Wednesday, November 26, 2014

• Original Christmas Tree Lane 2014

There is a great local fundraiser called
The Original Christmas Tree Lane

Betty and Glenn Copple have been in the area since 1989 and this is the 15th year they've hosted this event. It's come a long way since the first year, when it was only held for a single day. I had a chance to catch up with Betty earlier in the week and asked her some questions about it.

 WR: What got you interested in this type of event?
BC: When we were in Fullerton, I saw an event very similar to this, and when we moved to this area there was nothing in the month of December to draw people out, to get them excited about scholarships. So my husband decided to start this.
I would have loved this as a small child. An electric minibike.

 WR: What's the official name of the event?
BC: The Original Christmas Tree Lane
A patio set from the new pub called Pints & Quarts.

 WR: How many sponsors do you have this year?
BC: We have fourteen primary sponsors, and many others from the community that help out.
A complete bar.

 WR: How much has it grown from the first year?
BC: The first year, we only made $3,000, and we were only opened for just one day. Now we're opened for ten days and we typically bring in $12,000-$15,000.
Gotta love the Upside Down tree.

 WR: Where does the money go?
BC: Half goes to the Boys & Girls Club, we also give to the Rotary Club helping with a camp up at Crestline. Last year we were able to send four students, this year we were able to send ten students. We had over 500 students who went this past year [from the general area].  My husband and I were volunteer chaperones at the camp.
It looks like Frosty is the groom and the bride is a bear... [no comment here XD]

 WR: What kind of camp is it?
BC: It is a motivational camp. A lot of these students aren't certain what they want to do when they get to college. [paraphrased →] The goal is to help them focus on their education.
I'm guessing that the Money Tree is a favorite.

 WR: How easy is it to purchase tickets?
BC: (With a big smile) I'm standing just inside the door. You put your first name and your phone number on the back of each ticket you purchase. Then put it in the can that you choose [in front of the various trees and prizes]. You don't have to be present to win.
Everyone loves a Teddy Bear.

 WR: When is the drawing, and what is it usually like?
BC: On the 7th of December, at 4:00 in the afternoon [a Sunday]. Last year we had 2000 people here for the drawing. Within an hour after the drawing, I'll have contacted all the winners. If I can't get ahold of them that night, that's not a problem. I'll personally will be the one calling until I get ahold of the person. Even if it takes a couple of days.
A variety of collectible steins.

 WR: If a new sponsor is interested for next year, who do they contact, and what do they do?
BC: Betty Copple, and my number is 951-217-6291. I start prepping for the next year's event in January. SWS Storage donates a full shed to store the things we collect throughout the year. 
The Rotary Club tree has many appliances 'under' it.

 WR: What are some of your favorite memories from past events... any that stand out?
BC: Oh I do. There is one couple that had been married for about seven years. They came in and they had five children with them. The oldest was close to ten. They won 2 trees. It couldn't have gone to a better family because these were foster kids that they are now adopting... they come back every year. I got a call just yesterday saying, "We're coming down a day early, before the drawing, so we can hand out flyers to encourage more people to come in and buy tickets". It's really helped their family immensely.
Christmas is a time for smiles. *<|:^) }  [it's a Santa emoticon, see it?]
This looks to be a fun event to attend. Plus the money raised is going to two great causes so you can count me in.

I suggest you make a special trip down to the Lake Elsinore Outlet Mall to go check it out... especially if you have youngs ones that would like to see the different displays. There is one, that wasn't easy to photograph, that was a living room set, with a TV and an X-Box One.

Since the space is being donated, there is no large neon sign on the building saying "Original Christmas Tree Lane" but it's easy enough to find... you can't miss all those Christmas trees in the windows. It's on the east side (the freeway side) and it's in the middle, but closer to the northern end in suite G160.

The top of the graphic is the freeway. The red arrow indicates the location.

Tickets are $1 apiece, 6 for $5 or 160 for $100. Winners do not need to be present and ALL of the money goes to the two causes. All the time and prizes on are donated by people and companies, none of the money is used for overhead.

I'm not sure which tree(s) to put my tickets towards, but I'm sure that my wife already has that detail all figured out. Hope to see you there.

•      •       

Saturday, November 22, 2014

• Rotary Clean Up

Today I volunteered to help the Wildomar Rotary Club as they were helping out local resident Vonnie Holmgren.

A panoramic of the site midway through. 

There were about 20 volunteers total. In addition to the Rotary members, there were several members of the community, a few strapping young men from the LDS church, and some local youth looking to fulfill their community service requirements. The workday was slated to last from 8am to 12pm, but this group knocked it out around 10am.

I asked city council member Bridgette Moore to fill me in on the details:
A few years ago Vonnie Holmgren had a stroke that theft her legally blind and partially disabled. Her home suffered water damage during the downpour on September 16th. Rotary is here today to remove the carpets (to be replaced with tile by a family member), we've done some general house cleaning, general maintenance on the yard. We're here to help out one of our local senior citizens.

Andy Morris tackling some yard waste, while Paula Willette (in red) makes sure it's done right.

Caution: Mayor at work.

Mayor Marsha Swanson, Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit and City Council Member Bridgette Moore were leading the charge in getting the various tasks taken care of. 

It's very nice to see their community spirit in action... and guess what... the election is over, so I really doubt that this was just a campaign stunt.

A group shot after the work was completed. Vonnie is the one in the center, wearing a blue shirt.

The plaque on Vonnie's door.
Vonnie was very appreciative and visibly moved by the help she'd just received. Volunteer Cat Lara gave her a hug and I took her hand and told her I was glad to meet her.

She is a long time Wildomartini and had worked for the cable company. If I'm remembering correctly, the company changed names 8 times during her 23 years there

She had helped Wildomar in its bid to get the parks reopened, the first time, by having the pro parks people get spots on TV. The same is true when cityhood was being considered.

For those of you that don't know the joy of helping a person in need, let me assure you that it helps shake the cobwebs from a person's soul and realign your perspective a touch.

•      •       

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

• Southwest Transportation NOW

Went to an RTA meeting in Murrieta called Southwest Transportation NOW.
Click to see the official webpage for Transportation NOW.

First thing I'll remark on is Murrieta's City Hall. I'd seen it from the road countless times, but this was my first time inside. What a nice place it is and the residents there must be proud of it.

Murrieta City Hall

Back to the meeting at hand.

It was a short meeting chaired by Lake Elsinore City Councilman Daryl Hickman. Gotta love a meeting that is scheduled from 12:00 to 1:00 and all the business gets addressed, a sandwich and salad get eaten, some chatting and visiting go on and you're home by 1:00... which included a quick stop at the bank. At the RTA Roadeo, from a couple of weeks back, he did drive the fastest so it makes sense that his meetings would fly by too.

The interesting part was the Ridership Report. It was announced that the ridership of October 2014 was the highest in the history of RTA at around 962,000.

Falling gas prices, and possible effects on ridership, were discussed. Deni Horne, field representative for Melissa Melendez's office,  reminded people that gas prices will spike at the first of the year due to a hidden gas tax (read the LA Times article on it here).

It was mentioned that even though gas prices have come down, that the economy hasn't really changed and that the costs associated with operating an automobile are still prohibitive to those that use the bus as their way of getting around.

In the announcements part of the agenda, Deni Horne mentioned a Holiday Open House that will be hosted by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez and County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries at The Links at Summerly, on December 9th from 4pm-7pm.

Even if you just stop by for a moment, it'll be a good chance to meet some of your elected officials.

•      •       

Justice without strength is helpless. Strength without justice is tyrannical. So many times, unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just. — Blaise Pascal

Friday, November 14, 2014

• A Bit of Real News and a Bit of FaceBook Drama

Let's start with something real.

Earlier in the week I bumped into Ken Mayes at Windsong Park. I had just driven by Marna O'Brien Park and seen that the Freedom Swing (the wheelchair swing) was not up. So I asked him about it. For those that don't know, Ken spends a vast amount of time researching things regarding our parks and I respect the effort, and his interest, even though we often don't agree on things.

He forwarded me a copy of a playground equipment report from an October 19th inspection.

October 19, 2014   
City of Wildomar 
Attn: Les Chapman 
23873 Clinton Keith Road Suite 201 Wildomar CA  92595 
Re: Playground Inspection of Wheelchair Swing  

Dear Mr. Chapman,  I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to provide inspection services to your City.   Enclosed you will find the playground inspection reports for the wheelchair swing at Marna O’Brien Park.   

Today, Mr. Dante Jackson and I looked at installation of a wheelchair swing to determine if the swing itself meet playgrounds standards.  The details of the inspection are located in the attached checklist report.  Unfortunately, it appears that during installation the swing structure was installed too close to the existing swing structure.  This has created an intrusion into the existing swing structure’s use zone.  The use zones are identified with green string which was measured out today during the inspection and is viewable in the attached reports images.    

Of major concern is the surfacing protection material.  The material appears to be located directly on a concrete pad and does not appear to be of sufficient depth.  A surfacing impact attenuation (head drop) test should be performed in the event that this material is going to be kept.    

At this time, the wheelchair swing does NOT meet playground safety standards and will require some repairs, relocation and surfacing impact testing prior to being utilized.  As Mr. Jackson and I departed today, one of your staff members was on site to remove the structure.    

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 310.947.9348 or via email at   

Steven C. Wilmes, PHR, CPSI, RSSP, ARM-P CEO

(The entire report is 13 pages and filled with pictures. Those interested in it, need to request a copy from the city.)

I'm a big "credit where credit is due" guy and Ken Mayes expressed concerns, over many issues with the swing, including the material under it, at various city meetings.

At this point, I want to point out the obvious. No one is trying to discredit Ashley Fox's idea for the swing or her tremendous efforts in raising the money for it. If you've read Wildomar Rap this year, you've seen that I'm a big supporter of hers. She did great. 

Also, it must be noted that the swing has been repeatedly vandalized, something I had been concerned with and had written about it after it was installed.

I asked Assistant City Manager, Dan York, what should I make of the report. He told me that part of the issue is that, though the swing meets requirements in the state that it was produced in (Ohio I believe) our California safety laws are different. There are a few adjustments to it that he has on the drawing board, and until they get it sorted out, the swing had to be taken down.

They also need to reorder a few pieces from it that have been stolen.

You can see where the padding has been stripped away in places.

It's a shame that we live in a world where people have to destroy things that benefit the community, but that is our reality, and we are going to have to make the swing safe for operation and from vandals when it's not in use. Dan York is the right man for the job. He'll find the best answer, and we'll see the fix soon.

•    •    •

Now time for the FaceBook drama.

First, let me say, that without the first version of the Wildomar FaceBook page, I probably wouldn't have gotten involved in the city. I also wouldn't have met many of my neighbors and others in the city either. 

That said, those of you that stay away from the Wildomar FaceBook pages (there are more than you can count these days), or facebook in general, are doing yourself a huge favor.

The Wildomar facebook pages are often filled with: things for sale; inane topics like "Why did KFC close"; or idle gossip and child level name calling. 

Imagine the dog head tilt look I gave a few people in the lobby of City Hall before the last City Council meeting, when I was asked something like... "Did you bring your gloves with you?" Followed by chuckles.
Ummm... errrr... what?

Contrary to popular opinion, I don't live on the internet, and since early Summer, I've left the various Wildomar group pages, since I find they are about a 90% waste of time (No Offense Sheila, Michelle or Kevin).

Check out the screenshot that my wife took of part of the conversation in question.

Hey Michelle, when it's in written form it's libel. When it's spoken, that's when it's slander.

Apparently, the accusation is that someone took down some of Gary Andre's campaign signs, then after the election put them back up. I guess to make it appear that he didn't take them down or something. 

Imagine my delight in reading my name associated with criminal activity. At least they didn't accuse me of child molestation or bank robbery... yet!

This topic had a thread of nearly 100 posts before it got deleted... still not nearly as many as the KFC thread or the Walmart thread. I am not part of that group so I didn't even know it existed. My wife is part of the FaceBook group in question, and did take a ton of screenshots with her Samsung Note II —I just didn't care enough to read through that dreck. 

Suffice to say, that having some failed local politician calling me out by name was the highlight of my day. I can't imagine how depraved a person would have to be, to blithely cast out such erroneous and libelous accusations. 


The only "sick bunch of people" are the ones that LOST yet again. They have nothing of value going on in their lives, and instead of looking for ways to help the community, they look for ways to sue and divide it. Nice life.

As I told a few people. I can't imagine even thinking of such a stupid caper, much less actually doing such a thing. I then said, "If I had been 14, then I might have done it". When I was 14, it was 1979 and there were no CCTV's around. But I'm not a teenager, I'm a grown man with functioning reasoning skills.

Even if, EVEN IF... I thought of something as daft as that, I know the laws and have NOT forgotten the trouble that former DA Zellerbach got into for similar actions. For the longest time, I've assumed that there is a camera on every corner, and there is NO way I'd risk my good name on something so dumb. 

I'm sure I'll be getting a formal apology from Sheryl Ade any moment now. 
Hardy Har Har... I kill me sometimes.

It would take class to apologize... but someone with class wouldn't have made such an inane remark in the first place. As I was telling someone, that kind of comment was no surprise. It's what she does.

If, however, she would have posted something like: "Just wanted to congratulate the three top vote getters for a well run campaign. The electorate has spoken and even if Gary Andre and Israel Leija's votes had been combined... they still would have come in 4th. Best wishes." That would have been a surprise.

Thankfully she didn't post that kind of reasoned comment.  The utter shock from reading such a thing would have been enough to stop my heart mid beat.


If people choose to comment. Stay away from personal attacks... especially the agent orange or draft dodger card, or the concubine card (including any variation thereof). The air in Hemet tends to thin the skin of people. So show some respect or I'll delete your comment. 
•      •       

If at first you don't succeed... just pretend that you did succeed and slander all those that tell you otherwise.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

• City Council Meeting November 12, 2014

Here is a rundown of what I noted from the meeting.

First was a presentation to City Manager Gary Nordquist in recognition for his 5 years as a city employee.
Ok people, next time you see Grace pointing the camera at you, be sure to hold still and say Cheese. ☺

Second was Melina Velazquez, branch manager of Wildomar Library discussing the goings on at the library. To stay up to date check out the facebook page at this link. There are a lot of activities planned through the end of the year. Click here for the link.

Agenda Items

2.1 Allocation of Community Development Block Grant.
The city had roughly $20,000 available to donate, and four groups asked for a combined $65,000. In the end, HOPE got $9,000. Assistance League of Temecula Valley got $7,000, Merit Housing (Wildomar Senior Center off Pasadena) received $3,000. Habitat For Humanity got nothing. They didn't show up to argue their case, and I liked Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit's point about wanting to see how last year's contribution helped Wildomar before donating more to them.

2.2 Minor Change and Amendment Phasing Agreement (Canyon Plaza. Where the New Shell Gas Station is). It was continued to the Council Meeting on December 10th by a 5-0 vote.

3.1 and 3.2 were last chance efforts by two different builders to secure a GPIP (General Plan Initiation Proposal).
Just as a reminder, a GPIP is nothing more than asking permission to ask permission... as illustrated by the four panel cartoon below.

A GPIP is just asking permission to ask permission. Like asking if you can ask someone out to dinner. 

Neither the planning commission's vote nor the City Council's vote would have been an approval or an endorsement for either project. That's why I didn't understand the Planning Commissions 5-0 to "recommend the City Council NOT allow" the GPA for what is being called Wildomar Pointe at Mission Trail and Lemon Street... or the 3-1-1 vote against the George and Iodine Springs GPA.

To be fair, I spoke against the gated community condo complex at both meetings. Not because the project isn't nice... it is... but because it is one of those dreaded MUPA overlay zones. A whimsical fantasy forced on us by Sacramento. Something that would fit in Irvine or LA but makes ZERO sense in a place like Wildomar (it's basically where apartments and businesses are all in one small area).

We are mandated to have such areas by the state, and the General Plan was a major pain to start monkeying with it now. Still, we have a cushion of 102 houses to stay compliant with our General Plan, and if this project gets approved, that will leave a cushion of 49 houses. Thing is, Planning Director Matt Bassi said that would pretty much be the last MUPA change without going out of compliance if another change were to be requested in the future.

In the end, the council voted 5-0 to allow both groups to go to the next step.

Wildomar Pointe at Mission Trail and Lemon Street really looks like a good set up... it just needs a couple of tweaks but I hope they approve it. It's not going to be a typical strip mall, the plan is for automotive needs such as, stereos, upholstery, custom wheels and tires, car and truck wraps, truck accessory store, traditional auto parts store and even a car rental place was mentioned... all things with big ticket items and therefore a good sales tax base.

Also a group of non automotive businesses were mentioned. Possibly a micro brewery, rock fitness/crossfit, hardwood flooring, granite countertops, patio furniture/BBQ retailer, indoor swimming lessons.

In the back buildings, light industrial is proposed. Cabinetry was mentioned as a target business to be in there.

Council Member Bob Cashman asked what the percentage of the project is to be warehouse, and the applicant said, "about 40%."

Council Member Bridgette Moore mentioned how it's near homes and that noise and fumes from industrial businesses would have to be taken into consideration. The applicant answered that they respect the fact that homeowners don't want to be looking at the side of a building and that there are ways to screen the building with vegetation, and to also be sensitive as to the way lighting would be installed.

Council Member Tim Walker mentioned how that part of town was part of a visioning document that was intended to be part of an old town, and that's why it was zoned as Commercial Retail.

Mayor Marsha Swanson said she was in favor of the M-SC zones (Manufacturing Service Commercial). She preferred the list of targeted businesses that didn't include the automotive based businesses. She also said she would like to see a "plan certain" to go along with any zone changes. She doesn't like to see a zone change with nothing to go with it, and she didn't like the proposed facades of the buildings either.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit seemed to like much of the project, and added that he had concerns about noise initially, but if you look at a map there are only two or three homes that are near the property. He also mentioned that the buildings don't look all that much different than the Elk's Lodge or the Animal Shelter that aren't too far from the proposed site.

Note to my friends on the planning commission. Next time you get a GPIP just rubber stamp it like I suggested in the past. When it is an actual GPA, then take the applicant to the mat if you must.

3.4 City Hall Facility Lease
First thing you need to know is that nothing is free. We currently are renting about 3800sf for over $9000 a month (I think it's closer to 10K but I try not to overbid as if I were a contestant on Price Is Right). The new agreement is for about 10,000sf at a cost of $19,000 a month with built in 2.5% yearly increases over the seven years. There are other lease options, with fewer square feet with the price per square foot going up. If you want all the details, ask Gary Nordquist for them.

Ben Benoit asked to have the topic continued for 30 days so that the Jean Hayman option be revisited again.

Let's do the math. $19,000 a month, for 84 months would be $1,596,000. That isn't factoring in the yearly increase which would be an increase of 17.5% after seven years or a monthly rent of $22,325. So the total outlay for rent would be closer to $1.8M over seven years.

I don't know about you, but I bought my home for a reason. Renting is for fools. If we were to buy Jean Hayman School (assuming it is a fair price) it would be paid for before we know it, and in the life of a city, 30 years isn't that long. I can tell you one thing for sure, that in 30 years Wildomar City Hall will be a lot more than $22,325 a month. Just padding the bank account of a faceless landlord.

Now where do you sit when it comes to being penny wise and pound foolish?

To round things out... last count in the election had Tim Walker and Ben Benoit tied for first with the same number of votes. Sorry Tim, it's all my fault. Had I stuck with an idea I had been toying with, and giving a mercy vote to Mr. Leija, then you would have beat him by one.

•      •       

"A long Sunday walk and a glass of beer could put us spiritually in the company of Alexander the Great"
—GK Chesterson

Saturday, November 8, 2014

• 2014 RTA Roadeo

No, it isn't a misprint. 
It's a portmanteau of Road and Rodeo = Road•e•o... get it?

I had heard that this was going to be happening and that one of our city council members, also a member of the Board of Directors for RTA—Bridgette Moore, was going to be a participant, so I asked if I could tag along.

The day started at 6:30AM, with arrival at the Hemet RTA compound a little after 7:00AM. You'd never know it was November with the 90 degree temps. The first Operator Contestant (Driver for the uninitiated) started off at 8:15AM.

They went through an obstacle course that included tennis balls, sharp turns in both directions, backing up into a narrow pocket between cones—from both angles, finished up by going through two rows of barrels that narrows as you went. The drivers had 7 mins to complete the course with as few errors as possible (knocking cones over, or flattening tennis balls).

As luck would have it, our council member was the last driver slated to get behind the wheel. Perhaps seeing what the other drivers had done first was a help, because she really did well—didn't kill any tennis balls, and knocked over only a smattering of cones. [She did elect NOT to do any of the backing up drills, so he her kill ratio probably would have gone up had she done those.]

I took some video, but buses going slowly around cones doesn't make for the best viewing experience... so I sped up parts of it by about 1000%. The portions of the video that are of the bus, is a compilation of various drivers. The portion from inside the bus was when Bridgette Moore was driving. It was a fun ride, but I can tell that those breaks must have been a bear to get the feel of. At times it felt like I was getting tossed around by a big swell while body surfing. ☺

There was also a tour of the facilities. The compound used to be owned by one of the trash companies and is being readied for RTA (though it looked about 99% there already). Just some office shifting, and moving a call center, and a reception area are left for it to be completed.

I saw where the new driver training classrooms were, a call center, the locker rooms, where they wash and detail the buses. It was an impressive set up. Perhaps once they've got it all up and running they'll let me blog about them and their mission to Riverside County and Wildomar.

Click to enlarge the image.

So, other than watching the various contestants drive, and enjoy some coffee and donuts... later hamburgers and hot dogs, I wanted to know what the Roadeo 2014 was all about. I was pointed in the direction of Rosie Rozatti, operations manager, and she explained it this way.

I'm part of the Southern California Regional Roadeo Committee.

Today we had a competition to narrow down from all the really good drivers we have to one driver and an alternate to compete in international Roadeo competition, which will be in Fort Worth, Texas in May 1-5, 2015.

After today's Roadeo competition the winner, Kyle Jones, he'll go on to compete in our Southern California Regional Roadeo. Which will be the end of April. It'll be held at SunLine Transit.

That's where the various regional roadeo member agencies have one person that competes —one operator. That's just a practice, everybody that has won their local Roadeo, will go on to the international event.

In addition to getting the best score on the course, operators must meet other qualifications too. Including APTA (American Public Transportation Association), attendance, accidents, discipline, they have to have a clean record in those regards for the prior year to be eligible to compete.

So I then asked, "Some taxpayers might be scratching their heads, and wondering 'why have a Roadeo in the first place?' How would you answer them?"

The Roadeo competition does boost operator morale. We do have a set budget for the Roadeo competition but the majority of the effort is done on a volunteer basis.

Had to love the vintage bus that was on display. It was the first model RTA used back in the '60s.

 •      •       

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

• Planning Commission Meeting Nov 5 2014

Tonight's meeting was a full house. Before you think "Hey, finally people are showing interest in the Parks Master Plan" most were there for Agenda Item 2.1 Cornerstone Church Project.

I applaud Chairman Stan Smith for taking a show of hands to see who were there for the Parks Master Plan and those for the Cornerstone project. Then he suggested the two items be switched since the Cornerstone issue was going to take longer. For some reason, Commissioner Langworthy voted against the switch...

There will be one more time that the Parks Master Plan gets discussed in a public hearing, and that'll be in front of the City Council.

Now to the topic of the night. Cornerstone Church wanting to to build a 17,000sf preschool/daycare building, a 2,400sf maintenance building, a 23,000sf administrative building with a 1,300sf commercial kitchen.

The Council Chambers were filled with people that either lived very close to the church, were members of the church, the builder and attorney for the church, and of course the attorney for the group known as the Wildomar APEs. I had to set my camera up in a different place than usual, and have to thank new full time Wildomar employee, Alfredo Garcia, for not tripping over my poorly placed tripod.

Not that anyone wants to hear the riveting legal punditry of Ray Johnson, but if you do, his three minutes can be seen in the video below.

I had to Love RayJay's comment about kids going to school within 500 feet of a freeway. I'm so glad he's worried about the li'l tykes but I doubt too many bought his concern (whenever someone drags children into an argument, they might as well be raising the white flag and be done with it).

If a school can't be within 500 feet of a freeway, due to "Toxic Air Contaminants", then it's time to rip out Donald Graham School since it sits against the freeway. Not to mention countless other schools and parks in the state.

I will say this in response to Mr. Johnson's comments. They're similar to all the other comments we get on all the other EIRs. This EIR was vetted thoroughly by the applicant's attorneys, our attorneys... it is a solid Environmental Impact Report. We just respectfully disagree with his interpretations and his assumptions that we didn't do it properly.
—Matt Bassi Planning Director

•     •     •

There were many public speakers tonight, I counted twelve, and the vast majority were in favor of the project. Most seemed to be members of the church. There were several from nearby homes that were in favor of the project and spoke glowingly about how considerate the church is, and has been during this process. There were also about a dozen that filled out speaker slips in favor of the project, but declined to speak. They just wanted to be on record.

There was one woman that got up, Mary Flores, that was against the project. My take on her comments is that she would be against anything that the church would want to do. She mischaracterized the church's desire to build a "Commercial Kitchen" as wanting to build an "International Kitchen" then turning to the builder and the pastor she said, "If you put in a supermarket, you can win over [against] Walmart". Sorry, I don't get that. Just another case of hyperbole gone wrong. She also mentioned being worried about fire issues with the building going on. Really? Why would there be anymore risk of fire than anywhere else or any other time? 

To me, the key issue is Monte Vista and the traffic that is already bad there. When I got up and spoke, I said that no one has mentioned the big monster down the road: Walmart. If Monte Vista is a hazard today, then imagine after Walmart and a new preschool get added to the current flow of traffic. People in the know won't even go near Monte Vista on a Sunday, and for those of us that use the northbound Baxter offramp, we avoid it on Sundays.

"I'm not religious... actually I'm not religious at all, but I am an American, and I'm big on the 1st Amendment and Freedom of Religion. I'm also big on Property Rights and as long as the applicant is following the rules, no one should be able to stop this project."
—Joseph Morabito in front of planning commission

•     •     •
I don't expect the church to pick up the tab for the necessary road improvements, but they are going to need to be done. As it is, the whole way Monte Vista is configured is a mess, especially where it intersects with Baxter. I think where it hooks up with Bundy is pretty much a nightmare too.

City Engineer/Assistant City Manager Dan York made it clear that Monte Vista is wide enough for five lanes (two in each direction and a center turn lane). He also made a good point about NOT having sidewalks on the freeway side of the street.

Let's face it, many parts of our town were poorly planned, and there aren't any Mulligans after the city got bifurcated by I-15. We have to make the best of some sloppy situations and Monte Vista is one of those.

I know of a similar situation that just got fixed in San Juan Capistrano. The frontage road there was sandwiched between the freeway and some railroad tracks. Somehow they managed to widen it, but it didn't include sidewalks on the freeway side.

If you want to laugh, or just have your stomach turn... take a look at the Wildomar Timex's comments left on an article at the Press Enterprise. Here is a link to the article in question, about the Cornerstone project.

I just love how her picture is off center. Maybe she needed a booster seat when it was taken?

This is one of those Doctor Laura moments when she'll tell a caller, "When you pet a porcupine, as if it were a puppy, why do you act surprised when you get pricked?"

If you want to see this as it comes to the full city council, mark your calendars for December 10th. This time I'll get there well before 6pm so I can get a better seat.

•     •     •

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. 

• Wildomar Proves Sanity

Wildomar returns city council incumbents.

Election day proved that a snowball would indeed melt if it were to enter the atmosphere of Hell. The two challengers, known as Pony Man and The Milk Carton, finished so far behind that it should be a lesson to other people that have delusions of grandeur.

Don't get me wrong here. If there had been legitimate challengers for the city council, then I wouldn't write it so nonchalantly. However, when one guy, Gary Andre, has done nothing but file one lawsuit after another, which has hampered the progress of this city, how can he think there are enough like minded voters out there to get him onto the council?

The other guy, Israel Leija, nice enough fellow, but he had as much business running for city council as I would trying out for an NBA team. Sure, he had the right, and I probably have the right to try out for the Lakers too? Having a right and exercising it are two different things. He was a complete no show for the last month. Hence his nickname: The Milk Carton.
You'll notice that Wildomar Rap's informal poll wasn't that far off from the real numbers.

Measure AA
I usually hate bond issues, but I did vote for this one. The deciding factor for me was the same old list of goobers that were against it.

I didn't know what to make of this race. I've met both people and had long conversations with both. I like both and congratulate George Cambero on his victory. What I noticed was that this race was taking on the same characteristics of other Wildomar politics... meaning, the same lines in the sand were drawn. With the same people facing off against each other.

Like it or not, rhetoric about "I know where the water is" to the side, all this noise leading up to the election and the winner only got 1,105 votes?

US Representative
I remember going around and around with the Tim Sheridan camp online. I told them that nearly every district in California is a Safe District, and there was NO WAY that Calvert would lose. That he didn't need to bother with a "debate" or "meet the candidates" because his opponent wasn't worthy.

They bristled at my words, and really didn't like it when I suggested a little wager on the race. I told them that I'd bet my house against a box of day old donuts and a warm Coors Light... if they weren't too afraid of the high stakes. I think that kind of flippancy only made them madder.

•      •      

Last on the docket:
Out of town blogger

I don't know what motivates some people, and I really don't care either. Still, it's an odd thing to watch, in real time, when a person goes out of their way to cause others grief. Part of me wishes I'd paid closer attention as our city was forming... then again, I'm so glad I missed the noise and rancor that went with it.

I don't make a regular habit of reading the out of town blog in question, but other than the few times he was talking about himself or his family, I've only ever seen him go on and on about how bad the elected city officials are, save one of course... speaking of the ONLY Wildomar council member asked NOT to return by the voters... that one, he glows about. 

He was pushing hard for Gary Andre, while disparaging the council members that were up for reelection. He even went so far as to prop up Israel Leija's bid by saying "It appears that Israel has professional and life experience  equal to any of the three incumbents  and is worthy of your consideration for his successful efforts to become a candidate with commendable stated goals"

The insane things people will say when trying to make a point. Here's a hint... if you have to exaggerate to make your point... your point isn't worth #$%$.

Let's hope that puts an end to his interest in all things Wildomar and he can get back to writing his memoirs. Hardy Har... I know... wishful thinking... right

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If it don't fit in Fibber McGee's closet, it ain't worth having.

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