Saturday, August 29, 2015

• Over $3300 Raised For Charity

Click for website
Bingo!


Today 120 people attended the bingo fundraiser at the Elks Lodge on Mission Trail. With the special games included there were about 20 rounds of bingo. 


All the proceeds went to Relay For Life which is a non profit that raises money to fight cancer. There will be a 24 hour walking marathon Saturday, October 10, 2015 at Canyon Lake Middle School.


Wildomar has a several teams participating. 

Among them is Bob and Pat's Posse, Captain Chrissy Rohlmeier; 
VFW Post 1508 Veterans for a Cure, Captain Cari Gardner; 
Scouting for a Cure, Captain Luanne Vicnaire; 
and the Wildomar Walkers, Captain Bridgette Moore which brought 22 people the the bingo fundraiser. 



It was a great afternoon that started about 12:30, with bingo beginning at 1:00pm, and finished a little after 4:00pm. After the first nine games of bingo there was an intermission where about 10 prize baskets were raffled off. 

Hands down the highlight of the day was during the final game of bingo, which had a payout of $250. Wildomar City Clerk Debbie Lee won the game, and she not only demonstrated the proper way of shouting BINGO! but then she promptly turned around and donated all $250 back to Relay For Life.


There is still time to participate by either walking or sponsoring/donating.
Click to go to the facebook page.
•      •       

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. ― Izaak Walton

Wildomar Rap can be viewed from anywhere in the world, but I can't imagine the people from Upper Volta really wondering if the city has been sued again. It's more of a local thing.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

• Pins 'N Pockets Grand Opening

Tonight was a big gala event over at Pins 'N Pockets which is pin high with The Diamond (AKA "Storm Stadium") in Lake Elsinore on Mission Trail.

I was there last November and again in January and when I entered the front doors this time, I was amazed at the difference. The previous times I was a bit overwhelmed with the busy decor (the old floor could give a person vertigo it was so intricate). They've completely modernized the place all the way down to a new floor that doesn't require a person to take Dramamine before entering.

Seriously, I didn't recognize the place. We had a tour of the new entertainment center and it's sure to be a gem for the entire area to enjoy.

They have a great arcade near the entry and also a state of the art laser tag arena that accommodates up to 30 participants. Just past the arcade you come to a very inviting bar area with tables and chairs along with a couple of pool tables on the left side.

Further down is the main bowling area which sparkles enticingly for you to put on a pair of bowling shoes and pick up a ball. 

There are several private areas that are set up for parties. I'd call them private rooms, but they are huge and have four private lanes in each of them. There is an even larger "private room" that had even more lanes in it.

There is a large banquet room that has a capacity of more than 400. 

They are still building a sports bar that will be the home of their pool tables and where they will host pay per view events. 

Tonight had many local dignitaries there to kick off a new chapter in local entertainment. This place is designed for families and their stated goal is to maintain it that way. If you have bad memories of any past bowling places that were at the same address, time to flush those out. This place stands on its own.
A side view of the crowd gathered to celebrate the grand opening.

The evening started with group led tours and a stop at the bar for refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. They didn't have Guinness so I got the stout that was suggested. Now if I could only remember what it was called... it was pretty tasty.

Around 7:00ish Welcoming Speeches were given. They didn't have a PA system, so it wasn't easy to hear many of the words, but when Lake Elsinore mayor Steve Manos got up to address the crowd, he belted out his words in a way that would have made Luciano Pavarotti proud. No, not singing ☺ and not shouting, but booming! He made it so that the person furthest away could hear him clearly.
Lake Elsinore Mayor Steve Manos welcomes Pins 'N Pockets to the area in a booming voice.








Next was the ribbon cutting. 

You can see Wildomar's Mayor Ben Benoit in the back and center, our Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore on the left, and if you enlarge the image you can get a glimpse of Wildomar Council Member Marsha Swanson peeking from behind Lake Elsinore Mayor Steve Manos (who's up front and to the right of the scissors).
Smiles all around as the two ribbons were bisected.

P'NPs were showcasing their food prowess with three different tastes: Western, Mexican, and Italian. Thankfully I've learned the art of moderation and avoided a food coma from the variety and abundance on hand. The room was magnificent and one can only imagine an event with a band playing.
A look a the banquet room.

To cap off the night we had a round of laser tag. At first it seemed that only five were going to play. This is one of those games that is more fun with a large crowd. Much to our delight another 25 people were rounded up and we had a full match. That was a crazy workout and I was almost ready to tap out when the game was officially over. 

I think our team won, but it was too much fun to be worried about that. Though I can imagine there being laser tag leagues with serious competitors. I was just glad to see that I had the best percentage (34%) among my fellow blue team members.

The Grand Opening continues on Saturday. Check out the info from their website.

PINS 'N POCKETS GRAND OPENING
Pins 'N Pockets is having it's GRAND OPENING! We invite you, your family, and friends to join the party! We will be giving out 1 FREE round of Laser Tag, 1 FREE game of bowling, and 1 FREE $5 Arcade PlayCard for each guest!During the Grand Opening, we will be having 'Lights-Out' Bowling, which consists of flashing lights, loud music, and a blast for everyone! If you're interested, we encourage you and everyone to stop by and join the party! — Pins 'N Pockets Management Team

GRAND OPENING WEEKEND EVENT

  STARTS AUGUST 29TH, 9AM - NOON  
  • 1 FREE GAME OF LASER TAG
  • 1 FREE GAME OF BOWLING
  • 1 FREE $5 ARCADE PLAYCARD
  • Chance to win Luke Bryan Tickets
  • Free Giveaways every hour 
Click to visit website
  •      •       
Don't count your bowling balls before they're hatched, Fred.  ― Barney Rubble

Wildomar Rap has never bowled 300, not even in Wii Bowling.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

• Special City Council Meeting Aug 2015

World's shortest blog for world's shortest meeting.

There was only one agenda item.

1.1 Planning Commission Vacancy 

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends that the City Council:
  • 1. Accept the resignation of Planning Commissioner Bobby Swann; 
  • 2. Declare a vacancy on the Planning Commission; and 
  • 3. Direct the City Clerk to advertise the vacancy and accept applications for the unexpired term of office (December, 2016).

There were three public comments.

Joseph Morabito suggested background checks and credit reports for new appointees.

Kenny Mayes had the shortest, and the coolest comment... so I'll transcribe it all here:
I'm here this evening to observe the process of advertising for city planning commissioner, and to see if it mimics the process used for the Measure Z Oversight committee. [If] the outreach equals that process I'm prepared to hang on for dear life as the train flies off the tracks and into the abyss, thank you.
— Kenny Mayes

Sheila Urlaub mentioned the need for vetting candidates, looking to other cities to see what they do when filling similar positions. The second half of her comment is transcribed below.

I would make a request, and I was surprised that you could be on the planning commission and not be a homeowner. I've been shocked with that from the get go. I'm sorry, if you're going to be impacting me and my properties... I was surprised. I think a renter should not be on there. I Strongly was irritated at that from the beginning.

I would also say let's not just settle on somebody. If you don't get a lot of applicants for this position let's wait, let's keep it out there, let's get it out to everywhere that you can. I'd also say I'd like to see us be a little less reactive to social media. It comes up periodically when I'm talking. Can we get more information out there so that all of a sudden we're not having all sorts of rumors and such posted and then that's when the city's responding?

I think we need to look at this. Do I think that the planning commissioner who just resigned made some outrageous decisions and behaviors? Absolutely, and I'm supportive of your decision and I am pleased that he has resigned. I'm not going to lie and say anything that I don't believe. Let's not settle, just to fill a seat.
— Sheila Urlaub

The only thing that I didn't get about Urlaub's comments was the part about social media. 

It's not as if the problems come from a website controlled by the city. 

FaceBook groups answer only to the admins of said groups. There is no way a city could control them, and to suggest that the city should monitor them for rumors, is far more onerous than simply requiring those attached to the city to stay off such sites in the first place.

There were no council comments. Just a motion, a second and it passing 4-0 with Cashman not in attendance.

Now the process of filling the 5th seat begins and the hope is to have a qualified candidate before the November council meeting. 

Press Enterprise reporter Michael Williams was there, so it'll be interesting to see his take on this meeting. Here's the link to it → click here.


=========================
If you want to see the whole meeting, it's in the uncut video below.
The entire thing is under 9 mins starting after the flag salute.


  •      •       

We are our own jailer, and the chains of slavery don't always chafe.  ― E.G. Marshall, CBSRMT

Wildomar Rap has never taken a last minute flight to China.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

• Planning Commissioner Bobby Swann Resigns

There's an opening on the planning commission.

"How did this come about?" you ask?

When you are an elected or appointed official you live in a fishbowl (that goes for anyone that pulls a public paycheck for that matter). Your every move gets scrutinized, whether that's fair or not... it's just part of the job.

Since the time I've been going to city meetings Planning Commissioner Bobby Swann has been in a number of public skirmishes, usually online. 

If he wasn't in the public eye, none of them would be noteworthy. To compound things, he was an appointed official. A position where you serve at the pleasure of the council member that nominated you, not the voters. You have no guaranteed position. If you embarrass the city, you should expect to get your walking papers.

He'd been counseled many times about keeping a low profile on social media, and it must be more alluring than a moth to a flame because he couldn't keep away from the firing line. 


It's beautiful!

The issue that proved to be his undoing actually stems back to last year. It was all flying under the radar until a video was posted earlier this month showing the condition of a home his family had been living in up till this Winter.

The video is two minutes long, and though it looks like the cameraman was doing the peepee dance (worst job of camera work I've seen by someone over the age of five), the images can't be denied. 

It appears that the video has been removed. The pictures at zillow make the point without having to get vertigo watching a badly shot video.




Similar still images can be seen on Zillow. 
Click to see photos that were taken shortly after the Swann Family moved out.
Disclaimer: I've known Bobby Swann and his family since late 2013. My wife and I have been to their house and they've been to our house —we were friends— and I initially had no plans to write such a revealing blog, but the course of events have necessitated it. 

After the video above got circulated on several local FaceBook pages, the city council, and Bridgette Moore specifically, had to act on it. 

As it was, the Moore family had been out of the country on a vacation when this first hit. Once apprised of it, she agonized over it for about a week, in which time Bobby Swann asked her if he should resign. 

There was a meeting on Thursday August 20th at city hall where Mayor Pro-Tem Moore asked for his resignation. There had been a prepared resignation letter for him to sign but instead he got hostile with her.

When I asked Moore how the meeting went, you could hear that she was a bit shaken. She had told Swann that he needed to tender his resignation and she even had a sample letter for him to use, but he got up angrily and said he could write his own letter of resignation. She remarked that it was a side of him she'd never seen before. After such an experience, if she had any doubts about asking for his resignation, they were cleared up right there.

Mind you, the job of a Wildomar Planning Commissioner is important, but let's keep our perspective here, compared to other cities, our commission could almost be put on autopilot since there hasn't been any legit big projects proposed here (apologies to Chairman Langowrthy, and Commissioners Smith, Brown and Bidwell for my hyperbole here).

Seriously though, if you know that you've been a "lightning rod" (Swann's own words) then why wouldn't you do the right thing and resign while keeping your dignity and friends? You're telling me that the commissioner title is worth more than your self respect?

He and I exchanged a few FaceBook PMs before and after the meeting. He alerted me that he thought he was "getting fired from the planning commission"

I told him that I was at a lose for words. I then added, 
"If something does shake out, maybe a prepared statement can be shared with me that I can then use in a blog."

His response was, "Nah I am just gonna disappear into the sunset quietly now."

After his meeting with Moore he messaged me, "Fired... Well they want my letter of resignation."

My response was:
"Though I always said I'd "make them fire me" I can see that "stepping down" is better in the long run if that is what is in the offing. Are you supposed to be doing that by any particular time?"

His reply was, "IDK".


Why does a person involve someone, that they call a friend, just to lie to them? 

They wanted the resignation Post Haste.

There is a protocol for resigning. We learned a week or two ago about how to properly resign from a city post when a councilman from Hemet resigned by email, only to say "Jus' Kiddin"' a few hours later. To be official it needs to be handed to the city clerk. 

•   •   •

But wait, it only gets worse from here. 

Yes, the images of the inside of the house are nearly as frightening as those from The Blair Witch Project, but in all reality, debris and garbage can be tossed, walls can be painted, ruined sinks can be replaced, moldy showers can be bleached, rancid fridges sent to area 51 and soiled carpets can be burned. 

The big issue to me is that they had to be evicted, and I'm more bothered by the hole in the former homeowner's lives, where their nest egg used to be, than I am about it resembling the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  You read that right. The people that had been renting to the Swanns since 2008 LOST THEIR HOME due to the nonpayment of rent. (I know I couldn't afford two mortgage payments).
This is NOT a picture of a room in the house on Charles St.

If you go to the Riverside County Court website, you can find Case SWC1403514 - RAYMOND VS SWANN. The judgement was for $17,000. My understanding is that is $10,000 in unpaid rent, $5,000 in damages and the rest in costs.

If that isn't enough icing on the cake, he really went all out in his scorched earth campaign as he mentioned, to more than one person, about possibly "outing" something about a friend's family in the wake of his resignation. 

Believe me, the "secret" is laughably innocuous, but it's the thought that counts. 

To think that such a threat of blabbing something about a friend, no matter how picayune it may be, tells me it was sitting just below the surface (like a landmine) for a long time. Not part of the definition of a friend in my book.

Hmmm... I better head this one off at the pass. 

My wife and I argued last week and I tried to bounced an iPhone off of a tile floor. The tile floor won that match up. I tell you this now because my wife chatted with Bobby's wife about it, and I'm choosing to let all the air out of that balloon now... just in case that is also lying just below the surface.


iPhone v Floor... Floor remains undefeated in such contests.



•      •       
There will be a special city council meeting to deal with the Bobby Swann resignation. It's going to be Wednesday August 26th (the usual time and place: Council Chambers at 6:30PM). 


To stave off any potential comment war there will be no anonymous comments from this point forward on Wildomar Rap. Only Registered Users can post commentsA registered user is someone who has an account with Google and/or Blogger, Live Journal, WordPress, AIM, TypePad or OpenID. 
•      •       

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.  ― C.S. Lewis

I Enjoyed being friends with the Swanns, but if I were to try and paper over this, approach it with kid gloves, I might as well hang up my blogging days now.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

• Two Ribbon Cuttings in Two Hours

Wildomar officially welcomes two new businesses with ribbon cutting ceremonies. First was over at the new pet grooming place called Natalie's Rascals (which is right next to Barons Market). 
Natalie cuts the ribbon signifying she's open for business.



I'm hoping to do a more in depth "Better Know a Local Business" blog with Natalie's Rascals in the near future... I'm just waiting until our dog is shaggy enough to need some expert grooming. ☺

It's a great shop that has all the modern devices to make your Fido's experience a pleasant one.
Click to visit Natalie's FaceBook page.


The second ribbon cutting was at Pie Nation. They opened their doors a couple of months ago and today they had an open house. They blocked off part of the parking lot, put up some tables and chairs and also had some live music to celebrate the day. Check out the pictures below. 

The only picture I got of the ribbon cutting before my camera went AWOL.




It was a madhouse inside the restaurant.

It was not quite a madhouse outside, but it was still a busy place with live music, free samples of pizza, bottles of water
(or Barq's Root Beer), and activities for the kids. Including crafts, bubbles and face painting.

We had intended to BUY some lunch there, but Pie Nation's big grand opening generosity made that impossible. 

Sample sizes that would make Costco blush of some of their specialties like Pesto Chicken Pizza, Margarita Pizza (not like the drink in anyway ☺), Chicken Alfredo Pizza, Barbecue Chicken Pizza, Nation Sticks (a combination of ranch dressing, parmesan cheese, mozzarella and garlic seasoning) on a pizza crust cut into strips.

We'll have to stop in again soon so we can actually support this fine local business.


A young man is eagerly awaiting his turn at a design for his face.
Dulaney and Co singing at Pie Nation's Pizza-Fest.
Westerly panoramic.
Easterly panoramic.
Click to visit their FaceBook page.

•      •       

There's no better feeling in the world than a warm 
pizza box on your lap.  —  Kevin James

You better cut the pizza into four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.  —  Yogi Berra

Friday, August 21, 2015

• Fostering Pets

Are you familiar with Pet Fostering?
Do not look directly into their eyes... they will hypnotize you into taking them home with you.

There is a Pet Fostering program that is run through Animal Friends of the Valleys.

I had a chance to chat with long time Foster Pet Parent Paula Willette (try that one three times fast) about the program and thought I'd share some pertinent facts with you.

The job of a Foster Pet Parent is to offer a nice safe environment to the animal. The shelter takes care of all of the vet needs and food needs. Though if you're so inclined to buy the food yourself, it would free up more food for other animals in need.

There are two main types of fostering.
One is where a person wants to take a dog with poor social skills, a dog that would be passed over by most people looking to adopt, and then to work with it, handle it, love it and turn it into the type of dog that every family would be looking for.

The other type of fostering is where a person is just looking to help a dog (or cat) have a place to stay while they are waiting for their forever home. An animal in this category will immediately start going to PetCo for adoption. 

There is actually a third type of pet fostering: Puppies and Kitties
When I was visiting Paula she had two different litters of Chihuahuas that she was caring for. Part of her responsibilities, besides feeding and cleaning up, include handling the pups and playing with them. Getting them comfortable around people and ready to be adopted. 

Ten years ago we adopted a kitten from just such a foster pet parent. When I mentioned that in conversation, Paula remarked that it takes a special person to foster kitties. ☺

Fostering is great for someone that wants a dog but isn't sure if they are really ready for such a long term commitment. If it turns out that you're not ready for the full time needs of an animal, you'll find out while fostering.

Some dogs will be with a foster family for less than a week before they get adopted, others will be around for a couple of months.

Fostering would be great for a person/family that wants the love of a pet, but can't make the obligation that a pet needs. Paula was telling me that she arranges her pet fostering stints around her out of town trips. She knows when travel is on the her schedule and she makes sure her commitments as a Foster Pet Parent are concluded before she goes.

Some people foster continually, others do it once a year, once in awhile or just once.

Remember

 Every dog, or cat,  that is in a foster home opens up a space at the shelter. For every animal that is being fostered, that is another that isn't being put down. 

If interested, you can contact the Shelter's Foster Program, and they'll do a yard check to make sure it's safe for the dog. Robin Harper is the Foster Coordinator and I'm sure she'll be glad to speak with you. (951) 674-0618 ext. 216    foster@animalfriendsofthevalleys.com

 The AFV Foster Program has weekly adoptions
at the PetCo at the Promenade in Temecula.

Here is a link to PetCo's calendar (usual times are Saturdays from 10am to 3pm)


From introvert to extrovert

I had a foster, a queensland heeler, that I called a lawn ornament. I'm very familiar with queensland heelers, but she wouldn't let me touch her. She was a sweetheart, but wouldn't let you touch her. She was never going to be able to go to PetCo. She ended up being sent to a rescue for queensland heelers. Queensland heelers have a pack mentality and when she was with the other dogs she would learn [social skills] from them. The rescue had nine other dogs and within two months she was a perfect candidate for adoption and a vet tech adopted her, and she now is a fixture in the [vet] office.     — Paula Willette


I asked if some foster families end up adopting the animals they've been caring for, and Paula chuckled and said they call that Foster Failure.


•      •       

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”  ― Christopher Hitchens


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