Thursday, March 31, 2016

• Upgrades Slated For Marna O'Brien Park

There were a few interesting tidbits of info at the most recent Wildomar Parks Subcommittee meeting.

Key among them is that the ornamental water tower at Marna O'Brien park is going to get a face lift... or more accurately, a wrap.



The first image is from 2011. The second one is how it currently looks. The bottom two are PhotoShop specials giving an idea of how it might look once it's done.

On the lower left is a shot with the image that was in the agenda packet, though it was decided that Wildomar shouldn't get top billing, and possibly have the entire lettering in white. So I made a quick mock up of how that may look, which is the fourth panel.
Artwork from the agenda packet.
The new signage should be installed before the Rotary BBQ that is scheduled for April 16th.
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Also discussed for Marna O'Brien park is the need to bring the snack bar up to code (environmental health requirements). 

You should see the laundry list of things the inspectors have in mind, just to be able to sell hot dogs and pizza made elsewhere. I'll attach the info that was in the agenda packet. 

You'd think that there was a restaurant there or something.
Hopefully it's legible. If not, it's on the city's website as part of
the agenda packet for the Parks Subcommittee meeting.

Some of the things listed are simply ridiculous, but in our brave new world, that seeks to protect people from themselves, this kind of nanny state intervention is to be expected. 

I can't imagine how much it would cost to get all of those things installed, but I can guarantee you none of it would be cheap, and will likely raise the prices of snacks to the point that it may not even be worth it for some groups to apply to run it during city events.

This isn't a front burner issue, and isn't slated to get done anytime soon, but I just thought I'd share with you some the things the city has to deal with.


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June 4th there is to be a Community Health and Fitness Fair at Marna O'Brien Park, and an ALS 5K run is planned too.

The former is fairly self explanatory, but I'll have to get more info about the 5K. 

I've run about ten of those in my life and have been to events in San Clemente and Carlsbad where there were a veritable sea of runners, for every age group, and I've also been to a few that didn't even have 100 participants total.

With such a short window before the June 4th date here's to hoping for the best, and that they can gather a good deal of interest. 


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Last on the list is an addendum to the last blog. The one regarding the Easter Egg Hunt at Windsong park. (link)

It was a fun time for all, except for the immediate neighbors that live around the park, that dealt with parking issues and music that was above the legal limit. 

If you read my blog, you saw where I praised the promoter, Joseph Onello, for his readiness to correct the decibel output of the music; he's a good guy.

What we didn't know was that city permits for the event were never gotten. Ouch! Say it ain't so Joe!

Imagine that, putting on such a grand party and not getting a permit. Which would have addressed the music levels and parking issues before they happened. 

Other Joseph, next time at least go with the Ron Swanson homemade permit, a la Parks & Recreation, that says, "I can do what I want."

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Leslie, I tried to make ramen in the coffee pot and I broke everything.
Andy Dwyer

Wildomar Rap isn't something that get's put around ornamental water towers at local parks.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

• Easter Egg Hunt at Windsong Park

The banner you may have seen promoting the event.
There was a pretty good turn out at an Easter egg hunt event at Windsong park, sponsored by the Onello Group (Real Estate).


Since it was right down the block from our casa, we strolled on down at about 11:00am to see what it was all about.

It was amazing to see the park so full on a holiday morning. 

There were several inflatables for kids to play on, popcorn, professional pictures with the Easter Bunny, a DJ playing tunes and a kiddy train that picked up new passengers about every five minutes. 



Then there was the egg hunt. 

Let me take a step back for a second and ask, how can it be a "hunt" when the eggs are right there on top of the turf?

When I was a kid, half the fun/battle was finding the HIDDEN eggs... but I digress.
The kids had fun collecting the plastic, treat filled eggs.
The only negative thing to report, from this popular event, was that one of the neighbors called the police, complaining of several things.
Wildomar's park security discussing things with event promoter Joseph Onello.
It seemed that the music was too loud and they also took issue with the kiddy train being on the actual basketball court, instead of just the sidewalk. 

The security officer was as professional as a person could be, that was called out to, essentially, bust up a well publicized community party for kids. 

Onello is the kind of member of the community we'd all love to have live on our block. He didn't hesitate to lower the music (though there was no need to) and they rerouted the train away from the playing surface.

His point in hosting this event was to bring the community together, not cause consternation among the locals.

He lives in District 5. Though they have a fine council member right now, Marsha Swanson, a conscientious person like Onello, also a veteran, would be someone that would inspire confidence if he were to run in the future.

When I mentioned that to him, he did one of those raised eyebrow moves, didn't respond directly, but thanked me for the kind words. 

Either way, a big thanks from the community to the Onello Group for putting this on.

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Last up was seeing the new enclosure for the porta-potty at the park. 

This was an Eagle Project by Ryan Bellinghausen. 

I was there, holding up a shovel, when Troop 332 was busy digging the footing(s) for it, but had no idea what it was going to look like in the end. I'm so glad that ugly old black fence got taken down too.

There is a ribbon cutting ceremony this week, recognizing the completion of the project.

I did notice that those brackets holding the posts to the concrete, did appear to have some sharp edges on them. A bit of filing will knock those off in no time.

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Easter Egg hunts prove that your child CAN find things when they want to.

If Wildomar Rap were to host an Easter Egg hunt, it would either be where the eggs were actually hidden, or one billed as Full Contact where the kids looked like they were ready to tryout for the NFL or Supercross.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

• City's Internet Server Set For Upgrade

During the March city council meeting it was revealed that the city got a $39,814 grant from WRCOG (Western Riverside County of Governments). 

It's part of a BEYOND Framework Fund Program, which was launched last year by WRCOG..

The purpose of the program is "to provide local assistance funding to help its member agencies develop and implement plans and programs that can improve the quality of life in Western Riverside County."

This year's pie was $1.8M for the entire region.

The presentation to the city council was given by Administrative Annalist, Janet Morales (pronounced like Janette). 

Program funding can be used towards developing plans or implementing projects that meet the Economic Development and Sustainability Framework Goals. The City received approval on February 11th, 2016 to implement the following projects: 

  • Enhance the current website or build a new website that is more stable, easily updated, informative, user and environmentally friendly, has the capacity to provide instant updates and enhanced automated services than are currently available. 
  • Replace the current server which will expand our data storage capacity for even more online features. 
  • Implement accounts receivable module to increase online payment capacity and reduce trips to City Hall. Funding is a non-matching 100 % reimbursable grant. The Project must be completed within 18 months of the signed agreement.

I had a chance to ask her a couple of questions about the project.

 WR:  What might the "enhancements" to the current website look like to the average Wildomar resident?

 JM:  The enhancements will be more information, more interactive, a better calendar than we have now. 

Right now we have a webmaster that has to update everything. With this new website, staff will be able to [make updates] so information will be up there quicker. 

Visually it (the city's website) will look nicer than it is right now. We'll have more photos, [reports of] activities going on. We'll have permit availability, and be able to take payments as well.


 WR:  In your presentation you mentioned replacement of the server, what does that mean, and where is it at the moment?

 JM:  The server, right now, sits in our server room on site. The current one we have supports our existing Eden system, which is what we use for permits, finance and code enforcement. 

Now that we're adding a new module, we're going to need a bigger server for more space. The server is the only one that is compatible with our system, so we need that. 

We'll also be able to store more information on our system, which will allow us to put more information on the website.

This was the image I got when I googled "EDEN System."




 WR:  I heard mention of an "Implementation of an accounts receivable module." Same question as before, what does that mean to the average Wildomar resident, what kind of changes come with these improvements?

 JM:  It's another addition component to our finance software. Right now we have accounts payable, where we process invoices and checks. 

Accounts receivable is being able to receive payments. This is a system that will help us track and do online payments.

 WR:  Are there any time tables when this will be started and completed?

 JM:  Our goal is to start in June, and be completed by December. 

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It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. 
— Confucius


If Wildomar Rap were an internet server, it would NOT resemble an AMC Gremlin or Pacer.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

• Wildomar Egg Hunt 2016

The day started with some low hanging clouds that broke away for a beautiful SoCal day for Wildomar's annual Eggstravaganza held at Marna O'Brien Park. 


Boy Scout troop 332 manned the snack bar and were selling donuts, breakfast burritos (from Don Panchos), coffee and other treats.

There were 8 different age groups, that each had two scheduled times, starting at 9:00am. A total of 14,000 plastic eggs were up for grabs. 

There were lots of smiles, as countless families enjoyed the music played by Robert Walker of Heyday events, face painting, balloon animals, photographer Kat Ellis taking pics with the Easter Bunny and a jolly jump/bouncy house.

The special needs egg hunt had 4 participants total. A table was set up with different containers that had an egg in it. In one container the egg was in pinto beans, another in rice and yet another in Easter grass.


Below is one of two videos I made of the event. The first video is live action with all the sounds of the day.
The second video is a photo montage. If you like cute kids and happy music... this video is for you. ☺
What a great event to kick off the event schedule for 2016. Below is a list of city events for the rest of the year.

One observation I thought I'd share

I know this has been going on for a couple of years now, but when I was reviewing my photos and videos I made, it was funny to see all the parent's with their smart phones pointed at their kids.
Makes you wonder what people from the distant world of 2007 (the year that the iPhone was introduced) would think if they could be magically transported to today.


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One blemish, which very few people noticed, was one woman that looked to be about fifty years old, was cheating in the egg hunts.


"Now how can such an outlandish thing be true," you're asking.

Well, the city would put out several special eggs per round. They were different in appearance since they were white with a cartoon bunny face with ears that extended beyond the oval of the egg. 

I saw this woman cross the yellow caution tape during the 4 to 5 year old time slot, pick up an egg before a child could get to it, and then put it in her child's basket who had been no where in the vicinity. 

I turned to my left, and a parent gave me that "can you believe it?" look, and said, "that woman just took an egg away from my child."
As she plotted her next egg heist.
C'est la vie... or so I thought. 

I saw this same woman sizing up another prize egg about an hour later. Being the good tattletale that I am, I ran over to the yard duty... I mean one of the staffers, and told her how this lady had pilfered a prize egg earlier in the day.

She told me that they'd already had to talk to her twice about her actions. It took me about 10 seconds before my inner vigilante took over. 

I went up to her, looked her in the eye and told her to stop stealing eggs... in not the most friendly manner I might have been able to muster.

She then told me, "I don't speak English."

To which I replied, "Neither do I."

She walked away and didn't hijack any other kid's chance at a prize egg, that probably had a street value of about a buck.
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Good Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Easter morning.
Bad Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Christmas morning. 

— Good Idea, Bad Idea (Animaniacs) 
(LINK to original 30 second cartoon from the '90s)

If Wildomar Rap were an Easter Egg, it would be in the shape of a rocket ship.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

• Grand Avenue Bike and Multi-purpose Trail Improvements

At last week's city council meeting, agenda item 3.1, Grand Avenue Bike and Multi-purpose Trail Improvements, seemed like it deserved it's own blog. 

Almost a year ago, about a dozen or so citizens, and city staffers, rode from city hall to Grand and Corydon to see first hand the existing conditions for peds and cyclists. 


I can tell you after that ride that the current road is not bicycle friendly to old guys over 50.



This project has been in the works for a couple of years now, and would not have had a chance to see the light of day if not for the diligent work of Assistant City Manager Dan York.

An overview of Grand adjacent to David A. Brown middle school, looking north.



The project will be installing bike lanes on both sides of the street and a multipurpose trail on the lower southwesterly portion of Grand.


Below is a look at the different funding sources for the project.



Currently the city has about $3.66M at the ready, and the overall project that Dan York has in mind runs about $6M. He's still working on the additional funding for it. 


There are still a few hurdles to deal with regarding encroachments in the public right of way. In the past, when adding sidewalks in town, no one had to move their fences to make room, but in this case a few residents will have to move their fences.




In the project is a proposed roundabout/traffic circle at Grand and Sheila. I for one look forward to this improvement since that stop sign is about the biggest waste of time of its kind. 

In the ten years that it's been there, I think I've seen cross traffic less than half a dozen times, and I used to use that road five times a week.
Gotta love that artist's rendering... but I'm thinking that in real life, those trees on the right will be an issue.


Below is a look at what the finished project is going to look like.

One thing that is missing, according to Dan York, is a consistent black pavement that a new project should have. 

His idea is to fix all the pavement repairs throughout that section, put a nice slurry seal coat over it, then paint the lines.

Like he said, "That's a goal. I can't promise you we're going to get there [but we're going to give it our all]."

Last for this project, though there wasn't a slide for it, were improvements to the entrance of the middle school. At a recent meeting with the LEUSD, the district agreed to realign the entrance with a nearby cross street. (Willow Bay if my notes are accurate).

What was missing was installing a traffic signal. The school district was hoping that the city would shoulder that responsibility, but the city reminded them that student safety was the school district's responsibility.

The hope is to have the traffic signal in by December, but it's only a goal at this point. Without funding, nothing gets done. If this issue concerns you, perhaps you can contact the school district and make your feelings known.

Though there is a hope that construction could start as early as August, realistically it may be closer to October. Again, a lot hinges on the funding sources. 

One way or another, Dan York anticipates construction beginning before the end of the year.
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Well, maybe my children like running wild in the street. Did that ever occur to you?
— Caracticus Potts (Dick Van Dyke, C.C.B.B.)


If Wildomar Rap was a TV show, it would be a Netflix Original and not available on HULU. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

• City Council Meeting March 2016

There were a couple of presentations to open the meeting. First was recognition for two new Eagle Scouts from Troop 332. 
Ryan Bellinghausen, Brandon Benline, Bridgette Moore and Mario Herrera of Assemblywoman Melendez's office.

Brandon's project was installing the base for the Justin Hunt memorial that is located in the cemetery.

Ryan's project was building an enclosure around the porta potty at Windsong Park.

Below is a video of the proclamations. Be advised that this happened just a few feet from my camera, so the angles are not ideal.

The next presentation was for the 2015 Wildomar Queens.
Sarah, Alissa, Mina, Jessie Taylor, CarolAnn Darden and  Kylee Thomas.
The camera angles in the video below were even less ideal than the other video, but I'm still uploading it for posterity.☺
  
Fire Department update. Last month's stats:
  • 268 calls for service, of which
  • 217 were medical emergency
  • 20 false alarms
  • 1 commercial fire
  • 2 other fires
Public Comments
This is where members of the public get three minutes to speak about anything that isn't on the agenda.
  • Brent Benson spoke about a 2 year nightmare he's had with trying to get building permits to build a home.
  • Andy Morris spoke about The Rotary Club's event next month, The Ultimate BBQ, which is April 16th at Marna O'Brien park.
  • Dawn Schultz spoke about the third annual Operation Prom Girl even that is going to be April 2nd. Sorry, I didn't hear a location.
  • Miss Miller mentioned that solar powered quinoa burgers should be sold at The Rotary BBQ.
  • Marie Pritchett mentioned her non profit group that feeds the homeless called Community Good Deeds.
Miss Miller didn't sing for us, but I made a video anyway. I think she spoke four times, but the video only shows two of them. She had no idea what she was talking about. I mean more than usual that is. 

She thought the City Council CHOSE to go to districts, and the things she said were out of this world... if you know the facts of the case.

Then she double dipped by spouting off regarding something she had only read the headline to, but since it referenced CEQA, she couldn't contain herself... no matter how far off the mark she was about it.

I added some graphics, sound effects and some theme music... but I didn't add any laugh tracks though you hear laughter a few times. That's just the natural reaction of those within earshot.

2.1 Voting By-District Maps
We've been going over this since the first of the year. Though there were a few comments, it was all just review by this point. No need to elucidate further than Map A+ passed 5-0.


3.1 Grand Avenue Bike and Multi-purpose Trail  
This was an interesting part of the meeting and deserves its own blog. Here's a link to it.

3.2 WRCOG Framework Fund Program
This too deserves a bit more time, so look for a stand alone blog shortly. 

3.3 Fire Station Grant Deed Acceptance
Ken Mayes told the council that "the item must be continued until such time that the public has the opportunity to inspect all documents related to this item." 

Bob Cashman [BC] seemed to want the same thing based on the following exchange.

BC I know I would like to continue this item based on —I'm one of these that likes to see every little piece of evidence.

BM You can request [the documents] before the meeting you know.

BC I didn't realize some of this evidence was available. Maybe I could have but I didn't.

MS I'm happy to be getting a building, and some land, and being able to own some stuff in our own city. I think the fire station is very important to us. To be able to have that location, and to own that building, and to say that "Wildomar has its own fire station," I think it's real important.

TW We started this process back when [former city manager] Frank Oviedo was here, and we talked about getting this piece of property with the fire house on it. The conditions that we worked on last time were some of the things they needed to fix before we could take it over as a city, so it wouldn't be an encumbrance to us financially.  They've met all those challenges, they've paid for everything, and they've fixed it all up. We've talked about this many times before... it will be ours, finally. It's been fixed up, I like and let's do it.

BB I agree with Tim, we've been looking this over for a long time and as far as documents that the public hasn't seen, documents that I don't believe were attached to these reports. Dan [York], do we have the title reports in hand regarding those items?

DY Yeah, I have both of those. They're available and would be more than happy to provide them... I have them electronically.

BB Good enough for me.

With a 5-0 vote, Wildomar became the proud owner of its own fire station.

The way I understand it, this is a zero sum game. We already were paying for the fire station, but instead of being renters, we're the owners. 

[For those that didn't figure out the above initials. BC=Bob Cashman; BM=Bridgette Moore; MS=Marsha Swanson; TW=Tim Walker; BB=Ben Benoit; DY=Dan York.]

Future Agenda Items
Ben Benoit brought up wanting to have something done about donation bins that often get placed without permission. Be it from the city or even from the private property owners. 

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"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love." 
— Sitting Bull

Wildomar Rap reminds you: that Fettuccine Alfredo is just some fancy-pants version of mac 'n cheese. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

• Brazen Daytime Theft of Trailer

Family from the Windsong Valley area of Wildomar is victim of a brazen daylight theft.

The video below was taken with a smartphone capturing the images that a motion detecting security camera caught at 6:13am, Monday March 7th.


The family only had the trailer, a 2000 Carson Racer, for two days. Inside were recently purchased accessories that were valued between $400-$500. 

The trailer's value is between $3k-$4k.

The trailer has two small black Carson Racing stickers. 14 ft long 6ft wide. Broken vent on top.

This trailer had a new hitch lock on it that couldn't be cut with bolt cutters. At this point it's still unknown how they got around the lock.

The owner remarked how quickly the criminals were able to hook up the trailer to their truck. A process that usually took him several minutes to do, they did in about 30 seconds.

A neighbor had seen a slow moving silver truck in the area the night before, possibly scouting the area for things to steal, but the rain prevented the cameras from capturing any images.


If you have any information, you're asked to contact:
Deputy Willow at 951-245-3300. 

Case number W1160670023.

It's a sad commentary that thieves are so calloused that they had no compunction in doing such a thing... even in broad daylight, as many people are using the streets to go to work.

This is what happens when we start slapping crooks on the wrist, with our new revolving door policies handed to us by Sacramento, instead of treating all crime as serious.

There isn't a lot that average citizens can do to prevent theft, other than to leave as few targets in view. Even with an anti-theft device, this trailer was stolen.

One thing you can do is attend the Neighborhood Watch meetings and be as vigilant as is reasonable. 

As it turns out, the next meeting is this week 

Thursday March 10, 2016 at 6:00pm, at the city council chambers, 23837 Clinton Keith Rd. (In the back, behind Fitness 19 and ACE Hardware).
This is our city, and if we want our neighborhoods safe, we have to do our part.

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I certainly don't know if you could claim that every theft is wrong, but I'll prove to you that every theft is forbidden, by simply locking you up.

— Karel Čapek


Wildomar Rap hopes to see you at the meeting. 

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