Tuesday, September 29, 2015

• Mayor Benoit and Mayor Pro-Tem Moore Speak to Elks

Over at the Elks Lodge Mayor Ben Benoit and Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore gave what I'm describing as a mini state of the city address. I was told that the Elks Lodge normally has a closed meeting every Tuesday, but when there is a 5th Tuesday in a month they invite guest speakers for what they call Brite Night.

 Ben Benoit looks on as Bridgette Moore discusses El Nino possibilities with the gathering.


I'm calling it a mini state of the city because I can tell that much of the info will be things covered at the official event that is coming next Wednesday, October 7th. The event is free, but if you're interested in attending, you're being asked to RSVP by October 2nd, and to use this website.


The only bit of info that really stood out for me tonight was that Wildomar's official headcount is now at 34,148. Also, there is still a lone holdout that is hanging up the drainage project over on Palomar. I asked for details, but such negotiations aren't things our electeds can share at the moment.


There are a couple more events coming up to make note of. In addition to the October 7th State of the City event, there is a movie in the park/tile painting fund raiser this Saturday at Marna O'Brien Park. It's going to be plenty warm enough, so be sure to come out to the last movie in the park of 2015. See flyers below for details.


Last year Wildomar had it's first Trick or Trunk park event. It was a rather well attended event and I'm guessing there will be at least as large a turnout as last year. If you have kids that trick or treat, this will be a great chance for them to try on their costumes a week early. Here's a link to last year's blog covering it. 


•      •       

As you all know, first prize is Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. 
—  Alec Baldwin as Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross


Sunday, September 27, 2015

• Cars Crack Up In Front Of Round Up Feed

Fractions of a Second Spare a Life

Today, around noon, a driver heading east on Central decided to play games with other people's lives, and their own, as they sped through a fresh red light at the Cervera/Central intersection. Another driver was waiting for the green arrow to turn left into the Windsong Valley development.

According to witnesses, the white Toyota Corolla, driven by someone in their twenties, was traveling at a high rate of speed and instead of stopping at the just turned red light, they punched it, dove into the right turn only lane, as they attempted to save 20 seconds (my estimate) getting through the intersection instead of waiting their turn like a courteous driver.

The woman that was traveling west on Central, about to turn into Windsong Valley, had hesitated at the light before starting her left turn. That slight hesitation saved her life, and probably the lives of those that hit her. Being clipped is far better than being hit head on at high speed.




There were no skid marks until AFTER the impact. The driver lost control and ended up in the ditch that is in front of Round Up Feed.


Thankfully there weren't other cars heading west at that time, otherwise this would have easily involved more than just the two vehicles.


The Toyota Corolla suffered a lot of damage, including a smashed windshield and superficial damage to much of the exterior too.

The silver lining is that no one was injured, though all parties were checked out by the fire department to be sure.


I had a chance to speak to the driver that was hit, and other than being shaken up, she was ok. Many of us know the family (they are from Windsong Valley and are part of several FaceBook groups), and you may know who it is, but I'm not going to use their names here.

Good to see that minimal damage was incurred by the victim's car. They ended up driving it home.


I was speaking to the daughter of the driver, and she was telling me that the police wouldn't write the red light runner a ticket because "he said 'there was no intent', and we had five witnesses fill out the report. I said, 'reckless driving, speeding, using a right turn lane to go straight, running a red light' but he still refused to write them a ticket."

They weren't too happy that a ticket wasn't written, but I reminded that the officers were only following whatever the department's policies are for such non-injury traffic incidents.

One of the witnesses had been at a full complete stop at the red light when the driver of the Corolla blew through the light.

I've been driving for 50 years, I've never had an accident that was my fault. 
I was making a left with a green arrow. [One of the witnesses] stopped at the red light in the regular lane, this car (the Coroloa) was coming on fast, and came in the right hand lane, and went around him to plow through [the intersection] just as I was about to turn. There was no way to stop.
I had told her (her daughter) that I had looked down for just a second because I had the red light, I looked up and saw the green arrow and started to go, and if I didn't hesitate that extra split second he would have t-boned me. It would have been bad because he was going fast. 
— The account from the driver that was hit.


Some of you may be thinking, "But she should've exercised better caution before starting her left turn." 
Ok, but no.

When you look down that road from that turn pocket, and you see a stopped car facing you in the east bound lane, you can't see a small car that is about to perform a circus maneuver such as the one described here.

I've only been in one accident, and it was from a very similar POV of that of the woman that got clipped trying to turn left. I was also trying to turn left, in Corona, without a dedicated turn arrow, and a car heading in the other direction was also waiting to turn left. As I started to make my turn, a car that had been traveling in the number one lane didn't want to be slowed by the car turning left so they made a similar move that the Corolla did here. The car that was waiting had kept the other car out of view.

I was in a 1997 Honda CRV and the car that hit me was in a Ford Excursion. To misquote an '80s song... "she spun me right round baby, like a record baby, right round, round round."

  •      •       

Haste makes waste.  

Wildomar Rap suggest that if you're young and rambunctious, that instead of risking innocent lives driving like a fool,  just risk your own life. For cheap thrills stack a couple of cinder blocks and use an old door as a ramp, hop on a clunky bike and then try and jump over your collection of pokemon cards or something.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

• City Council Meeting Sept 23, 2015

A lot got done tonight.

First there was a brief presentation where Mayor Ben Benoit presented the VFW with a check for $365 on behalf of Wildomar Chamber of Commerce. The moneys were from the Wildomar Night at the Storm game.

CORRECTION: The money was donated by the city not the Chamber. The Chamber had sold the tickets to the Wildomar Night event. It's part of the Storm's give back to the local communities efforts. Without them, there wouldn't have been the funds to be donated in the first place.

Mayor Ben Benoit and Mick Seidler. 
Public Comments 
My brother Jeff (with a different last name, though it's spelled the same way as mine), along with two of his colleagues (Julie Miranda, Diana Fitch) thanked the city for helping with the Sycamore Academy project, and that a grand opening will be on October 16th.

1.2 Freedom Swing Reinstallation
This item was in the part of the agenda that only gets discussion if a member of the council, or the public, asks to speak about it. Ken Mayes talked about "an arrogant city council" that is going to spend money installing a swing designed for those in wheelchairs. (Here is a blog to the swing's unveiling last year).

I like the definition of "arrogant" when it's used against people that don't see eye to eye with an individual.

This project has had problems in the past, but life isn't perfect and we can either kvetch about imperfection, or we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and make it right. That is what is happening here as the swing will be getting a new home in an adjacent area at Marna (see image).

The plan is to do a dedicated blog about this shortly.





2.1 Elm Street Residential Project
Jumping to the conclusion, this was approved by a vote of 3-1 with Council Member Marsha Swanson being absent, though she did email her support for it.

Also, Martha Bridges, and her invisible lackeys, wrote a letter about this project... smells like the seeds to future litigation to me.

The big hang up was changing the zoning from R-R to R-1.

This project is going to be 15, one story homes on the property. Both sides of the argument (to allow the project or not allow it) made good points. Sorry, but the NIMBY excuse may be the loudest, but it's also the least impressive. Many (most) people that live in the area are against it.



This project has gone through many makeovers that date back to before Wildomar was a city.

Council Member Bob Cashman was against this. He was worried that "this is going to be a community that sits by itself."

•"Fifteen houses in a row, all on the same size lots, you're going to have a bank of lights along that [area], and it's going to obliterate the character of the area right now."

•"Not only will they not be integrated with the rest of the neighborhoods, because there's just no way for them to talk to anybody in those neighborhoods."

Fair enough, but can I ask you something Mr. Cashman? 
I've not been to your house, but I've been led to believe it's in the "rural" part of town. That usually means you don't really have any next door neighbors like I do in Windsong Valley. Kind of odd to be worried if a row of 15 houses "sits by itself".
Also, if I may add, I live in a neighborhood, and though I see cars go up and down the street, there is no 1950's style bond between the neighbors... unless a smile and a tip of the cap suffices as a close knit community these days.
As far as "obliterating the character of the neighborhood" goes... you didn't really say that did you? There are some nice places there, and then there some are junk piles. I'm guessing that those that take care of their properties would be happy to have that infamous character "obliterated"... or at least upgraded a bit, but maybe it's just me projecting again.

Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore questioned the applicant about if the proposed HOA would be responsible for future graffiti removal (on a perimeter wall). She also addressed Bob Cashman's concerns about how "close the neighbors" would, or wouldn't be, and that it's not for them to make decisions based on such things.

•"It's hodgepodge all over Wildomar. In my housing tract I have a grove butted up to one side and on the other side is another big acre parcel. I think this actually fits in because it's hodgepodge everywhere [in this part of town] and I don't see an issue with the fifteen homes."

It looked as if Council Member Tim Walker was going to be against this by the comments he was making.

•"I have a few issues. Number one, there are too many houses, I think it's too much to put on that row. I understand the economics of doing the sewer and why they did this (planned for fifteen houses). If you look at the 1886 map, they have it all one thing (one long parcel), that's exactly what's across the creek. 

Where the [owner] took that same amount of property and made four pieces of land. Houses on them with their own barns and everything, all four of them. That's my concern. Why would I want to infill something like this, crowd it in even more, when right across the creek you have four places that are perfect?"

•"My personal opinion is it's too many houses, it's too crowded."

•"Other people are coming up to us now (developers) and they're asking us, "What do you want to see when we buy up this property?" Half acres. That's it. That's what I'm for."

Mayor Ben Benoit asked staff for their opinion of Martha Bridge's letter:

City Planner Matt Bassi answered that "our response is adequate [to her concerns] and we respectfully disagree with the contention that we didn't respond properly."

Here are some of the Mayor's key thoughts on the matter.

•"If you look at that [project] map and see what's currently there, and the densities that are there, it fits in with Medium Density Residential (MDR). Most of that area is smaller lots."

•"It'd be nice if we could put half acre lots everywhere, and I know you (Tim Walker) enjoy living on a larger lot; I really enjoy living on my 7,000sf lot. My weeding is done in about 15 mins."

•"I can see why people would like to live on a slightly smaller lot, and if that's what that owner of that property wants to do, and it fits into our general plan... when it's almost identical to the [nearby houses] that's what this owner wants to do."

At this point, Planning Commissioner Stan Smith spoke as a private citizen. It was like being in school... in a class you like that is. Sharp as a tack and very informative as he was here during the days when the local population was about a baker's dozen. He was filling in some of the history around this project's locale.

As Council Member Walker was softening a bit, a lot hinged on his concerns about the developer pulling a switcheroo and sticking mobile homes in there. Those concerns were alleviated when the developer agreed, on the record, that mobile homes would not be part of it. Though, they are leaving the door open for prefab homes.

Walker then made the motion, which was seconded by Moore, and it was passed 3-1.

3.1 Wildomar Master Drainage Plan Lateral C-1
This is dealing with water drainage out of Windsong Valley. For those of us that are familiar with the area on Palomar, near Plow Boys, when it rains, it floods there. Especially near Arnold Lane.

"The last thing is for us to finish securing all the rights of way. We're every close. We have one last property that we're working through." — Dan York

I asked about the last hold out, but no specifics could be released. He told me that more will be revealed at the next council meeting.

3.2 ZIP Code Boundary Review
This is an odd one. It's also what happens when a town is last to be a city in the area. We have 10 different zip codes in Wildomar that affect over 800 parcels. It's easy to see how there would be some spillover from Lake Elsinore, Menifee, and Murrieta, but there are zip codes from Temcula, Sun City, Winchester and Perris within Wildomar's boundaries too.

I'm not sure how long this will drag out, but the last two times that US Representative Ken Calvert was in the council chambers, this was an issue.

3.3 Construction Contract Clinton Keith Resurfacing Project
The contract allows 25 working days to complete the required work. Based on construction starting within 15 working days after this award, construction would start on October 13, 2015 and the contract completion would be as early as November 16, 2015.

Project will resurface 98,000 square feet of pavement on Clinton Keith Road between Stable Lanes Way and George Avenue. Work will include placement of road resurfacing, base repair, and traffic striping.

Please call City Engineer Dan York and ask him to tell you about the polymer modified emulsion that's in the liquid asphalt for this project. "It's really cool stuff" and he'd be happy to tell you about it.

3.4 Hidden Springs Traffic Signal Modification
This is the most important item in my opinion. For those that either live in Windsong Valley, use the Sater Bros shopping area, or the shopping area on the south side of Clinton Keith we've come to loathe that intersection.

If you are traveling south on Hidden Springs and you need to either go straight or turn left, it's a nightmare since there isn't a dedicated turn light. Add to that, the intersection isn't flat, and you have a ready made blind spot.

If you're traveling north on Hidden Springs, leaving the dentist or Tacos Tijuana perhaps, then you hope and pray that those heading south and turning left onto Clinton Keith know that you have the right of way when going straight.

This is the next best thing to when they put the stop sign in at the other end of Hidden Springs where it tees into Catt Rd. This should be done by mid December. The reason this wasn't done concurrently is due to hang ups trying to deal with CalTrans.

3.5 Grand Avenue Bike Lanes and Multi-Purpose Trail Update
This is still a ways off. Earliest start date would be Spring of 2016. It'll be done in several phases and I liked the new edition of the multi-purpose trail on the west side of Grand. Tonight's action was just for the city council to receive the report and file it.
Gotta love this artist's conception of the area.
• • •

Next up is a movie in the park, last one of the year and a tile painting event at Marna O'Brien park. Saturday October 3rd.

State of the City will be October 7th, and you'll need to RSVP by the 2nd. 

Next City Council meeting is October 14th, and the Planning Commission is supposed to be in the house that night too.
•      •       


•You can observe a lot by just watching.
It's like déjà vu all over again.
No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.
A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.
Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.
We made too many wrong mistakes.
Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.
It ain't over till it's over.
― Yogi Berra

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

• Brown Thumbs His Nose At RivCo Again

I just heard that Governor Brown vetoed SB 25. The bill that would have restored much needed funding to the city of Wildomar ($1.9M per year).


It appears that our funding will never be restored as long as he's in charge. He obviously wasn't moved by the letter writing campaign that many residents in Wildomar participated in. I got a couple of quick reactions from the Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem.

"I'm severely disappointed that he (Brown) didn't right a wrong"
Mayor Ben Benoit 
"I'm sad and mad"
Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore
I guess there is a tarnished silver lining in there somewhere. There were two bills that were dealing with these moneys to Wildomar (and the other three RivCo cities in a similar boat). SB 25 would have returned the VLF funds, to a tune of about $1.9 million per year. That is the one that got vetoed.

The one that he did sign, SB 107, will basically pay off the incorporation debts we still owe to Riverside County. A one time sum of $1.4, which had been on a payment schedule at $100K per year. It was part of a larger bill that takes away redevelopment funds to other areas and somehow our debt gets cancelled at the same time.

So, in essence, Wildomar will be getting $100K per year for six years, instead of $1.9 Million per year (based on about $50 per resident, something that most other cities still get). If you're a glass half full type, then you're seeing that we just got an additional $100K in the kitty. However, if you're a realist, you can see that Brown basically shanked us again and took off with nearly $2Mil per year.

There's not really much more to be said at this point. We've lived with belt tightening for several years now, and most of us have become inured to the governor's disdain for our area. C'est la vie.

•      •       
How foolish it is to be avenged on you neighbor by setting his house on fire. ― Nero

Saturday, September 19, 2015

• Astronomy Night 2015

A perfect late Summer night to hang out in the park, after sundown and enjoy a balmy breeze.

Tomorrow's Eagle Scouts making change.
The evening started with some pizza dispensed by Boy Scout Troop 332, and then a very well thought out presentation by John Garrett, Wildomar's Astronomer in Chief.
John Garret pointing to the screen and an illustration of the constellation Cygnus.

A lot of families came out and enjoyed the presentation and getting a chance to look through the telescopes.
Here you see City Manager Gary Nordquist and Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore awarding a telescope to one of  6 winners.


A special thanks to the Temecula Valley Astronomers as they set up several telescopes and invited the public to view the moon up close, Saturn and its rings, and Albireo.
Visit their facebook page.

Just a thought


It was a good turnout and the lines to look through the telescopes were always several minutes long (some longer). Still, what I'd like to see is for the various community leaders (in addition to the usual people) take more of an active roll and invite people from their groups to city events.

The teachers from the various schools, the leaders of organizations like Elks Lodge, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, local sports leagues, religious leaders/churches, and other clubs. It's not as if the whole city should show up, but even if a percent or two did that would make it all the more worthwhile to all those involved.


Next week is the last movie in the park at Marna O'Brien Park for 2015 The Croods). Let's get out there and see if we can't get our largest crowd to date. Spread the word and be there.

•      •       
Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. 
― Stephen Hawking

Friday, September 18, 2015

• Boy Scout Trailer Theft Sentencing... Or Not

Today was supposed to be the sentencing hearing of James Allen Heflin for his role in the stolen Boy Scout trailer. This original incident happened back in March of 2014 (Link to an article about it).


Southwest Justice Center
Case number SWF1401184 was slated to be heard by Judge Judith Clark. The Deputy District Attorney, Gregory Albright, noticed Bridgette Moore in the seating area for the public, in her Boy Scout regalia, and came up to her. 

First he asked if she'd like to say a few words, a victim impact statement, before the sentencing, though she didn't have to. Then he informed her that the defendant's attorney wouldn't be arriving for another 45 minutes (9:30AM). 

About half an hour later, in the corridor, there was a bit of action that indicated that the plea deal, that defendant James Allen Heflin had agreed to on September 8, 2015, might be in question. As it turns out the defense attorney and the defendant's friends were in discussion about ten feet away. It seemed as if his friends were dumbfounded over the plea deal that was set to give Heflin eight years behind bars. He had previously entered a Not Guilty plea until he withdrew it ten days ago.

After about ten minutes of discussion amongst them, where the defense attorney was clearly losing patience, he just walked away from his client's friends as they were in mid sentence and returned to the courtroom.

Once back inside the courtroom, Albright told Moore that it appears that the defendant has had a falling out with his attorney, and that a Marsden Hearing was scheduled to see if he could get new counsel. It further appears that Heflin wanted to withdraw the plea deal that would've landed him in the pokey well into the 2020s.

There is limited seating for the public inside courtroom 201, and a woman that identified herself as the defendant's girlfriend, leaned over and started to talk to Moore. Trying to explain that it was all just a big mix up. That a family member of his set him up for something he didn't do. That the other person arrested in the case isn't being punished, and so on.

A very awkward moment, though one couldn't help have some compassion for her situation.

When the judge got around to this case, she noticed Moore wearing her Boy Scout shirt and realized this was the [somewhat] celebrated case of the stolen boy scout trailer, and that she herself had been part of scouting for a long time, and knew a considerable amount about this case from outside of court... so she recused herself from it and reassigned the matter to another judge.

After the gavel came down, outside the courtroom, another of Heflin's friends came up to Moore, saying how he used to be in the scouts. You could see that they were worried about their friend, and that he was facing a sentence of 8 years... but this wasn't his first rodeo. 


Click image to enlarge.

I'm not going to blast the defendant here, as if this was an anonymous comment on some Yahoo News item... that's what the professionals are paid the big bucks for. 

Still I'll say this. There are countless old adages, speaking of people that make bad choices and then try and get out of the consequences. Let me post one of Aesop's Fables that I used to read to my kids all the time.

This farmer isn't buying the BS.
The Farmer and the Stork
A farmer placed his nets on his newly sown plough lands, and caught a quantity of Cranes, which came to pick up his seed. 

With them he trapped a Stork also. The Stork, having his leg fractured by the net, and was earnestly besought the Farmer to spare his life. 

Pray, save me, Master, he said, and let me go free this once. My broken limb should excite your pity. 

Besides, I am no Crane, I am a Stork, a bird of excellent character; and see how I love and slave for my father and mother. Look too, at my feathers, they are not the least like those of a Crane. 

The Farmer laughed aloud, and said: "It may be all as you say; I only know this, I have taken you with these robbers, the Cranes, and you must die in their company."

Moral:
Birds of a feather flock together 
or 
If you choose bad companions no one will believe that you are anything but bad yourself.

WR Moral:
If you and I are on a walk in the woods and a bear starts to chase us, I don't have to be faster than the bear, I only have to be faster than YOU! 

Likewise, it very well may be the case that even worse people aren't getting punished for this crime (as alleged by Heflin's friends). You see, they didn't have to be faster than Johnny Law, they only needed to be faster than HIM!

I was supposed to hear back with the outcome of the Marsden Hearing and whether or not he'd be sentenced or allowed to switch his plea to Not Guilty. As of 5:00pm no updates had been received.

So the saga continues for at least another week.

UPDATE

I received word that defendant Heflin was denied new counsel but was given a new court date of Friday November 20th. The minutes, which I posted below, state that it's a sentencing and not a trial. So we'll see at the time if they allow him to withdraw his guilty plea and if that changes things.


  •      •       

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

• Planning Commission September 16, 2015

A brief recap of a relatively long meeting.

The first item on the agenda was

2.1 Villa Siena Apartment Project
It is a project of 170 apartments located at the northeast corner of Elizabeth Lane and Prielipp.

There were four resolutions in this. A key one being a GPA (General Plan Amendment) from MHDR (Medium High Density Residential) to VHDR (Very High Density Residential). 

This issue looked like it was headed for a defeat, so the members of the commission elected to continue this to the next meeting.

Here's why.

There were only three commissioners in attendance. At the moment we only have four, and Commissioner Bidwell was absent. The type of vote necessary needed a majority of the body, which is three, and not just a majority of those in attendance.

It was going to take a 3-0 vote to send it to the council, and as Planner Matt Bassi told the commission, if they were to not pass part of it, the other parts would become moot.

Commissioner Gary Brown wasn't comfortable with the density increase, and though a no vote wouldn't have killed the project, they felt it was better to wait until they had Commissioner Dan Bidwell present.

It's never a gimme pick when guessing how someone will vote, but I thought I remember Bidwell not being too keen on high density projects himself.

I guess we'll find out on October 21st when this comes before commission again.

2.2 was asked to be continued
This is a zoning ordinance amendment.

3.1 Taghdiri General Plan Initiation Request 
I learned a long time ago that there is no reason to put any energy into a GPIP. It's not an actual GPA (General Plan Amendment), it's asking permission to have a hearing. I don't know why we still do these.

I spoke to the commission and suggested that they use the Wildomar Rap rule of thumb for GPIPs: Always Approve WITHOUT Comment.

Save the comments for when they are actually asking for the GPA.

Let's see if my cartoon on the topic makes a GPIP any clearer. Princess Peach is playing the part of Wildomar, and Mario is acting as a developer looking to woo the city.

Sure, it might be more direct to nix a bad project from the outset, but a GPIP is before the outset. It doesn't hurt to let a developer know where you lean, but it's simply not the time to ask what kind of amenities the project will have when they haven't even drawn up any blue prints.

The location of this project is on the south side of Bundy Canyon Rd, east of the coming Walmart and west of the esses in the road. There are no specifics, just another request to change the density. This time from MDR (Medium Density Residential) to MHDR. Something tells me that Commissioner Brown won't be green lighting this one once it comes back around.

It's to be a gate guarded apartment complex with between 140 and 180 units. There's no need to get into the details here, because there really aren't any yet. This project could easily be years off.

Last on the agenda.

3.2 Election of a New Vice-Chairman
With the Vice-Chair suddenly being vacated last month, they needed to fill it. This too was tabled until Commissioner Bidwell could be present. I had already put in a speaker card and so they called my name even though the issue wasn't going to be dealt with tonight.

"The last election of Vice Chair wasn't unanimous and there was a bit of an issue due to it. Upon reflection I can now see that those that dissented on the previous Vice Chair nominee, had it right all along. There was reason to be concerned.
With that said, I suggest that you elect Dan Bidwell... it'll encourage 100% attendance in the future."
-Joseph Morabito

 •      •       
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. ― Henry David Thoreau

• Special CERT Meeting: El Ñino Preparedness

Wildomar city hall was about 70% full with locals interested in the county's message on the [promised] El Ñino due to invade sometime this Winter. It was perfect timing too, considering we had heavy rains in the morning which led to many headaches throughout the area.

The meeting started with Mayor Ben Benoit and Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore greeting the audience and then introducing Les Chapman, Wildomar's go to guy when it comes to Maintenance Operations around the city.

Les Chapman (in the orange vest) discussing flooding.                  Photo courtesy of the Mayor.

"If you learn one thing coming out of here (tonight's meeting), [it's that] we're going to flood," Les told the crowd.

Sandbags are available for residents of Wildomar, at Fire Station 61, and the open lot behind the cemetery. Be prepared to fill your own bags, so bring a second person with you if possible.

Below is a comprehensive How To video on the use of sandbags, with an added bonus of hearing the it narrated by an Australian. It's a very well produced video and worth your five minutes if you are a sandbag novice.
.

Les then made way for Zuzette Bricker, the local CERT training officer. She spoke on various aspects and inherent dangers in flooding and showed slides. 
Zuzzete Bricker breaking it all down.            Photo Courtesy of  the Mayor Pro-Tem.


Though we took pictures, I think it makes more sense to just give you the link to the same slides with the info already embedded, than to recap it. Follow the link below to the slides.

Use this link to access the material.

The take away from this meeting is that you need to be prepared for potential flooding, especially if you know that you live in an area that is prone to flood. 

Nothing worse than filling sandbags in the rain after your living room is three inches underwater.

You should already be making your home safe from hazards that can make heavy rains and flooding worse for you. If you have flood prone areas, no one is going to snicker at you if you put the sandbags in now. 

Remember, don't stack them more than three high. Taller than that and they aren't stable. If you need more protection than three bags will provide, you need to consider permanent barriers for the job.

Flood Insurance was also discussed. Many homeowners just presume that they are covered for flooding. You might want to make a call to your agent to double check.

Better to be prepared for an event that doesn't happen, that to be caught off guard.

In all cases you should have supplies that will see you through at least three days without utilities. That means fresh water, and food that doesn't need cooking... don't forget your pets. Any medications you need and a Go Bag that has a clean change of [warm] clothes. You never know when you're going to need to evacuate your home.

There is an upcoming CERT Class that you should consider attending (it's free). Oh, CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. It'll be at Wildomar city hall October 9th -11th. 

City of Wildomar CERT Program
Community Services Director
City of Wildomar
23873 Clinton Keith Rd Ste. 201
Wildomar, CA 92595
(951) 677-7751 ext.206



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There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. ― Colin Powell

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