Friday, November 29, 2013

• Buckle Up Now, Smells Like A Rate Increase Is On The Way

As the tryptophan ebbs from my body, on this glorious Black Friday,
I'm reading the latest from EVMWD



I'll let you read it for yourself,
but my conclusion is that we are being softened up for another rate hike here.
 (what's new... right?)
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We should all be concerned for our environment — Duh!
And we should all be eager to hand it over, to the future generations, in BETTER condition than we received it... 

 still, I smell a money grab disguised as a good deed about to be spun on us.

Cha-Ching!

I want to point your attention to two paragraphs in particular:

When prevention is not enough...
If the salinity problems become too much to manage through prevention, water districts may be forced to seek more direct and costly measures to remove salts. These could include:
  • Development and construction of a desalination plant, which is an expensive alternative to prevention. Not only would the cost to install local facilities be a burden on customers, but the desalination process is expensive, requiring an extraordinary amount of energy to remove salts.
  • Introduction of limitations/bans on salt-based water softeners. Self -regenerating water softeners that use salt or potassium pellets can release a pound of salt per day when it regenerates and “flushes” away the brine or “salty waste”. Water districts have begun to ask residents to remove their self -regenerating water softeners, but may have to implement more strict policies if salt levels continue to be high.
(emphasis is mine)

This is the first of a four part series by EVMWD. Can't wait to see what comes in the next bill.

Looks like they want to put a stake through the heart of The Culligan Man.

Personally I always hated the "soft water" at my grandma's house.
I could never wash the soap off my hands.




Wednesday, November 27, 2013

• A Tree Fell, Did You Hear It?

I think it went "crash" but it might have gone "boom."  What does the tree say?
Neither Did I... until a friend sent me a link.

Let me start with a hearty:
Happy Thanksgiving week...
but that ointment sure likes flies in it... so here's the rundown.
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I started Wildomar Rap after a conversation with Gil Rasmussen, of Wildomar Magazine fame (or is that 'infamy' —you be the judge of that one). He and I had gone a few rounds over at The Patch, before I retired from that cesspool, and then accepted his invitation to meet at Starbucks and had coffee. He's a personable enough guy, and the time wasn't a waste. He encouraged me to write a blog. He said he thought I was funny (my Aspie senses always tingle when I hear such things).

Ummm.... it's one of those "Be careful what you wish for" moments, if ever there was one.

First, I don't get the point of leading with the rusty edge of a dull fish scaler when writing, but people do what they are capable of. If you are into that kind of "humor" (cough), then he's your man and bless you both.
The cutting edge that is W-Mag.
So, Gil went from giving me props, to being ashamed of me in the blink of an eye. I've been waiting for this from day one. Look Gil, I like you and have no issues with you, but let me heartily thank you for withdrawing your support. It was about a half a step above having the likes of Lake Ellie's Resident be a blogs biggest booster.

I'm not who they think I am. 

I'm a 12 year resident of Wildomar, not a 12 year old boy, have always paid basic attention to things, but only recently started paying closer attention to issues in our city. I have no axes to grind, and I'm not interested in taking up the causes of Wildomar's self stylized "activists".

Too bad his blog-blast won't even make my Top 100 Crack-Back List of written jabs that I've endured over the many years I've spent at YouTube and Yahoo News. I've heard it all, and there is no combination of intelligible words that can phase me.

However there are two bits of   mental kryptonite  that can short circuit my dome in a hurry. I find it difficult to suffer fools, or those that lead with a disingenuous veneer. If you want to watch my eyes fog over, lead with one of those.

So the wheels came off over my previous blog: "Killing Paper".
Where I juxtaposed two memes. 

It must have taken special effort to miss my obvious point, and then to think I was promoting the mistreatment of women is truly laugh out loud funny. Almost as funny as those that take the W-Mag as some sort of gospel.


In short, BOTH -quote unquote- "solutions" are wrongo-bongo in the above memes.
Yet that clear point was missed by my esteemed friend... yowsers!
 (Earth calling frontal lobe, check in frontal lobe.) 


I enjoy making friends with the locals, and that includes those that many others in the city DO NOT LIKE, based on years worth of their actions. Actions, that no matter how noble they may claim them to be, have been nothing but harmful to our community.
Key word here:
"OUR"

I'm not interesting in sandbagging our local elected officials in a blog. If that was my aim, I'd have named this blog Wildomar Hatchet Job: replete with parody and satire. I'll let the bottom feeders gorge themselves on such fare... if that's your bag, you know where to look for it.

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I didn't envision Wildomar Rap to be a he-said she-said, nanny goat, gotcha back, I'm rubber you're glue blah, blah, blechhh! type of endeavor. I don't see that I'll be using this blog as such a vehicle —who would want to read such dreck? But, when I'm called out, and by a person that gave me free unsolicited pub, I feel compelled to respond. It's not like I could respond at his blog, where comments are verboten.

Like in the movie The Ten Commandments where the Pharaoh declared that all references of Moses be stricken from the record. I feel in such good company.
shall it be written shall it be done

Basically, all references of Wildomar Rap have been expunged from Wildomar Mag.
Oh Darn!

Click this link to read the blog in full.... that is, assuming it likewise hasn't been purged.

In the end, when I see Gil, I'm sure we'll shake hands and exchange the normal niceties.
People can have differing political view points and still get along... right?

Monday, November 25, 2013

• Killing Paper


What happens when two guys get into an internet argument about guns?

"The Ex"
They settle it like men.
(sorry for being sexist here... well, not really)

 They hang out for a couple of hours at a shooting range. 

>:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(


It started on a FaceBook thread with these two memes juxtaposed together.



My point was that both "remedies" will lead to a visit from the Po' Po'.


Fellow Wildomarian, Doug Ames, was getting fed up with my cackling about guns on a thread of mine. Then posted:
Lmk if you want to go kill paper sometime.




I told him I wasn't a "Let's do lunch" kinda guy, so let's plan it fo' reals. 
Two days later, paper was beggin' fer mercy!

Joseph, meet AR15.                                   Can you find the spent shell?


Gotta love that muzzle flash on this Extar EXP Extreme Lightweight AR15 Pistol.
My video camera was set to 60 fps and it only showed up on one frame.

☼   We shot a total of five different guns  
Smith and Wesson Military and Police .22LR, 9mm. AR15, an AK47, and the Extar EXP Extreme Lightweight AR15 Pistol with an eotech 517 Tactical Weapons Sight.

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 (this space left intentionally blank)


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All the guns had their selling points. The .22 Smith and Wesson was the first one I shot. It was such a nice little gun. Then I shot the 9mm. Ummm!!!! Wow, what a difference, and I know they only get more powerful. 

After that we went over to the rifles. I preferred the AK47. In part because it had iron sites, which is like my badass ten pump BB gun. Last on the list to shoot was the Extar EXP Extreme Lightweight AR15. It wasn't easy for me to hit the target with it, but it had the throatiest boom of the lot.
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It was a great time out. All the way from the weather, to the shooting to the company. 

I'm glad I got into a silly FaceBook tête-à-tête with Mr. Doug Ames. Without it, I wouldn't have had the chance to meet such a good member of the community, or go out shooting. 

Thanks Doug, it was a great day.
  
Doug is also very involved with the scouts, and based on the time he took with me, a n00b to be sure when it comes to firearms training, I can see that his scouts are in good hands when they are under his care/supervision.

When we were done, we picked up our spent shells, and a couple of bags of trash, we also cleaned up a table, two boxes of trash, two computers, and what looked like an old radio. 


It's ok if you want to live like a pig, just don't make us clean up after you


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The only way to end such an outing was at 
Annie's Cafe in Lake Elsinore.

Where I finally got a chance to try their Fish and Chips.

The full size panorama shot of the area.








A little PhotoShop art of some shotgun shells.





Saturday, November 23, 2013

• Tile Painting Fund Raiser


Today there was a fundraiser for Wildomar Parks
Photo courtesy of Bridgette Moore
at

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The weather couldn't have been better... especially after two days of rain.












The finished tiles will be installed into the snack bar at Marna O'Brien park.
The cost was $20 per tile.


:^) :^) :^) :^) :^) :^) :^) :^) :^) :^) :^) :^) :^) 

Due to the threat of rain, much of the planned entertainment didn't materialize. 
Though the Wildomar Elementary jump rope team was there early on. 

Photo Courtesy of Bridgette Moore

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A car show was planned,
This was a great car, with a great story from the owner.
Had to love the miniature that was displayed on 'big brother' bug.
but the weather caused the some to doubt it was still on,
but a few car owners still came out. Thanks guys!
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I was very happy to attend and paint a tile too.
 Painting is always fun

Top: Jose Llamas and Sarah, Michael Garza. Bottom: Caylee Garza, Amanda and Sarah Llamas, Lucy Garza.
Pictures courtesy of Robert Garza.
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It was a great chance to get out into the fresh air, build a little community spirit, chat with some neighbors, and meet others. Many of the people heard about the fundraiser through the Wildomar FaceBook page. It's a "closed group" but if you have a FaceBook account, with a real name/identity, you'll be welcomed.

Sheila Urlaub, Bridgette Moore, Joseph Morabito, Robert Garza.
With Harry Potter the dog, in front of Ace Hardware.
Click the link below to join.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

• Shall We Play Chicken With the State?

Here are some highlights from the
Planning Commission Meeting
November 20, 2013

This was a carryover meeting from two weeks earlier. The gist of the meeting was the General Plan Amendment. 

Should the Planning Commission give a Recommendation to the city council or not when it comes to approving the GPA? (Remember folks, the City Council doesn't have to take a recommendation 'for' or 'against'... it's really a suggestion).

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After a Power Point presentation by planner Mark Teague, Commissioner Bob Devine got into the following exchange with Mr. Teague.
BD: Why is this coming so late?
MT: Community opposition slowed the process.
BD: What’s the penalty [for not completing the GPA on time]?
MT: Being forced to do the “housing element” on a four year cycle instead of an eight year cycle. Which is about a $100K a throw. (my paraphrasing)

At this point Assistant City Attorney, Erica Vega, jumped in to elaborate on the penalties. “The definite penalties [for not complying with state mandates on their schedule] would be to be forced to go through the process every 4 years instead of 8 years that we are currently on." 

She continued, "Possible penalties are that a judge could block future development until a plan is adopted that complies with the state."

(It’s a long story of why the cycles to update the housing element are the way they are, click the following links to learn more.)


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At this point we had public comments

Lead off batter: 
Miss Miller:
she went twice so I'll mash her comments together (believe me, you won't know the difference)
She quoted the bible, mentioned 'man and beast', that Sunflowers are now extinct in Wildomar , lost her place on the page, said "oops", no more parking lots, take down the existing apartments,  the Indians want you to leave the sage alone, if we don't build - we don't have to comply...

that's where I zoned out... but was brought back to life with a new word: Exasterbating. I don't even want to guess.

Thing is, I do agree with her view that there are too many people in California. Problem is, people keep making more people and they're going to need someplace to live. 

Ah, maybe that's what she was referencing when she kept saying "Exasterbate."

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Next Up was Martha Bridges:
• In my opinion, we do not have general plan. 
• [The] urgency [here] is artificial at best.
• [Due to the statewide "depression" we've been in] I would be waiting with baited breath for the state to penalize us.
• We need to preserve and protect the commercial and business land. 
• Urges a NO vote for the zone changes.

It's hard to argue with wanting to 'preserve and protect' our commercial and business lands.


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Monty Goddard:
I'll sum up what I got out of Monty's points. He sees that our police service has been cut since incorporation, and is worried that building more dwellings, instead of commercial, especially on lands designated as commercial, will only reduce the police presence we currently have. 

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Other Notable Notes:

Mathew Bassi (planning director):
• In response to Martha Bridges assertions, he stated, 
"[This] is not artificially urgent."

"State Law is 30 units per acre and 30% of the project [for MUPA projects].

Bobby Swann (planning commissioner):
• "I'm frustrated that this work hasn't been done earlier."
Referencing the fact that if the work doesn't get done soon, Wildomar will be facing onerous penalties.


Veronica Langworthy (planning commissioner):
She had a few that made the highlight reel:

She was concerned about the 30 units per acre being 30% of a project, and wanted to put language in that would restrict it to NO MORE THAN 50%. Ummm, errrr... why couldn't we put language in there that caps it at 30%? Just because the state is mandating we take a cup of poison, must we cap the dose at a cup and a half?

"[if you have a problem with MUPAs, your] argument is with the state for putting this on us."
Seems about right

Speaking of MUPAs in general
"The Olsen's (from Laura Ingalls fame) were living over their store on Little House on the Prairie." 

Where's Melissa Gilbert when you need her?

I'm trying to picture how that would work here

Bob Devine (planning commissioner):
"We should contact Lake Elsinore and Murrieta to see which one wants to take us over... since we will just be  their bedroom community."
"I don't have a problem with high density housing (apartments), my problem is that they shouldn't be in commercial areas."

I shared his amusement at the idea of putting the apartments in parcels that boarder Murrieta.

Stan Smith (Chairman) 
 Allow me to paraphrase a rather long intro
• PC-13-25, dash zero, dash double zero, dash, zero, dash, batman sign, dash number, dash, more numbers, dash more numbers than my had can handle at once, dash, zero, dash, help I'm now insane. 

Where's TinyURL when you need one? It's an inside joke if you made it that far into the proceedings. Stan's a good guy.

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Summing it all up

All the items on the agenda have been forwarded to the City Council with the recommendation for the council to approve them. I believe there were eight items voted on, of which Bob Devine voted no on at least three of them. 

Here's how I see it. Like it or not, the state has mandated that we follow certain guidelines when it comes to zoning and housing. From what we were told, the state is really pushing MUPAs and there isn't a lot of wiggle room there. 

I don't see how it would do our city one bit of good to play chicken with the state.

By not getting this plan in on time, it sure sounded like the state will penalize Wildomar by dictating that we import more poor people ERRRRR... I mean, zone for more low income housing.
California would basically pummel cute li'l WillyMar

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 Post Script
I arrived ten minutes before the meeting started. The room was nearly empty of spectators. Various city staff and commissioners where there. I happened to hear Bobby Swann say he was going to call the police. If I were TMZ I'd probably focus on this... but I didn't see what precipitated it, and nothing came of it. City business carried on, and there was nothing. If there was more, it didn't happen on my watch. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

• Lake Wildomar

Ok, we all know there is no real Lake Wildomar...  
(apparently there used to be... way back in the day, but that's for another time)

(in the manner of Agent 86)
but... would you believe 'On Wildomar Pond'?
Sorry About That Chief
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Today I went on a nature walk of sorts. It was on the trail that is next to Murrieta Creek between McVicar and Clinton Keith Road. I'd heard a lot about it, and after 12 years I thought I'd go check it out. 
This water comes from Windsong Valley and has no where to flow freely into Murrieta creek.


Let's be real, in our area, every other thing that is called a "creek" or stream is usually bone dry this time of year. Here, you can see standing water. I wasn't brave enough to fathom it, but my guess is that it was several feet deep. It makes for a nice photo, but is one nasty, stagnant mess in reality. I can only imagine how deep it must be when it really rains.

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This creek has been a topic of conversation, probably forever , but certainly since the recent proposed development that abuts it.

It's purpose is FLOOD CONTROL
It isn't supposed to be for
 "waterside supper with riparian entertainments." 
 (a great line from the British TV show called Keeping Up Appearances)  
Oh Richard!
 
I was amazed to see that the creek/flood control channel is completely choked with reeds and other tall grasses. To say it's "overgrown with weeds," is to akin to mistaking a wallaby for a mouse.

(maybe closer to mistaking a horse for a mouse)

I had heard about the condition of the creek, but I had pictured this 'overgrowth' to be closer to the Clinton Keith Rd bridge... not the entire stretch of it.
 
Looking west, a few hundred yards south of McVicar down the trail.
This is supposed be where storm waters make their way to the ocean.
The story is that the county is allowed to/supposed to clear the vegetation every two years (every three years for certain things growing there).
 Hello McFly...  you can get to work anytime now.

It's hard to believe this is less than two years worth.

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Another interesting thing I saw was this sign:
These markers were on the creek's edge every so often.
It was explained to me that when the county actually gets around to clearing the vegetation, they are to leave a six foot area around it as a natural habitat.

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In the end, this "creek" is for FLOOD CONTROL. Yes, it is also a habitat for many animals, but they aren't going to be well served when their homes get flooded out in the Spring... and neither will any of the humans that live near the area. I'm told it's a nightmare of red tape to have to deal with things involving the creek, no matter what you have in mind there. 

A hearty 'thank you' to all the tree huggers that have gone well beyond helping the environment, to actually making things worse. IMN2BHO that is.
 
We all love trees, some just more than others.
Hey, get a room already!

In my view, just another indication of madness kicking sanity to the curb. 

That a county could be lackadaisical about it's maintenance of a flood control channel, and Fish and Wildlife could then declare it a Natural Habitat, making it off limits. In the words of everyone's favorite space age cartoon dog, "Ruh Roh!"
   
Thankfully nothing quite that daft has happened... yet.

The way I see it, what needs to happen is that a bulldozer needs to go in there and remove all the vegetation in that "creek"... but that's just too easy, and a person that dared to try it would probably get more jail time than if they'd committed a series of home invasion robberies.

If only it were actually funny.

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View of trail adjacent to the trail on Murrieta Creek.    Photo courtesy of Janice Carabine.

 Setting aside all the politics of it, it really is nice place to walk.

I love making panoramic pics. This is pretty much what it looks like. The water flows from the left to the right on this dogleg waterway that meets up with the creek. Since there haven't been rains, I'm guessing this is run off from Windsong, but that's hard to believe.



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