Friday, September 27, 2019

• Volunteer Orientation Meeting

This isn't for everyone, but if you're so inclined as to volunteer with our local police (yes, Wildomar Police are actually Riverside Sheriff's Department) this is your chance to take that step.
If you qualify, you could be driving a car like this.
The meeting will be at the station in Lake Elsinore Wednesday evening (Oct 2, 2019) at 6:30pm 

From the FaceBook event page:
The Lake Elsinore Station is actively recruiting volunteers to assist with everything from front office paperwork to citizens on patrol. This is a great way to make a positive impact on the area you live and love. If you would like to serve the cities of Lake Elsinore, Wildomar or the surrounding county areas.

We will be having a volunteer orientation at the Lake Elsinore Station on Oct 2 at 6:30 pm to discuss all volunteer programs including Volunteers, Explorers, and Posse.
If your interest is more geared to the paperwork side of it, that type of service would be at the station. If you think you'd like to be a volunteer out in the community, citizens on patrol, your territory would be in the area of your choice.

In other words, if you're from Wildomar, you won't be "assigned" to another service area.

Keep in mind that they don't turn over the keys to just anyone. There are qualifications and protocols to adhere to, all of which will be gone over at the meeting.

So, if you've thought that you'd like to be a volunteer with citizens on patrol, I highly encourage you to attend this meeting to see if you make the grade.

Also...
Volunteering is opened to young people from ages 14 to 21 under the Explorers Program... this program will be addressed at the meeting too. This is a great first step for kids that think they'd like a career in law enforcement.
From a recent Lake Elsinore Station FaceBook post:
Do you know someone between the ages of 14 and 21 who is interested in law enforcement or giving back to the community? 
A look at the brochure.
If so, the Lake Elsinore Sheriff Explorer Post is the place to be. Please contact CSO Brown at 951-245-3300 for more information.
One more nudge of encouragement from me on this

Many people aren't in a position to donate time, and that's understandable... we live in a busy world. But if you have the time, the desire and the aptitude to volunteer, the community would be grateful for your efforts.

Community policing can go a long way in curbing some of the quality of life issues our area faces. Hope to see you there.

If you are a FaceBook user, please go to the event page to RSVP (though that isn't necessary). If not, please contact Sergeant Garcia at (951) 245-3300 (leave a message if you're sent to voicemail).

To follow Lake Elsinore Station on FaceBook, click the photo below. They post many updates, and often with a bit of humor too. ☺
Link to FaceBook page.
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We were all taught to respect authority even when we think that authority might be wrong. For isn't it obedience what holds a society together? 
– E.G. Marshall (CBSRMT)

Wildomar Rap respects authority, even if I've just been pulled over and think I've done nothing wrong.

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

• RSO Press Release: Illegal Marijuana Grow and Theft of Electricity

Press Release:Illegal Marijuana Grow and Theft of Electricity
Type of Incident:
Illegal Marijuana Grow and Theft of Electricity
Date Written:
09/25/2019
Time Written: 
4:00 p.m.
Date of Incident:
09/25/2019
Time of Incident: 
0800 a.m.
Location of Incident:
32000 block of Trailwood Court
Reporting Deputy:
Sergeant Glenn Warrington #2506
File Number:
WI192520043
Details:
In early September, deputies assigned to the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station received complaints regarding possible illegal marijuana cultivation occurring in a residential neighborhood within the city of Wildomar, Riverside County.

On September 25, 2019, deputies served a search warrant near the 32000 block of Trailwood Court. As a result of the search warrant, approximately 430 marijuana plants in various stages of growth were located and collected. In addition, the electrical supply to the residence had been illegally altered allowing for the theft of electrical services.  There were additional rooms still in the process of being converted to grow rooms. Two suspects located at the residence.

The two suspects, Rene Luna, a 21 year old resident of Wildomar, and James Hill, a 40 year old resident of Riverside, were arrested and booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta for illegal marijuana cultivation, theft of utilities, possession for sales of marijuana, maintaining a drug house,  and committing a crime while on bail.  Mr. Hill is currently out on bail from a previous theft of electricity and marijuana cultivation case. Wildomar Code Enforcement deemed the house uninhabitable.

This was very near William Collier Elementary
The school is circled in red, the street is highlighted with blue.
Wildomar Rap opinion time

For all you out there that say (in my best Jeff Spicoli, burn out surfer voice) don't get what the big idea is about weed, man. It's like, you know, natural and stuff. 

This isn't about "weed", it's about having a dangerous manufacturing business in a residential neighborhood. No one cares if you burn your bud at home, or if you grow your six plants, but we do care if you think you're going to open a business like this up in a neighborhood.

Want to go into the pot business? Be prepared to follow the rules, which will NEVER be in an area like this, or get ready to bear the consequences.
Looks like they were getting ready for a major rager.
Photo Courtesy RSO

Ahhh, look at all the little baby plants, all in their own special incubator room too.
Photo Courtesy RSO

Those growing plants can't grow on stolen electricity alone.
Photo Courtesy RSO
Perps being perps.
Photo Courtesy RSO

From the Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station FaceBook page
On September 25, 2019, deputies served a search warrant near the 32000 block of Trailwood Court, Wildomar. As a result of the search warrant, approximately 430 marijuana plants in various stages of growth were located and collected. In addition, the electrical supply to the residence had been illegally altered allowing for the theft of electrical services. There were additional rooms still in the process of being converted to grow rooms. Two suspects were arrested. One was even out on bail for the same offenses!
Illegal indoor growers often rent homes and cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to the homeowner. Stealing electricity is not only a crime but dangerous to the neighbors due to the fire hazards caused by the illegal wiring. Photos are of the garage and one of the bedrooms in the home (above).

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This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Deputy Carlson at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station (951) 245-3300 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

• Where Does Wildomar Rank?

If you guessed #476 out of 481 California cities... you were right. 
I created this graphic from stats at ClearGov.com.
The point of this blog is to show how small our budget is, and that without money (funds) there are a lot of things we can't do that our nearby cities can do. 

Is that an excuse? 

If you want to read it that way, then yes, it's an excuse... which is also known as an explanation. Take it whichever way works best for you.

Another thing to note is that these stats do not include increased revenues from Measure AA, or any new businesses that have come online since 2017.

With the aid of a website called ClearGov.com I was able to find some stats about Wildomar that, I'm guessing, most people haven't seen before. These stats are not about crime rates, just tax rates... but there are probably some that would say the two should be listed together. ☺

There is a lot to explore at that website, so I'll leave most of that to you, but I will share some interesting graphics I found there (others I cobbled together for ease of comparison, like above)

One vexing thing is that the stats are for 2017 instead of through last week... but it's hard to be demanding when using to a free service. 
One of the countless charts and diagrams that can be found at ClearGov.
78% of our households are comprised of families (14% higher than median), with 57% of our households being married couples (15% less than the median according to ClearGov)

Seems to me like those two numbers would make more sense if they were reversed, but logic and statistics are barely kissing cousins.
This link should take you to this graphic at ClearGov.
We have a 17% higher than median population, and slightly higher than median household income.

Now this is where I can get into trouble because I'm not a statistician (even though I was total baseball stat geek until my late 30's) so I'm not going to pretend to know the nuances of the charts I'm about to share... but I can give my surface level interpretation. Buyer Beware.

In the first graphic you will see Wildomar's 2017 revenues broken into percentages instead of actual values. In the second graphic you'll see Temecula's 2017 revenues and then I'll point to some differences.
Municipal revenues come from several sources. Taxes are usually the lion's share. Taxes generally come from a few sources: sales taxes and property taxes being the biggest. 
Pro Tip: the higher the property tax percentage vs the sales tax percentage means the higher the burden on individual families to pay for city services.
The above pie chart(s) can be found through the following link. (I've enhanced the pie charts for easy reading here, but the data is the same).

Once there, the first pie chart you'll see is "revenues". From there, you can click on any slice of the pie to get further analysis of that category.
You can see that 83% Temecula's total revenues came from various taxes, and of that a 64% comes from sales taxes, with their property tax burden well under 20%. Compare that to Wildomar where we get most of our taxes from property tax, and not even a quarter of the city's revenues come from sales tax.
Let's take another look at the amount of taxes that Wildomar brings in. First will be total taxes, followed by sales taxes.
The per capita take in taxes was $194, which was considered 77% lower than similar towns.
Link to ClearGov revenue page for Wildomar.
In the next graphic you'll see the stark difference between Wildomar and Temecula's sales taxes, both total and per capita.
I looked for similar stats of either Lake Elsinore or Murrieta and I got the old "coming soon" graphic.
Remember, the per capita above is the result of simple math by dividing the the total sales taxes by the number of residents, It is not how much each resident actually pays.

Part of the reason why Wildomar's per capita is so low is not because we don't pay a lot of sales taxes as individuals, it's because most of our purchases are not in Wildomar due to the lack of shopping options. Which also limits how much non residents can spend here too.

Conversely, it's not that Temecula's residents pay so much more than we do, it's that they have a lot of people from out of town contributing to their economy. 

Temecula has a population of 114,000, we have a population of 36,000. That puts us at roughly a third the size of Temecula, but as you can see, our sales tax revs aren't simply a third of theirs, which would have us close to $15M instead of under $2M, they're about 11.5%. A huge difference.

The last two graphics I'll share are Peer Distribution Analysis and our Financial Overview. ClearGov has chosen the following cities as Wildomar's peers and then marked the difference when it came to taxes collected per capita. 
Here is a link to the page with this graphic.
When revenues are about 70% lower than similarly sized towns (see graphic below), it follows that expenses would likewise be off by 70% (Yay!)

Thing is, when expenditures are down, that is an indicator that maintenance, services and amenities are down too (Boo!).
You may notice that in 2017 there appears to be a large surplus. That is when we received a large, one time, payout to make up for the the many years of having our VLF funds taken by the state. 
Ok, what did we learn here? 

Probably nothing, but these charts and graphs do illustrate how limited our funds are and that has a direct bearing on the number of first responders, code enforcement, street repairs and other city services we can contract.

All in all, though we are sorely underfunded compared to most other cities, we are far better off than we would have been if we'd have stayed in the county (are we really still having this discussion in 2019?). If you're in doubt of that, check out any of the nearby county areas and then let's chat.

I asked city staff about ClearGov and was told, "The City does not contract or have a relationship for services with this company." 

I asked ClearGov about their stats and this was their answer: all figures are verified and we get state reported data and aggregate it in our database.
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There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. 
– Benjamin Disraeli 

There are three kinds of blogs: worthless, self serving and presumptuous. Wildomar Rap vacillates between the three.

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

• Mariachi Night 2019

Great evening, great music and great fun! That sums up Wildomar's second annual Mariachi Night. 
This band was very entertaining.
Though the Mariachi band was outstanding, loved the catalog of songs they played, including Baby Shark of all things, but I also have to tip my hat to the opening duo: Cari Fontaine & O.M Band

I'd describe the music as reminiscent of a bilingual White Stripes band with a female lead vocalist.
Cari Fontaine & O.M Band
Kids were playing, getting faces painted, eating free ice cream from Faith Bible Church or posing for a photo at the TapSnap booth. 
Faith Bible Church was busy all night.
TapSnap's Keith Jared readies the camera. 

The face painters were top notch, and the lines lasted until well past 9:00pm.
The cornhole boards were busy all night long.
I had the video camera on this family for about a minute. For awhile it looked as if the tower was going to tumble, but in the end, it stood... as good ol' charlie brown would say, "Rats!" ☺
At 6:45pm and 7:45pm Councilwoman Bridgette Moore welcomed the park goers to the event. 
I liked all the vendors, but Brenda Rubio of California Rubees stood out for me. I loved the painted rocks.
Art Colunga manned the griddle as he tried to keep up with the hungry crowd's appetite.
It was a good sized crowd, especially considering that the original date for this event was the week before but had to be cancelled at the last minute due to the Tenaja fire.


I'd suggest that next year we look to have multiple food and snack vendors/stations. Afterall, faster food lines make for happy campers... oh, and churros too! ☺

Below is a four plus minute video of the evening. It features parts of songs from Cari Fontaine & O.M Band, and the Mariachi Band (sorry, I didn't catch their name).

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To make good use of life, one should have in youth the experience of advanced years, and in old age the vigor of youth.
– Stanislaw Leszczynski

Wildomar Rap has mastered the lack of vigor of old age and the inexperience of youth!

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

• City Council Meeting September 2019

A very light agenda had only the adoption of a tobacco code amendment and the appointing of a new planning commissioner. 

Arguably the biggest news came before the meeting officially started 
The first order of business was to reconvene out of closed session, that came with a report from Wildomar city attorney Tom Jex regarding the LEAPS project which is set in Lake Elsinore.

"The city council unanimously gave direction to intervene in a pending administrative hearing before FERC regarding LEAPS."

I don't know what that will entail at this point, but we want to go on record that we are opposed to the project.

Being that this meeting fell on September 11th, the meeting began with a moment of silence and then the singing of our National Anthem, beautifully done Alexa Oliver.

We then had a presentation by our Wildomar Fire Battalion Chief, John Crater, reminding us of the devastation experienced during September 11, 2001.

The 2019 chamber of commerce award winners were recognized by Mayor Marsha Swanson. The photo montage is with images from the actual awards dinner.
  • Citizen of the year: Todd Donohoe
  • Deputy of the year: Officer Andrew McCracken
  • Volunteer of the Year: Chrissy Rohlmeier
  • Firefighter of the Year: Captain Matt Misenhimer

We were also introduced to our newest officer:
McGruff the Crime Dog
This was McGruff's first public appearance!
Top: Bridgette Moore, Dustin Nigg, Ben Benoit.
Bottom: Marsha Swanson, McGruff, Joseph Morabito.
2.1 Tobacco Code Amendment
This came with very little fanfare. What started back in May was finished at the September city council meeting. 
The extreme proximity to the elementary school is demonstrated in this image.
Though some in town either didn't care, or were upset, about the decision to block the opening of a smoke/vape shop that had sought to open within a stone's throw from Wildomar Elementary, the majority in town were heard, and the council acted to prevent it from coming to be.



The gist of the ordinance amendment is that any such new businesses will need to be at least 600 feet from a school, park or church. 

3.1 Planning Commission Appointment
Councilmember Dustin Nigg appointed Arrin Banks to the planning commission. She's lived in town, in The Farm more specifically, for three years and I've seen her attending most city meetings for at least the last two years. 

Truth be known, when I got elected I had hoped she would apply then... which is no slight to Eric Filar, I just didn't really know him at that time. ☺

The meeting doesn't start until about the 6 minute mark of the video.
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The friendship of the overly friendly person is too often like a fire in the grate. Exceedingly bright to look at, but not reliable should you wish to keep warm on a really cold day.
– EG Marshall CBSRMT 1977

Wildomar Rap is nothing like a fire in the grate but can be friendly on occasion.

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

• Legends of Wildomar: Tall Tales of How it Got Its Name

Opening night of Legends of Wildomar, a play written about Wildomar by writers that live in Wildomar, was a huge success.
The cast singing Wildomar Song (The Happy Wanderer) to conclude the show. House lights were up and the audience were encouraged to sing along... lyrics were in the program.
It was a full house (I estimate there were more than 130 people in the audience) with ticket sales between 106 and 113. Part of the discrepancy was due to some with tickets for the 14th (my wife and I were among that lot) came on opening night instead.


The play started with the beloved narrator, played by Dan Kuttner, introducing the acts as they came. 
Every play should have a beloved narrator to keep the pace and the audience on track.
Act I had a Wildomar family at the lake, seems the daughter had been attacked by a sea monster, though the park ranger, played by Charles Golden suggested she just bumped into a submerged tree.
Ivonne Quinteros, Melodie Erickson, Charles Golden and Don Smith consider the possibilities. Photo courtesy Richard Deskin
Act III had a wild eyed Wild Roamer telling Rosa to dream big in life.
Scott Westwood, as Wild Roamer, and Ivonne Quinteros, as Rosa, starred in Act III.
Photo courtesy Richard Deskin
Eve Gaal, as Rosa's mother, sings to the audience.
Act IV explored the possibility of Wildomar being named after a prized horse named Wildy Mare. Adrienne Nemes played the silent role perfectly as she danced and pranced on the stage, and through the audience.
Charles Golden played the part of Cowboy Bill, Don Smith was the ranch hand, and Mary Jane Jazarowski played Milly.
Act V featured a love triangle of sorts, in the 1800's, where the affections of Wilhelmina was being wooed by two suitors; Marcus and Dolan. Later, as the townspeople were searching for a name for the area, they were inspired by the etching on the tree Wil-Dol-Mar (apparently shortened to Wildomar by some county bureaucrat later on...lol).
Marcus points to the etching on the tree that says Wil+Dol before he adds Mar at the bottom.
The proceeds from this play will be going to the charity known as BRICK, Brain Research in Cancer Kids. There is another performance if you missed opening night, next Saturday, the 14th. 

The program was first rate!

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Chance makes our parents, but choice makes our friends.
– Jacques Delille

Wildomar Rap must be your friend, because it was your choice to read it.

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

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