration, but also a primary fundraiser for the Rotary Club, of which she is dedicating her efforts. Bol has formed committees for each planning stage and has worked to delegate the necessary responsibilities. They are currently offering sponsorship opportunities to businesses and would love to have your small or large business involved.

By sponsoring the Mayor’s Ball, your business will receive integrated promotional placement as well as exposure to the corporate and community leaders, business owners, and citizens of Menifee. Your company name will be promoted via press releases, the Rotary Club website, social media outlets, and a presence at the actual event.

There are several levels of sponsorship to choose from to best fit with your business. Select from an all-inclusive package or a la carte casino table sponsorship. Individuals may elect to contribute their sponsorship as well. For only $20 per person, you will receive high roller status, ensuring you are VIP throughout the event -- including champagne, food, and beverages service and your silent auction bids monitored for you so as not to interrupt your play.

The sponsorships go toward helping the Rotary Club continue all of the programs it puts on free of cost for the community, including:

- Library book donations to one school each year.

- Student of the Month programs.

- Scholarships for high school seniors.

- Citizenship awards for a fifth and eighth grader at each school in Menifee and Romoland School Districts.

- Menifee School District Spelling Bee.

- Cub scout pack.

- Scholarships for Mt. San Jacinto College.

- Leadership Camp for 10 high school juniors.

- Donations to the Menifee Valley Community Cupboard.

It is the club's mission to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise. Through these fundraising events, the Rotary Club is able to continue its selfless work for so many. Tickets are available to the public for this formal affair. Come out and support your local Rotary Club and all they do in the Menifee community.

For more information, please visit the Menifee Rotary website.

Menifee Mayor’s Ball
When: Saturday, Sept. 28, 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m.
Where: Marion V. Ashley Community Center
Attire: Formal Affair
$55 Before Sept. 19
$65 After Sept. 19

Foam Roll Workshop to be Held at Elevate Fitness Studio on Aug 28

For more information call (951) 301-4499 or visit their Facebook page here.

Menifee 24/7 Adoptable Pet of the Week: Baby

Name: Baby

Breed: Maine Coon

Age: 4 years

Color: Long hair black/brown tabby

Gender: Female, spayed

Baby's Story: Baby finds herself looking for a new home because her owner could no longer keep her. She appears to be a beautiful classic tabby Maine Coon who is very loving and affectionate. She'll follow you around and be your ideal companion. Baby would prefer a quiet home. Baby has been spayed, vaccinated, dewormed and tested negative for feline leukemia virus.

Adoption Agency: Rescue and Rehome, a small, private rescue located in the Quail Valley/Menifee area and serving Southwest Riverside County. Animals are shown by appointment.

Adoption details: $50 adoption fee, cash only please. An adoption contract is required. Rescue and Rehome is looking for an owner who is willing and able to make a lifetime commitment to the care of this cat, which is anywhere between 15 and 20 years.

Hours of Operation: Animals are shown by appointment.

Contact: Email or call (951) 244-3215.

Website: Rescue and Rehome
Like them on Facebook!

Healthy Cooking Class Tonight at Elevate Fitness Studio

For more information or to register call (951) 301-4499

Menifee 24/7 Reader Poll 8: Dogs on the Loose

Here at Menifee 24/7, we get a lot of comments from readers on a variety of subjects. One of the most frequent topics is lost dogs.

Whether it's because this is a rural area and dogs are allowed to roam more freely than in the city or whatever the reason, it seems to us there is a high percentage of dogs getting loose and taking off. Or is it that there are just more dogs out here than in the city?

If you're a dog owner or ever have been while living in Menifee, cast your vote below. You may also leave comments (seen only by us) about your experience. This will help us determine the extent of the problem and consider what might be done to address the issue.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Rilynn Building Celebrates Two Years Serving Clients in Menifee

Rilynn Company, Inc. welcomed clients and residents to its Rilynn Company Professional Building on Sun City Boulevard today for a "birthday bash" celebrating two years at the Menifee location.

Owned by Brian and Jennifer Walker, the Rilynn Company Professional Building offers insurance services to residents through Brian Walker's Rilynn Company Inc. Insurance Services, a member of the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors. Other tenants of the building include:

United Way
Green Line Supply
Dawn's Oasis Massage Therapy
Compass Realty
Community Access Center
Sun Ridge Financial

The Rilynn Building also serves as a meeting place for several groups, including:

TEAM Referral Network
Mary Kay Director Timi Pelato

Rilynn Company Professional Building is located at 27070 Sun City Blvd. in Menifee. Phone: 951-672-3476.

New Paloma Valley Principal Pushes Technological Integration

Paloma Valley High School has a new principal and a new program aimed at advancing technological integration.

"Technology is creeping into every occupation," said Paloma Valley High School Principal Don Williamson, who replaced Brian Morris this month. "I'm going to be pushing technology because I want this school to continue being at the top in education."

Williamson, former assistant principal at Heritage High School, said his goal as Paloma Valley's new principal is to do everything possible to have students learn the skills necessary to utilize technology in any aspect of life.

Through hands-on learning and getting involved with staff and students, Williamson hopes to uphold the school's already impressive scholastic standing and help further Paloma Valley's achievements. This year, Williamson and all Perris Unified High School District schools are implementing a new Scholar+ program, which gives students the opportunity to use Chromebooks and provide teachers with iPads.

The new Chromebook, a small light-weight laptop, replaces student textbooks and will give students and teachers the opportunity to interact outside of the classroom and process assignments electronically. It offers more opportunities to students and helps prepare them for the growing presence of technology in everyday life.

This week, administrators at Paloma Valley and Heritage High handed out a total of 5,000 Chromebooks to students. Each student is issued a Chromebook and is responsible for any damage done to it. The total cost to replace a student's Chromebook will be about $325, Williamson said -- compared to the previous cost of about $400 for textbooks per student.

Williamson said he is excited Paloma Valley is one of the first schools in the district to pioneer the program.

"The whole idea is to get the entire district on the road to higher technology," said Williamson. "We're pretty much pioneering how to do it."

Williamson said that Chromebooks were chosen because they are more compatible with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests, which will be implemented throughout the state next year. SBAC is a state-led consortium for next-generation assessments that accurately measures student progress toward college and career readiness.

With the Chromebooks, students will be able to prepare for the SBAC testing system and teachers will be more able to teach students to use higher level thinking.

"We want to teach the kids critical thinking skills," said Williamson.

SBAC helps students develop level three thinking, said Williamson. For example, as opposed to being asked who was the 16 U.S. president, students will be asked to take the Gettysburg Address and Civil Rights Bill and show how they apply to modern day society.

Overall, students, staff and parents are supportive of the technological push. Students and staff have had positive reactions to the new system, said Williamson.

As well as the push toward technology, Williamson wants to strive for an involved administration. Williamson is trying to get to know his student body, parents and staff.

To tie in with his push for technology and to get to his those at his new school better, Williamson said he is going to start a principal's Facebook and Twitter page. He also plans on visiting teachers' classrooms to let teachers know he has an interest in what goes on in the classroom.

"It's important to the teachers to know that administration is interested in what is going on in the classroom," said Williamson.

Williamson has high expectations for the new school year at Paloma Valley, but believes he has the staff, students and resources necessary to meet his goals as new principal.

Menifee in Pictures: Dawning of a Beautiful Day in Menifee

Thanks to Colt Sanderson for submitting this great picture of the sunrise as seen from Evans Road near Paloma Valley High School.

Which are prettier? Menifee sunrises or sunsets?

"Menifee in Pictures" is a regular feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to

Menifee in Pictures: Finding the 'Missing Link'

Construction continues on the stretch of road that will connect the northern and southern portions of Menifee Road. Known as the "missing link," this stretch of road between and Aldergate Drive and Simpson Road will also be an access road to additional housing planned there.

Kudos to the readers who correctly identified yesterday's photo location as the valley east of Menifee Valley Middle School, as seen from a dirt portion of Bradley Road near its intersection with Wickerd Road. Only the "real" residents know that place!

"Menifee in Pictures" is a regular feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to