Tuesday, September 30, 2014

• Meet City Council Member Tim Walker

City Council member Tim Walker sat down with me at the Starbucks, on the west side of the freeway, for a “better know the candidate” session. I had my recording device all ready to go with fresh batteries, pressed record, the red light came on, I set it on the table... then it promptly shut itself off after recording all of two seconds.

Good thing my memory hasn't completely left me yet. 
That, coupled with a gift for paraphrasing; I should be ok.
Council Member Tim Walker at the recent Candidates Forum. 

WR What made you choose Wildomar as your home town? 
TW Back in the 1970’s we were looking for land that would someday be a place to retire, and made a purchase. Then the lease for the school we were running [in the LA area] wasn't renewed so we chose to open a school here (Bundy Canyon Christian School).

WR Tell me about your family.
TW My wife, Maria, and I have three children; the youngest is 22 and about to go off to the Marines, our daughter is 25 and a musician, and the oldest is 30 and has been working for us for five years. We have two grand children.

WR What got you interested in city politics?
TW I never had much interest in city politics until the issue of marijuana dispensaries came up. I went to a council meeting and spoke against the idea of bringing them here and when I went back to my seat [former city council member] Sheryl Ade said, “It doesn't matter what you want, I’m representing those that aren't here and didn't call or email.” After hearing that I realized she had to go, so I ran for council back in 2010… I was elected and she wasn't.

WR What, in real terms is Governor Brown’s recent veto of SB69 going to mean to Wildomar?
TW Nothing. We already have been operating as if the money will not be coming back.

WR  You are a local businessman, describe that for me.
TW We've operated a courier service called Rancho Runners since 1995. It’s not a “next day” service… it’s a “same day” service. Many of our drivers live in Wildomar, others in Murrieta and Temecula. It’s more of a personalized service, something that can’t be duplicated by the nationally known delivery services.

WR  You’re at a convention and there are two restaurants… one is Thai the other Italian. Which one do you head for?
TW I like both, but I’m thinking I’d head for the Thai… though I also like Italian.

WR Are there any coming projects in the city that you’re eager to see get completed?
TW There are several developments that are in the works. A medical facility on Clinton Keith, the houses there [he points across the street to some houses in the early stage of being built], on Palomar and on Bundy Canyon that will be near the coming Walmart. 

WR If you were at a place that had two different kinds of music being performed, Big Band on one stage and Blues on another, which do you choose?
TW I really like the sound of Big Band, but I’m thinking I’d head for the Blues. It’s similar to the kind of music I play.

WR What is your take on the frequent lawsuits being filed or threatened against the city?
TW We have to defend them. It’s going to cost us [Wildomar] money, but the same groups that keep bringing the same types of lawsuits are doing it because they couldn't win elections and they are bitter about not being in control.

A Tim Walker campaign button.

WR  What’s your position on term limits for council members?
TW I used to be all for term limits. I still am when it comes to national office, but I've rethought it in local elections. If the people want us gone, it isn't difficult to vote out a council member. Imagine if qualified council members were forced to vacate a seat, and the only options were people like Gary Andre or Miss Miller.

WR What’s a nice relaxing afternoon for the Walkers?
TW We enjoy sitting on the front porch visiting when the breeze comes up, and watching the grand kids at play.

WR Wildomar's taxes are among the lowest in the area. Would you support higher taxes to maintain, or increase, current levels of services in Wildomar?
TW No, I’m a proposition 13 guy and am against tax increases. People work hard to earn their money and they don’t need someone, with big ideas, spending it for them. We need commercial developments to bring in revenues. That's the only way to bring in enough to pay for the things we need in Wildomar.

WR If you could speak directly to the Wildomar voters, and tell them why they should vote for you, what would you tell them?
TW I’d tell them that experience counts... that I've been on the council for four years and that there is a conscientious group on the council right now that are working well together. 

•     •     •

Well, looks like I got the gist of his points down here, though I wish I remembered more details about some of his answers, including the ones about his family... oh, his youngest was born at the Inland Valley hospital and was delivered by [insert name of family member that is a main nurse there]. Also, his parents live in the area.

I've had many occasions to speak to Tim Walker at various city meetings and events this year; he's always a cheerful person, easy to approach and a good conversationalist. He is a self stylized "conservative businessman" yet comes off like the guy next door. 

At the same time, when he's on the dais representing Wildomar at a council meeting, he has two speeds. First is sort of "laid back, taking it all in". The other is when he leans forward, he becomes a no nonsense bull dog, much like a top closer in baseball, looking to retire the side in order.

He just needs a bushy fu manchu to get his game face as good as The Mad Hungarian's in this baseball card.

If you've never met Tim Walker, go up to him at the next city meeting, or event, and chat with him. You'll soon see that he has a good head on his shoulders.

You can only vote once per IP address, so don't try and cheat.

If your choice for a captain came down to two people. One with an excellent track record and the other with a dismal track record are you telling me you'd really have to hesitate before choosing?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

• SB 69 Got Vetoed

Brown Vetoes SB 69

 I was so caught off guard, that I'd actually started to prepare a blog talking about it getting passed. Check out the "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline I had prepared.

Great News!
SB 69 was signed into law. 

Willy'Mar is out of "Le Château Bowow" 

What a joke, I can't believe I actually gave the governor credit where he clearly hadn't earned it. The galling thing is that our state is taking in more money than we ever have before and yet, he wants it as far from the actual citizens as he can get it. I'm guessing that he'll be giving Wildomar's money to his magic Choo-Choo fund.


Once I heard about this I went to Wildomar's number 1 point man on the issue, Ben Benoit, and asked him a couple of questions.

How much would this have amounted to?
About 1.8 million dollars per year.

What percentage of our yearly budget is that?
Around 20%, which is about $50 per capita.

Is this a dead issue now?
To me it will be dead when Wildomar residents get the same amount of cash from this state as residents in the rest of Califorina. As to our council continuing to support the efforts to right this wrong we'll see. As for this bill it's dead unless the current leadership wants to override the veto, for an issue like this that affects such a small amount of legislators that's a very slim chance.

•   •   •

Well, now it won't be like when a family member wins the lottery... and a bunch of people they've never heard of start showing up, telling them how to spend it. 

Look Ma, No Money!

It's good that despite this news, our budget hasn't been based on this money actually being here.

What a way to start off a new week... Arrgghh!

• Freedom Swing Ribbon Cutting/Maiden Voyage

September 27th was the day that Marna O'Brien Park had a wheelchair swing, known as The Freedom Swing, dedicated for use. It was the brainchild of local resident, then thirteen years old, Ashley Fox, a girl scout bidding to earn her Silver Award... and coincidentally a person confined to a wheelchair to get around.

A good sized crowd turned out to see the ribbon cutting, including Mayor Marsha Swanson, Council Members Bridgette Moore, Tim Walker and City Council Candidate Israel Leija. A representative from Melissa Melendez's office and a rep from State Senate Candidate Bonnie Garcia's camp attended. PV Maintenance, the contractors that donated the installation of the swing, and Lake Elsinore Storm's mascot Thunder too (he, and his bosses, brought a donation check of $1000 with them).

The ribbon cutting was set for 5:30pm and the installation crew was just finishing attaching the swing to the frame at 5:00pm. I had a chance to watch Ashley make a test run of it, but it still being a brand new device, no one knew exactly how it worked. She actually took her first ride in it, backward.

Test drive... in reverse.

After a brief ceremony, with Mayor Marsha Swanson presiding, and a certificate of recognition for Ashley's accomplishment (raising more than $5000 for this swing) and sticking with it for more than six months of fundraisers, and even an installation delay of a month due to shipping issues, the symbolic ribbon was cut and the first official rides on the swing were had.

Kaylynn Turner, Ashley Fox and Thunder team up to cut the ribbon.

The rest of the story is told in the video below. You'll see the "test drive" of the swing, the introductions by Mayor Marsha Swanson, some background on the project by Bridgette Moore, a certificate of recognition from Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez's office, a check from the Lake Elsinore Storm for $1000 and a few words from Ashley on the project. You'll also see the swing being used by several people in wheelchairs, including Ashley's grandmother. She said it was her first time on a swing in 60 years.

You'll have to forgive the shortcomings of the audio, the microphone reacted poorly with the breeze.

Below is a montage of a few pictures during installation.

My only worry is about possible vandalism to the swing. When I was a young teen, I would have wondered how much abuse it would be able to take... or how well that padding was really glued down. In those days, I had no idea that my unbridled curiosity —as to an object's breaking point— would affect other people or the community. Let's hope such curiosity isn't overly represented by those that might chance upon the Freedom Swing in 2014 and beyond.

Friday, September 26, 2014

• Meet City Council Candidate Israel Leija

So that the community can have a chance to better know the candidates for city council, I've asked them to chat about who they are. I recently sat down with Israel Leija at Marna O'Brien park. It was a lengthy conversation, so I'll be paraphrasing the questions and answers so they make more sense in print.

WR: How did you get to Wildomar?
IL: My wife grew up here... we met as kids at church. We met up again as adults, started dating and coming to visit her here. I've been part of Wildomar for ten years and have lived here for five years in The Farm area.

WR: Tell us about yourself, how long have you been married?
IL: Going on five years.

WR: Do you have any kids?
IL: Not yet, but we're expecting twins. That's part of my drive to get on the council. To show them a good example in a leadership role, they can say, "Hey that's my dad" and maybe they can follow in my footsteps. That's not my main drive, my main drive is to bring everybody together, to forget all about the lawsuits, just forget about everything, and basically make the whole community without a complaint in the world. It's going to be hard because not everybody agrees with everything.

WR: As someone that lives at The Farm, did you hear about the issues involving stops signs and speed bumps?
IL: Yes, as I was gathering signatures [to qualify for the ballot] people were telling me they were upset with the council members because they hadn't really done anything. I'm not against any of the current council members... I'd rather work with them than against them. If I get onto the council, I'd be happy to bring up issues of traffic and stop signs... I've run into others mentioning the stop signs by Stater Brothers [Catt Rd] and that many people ignore them. We might want speed bumps before and after... the signs were put there for a reason.

WR: What got you interested in wanting to represent Wildomar on the City Council?
IL: I wanted to get involved because I'd like to make an impact in the community... I know that Ben [Benoit], Marsha [Swanson] and Tim [Walker] are trying their best to do the same... and I know the funds are not there... and it's going to be the same situation with me if I get elected, but I'd like to fight [for the residents]. I'd be happy to represent Wildomar as a lobbyist to Sacramento, then I'll put my foot down, and I'll do that. Just as I'd be a lobbyist for the community if elected.
I find Wildomar to be like Heaven on Earth, and I'd like to see the community more friendly, make it where we could all be as a family... there's so much land here we could even bring in an old fashioned country fair. We could make it a fund raiser, to bring in revenues for the community.
I'd love to start a food pantry for those in need.

WR: Have you been following the various lawsuits against Wildomar?
IL: Yes, I had a meeting with Scott Farnam, he used to be with the council, and he gave me a lot of information on the lawsuits. Gary Andre was mentioned, but I had to agree with one of the things Andre said [during the Candidates Forum] about Autumnwood. 
We need some form of remedy [against the lawsuits] look how long it took to build the Shell station.
[I'm not here to do a point/counterpoint on the veracity of the candidate's opinions]

WR: What is your position on the proposed Walmart?
IL: I'm for it. A lot of people talk bad about Walmart... but as a customer, it's a great place to shop. I'm sure that everybody in this city goes to Walmart. Also the revenue from a Walmart will be good, not that it will save us, but it'll be good. If not Walmart then other box chains, a hotel... a bowling alley would be nice... it would bring in the youth and the elderly would gather at a bowling alley. I'm sure a bowling alley would get approved faster than a Walmart.

WR: Tell me about any hobbies you have.
IL: I'm a musician. I used to be in a Christian Band... I still play a little bit of piano and guitar for relaxation. I like being creative. Things like computer graphics, landscaping... whatever I can, that can benefit everyone. Something about me is that I'm organized and clean, I hate working around mess. When you're organized you're on top of things, and you know where everything's at. I like to keep my tools very organized, and make sure I've got the right tools ready and handy —to grab them, and start doing what I need to do.

WR: Name a current TV show you watch?
IL: My wife and I like to watch The Bridge. I like comedies, crime dramas, not so much into the Romantic Comedies... my wife likes The Notebook, but that's more for women [said with a chuckle].

WR: You're stuck at a place with 2 waiting rooms, one has MSNBC on the TV, the other has FOX News. Which room do you go into?
IL: I say FOX News. MSNBC just adds more, they seem to exaggerate where FOX News gets straight to the point.
This is a postcard that Israel made up to advertise his candidacy.

WR: What made you think, "You know, I'm going to do it... I'm going to get the paperwork to run for City Council," it's easy to talk about it, but it's hard to actually go, make an appointment and get the paperwork, and harder to then gather the signatures and turn them in... so, how did that happen? Was it like, "OK, I really want to do it," and your wife said... "Are you sure?"
IL: [With a mixture of laughter] That's exactly what she said. I wanted to run two years ago, but the filing period had ended before I could pull the papers. So this year I decided to run, and I set up an appointment with Debbie Lee way back in April or May, and set up the appointment for July.

WR: Are there any projects you'd like to see done, or things you've heard are planned that you'd like to prevent from happening?
IL: I'd like to see the Bundy Canyon improvement project done. I'd also like to see a Norm's Restaurant here. I'd like to see a community pool in the park... we have three pools in The Farm community. I'd like to see something like a community catalog that tells the residents about the coming events. 

WR: If you could speak directly to the Wildomar voters, and tell them why they should vote for you, what would you say to them?
IL: I'd like you to vote for me so I can represent you, so I can be your voice. Everybody has the right to speak their mind, but I could represent you as your leader... and I'll fight for you, whatever your cause is. Whether I have to work day and night, I know there is no salary involved [with being a council member]... I'll even make it my full time job if I have to, just so I can make my community a better place to live.

♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    

Here is my take away from the chat I had with Israel Leija, coupled with what I saw at the candidates forum. He's a genuinely nice person, seems to have interest in Wildomar, seems to have positions that —though some aren't terribly realistic— are in line with what many people would want here. However, he is very green when it comes to the workings of Wildomar, and if he'd like to be on the council, I'd like to see him spend the next 4 to 6 years getting knee deep into the community he's looking to represent. 

I've been paying very close attention to city issues since Summer of last year [before that I only knew what the Press Enterprise reported... which was next to nothing]. In all candor, my observation is that Israel has less familiarity with our city than I had before I became active in the community... and I'm honest enough to tell you that I'd be in over my head if I were to suddenly be on the council at this point in my life.

The thing is, there are three incumbents in this race, none of which have worn out their welcomes, and all take their positions seriously. If you insist on voting for a new face, Israel would be a far better choice than Gary Andre. If Israel were to win one of the three seats, he'd definitely be in a whirlwind trying to figure it all out, but he seems reasonable enough that he'd listen to the city's legal council, not fight against the will of the community, and he'd quickly learn how limited the job of City Council Member really is, and I don't believe he'd try to thwart the will of the people by consorting with those known to plot against the forward progress of the city.

○  ○  ○
If you haven't already participated in the informal poll on the city council race, please do so by following the link below.

You can only vote once per IP address, so don't try and cheat.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

• Candidates Forum

I got to the venue early so I could set up the video camera. The first contestant to arrive was Gary Andre. He wanted it clear that he cannot take any narcotics for his chronic back pain and showed me his doctor's instructions and asked me to post it... seems that the topic had been batted around a bit on FaceBook.

FaceBook... Ugggh! Don't get me started on that one. ☺

Next in the building was Ben Benoit, followed by Israel Leija, Tim Walker and then Marsha Swanson.

Just before the mic check, about a half an hour before the event, Israel Leija shakes hands with Tim Walker.

I went up to all the candidates and asked for their autographs on the program... I told them it was going to be a collector's item and I was going to put it on ebay as soon as I got home; so far the bid is up to 11¢.

When I approached Gary Andre he let me know that he wasn't happy that I've been less than complimentary to him in my blogs. I told him that he was getting a bit of collateral damage due to those that back his candidacy [people I call APEs aka AIP... the people that look to sue everything that wiggles in this town].

Reminds me of the Aesop's Fable I used to read my kids called →


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."

Birds of a feather flock together.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, he's a nice enough fellow when I talk to him. Even tonight, though he wasn't pleased with me, he made it clear he'd rather be friends than enemies. I agreed, and told him we should be able to have our different views on the way the city should be run, and NOT allow the differences to get to a personal level. That said, I am not going to shy away from pointing out said differences, and that means I'm going to feel free to lampoon a person that is asking for it.

He mentioned in the forum that he'd never sued anyone before... before his first lawsuit here that is... watch the video and you'll see that he has been a supporter of more than one lawsuit against the city [skip to 29:30 of the first video].

If he wants to run with the APE's, he's going to get the same lack of respect they get. It's not personal, it's business.

Also, I've already created a mock TV ad for the Andre campaign, and it isn't very nice. Sorry Gary, but it's already out there. Thing is, I've got plans for doing "Mock Political Ads" about the other candidates too, and I hope they don't have thin skin, or I might be run out on a rail before I know it.

So, to wrap up the Andre angle, I offered him a No Sandbag guarantee blog, where he can just tell me who he is and why he wants your vote. Though at first he didn't want to give me his autograph, it turned out he was the first to sign my program... which I appreciated.

You'll hear audience applause in places. I joined in once... when Israel Leija asked for applause.

Here's how I see what went down... you watch the video and let me know if I'm too far off.

Gary Andre said many of the right things, but he didn't give straight answers when questions about lawsuits came up. He also seemed to be in favor of Walmart, which is something I wasn't expecting.

Although he just did the document dump at the last city council meeting, where legal action was threatened over improving Bundy Canyon, he did seem to agree that Bundy Canyon should be improved at the forum... which was nice to hear, but rather confusing at the same time.

Ben Benoit was the most prepared and delivered his responses with adroitness and aplomb. A pros pro and I'm glad we have him in Wildomar. He took the opportunity to mention the need for more policing more than once. I'd love to take a swipe at him, but there isn't anything to be miffed at with him. [But I'm still planning on a mock political ad for him so I'll have to come up with something soon]

Israel Leija was in over his head, but based on his answers, I can say that his head is in the right direction, he just needs some seasoning. Which would include learning the community more by delving deeper into it.

Marsha Swanson gave good answers and kept to the questions that were asked and didn't wander away from the topics. She showed good vision for where she'd like to see Wildomar in the future. As she noted, without rooftops (more houses) you won't be able to attract businesses here. Most businesses want customers to be present when they open their doors. Without businesses, the revenues stay low and city services stay at a starvation level (my paraphrasing).

Tim Walker Showed passion when speaking on the topics, and one time asked for the question to be reread... not because he didn't remember it, but because the previous person's answer was well off topic and he wanted to remind the audience what it was. Another time he started off into a danger zone. He made a comparison to presidential politics. He didn't mention President Barky O'Bambam by name, but you could detect his "conservative" leanings just the same.

FTR: in 2012 I "threw away" my vote by voting against both
O'Bummer and Mittens and voting Libertarian.


Please consider weighing in on this straw poll.

You can only vote once per IP address, so don't try and cheat.

After the forum, I went up to Gil Rasmussen, a blogger that has moved away, extended my hand and said, "How's it going Out of Town Blogger".

If looks could kill, you'd be reading my obituary. We went around and around, about the comments that have shown up at the bottom of my recent blogs.

Nothing like a good Kodak moment.
In the end I agreed that some of the comments were way over the line, especially the ones about Sheryl Ade in reference to a condition she has. I also told him that I'd been chastising those that left such comments and that it was pretty lame when people would then NOT be upfront enough to also leave their names. So, when I got home I did some house cleaning in the old comment section. I couldn't delete particular words, so entire comments went bye-bye.

Some people have said, "Yeah, but he is far, FAR worse than you've ever been, and he wants a double standard?"  Yeah, and I'm good with it. My motto has long been "I'm better than you are" and now and then I need a reminding of it. I don't want to lower my standards to that of a person with a less than stellar reputation on such matters.

A note on the double standard in question. 

If I was hearing correctly, over the din of the crowd, as he was telling me that the ADA doesn't look to kindly over people being teased, referring to the disrespect Sheryl Ade got from some comments (though never by name)... he lobbed a gay insult my way.

He suggested that I had some, shall we call it mayonnaise, on my upper lip. So let's get this straight... I'm responsible for people that leave anonymous comments on my blogs, but it's ok to use gross sexual innuendo against me... all the while it's a well known fact that my 27 year old son is GAY. Somehow I'm thinking this double standard runs deep. Thing is, as I told him, who cares what anonymous people say... it seems he does. Good thing I have skin on par with an elephant, and such things don't bother me.

Oh well, enough of that. I don't need to be chums with everyone, but it's nice to be able to say hello and discuss things. The fact that local politics of Wildomar's early cityhood actually turned into something that got really nasty, tells me that a lot of people really are lacking.


On a different note:

Hey, did you know that the Freedom Swing is almost installed... and this Saturday there is a ribbon cutting ceremony at Marna O'Brien Park at 5:30pm. 

Getting ready to pour the concrete.


The road to resolution starts with doubt...
The best way home's the farthest way about.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

• Poll on City Council Race

It's a little more than six weeks until the election, and this coming Tuesday, September 23rd at 6:30pm, there will be a Candidates Forum at Elsinore High School. It's being presented by Wildomar Chamber of Commerce and the host for the 2014 Wildomar Candidate Forum will be LEUSD Board member Tom Thomas.

There are plenty of topics/reasons that should motivate you into coming to this. The proposed Walmart being chief among them. This is the time to be heard, and the people that can't seem to get any further than a FaceBook chatroom when it comes to whining about our city (you keyboard commandos know who you are), this is your chance to put up or shut up


Here is a look at this year's candidate's mugshots.

We all love polls, and you know it. So I created this one, asking who your choice for Wildomar City Council is. Audience participation is always appreciated and you can vote for up to three... like in the real election. But I set it so that you can only vote once a year. So if you'd like to stuff the ballot, set your watch for September 2015 so you don't forget.

Be sure to "vote" for your candidate(s).
This is what the poll looks like when you click the link.

I scrambled the order of the candidates, so don't make too much of it. 

You shouldn't be voting based on how the names are slotted in the first place.

Thanks for your participation, and feel free to share the poll with others. There is a way to do so at the polling site... or you can share this url→  http://vote.pollcode.com/68656175

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A word about comments on this blog.

I'm not going to bother doing a lot of policing, and I do try and respond to the comments that call out to me, but some of you are really showing a lack of decorum and a lack of originality at the same time. Name calling is Hi-Larry-Us, and all, but too much of a good thing is rarely beneficial.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

• Walmart Open House

It wasn't what I expected. I thought it was going to be more of a "town hall" meeting, with an audience and a power point presentation, but is was as the sign said, an Open House.

No speeches, no public comments, no protests just several stations with knowledgeable people to listen to questions and give answers.

They also had some snack trays... best way to curry favor is by offering food... if they really wanted to get a groundswell of support, they should have offered margaritas too.

I asked about the time table for beginning the project. The question I asked to more than one of them was, "Will the first shovel hit the dirt before Hillary leaves office?"

They looked at me, then rolled their eyes as they got the reference, and one guy told me, "I sure hope it doesn't take that long."

Under the best of circumstances, it will be YEARS before they begin construction. It could be longer if the Wildomar *APEs have their way... as it seems they must protest every project that comes across the city's desk. As predictable, none of the APEs or Cantankerotti showed up... and neither did their dream candidate, Gary Andre.

Oh, on a side note, the retail Subway project, near Jack in the Box and AM/PM off of Bundy Canyon, is now under construction... it is only years behind schedule due to frivolous lawsuits foisted upon the project by the APEs.

The facts of this case are truly sickening, and perhaps I'll be able to get the straight dope from someone and be able to post a blog about it in the future... now back to the Walmart Open House →

After being there two hours I asked the greeter, this greeter looked college aged to me, what the head count was. She told my that 175 had signed the register, but that about 20% chose not to. So it's safe to say that 200 guests came to their open house tonight.

As the meeting was winding down I went and talked to the people at the various stations to ask what the feedback had been. I heard estimates between 80-90% positive depending on which person I asked. The key concerns that people had were traffic on Bundy Canyon, though some mentioned concerns over increased crime too.

Don't worry, you can count on the APEs to act like this is a sporting contest and I'm sure they are already drawing up their Flea Flickers in the dirt.

Now if I were a betting man, would I take a ragtag group of people that lose every time they enter the arena, or the deep pockets of Walmart? 

At the last count, after 154 votes, it's 52% for it and 44% against it. You can only vote once. I'm one of the "I don't care" votes... because I don't care. I shop by mail or I'm already used to driving to Murrieta for all my Walmart needs... but I can tell you that our city sure could use a Walmart, as can its residents. 

This was one of many large displays on easels.

I only seemed to run into people that were generally in favor of the project. I was chatting with George Taylor, long time resident at The Farm, and he is for Walmart coming to town. He sites the revenues to the city and the jobs that will be coming with a Walmart as his reasons for his position.

Also present tonight, were many people from the city. Planning Director Matt Bassi, City Manager Gary Nordquist, Assistant City Manager Dan York, Planning Commissioners Bobby Swann, Gary Brown, and Stan Smith, along with council members Bridgette Moore, Tim Walker and Ben Benoit.

They were there as private citizens, but were also there to hear from the people of Wildomar too. All were completely accessible to anyone wanting to chat about Walmart, or any other topic for that matter.

I hate to harp on this, but we are only 6 weeks away from the City Council elections and neither challenger showed up. You don't have to vote for one of the incumbents, but you'd better not be preparing to vote for one of the two guys that don't have time for things important to our city such as this.

There will be a ton more about Walmart as the calendar pages hit the circular file... so stay tuned.

A couple of definitions... if you were wondering about these terms.
*APEs is the self chosen name of a group of malcontents that sue the city every time they can scrape two nickles together to hire their high priced legal eagle. They spell it differently than I do, theirs is AIP... but an AIP is an APE, clumsy and destructive no matter how it's spelled

Oh, and "Cantankerotti" is a portmanteau of Cantankerous and Glitterati... basically those that haunt Wildomar with their cranky discontented ways, never having a decent thing to say about anything, especially if it's under the purview of the city, and/or the city council.
What'cha gonna do
when they come for you?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

• Wildomar Flooding on Video

Just a quick blog about today's flooding. If you were in town, you felt this storm. Plenty of thunder and lightning. Windsong Valley lost power, and the lights were out at a couple of intersections.

Please take a look at the video to see how high the water got..


The fad has just begun.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

• Bicycle Safety Event 2014

What a great event for the city of Wildomar, and thanks to the sponsors for putting it on.

Despite the high temps, that kept many people indoors, the event was enjoyed by many locals from 10am to 2pm.

Riders eagerly awaiting their turn at the "Safe Moves" course.

The kids would check in first at the Rotary canopy, then head over to the bike inspection point, operated by the boy scouts. Then there was a safety course where they were taught to look out for many dangers that cyclists face on the road. Once they completed the course they got a free helmet.

There were vendors and various information booths. In addition to the Rotary Club booth, the City of Wildomar was present, as was Wildomar CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), the Wildomar Walkers had a booth and raffled of a couple of baskets, Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, RTA had a Bus... air conditioned no less... and that was a very pleasant five minutes I spent asking questions about routes and fairs and dodging the Sun's rays. I found out it's $1.50 to ride the bus and $4.00 to ride it all day long all over the county.

The VFW had a booth as did SunPro Solar. Some of the local candidates had a booth, Giordano's Martial Arts, Frolicking Frog (jewelry/crafts), Boy Scout troop 332, Sports Authority and Ace were there. Oh and a blood drive by Life Stream.

Watch the video to get a feel of the day. It's part photo montage, part live action and a few thoughts from Nita McCoubrey, a Wildomar mother that lost her son to a bicycle accident in 2009. Also in the video are highlights of the BMX Pros Trick Team. They jumped over some Karate Kids (not Ralph Macchio), some of the Wildomar Queens and Thunder (mascot of the Lake Elsinore Storm baseball club).

This was but a small sampling of what the stunt riders were doing.

These guys could fly!

If there was a theme for today's event, other than family fun, it was this.

 ◄ If you ride a bike, wear your helmet! ► 

I hope more families will be sure to attend the next time this event is held in Wildomar. I'm crossing my fingers that it will be a Springtime event, before the Kids are out of school, next year.

☻  ☻  ☻  ☻  

Wheels up, Helmets on!
Why not pedal on over to FaceBook and like Wildomar Rap while you're at it... I won't rat you out if you don't have your helmet on properly... but if you crash —I hope scrambled brains won't bother you too much.

Friday, September 12, 2014

• September 11th @ VFW Post 1508

September 11th is one of those dates that touches all that were alive on that fateful day back in 2001. At our house, it was the start of another Tuesday. I was getting ready for work listening to the radio. Bill Handel of KFI was talking about an airplane that had slammed into the World Trade Center.

At that point, I wasn't thinking Terrorism. I thought it had to be some kind of computer malfunction that was responsible. (Remember all the hype a year earlier about Y2K and planes were going to fall from the sky?) Who would ever have thunk that a sane person would ever intentionally do such a thing.

If we only knew then what we know now.

After the second plane hit, computer malfunction was quickly dismissed as reports of other planes being hijacked came in. We only had a tiny TV, but I had my family get up and go watch it, including my 8 year old. This was (is) our country, and they needed to be part of this.

I went to work, but got nothing done that day. I remember hearing Howard Stern (not my usual radio guy) describe the first tower as it plummeted to the ground.

Once at work, I watched with my employer as things continued to unfold... including the second tower coming down. I'm getting mad all over again as I type this. 

Yesterday, September 11th 2014, I went to Wildomar VFW Post 1508 to watch a ceremony where the flags were changed. There was a modest crowd, among them were Steve Beech, the Fire Chief, his crew and truck were there, enjoying the great American meal of Hot Dogs and Hamburgers with a side of chili.

Also happening yesterday was the POW♦MIA flag was raised at the cemetery... finally closing that chapter of this city's history.

•  •  •
As long as we're speaking of September 11th, I'll add a video I made back in 2008. It's a song that captured the anger that many of us felt that day. It certainly captured my feelings considering that I wrote it... and sang it too (gulp).


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Malice can always find a target to shoot at, and a pretense to fire.

—Charles Simmons

Thursday, September 11, 2014

• Notes From the City Council Meeting September 10, 2014

Where to Start... how about at the beginning?
I got to the meeting about a half an hour before kickoff and saw Candidate Gary Andre chatting outside the back entrance with Les Chapman. I went up and joined the chat. I thought that Andre was there to attend the meeting... you know, because he's running to be part of the council and all... but I was wrong. He was there representing his homies, the AIPs (pronounced like the primate —APEs) with what's known as a "document dump".

The APES have spoken.
It seems that the Alliance for Irrepressive Pompous asses (I'm pretty sure that's what AIP stands for) threatened more legal action against the city, and since Candidate Andre still actually lives within our city, he drew the short straw to deliver it —last minute style per usual.

Actually, if it weren't for the APEs, and Miss Miller, this would have been a much shorter meeting, and I'd be telling you about the proposed widening of Bundy Canyon. Very exciting proposition, that every sane person in the area would be completely for.

I'd also be telling you about the Freedom Swing getting final approval with a ribbon cutting ceremony set for Saturday September 27th... and how the much maligned PV Maintenance (Needlessly castigated by Captain Caveman Zak) is donating the cost of installation of the swing.

Maybe I'd tell you about the fact that Ben Benoit and City Manager Gary Nordquist were asked to come to Sacramento by the governor's staff Friday (do I need to remind you about SB 69 and that we have been cheated out of what every other city gets?) I'm hoping they aren't asking our team to make the trip just so that they can extend their hand, then quickly withdraw while saying "Psych!"

The limp fish handshake is almost as bad as the psych version.

I'd be telling you about the slurry project that is coming to Windsong Valley later this month, or the new sidewalk coming to George Avenue

I could tell you about the Proclamation —Adult Literacy Awareness Month (September 2014) made by the council, and that we all met the new librarian for the Wildomar Library. She reminded us that she has a couple of more semesters until she can officially be called a librarian... thank goodness for bureaucratic red tape.

I could elaborate on how Bob Cashman didn't "get it" again when it comes to zoning and California law. In agenda item 1.11 and 1.12 he seems to want to continually rehash the whole MUPA (Mixed Use Planning Area) overlay scheme that all cities have to stomach. After seeing him do this several times, I'm nearly convinced that he is grandstanding for someone. Who, I can't even imagine.

But instead, most of the meeting was eaten up by lawsuit threats and Miss Miller doing her Vaudeville act —six times no less. I get it, they don't have lives, and they find it great sport to waste everyone's time, and the city's money, with their gags. Too bad they don't stick to things like hand buzzers, exploding cigars, whoopee cushions and squirting flowers like other oafs in their strata do.
Property of the Alliance.

The following video is of the city council discussing agenda item 3.2 Bundy Canyon Road Improvement Project Final EIR.

In this video you'll hear Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit discussing part of APE's problem with this project. Imagine it if you will, Gary Andre, and his out of town scabs, suggesting that this project be put off... or even cancelled altogether.

A project that was supposed to begin in 2008 —until the economy collapsed.

If that isn't comedy gold all by its lonesome, they are claiming that parts of the EIR, that are a whopping 4 years old, are TOO OLD to use. This is the same group that clings to an over sized scrapbook that a few people worked on before we were a city... and claim that we need to stick to the plans they made for us back then.

Ideas that some well intentioned citizens cobbled together can be timeless in their view, and above revision, but a professional EIR has a shorter shelf life than DeJong's chocolate milk in their world. I get it... they are slapstick clowns of the first order... too bad they are so incredibly tone deaf as to not get the message that NO ONE is entertained with their bucket of confetti level antics.

I like the way that Council Member Tim Walker didn't pull any punches when discussing the APEs. In the above video, his comments begin at the 10:30 mark. He talks about threatened lawsuits and document dumping while calling Gary Andre out by name.

Gary Andre Picks Up Key Endorsement
Candidate Andre had a banner night. First the Docu-Dump, next being mentioned —by name— from the dais multiple times, and then he picked up Miss Miller's endorsement. She spoke for more than 15 minutes cumulatively (just one song tonight).

I posted a video of her telling you who to vote for.

She did manage to mispronounce both Melissa Melendez's name along with that of Gary Andre. From now on, out of respect for Miss Miller's preferred pronunciation, his name is Gary Adee... as you'll see in my mock campaign ad. The second half of the video shows how far gone she is.

Sorry, but unless you are also a resident of Backward Land or Upside Down World, you pretty much can assume that anyone she is endorsing has something seriously wrong with them somewhere down the line.

Lastly, I finally got to meet Candidate Israel Leija. He looked a bit like a fish out of water. First time at a city council meeting and all... I hope to see him at the candidate's forum, though I was hearing he may not get out of work in time to attend it. I guess we'll see.

_ . _ —•—_ . _ —•—_ . _ —•—_ . _ —•—_ . _ —•—_ . _ —•—_ . _ —•—

Shake. Shake. Shake your sillies out.

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